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Old 07-28-2012, 09:42 AM   #1 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Trouble with new tank...need some help

Hi Everyone

I decided to set up a filtered tank for a new betta (have not bought the fish yet). I picked up a Minibow 2.5 gal tank and did the following:

- Water was tap water conditioned with API Stress Coat. Also added was API aquarium salt and PH was brough to 7 via the API kit.

- Gravel & decorations was rinsed well and added into the tank

- Rinsed the filter and installed it. The set up ran for 2 weeks when I tested the water with an API master kit. Results at the time were:

PH: water really high, around 8
Ammonia: also high around 2ppm
Nitrite was non existent
Nitrate was non existent

Spoke to a local fish store and they recommended adding Acid Buffer by Seachem and Nutrafin Cycle by Hagen. Ran the filter for another week. This morning I tested the water again. Results:

PH: is back up again over 8
Ammonia was still at 2ppm
Nitrate was around .25ppm
Nitrate was non existent

I'd like to add a fish to this tank, but am concerned I'm just going to kill it. Any idea what I maybe doing wrong? What surprised me the most is how PH and ammonia went up so high when there are no fish in the tank.

Thoughts, recommendations. Should I just start over??


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Old 07-28-2012, 09:55 AM   #2 
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Yup, just start again, IMO, flush out all the unnecessary additives like salt.. why did you add that, anyhow? And the ph fixit.

Fiddling with water chemistry additives is courting disaster, especially in a tank that small where there is no room at all for a crash. Better to just leave it, if the intended species can cope.

Have you had your tap water tested at the LFS? If the ph isn't that high, it could be substrate adding to the alkalinity or something. If it's naturally that high, it'll be okay for a betta - as long as you acclimate him properly.

I have no idea how ammonia appears in a tank with nothing in it. I'll leave that to someone who does know... but it could be in your tap water, or could be a false reading of ammonium..?
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Old 07-28-2012, 10:12 AM   #3 
Join Date: Jun 2012

Thank you for your reply. I added the aquarium salt after ready stuff that spoke of its benefits.....could have been smoke up my a** :)

I have had my tap water tested since i live in an usually hard watertabe here in the lovely state of New Jersey. I do have a home water softening system as well as filtration. My tap runs around ph 7.6 while the filtered water is ph of near 0. I didnt actually think of it before, but it sounds like the combo of my water softener (salt based) and aquarium salt could be the culprit of the significant change in PH.

The ammonia part of this is really tossing me for a loop! Thanks for your input, much appreciatted

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Old 07-28-2012, 10:50 AM   #4 
Kenny G
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I would start over. Also I would like to make one final suggestion add Seachem Prime to your tank water. You will only need 2 drops per 1 US Gallon of water and it removes chlorine, chloramine, ammonia. Check out this link and read the reviews for yourself.
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Old 07-28-2012, 11:08 AM   #5 
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Location: Knoxville, Tennessee
Kenny I use Aqueon water conditioner and it says is also detoxifies heavy metals and ammonia. Do you know what that means put to where I can understand it ? lol
It also is only 2 drops per gallon and my water is always crystal clear I like it but since most everyone here uses Prime and always have such great comments about I might change over when I run out of Aqueon.

Good luck Gfarra with getting your tank to cycle I am trying as well with my 5 gallon.

Last edited by Perseusmom; 07-28-2012 at 11:10 AM.
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Old 07-28-2012, 11:12 AM   #6 
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There's nothing wrong with acid buffer.. But your betta will be fine in that pH so it's not worth it. To keep pH down you have to lower kH which is just a huge math problem. Not needed for a betta. :p

Filtered water has a pH of 0? That's impossible. Battery acid has a pH of around 0. If your filtered water had 0 pH it'd burn your skin right off. Neutral pH is right at 7, which seems more likely to me.
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Old 07-28-2012, 11:14 AM   #7 
reggie oaks
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THE GOOD PART IS THAT YOUR WATER ALREADY HAS NUMBER 1 INGREDIENT TO BEGIN THE NITROGEN CYCLE:AMMONIA. sECOND TO IT IS NITRIFYING BACTERIA. sINCE there are no fish yet, why don't you just add stress zyme or other bacteria source and let the cycle begin? Im very uncomfortable with this pH reading of 8 [much better for saltwater aquariums or some african ciclids]. Some bacteria additives [BA] or better said, what we think of as being BA, are just a source of ammonia to begin the cycle. Is there the possibility that you addes such additive and forgot to mention? That would explain the high ammo levels and thus the high pH [ammonia is the base par excellence]. Also, get daily readings for the complete chemistry and introduce fish one by one. I'm under the impression that I forgot to write here something but....... for now this is the best advice I can offer you.
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Old 07-28-2012, 11:31 AM   #8 
Kenny G
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@ Perseusmom due to different water types heavy metals and ammonia are often in the water we use in our tanks. Also uneaten food left in our tanks will leak ammonia and your levels will spike. I actually used Aqueon water conditioner then the Aqueon Betta Bowl Plus. After doing major research on Prime I made the switch. At 2 drops per 1 US gallon it only cost me 8.99 for a 8.5 fl oz bottle. If 1 capful of Prime treats 50 gallons imagine how long this stuff will last for my two 2.5 gallon tanks. For me it was a no brain-er. I hope this helps.
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