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Old 10-02-2012, 06:23 PM   #11 
Leopardfire
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Thanks for the advice. I will get almond leaves for the pH but I'm not sure what to do about the ammonia.
My tank used to be cycled, but I needed the filter for another tank that I was just starting that had serious ammonia problems. (I know it was bad to get fish without a proper cycle, but I thought I could handle it. I couldn't and now they are dying like crazy. It know now I was stupid and I will defiantly cycle next time.)
Anyway now the tank that my betta is in has a new uncycled filter. (aqua clear 30. It was meant for my other tank but then I traded them.) I was hoping there would be enough bacteria left in the substrate to keep the ammonia under control, but since there is a good amount of ammonia in my water, I'm having problems. My tank is constantly at 0.02ppm ammonia and I can't do water changes since the ammonia in my water just makes it worse. I'm not sure prime would work because the bacteria aren't plentiful enough to get rid of the ammonia fast enough. I don't know what to do to get rid of it!
My betta's fin rot is getting bad fast so I added my first treatment of triple sulfa today. I'm thinking about moving the old filter back to my betta's tank, but there are still fish in the other tank and I'm worried they would die if I took away the filter. (They will probably all die anyway but I'm trying to save them.)
I just don't know what I can do to get rid of the ammonia fast so I can treat my betta. There's no safe water anywhere! Is there a filter I could get that removes ammonia or something?
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Old 10-02-2012, 08:01 PM   #12 
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First of all, ammonia causes similar fin rot to the bacterial infection and I can't understand why is everyone willing to treat with medication, but not removing the cause of the sickness. Once you remove the ammonia issue, the fin rot can heal itself. Dosing the tank with medication when there's ammonia in it can and probably will kill your fish. You need to sort the ammonia problem!!!
Normally, when getting a second tank you should not exchange the filters leaving one tank uncycled with potential problems to your fish. The best thing to do to seed a new filter is to take max 1/3rd of the sponges of the cycled filter/mature filter and squeeze them into the new/uncycled filter. This will jump start the cycle in the new tank but you need to add fish very slowly with regular water changes until the bacteria has multiplied enough to filter the bioload fast enough.
Alternatively, instead of adding fish slowly, buy yourself a pure ammonia bottle with no additives(water+ammonia only solution!!!!) and dose ammonia instead of risking fish. This is called fishless cycle and there is plenty of information how to do it and how much to dose. It's the humane way to go.

What you can do at the moment is take some sponge, no more than 1/3rd of it and put it into the betta's filter. If this doesn't instantly cycle it, it will at least help the tank cycle a lot faster. Do not treat until the ammonia/nitrites are at 0, it is risky for the fish but if it makes you feel comfortable, then do.

Also, if the fish in the other tank have a contagious disease(you mentioned them dying), then it's not advisable to use anything from that tank to put into the betta's tank until they are cured.
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Old 10-02-2012, 08:14 PM   #13 
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Quote:
Is there a filter I could get that removes ammonia or something?
Only a cycled filter removes ammonia and it's product nitrItes. If you can't use sponges/media from your other tank(presuming the filter is cycled), then ask someone that has a tank to give you some. Maybe the shop can help you out with an old filter sponge?
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Old 10-02-2012, 08:53 PM   #14 
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I put some medication in earlier today, but should I stop that and wait untill I clear the ammonia? I heard that stopping meds part way is bad and can lead to bacterial resistance to that med. I put some ammonia remover in to temporarily lessen the effects of the ammonia. I have some tetra safestart, so do you think I should add that to the filter to jump start the cycle? Also, do you think Petco/Petsmart would help me out with a sponge? They are the only pet stores that I know of in my area.
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Old 10-02-2012, 09:02 PM   #15 
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Stopping meds partway isn't a good idea because yes, it can lead to a resistance.

I would be reluctant to accept a sponge from Petsmart/Petco because their tanks often have disease. You would be better off to use Seachem Stability to jumpstart the tank. But depending on the size of the tank, it doesn't really matter if it is cycled if the only occupant is going to be one betta. The best way to keep ammonia down is with water changes. Again, since you have ammonia in your tap water I'd recommend using Prime to help neutralize the ammonia and turn it into the less toxic ammonium.

For the filter issue, keep the filter in whichever tank has the most fish in it.
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Old 10-02-2012, 09:42 PM   #16 
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Okay so if I put the prime into the tap water before I put it in, then it won't harm my betta. That would be useful because then I could keep the ammonia down in both my tanks. Right now I can't really change the water because the ammonia gets worse after each change.
Also, if I put ammonia neutralizer into my water when I added the meds, will that be enough to make the meds effective? I know they won't really work if the water is bad.
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Old 10-02-2012, 09:47 PM   #17 
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You can try that and see if the ammonia neutralizer brings the levels down. How are you testing for ammonia? Are you using strips or liquid drops? I believe you will still get a reading for ammonia if you use the drops because ammonium will still show up.

Prime pretty much does it all as a water conditioner. :)
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Old 10-02-2012, 10:07 PM   #18 
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You've only put the first dose, so there's hardly any build up of the medication to cause bacteria resistance, plus, you don't know what exactly bacteria you are treating for, if that's the cause at all.

Quote:
Also, if I put ammonia neutralizer into my water when I added the meds, will that be enough to make the meds effective? I know they won't really work if the water is bad.

It's not a 100% sure as you've no way of testing at home but presuming that it does what it says on the bottle, you need to dose prime every day to make sure it keeps the ammonia in a non-toxic state. As far as I remember this is a higher dosage of Prime than usual, treating the whole tank each time. This should be considered a very temporary solution.. I once over washed my filter sponges causing an ammonia spike and used Ammo Lock, it absolutely made no difference and the fish were still in poor state.
Whether the meds will be effective depends on whether they contain the right ingredient to cure what your betta has, but it won't go away if there's ammonia in the tank, could relieve him though.

As for the fish store, I can't tell but you can certainly ask. How about getting bits of the sponge of your own cycled filter in the other tank?

Quote:
Again, since you have ammonia in your tap water I'd recommend using Prime to help neutralize the ammonia and turn it into the less toxic ammonium.
Prime will convert the ammonia to a different substance for about 24 hours, then you need to dose the tank with a full dose again every day. This is a lot of chemicals for a fish tank but temporarily, until you get the filters cycled it may help the fish.

Quote:
You can try that and see if the ammonia neutralizer brings the levels down. How are you testing for ammonia? Are you using strips or liquid drops? I believe you will still get a reading for ammonia if you use the drops because ammonium will still show up.
Prime does not neutralize the ammonia for good, it's a temporary shot in the dark and you can never be sure it has converted all of it as advertised. It's not converted to ammonium exactly but a different non-toxic substance, but yes, it does show up on a test.

Good luck. Hope all you fish recover and you get those tanks cycled asap
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Old 10-02-2012, 10:43 PM   #19 
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Okay, well I guess I will try using prime. I think I had a partial cycle till I did a 50% water change and squeezed out my filter. That probably messed up everything. Would it be better to add the prime directly into the tank or do a 25% water change and add the prime to the tap water before putting it in?
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Old 10-02-2012, 10:48 PM   #20 
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In your case, I would use it both as a conditioner (so add it to the water change water) and also add it to the tank as well to detoxify the ammonia that's already in there. :)
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