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Old 03-29-2008, 03:02 AM   #1 
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Ammonia level, new tank


I recently set up a new tank, a 14 gal, and I started cycling w/ my betta in it just 2 days ago. I used aquasafe for the conditioner, and this green liquid that I got "bettazing" from an online store... forgot where exactly, but its from a reliable store and the lady knows her stuff and I've used it for 10 months now so I know its good. I changed 20% of the water today the 3rd day since I started cycling, and ammonia level is rising. I know that its supposed to, but what kind i do specifically to maintain a safe level for my betta, who my family and i love and adore, and for him to be as least stressed as possible.

He just recently moved from a 2 gal tank, which my mom broke while changing his water, and so, thankfully, we put him in a 14 gal that I bought months ago.

Here are my questions and concerns, any help will be GREATLY appreciated:

From my research on this forum, I heard that with a fish, the cycling water should be replaced 20% everyday, is this true?

The ammonia level rises, and then the nitrate, then nitrite. I bought a tester kit online for sale ( API master kit) and am waiting for it, in the meantime, I bought a tester strip thing that you place in the tank and right now its between safe (0 ppm) and caution (0.2ppm), what must I do to keep it safe for my betta fish?

Also, from here on out, I know that I should be careful of the water parameters, so I do not give him alot of food, and replace his water 20% (?) then once the cycling period is over... how would i know if it is over?

Also, I would like him to have a friend who is just as hardy as he is... who can befriend him with, someone just as hardy and easy to take care of who will be okay for him to be in the same tank with?

Thanks for your help and reading this post!

I'm new to all this and although this forum has helped me much, I just want to make sure everything is safe for my betta :)
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Old 03-29-2008, 03:21 AM   #2 
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corydoras catfish would be great, he will keep the tank floor free of leftovers and he is very peaceful. Tried and tested with a betta ;)
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Old 03-29-2008, 04:35 AM   #3 
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Hello there studioskim3. First of all, I would say don't rely to heavily on the test strip, as the strips are notorious for their inaccuracy. Hopefully your API test kit will arrive soon. In the meantime, I would continue with the 20 percent daily water changes.

What happens is you will see Ammonia, followed by Nitrite and then Nitrate. Once you have a constant reading of

Ammonia 0
Nitrite 0
Nitrate - a noticeable reading

you will know your tank has cycled. Do not add any corys to the tank until the tank has completed the cycle. Do you have any live plants in there, or hiding places for your betta?

What sort of filter are you using, and do you have a heater in the tank?
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Old 03-29-2008, 12:49 PM   #4 
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thanks SO much for your input... it helps me to know where I am...

I have an Aqueon filter 10, and I think its really nice... not too much current as long as the water is high.

No, I do not have live plants b/c I know that will create more caring, and I'm not sure if I'm ready for it yet... I have a few fake silk plants installed, but not enough to provide him enough hiding places. I bought some online and its on its way.

I understand that the strip may be inaccurate... but I thought mayb I should have just in case until the tester kit gets here so to use it.

So I've been changing his water 20%... but the ammonia level seems to be the same... if not, getting higher... is that okay?
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Old 03-30-2008, 07:03 PM   #5 
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The only way that I have seen ammonia come up when changing water is if there is some in the tap water. I have close to 1 ppm ammonia in my tap so I do small enough changes that it doesn't matter in an established tank. You might want to check your tap water for ammonia just to be aware of what you are working with.
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Old 03-30-2008, 09:52 PM   #6 
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Also, most water conditioners will neutralize ammonia, making is harmless to fish.
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