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Old 03-23-2013, 01:55 AM   #1 
dummees
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Exclamation New Betta - Cycling Question?

Let me start off with Silus' basic information, as it might help:
(This is a very long post in my eyes, so sorry for the slew of information. I want to be as thorough as possible.)
Housing
What size is your tank? 3 gallons.
What temperature is your tank? 79-80 Degrees.
Does your tank have a filter? Yes.
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No.
Is your tank heated? Yes.
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? None.

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Hakari Pellets or the...TetraBetta Flakes I believe. Also, dried bloodworms on occassion.
How often do you feed your betta fish? 6 Hakari Pellets daily - 2-3 bloodworms as snacks every couple days.

Maintenance

How often do you perform a water change? Weekly.
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 50%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? The Prime conditioner, API Stress Coat and API Stress Zyme.

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?
(In his current Quarantine tank)
Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate:
pH: 6.8
Hardness:
Alkalinity:

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? It hasn't, really. His fins sort of droop but nothing serious.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? See below.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? He's sinking a bit, but I assume he's just a bit chilly and stressed from his new bowl.
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how?
-I've been using a stress coat on him daily, only a drop or so (he's in about a gallon quarantine bowl until I get his tank cycled.)
Does your fish have any history of being ill? Not that I'm aware of.
How old is your fish (approximately)? Probably...I'd say maybe 5-8 months.


Alright. So onto my question.

Silus - my new betta that I recently bought from aquabid was put into his new home earlier today. It's a 3 gallon cylinder tank with the Azoo Palm filter and a mini heater. In that regard, everything's fine.
Now - Today I went out and bought the proper water testing tools. I picked up the API Master kit and was...er, astonished by my water conditions I had Silus in. (He was in there for a few hours, and I panicked and removed him later to a quarantined tank with stress coat.)
He's my third betta in 4 months. My first was Rukar, who I rescued from a local pet shop. He died in about 2 months because the store clerks told me they lived in puddles (of course they did) and that test strips were good and API Stress Zyme would be plenty weekly. (The test strips were completely inaccurate with my new tank and stress zyme was confused for a conditioner by the pet shop)
Also, they said to just do a 25% change bi-weekly with no filters or heaters and I'd be good.
Of course they were wrong and they both died. (On separate occasions, that is. They were not housed together or anything)
So today, I tested my PH and it was extremely high. I think somewhere around 7.8. Just grazing the highest allowed levels. Then the ammonia was... geez, I believe it was in the purple when it was supposed to be yellow. (Sorry, I did this a few hours ago and forgot the exact measurements).
Nitrite and nitrates were both through the roof. I previously assumed cycling was just getting bacteria on the filter without any fish inside the tank, until I decided to research (more than I already had) when I got Silus in the mail today.

So my question is...what is the best way to cycle his tank quickly and effectively? I was planning on using the shrimp method, because it's easy cleanup and rather quick. He's currently in a conditioned (with prime and stress coat) drinking water quarantine tank to keep ammonia levels down to 0. I'll be doing 50% changes daily to keep everything alright until he's settled in a cycled tank.
Is this a practical solution? I really don't want my third baby to die this time. It's really discouraging watching both of my fish die from some sort of disease. I'd just like some second opinion on this.

Thank you!

Last edited by dummees; 03-23-2013 at 02:03 AM.
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Old 03-23-2013, 02:28 AM   #2 
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I recommend to leave the filter running and do adequate water changes. for a 3 gallon changing out 100% at of the week should be adequate. make sure you never change out the filter media. and if you ever medicate your fish, research to see if the medicine will kill the biological filter.

awareness is the first step to proper care ^_^ you're on the right path.

A PH of 7.8 is perfectly fine ~
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Old 03-23-2013, 09:23 PM   #3 
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Originally Posted by aokashi View Post
I recommend to leave the filter running and do adequate water changes. for a 3 gallon changing out 100% at of the week should be adequate. make sure you never change out the filter media. and if you ever medicate your fish, research to see if the medicine will kill the biological filter.

awareness is the first step to proper care ^_^ you're on the right path.

A PH of 7.8 is perfectly fine ~
Thank you for your reply!
His quarantine tank is perfectly healthy - PH is great and nitrite and ammonia at 0. Until everything is cycled in his main tank, he should be okay, which makes me feel a lot better he won't die before then.

I've just started my shrimp cycle, and the ammonia levels are really high. I tested three times and it's somewhere around 25ppm...is there any way to get that down, or will it even out by tomorrow? I've only put maybe 2 shrimp SKINS in there, medium sized. I did a water change to try and balance it out, but because the API master kit isn't very exact...it's hard to tell where it's in between 0 and 25 with just color. :T
I have the filter running and I stuck my fake-plants in there to help everything grow on them. Does that sound alright?
(edit - SORRY, I read it wrong. It's at .25 ppm. VERY big difference, ha. I'll find a way to get it to 2ppm and I should be good.)

Last edited by dummees; 03-23-2013 at 09:34 PM.
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Old 03-23-2013, 09:36 PM   #4 
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I hate to tell you this, but getting a tank to fully cycle could take weeks, stuff like start right and stress zyme will help speed things up, I see he is from AB is he one from thailand?
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Old 03-23-2013, 09:48 PM   #5 
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Originally Posted by Stone View Post
I hate to tell you this, but getting a tank to fully cycle could take weeks, stuff like start right and stress zyme will help speed things up, I see he is from AB is he one from thailand?
I understand. Unfortunately, as I said, I was under the impression I was doing it right until he got here. I wish I would have knew this when I ordered him. :C I've put stress zyme in there, too. So hopefully everything turns out fine while he's in his separate tank.
Yes, Silus is from AB in Thailand! I got him from the owner Phusit, was very surprised with how nice everything turned out. Transhipper was very nice with the process, too. Would definitely order another in the distant future when I'm a betta hoarder, haha.
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Old 03-23-2013, 10:00 PM   #6 
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Well here is another tip, the AB fish from thailand go through a bit to get to us, some of the transhippers change their water some don't, you should drip acclimate him, he has been used to the water in thailand which just happens to be close to perfect for bettas, and depending on transhipper he has or has not had his water changed, so he is going from near perfect water or atleast water he has been in his whole life to your water or the transhippers water then your water, so using drip acclimation would be a plus for any fish. There is a thing in the reptile section in most pet stores called the lil dripper works flawlessly for doing this
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Old 03-23-2013, 10:11 PM   #7 
dummees
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stone View Post
Well here is another tip, the AB fish from thailand go through a bit to get to us, some of the transhippers change their water some don't, you should drip acclimate him, he has been used to the water in thailand which just happens to be close to perfect for bettas, and depending on transhipper he has or has not had his water changed, so he is going from near perfect water or atleast water he has been in his whole life to your water or the transhippers water then your water, so using drip acclimation would be a plus for any fish. There is a thing in the reptile section in most pet stores called the lil dripper works flawlessly for doing this
I already dripped him into a different tank. C: I used half the water in his bag and dripped the rest into the new quarantine tank, so his current one I think is pretty good conditions. Everything's at zero and since there's prime in there and I change every 24 hours (about 40%) I think he'll be okay. You've both been super helpful with this, I feel LOADS better about him surviving. Thank you so much!
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Old 03-23-2013, 10:15 PM   #8 
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He will be fine, bettas are tough little fish as long as they are genetically healthy that is, they can and will survive stuff that would kill most fish.
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