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Old 11-24-2008, 06:35 AM   #1 
Orchidlover
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First 50% water change and test kit readings

I have a 3 gallon Eclipse System 3 tank purchased a week ago. I also purchased a Mini Master Test kit by Nutrafin/Hagen and have taken two readings the first week. I did a my first 50% water change yesterday and took my water readings last night with my Master Test kit by Nutrafin/Hagen. Have a few questions I need help with, please!
  1. Besides taking the chlorine out of the new water, is there something else I should be adding to the water when I change it? Something for stress? Also, I read to add Nutrafin Cycle Biological Aquarium Supplement to accelerate the bacterial growth and nitrification process in a new tank.
  2. Before I did the water change, the ammonia readings were 0. After the water change they are 0.6. I don't understand why.
  3. PH is 7.6 - need to lower. Suggestions on what to use?
  4. Nitrite is 0.1 and has been since I started the tank
  5. GH is 60
  6. KH is 40
I also added a small Java fern attached to a small piece of driftwood. My little boy is active and happy. I just want to keep him that way. Any suggestions are welcome.

Thanks!
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Old 11-24-2008, 07:44 PM   #2 
Kim
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Hello and welcome !
Ok, to answer your questions.

1) No, unless your betta is sick and needs medication, just a good water conditioner should be fine.

2) It is possible that you stirred up gunk from the gravel which released ammonia into the tank causing a reading to appear. It is also possible that you have ammonia in your water-I would test it. Also, do you use test strips or liquid tests? Test strips tend to be very inacurate and could cause these inconsistancies.

3) 7.6 should be fine for a betta (that's what mine are in). It is nearly impossible to lower pH because water with high pH usually has a high natural buffer, meaning that the pH will "bounce" back if you try to change it. Also, manually adjusting pH each water change is subject to error, and a fluctuating pH is worse than a stable one that is not completely "perfect." That being said you can use driftwood or indian almond leaves to release tannins into the water that bettas enjoy and that slightly soften the water.

Feel free to ask any other questions that you may have.
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Old 12-18-2008, 10:36 PM   #3 
dramaqueen
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Kim, do petstores carry Indian almond leaf?
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Old 12-19-2008, 07:26 AM   #4 
Kim
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I don't think so. Some carry betta spa (which is IAL extract but usually pretty diluted) or black water extract though which will have the same effect. I think most people get IAL on e-bay which is cheaper in the long run because you get the actual leaves which contain much more tannins than any of the other products and will last longer.
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Old 12-19-2008, 08:38 AM   #5 
dramaqueen
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I was just curious about where people get it.
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Old 12-21-2008, 10:59 PM   #6 
iamntbatman
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They also sell them in lots on Aquabid. They're actually pretty inexpensive. You need something like a quarter of a leaf to get a good bit of blackwater going in a 2.5g tank which will last quite a while.
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