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Old 07-10-2013, 10:14 PM   #1 
akendall234
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Question High Alkaline, please help!

I just moved to pennsylvania, and filled up the tank yesterday. It's a small tank so the filter cycle I do is 24 hrs. I tested the water today and it is high in alkaline. Its 300ppm, and either 7.6 or 7.8 ph. The colors look almost the same so it's hard for me to tell. I did put in the water conditioner for bettas yesterday when I set up the tank. I was wondering, if it is harmful for the beta. The strips say nothing about if it's harmful or not. Just that its better for the water to be 180ppm......How should I fix this? I don't want my betta to sit in his little cup I have for him for a long time. Would bottled water be bad for him? Ive always done tap, but that's when I lived in Va.
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Old 07-11-2013, 12:19 PM   #2 
lilnaugrim
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First off, the 24 hour "Cycle" is not a cycle at all and does absolutely nothing for your tank or for your fish except tells you that the filter is working properly...

Second, alkalinity is pretty much null and void for Betta's, they are extremely adaptable creatures so if you acclimate him well to the water chemistry (not just temp) then he will be perfectly fine. My sorority tank is up at 7.6 pH and all my girls are just fine.

Betta's tend to prefer softer, more acidic waters but they tolerate pretty much anything. You may get some fin curling with some harder water but it's not going to hurt them, just doesn't look great to us is all.

So what you need to do in acclimate him to the new water type. You have him in a cup so that's good, empty out half of the water and put 1-2 Tablespoon of water from the tank into his cup every 10 minutes or so until the cup is filled. This make take a while so you can busy yourself with something else while you do this.

After his cup is full, should take about an hour-2 hours then you can safely let him into the tank gently from the cup.

Now what you need to do is monitor your Ammonia levels, this is important in smaller tanks. Depending on the tank size, it can hold the Nitrogen Cycle just fine but because you'll have a fish in there, you don't have the time to do a full real Cycle to the tank. So each day test your ammonia level with a liquid testing kit (get one if you don't have a liquid one. Strips are no good and are not accurate) and if it's above .25ppm then you need to do a 25-50% water change, wait and hour and test again. If the ammonia is still above .25ppm, do another change and repeat that till it's below .25ppm.

Once a month goes by or about that, your tank should now have a colony of Beneficial Bacteria in the filter or BB, those are what you need to keep your fish safe. They are what turn ammonia into nitrite, nitrite into nitrate and then you take out nitrates with water changes.

If the tank is under 5 gallons, you'll have to do twice weekly water changes on it preferably 50%-80% twice if it's 3-5 gallons. Smaller tanks need at least one 100% on it in the week. So this is why it's easier to have bigger tanks, you won't need as many changes but every tank needs at least one water change a week, no matter how old it is/how long it's been set up.

And to answer your other question, you don't need to change the alkalinity, just leave it as it is. Better for your Betta to have a stable water chemistry than something that fluctuates.
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Old 07-11-2013, 10:18 PM   #3 
akendall234
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Thank you very much for the answer, I feel better knowing that the alkilinity won't hurt him. I've always waited 24 hrs for the water to cycle through since its a small tank. It's less than 2 gallons, which I know is pretty small, but he's not going to have tank mates, and it's big enough for him to swim happy circles and rest on his plants and hide under his rock cave. And I do change the water 100% once weekly. I will now try the putting small amounts of water from the tank in with his cup.
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Old 07-11-2013, 10:24 PM   #4 
lilnaugrim
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Np

the 24 hours thing still doesn't do anything for the health of the tank. As the tank starts up it's Nitrogen cycle keep a close eye on the ammonia.

For a 2 gallon tank you should do two 100% changes on it twice a week, the fish poop will build up fast and hurt your Betta if you don't do them. It's kind of like if you were to live in a 6 foot by 6 foot bathroom, you've got a toilet and you can use it but it only flushes once a week....not very nice is it? :-/ that's what your fish would be living in.

But don't worry, 2 gallons is totally fine for him as long as you can do the twice weekly changes to keep him healthy! if you do that, then he'll be a very happy Betta
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Old 07-11-2013, 10:27 PM   #5 
akendall234
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Oh, I thought once was good. Since the water is always very clean and not dirty at all when i dump it out. But I can try and do twice. It's harder since I care for children as a nanny basically 24/7
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Old 07-11-2013, 10:31 PM   #6 
lilnaugrim
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It's not just poop that dirties the water unfortunately. There are dissolved oraganic compounds and non-dissolved organic compounds (which is more of the poop) and the dissolved ones you can't see. Also Betta's do excrete urine from their gills which you wouldn't see either. So that's no good

Once would be fine if it was a 4 or 5 gallon tank or bigger but for smaller tanks the poop and other dissolved stuff builds up much quicker than if in a bigger tank; less volume of water.

If you can do twice weekly with some skips here and there where you only do once a week that will be okay but just not ideal. of course Betta's often live in "not ideal" situations all the time lol so the fact you can still do once weekly is great but of course for him to really thrive and be content in his living space, more changes would be better ^_^ but do what you can
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Old 07-12-2013, 08:30 PM   #7 
Lucubration
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I live in Ohio and we have similarly hard water here. I can't tell the colors apart either and it's inconveniently right on the edge between the "high pH" and "normal pH" test ranges, but our bettas acclimate to the high alkalinity just fine.
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