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Old 04-05-2009, 08:00 PM   #1 
Indefinitive
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Things to look for?

I just got my first Betta today. I've read about cycling the tank and whatnot. When I went to the pet store to pick up a test kit to start cycling, the guy at the checkout started telling me about a product he used in his tank that helped him pretty much skip the cycling process altogether. I bought the product, and my boyfriend talked me into getting the Betta at the same time.

I have the tank all set up and Gregory seems to be doing quite well. However, I'm a little bit worried, because I've heard that a lot of products like that sometimes don't work.

I need to know what sorts of signs my Betta will show if it isn't working, and what I can do.
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Old 04-05-2009, 08:22 PM   #2 
Twistersmom
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You bought the test kit as well?
Just test daily for ammonia and nitrites. May take a few days for ammonia, maybe a couple weeks before seeing nitrites.
If you get any readings for either, I would do water changes to keep both under .25ppm.
Depending on how good this cycle product really is, you may need to do alot of water changes before your cycle starts kicking in.
What size is the tank? Has a filter and heater?
If it a 5gal with a filter, after the cycle kicks in 25% water changes once a week should work.
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Old 04-05-2009, 08:25 PM   #3 
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ain't no miracle potion going to cycle your tank like that.
The only way is using media from another tank,

What signs to look for, you need to get an ammonia test kit, a nitrite test kit, these are the most important ones to start with,
You wait for signs your fish has suffered and will probably will die..
Best thing to do is frequent water changes, it ain't good on any fish to go thru a cycle, I personally will never cycle a tank using live fish again! way to hard on them...

Ammonia is the biggest killer of fish, and if they live thru that they get to look forward to nitrites, which are ever deadlier then ammonia, Then when the nitrites drop off the nitrates show up, These are the good ones,
No matter how you go about it it's gonna take weeks to cycle a tank, unless you use media from an already establishe tank....

water changes and more water changes will be your fishes life saver,
I hear these people talk about doing changes every three four days and I have to shake my head, Geeze I had to do mine sometimes every day, and I didn't have many fish in the tanks, yet the ammonia got real high quickly. The nitrites when they came the seemed to come fast and furious, Dreaded those the worst......
For me it took about two weeks to get the ammonia to settle down, followed by 1 week nitrites, Then the good guys showed up. nitrates. But everyones tanks are different, Some takes longer

and you don't have to start testing for nitrites until your ammonia starts to show signs of dropping,, save some money there,

Last edited by Chicklet; 04-05-2009 at 08:34 PM.
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Old 04-05-2009, 11:08 PM   #4 
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I have a 10gal with a heater and filter.

Thanks so much for the prompt replies. I'm planning on changing 20% of the water every day or other day (if I have a long day at work scheduled). I did a test earlier, and the ammonia level wasn't too bad. I had to add another cap full of Nutrafin Cycle, but Gregory seems to be doing okay.

When the nitrite shows up, is there anything I should be looking for specifically as a red flag?

I'm also having a little bit of trouble figuring out what a good temperature is. What is a perfect temperature for my roommate is freezing for me. I can't help but wonder if fish are the same way and have a preference between the range of temperatures. Is there any way to tell by his behavior what is too cold or too warm?

Last edited by Indefinitive; 04-05-2009 at 11:14 PM.
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Old 04-05-2009, 11:14 PM   #5 
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The temperature should be 78-80. They lay on the bottom a lot when they're cold.
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Old 04-05-2009, 11:19 PM   #6 
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Okay. Gregory seems to be fascinated with the corner of the tank, right behind the heater. The temperature is about 81 right now. I turned it down a little.

I may go back to the store and try a different heater where I can set the heat and not have to adjust it every hour or so. The heater I got was bought off of a co-worker, and seems a little older. I'd imagine the temperature changes aren't the easiest thing for him to go through. It was about 75 when I put him in about 5 hours ago.
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Old 04-05-2009, 11:24 PM   #7 
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I would reccommend the Marineland Stealth visitherm heater. It was reccommended to me. Its adjustable and works for me just fine. Other people may have different reccommendations.
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Old 04-05-2009, 11:39 PM   #8 
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Thanks a bunch, I'll look into it tomorrow. About how much can I expect to pay for it?

Note to self: Don't take advice from the people at the pet store. They already sold me something that may have caused me to accidentally kill my fish if I didn't research it.
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Old 04-06-2009, 05:50 AM   #9 
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Quote:
When the nitrite shows up, is there anything I should be looking for specifically as a red flag?
By the time I usually notice something it's to late, They end up dying anyways..
Some just sit on the bottom too long, Some went irradical when touched, Others got real aggressive all of a sudden.
In every case they died. Stay ahead of the nitrites when they show up by keeping up with those water changes..
I always tested every day, without fail, Just the day you skip can be the wrong day, least thats how it always worked for me.

I have some cories here that went thru a cycle and it kills me to watch them now,
They are just not the same fish they were, The cycle was to hard on them dispite the every day water changes,
It's like someone forcing you to breath poisin in every second of every day, No matter small amount it's still deadly and going to effect your health... and it does effect the fish and shortens their life span...

After that experiance I will only cycle a tank now with spare media (safe instantly for fish) or I use Ammonia, (no fish) to do the cycle for me. (save the fish from going thru it) takes weeks.

Last edited by Chicklet; 04-06-2009 at 06:04 AM.
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Old 04-06-2009, 07:34 AM   #10 
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Do you have a thermometer?
Your heater may be fine, it just takes a while to get them dialed in. Even if you buy one you can read the deg numbers on, setting at 78deg does not make the tank 78deg.The heater does not take in account the size tank it is heating or the tempt of your house.
Its not uncommen for a new betta to be at the bottom. He will probably be nervous for a few days, while getting used to his new home.
Your test kit will be a great help to you now. Your plan sounds good, dont wait for the fish to show signs of stress, if you get e reading at .25ppm or close to it, its time for a water change.
Good luck with the new fish!
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