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Old 07-23-2009, 05:13 AM   #1 
gulpy
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Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Houston TX
help with ammonia and possible fin rot

Hi all,

I am a newbie (to this forum and to caring for fishes). We recently (2 weeks) got a beautiful male betta named Gulpy. He is very active, flares a lot and eats like a pig. I am currently keeping him in an uncycled 1 gallon tank while I just started cycling a larger tank. In the 1 gallon I have been doing 100 % water change every week with 30 % changes every 2 days (from reading more I now feel the frequency should be doubled).

I always condition the tap water using the TopFin conditioner. Recently got the test kit (API, the solutions not the strips) and noticed the following readings in the tank about 1 day after a 100% water change

pH - 7.4
ammonia - 1 ppm
nitrite - 0.5 ppm
nitrate - 4 ppm

I then decided to test the tap water after I add the TopFin conditioner. I got the following readings

pH - 7.2 to 7.4
ammonia - 0.75 ppm !!!
nitrite - 0.5 ppm
nitrate - 2 ppm

The topfin conditioner is supposed to remove ammonia from the tap water, but obviously isnt. should I be adding some ammonia removal tablets to the water?
also I have noticed that the pH of my tap water fluctuates between 7.2 to 8.3 !!! should I be adding pH regulators too

Wow, I didnt figure the tap water in my neighbourhood was this bad!!!

Now on to the 2nd problem. Right in the beginning I noticed one small hole in his fins. Based on the little reading I did I thought just clean water would reverese that. But today I noticed 3 more small holes. I justed added a 1/2 teaspoon of aquarium salt to the gallon tank. Gulpy seems to be fine with the salt. I am posting some of his photos to ask if u guys think its fin rot. and what i should do. The photos don't clearly show the holes, they are tiny.
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can the elevated ammonia and high pH aggravate fin rot. I dont have any sharp objects etc in the tank.

thanks a lot guys and sorry for the large post
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Old 07-23-2009, 06:10 AM   #2 
dramaqueen
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Location: Central Texas
If you are trying to cycle your tank then you don't want to use any ammonia removers.
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Old 07-23-2009, 06:19 AM   #3 
gulpy
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hi dramaueen,
i am cycling a larger tank which doesnt contain the fish. i was wondering abt ammonia removers and pH buffers for the smaller uncycled tank which contains Gulpy. i figure it might be another 2-3 weeks before the other tank is cycled.
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Old 07-23-2009, 10:42 AM   #4 
dramaqueen
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If you aren't cycling the smaller tank, you can do frequent water changes to take care of the ammonia. As far as ph is concerned, I have heard not to mess with ph. Fluctuating ph is stressful for fish.
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Old 07-23-2009, 01:54 PM   #5 
RoseyD
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Gulpy, I'm really glad I don't live near you.

My water test of plain straight from the tap - shows no ammonia, no chloride/chloramin. GH - really soft (API - 4 drops), but - PH - 8.2.

I'm also trying to get my new tanks cycled - I put 2 fish in a 5 gallon tank, and the ammonia reading went up to .25 overnight. - but nitrites were still 0.
The following night - the ammonia tested on it at .50, still nitrites 0.

The third night - the ammonia level reached 1 - nitrites still 0 - I did a 50% water change on that night - because I didn't want to risk the fish with too high of an ammonia reading. (Yes, and on the initial fill of the tank I had put in the recommended dose of bacteria - but seem to be forgetting each time I've done partial water changes since then...)

But, it seems that each night I've tested since then, the tank always seems to be at ammonia level 1. - So, my thinking is that means that 2 fish create about .5 ammonia each day on a 5 gal? ... Goodness only knows how much that would translate to a smaller gallon tank though.

I'd love to know how long it will take, with my continued partial water changes, to actually get the nitrite spike and finish cycling... seems like it will be forever since I haven't seen any nitrites yet, and it's going on a week since the initial water fill.
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