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Old 10-01-2013, 03:38 AM   #1 
rapidashton
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Unhappy Cycling 5 gallon tank? Help!

I'm new to these forums and new to keeping fish. Well, my little sister got a betta fish five days ago. His name is Ares. He started out in a small fish bowl with no filter, no heater, no decorations, no water conditioner. She also changed his water once, a 100% water change and the second time with warmer water than the first time. I noticed and I thought that was no place for a fish to live, especially since it was living in just tap water. I gave her a lecture on temperature shock and all that. don't worry. He started floating at the top of the bowl, alive, and something will move a little bit. He has not ate at all since we got him. But I have been feeding him flakes but he's not eating anything. I took her to the store with me and we picked out a new 5 gallon tank, a heater, a filter, deco, water conditioner etc. We made the cup float around in his tank for 15 mins until we let him explore his new tank. But he didn't. He just floated to a top corner and stayed there for two days straight. I thought it was just temperature shock but he's not eating and I don't know if temperature shock would last this long. I posted all of this to Yahoo! Answers and I got back some feedback reminding me to cycle my tank. But I had noooooooooo idea what "cycling" a tank meant. So, naturally, I went online researching "cycling" for 20 mins. I understand the concept but I'm still stumped. And scared for Ares. Apparently I will have to do a fish-in cycle but I don't know what I would have to do to cycle. I'm planning to go to the store to get liquid ammonia/nitrite/nitrate testers (it may have to be at the end of the week and today is monday because i'm broke until then) but after I get that and test the water, what will I do then? I've grown attached to this fish and it breaks my heart knowing he's suffering in the new tank as I type ;-( Should I do water changes until the end of the week when I can start "cycling"? Am I supposed to add ammonia or something? I'm really lost and frustrated right now! Right now he's at the top of the tank not doing anything. He's been that way for a long long time. I'm sure with all the uneaten food in the tank that's there's plenty of ammonia or something. He's already extremely stressed. My tank is getting pretty cloudy and I've added drops of "clear water" by jungle. (it's a purplish pink thing that clears cloudy water). Please please please help me! I feel so so so so bad for the betta. Can someone give me step by step instructions of cycling my tank? I have no idea what I will do when I get the testing liquid stuff. Once again, I'm new at this. Huge thanks in advance.
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Old 10-01-2013, 07:04 AM   #2 
Hallyx
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First, forget about cycling right now. You have more important things to take care of.

Right now change 50% of his water. Match temperature and put conditioner into the refill water before adding. Make sure his tank is ~80*. Do this again tomorrow. Cover the tank and keep it dark. Stop using Jungle clear. Get Prime conditioner by Seachem. Use 2-drops/gal). This is designed to help with ammonia.

Read this:http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/b...h-care-232570/

Ask questions. Good luck. Welcome to the forum.
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Old 10-01-2013, 07:34 AM   #3 
JamieL
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You did great by getting him a bigger tank, conditioner, etc. after two days in a 5 gallon he isn't suffering from it not being cycled, and they can live in an uncycled tank as long as the water is changed properly, so you haven't hurt him there. I'd guess he's in bad shape because he's been living without water conditioner and frequent water changes. I'm no expert by a long shot, but I'm sure clean, warm water will help him. Good luck with him.
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Old 10-01-2013, 08:45 PM   #4 
rapidashton
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thank you so much, i feel relieved. right after i typed that i did a 50% water change and it's been 12 hours and i just did another. how long do i have to keep doing this? Ares is looking a lot better. he's still not eating though. but he's exploring his tank finally! and he keeps swimming a lot then goes to the top to get a gulp of air. is this normal? and when do you think I should get him a tank mate? thank you again!
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Old 10-01-2013, 09:09 PM   #5 
ANHEL123
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Get water conditioner as soon as you can. Prime is the best but i am not sure if your store carry it. What country do you live? Buy water conditioner that will says it removes Chlorine, Chloramine,Ammonia . Let us know what is available in the store if you confused.
I would keep the tank now uncycled and do daily 50% water changes and do full 100% water changes every 5 days.
Go to the pet store and bring the sample of your water without adding anything to you , they will check it for you for free. See if you have ammonia in your tap water.
Try to feed him. I would also take the gravel out from the tank in case he eats from the bottom. It will be easier for him and for you to monitor him. Sometimes new bettas will have to adjust to the new environment before they start eating. He been through a lot of stress . Just monitor him as long as he active and not just laying on the bottom or just hanging on the top like you said , he might just takes time to adjust.
You said he is more active now after a few water changes?

You need to be extra careful when you do full water changes. I am going to post acclimation instruction for you when you do full water change.
Also be aware bettas are good jumpers so when you taking him out make sure you cover the net. And always cover changing cup. Leave the space between water level and the tap of the tank. Be careful when you using the net , make sure his fins not stuck in there

Last edited by ANHEL123; 10-01-2013 at 09:11 PM.
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Old 10-01-2013, 09:13 PM   #6 
ANHEL123
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Here is a few variations that's pretty simple:
1. can have betta in the changing cup with about 15% of the water and keep adding small amount of the new water about every 5 min for about 5-6 times -this way you he will get used to the temperature:)

2. Note the temperature of the water.

Using a plastic cup, scoop him, along with some of his water, into the cup.
Clean out the tank. Refill with water at the SAME temp. Be sure to add the correct amount of water conditioner.
Float his cup in the tank for about 15 min. (Study during this time. If he sits longer, it's OK.)
Add a SMALL amount of NEW water to the cup. (Several tablespoons, or about 1.5 ounces.)
Let his cup float for about 10 min. (Study during this time. If he sits longer, it's OK.)
If the cup starts to fill too much, remove a SMALL amount of water from the cup. Discard it.
Repeat steps 5-7, until about an hour has passed. (If he sits longer because you're studying, that's OK.)
Gently release him into the tank.

3. To do a water change, use a little cup like a plastic solo cup - this cup must be only for him and have never been used with soap or other chems. Scoop him up in this cup (keep him in the cup about 1/4 full of water - it doesn't need to be much because he won't be in it for long) and leave him in the cup while you change his water. To do the 50% use a turkey baster - dedicated only to him that has never seen soap or chems - and drag it through the gravel and try to suck as much of the poop out as possible, in addition to 50% of the water. Use a thermometer under the running tap to get it to be the same temp as the water that is normally in his tank. When the thermometer says the flowing tap is the right temp, fill back up his tank. At this point, add the conditioner (dose for how much water you change - if you change half the water you add half gallon worth of conditioner, If you do a 100% water change dose for the full gallon change). Float his plastic cup with him in it in the new water. Slowly add a couple tablespoons of the new water into his cup every 10 minutes for at least an hour. Finally, dump him in gently but try to get as little of the old cup water back into the tank as possible. When you do the weekly 100% you will do mostly the same thing except empty his tank fully and rinse everything in it very well under warm water but never use soaps or chemicals. Once it's fully cleaned/rinsed you can refill it and repeat the cup/acclimate phase.

4. When I change the water I put him in the cup I got him in then I take everything out of the tank, rinse everything with warm tap water. Then I put everything back in the tank, fill it with dechlorinated new water, and then turn the heater on. When the tank water is the same as the cup water , then take the dirty cup water out and a little at a time and put clean tank water in the cup. After that I put the cup in the tank and he swims out.
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Old 10-01-2013, 09:20 PM   #7 
JamieL
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I think he said in the original post that he bought water conditioner, but yeah, get prime for sure. good that he's doing better, and yes breathing from the surface is normal, they do that.

Hold off on tank mates until he's healthy, but it sounds like he's on the right track. Don't forget to remove any uneaten food if he's not eating, or it'll bring down your water quality. In a 5 gallon you don't have too many options, say a snail, but it also depends on his personality. I have one who seems to like his snail, and one who tried to murder it. But get your betta healthy first. :)

Glad to hear he's improving.
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Old 10-01-2013, 09:44 PM   #8 
rapidashton
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Thank you all sooo sooo soo much! I really appreciate it! I would have never thought of using a turkey baster to soak up poop and such. I haven't done a full water change yet and it sounds difficult. Tomorrow or the next day I might do a full water change. He's still not eating. What should I do about that? I'm switching off between the sample of TetraMin tropical flakes and I bought a .81oz cup of BettaMin tropical medley color enhancing flakes. Should I try pellets? After a while when my tank is doing better, will I still have to do 50% water changes everyday? Once again, thank you for giving me a step by step process of it all. That really helps me!
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Old 10-02-2013, 06:33 AM   #9 
Hallyx
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Do you have a filter? What kind? The reason I ask: after he gets better and starts acting normal. it would be good ti cycle your 5g. You need a filter for that. In the mean time, if you're using Prime @ 2-drops/gal of tank size, you only have to do two 50% changes per wee.

There's no rush. You don't have toi cycle until you feel like it. (You don't have to cycle at all. It's just more work uncycled)
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Old 10-02-2013, 09:19 AM   #10 
ANHEL123
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Is he acting healthy or just still hanging in the corner? Is he swimming at all?
I would try to get the pellets. But if your store don't carry them don't buy other, just order the on line the one i posted for you. Because if he is not eating flakes doesn't mean he will eat pellets. But those pellets are the best and if you have a betta its better to have right kind.
http://www.petsmart.com/product/inde...4-001b2166c2c0


http://www.bigalspets.com/betta-form...lets-50-g.html

Last edited by ANHEL123; 10-02-2013 at 09:22 AM.
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