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Old 05-07-2011, 09:12 PM   #11 
bahamut285
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@Chelsea, Pekemom, Harley: Thank you :D! <3

@Phoenix91: I say adding the driftwood should be fine, it may alter the pH a little because of the tannins it releases. I think you're supposed to boil your driftwood, but I don't have any so I have no experience with it. I think adding your plants in should be perfectly fine, it would give your bacteria somewhere to live as well. Again I am no expert on plants, but plants enjoy gobbling up nitrATE (NO3) which you would otherwise remove by water changes.
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Old 07-04-2011, 01:26 AM   #12 
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Proof

I recently got back from a somewhat extended leave away from my fish (4 days total) and I quickly decided to test the water in my goldfish tank because I know it is technically overstocked.

I tested it with my liquid kit and my strip kit.

The results are, if you hadn't guessed, the strips are horrendously inaccurate. I tested nitrITES and nitrATES because it is an established tank.

**Disclaimer** Please don't complain over the semi-dangerousness of the following results, I immediately did a large water change and re-tested for safety. My goldies are fine, I almost never do this, hence why I thought up the experiment the second I got home**

**Disclaimer #2** I change my goldfish water 70% every other day and 20% everyday, just to clear that up. I test every other day because I am fully aware that their tank is too small for them. I think I check on them more than I check on my own health**

Liquid kit:
Nitrites: 0ppm
Nitrates: 80ppm

Strip kit:
Nitrites: 0ppm
Nitrates: 40ppm

As you can see, for some reason the strip didn't turn the deeper purple colour as it claims to do so when there is 80ppm of Nitrates in your water, it kind of just turns a little bit pinkish than the "safe" zone which is under 40ppm.

If you value the safety and health of your fish, I definitely recommend saving up some money to purchase this liquid test kit. The "master kit" (the one in the hand sized box) is very good value. My petsmart has it for $35 ish and it regularly goes on sale. Since you are adding literal DROPS of this stuff into little test tubes, it should last you a long time.

1 drop is approximately 0.05mL and each bottle is about 37mL, which is approximately 740 drops per bottle. Given that you don't need to test it everyday (unless in my situation), this kit can easily last you anywhere around the 1 year mark, depending on your usage.

Paying $35 to almost guarantee the safety of my fish for 1 year sounds like a pretty good deal :P
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Old 09-29-2011, 04:53 PM   #13 
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this is a great guide! thanks for posting it on my thread. (:

i have just a question- can you cycle unfiltered 10gals? for instance in never doing 100% on them?
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Old 09-29-2011, 09:45 PM   #14 
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this is a great guide! thanks for posting it on my thread. (:

i have just a question- can you cycle unfiltered 10gals? for instance in never doing 100% on them?
Thank you for your kind words, I'm glad you enjoyed it.

As for cycling, the beneficial bacteria will grow ALL OVER your tank, the substrate, the walls, decorations, etc. A filter just makes it more efficient.

Think of it this way: The bacteria that grow on your gravel/walls/deco are like the people who live out in the country. They still provide a decent amount of help but they are not as highly producing, highly efficient as the people who live in the city (your filter).

Your gravel/walls/deco will only provide homes for so many bacteria, but the porous sections of your filter will provide five-star, dense housing with prime conditions to remove harmful ammonia and nitrite from your tank. With ALL the water constantly moving through your tank, there will be maximum efficiency.

I don't know if an uncycled 10 gallon will "cycle" SAFELY, but if left to stagnate, it eventually will due to natural processes. However by then, the ammonia levels will have probably have done its damage.
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Old 09-30-2011, 02:11 PM   #15 
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Originally Posted by bahamut285 View Post
Thank you for your kind words, I'm glad you enjoyed it.

As for cycling, the beneficial bacteria will grow ALL OVER your tank, the substrate, the walls, decorations, etc. A filter just makes it more efficient.

Think of it this way: The bacteria that grow on your gravel/walls/deco are like the people who live out in the country. They still provide a decent amount of help but they are not as highly producing, highly efficient as the people who live in the city (your filter).

Your gravel/walls/deco will only provide homes for so many bacteria, but the porous sections of your filter will provide five-star, dense housing with prime conditions to remove harmful ammonia and nitrite from your tank. With ALL the water constantly moving through your tank, there will be maximum efficiency.

I don't know if an uncycled 10 gallon will "cycle" SAFELY, but if left to stagnate, it eventually will due to natural processes. However by then, the ammonia levels will have probably have done its damage.

Oooh, that's a good metaphor! I get it now. I should probably start working on getting filters for my 10gs, and in the meantime following that great water change schedule posted. Thanks :'D

Just one more question- if the bacteria grows on substrate/walls/deco, will a 100% completely erase the progress done/ kill the bacteria?
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Old 09-30-2011, 08:45 PM   #16 
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Just one more question- if the bacteria grows on substrate/walls/deco, will a 100% completely erase the progress done/ kill the bacteria?
Doing a 100% change will not kill them instantly unless you scrub the walls/deco/substrate. They will slowly starve to death from the lack of ammonia/nitrite or whatever it is they eat that is present when a fish is producing said ammonia (and when bacteria produce then nitrite).
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Old 11-08-2011, 07:37 AM   #17 
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Good Morning! I am relatively new to caring for betta fish, but I love my little guys and am concerned.... I changed the water in their tank yesterday and ever since the water has been cloudy??? I use the top-fin water conditioner to treat the water. I do not use tap water in the tank, i use natural spring water. i though that maybe the cloudiness was some dust from the rocks at the bottom of the tank and would settle overnight, but it has not. Any suggestions??
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Old 11-10-2011, 06:39 PM   #18 
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Good Morning! I am relatively new to caring for betta fish, but I love my little guys and am concerned.... I changed the water in their tank yesterday and ever since the water has been cloudy??? I use the top-fin water conditioner to treat the water. I do not use tap water in the tank, i use natural spring water. i though that maybe the cloudiness was some dust from the rocks at the bottom of the tank and would settle overnight, but it has not. Any suggestions??
Hello sdgallo! Welcome to the forum!

How big is your tank and how often do you change the water? Usually it is just a bacterial bloom. It is nothing to be worried about, generally :)

Actually, my 5 gallon tank was cloudy for several days, then cleared up all on it's own after a few small water changes during those several days!
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Old 11-20-2011, 07:00 PM   #19 
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Hi, I just set up a new tank. I have the Seachem Alert Combo Pack. The ph was reading a 6.6 about 20 minutes ago but I just looked and now its more like 8.2s red/orange.

Is that bad or good or???? If its bad, how to I fix it? I don't understand ANY of this.

this is a brand new 5 gallon tank. No fish are in it yet, not live plants. Been set up aproximately two hours.
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Old 11-20-2011, 07:20 PM   #20 
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Hi, I just set up a new tank. I have the Seachem Alert Combo Pack. The ph was reading a 6.6 about 20 minutes ago but I just looked and now its more like 8.2s red/orange.

Is that bad or good or???? If its bad, how to I fix it? I don't understand ANY of this.

this is a brand new 5 gallon tank. No fish are in it yet, not live plants. Been set up aproximately two hours.
Hello Bunny!

Usually those meters take a few minutes to adjust themselves. I'd keep a close eye on it before adding fish just in case it is actually a swinging pH.

Unfortunately those suction disc alert things are not as accurate (and fast) as people like them to be, so a lot of people prefer the actual pH kit with test tubes and liquid reagents.

HOWEVER! 8.2pH is not too bad. It's on the high end but my own bettas are swimming around in 8.2 pH with no problems at all. It's best to leave pH alone because changing it is a little complicated and especially tedious!
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