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Old 07-20-2011, 08:02 PM   #1 
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Ammonia Levels ;;

I just got my Betta fish on Friday. I had to keep it at my friends house for a day (in uncycled/unheated water), but I've since then moved it to a five gallon tank that I had set up for a few days with a filter and a heater with the temperature around 78 degrees. Anyway, that's not my point right now, my point is that the ammonia level in my tank is nearing 1.5 and I'm really worried about my betta (and perhaps the snail I've got in there) ;w; I did 50% water change yesterday and put in water conditioner and some aquarium salt. Upon checking the ammonia levels right afterwards, and then just a few minutes ago, the ammonia level is still around 1/1.5.

Is there anything I'm failing to do to keep the levels down? I set up another tank that I can put my betta and snail in temporarily if I have to, but I don't want my betta (Elias) to get sick or anything and die since he's really quite pretty.
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Old 07-20-2011, 11:03 PM   #2 
Join Date: Dec 2010

I can't see that moving your fish will help. Your problem is that your tank isn't cycled. Do a 50% water change every day until it cycles -- this may take a few weeks, I'm afraid. But once you make it a routine, it should not be too difficult.

I did suggest you hold off your purchase until you cycled your tank. An fishless cycle is much faster and less stressful, for you and the fish.

Good luck!

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Old 07-20-2011, 11:14 PM   #3 
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Ah yes, I didn't realize that the tank hadn't completely cycled yet. The whole cycling thing was still just a little confusing, so I thought I had gotten it all settled and such. But thanks for the tip :3 I'll be sure to clean the tank every day until it's finally settled and all ~

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Old 07-21-2011, 10:06 AM   #4 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: USA
What kind of testing products are you using

Have you tested your source water for ammonia, if not, you need to and post numbers

What brand of dechlorinator are you using-some of these products that also cover ammonia in the tank can change the ammonia to ammonium the safe form and the test product can't tell the difference.....

Any live plants, if so, what kind and how many

Any other additives used besides the dechlroinator and much salt did you add....

How is the Betta acting and any other livestock in the tank....
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Old 07-21-2011, 02:39 PM   #5 
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I'm using this test kit for his ammonia I'm hoping to buy a master test kit by the end of next week. But I'm using aqueon water conditioner (had a coupon for it, so I just thought why not). If I can recall correctly, the live plant I have is an Anubias Congensis.

I only used a 1/2 tablespoon of aq salt (it's 1 tablespoon for a 10 gallon so I only put in a 1/2 tablespoon for my 5 gallon). I haven't added anything else to the tank aside from that and the water conditioner.

And right now my betta seems to be doing really well. He's not lingering too much at the top (as I read that some stressed fish tend to do) and he's eating all his food daily. Every so often I can get him to follow my finger around and he doesn't appear to be stressed out at all right now. (My feeding schedule alternates just a few pellets and flakes every other day and then just bloodworms on sunday) (I read that some Betta fish can get bored with their food, so I'm hoping this is alright)
The only other animal I have in there is a snail and after the first day of my betta bothering him the two seem to just do their own things now.

I'm going somewhere later tonight, but I'm planning on cleaning his tank as soon as I get home.

Last edited by CitrusKnight; 07-21-2011 at 02:46 PM.
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Old 07-21-2011, 03:42 PM   #6 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: USA
Nothing wrong with buying products when you have coupon for it......I do the same to save on cost anytime you can....IMO......

I had to look that dechlorinator up and it does neutralize your ammonia may be ammonium and harmless to fish but plants and nitrifying bacteria can still use it for food......the test kit can't tell the difference....usually fish behavior will tell you what you have...ammonia or ammonium

Have you tested the source water....

Another way you can tell.....test your source water and if 0ppm ammonia on source water...that rule source water out for one and if you add the dechlorinater to this container with the source water and test this....and you have ammonia reading....this will tell you that its the dechlorinater and ammonium......make

You don't need the salt....long term use of salt can cause kidney damage and resistant issues....aquarium salt (sodium chloride) is a great product to use for short term treatments when used for the right reason, dosage and duration....with low dose long term may not be as effective when needed for treatments and it doesn't prevent illness anyway when used long term low least the species of plant you have is somewhat salt tolerant...hope the snail is too......

You can safely cycle the tank with the Betta provided that you are willing and able to make the needed water changes.....

In a 5gal filtered tank with a single Betta and a snail along with one live plant......I would make 50% weekly water changes with vacuum in all area that can be reached without moving anything or disruption of plant roots, however, the plant should be tied to something so roots shouldn't be a problem and another 50% water only weekly until the nitrogen cycle has established (4-8 weeks) then you will only need one 50% weekly with vacuum to maintain water quality....
I would say base the second one on ammonia reading of 0.25ppm or greater but since the dechlorinator may be causing a false reading-you will end up making too many water changes that will not be healthy for the little ecosystem you are trying to the fish behavior and if he shows any changes...make a water only change......but this is for any time you see changes not just during the cycling process...

Filter media-needs a swish/rinse in old tank water a couple of times a month to maintain good water flow.

Nutrition-its not so much that a Betta gets bored with the food for the varied diet...its more to meet nutritional can't meet it with just one type of food.....good quality food fed in small frequent meals is best.....

Last edited by Oldfishlady; 07-21-2011 at 03:46 PM.
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