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Old 08-15-2011, 09:02 PM   #1 
Laura Kennedy
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Cycling Question

Hi, I'm new to this forum and to Betta-ing, and I have a question:

I recently moved my betta fish to a 10 gallon from a flower vase. It was only after the fact that I read about cycling. He seemed to be doing fine at first, but it's been 2 weeks and I see some scales are missing on his gills and the skin is kinda red underneath. other than that he is acting normal and is much more colorful than he was before. I'm just wondering if I should transfer him to a jar for a while while the tank finishes cycling. Would it cycle without him inside it??

I also have two plants, a filter and a heater.

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Old 08-15-2011, 10:32 PM   #2 
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Hi, and welcome to the forum. It's fine to leave him in while the tank cycles as long as you do enough water changes to keep the ammonia and then nitrite levels from getting too high at first. How frequently are you doing water changes and what %? Also what type of substrate do you have? And finally, are you testing your water? If so, what type of test are you using and what results are you getting?

I haven't cycled a ten gallon with a fish in it, but I hope somebody who has will come on and give you the guidelines for how often and what % you should be changing.

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Old 08-16-2011, 12:00 AM   #3 
Laura Kennedy
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I'm doing about 20% water changes every day and I have gravel. I've been reading up on it, and maybe he has ammonia poisoning? His fins are starting to get scraggly as well.
I don't have any test kits at the moment, but i went to the pet store and got them to test it for me. They said my PH was too high... not sure what that means. They told me to put ph decrease in the water when I do my water changes. I did it for three days, then noticed my fish's ailments, so I stopped.

Thanks for replying so quickly!
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Old 08-16-2011, 07:30 AM   #4 
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Can you get a pic? That would help; sometimes it's easier to see what's causing the issue if you can get a look at the issue. lol
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Old 08-16-2011, 07:40 AM   #5 
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If his fins are getting ragged, you should probably post a question in the disease section. I can tell you a few things in the meantime.

If you end up taking him out, the easiest way to cycle the tank without a fish in it is to toss a frozen shrimp in the tank. The suggested amount is one shrimp per 10 gallons. You might have to replace it before it's finished cycling.

You should be able to cycle the tank with him in there without endangering his health, but as I said, I'm not sure what the water change schedule should be. I would guess that larger water changes somewhat less frequently would work better.

While you can take excellent care of a betta without a water test kit, they are handy!! The liquid ones are considered to be much more accurate than the strips. The API master kit is the what most people use. You would be able to test the ammonia level in the water right now and know whether it was a problem! I first bought just the ammonia test, but in the end sucked it up and got the whole kit....

Some water has ammonia in it coming out of the tap. In that case, the suggestion is to use Seachem Prime as a water conditioner. It changes the ammonia into something that isn't harmful to fish. Since he was fine for quite a while, that's probably not what's going on, however.

I'm wondering what your ph was/is that the guy in the store suggested trying to change it. Generally speaking, it is usually better to let your fish get used to the natural ph of your water than to try to change it. The swings in ph that frequently result from trying to change it are harder on fish than a high ph. The fish stores usually use the less accurate test strips!!

If you post in the disease section, they will help you figure out if he's getting fin rot or if it's something else. In the meantime, if you suspect ammonia poisoning, you could do one of two things: a large water change or move him to a smaller container where you know the water is clean. As long as this post is, there are some more potential issues that people with ask you about! If you take him out, add a frozen shrimp to keep the cycle going.

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