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Old 11-03-2011, 01:10 PM   #1 
bllauben
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Advice?

After doing a 100 percent water change, I started the cycling over. Day four. After the water change, I cut back to feeding Flash, my betta, twice a day. I feed a frozen diet since he does not like pellets or flakes--even in garlic juice as suggested. I rotate between daphnia, bloodworms and brine shrimp. Been feeding him daphnia and bloodworms. He gets two pinches of daphnia (with pointed tweezers) or two bloodworms per meal. I have two otos in the tank as well. They have been refusing the algae wafers I have offered. Since they are not thin, I'm assuming I have algae that I cannot see and that's what they are eating.

My tank size is 10 gallon (top fin goldfish starter tank). My temp is about 76/78 degrees. I have been using BettaSafe water conditioner. Nothing else.

The last two days, I've had ammonia spikes of 1.5. Day before that, it was 0.25. No nitrates or nitrites. The other readings have been within range of ideal. The PH is somewhat alkaline. Zero chlorine. Soft water.

The days that I've had ammonia spikes, I vacummed the gravel. Did a 50 percent water change both times. Realized that my fish are super poopers. Also realized that the otos are refusing the wafers. I know that a high protein diet can cause ammonia spikes. However, can an uneatened algae wafer also cause ammonia spikes?

What do I do? I was told to cut back on the water changes, but I'm afraid to leave it alone with the ammonia at 1.5. What do I do?

I would love to get my tank cycled so I can get a couple of ghost shrimp and a couple of other fish...may be platties.

Never been this confused before... Thanks!

--Beth
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Old 11-03-2011, 01:27 PM   #2 
Kytkattin
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Tanks can take a month or more to properly cycle.

Absolutely the uneaten wafers are probably causing your problems.

Maybe try doing "mini" changes a couple times a day. That is, take out about 10% (1 gallon) once in the morning, once in the evening. You have to have ammonia spikes in order for the Nitrites to happen, and then the Nitrates.
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Old 11-03-2011, 02:05 PM   #3 
Myates
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Watch the otos, as I've heard from many that they can be difficult and even the most experienced breeders have trouble keeping them alive. Silly fish..

When you do partial changes, are you dosing the tank for the full volume of it with the water conditioner? Or just for the % you are replacing? Always dose for the full volume.

Bettas don't actually cause a lot of ammonia themselves, not nearly as much as any other fish. So to me it may be the wafers causing it.

I would also recommend not doing any more 100% water changes if you are running a filter, and whenever you need to replace the filter cartridge, put the new one with the old one for a couple of weeks to build up the bacteria onto the new one. Sponges shouldn't need to be replaced, just squeezed out in tank water once every few months to maintain proper bacteria.
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Old 11-03-2011, 02:10 PM   #4 
bllauben
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kytkattin View Post
Tanks can take a month or more to properly cycle.

Absolutely the uneaten wafers are probably causing your problems.

Maybe try doing "mini" changes a couple times a day. That is, take out about 10% (1 gallon) once in the morning, once in the evening. You have to have ammonia spikes in order for the Nitrites to happen, and then the Nitrates.
Makes sense. I will do a mini change tonight. Keeping an eye on the ammonia. I am not comfortable with 1.5 ammonia for long periods. This is one of those "I wish I had someone with an established tank around me" moments.

Thanks!
--Beth
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Old 11-03-2011, 02:23 PM   #5 
bllauben
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Myates View Post
Watch the otos, as I've heard from many that they can be difficult and even the most experienced breeders have trouble keeping them alive. Silly fish..

When you do partial changes, are you dosing the tank for the full volume of it with the water conditioner? Or just for the % you are replacing? Always dose for the full volume.

Bettas don't actually cause a lot of ammonia themselves, not nearly as much as any other fish. So to me it may be the wafers causing it.

I would also recommend not doing any more 100% water changes if you are running a filter, and whenever you need to replace the filter cartridge, put the new one with the old one for a couple of weeks to build up the bacteria onto the new one. Sponges shouldn't need to be replaced, just squeezed out in tank water once every few months to maintain proper bacteria.
I have not had a single problem with my otos. Two weeks so far. I keep hearing the same thing that otos are hard to keep. But these guys must be an exception or something. They have been getting fatter. They were slim when I got them. Put on some body. Very active. Hardy eaters.

No wafers tonight. Mini meal for Flash. May be just one bloodworm. Just a mini water change. I dose with a full dose. 10 mg of the BettaSafe, regardless of how much water I replace. No more 100 percent changes. I only did it because of how much stuff was in the water before I got the vacuum hose.
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Old 11-04-2011, 02:40 AM   #6 
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if your octo's aren't eating the algae wafers (mine didn't realize those things were food till one day my betta decided to snatch it up and swim around with it) .. maybe try a slice of cucumber (make sure to get those ones with less seeds) .. octos eat the pulp .. you'll have to microwave the cucumber in a small puddle of water like 10-15 seconds in a microwave safe saucer just to get it to be a little soft .. and octos will eat that
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