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Old 11-12-2011, 01:11 PM   #1 
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bllauben's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Michigan
Question A couple of questions

I am trying to cycle my tank. Ten gallon. One betta and two otos. My betta has successfully recovered from fin rot, so I decided to try cycling my tank.

I was cleaning my tank. Had a 3 for nitrites. Trace of nitrate (less than 20 but more than 0, do not have a liquid test for that one). Ammonia is still high, though it is coming down (3 two days ago after a partial change. 1.5 today after a partial change-nitrites went down to 1). It freaked me out to leave the ammonia at 3, but my fish did not seem too bothered by it. Figured if I left it alone for a day, the cycle would continue and the nitrites would take care of the ammonia. I am not comfortable with the ammonia at 1.5, but it's a heck of a lot better than 3.

Anyways, I noticed two things: my filter has some remains of freeze dried shrimp in it. Could that account for my ammonia problems? On the opposite side, it has some brown on it. Should I leave it alone? And, when I was cleaning my tank, I noticed several clear strands. Not poop, just clear strands about an inch long. What is that? I got as much poop and uneaten food out as possible with my gravel cleaner.

Also, my otos do not seem to be interested in algae wafers, zuccinni or seedless cucumber. They just "groom" the tank. Should I be providing something for them? They are the only creatures I have had that I have not had to actively feed. That just does not sit well with me. Not used to it.

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Old 11-12-2011, 06:14 PM   #2 
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Remove any uneaten food shortly after feeding- those you see, and/or if you don't siphon regularly, could be why you have the spikes. Hard to do a fish-in cycle, and 1.5 is very dangerous for the betta.. if left too long can create ammonia poisoning and death.. if you are afraid of doing the water changes with him in it while cycling, may be best to put him in a 1 gallon temp home for a bit while your tank cycles.

As far as the otos, unsure what else you can do for them- they can be very tricky and even the best of breeders have problems with them eating and living. Is your tank heavily planted? To keep the otos thriving, they require a very densely planted tank with live plants. They do best in groups of 5+, in larger tanks.

This will help with cycling questions.

As far as the brown stuff- wondering if it could be brown algae? I would remove it...

The white string.. was it milky? Or was it dense? Any way to get a picture?
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Old 11-12-2011, 07:00 PM   #3 
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I also want to add that otos are notoriously delicate due to the methods use to catch them in the wild (they are difficult to breed in capitivity). They might not do well in a cycling tank.
A common problem is trying to encourage them to eat commercial foods or vegetables. To stave off starvation, put some rocks in a clear container of water in the sunlight til they grow algae. This will provide some natural food for them. :)
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Old 11-12-2011, 07:18 PM   #4 
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Yay! Someone who knows otos :) I've never kept them, so I don't know a whole lot about them hehe.
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