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Old 12-07-2011, 09:26 PM   #1 
thejapanesezombie
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Exclamation Tetra safestart, new aquarium & leaf hammock

Hi everyone!

So for christmas I got Aldo a brand new 5.5 gallon tank since he's currently in a 1 gallon aquarium (if you can even call those 'aquariums')

Anyways, this is my first semi large tank and so I was wondering if any of you had had any experience with tetra's safestart cycling stuff. I would really like to cycle my tank if I could and I have read the sticky, but I'm wondering what you all think about it? Is it safe for my little guy? Does it work? I'm looking to try and get him in as soon as possible so he can get comfortable and doesn't have to stress out over space limit, water changes and lack of places to hide. (I'm going to get some nice silk plants for him as well)

Aside from that I also bought Aldo a new betta leaf hammock (which is cute because I put it in his small tank and he got so curious! He was nipping at it and swimming over it!)

And a brand new digital thermometer because well, he likes to play with my glass one for some reason! He'll stick his head beside it and wiggle until the suction cup comes undone and falls (that little bugger!)

any advice?

Last edited by thejapanesezombie; 12-07-2011 at 09:27 PM. Reason: caught a typo :(
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Old 12-07-2011, 09:39 PM   #2 
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I have a 5.5 gallon tank as well. It took about three weeks before it cycled. If you're going to put Aldo in right away, I would recommend buying a master test kit for the water; my ammonia levels were all over the place for a few days.

Also, I bought the Leaf Hammock as well, and took it out because I read about a metal rod going through it rusting. I took mine out, and sure enough, it had a rusting metal rod in it. I heard the company had started making safer ones. I would check it, just to be safe

My Bowie likes to mess with his thermometer as well. Luckily, he hasn't knocked it off the tank wall yet.

Have fun! And best of luck with the new tank. Aldo will sure enjoy the extra room.

Last edited by mardi; 12-07-2011 at 09:45 PM. Reason: Too much rambling about Betta Leaf Hammock
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Old 12-07-2011, 09:45 PM   #3 
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I have a 5.5 gallon tank as well. It took about three weeks before it cycled. If you're going to put Aldo in right away, I would recommend buying a master test kit for the water; my ammonia levels were all over the place for a few days.

Also, I bought the Leaf Hammock as well, and took it out because I read about a metal rod going through it rusting. I took mine out, and sure enough, it had a rusting metal rod in it. I had read somewhere that one of the members here had emailed the company about that issue and had started making safer leafs. You might have one of the new ones, but that person had also said they emailed the company and they replied saying they would send them a new one. i'm about to try emailing them pictures of mine, to see what happens.(This was all FYI, sorry for rambling there)

Also, my Bowie likes to mess with his thermometer as well. Luckily he hasn't knocked it off the tank wall yet.

Have fun! And best of luck with the new tank. Aldo will sure enjoy the extra room.

I definately will be getting a test kit, it's on my 'betta fish shopping list' I'm thinking of holding off on putting him in right away, but knowing that he has limited space definately is a factor in me wanting to do this just a bit quicker if you know what I mean. (he's got room to swim, but I actually feel bad that the poor little guy would really thrive in a bigger environment)

I think I might have a safer leaf, none of the metal is exposed at all, but I will keep my eye on it, because if I do see any signs of exposure/ rust I will also contact the company! I do wish you the best in luck in possibly getting another leaf for your little guy :)

and omg! I'm glad that I'm not the only betta owner who finds their fish messing with the thermometer! Thanks so much for the kind reply and advice :) I really appreciate it
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Old 12-07-2011, 10:06 PM   #4 
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Over time, the older versions metal poece will start popping out.... a lot of members... myself included, have put a light seal of Aquarium glue on the bottom of the leaf... so far it has worked! (my metal was rusting and popping out before)
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Old 12-07-2011, 10:07 PM   #5 
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Over time, the older versions metal poece will start popping out.... a lot of members... myself included, have put a light seal of Aquarium glue on the bottom of the leaf... so far it has worked! (my metal was rusting and popping out before)
that's a fantastic fix! I will keep you all updated if something like that happens! Thanks for the heads up!
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Old 12-07-2011, 10:43 PM   #6 
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No problem! good luck and have fun!
the hammocks are awesome.... I only have one right ow but plan to get more (the betta who has it loves it that much, lol)
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Old 12-08-2011, 01:14 PM   #7 
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No problem! good luck and have fun!
the hammocks are awesome.... I only have one right ow but plan to get more (the betta who has it loves it that much, lol)
I bet! my little Aldo actually slept on it last night for some time before moving back to his plant (He has this spiral plant he hides in to feel safe usually)

I've managed to find live substrate so I think I will seed my tank with it :D
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Old 12-08-2011, 01:28 PM   #8 
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About the safe start. Personally, I don't think they do anything. It won't hurt anything, but the whole idea is that there are live bacteria in that bottle that will basically instantly cycle your tank. Bologna to me. There is no way the good bacteria can live in those conditions for a period of time.

You could do a fish in cycle. I've had good success with those. Just keep up on water changes to keep ammonia down until it cycles. That way you can get him in right away.
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Old 12-08-2011, 01:50 PM   #9 
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Most of the products to cycle are a waste of time and money IMO....the only one I would ever use is by "Dr Tim"......however, you can safely establish the nitrogen cycle with the Betta provided that you are willing and able to make the needed water change-even without a test kit on hand....I do recommend a test kit and it will take some of the guess work out of the process.....but you also have the pet shop that can test for you if needed......

In a 5.5gal filtered tank-without live plants or test kit on hand-with one adult Betta.......The fish-In cycle....for the first 4-8 weeks......make twice weekly water changes.....1-50% with light vacuum in all areas you can reach without moving anything...this is the water change you need to do for the life of the system and then make a 50% water only between...this is the water change to keep the water safe until the nitrogen cycle establishes
Filter media-needs a swish/rinse in old tank water with a water change a couple of time a month...unless the water flow is compromised I wouldn't touch the filter media until the nitrogen cycle has established.

The beneficial bacteria for the nitrogen cycle are sticky and adhere to all the surface areas inside the tank-like the walls, decorations, plants both fake and real, in the top layer of the substrate and in the filter media...very little are in the water column and so water only changes won't stall the process, however, over cleaning can....limit cleaning of viewing walls and vacuuming to once a week....but vacuum at least weekly-otherwise the BB can suffocate due to the mulm/debris...its a balance....

Several other things can change the process...like live plants, temp, pH and cycling products..... remember some of the dechlorinating/chemical produces can skew water pram readings until the biological filter is established....

When you get your test kit-base the second water only change on your reading of ammonia, nitrite 0.25ppm or greater-you may or may not need to do the water only change-but you will always make the 50% with vacuum weekly....Once you have nitrate 5-10ppm without any ammonia, nitrite spike...you are most likely cycled and this can take 4-8 weeks

Remember-sometimes dechlorinating products-like Prime- can change the ammonia to ammonium that is safe...watch the Betta he will tell you......

Look forward to pic.....
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Old 12-08-2011, 09:32 PM   #10 
thejapanesezombie
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Originally Posted by Oldfishlady View Post
Most of the products to cycle are a waste of time and money IMO....the only one I would ever use is by "Dr Tim"......however, you can safely establish the nitrogen cycle with the Betta provided that you are willing and able to make the needed water change-even without a test kit on hand....I do recommend a test kit and it will take some of the guess work out of the process.....but you also have the pet shop that can test for you if needed......

In a 5.5gal filtered tank-without live plants or test kit on hand-with one adult Betta.......The fish-In cycle....for the first 4-8 weeks......make twice weekly water changes.....1-50% with light vacuum in all areas you can reach without moving anything...this is the water change you need to do for the life of the system and then make a 50% water only between...this is the water change to keep the water safe until the nitrogen cycle establishes
Filter media-needs a swish/rinse in old tank water with a water change a couple of time a month...unless the water flow is compromised I wouldn't touch the filter media until the nitrogen cycle has established.

The beneficial bacteria for the nitrogen cycle are sticky and adhere to all the surface areas inside the tank-like the walls, decorations, plants both fake and real, in the top layer of the substrate and in the filter media...very little are in the water column and so water only changes won't stall the process, however, over cleaning can....limit cleaning of viewing walls and vacuuming to once a week....but vacuum at least weekly-otherwise the BB can suffocate due to the mulm/debris...its a balance....

Several other things can change the process...like live plants, temp, pH and cycling products..... remember some of the dechlorinating/chemical produces can skew water pram readings until the biological filter is established....

When you get your test kit-base the second water only change on your reading of ammonia, nitrite 0.25ppm or greater-you may or may not need to do the water only change-but you will always make the 50% with vacuum weekly....Once you have nitrate 5-10ppm without any ammonia, nitrite spike...you are most likely cycled and this can take 4-8 weeks

Remember-sometimes dechlorinating products-like Prime- can change the ammonia to ammonium that is safe...watch the Betta he will tell you......

Look forward to pic.....
Thank you so much. That was extremely helpful :) I have set up some of my tank, filter is running, water is dechlorinated, will do my first reading tomorrow. I didn't want to take away Aldo's plants.. (at least not all of them) so right now I only have a small cave for him in there + substrate. I bought a master kit that goes right into the water for readings. Hopefully it works well. I also have two thermometers to make sure that they're both reading correctly. crossing my fingers.
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