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Old 01-05-2012, 01:40 PM   #1 
LoveMyBettas8885
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Exclamation Help ASAP!!!!

I have a 10 gallon divided betta tank. I have a filter, heater and air stones. I do a 25% water change every week and I use the API master freshwater test kit. Every time I check the parameters they're high. My pH is 8.0, ammonia 0.25 (sometimes 0.50) nitrite 0.50 and nitrate is 40. I use aquarium salt, novaqua, and kordon ammonia detoxifier but I don't know what's wrong? I have the temp at 80. I've been using the API pH down but I'm not really seeing any results and I'm scared my bettas are going to die! What can I do to fix this problem? Should I switch to purified drinking water instead of using tap? I feed them two pellets two times a day and I feed them one by one to make sure they're eaten. My air pump is turned on for about 8 hours a day (I turn it off at night, I have a check valve.) I've also noticed that during the day when the air pump is on, my betta's don't attempt to build a bubble nest. When I turn it back on in the morning there are some bubbles up top. The bubbles are turned on low as I don't want them to disturb the betta's too much. I don't have live plants, only silk plants and I use gravel, not sand. Please help me because I really don't know what to do at this point. Thank you to anyone who responds to this.
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Old 01-05-2012, 01:45 PM   #2 
Oldfishlady
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Most likely the additives you are using is causing some of skewed test results and rebound and if you are turning off the filter for longer than 6 hours-every time you turn it back on you may be flooding the tank with ammonia.

How are the Bettas acting...any change in behavior.....
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Old 01-05-2012, 02:03 PM   #3 
LoveMyBettas8885
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldfishlady View Post
Most likely the additives you are using is causing some of skewed test results and rebound and if you are turning off the filter for longer than 6 hours-every time you turn it back on you may be flooding the tank with ammonia.

How are the Bettas acting...any change in behavior.....
I don't ever turn the filter off, I turn the air pump for the bubbles off. One of them is acting normal but I've noticed the other is having some issue with flaring. When he flares he only flares on one side and not the other. I don't know what to do.
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Old 01-05-2012, 02:09 PM   #4 
Sena Hansler
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I have a betta who "half flares". Have you ever seen him flare fully? Mine got injured badly, and it just scarred up on the one side of his face. Is there anything he could have cut himself on? I've also noticed some bettas "half flare" if only half their face is towards another betta (or their reflection).

Have you cycled the tank? Luckily bettas can take the 8.0 PH, but as for ammonia and the others it seems like there is a cycle, or mini cycle going on.
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Old 01-05-2012, 02:26 PM   #5 
Oldfishlady
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Okay...I understand, you really don't need the airstone unless you just like the look of the bubbles......

Your pH is fine and you really don't need to try and change-Bettas will adapt to our source water pH and be fine and since this is a domesticated fish they tend to do better in the higher pH-plus unless you know your KH/GH the pH will usually rebound and it ends up being more of an issue-especially in regards to health.

I would just use one dechlorinator-most of the ammonia products can cause the ammonia to change to ammonium and the test products can't tell the difference-Once the biological filter is established-it should take care of both the ammonia/ammonium and you will have 0ppm readings.

Your nitrate is a bit high-but I suspect that may be from the additives

You don't need or want to use salt long term-it can cause health problems-it is great to use short term for treatments in a small QT in therapeutic doses, for the proper duration and reason....

How long has the tank been running....

Right now I would recommend that you start daily 25% water changes for 3 days and start getting all the chemicals out-use just one type of dechlorinator that covers chlorine and chloramines

Test your source water without any additives and then add the dechlorinator-test and compare numbers....this will help rule out source water and dechlorinator as the cause for the ammonia, nitrite readings

Be sure and shake, bang and shake some more on the #2 bottle of Nitrate reagent-it tend to settle and can give skewed results-also, be sure and follow the directions to the "T" on all the test-especially on time lines and shaking between drops-otherwise you can have skewed readings...the liq test products can have a high user error when new to using them...
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Old 01-05-2012, 02:32 PM   #6 
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Going through this quickly:

1. Unless you're treating for disease, I don't recommend using AQ salt as an additive
2. Have you tried doing LARGER or SMALLER water changes to see if it is different? You may be changing too much or too little and upsetting your cycle a little
3. Test your plain tap water and post results
4. I also recommend to stop using pH down. pH of 8 is fine, mine is at 8.2 at home with no problems
5. It is unlikely that your fish are going to drop dead because of a little high ammonia, living beings may be fragile but give your fish some credit :P
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Old 01-05-2012, 02:37 PM   #7 
Sena Hansler
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I like #5 bahamut it's true - bettas are pretty hardy.
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Old 01-05-2012, 02:50 PM   #8 
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@Sena Hansler: He has always had a full flare. I did a water change two days ago and right after was when I noticed it. I always try to be as gentle as I can when removing them from the tank but I don't know if maybe he got injured in the process. Do you think he'll heal and have a full flare again?

@Oldfishlady: I use the air pump and air stones because I like the look of the bubbles.. I know it's not completely necessary.

I will stop using the pH down and the ammonia detoxifier and only stick with Novaqua. I'll also stop using the aquarium salt, at Petco I was told to use this with every water change. The tank has been running for almost a month and I not changed nor washed the filter cartridge at all as I was told to leave it alone. I pulled it out to see if it was dirty and the back side was dirty. I'll start the water change for 3 days today and I'll also test the water without additives and then with. I shake and bang the #2 nitrate bottle for a while as well. I am new to testing the water with this kit so maybe I'm doing something wrong. I might take the water in to Petco to have it tested and see what they say.

@bahamut285: No more aquarium salt unless it is necessary! :) When I do a water change I try my best to get 25%, sometimes it's a little more though. I will test the water and post the results. I'm just a worried mommy, lol. I love them and want to give them a good life. I'm new to all of this so I get paranoid easily. I'm still trying to understand a "cycled tank" I bought a book on freshwater aquariums and I've been reading it to understand better but it's a bit confusing.
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Old 01-05-2012, 03:04 PM   #9 
Sena Hansler
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I've been working on Shiloh to exercise his flare. It IS possible for him to get back to full flaring ability Just will take some time, especially if an injury.

Let me make cycling sound simpler

Cycling, makes ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, all work together to create a beneficial environment for fish. Cycling, takes 4-6 weeks with an "ammonia source" which, now, you are doing with fish. Some people do without fish, and use "pure ammonia", or fish food.

So, a fish-in-cycle, will take the same time (I believe). Do not panic and grab any meds or "ammonia lock" stuff, when you see a spike. Spikes, will be normal until the "cycle" has completed.
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Old 01-05-2012, 03:16 PM   #10 
LoveMyBettas8885
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sena Hansler View Post
I've been working on Shiloh to exercise his flare. It IS possible for him to get back to full flaring ability Just will take some time, especially if an injury.

Let me make cycling sound simpler

Cycling, makes ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, all work together to create a beneficial environment for fish. Cycling, takes 4-6 weeks with an "ammonia source" which, now, you are doing with fish. Some people do without fish, and use "pure ammonia", or fish food.

So, a fish-in-cycle, will take the same time (I believe). Do not panic and grab any meds or "ammonia lock" stuff, when you see a spike. Spikes, will be normal until the "cycle" has completed.
Well you made it sound so much simpler than my book! lol! I kept re-reading the chapter like... WWHHAATT?! lol. So this could be normal then until the tank cycles? Thank you SO much for the simple explanation.
I've been holding a mirror to exercise his flaring and he flares at my other boy as well but it's still only one side. It's only been two days though so I have high hopes that he'll get better. I am planning on getting another betta I'm not sure if I want to put him in my 2.5 or put him in my 10g. What do you think?
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