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  Topic Review (Newest First)
10-14-2017 08:01 PM
DZIM I think it's time to start a new thread to get some advice from the forum on cycling a small tank. There are probably some users that can walk you through this better than I can. That said, ammonia spikes during the cycle are normal. Not safe, but normal. It means the cycle is starting to establish. It should start going down in time. Once you get the prime, dose it every day until your readings show 0 ammonia and rising nitrates. 0 ammonia followed by a nitrate spike means the cycle has finished.
10-14-2017 01:59 PM
KayJaMikel Just did my water from tap and then again in the tank.

The tap was 0, so seems my tap water is fine.

The water in the tank was between 0.50 and 1.0 ppm but probably closer to 1.0.

I did 30-40% water change today after the test in the above post.

I do not think I overfeed him.

He doesn't eat pellets at all, spits them out, so he gets flakes, a pinch twice a day. Today, for the first time ever, I fed him a pinch of the frozen blood worms. I see no visible dirt in the tank. Again brand new tank just set up yesterday.

New tank just set up yesterday so no dirt in it.

I put Quick Start in after the reading from before and BettaSafe after the testing.

Speaking of testing, thinking of getting the strips. This liquid thing is a pain in the buttocks.
10-14-2017 01:28 PM
Rainbo You can skip testing the PH, so long as you are not playing around with it, and you aren't he'll adjust to the level it is in the water so that's one you don't have to worry about.

The ammonia level is toxic. What I would do is test the water straight out of your tap, I'm suspecting it has ammonium which is safe for fish, BUT does register on the API test. If there is ammonium in the water, then ammonia in the tank, it will make the reading higher. Still short on sleep so I'll write out some instructions and number them to make sure I"m clear, don't ramble, and don't miss anything.

1. Test the tap water, and if it shows ammonia record how much.

2. Test the tank water, again write down how much ammonia.

3. If the tap had ammonia subtract that number from the number from the tank. Whatever your left with is how much ammonia is actually in the tank.

4. If the ammonia in the tank is .25 or higher you need to do another water change. If it's .25 you can do a 25% change if it's higher then .25 then do a 50% change.

5. In 3 hours test the tank water again. and follow the directions in #4.

6. Repeat #'s 5 and 4 until the ammonia is down to 0.

I really do think that your tap water is part of the culprit, unless you are overfeeding him and there is uneaten food in the bottom of the tank.
10-14-2017 12:29 PM
KayJaMikel So, I have come for an update.

My water levels today before about 30% water change. Seems ammonia has gone up. Added more QuickStart and BettaSafe, but my Seachem is not here yet. Anything else I can do? Seachem will be here Monday it says.

So, also got some plants and a floating log, my new heater, my new thermometer, and figured out how to rig the bubble thing to the floor using a suction cup.

So, I think it looks very pretty if I do say so myself.

How do I know the heater is on. I let it acclimate this time 20 minutes, maybe even 30 while I was arranging plants and testing water.

I really have to move this thing down to my level. Had my son move it down for me so I could work on it, then the cords were not long enough, ugh, then he left and I had to put it back up and almost dropped it. Afraid to move it down to cat level, though. I don't know. Every few day water removals and additions are not going to work out with it up there though.

I ordered a 16 cord thing from Amazon because between his cords and my computer cords, and my crafting light cords, I have cords everywhere and I ran out of plugs on my power strips. Driving me crazy.

Ordered this and hopefully it will make my cords nice and neat.
10-13-2017 10:45 PM
DZIM One thing I've learned is that bettas love top cover. I'm in the process of figuring out a DIY method for floating artificial plant leaves on the surface for those of us that don't do live plants. I plan to try rigging up a sort of raft from airline tubing and attaching fake plant stems to it... we'll see how it goes.

Bettas love all sorts of cover though. I had one of my fish in a mostly bare open water tank when I was still new to understanding betta behavior, and I saw an amazing transformation in his behavior once I filled the tank up with foliage. He became much more active and hid a lot less. More cover = more activity. A lot of people make the assumption that more hiding places means they'll never see their fish, but it's actually 100% the reverse.
10-13-2017 10:35 PM
KayJaMikel Your tanks are so pretty DZIM.

I am keeping the bubbler for now. He loves it, at least it seems that way. He love his Indian leaf, I cannot tell you how much he loves this leaf. He sucks up the air that collects under it, hangs out under it, all day long. i will test water again tomorrow. I didn't test the nitrates today when I did it. I was confused by the test, but I will read it further and figure it out.
10-13-2017 10:31 PM
DZIM Hey, sorry for the late reply. Had some stuff to do. On the bright side I put some Christmas lights on my tank because I'm too broke to buy actual aquarium lights for all my tanks, so now the one-man-7-fish DZIM household is 100% festive.

Some ammonia is normal when the tank starts establishing. Over time the bacteria culture will grow enough to take the ammonia down to a consistent 0 all the time. So keep up with regular water changes and test water frequently to make sure the nitrates and ammonia don't skyrocket to dangerous levels. Once you get consistently low readings, you won't need to check water parameters very often at all. It's only at the beginning that thinks are very unstable. 6 drops of Seachem Prime in your tank every day until ammonia reads 0 (meaning the cycle is established) will neutralize ammonia and keep the water safe for the fish.

Bubblers are necessary for bettas and are a personal preference for the keeper. I think they look great, but the last time I used one my fish became incredibly stressed out by the turbulence it caused, so I threw it out. Some bettas enjoy bubblers as a form of enrichment, some are afraid of them. It's all down to personal preference. If you like it and the fish likes it, feel free to keep it.

Bettas naturally live in slow moving, shallow water, and consequently aren't well adapted to turbulent waters. If you see the betta avoiding the bubbler, hiding a lot, or going pale, or showing horizontal stripes down the sides of its body, take it out.
10-13-2017 10:09 PM
KayJaMikel I will get some Prime. Chewy is the best, they deliver next day. He seems to love the bubbles, so for now leaving it in. I have to get gravel. Ordered some but it was out of stock so the company cancelled my order. I have 100 of these pretty glow in the dark gravel/rock pieces coming, but that is not gravel.

I have to find a better spot for his tank. It is up high so doing anything is becoming hard because I have to climb on my desk to get to him. So, I have to bring him down to my level. I didn't test his nitrites/nitrates because I was confused with the test kit. Only 4 tubes, but 5 tests, but I will do it soon.

Prime has now been ordered, but probably won't be here until Tuesday because it is 10:13 pm on Friday night and the probably won't process my order until Monday.
10-13-2017 10:04 PM
Originally Posted by KayJaMikel View Post
Rainblo, this is a new tank I just got yesterday and put him in at around 9 pm last night. It has a filter and heater (but heater doesnt seem to work and have another one coming in the mail). It is not the filter I want to remove, it is this changing light/bubbling thingy that I want to remove.

So the water is new. It has QuickStart, BettaSafe, and Seachem Safeguard in it, and an Indian leave. The water was a bit cloudy today but it is crystal clear now.

I did not buy Prime. I bought QuickStart and SeaChem on suggestion here.

My fish seems to love the bubbler. He also loves his new Indian leave. He hangs out under it all the time.

I am just going to unplug the heater, wait a few hours and take it out and wait for the new one which should be here tomorrow.

I have read a good bit of the cycling thread but it still goes over my head. I do not understand what I am trying to do. I guess I need to change half the water in a week. My starting purpose here was because the round bowl w/o a filter or anything else I could not keep clean, so was wanting to get a tank mate to eat the gunk, but it developed into much more than that, why we are at 10 pages of posts. I have done pretty much everything asked, except order the Prime, because I do not believe that was recommended to me until now. I have QuickStart and BettaStart and SeachemStressGuard. I can't possibly need another drop, can I?
It's fine to take the bubbler out, the filter will do the job of oxygenating the water and filtering it.

No problem about the Prime, when you said Seachem my brain automatically went to Prime. I'll explain what Prime is, and what it does, and why the forum recommends it, you can decide if you want to get it

Prime is a water conditioner like the BettaStart what you already have, but where it differs is that it also binds with ammonia and Nitrite making them harmless for 24 to 48 hours. That's all the difference there really is between the two.

Now the reason Prime is recommended when doing a fish in cycle (cycling the tank while you have a fish or fish in it) is because of it's ability to bind with the ammonia and nitrite. Both Ammonia and Nitrite are toxic to fish, BUT when cycling a tank you need a bit of ammonia and nitrite in the tank to feed the beneficial bacteria since that is what they eat. So in order to have the ammonia and nitrate in the tank to feed the bacteria, and to keep the fish safe, it's recommended to use Prime.

To cycle the tank, and keep your boy safe, just do what is suggested in the beginning of the thread I linked. Don't worry about all the other stuff that goes into detail about each step. It really is as simple as doing 25% water changes 2x a week, or when the ammonia or nitrite rises to .25ppm on the API master kit. Test your water before the water change and all you need to test is Ammonia, Nitrite, and Nitrate. What you are aiming for is 0 on the Ammonia and Nitrite, and 10 to 20 on the Nitrate. Once you achieve that your tank is cycled and you can do 25% water changes once a week. That is literally all you need to do. You can add QuickStart according to the instructions on the bottle if you want, sometimes it helps to speed up the cycle, if you don't want to be bothered that's fine too, the tank will still cycle. If you don't want to cycle with Prime that's fine, when I did my first tank I was like you and did not have Prime, my boy survived the cycle, Betta's are pretty hardy fish, just test the tanks water ever other day to make sure the ammonia and nitrite doesn't spike.
10-13-2017 10:01 PM
KayJaMikel Oh and Rainblo, I used the water from the old tank to pour into the new tank, the old rocks, etc., to keep the bacteria from them in, and just added new water to the tank to fill it up.
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