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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all. I was doing my 25% water changes for my 5gallon tank once a week and all my levels were great. Until this week... Life happens and I had two teeth extracted so unfortunately, Meeseeks missed his water change date plus some extra days. And his fast day. :crying: I know, I know.
Finally able to get out of bed and move around/focus on things yesterday, so I started his water change. I tested his ammonia levels and they read between .25-.50ppm. I did a 30% change. Tested today and they're about the same. So. What's my next move here?

-Should I do another water change? If so, how much how often?
-Is there anything in particular that should be cleaned? (rinsing the filter cartridge?)
-Should I add some aquarium salt to his next change?

Also, how can I dig/should I dig up some of the ammonia producing debris that might be hiding in his gravel without using my gravel hose? Siphoning the old school way is not an option after pulled teeth. Thinking maybe pulling his silk plants/bridge out to get things loose for a more thorough water change?

Thank you. Meeseeks and I appreciate all help. I want those levels DOWN!
 

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I'm a little confused here...how does pulled teeth have anything to do with siphoning? Either you gravel vac your tank or you take everything out and give it a good scrub through.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
I have a gravel vac and I suck in through the hose to get the water flow started so I can't use that method right now (sucking). I didn't know if taking everything out to loosen things up (like the vac would do) was enough or if the plants/bridge needed to be cleaned as well.

EDIT: I guess I'm asking to WHAT extent do I scrub the things in the tank? On top of my other questions.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
EDIT: I always have used a gravel vac. Can't start the siphon on the vac is what I meant.

I would just REALLY APPRECIATE some answers to the questions posted considering I would REALLY like to get started on cleaning his tank the proper way.
 

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Does the water ever...ew. I'm sorry, I had no idea people start siphon that way. I submerge all the tubing into the tank then put one end into the bucket and it flows. I also found you can pour water into it if the tank is too crowded to submerge the tubing, or start with a turkey baster on one end.

Just gravel vac everything, under decorations. You can leave plants in. No need to clean everything, though, your ammonia is not high enough for that to be a necessity. I would go so far as to gravel vac until half the water is gone. Test again tomorrow.
 

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As to your other questions, yes, rinse your filter if it isn't time to change it. No, do not add aquarium salt, there is no need. As mentioned above, vac 50% (not just water, try to get as much crap out as possible). And no need to scrub unless you have a serious slime coating on everything.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
THANK YOU! I will do this.

I've just always started it that way, I guess since a little kid watching my dad do it and the guys at the local fish store (not a petsmart or chain, just some hippies that like fish). Kind of like a kick start. Since it's a smaller tank I just never thought of putting all the tubing in there. I'm quick with it, so no, no mouth full of fish water yet but doesn't mean it won't happen eventually this way. Just habit.

Anyway, any thoughts on some aquarium salt to the new water and it's okay to do it all today?
 

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There's no need for aquarium salt, really. An inappropriate amount could put your betta's kidneys in danger
 

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Besides the good advice Kitkat has given you, I would like a moment to tell you about seachem's Prime. Prime not only dechlorinates water making it betta safe, but it also detoxifies ammonia making it safer for fish.
The ammonia would still be readable, but no longer dangerous, and is great for emergencies like this to make it easier on the fish. The tank would still need a good cleaning, but it would be way less stress for both you and the fish.
 

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That reminds me, when starting a cycle and have high ammonia, I dump 4x recommended dose of Stress Guard, it's baceria culture, and that quick starts the nitrification cycle.
 

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I'd like to know all of your readings. It sounds like your tank may not be cycled.

Good advice from Kitkat about salt and from trahana about Prime -- several drops daily until the tank is cycled or reading 0.0ppm ammonia. You should know this: CYCLING: the two-sentence tutorial

As far as I know Stress guard is just Seachem's version of Stresscoat. Seachem's bacteria product is called Stability. My feedback says it is not as effective as Tetra Safestart, but has its uses strengthening the nitrogen cycle.

I'll bet more keepers suck-siphon than any other method. It's the quickest and least complicated. I haven't tasted tank-water in tears. Sorry you're limited, Mom.Your first two questions are answered in the tutorial.
 
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