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Raphael (white/red betta), Vincent (blue/yellow betta), The Pandas (cories), Baby (juvinile bnp)
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey, I'm totally new to the hobby and im worried about my new betta boy, Raphael.

He's been in my tank for over a week now and has been doing really well. I'll leave all my specs below, but im using him to fish in cycle with great care. I read up on the nitrogen cycle for weeks and prepared myself for the task.

I monitor my parameters every day and am working on a routine of feeding him a small amount one day and doing a 10 litre water change the day after and just repeating that.

Week 1, my ammonia rose steadily to around 1ppm and then declined. A few days ago, week 2, my nitrites started to increase to 0.25ppm. I performed a water change and fed him the next day (yesterday). Today, my ammonia was at 1ppm and my nitrite was at around 2.0ppm, a shocking spike to say the least. I was so paniked but did a 50% water change. Im dosing Seachem prime to detoxify it hopefully as well as using API quick start every day. the water was looking slightly cloudy before todays water change too.

My main concern however is that Raph is showing 2 vertical stripes on his body. I know about stress stripes but most people seemed to say those are horizontal or perhaps a sign of submission. He is still young and only 2 inches nose to the end of his fin. I'll try to add pictures tomorrow as its late now.

He's got a white body thats irridecent (can never spell that lol) and red fins and a black marking on his face, plus white tips on his bottom fins (no clue about proper anatomy yet, sorry!)

I'm just so worried as I love him loads and just want him to be safe and happy.

More info:
The tank is a 15 gallon fluval flex and i use the filter that comes with the tank including the big sponge with carbon filter pouch and biomax pouch. I also have quite a lot of diatom/brown algae right now. Im using a heater set at 26 degrees celcius but it has dropped to 25 over the past few days. The tank is planted and he's the only fish in there. I feed him a very small amount on feed days. Any other info you need to possibly come to a conclusion, let me know!

Any info will be helpful, I really just want to make sure hes okay. Thanks :)

Tommy

EDIT: apologies to anyone who read this before i noticed my mistake but i wrote 50ppm for nitrite which would be super wack, it was late and i was stressed lmao my reading was around 2.0ppm. super sorry!
 

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During a fish in cycle I think you’re supposed to maintain ammonia around .25 ppm. 1 ppm (and crazy high nitrite) is way too much and would kill most fish. It’s good you’re using prime, but I’m not sure whether or not it can detoxify that concentration. I would do whatever water change schedule it takes to keep ammonia and nitrite around .25 ppm. Diatoms are really common at this stage and I wouldn’t worry too much about them...they are something that passes as an ecosystem matures. The good news is it sounds like you’re well on your way to being cycled based on all that nitrite.

Also...no reason to skimp on feeding! Good nutrition is just as important as good water quality.
 

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Raphael (white/red betta), Vincent (blue/yellow betta), The Pandas (cories), Baby (juvinile bnp)
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Discussion Starter #3
During a fish in cycle I think you’re supposed to maintain ammonia around .25 ppm. 1 ppm (and crazy high nitrite) is way too much and would kill most fish. It’s good you’re using prime, but I’m not sure whether or not it can detoxify that concentration. I would do whatever water change schedule it takes to keep ammonia and nitrite around .25 ppm. Diatoms are really common at this stage and I wouldn’t worry too much about them...they are something that passes as an ecosystem matures. The good news is it sounds like you’re well on your way to being cycled based on all that nitrite.
Thank you, im planning on just changing the water every time i see that high reading until it gets down to 0ppm again, even if that means i have to change it tomorrow again! one thing i didnt add, I take my boy out when i change water due to the tank setup (its hard to keep him safely out of the way) and hes in a decent size container for around 30 minutes...is this bad? i always try to make sure hes used to the water temp in the tank again before letting him back in. I never net him in, i let him swim in and out of the container both times. will this stress him?
 

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Thank you, im planning on just changing the water every time i see that high reading until it gets down to 0ppm again, even if that means i have to change it tomorrow again! one thing i didnt add, I take my boy out when i change water due to the tank setup (its hard to keep him safely out of the way) and hes in a decent size container for around 30 minutes...is this bad? i always try to make sure hes used to the water temp in the tank again before letting him back in. I never net him in, i let him swim in and out of the container both times. will this stress him?
Plenty of people remove their fish during water changes so you’ll hear different opinions. I don’t and personally I wouldn’t recommend it for a fish showing signs of stress. But whatever keeps him safe is best, of course...and you know best what’s possible for your setup.
 

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Raphael (white/red betta), Vincent (blue/yellow betta), The Pandas (cories), Baby (juvinile bnp)
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Discussion Starter #5
Plenty of people remove their fish during water changes so you’ll hear different opinions. I don’t and personally I wouldn’t recommend it for a fish showing signs of stress. But whatever keeps him safe is best, of course...and you know best what’s possible for your setup.
Cool, I'll take that into consideration and will perhaps try to work on letting him be as i think removing him stresses me too 😖 do you think his stripes sound like stress ones? I feel like im asking so many questions, its 2am for me rn and i can't sleep for worrying like a mother 😂😂
 

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Here's the Forum's tutorial on fish-in cycling. Hope it helps.
 

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Cool, I'll take that into consideration and will perhaps try to work on letting him be as i think removing him stresses me too 😖 do you think his stripes sound like stress ones? I feel like im asking so many questions, its 2am for me rn and i can't sleep for worrying like a mother 😂😂
Sounds like it but posting a photo would be helpful.
 

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Raphael (white/red betta), Vincent (blue/yellow betta), The Pandas (cories), Baby (juvinile bnp)
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Discussion Starter #8
Here's the Forum's tutorial on fish-in cycling. Hope it helps.
Thanks, I'll give it a read!
 

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Raphael (white/red betta), Vincent (blue/yellow betta), The Pandas (cories), Baby (juvinile bnp)
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Discussion Starter #9
Sounds like it but posting a photo would be helpful.
I'll see if i can get any tomorrow since it's late and i dont want to bother him when he's resting :)
 

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I'll see if i can get any tomorrow since it's late and i dont want to bother him when he's resting :)
Is it planted? I have this tank as a community tank but it’s on the deeper side for a 15 gal. He would probably appreciate some taller plants and places to hang out closer to the surface.
 

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Raphael (white/red betta), Vincent (blue/yellow betta), The Pandas (cories), Baby (juvinile bnp)
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Discussion Starter #11
Is it planted? I have this tank as a community tank but it’s on the deeper side for a 15 gal. He would probably appreciate some taller plants and places to hang out closer to the surface.
Yeah, it is planted, Ive got one side with loads of Amazon Swords where he likes to hide and my Java Ferns are pretty big on the other side too. I had to remove some Water Wisteria about a week ago as it was just dying (I think it was dying when i got it tbh) so my other side is a bit baldy rn but when i get enough extra cash im gonna get taller ones for that space. As far as resting on the surface he also has a floating betta log that he quite likes to sleep in etc
 

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Raphael (white/red betta), Vincent (blue/yellow betta), The Pandas (cories), Baby (juvinile bnp)
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Discussion Starter #12
This morning's update: Raph's stripes are less obvious now, almost like you'd have to look to see them.
I'm currently freaking out since his heater dropped to 24 degrees celcius last night and it cant seem to heat back up to its set temperature of 25.5/26 so im worried about that.
My ammonia is at 0.50ppm and my nitrate is at 2.0ppm again so im gonna do a 50% water change.
 
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