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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am so happy that I was finally able to get a test kit for my guy's water!! :-D Here's the results today:

PH - 7.6
Ammonia - 0.25
Nitrites - zero
Nitrates - zero

He is at the tail end of Week 1 in the tank (using instant aquarium) and all week I had been doing 10-15% water changes every other day with a 50% yesterday.

I understand that I need to get some nitrites going to start the cycle and am slightly concerned that I have none, but since the ammonia isn't too high I think I'll fast him a day or so and leave the water alone to see if I can't encourage some growth.

What do you all think? Is it looking good so far? Am I on the right track?
 

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Looks good! How long have you had the tank set up? The bacteria that produce nitrates take the longest to show up, so it's not unusual for it to take a while. Just keep an eye on that ammonia, and you're on the way to a cycled tank! Changing the water won't bother your cycle either, so it's fine to change as often as you need to in order to keep the ammonia down.
 
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You have a test kit and know how to use it. Great.

Change half the water whenever ammonia or nitrite rises above 0.25ppm. Don't worry about nitrate. Dose Prime @ 2-drops/gal with every water change, and 1-drop/gal daily until cycled.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks you guys!! :) I didn't know about the drop per day. I'll start doing that.

My only complaint is that his water is cloudy and I want it clear. But, it's more important that his water is stable so I'm sucking it up!
 

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Prime locks ammonia in a molecule that Seachem calls Prime/ammonia complex. This molecule starts to decay immediately and releases the ammonia over a 24 to 48 hour period, slowly enough to be oxidized by the nitrifying bacteria.

Until you grow a big enough bacteria colony (IE: cycle the tank), it doesn't hurt to keep fresh Prime in the water. That's why the drop/gal/day advice.

Cloudy water before a cycle starts is just a bacteria bloom, very common and no cause for concern.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Well it's a week later and still only ammonia in the water (.25) and still cloudy.

Got a question.... The test kit sometimes mentions having salt in the water? Should I have salt in his water?

*Patiently waiting for nitrites to arrive* :)
 

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No, you don't want salt in the water.

You can do a couple of water changes to get rid of the cloudiness. It won't hurt anything. And I never had a nitrite reading in any of my tanks. I probably just missed it, but I have 3 cycled tanks and I never noticed any nitrites in them. I don't know how that's possible other than I just missed it because I was testing every other day. I do have live plants in all my tanks, but not a ton of them.

Are you vacuuming the gravel regularly? And do you have any live plants? If there is a buildup of food or waste in the gravel, that can be raising your ammonia levels. And if you have live plants, they can consume nitrites.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Ok, cool :)

I do take out all the decor and vacuum his sand once a week. It's a small tank so I have to remove everything.

I plan to eventually move him into a 10 gallon tank and then use live plants, but I'll have to use a special light bulb on him cause my house is really dark... surrounded by giant cedars :(

He has cost me so much this month that I can't do anything different for a while.
 

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Yeah, I know about that $$ part.

GMTF Makes an interesting point. Sometimes the nitrite part of the cycle goes by so fast you miss it. Other times it goes on for weeks. No way to know, as far as I know.
 
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