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Discussion Starter #1
My new tank and aquarium supplies just got here. The tank is a 5-gallon Aqueon Mini Bow Betta Kit. It was all scratched up when I took it out of the box because the filter wasn't put together. There was part of it that was clattering all over the box. I'm not sure how major it is, but it's enough to be annoying. Two of my three silk plants are plastic, even though they were advertised as silk, so I have to exchange those, and I'm not 100% sure I can use the gravel I bought specifically out of the betta section on Petco.com. Betta don't seem like they'd care for large, jagged, river boulders. Oh, and my cat James keeps trying to jump in the dang tank -- he thinks it's just another type of box or something!!!! :evil:
 

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Ugh, that really sucks. Now I'm worried about the plants I ordered.

I'm not too happy with the quality of my Top Fin 10 gallon starter kit - it seems very cheap...not sure how long it'll hold up.
And there's a sticker. In the bottom of the tank. Whose brilliant idea was that? It's going to take quite a bit of scrubbing to get the damn thing off. :roll:
 

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I hear you. Basically everything I ordered over this summer has broken. The latest is the hose to my canister filter. I'm dealing with the end of the semester now so it just got jimmy-rigged with some tubing and zip ties until I figure out what to do.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
*UPDATE*
I went to Petco with my husband today. We exchanged the tank for a new, unscratched one of the same model, and we exchanged the two plastic plants for two silk ones. We also picked up the API Mastertest Kit on sale (for $26 so it was still expensive). Everything we bought there cost us about $70, including the stuff we exchanged because they charged us in-store prices. The cashier said everything is usually cheaper online, which I thought was weird because it's usually the opposite. Seriously, reconsidering having deliveries scheduled online for food and stuff.
Good news is I managed to get a bucket for water changes and a huge bottle of ammonia for $2 at the Dollar Tree. Oh, and my cat has finally decided that the aquarium is too boring for him to bother with anymore :) *Looking on the bright side*
 

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Check that dollar store ammonia. I've never seen suitable ammonia there. Shake the bottle. If it foams, don't use it! It has detergent or surfactant chemicals in it.

What do you want ammonia for, anyway? (Besides laundry and floor cleaning)
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
I checked it in the store and it didn't foam. I also checked the online reviews before I bought it. Most of them use it for cleaning, but someone used it to cycle their tank and gave it five stars, and it was recommended on Youtube.
I did do my research before buying this.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Okay, clearly, I didn't do enough research. I apologize for my earlier post. I took my husband's word for it when he said this product had good reviews, but after doing some more research, I've discovered that this product does in fact contain surfactants. Thank you for bringing this to my attention, and I apologize if my earlier post comes off as defensive.
 

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Not at all. We're all just looking out for each other here. ;-}

Ace hardware has "Janitorial Strength" pure ammonia. I still have 99% of the quart I bought for $2 many years ago.

What are you planning to do with it?
 

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Do you have an Ace Hardware store you can go to? I got my ammonia from there and cycled pretty much all but my first tank with it without issue. Grabbed a bottle of Janitor strength ammonia, still haven't finished the bottle off either!!
ps: pricing on link is for x15 of the product.. don't buy online, they sell in bulk not single.. a 15 pack of that will be enough for several hundred betta tanks.
 

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Or Amazon sells "Dr. Tim's" concentrated ammonia drops. It's something like a drop per gallon (don't take my word for that, it has instructions on the bottle) for a concentration of 2ppm. I've used it for fishless cycles a few times.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Yes, I have an Ace Hardware I can go to, but wait, a minute because I'm getting mixed reviews here. Like ten other people on fishlore are saying that the ammonia I have now -- Austin's Pure Ammonia -- is fine to use, except for one person. I really don't know what to believe at this point, but I do know it doesn't foam up like this vid says ammonia with surfactants are supposed to.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5kyZZKzVLmI
And I'm confused because that means it's safe, right? If it only has a few bubbles, it's safe, right? Man, I feel like an idiot. I really should have researched this more T.T
 

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I tried Dr. Tim's ammonia. Turns out it was a weak product compared to Ace hardware's. Or maybe it had lost some potency.

Producer's recommendations and ammonia calculators notwithstanding, the only reliable way to tell is to dose and read.

I've used it to experiment with fishless cycling, a technique of limited usefulness in Betta tanks, in my opinion.
 
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