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Help With Fish-in Cycling With Single Fish (betta)

Discussion in 'New to the Hobby Questions and Answers' started by GuppyGoddess, Oct 21, 2009.

  1. GuppyGoddess

    GuppyGoddess Member

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    Hi Everyone,

    I've had ups and downs with my 10-gallon tank. It had a female betta in it, I added three rasboras who stressed her out, so I added two more hoping the schooling instinct would prevent the rasboras from bothering the betta. The day following adding the rasboras, I found my betta in the front right hand corner (the spot where I feed the fish) with the rasboras circling around her (and the ammonia levels were high). I took the rasboras back.

    Now, I have my female betta alone in her 10-gallon. It has a Tetra Whisper PF with foam around the intake/outtake to prevent a current and a 50-watt heater (edited to say 50 watt, not 25-watt heater). When I brought the betta home, I had intended to keep her in a smaller tank, but now she's in what she's in and I switched her because the ammonia levels in the bowl went up quickly.

    Now, question is how often should I be changing the water to cycle it? And how much?

    I'd rather have it take a few months if that means keeping the betta less stressed.

    Any advice? Thanks!

    PLEASE DO NOT FLAME ME ABOUT FISH IN CYCLING. I'LL REPORT ANY NASTY COMMENTS TO MODS.
     
  2. MoneyMitch

    MoneyMitch Member

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    you and i are the only people on here that belive in Fish-In cycle. thats they way ive always done it for 5+ years. you wanna do a w/c probably 25% every three days or so or when your ammonia and nitrIte get high. adding the rasboras that many at a time are what caused your levels to skyrocket. the bac need time to adjust and multiply to achive the required amount of filtration you need. chances are your not going to get any info on fish in cycle here as most of these people are freaks about that, just send me a pm if you have any further questions since fish in cycle for some reasons seems to be a forbidden topic here.
     
  3. fatheadminnow

    fatheadminnow Member

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    Fish-in cycling is not by all means forbidden here! There are boat loads on cycling a tank, fish-in, and more accepted fishless!

    Here, MoneyMitch, you can read all about fish-in cycling in a pinned topic! http://www.fishforums.net/index.php?showtopic=224306

    And I really don't appreciate it when you use negative words to describe people on here and say stuff about how negative this forum is! If you don't like this forum, then leave, period! Start your own forum, I don't care! Just don't be negative to me and other people on here who find this forum a key in there fish keeping success and a piece of priceless info!

    FISH -IN CYCLING:

    The key with fish-in cycling is to not let your ammonia and/or nitrite level go above .25 ppm. Ammonia at or above .25 ppm will cause permanent gill damage to the fish. Also, nitrite at or above .25 ppm will cause permanent nerve damage to the fish. Nitrate is tolerable up to 20 ppm above you tap water nitrate level.

    You need to purchase a good liquid test kit to read your ammoina, nitrite and nitrate levels, accurately. Strip test kits are no good and inaccurate!

    Once you know your ammonia and nitrite levels, you can do water changes accordingly to keep them at or below .25 ppm.

    -FHM
     
  4. kelly528

    kelly528 Member

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    To be quite frank, fish-in cycles (aided by filter cloning) are the only way I've ever done it. With hardy fish (such as bettas, danios, etc) you shouldn't have any problems. Just be ready to jump in and do some w/c's if things start looking to cloudy and bear in mind that anything 'germy' from previous tanks will speed things up considerably.
     
  5. GuppyGoddess

    GuppyGoddess Member

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    Fatheadminnow - okay, thanks. I'm using the API ammonia kits (never have used test strips) and it's so hard for me to tell the difference between .25 and .50. After the five minutes is up, I've been pouring the contents into my sink because it provides a white background. The ammonia appears to be about .50, but never is anything like 1 ppm + or anything extreme like that.

    Re: the nitrite. Here's the deal, I've NEVER ever had nitrite in *any* of my tanks. Even in my 3-gallon when I had three guppies (yes, you read that right - three of the little guys) there was no nitrite. At one point, I had nothing at all. . .no ammonia, nitrite or nitrate. The pet shop girl couldn't interpret the results. Later I had to treat them with Levamisole and syphoned the gravel and now the ammonia is back. . .still no nitrite.

    Back to the ammonia. . .if I do a water change in the morning and then test the water in the afternoon, and it still has ammonia, I do a second w/c that day, right?
     
  6. fatheadminnow

    fatheadminnow Member

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    Yes, that is right. You want to try to get your ammonia down near 0 ppm as close as possible. So, do a water change and wait for about an hour. This will ensure that your new water has mixed with your tank water, so you will get an accurate reading of ammonia. *IF* nitrite shows, and it should, then just do the same here as with ammonia, keep it as close to 0 ppm as possible.

    Do you have an API nitrite test kit as well? I guess if you never had a nitrite spike, you are lucky! :lol: How long have you had your tank up, that you never had a nitrite spike? Because it could take up to 4 weeks, if not longer, for nitrite to show up in extreme cases.

    -FHM
     
  7. GuppyGoddess

    GuppyGoddess Member

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    Kelly - I tried to get filter media but the closest on the donator list is still a couple days away (if we did expedited shipping). . .I'm also SO paranoid about other media having bad bacteria or fungus of some sort in it that I've attempted to keep all my tanks seperate with different equipment (syphons and cups to fill tanks), so I hesitate to use any media from another tank. My guppies had (or may still have) camallanus and that was only after a short time - a month or so - of fish keeping and talk about stress. I treated the tank but still watch them daily for any signs. One is super skinny and the other is a huge and either extremely healthy or about to burst from some sort of parasite so something possibly is going on.

    I wish it was easier to keep fish, but then I watch "Planet Earth," and am reminded that even in nature, fish die. It's harder when it's a pet, but it's part of the cycle, you know?
     
  8. MoneyMitch

    MoneyMitch Member

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    funny because another post about cycle and i mention fish in cycle and 500 people rush in to flame it. inconsistency is high here, aside from that talk about some negative comments look at what you just said. i took that as a negitive comment and per forum rules isnt accepted here. Please play nice~
     
  9. GuppyGoddess

    GuppyGoddess Member

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    Yes, I have the Nitrite API kit too.

    The guppy tank was set up on July 12 and I tossed two guppies in the next day (lol). . .yet, no nitrite after three months. The pet store gal said that possibly due to the tank being so small, the nitrite stage was skipped - but that makes no sense since nitrate didn't show up either (or am I missing something?). That tank is the 3-gallon Eclipse with the Biowheel.

    The betta tank was set up on around Sept 5-7th (would have to check my calendar) and still has ammonia due to the rasboras, yet no nitrite. That is the 10-gallon with the Tetra Whisper.

    I would question the test kits accuracy had not the pet gal also said no nitrite.
     
  10. fatheadminnow

    fatheadminnow Member

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    Its not just these couple posts here that you have, but other as well that I have seen you write some things that are out right rude!

    The reason people, in general, are so against fish-in cycling is because it puts the fish in unnecessary risks, that could be easily avoided by just doing a fishless cycle.

    Now, I am personally not against fish-in cycling as I have fish-in cycled in the past, its just that fishless cycling is SO much easier and safer on the fish, and that is why I would recommend it over fish-in cycling any day.

    I am not here in any way shape or form to TELL you what to do, or other people for that matter. I am simply here to give good advice! Sure, if someone asks how to start out a tank I will tell them about fishless cycling first, BECAUSE, it is easier on you, and safer on the fish.

    I, along with others, would GREATLY appreciate it if you would keep the negative stuff out, like "these people are freaks about that." or "first off you FAIL!" Yes, you said that! You said something earlier to me as well, and it was negative, fortunately a mod deleted that post!

    You need to be careful about what you say on this forum, it is not your run of the mill forum! People here actually care, and what you are doing will not fly for long, you'll see!

    Sorry to rant about this on this thread!


    Are you adding any water conditioner? If you are still seeing an ammonia spike and no nitrites or nitrates yet, then the tank may have not even started to cycle yet? Do you have any live plants? The nitrite stage could not be skipped at all, or else the nitrogen cycle would not exist. Either you have live plants that are using the ammonia and nitrate, or you are not cycled yet?

    -FHM
     
  11. GuppyGoddess

    GuppyGoddess Member

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    [/quote]

    Are you adding any water conditioner? If you are still seeing an ammonia spike and no nitrites or nitrates yet, then the tank may have not even started to cycle yet? Do you have any live plants? The nitrite stage could not be skipped at all, or else the nitrogen cycle would not exist. Either you have live plants that are using the ammonia and nitrate, or you are not cycled yet?

    -FHM
    [/quote]

    Only adding the dechlorinator. . .no conditioner that removes ammonia, etc.

    Maybe the 3-gallon isn't cycling because of the live plants. It's such a small tank and has four or five plants in it. What do I do? Get more fish to build ammonia? lol

    The 10-gallon has silk plants. I opted out of getting live plants for the larger tank because with the 3-gallon, the live plants resulted in a short-term snail invasion.
     
  12. fatheadminnow

    fatheadminnow Member

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    The dechlorinator is a water conditioner, so you are good there. :good:

    It is quit possible that the plants are using the ammonia, so that is just fine. As long as your plants are healthy and your ammonia and nitrite is at zero.

    -FHM
     
  13. arobinson1984

    arobinson1984 Member

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    I'm with FHM on this one and have had crossed words with moneymitch on another thread regarding cycling.

    Nobody is dead set against fish-in cycling, but there is not one single plus point about doing a fish-in cycle as apposed to a fishless.

    I'll change that, there is one plus point and that is not having to look at an empty tank, but why put fish at unneccessary risks simply due to your own selfishness of being impatient.

    There are plenty of people who do fish-in cycles, I myself have in the past before I knew about fishless but now fishless is an option then it's easier yourself and safer for fish, which should be the main priority, the fishes health!

    Andy
     
  14. fatheadminnow

    fatheadminnow Member

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    ^Thank you!^

    -FHM
     
  15. Gustavo

    Gustavo Member

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    Guppy: I did a 10 gallon fish-in with a male Betta. I found out that with only 1 fish the ammonia levels are never too high, unless you let it stay for weeks in the same water. I feed him 3 or 4 flakes a day and that seems to keep him happy. I check the water levels regularly, and I have done like a 50% water change every two weeks or so. I noticed that he likes to have a fake tree stump with java ferns on it, and I used a plastic bottle to divert the current from the filter to the sides, and looks like he likes that too. I keep the water temp. in his tank at around 80F. He doesn't like company, so he's the king of the tank right now.

    Good luck!

    Gus
     

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