slerhard1994

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Hey guys!

So I am brand new to all of this! I had some Betta fish when I was younger but honestly was too young to properly take care of them. Durning the quarantine, I decided to buy one. When I did, I set up the tank how most people would think it is okay to set up a Betta tank because this was all I knew when I was younger. After about two days the fish didn't look good at all, I was for sure she was going to die. I did alot of research and decided to get her a better tank with live plants and an environment that would be more healthy for her. I learned about the shock with temperatures and ammonia poisoning. I have been doing daily 30-50% water changes, depending on how the tanks looks and how she is acting. She has really been responding to this! The first few days she wouldn't eat, she LOVES eating now. She wants to eat more than she should. I have been keeping bags of hot water on the bowl to make sure the water temperature stays above 70, I know it should be closer to 78...but 70 is the best I can do until I get her in the new tank. Since it has been warm out, the water has been warming up a bit more on its own, I also keep her in the warmest room in my house.

So I am cycling her new tank, it has a heater, an LED light that isn't too bright and I put some plants in it, with some rocks I got in my front yard, that I washed extremely well. I started the cycle with fish food, I had some pretty good readings the first week, my ammonia was high and then I started getting some Nitrites and a smidge of Nitrates, then last week, which would have been the fourth week of my cycle. I had no ammonia and very high Nitrites with a small smidge of Nitrates. Then a few days ago, I had no ammonia, no nitrites and no Nitrates. I tried to put a bit more fish food in it about two days ago to see if maybe it was because I accidentally starved the bacteria with having no ammonia...which I would have been devastated about because I had completely forgot that the bacteria need the ammonia to keep thriving, I hadn't put any ammonia in since I started the cycle...I didn't do any water changes, only a super small one yesterday I don't know why I thought it would help, I guess I am freaking out a bit and trying anything I can. I put more fish food in yesterday and I tested the water again today and I am zero'd out on everything....but shouldn't there be ammonia from the fish food I have been putting in the past few days? Are there nitrates that aren't coming up on the test? I know the Nitrate test on the test kit has to be done very precisely and I honestly thought I was.....I am just freaking out at this point because I put alot of hard work into this and while I know my fish is okay because I have been taking very good care of her, I want to get her into her new home! She is glass surfing in the bowl and it breaks my heart. She looks forward to eating everyday because it is the most excitement she gets. I just want to get her in her new environment so she can enjoy it. Should I go to the fish store and get the bacteria to add to the tank? Is there bacteria in there and it isn't getting picked up on the test.

Please someone help me! Oh yeah by the way my baby's name is Stella and she is wonderful! She is red and purple and she is full of life now. I love her. She looks so healthy, I just really need to get her into her new home and I am also scared to put her in there and for her not to be able to adjust to the water. I know I have to pre adjust her, I have been doing it everytime I have to clean her gravel now but I am so nervous to put her in and for her to pass away, I would be devastated, I spent alot of time on making her healthy.
 

Tez_20

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Hello @slerhard1994 :hi: to the forum.

Firstly a tank can take from 4-8 weeks to cycle and you've had ammonia, then high nitrites besides nitrates which should occur in the cycle, you need a steady pH to keep your betta healthy, trying not to alter that as it can cause issues.

Also doing water changes helps but it seems like your tank might be coming to the end of it's cycle but you still need to leave it another week just to make sure before you add Stella.

What are your readings now?
 
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slerhard1994

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My PH was a 7.6 yesterday, today it read about a 7.2. I don't even know why I took water out yesterday, I knew it was a bad idea, I was just in panic mood when I had zero readings.

Yeah, I was doing some readings yesterday on the PH because I was a bit nervous that it was on the higher side and I was nervous as to why it was. I don't intend to add Stella until I at least have a decent Nitrate reading, even then I think i'll still be nervous because it will be a whole new environment for her and I want her to adapt well. She is doing so well right now and I am so nervous to mess that up.

However, I am also nervous because she doesn't have a top on her tank, I have been relying on the bags of water that warm the tank and with her getting more healthy, she is also getting a bit more spirit and I am nervous she might jump out of the tank at night.

Today, I have a 7.2 PH, No Ammonia, No Nitrite and No Nitrate-- I added food two days ago and I added a bit more today and will check the readings again tomorrow.

Thank you for responding, I really appreciate it alot
 

JuiceBox52

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Usually you have to add liquid ammonia to help with the cycle, the fish food wont do a whole lot right away.
If you have the tank set up I would move her over now and do a fish-in cycle. Its not ideal but she would have a constant temp and a lid :) with a fish in cycle you will just have to do a water change every time the ammonia rises above 0. The fish will provide the ammonia instead of the fish food
 

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Yup, you already have an ammonia source - the fish herself. I'd move her across because she's better in the tank with a filter and heater than she is in a bowl with bags of heated water. Just continue to do her daily water changes and check ammonia and nitrite.

BTW, I've successfully cycled 2 tanks with fish food. A few flakes won't cut it - you need a handful, suspended in the water in the foot of a pair of tights or stocking.
 
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slerhard1994

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Usually you have to add liquid ammonia to help with the cycle, the fish food wont do a whole lot right away.
If you have the tank set up I would move her over now and do a fish-in cycle. Its not ideal but she would have a constant temp and a lid :) with a fish in cycle you will just have to do a water change every time the ammonia rises above 0. The fish will provide the ammonia instead of the fish food
Thank you! I was thinking about moving her over by this weekend, I checked the levels again today and I am zero'd out on both Ammonia and Nitrite but it is still coming up zero'd out on Nitrates too and I put a decent amount of fish food in, the light is on and the heater is on so it should be working. I just don't know if the Nitrate's aren't showing up on the test for some reason but it seems to be working!
 
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slerhard1994

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Yup, you already have an ammonia source - the fish herself. I'd move her across because she's better in the tank with a filter and heater than she is in a bowl with bags of heated water. Just continue to do her daily water changes and check ammonia and nitrite.

BTW, I've successfully cycled 2 tanks with fish food. A few flakes won't cut it - you need a handful, suspended in the water in the foot of a pair of tights or stocking.
That make sense. I was putting ALOT of food in but it was getting all in the plants. I am so nervous to do a fish in cycle, I heard really bad things about it and I just got her health to a nearly perfect level. I was planning on moving her over by the weekend, given that the ammonia & Nitrite levels stay down. I am going to try though because I know the new tank is a better environment.
 

FishkeeperLinz

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That make sense. I was putting ALOT of food in but it was getting all in the plants. I am so nervous to do a fish in cycle, I heard really bad things about it and I just got her health to a nearly perfect level. I was planning on moving her over by the weekend, given that the ammonia & Nitrite levels stay down. I am going to try though because I know the new tank is a better environment.
Use Seachem Prime to keep the toxins away from her while the tank cycles and carry out the daily water changes like you have been doing. I believe you said you have live plants in the tank already? If so, they'll help by increasing the amount of dissolved oxygen in the tank and taking up some of the toxins.
 
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slerhard1994

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Use Seachem Prime to keep the toxins away from her while the tank cycles and carry out the daily water changes like you have been doing. I believe you said you have live plants in the tank already? If so, they'll help by increasing the amount of dissolved oxygen in the tank and taking up some of the toxins.
Yes thank you! I have been using that in her bowl with small amounts and in the tank as well, and yes I have a decent amount of plants. I tried to give her hiding spots with a small little cave and plants. I really appreciate it! I'm more or less concerned that there isn't enough healthy bacteria to maintain the tank when I put her in but I will give it a go, I will probably still wait till this weekend just to be sure! So with the PH is a 7.2 okay you think?
 

FishkeeperLinz

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Yes thank you! I have been using that in her bowl with small amounts and in the tank as well, and yes I have a decent amount of plants. I tried to give her hiding spots with a small little cave and plants. I really appreciate it! I'm more or less concerned that there isn't enough healthy bacteria to maintain the tank when I put her in but I will give it a go, I will probably still wait till this weekend just to be sure! So with the PH is a 7.2 okay you think?
There may not be enough bacteria to cover her bioload in the tank just yet, but she really is better off in there than in the bowl that she's in. Daily water changes and live plants to keep the toxin level down, a heater to keep the temp fairly constant, and a filter that's simultaneously increasing aeration and growing the bacteria needed to deal with her bioload. Versus a small, unfiltered bowl heated with heat packs that only manages to heat the bowl to the low 70s.

Waiting until the weekend won't achieve much. Either you'll see a spike in ammonia or nitrite which causes you to hesitate again, or there won't be and you've wasted 4 or 5 days. The only thing you'll be doing differently to what you're doing now, is testing the water.

7.2 is fine for bettas. What's your GH?
 
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slerhard1994

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There may not be enough bacteria to cover her bioload in the tank just yet, but she really is better off in there than in the bowl that she's in. Daily water changes and live plants to keep the toxin level down, a heater to keep the temp fairly constant, and a filter that's simultaneously increasing aeration and growing the bacteria needed to deal with her bioload. Versus a small, unfiltered bowl heated with heat packs that only manages to heat the bowl to the low 70s.

Waiting until the weekend won't achieve much. Either you'll see a spike in ammonia or nitrite which causes you to hesitate again, or there won't be and you've wasted 4 or 5 days. The only thing you'll be doing differently to what you're doing now, is testing the water.

7.2 is fine for bettas. What's your GH?
No I agree with you. I am just nervous but I al hopping for the best, I am brand new to this. While I really actually am enjoying it, I am just nervous to mess something up!

So forgive me, again ew to this. I just looked up GH and I am not sure that my test kit can measure for that, how would I measure that?
 

FishkeeperLinz

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No I agree with you. I am just nervous but I al hopping for the best, I am brand new to this. While I really actually am enjoying it, I am just nervous to mess something up!

So forgive me, again ew to this. I just looked up GH and I am not sure that my test kit can measure for that, how would I measure that?
There's nothing to forgive. :)

Your water company should have it on their website. You'll want the reading in ppm or dGH.
 

essjay

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Go to your water company's website and do a search for hardness. They will probably give it in some vague words, but hopefully they'll give some numbers as well, or a link to the numbers. You need a number and the unit of measurement as there are several they could use. Hardness is often not in the water quality report but in a separate section.

If you can't find it, tell us the name of the company and we'll have a look and see what we can find.
 

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