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New Member
Jan 8, 2022
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Derbyshire England
So I recently decided to try Keeping tropical fish. Last Saturday I set up my tank (it’s a 48lt tank) and the lady at pets at home said if I used a bioactive tapsafe plus product I could actually get fish the next day. I was a little sceptical as I had read you must cycle the tank for a few weeks but my partner was all the more excited! Low and behold Sunday I tested my parameters- too early to see anything yet i know! But it all looked good. We got 2 betta female to start to get my filter going. In the week I noticed the ‘cloudy bacterial bloom’ and I also added some water from my friends fish tank she’s had established for 5+ years (tropical also). The last 3 days my water had gone back clear and the fish seem happy. So a week on I’ve tested my parameters again and they are okay according to the levels on the packaging I got. Please see below.
Ammonia= 0

Since it’s been a week I’m just wondering how much of a water change I should do today as i’ve read a mixed amount and if I need to ‘clean’ my filter out or just do the water change. I’m hoping someone more experienced would be able to read my parameters and let me know!

Any other useful advice would be greatly appreciated!

TIA x ( I’ve attached a photo of my tank for people who want to see :) )


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You have let a want cover up the necessities... One rule I've learned here is to NEVER listen to a pet store unless you have had a good year of true facts they have said... You have put your fish in a position of where they may or may not live... Fish NEED a stable enviorment to live in, you cant add a miricle product and add fish the next day... But, mistakes happen and you cant take a decision back but what you need to do is anytime you see ammonia or nitrites rise do a large 75% water change and keep doing this until you stop seeing a any rise in ammonia. I had a betta tank once... Store said to have it set up for 3 days and then come back... So I did, betta died in less than a month
You need to test every day and do a water change whenever ammonia and/or nitrite are above zero. Your test results show nitrite of 0.5 so you need to do water change asap.

And a warning - the bettas may be OK for now but once they've settled in there could well be trouble. With female bettas the general rule of thumb is -
2 - one will attack the other
3 - two will gang up on one

There must be at least 4 females, with more being better. But long term, a betta sorority (group of females) needs constant monitoring as things can turn bad very quickly. To be honest with you, betta sororities are not a good idea for a newcomer to the hobby and I would take them back, then cycle your tank before getting fish more suitable.
A 48 litre tank is too small for a sorority as well. With your GH, your best bet is a shoal of small tetras; a species which grows to no more than 1 inch/2.5 cm. Or one - yes one - betta.

And never ever listen to a shop worker. Most of them are trained in how to sound convincing to make a sale and not in fish care. And Pets at Home have a terrible reputation. If you can find another shop I'd go there instead. If you tell us which county you are in, other members will be able to suggest shops to try.
I would do, at least, a 75% water change right away. Do this daily after testing if there is any ammonia or nitrite. This is while you decide what to do going forward. The two previous posters have given some good advice, and I would work based off of that. Your best bet is returning both fish and continuing your cycle. If you are dead set on having a fish right at this moment, return at least one of the bettas and be prepared for your remaining one to possibly die. If you keep them both in this tank you have 6 months tops before one tries to go after the other.
Going forward you should do a large water change every week (if your tank is cycled).

If you can get sand or gravel from your friends tank that would be better, as the water hold very little, if any, of the beneficial bacteria required to break down ammonia and nitrite. That is mostly contained on the substrate and onjects in the tank, as well as in the filter. Do not rinse or clean your filter for the first 6 weeks as the beneficial bacteria builds up in there.
Another thing to note... You said you took some of your friends water to put in your tank... The water isnt what holds beneficial bacteria, its stuff like filter media and the substrate

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