Beta Tank Ammonia

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Nsantitoro

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There is currently one betta in the tank. WIll doing a water change start over the cycle? I’m also worried that the bacteria in stability will start to die off because there is no ammonia for it to feed on.
 

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There is currently one betta in the tank. WIll doing a water change start over the cycle? I’m also worried that the bacteria in stability will start to die off because there is no ammonia for it to feed on.
The bacteria doesn't live in the water so water changes will not be removing it. Your Betta is constantly adding ammonia to the tank so water changes will not be removing all of it. The health of your Betta is more important than getting the tank cycled so water changes should be done before there is enough ammonia in there to even get a reading. If you do get a reading it is time to do a water change.

When I cycled my last tank doing a fish in cycle I did enough water changes to keep a zero reading for ammonia. I know the ammonia was there because the tank finished its cycle.
 
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I added some more stability tonight, so I will check it tomorrow. If the reading is the same tomorrow I’ll definitely do a water change.

I also added seachem prime to detoxify the ammonia. If the reading is there tomorrow, I’ll do a water change.
 
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bettaboy92

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Remember small amounts of ammonia is GOOD as its a sign of a cycled tank to much is a sign of the tank cyclying to high a stocking level or over feedin and no ammonia is a sign that there has been no cycle. Anything over .30ppm-.40ppm is something to be worried about but if its under .25ppm-.20ppm depending on tank size and fish speices is usually ok
 

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Please research the nitrogen cycle! You should be doing water changes daily or at least every few days! Simply adding some prime and stability won't remove ammonia. Your fish will probably get ammonia burns if you remove the ammonia!
 

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Remember small amounts of ammonia is GOOD as its a sign of a cycled tank to much is a sign of the tank cyclying to high a stocking level or over feedin and no ammonia is a sign that there has been no cycle. Anything over .30ppm-.40ppm is something to be worried about but if its under .25ppm-.20ppm depending on tank size and fish speices is usually ok
I am sorry but I really have to disagree with this. A cycled tank should not register any ammonia.

I also added seachem prime to detoxify the ammonia. If the reading is there tomorrow, I’ll do a water change.
Since you have Prime you can hold off on the water change and let the Stability do its job. As long as the ammonia is less than one Prime will protect your fish for 24 hours. If the ammonia goes up to one or above do a water change to get it back below one and again add Prime to neutralize what is left.
 

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There's a bunch of good advice in this thread and one that I think is REALLY bad. A cycled tank shouldnt show ANY ammonia at all. Thats the whole point of being "cycled". There is enough beneficial bacteria in the filter to convert all ammonia to nitrates instantly. A cycled tank should NEVER show ANY ammonia, period.

The smallest amounts of ammonia are very bad for your fishes overall health. You need to do a water change and continue monitoring the parameters while your tank is cycling. When cycling a tank with fish you might need to do 90% water changes daily to keep levels safe for your fish. Thats the most important aspect of a fish-in cycle.
 
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Since you have Prime you can hold off on the water change and let the Stability do its job. As long as the ammonia is less than one Prime will protect your fish for 24 hours. If the ammonia goes up to one or above do a water change to get it back below one and again add Prime to neutralize what is left.
A follow up and clarification.. I missed the fact that you are using Stability to help this cycle along. I have never used it nor ever read the instructions for using it. I have read that it can be used in conjunction with Prime. Prime will protect your little guy from the damaging affects of ammonia as long as the level is kept low. Even if the ammonia never goes above one you should do your water changes at the very least every 3rd or 4th day.
 
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I did a water test today and the ammonia is actually at .25. Yesterday it was about half as bad, but today the color really matches the .25 on the chart. I was thinking about doing a 40 percent water change and adding another dose of stability. Does this sound like a normal thing to do?
 

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I did a water test today and the ammonia is actually at .25. Yesterday it was about half as bad, but today the color really matches the .25 on the chart. I was thinking about doing a 40 percent water change and adding another dose of stability. Does this sound like a normal thing to do?
It is a good idea if it has been more than a couple of days since your last water change.

Have you run the tests for PH, nitrites and nitrates? If you have and can post those numbers we will have a better idea as to where you are in your cycle.
 

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And remember, if youre at .25ppm and change 50% of the water (and your source water has no ammonia) this ONLY lowers the ammonia to .12ppm. Some people get confused on the math and dont think it through. Ive seen posts say things like, "My nitrates are at 100ppm, I changed 20% but its still not going down!". Well it did, but only to 80ppm, which isnt a noticeable difference from 100ppm.
 
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My nitrites are at 0 and I haven’t tested my nitrates, but I image they are also at 0 because the tank isn’t that old and there are no nitrites. This is the first sign of ammonia I have ever seen in the tank.
 

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My nitrites are at 0 and I haven’t tested my nitrates, but I image they are also at 0 because the tank isn’t that old and there are no nitrites. This is the first sign of ammonia I have ever seen in the tank.
It sounds like your cycle is just starting. As long as you keep the ammonia down as close to zero as you can the tank will eventually cycle. Stability is bacteria in a bottle but it will still take some time to complete the cycle. Water changes to keep the ammonia down and Prime to neutralize the low amounts of ammonia left after the water changes will protect you water pet.
 
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Yesterday the ammonia read .25 again, so today I did a water change. When I did the water change I noticed that the top of the water was oily. I don’t know what could have caused this. maybe the ammonia? I’m also wondering if stability is a good product since my cycle hasn’t shown any signs that it has started. I’m considering either adding another bacteria product, or squeezing the sponge in my cycled tank in some water, and putting some of it into the tank to cycle it, since I’ve seen this done with good results.
 

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@Nsantitoro , the method you described with the sponge from the cycled tank should help. It certainly won't hurt the situation.

Sometimes a problem with smaller tanks , like a 5 gallon, is the filter on them is small and the disposable cartridges they use have little area for the colonization of beneficial bacteria.

What happens when the cartridge becomes too dirty to be able to clean and it needs to be replaced? That beneficial bacteria that started to colonize on it just got discarded.

If I can make a recommendation, try adding some sponge foam material into the betta tank's filter.

That way, the sponge is re-usable and a quick swish in a container of tank water is all it needs to stay clean, while effectively keeping all the beneficial bacteria and not throwing it away like what happens with cartridges.

Do you have a small gravel siphon vac to clean the substrate when doing water changes. Any excess uneaten food and fish waste will accumulate and contribute to the ammonia.

By the way, it looks like you are doing a good job at getting your betta tank healthy and pointed in the right direction!

Anyone can throw a fish into a bowl, but it takes some real effort to do it right!

Hardest part is having patience and the continuous monitoring while a tank is cycling. But the reward of a cycled tank justifies the effort.
 
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