Betta Fish Water Parameters

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Ashlynn

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Hello!! I have had betta fish before but never have tested the water before (I know thats horrible to admit but I was in experienced and 13 year old me didn't have any money for one) Anyways I was wondering what the levels of a betta fish tank should be?? Are the levels in my pictures provided suitable for a betta fish?? Also some of these levels are hard to read what do you think they are??
 

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I see by the tests you did provided in the pictures that your tank is not cycled, because there is ammonia present and no nitrates at all.
You should always have 0/0/<20 in a cycled tank.

I see .25ppm of ammonia, no nitrites or nitrates though.
 
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Ashlynn

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Awwww man I really thought it was almost cycled. Thank you!! Also how do I get this to cycle properly it has been set up for a month or two now. I just had to remove almost all of the water because of perfume getting inside the tank..... Seems like nothing is going my way with this tank lol
 
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Ashlynn

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Hello! the other day I posted my API test results and someone informed me that the nitrates should not be 0. The thing is I do not know how to raise them. If anyone knows how please let me know
 

rainbowsprinkles

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Ashlynn said:
Hello! the other day I posted my API test results and someone informed me that the nitrates should not be 0. The thing is I do not know how to raise them. If anyone knows how please let me know
Nothing wrong with 0 nitrates imo if your ammonia and nitrites are 0. All my tanks have 0 or near 0 nitrates. Denitrifying bacteria in your substrate can cause nitrates to turn into n gas that leaves the tank as bubbles..
 

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In a very heavily planted tank that isn't heavily stocked the nitrates should be very low. My tanks usually have 0 or very close to 0 nitrates but they are very understocked and densely planted and I do small water changes twice a week. Honestly as long as you know your tank is cycled completely I wouldn't worry about it and your fish are probably going to be very happy
 

aquatickeeper

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If your tank is heavily planted and/or lightly stocked there's nothing wrong with having zero ppm nitrates. If your tank isn't heavily planted or lightly stocked and you have zero nitrates, then there could be something wrong with your cycle.
 

AquaticJ

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The only way you should have 0 nitrates is if your tank is heavily planted (not just heavily planted, but correctly planted to where you’ve created an entire ecosystem under water), or you’ve somehow managed to culture denitrifying bacteria, which are extremely hard and uncommon to get in home aquariums. This is because they’re anaerobic, so they need environments with virtually zero oxygen. One way people have done this is very very deep sand beds that are never stirred up or bothered. Even one Guppy in a 10 gallon tank will have nitrates. This is the end product of the nitrogen cycle. Another very popular reason is incorrect use of the test kit. If you don’t follow the nitrate test instructions exactly how it says, it won’t show nitrates. However, of ammonia and nitrite stay at zero too, I wouldn’t question it or care.
 

rainbowsprinkles

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AquaticJ said:
The only way you should have 0 nitrates is if your tank is heavily planted (not just heavily planted, but correctly planted to where you’ve created an entire ecosystem under water), or you’ve somehow managed to culture denitrifying bacteria, which are extremely hard and uncommon to get in home aquariums. This is because they’re anaerobic, so they need environments with virtually zero oxygen. One way people have done this is very very deep sand beds that are never stirred up or bothered. Even one Guppy in a 10 gallon tank will have nitrates. This is the end product of the nitrogen cycle. Another very popular reason is incorrect use of the test kit. If you don’t follow the nitrate test instructions exactly how it says, it won’t show nitrates. However, of ammonia and nitrite stay at zero too, I wouldn’t question it or care.
Not hard actually. Deep sand can work but isn’t needed. 2-3 inches of Gravel works too.. Reduce flow a bit. Don’t disturb all the gravel at once when cleaning.. Add a few basalt lava stones ( made for grills works). Organic carbon source like driftwood or leaves helps.. My tanks with few or no plants all have denitrifiers and 0-2.5 nitrates that are stable. Some heavily stocked.
 
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Vaughn said:
In a very heavily planted tank that isn't heavily stocked the nitrates should be very low. My tanks usually have 0 or very close to 0 nitrates but they are very understocked and densely planted and I do small water changes twice a week. Honestly as long as you know your tank is cycled completely I wouldn't worry about it and your fish are probably going to be very happy
thank you. My tank is all fake silk plants as I feel I may kill some innocent plants so maybe in the future I will actually try real ones lol

rainbowsprinkles said:
Not hard actually. Deep sand can work but isn’t needed. 2-3 inches of Gravel works too.. Reduce flow a bit. Don’t disturb all the gravel at once when cleaning.. Add a few basalt lava stones ( made for grills works). Organic carbon source like driftwood or leaves helps.. My tanks with few or no plants all have denitrifiers and 0-2.5 nitrates that are stable. Some heavily stocked.
thank you. I had gotten perfume in my tank after I forgot to take it completely off. (I havent had fish in a while so I am trying to get used to things again) so I had to do a 75% water change and stir up the gravel a lot to make sure I had gotten most of it. Ive still been doing little water changes every other day just in case any is remaining in the tank. I believe I have gotten it all out so hopefully the levels in the tank level out.
 

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Ashlynn said:
Hello! the other day I posted my API test results and someone informed me that the nitrates should not be 0. The thing is I do not know how to raise them. If anyone knows how please let me know
Hello Ashlynn...

If your tank is cycled properly, you'll have a trace of nitrate in the water. Even if you remove and replace the water regularly, the tap water will have some level of nitrate, unless you have some type of water filtering system. The level depends on your location. If you replace the water with reverse osmosis or distilled water and have your tank well planted with aquatic plants, you'll still have a trace of nitrate from the dissolving fish and plant waste material. This is how the nitrogen cycle works. Ammonia to nitrite, nitrite to nitrate. Check your testing equipment to make sure it isn't expired and review the steps for testing the water. I prefer the testing strips. They're much faster and easier to use and just as accurate as the liquids as long as the product hasn't expired.

Old
 
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oldsalt777 said:
Hello Ashlynn...

If your tank is cycled properly, you'll have a trace of nitrate in the water. Even if you remove and replace the water regularly, the tap water will have some level of nitrate, unless you have some type of water filtering system. The level depends on your location. If you replace the water with reverse osmosis or distilled water and have your tank well planted with aquatic plants, you'll still have a trace of nitrate from the dissolving fish and plant waste material. This is how the nitrogen cycle works. Ammonia to nitrite, nitrite to nitrate. Check your testing equipment to make sure it isn't expired and review the steps for testing the water. I prefer the testing strips. They're much faster and easier to use and just as accurate as the liquids as long as the product hasn't expired.

Old
Thank you. I will retest my water when I get home. My testing kit is brand new I bout it almost a week ago
 

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I dont have testable levels of nitrates in my water, nor my tank. While I am definitely under stocked and my plant biomass is high, its also about many other things. The growth rate of plants overall is a bigger key to nitrate reduction than the overall amount of plants. The faster they grow, the higher the uptake of nitrate.

I also have a metric ton of ceramic media in my filter. This, over time, does allow anaerobic bacteria to build inside the pores where they do not contact oxygenated water in a high enough volume to harm them. We had a pretty lengthy sidetracked thread about the fact that it is a nitrogen cycle, not a nitrogen 3 step process. Once you have cultivated enough anaerobic bacteria, you have to find a new way to know when to change water, since your nitrate will read undetectable except when dosing fertilizer. I blame the overfiltration mentality on the primary reason many people do not in fact get any appreciable amount of anaerobic bacteria growing. We have turned the recommended 10x tank water per hour water flow, into a 10x per hour filter flow, which is honestly ridiculous for most applications. Pumps moving water through filters that fast dont allow anaerobic bacteria to do their jobs. Its one of the reasons canisters should be 6x, and sumps can be 4x and still be quite effective. As long as the overall tank volume turnover is 10x, through the use of circulation pumps and powerheads, the turnover per hour in the actual filter can be as low as 2x in a moderately stocked tank, and you will see a reduction of nitrates climbing eventually.

TLR Its entirely possible you have accidentally created a good colony of anaerobic bacteria. But just in case, ensure you are beating nitrate test bottle #2 like a red headed step child that killed your dog and owes you money. Mine always has dents from banging it on the counter for 60 seconds. Do bear in mind, if you do this and have a decent amount if nitrates show up, you likely need to get a new nitrate test kit, as you have now changed the amounts of precurser percentage in the solution.
 
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Wraithen said:
I dont have testable levels of nitrates in my water, nor my tank. While I am definitely under stocked and my plant biomass is high, its also about many other things. The growth rate of plants overall is a bigger key to nitrate reduction than the overall amount of plants. The faster they grow, the higher the uptake of nitrate.

I also have a metric ton of ceramic media in my filter. This, over time, does allow anaerobic bacteria to build inside the pores where they do not contact oxygenated water in a high enough volume to harm them. We had a pretty lengthy sidetracked thread about the fact that it is a nitrogen cycle, not a nitrogen 3 step process. Once you have cultivated enough anaerobic bacteria, you have to find a new way to know when to change water, since your nitrate will read undetectable except when dosing fertilizer. I blame the overfiltration mentality on the primary reason many people do not in fact get any appreciable amount of anaerobic bacteria growing. We have turned the recommended 10x tank water per hour water flow, into a 10x per hour filter flow, which is honestly ridiculous for most applications. Pumps moving water through filters that fast dont allow anaerobic bacteria to do their jobs. Its one of the reasons canisters should be 6x, and sumps can be 4x and still be quite effective. As long as the overall tank volume turnover is 10x, through the use of circulation pumps and powerheads, the turnover per hour in the actual filter can be as low as 2x in a moderately stocked tank, and you will see a reduction of nitrates climbing eventually.

TLR Its entirely possible you have accidentally created a good colony of anaerobic bacteria. But just in case, ensure you are beating nitrate test bottle #2 like a red headed step child that killed your dog and owes you money. Mine always has dents from banging it on the counter for 60 seconds. Do bear in mind, if you do this and have a decent amount if nitrates show up, you likely need to get a new nitrate test kit, as you have now changed the amounts of precurser percentage in the solution.
Thank you! I have actually just bought my kit and have only used it twice
 

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Ashlynn said:
Thank you! I have actually just bought my kit and have only used it twice
Then if you beat it and see nitrates we have found the culprit, and your test kit is still fine. If it still shows 0, then we have discovered that you have a true nitrogen cycle, not a 3 step version of it.
 
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Wraithen said:
Then if you beat it and see nitrates we have found the culprit, and your test kit is still fine. If it still shows 0, then we have discovered that you have a true nitrogen cycle, not a 3 step version of it.
So then I'm ready to have fish?? If so awesome!!!!
 

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Ashlynn said:
So then I'm ready to have fish?? If so awesome!!!!
Wait, so you don't have fish in your tank yet? Have you been adding some ammonia source for a fishless cycle? If not, then the reason your nitrates are at 0 is because your tank is not cycled.
 
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I've been adding ammonia
 

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For how long, how often, And how much?
 
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