Building Tank Today. Last-minute Advice?

Georgie Girl

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I'm putting together my Betta tank. It's five gallons. I have a sponge filter and a thermometer and a tiny heater (I'll make sure it works fine before introducing Boris/Fishy Fish to his home). Since I bought what I guess can be called a rescue fish (he's in sad shape), he needs his tank right away, so I'll be doing a fish-in cycle.

Any advice you can offer is welcome. I have been reading the beginner articles, too.

Thanks!
 

Dakotablue

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Fish-in cycling can be pretty stressful to the fish. The little guy really wants a cycled tank.

But if that isn't an option at all there are lots of resources here and experts too. How are you planning to do the fish-in cycle?
 

Lorekeeper

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If you can, get some Seachem Prime and some Seachem Stability. Those two products got me through my fish-in betta cycle without any hitches.

Prime is a water conditioner, and will also make ammonia less toxic to your fish. Stability will introduce BB into your tank, so your cycle completes a bit quicker.

While I'll agree with Dakotablue above, an uncycled 5 gallon will be thousands of times better than his little cup is. I wouldn't wait.

If you don't have an API test kit, I'd get one ASAP. That'll let you know how your cycle is progressing, and when to do water changes. Ideally, you'll want to do a water change when ammonia or nitrite gets to 1 PPM, or nitrate gets to 20-40 PPM.

If you can't afford a test kit, I'd recommend dosing Prime daily, and then doing a 30-50% WC every day. That should keep everything at relatively safe levels.

Finally... don't be afraid to ask questions! So many of us started right where you are now. You'll learn the quickest by just owning your questions and going for it.

Good luck, and I'll be following!
 

Dakotablue

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+1 on getting him out of that little cup asap! It always makes me so sad to see em in those. Great advice above from Lorekeeper.

Good luck and welcome to the forum!
 
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Georgie Girl

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But if that isn't an option at all there are lots of resources here and experts too. How are you planning to do the fish-in cycle?
Hi, Dakotablue. I know it can be very stressful, but right now he's in a one-gallon terrarium. Best I could do to get him out of the cup. But I think - and again, I welcome your opinion - that getting him in the tank is better than keeping him in the terrarium.

As to how I plan to do it? By following the instructions I read here. I've only read through them a couple of times, but I've printed them, and I'm sure I'll refer to them every day. I plan to keep them next to Fishy Fish's tank.

If you can, get some Seachem Prime and some Seachem Stability. Those two products got me through my fish-in betta cycle without any hitches.
Thanks for all, Lorekeeper. No worries; I'm a big one for questions.

I have API Quick Start and Stress Coat. Are they acceptable alternatives? If not, can you tell me while Seachem is better, please? I did get an API test kit. (I remember my college chem teacher: "Chemistry is our friend." Sadly, that's all I remember about chem class. Well, that and the baby-food jar full of mercury in the lab.)
 
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Georgie Girl

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I have a five-gallon tank for my new Betta, Boris Karloff aka Fishy Fish. I got him a sponge filter as the one that came with the aquarium package would've caused a lot of turbulence. I got a Tetra pump, rated for 10 gallons.

I'm doing *something* wrong... The filter gives off just a couple of small bubbles every 30-45 seconds (I timed it).

What is wrong? I asked The Guy at Tong's Tropical Fish (my favorite LFS), and he suggested putting the air pump higher than the tank. What do you think of this advice? No matter; it didn't change anything.

Could I have put the check valve into the hose the wrong way? Unfortunately, I recycled the package already, and don't remember where the arrow is supposed to point.

Is the sponge just too much for this pump? I have the smallest filter I could find.

What could it be? I surely appreciate your suggestions and advice.
 

leftswerve

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I have a five-gallon tank for my new Betta, Boris Karloff aka Fishy Fish. I got him a sponge filter as the one that came with the aquarium package would've caused a lot of turbulence. I got a Tetra pump, rated for 10 gallons.

I'm doing *something* wrong... The filter gives off just a couple of small bubbles every 30-45 seconds (I timed it).

What is wrong? I asked The Guy at Tong's Tropical Fish (my favorite LFS), and he suggested putting the air pump higher than the tank. What do you think of this advice? No matter; it didn't change anything.

Could I have put the check valve into the hose the wrong way? Unfortunately, I recycled the package already, and don't remember where the arrow is supposed to point.

Is the sponge just too much for this pump? I have the smallest filter I could find.

What could it be? I surely appreciate your suggestions and advice.
I would investigate the check valve first.
 

bitseriously

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Even without knowing which way the check valve goes, can't you just switch which end goes which way and see if that fixes the problem?
Have you checked for kinks in the hose lines?
Have you confirmed the air pump is working with nothing attached to it (with the hose removed from the air pump, can you feel air pumping out of the outlet)?
What happens if you pull the hose off the air pump and blow into it with your mouth, to confirm if the filter is working, ie it's not blocked or plugged)?
How much hose (length) are you running between the air pump and the filter (anything less than 3ft is fine and can't be the source of your problem, but if you're running 10 or 20ft that could be an issue)?
P.S. when setting up air pumps/tubing/airstones/sponge filters, I always fit everything loosely to test it out. If something isn't working, or needs to be changed/tweaked, I can then pull hoses from nozzles easily. When it's all checked out and running the way I want, I push the hoses onto the nozzles/connectors/valves as tight as they can go.
 

yukondog

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The arrow on the check valve shows the direction of air flow, have you tried running the line without the check valve? I have gotten bad check valves before.
 

ParrotCichlid

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You definitely don't have to put the air pump higher than the tank, that is ridiculous.

Its either the value or the pump. I would guess the valve, try it the other way around as people here have advised.
 
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