Cycling a betta tank

Discussion in 'Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle' started by Kimaera, Jun 27, 2016.

  1. Kimaera

    KimaeraNew MemberMember

    I'm on day 7 of a fishless cycle. (No nitrites yet), but I was wondering- If the tank is only going to house one fish (and about 2 small plants) is it still necessary to bring the ammonia up higher than 2ppm to start? I'm using the fish food method so that obviously makes my control over ammonia levels a tad more difficult.

    2.5 gal tank, sponge filter, heater, gravel, no fish

    ammonia- 2, nitrites- 0, nitrate- 0, P.H.- 7.6, temp- 81*

    ~Thanks
     
  2. peregrine

    peregrineValued MemberMember

    First. Welcome to the forums.

    Using the fish food method can take quite a long time to get the beneficial bacteria to get going. However no nitrates almost sounds like none are there. Are you using TSS or Stability to add beneficial bacteria?
     
  3. OP
    OP
    Kimaera

    KimaeraNew MemberMember

    Thank you for the welcome :)

    The only thing I used were Prime and API Stress Zyme during the initial filling of the tank.

    edit* Just tested again and my ammonia is still on the rise, now it's a bit over a 2 (maybe 2.5ppm) and still no nitrite. It's only day 8, but I really hope to see some nitrites and nitrates soon.
     




    Last edited: Jun 28, 2016
  4. peregrine

    peregrineValued MemberMember

    I would also redose with stress zyme for the full tank amount. Haven't used that so not sure of it's exact instructions. I know Seachem Prime has a 7 day regiment when you start a tank. Read the instructions should say how many days to do it.

    ((Edit removed the part about prime. Wow I need more coffee))
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2016
  5. Aquaphobia

    AquaphobiaFishlore LegendMember

    If there's no fish in the tank then I wouldn't worry about adding any chemicals to make it safe for them;)

    I might remove a bit of the fish food with a turkey baster though to try to control how high it rises. Too high (I think about 4ppm) and your BB can be harmed.
     




  6. OP
    OP
    Kimaera

    KimaeraNew MemberMember

    I love the turkey baster idea and will definitely be doing that! I've tried to keep all the fish food in a mesh fishnet, but there have been plenty pellets that have escaped on me.
     
  7. CindiL

    CindiLFishlore LegendMember

    Hi, welcome to fishlore :;hi1

    Stress zyme doesn't contain the bacteria that you need to help finish your cycle. It contains bacteria (heterotrophic) that break down organics like fish food etc. That is probably why you are seeing a fast ammonia reading, which is good.

    I'd pick up a bottle of Tetra Safe Start Plus or Seachem Stability and put the whole bottle into your tank (of either) which will speed the cycle up for you.
     
  8. CindiL

    CindiLFishlore LegendMember

    Sometimes adding prime when you have a higher ph will help the cycle move along because it puts the ammonia into an ammonium form.

    This is important because I have read through a bunch of studies recently that show both ammonia and nitrites, even at low amounts are inhibiting to the growth of the bacteria. More and more I think lower ammonia to cycle will be faster than high and using a binder like prime will help (except in cases of TSS+).

    In an email with Seachem they confirmed this also (that its better to have ammonium than ammonia for the bacteria).
     
  9. Aquaphobia

    AquaphobiaFishlore LegendMember

    That's very interesting, thanks CindiL!
     
  10. OP
    OP
    Kimaera

    KimaeraNew MemberMember

    So just to update-
    Day 12
    PH-7.8, temp- 82*, ammonia- 3.5.
    I removed the net full of fish food. I'm guessing now I just wait for ammonia levels to go down (?) The nitrite still gave me a 0 and I didn't bother testing for nitrate yet.

    I was also wondering if/when I should add plants to the tank during the cycle. (I would have to turn the temp down maybe 2 or 3 degrees.) I have a marimo ball and an anubias in a wide mouth jar waiting to go in. I read conflicting information online about adding plants during fishless cycling and wanted to hear other's opinions on it.
     
  11. CindiL

    CindiLFishlore LegendMember

    You can definitely add plants while cycling, they will consume the ammonia also but there will be plenty for the bacteria.

    Yes now wait for it to drop. Actually I would change enough water to get the ammonia back down to 2.0.

    Did you end up picking up some Stability or Tetra Safe Start Plus?
     
  12. OP
    OP
    Kimaera

    KimaeraNew MemberMember

    I am going to grab some TSS over the weekend. It seems to be the product I hear everyone mentioning that they use during tank cycling. Just to clarify, it's beneficial to add it even though it's a fishless cycle?
     
  13. CindiL

    CindiLFishlore LegendMember

    Yep, the bacteria doesn't care if their ammonia source is coming from fish or a bottle :). but they do care if the the ammonia is too high as it will inhibit their growth. So make sure to get it down to 2.0 or under first.
     
  14. OP
    OP
    Kimaera

    KimaeraNew MemberMember

    Awesome, thanks! This has been a great help.
     
  15. jhigg008

    jhigg008Well Known MemberMember

    Quick question about this - dont you need to put at least something to dechlorinate because wouldnt that kill any bacteria that is beginning to grow? Does stress zyme dechlorinate?
     
  16. Aquaphobia

    AquaphobiaFishlore LegendMember

    Good point!
     
  17. jhigg008

    jhigg008Well Known MemberMember

    Well I dont have those often! Someone archive this thread for posterity!! Lol.
     
  18. Aquaphobia

    AquaphobiaFishlore LegendMember

  19. CindiL

    CindiLFishlore LegendMember

    Ha ha, just assumed you knew to do that :;laughing
     
  20. OP
    OP
    Kimaera

    KimaeraNew MemberMember

    Update*

    Day 13 I did about 20% water change, didn't touch the gravel and siphoned away from the sponge filter. At the time my ammonia reading was almost at 4ppm. Added new water that had been treated with Prime.

    24 hours later (today) I added the TSS+, but I have an ammonia reading of a solid 1ppm! **face plant** I guess I didn't account for all the evaporation and water samples that had been removed from the tank and I diluted the ammonia too much. I also added my plants during the pwc.

    Nitrate and nitrite are still 0.

    Should I throw a towel over the tank and pretend it doesn't exist or add a pinch of fish food?
     




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