Help! Ammonia not rising / Water cloudy

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I have a 5 gallon tank with 1 Betta fish in it and 3 small live plants, and 2 moss balls. It's been exactly 2 weeks since I bought the tank, 76 degrees, PH Level is usually between 7 and 7.4. I was doing daily water changes but ammonia was pretty much always at 0. Now I've been doing every other day water changes and ammonia is at .25ppm. 2 days ago I notice the tank is a little more cloudy. Which I saw is caused by bacterial bloom. It's been 2 weeks and I still don't have any nitrites or nitrates present. I also noticed a little fuzz on the plants and on the moss balls.

I dropped some aquarium salt in tonight, 1st time doing that and read it could help. Is there anything else I should be doing? Fish is doing great. Very active, swims at bottom and top of tank. Seems content.
 

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ArtFish

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Hey, yup thats the bacteria bloom which almost always happens. The tanks can take around 6 weeks to fully cycle and from my experience, the cloudiness will last between a week-month (i had a larger tank and took a few weeks so im assuming the larger tank it would take more time idk)
Try to feed your betta minimum to lessen the ammonia build-up. I see you have a filter so I would recommend not touch that for a while because that's where beneficial bacteria like to stay. So this is all normal but can be dangerous if your ammonia keeps rising and nitrate stays zero that's not so good, you should see ammonia going down as nitrates go up a little (not too much).
Just keeps an eye on everything with everyday water testing. I have not much idea to what the white stuff on plants is other than fungus but i only have had fungus on fish and driftwood so not sure. hope i made since lol
 

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One other thing, the filter I would recommend to move to the side so the water flow isn't all over the tank and the betta has some room with less flow, and fill the tank with water a little more.
 

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Nice tank. You will have fun with this and don't be surprised if you get the bug to have more tanks.

I see that you indicate you are not familiar with cycling a tank. If that is not correct please excuse all this but wanted to provide as much information as I could to help you.

Here is a link to a write up on this site about cycling a tank:
Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle

Please read this as it will give you the basics on what a cycle is and how to perform a cycle to your tank.

Figure out what you don't understand and ask questions. Many folks can help.

Here is a real basic summary of what goes on during the nitrification process:

The nitrogen cycle is the 1st and most basic thing that MUST be done with any tank. The process is pretty straight forward. How you do this will depend on if it is a fishless or fish in process.

What you need to understand is that fish waste, plant matter, excess food and such in a tank will produce ammonia. Ammonia is the 1st part of the nitrification process and the ammonia is food for one type of beneficial bacteria. This bacteria produces nitrites. Nitrites are food for the 2nd beneficial bacteria needed. This bacteria produces nitrates which is what we all look for in the nitrification process.

How long it takes this process varies and cannot be predicted. Every tank is different.

So how do you proceed? You need to have something in the tank that will produce ammonia. You have fish, they will be a source. You can also overfeed a small amount to add more waste to produce the ammonia. You want to have an ammonia level of 0.5ppm. When it rises to 1.0ppm do water changes to get it down. You only want to do water changes if your ammonia or nitrites reach the above levels and you need to correct.

Monitor the water parameters until you see nitrites starting to rise. This could take a while with fish in the tank. You want nitrites to stay below 0.5ppm. Both ammonia and nitrites when added together should not exceed 1.0ppm. Water changes will be needed to keep the levels down.

Monitor your water until you see nitrates starting to rise. This will tell you the process is working and you are well on your way to completing the cycle. You will want to see both ammonia and nitrites go to zero and have a nitrates reading. When you have zero ammonia and nitrites with detectable nitrates for more than 24 hours your cycle is completing.

Once you reach this point, do a large water change and your tank cycle is complete.

During this process your PH may swing. This is normal. You want the PH to stay above 6.5. If you have to, do water changes to keep it steady for the health of your fish. If you are doing fishless don't worry about PH unless it dips below 6.5.

Monitor your fish for any stress. You may need to do more water changes if they are. What do you use to treat your water when doing water changes - Prime? Prime is a great product for water changes as it also can be used to make ammonia safe in a tank. Treating the tank with Prime for ammonia will make is safe for 48 hours for ammonia levels up to 1.0ppm.

I'm not sure but it looks like a bacteria bloom on your plants and moss ball. Most likely part of the nitrogen cycle. If it is then it should clear up in a week or two. Monitor it and if it looks like the plants are stressing/damaged, let us know.

Another thing is you filter media. NEVER clean it or replace it during the cycle process. After the cycle completes, wash it in old tank water to get out any junk collected. Many will tell you not to wash it under the sink as it will kill all your beneficial bacteria (BB).

I think I covered a lot here. If I missed anything, I'll edit this. Let me know if you have any questions.

EDIT #1: What type lighting are you using and how long do your run your lights. Asking in case this is an algae issue. We can investigate this further if needed.
 
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I updated my profile, I am familiar with the nitrogen cycle but this is my first time doing it. I have LED lighting. Are ammonia levels not getting high enough because I am doing water changes too frequently?
 

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Bflags said:
I updated my profile, I am familiar with the nitrogen cycle but this is my first time doing it. I have LED lighting. Are ammonia levels not getting high enough because I am doing water changes too frequently?
Most likely. That is why I said to only do water change if the ammonia/nitrites reach the high points listed above.

It also could be that there is nothing there to generate ammonia. You need to add something to generate ammonia. Either ammonia or fish food.

EDIT: With fish in tank - I would just overfeed a small amount to help generate ammonia to push the cycle along.
 
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Ok, perfect. Thanks for your help.
 

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Keep posting updates. I'll help in anyway I can. Don't stress, your tank will get there. No idea when as all tanks cycle differently.
 
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Thank you. Ill keep you posted.
 
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Jim - Hoping you can help. Ammonia still at 0-.25. Haven't done a water change in only a week. Again, I only have the 1 Betta in there so the amount of waste being produced is low. Any suggestions to help increase it?
 

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Bflags said:
Jim - Hoping you can help. Ammonia still at 0-.25. Haven't done a water change in only a week. Again, I only have the 1 Betta in there so the amount of waste being produced is low. Any suggestions to help increase it?
There is no need to increase the ammonia level. As long as the ammonia stays this low just change out half the water each week. With just one little fish in the tank there won't be a lot of ammonia produced. That is a good thing. A cycle removes ammonia. Water changes remove ammonia. The tank will eventually grow enough bacteria to process all the ammonia first to nitrites and then to nitrates even if you don't watch it happening. If I were you I wouldn't stress over a complete cycle and would just enjoy my little water pet. Watch the ammonia level and if it stays where it is your little guy shouldn't be harmed.

In my humble opinion there is way too much stress put on cycling a tank. Cycling is important but with just one fish in this size tank the water changes can do what a full cycle will do.
 
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Thank you, that makes me feel better!
 

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mattgirl is calling this right. I should have been more alert that this was a single fish tank. Too use to dealing with a tank that has more stock. Forgive me if I stressed you.

I wish you lots of fun and enjoyment with your new hobby.
 

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