New Betta Tank Water Quality Questions

Resolute

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Hi all!
I am new to the hobby and this is my first ever set-up.
I have him in a 5 gallon heated tank with live plants and I used some Fluval Cycle to help jumpstart the cycling process. I have had the tank set up for 2 weeks and have had the betta in for 5 days now, today I tested the water and had the following readings:
Ammonia: 2.o ppm
Nitrite: 0 ppm
Nitrate: 20ppm
pH: 8.2

I did a 50% water change directly following the tests.

How do these water conditions look so far and how should I continue forward with my water changes?

Finally, at my house, we have well water with a water softener. I have been using water that bypasses the softener thus far but the pH reading is really high, I did a test of some of our softened water and the pH was exactly 7, should I keep using hard water or switch to the soft water?

Thanks a ton!
 

DutchAquarium

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Firstly, for the next time, make sure you cycle your aquarium first before you get fish. Ammonia at 2.0 is toxic and you should do a water change. Maybe infest in some ammonia detox. These chemicals aren't the best for the aquarium, but 2.o ammonia isn't either. As for the Ph. Don't worry about this. Ph only gets dangerous when levels begin going up and down. Just keep them stable. All my bettas including wild species are at a 7.6 ph and are doing fine and breeding.
 

ToCkSiC

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Fairly new myself but I'm pretty sure you don't ever want your water hitting 1ppm or more ammonia whilst fish are in the tank. Ammonia is highly toxic so keeping under 1ppm is something you should be striving for.

You want to be using a product called Prime, (pretty certain everyone would recommend this, it's what I have been told to get myself) from what I understand you use/dose with prime every 24 hours to keep ammonia/nitrite levels under 1ppm and then if it starts spiking higher you will want to do a water change.

The prime protects your fish from levels under 1ppm ammonia/nitrite from what I understand, but you still want to be doing water tests daily.

Like I said I'm very new to this myself but this is just what I've picked up so far, I could be very much wrong and so I would wait until someone a little more knowledgeable than me comments.

I'll edit this if I completely in the wrong lol
 

DutchAquarium

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ToCkSiC said:
Fairly new myself but I'm pretty sure you don't ever want your water hitting 1ppm or more ammonia whilst fish are in the tank. Ammonia is highly toxic so keeping under 1ppm is something you should be striving for.

You want to be using a product called Prime, (pretty certain everyone would recommend this, it's what I have been told to get myself) from what I understand you use/dose with prime every 24 hours to keep ammonia/nitrite levels under 1ppm and then if it starts spiking higher you will want to do a water change.

The prime protects your fish from levels under 1ppm ammonia/nitrite from what I understand, but you still want to be doing water tests daily.

Like I said I'm very new to this myself but this is just what I've picked up so far, I could be very much wrong and so I would wait until someone a little more knowledgeable than me comments.

I'll edit this if I completely in the wrong lol

Everything you said is just about right. The only thing is that ammonia should be at 0 and not just below 1.0.
 

ToCkSiC

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DutchAquarium said:
Everything you said is just about right. The only thing is that ammonia should be at 0 and not just below 1.0.
Agreed, I was going to put that but because of the cycling I thought the ammonia would be fluctuating quite a lot, so might be tough to control.

But yes OP zero is the golden number
 
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