Newbie - help! stalled cycle?

BeardieMama
Member
Hey all ‍♀

Please bare with me while I write this long post.

I'm currently trying to cycle a 15g Fluval Flex:

5th April

Ammonia - 0
Nitrites - 0
Nitrites - 0

Added 7.5mls Seachem Stability
Added 10 drops Ammonium Chloride


6th April

Ammonia -1
Nitrites - 0
Nitrites - 0

Added 5mls Seachem Stability
Added 10 drops Ammonium Chloride - this brought the ammonia up to 2ppm


7th April

Ammonia -1.5
Nitrites - 0.2
Nitrites - 0

Added 5mls Seachem Stability
Added 5 drops Ammonium Chloride - this brought the ammonia back up to 2ppm
ALSO added was some seeded manky filter wool from a friends cycled tank


8th April

Ammonia -2
Nitrites - 0.5
Nitrites -2

Added 5mls Seachem Stability
Added in some seeded bio media from another friends tank


9th April

Ammonia -0.5-1
Nitrites - 0
Nitrites -5

Added 10mls Seachem Stability
Added 7 drops Ammonium Chloride - this brought the ammonia back to 2ppm


10th April

Ammonia -1
Nitrites - 0
Nitrites -5

Added 7.5mls Seachem Stability


11th April

Ammonia - 0.25
Nitrites - 0
Nitrites -8

Added 10mls Seachem Stability


12th April

Ammonia - 0
Nitrites - 0
Nitrites -10

Added 10mls Seachem Stability
Added 10 drops Ammonium Chloride - this brought the ammonia to 1ppm


13th April

Ammonia - 0.5
Nitrites - 0
Nitrites -10

Added 10mls Seachem Stability
Added 15 drops Ammonium Chloride - this brought the ammonia back to 2ppm

(this night I had an issue, the table tank was on broke, so I had to take water out, move tank to stable table, then I put the water I removed, back in)


14th April

Ammonia -1
Nitrites - 0
Nitrites -10

Added 10mls Seachem Stability


Which brings me to today -15th April

Ammonia -1
Nitrites - 0
Nitrites -10

Added 5mls Seachem Stability
Added 1.5mls Seachem Prime

What has caused the stall of processing ammonia? Was it my moving the tank? If so why did it process ammonia the night after the tank shift but not last night?

ANY help is GREATLY appreciated. I'm totally about to throw in the towel

This tank was meant to be for my 12yr olds birthday back in Feb - she wants a Betta
 
GuppyGal7
Member
2ppm of ammonia is good for cycling a tank because it'll give you far more beneficial bacteria than you need. If I were you, I wouldn't add anymore ammonia, wait for it to reach 0 and add your Betta. A Betta will produce significantly less ammonia than what you're adding. You're tank is cycled to the point it can handle a Betta. Add him or her in once the ammonia is 0 and I'm sure it will stay at 0, especially in a 15G.

How am I so sure? A fishkeeping YouTuber called Girl Talks Fish tested a mature sponge filter in an uncycled tank by adding 2ppm of ammonia. The tank took 2 weeks to reach 0 despite the filter being mature. You only need so much BB. I'm sure your tank is cycled.
 
AggressiveAquatics
Member
It sounds like your on the right track. Just keep adding ammonia once it goes to zero and eventually you’ll see nitrites meaning your tank is almost done cycling but it can take around 2-3 weeks in the cycling process before you see any. Once they get to zero and your tank reads 0 ammonia 0 nitrites and some nitrates your good to add your betta. Seeing your cycle has only been going on for 10 days it’s still pretty early
 
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BeardieMama
Member
Karena007 said:
2ppm of ammonia is good for cycling a tank because it'll give you far more beneficial bacteria than you need. If I were you, I wouldn't add anymore ammonia, wait for it to reach 0 and add your Betta. A Betta will produce significantly less ammonia than what you're adding. You're tank is cycled to the point it can handle a Betta. Add him or her in once the ammonia is 0 and I'm sure it will stay at 0, especially in a 15G.

How am I so sure? A fishkeeping YouTuber called Girl Talks Fish tested a mature sponge filter in an uncycled tank by adding 2ppm of ammonia. The tank took 2 weeks to reach 0 despite the filter being mature. You only need so much BB. I'm sure your tank is cycled.
Thank you, that is what I assumed, that the 2ppm would have built up a bigger load than what's required for a single Betta, eventually though i would like to add a couple of otocinclus to help keep algae at bay. My reasoning for this is I have had to baffle the filter somewhat so its not as strong for the betta, but I have added in a small air stone also to help with oxygen, but im getting brown algae already.

I am also a little confused as to why the cycle stopped processing 1ppm ammonia overnight as it did a few days into the cycle, even after the tank move it processed that, but not this last night?
AggressiveAquatics said:
It sounds like your on the right track. Just keep adding ammonia once it goes to zero and eventually you’ll see nitrites meaning your tank is almost done cycling but it can take around 2-3 weeks in the cycling process before you see any. Once they get to zero and your tank reads 0 ammonia 0 nitrites and some nitrates your good to add your betta. Seeing your cycle has only been going on for 10 days it’s still pretty early

I did see Nitrites starting then I put in the media from an established tank and it took care of the nitrites immediately, they were gone again the next day.

This is the 2nd time I have tried to cycle this tank, it seemed to stall the first time, so I restarted by just dosing up to 2ppm again which is the first day of this round of cycling (IFKWIM?)
Karena007 said:
2ppm of ammonia is good for cycling a tank because it'll give you far more beneficial bacteria than you need. If I were you, I wouldn't add anymore ammonia, wait for it to reach 0 and add your Betta. A Betta will produce significantly less ammonia than what you're adding. You're tank is cycled to the point it can handle a Betta. Add him or her in once the ammonia is 0 and I'm sure it will stay at 0, especially in a 15G.

How am I so sure? A fishkeeping YouTuber called Girl Talks Fish tested a mature sponge filter in an uncycled tank by adding 2ppm of ammonia. The tank took 2 weeks to reach 0 despite the filter being mature. You only need so much BB. I'm sure your tank is cycled.
Is this the video you are talking about?

(8) How to Instantly Cycle a Fish Tank | Part 3 Cycling Experiments - YouTube

Very interesting!!
 
mattgirl
Member
Welcome to Fishlore

What is the pH level in this tank? Quite often the cycling process can cause the level to drop. If it does it can slow the process down to a crawl.
 
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BeardieMama
Member
mattgirl said:
Welcome to Fishlore

What is the pH level in this tank? Quite often the cycling process can cause the level to drop. If it does it can slow the process down to a crawl.
Its around 6.8 - however i will go double check. EDIT: YUP definitely 6.8 (tap water is 7.2)
Would me doing the tank move (taking out the water, moving the tank, putting the original water back in) have damaged the cycle?
 
mattgirl
Member
BeardieMama said:
Its around 6.8 - however i will go double check. EDIT: YUP definitely 6.8 (tap water is 7.2)
Would me doing the tank move (taking out the water, moving the tank, putting the original water back in) have damaged the cycle?
I would like to see the pH constantly up to 7 but 6.8 should be fine. Is the water in the tank the same water you started this cycle with? If it is I will recommend you go ahead and do a 50% water change. It will not only raise the pH but will also replace the minerals that can be depleted during the cycling process.

It could have set it back a little bit if the glass dried out during the move. Bacteria is growing on everything in our tanks and can die if allowed to dry out. Just give it time and it will catch back up.
 
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BeardieMama
Member
mattgirl said:
I would like to see the pH constantly up to 7 but 6.8 should be fine. Is the water in the tank the same water you started this cycle with? If it is I will recommend you go ahead and do a 50% water change. It will not only raise the pH but will also replace the minerals that can be depleted during the cycling process.

It could have set it back a little bit if the glass dried out during the move. Bacteria is growing on everything in our tanks and can die if allowed to dry out. Just give it time and it will catch back up.
Yes its the same water. Yerp the glass dried out too, however i made sure the filter media was sat in the tank water the whole time.

Right off to do a 50% water change. Should I add anymore ammonia after the water change?

NOTE: Here in New Zealand we have very soft water, i tested the KH and it was only 2dkh
 
mattgirl
Member
BeardieMama said:
Yes its the same water. Yerp the glass dried out too, however i made sure the filter media was sat in the tank water the whole time.
Keeping the media in tank water was a very smart thing to do. You will have lost some bacteria on the glass but as I said it should be replaced quickly.

Right off to do a 50% water change. Should I add anymore ammonia after the water change?
Right just make sure you temp match and add your water conditioner to the fresh water before pouring it back in there. Yes, go ahead and add ammonia after the water change.
We want to keep the bacteria fed.

NOTE: Here in New Zealand we have very soft water, i tested the KH and it was only 2dkh
You may want to consider running crushed coral in your filter. It will very slowly dissolve, raise your kh level an in turn keep your pH up to the level of your tap water.
 
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BeardieMama
Member
mattgirl said:
Keeping the media in tank water was a very smart thing to do. You will have lost some bacteria on the glass but as I said it should be replaced quickly.


Right just make sure you temp match and add your water conditioner to the fresh water before pouring it back in there. Yes, go ahead and add ammonia after the water change.
We want to keep the bacteria fed.


You may want to consider running crushed coral in your filter. It will very slowly dissolve, raise your kh level an in turn keep your pH up to the level of your tap water.

Dose to what ppm ammonia?
Does the temp of the water matter ATM when I don't have a fish in there?
I have Seachem Prime to condition the water
I will look into getting some crushed coral this week

Thanks so much for all your help, loving this forum
 
mattgirl
Member
BeardieMama said:
Dose to what ppm ammonia?
Does the temp of the water matter ATM when I don't have a fish in there?
I have Seachem Prime to condition the water
I will look into getting some crushed coral this week

Thanks so much for all your help, loving this forum
Since this tank is being cycled for just a Betta 1ppm ammonia should grow plenty of bacteria to handle his/her small bio-load. If you don't plan on adding any other fish right away there is no need to grow an excess amount of bacteria.

I may be overly cautious but I consider bacteria to be a living thing so always recommend temp matching even though there are no fish yet.

When doing a fishless cycle I don't normally recommend Prime since we don't need the ammonia detoxed. It isn't going to hurt to use it though.

When you get the CC put some in a media bag and put it in your filter. If you can get the chunks (I prefer them) a big handful should be enough to begin with. If all you can get is something like arogonite (coral ground to almost the texture of sand) add about 1/2 cup of it to a fine netted media bag.

you are very welcome. I am always happy to help when ever I can.
 
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BeardieMama
Member
mattgirl said:
Since this tank is being cycled for just a Betta 1ppm ammonia should grow plenty of bacteria to handle his/her small bio-load. If you don't plan on adding any other fish right away there is no need to grow an excess amount of bacteria.

I may be overly cautious but I consider bacteria to be a living thing so always recommend temp matching even though there are no fish yet.

When doing a fishless cycle I don't normally recommend Prime since we don't need the ammonia detoxed. It isn't going to hurt to use it though.

When you get the CC put some in a media bag and put it in your filter. If you can get the chunks (I prefer them) a big handful should be enough to begin with. If all you can get is something like arogonite (coral ground to almost the texture of sand) add about 1/2 cup of it to a fine netted media bag.

you are very welcome. I am always happy to help when ever I can.
I do plan on adding couple of Otos at some stage but the Betta will be sole occupant for a wee while.

That makes sense re the bacteria being a living thing, i will make sure i temp match with the water change - though might be hard because i generally siphon the new water from buckets where i add the prime so the time it takes to get into the tank might cool it down somewhat....

I heard not adding Prime, the Chlorine (have i got that right?) in the water can kill off the bacteria? Hence my using prime from the get go.

Could i add the coral in the mesh bag into same chamber the pump and heater is in? or would this be risky because of the bag potentially touching the heater?
 
mattgirl
Member
BeardieMama said:
I do plan on adding couple of Otos at some stage but the Betta will be sole occupant for a wee while.
Since it is going to be a while before adding more fish the excess bacteria will die off due to lack of food. If you plan on adding them within a few weeks go ahead and get the ammonia up to 1.5 or even 2ppm after the water change and again each time it goes back down to zero or very close to zero. Don't add it any more often that every 24 hours though.

That makes sense re the bacteria being a living thing, i will make sure i temp match with the water change - though might be hard because i generally siphon the new water from buckets where i add the prime so the time it takes to get into the tank might cool it down somewhat....
the temp doesn't need to be exact. Close will be good enough. We just wouldn't want to add 60 degree water to a tank that is normally over 70.

I heard not adding Prime, the Chlorine (have i got that right?) in the water can kill off the bacteria? Hence my using prime from the get go.
You definately want to add a water conditioner to remove chlorine/chloramines. I just meant you don't have to use Prime. It can be any of the many water conditioners. I don't think the fact that Prime detoxes the ammonia will hurt the cycling process. Bacteria can still process detoxed ammonia. We just don't need that feature when fishless cycling.

Could i add the coral in the mesh bag into same chamber the pump and heater is in? or would this be risky because of the bag potentially touching the heater?
Having the media bag up against a heater might not be the best thing to do but having the CC in the filter is the best place to have it. I've never used a filter with a heater in it so am not sure how I would situate the media bag. I feel sure you will be able to find a way. If not then try to situate it in the tank where water is running over and through it.
 
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BeardieMama
Member
mattgirl said:
Since it is going to be a while before adding more fish the excess bacteria will die off due to lack of food. If you plan on adding them within a few weeks go ahead and get the ammonia up to 1.5 or even 2ppm after the water change and again each time it goes back down to zero or very close to zero. Don't add it any more often that every 24 hours though.


the temp doesn't need to be exact. Close will be good enough. We just wouldn't want to add 60 degree water to a tank that is normally over 70.


You definately want to add a water conditioner to remove chlorine/chloramines. I just meant you don't have to use Prime. It can be any of the many water conditioners. I don't think the fact that Prime detoxes the ammonia will hurt the cycling process. Bacteria can still process detoxed ammonia. We just don't need that feature when fishless cycling.


Having the media bag up against a heater might not be the best thing to do but having the CC in the filter is the best place to have it. I've never used a filter with a heater in it so am not sure how I would situate the media bag. I feel sure you will be able to find a way. If not then try to situate it in the tank where water is running over and through it.

I guess we going to have to put off getting the Betta this weekend darn it lol

So do i redose the ammonia when it gets close to zero or can i redose it up to the 1.5ppm-2ppm (whichever i choose to go with) daily? Or do you recommend i wait until its processed a chuck of it before redosing?

If you look at the setup of the fluval flex filter you will get a better idea of how the filter works, I will post a pic.

I have in the right chamber the sponge and some filter wool, in the middle chamber i have seachem matric and some other bio media, and in the left chamber is the pump and heater, i do have a small bag of carbon in that chamber as well but on the side the pump is not close to the heater - hope you understand my bad explanation
 
mattgirl
Member
I would let the ammonia get down to or very close to zero each time before adding more.

I would remove the carbon and put the CC in its place. We really don't need to run carbon in our filters unless we are removing medications. I've not run any in my filters for years.
 
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BeardieMama
Member
ok one last question (for now haha ) , I have slimy yellow stuff all over the pump outlet pipe, is this normal?
 
mattgirl
Member
Since you added seeded media just getting the pH up with the CC may really help speed this cycle up. Normally even when adding stability it isn't unusual for it to take at least a month to cycle a tank. The seeded media should shorten that amount of time.
BeardieMama said:
ok one last question (for now haha ) , I have slimy yellow stuff all over the pump outlet pipe, is this normal?
It isn't unusual for us to see some kinds of strange stuff in our tanks while cycling them. Some folks see brown stuff, others clear and in this case yours is yellow. As long as your filter is still working well I would just leave it be. Once we are sure the cycle is done you can clean it off. For now we don't want to disturb the bacteria any more than necessary.
 
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BeardieMama
Member
Just performed the 50% water change

Here's my readings - if I'm reading them right.... (have attached pics)

PH - 6.8 (still) (pretty sure my tap is actually 7.0, not 7.2 as previously stated)
Ammonia - 0.5ppm
Nitrite - 0ppm
Nitrate - 5ppm

Temp is around 28c - I do plan to drop this to 26 once it’s ready for the Betta

As a side note I also have Detritus Worms and have done for several days now
 
mattgirl
Member
I know I am a few hours late in reading this. Hopefully within a few hours you saw the ammonia drop even lower than this.
 
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BeardieMama
Member
mattgirl said:
I know I am a few hours late in reading this. Hopefully within a few hours you saw the ammonia drop even lower than this.
Those reading changes were purely just from the water change.
I upped the Ammonia to 1ppm so will test in 24 hours to see what the ammonia is doing.
Ya need a heap of patience when cycling aye? Haha something I have very minimal of LOL
mattgirl said:
I know I am a few hours late in reading this. Hopefully within a few hours you saw the ammonia drop even lower than this.
Am i reading the readings correctly? I have terrible eyesight so its hard for me to get it accurately.
 
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BeardieMama
Member
mattgirl said:
Welcome to Fishlore

What is the pH level in this tank? Quite often the cycling process can cause the level to drop. If it does it can slow the process down to a crawl.
Hi again. So I have searched for crushed coral and can only find this one thing which I have to order, is this the correct one and will it matter exactly when I add it to the filter? Also will I have to keep adjusting the PH, I heard it’s better to have a stable PH than it is to have to manipulate it all the time


 
GuppyGal7
Member
BeardieMama said:
Thank you, that is what I assumed, that the 2ppm would have built up a bigger load than what's required for a single Betta, eventually though i would like to add a couple of otocinclus to help keep algae at bay.
The initial cycle is the hardest part. Once your beneficial bacteria has had time to mature it will be able to catch up to any new inhabitants. Adding a couple of ottos (provided you give the filter time, I'd wait at least a month so the tank is more stable) may result in a very small ammonia spike but you don't need to do any preparation in my opinion. Mystery and nerite snails are also great algae eater tankmates.
 
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BeardieMama
Member
Karena007 said:
The initial cycle is the hardest part. Once your beneficial bacteria has had time to mature it will be able to catch up to any new inhabitants. Adding a couple of ottos (provided you give the filter time, I'd wait at least a month so the tank is more stable) may result in a very small ammonia spike but you don't need to do any preparation in my opinion. Mystery and nerite snails are also great algae eater tankmates.
I tested my parameters again just now (20hours after the water change and after taking the Ammonia back to 1ppm, and its only processed half of that ammonia (0.5ppm) in that time, still zero nitrites and about 5-7ppm of nitrates.
So its definitely cycling just not to the point I want it to be, Kadee (my daughter) really wants her Betta this weekend, I'm hoping that the ammonia drops to 0 by tomorrow and that its safe enough to add her Betta, with such a small bio load all i should really have to do is keep an eye on the Ammonia levels for any spike right?
 
GuppyGal7
Member
BeardieMama said:
I tested my parameters again just now (20hours after the water change and after taking the Ammonia back to 1ppm, and its only processed half of that ammonia (0.5ppm) in that time, still zero nitrites and about 5-7ppm of nitrates.
So its definitely cycling just not to the point I want it to be, Kadee (my daughter) really wants her Betta this weekend, I'm hoping that the ammonia drops to 0 by tomorrow and that its safe enough to add her Betta, with such a small bio load all i should really have to do is keep an eye on the Ammonia levels for any spike right?
Yup, once your ammonia reaches 0 it would be safe to add a betta. Test your water over the next few days and if everything's good, you can assume everything will be fine. I also recommend not cleaning the filter for at least 2 months to start with. Usually you should clean it every month, although honestly, with such a light bioload I don't think you'd need to, but I'd leave your filter alone for 2-3 months since the bacteria is still new so a rinse will affect it much more, we don't want to restart the cycle. When it comes to maintenance, gently rinse the media in tank water.
If your water parameters are good after 2-3 weeks, I'd say it's safe to add a few snails if you'd like. I'd wait a month before adding the ottos but I see no harm if you don't quite wait that long as long as you test your water religiously.
Got any particular type of betta in mind? I'm sure your tank will be fine and your betta will be very happy. Trust me, as someone who's first fish was a betta in a 16G, you'll be amazed at how happy they are to have all that space. Since they're raised in cups, they haven't experience 15 gallons possible all their lives. Your betta will be very happy.

Edit: Ohh, PS, a common problem with the API test kit is the ammonia test will often show 0.25ppm when the tank is actually at 0. Based on your current progress, your tank should be at 0 within 1-2 days. If you're readings are 0.25ppm or less for over 24 hours (48 if you're extra paranoid), I think it's safe to assume they're at 0.
 
mattgirl
Member
BeardieMama said:
Hi again. So I have searched for crushed coral and can only find this one thing which I have to order, is this the correct one and will it matter exactly when I add it to the filter? Also will I have to keep adjusting the PH, I heard it’s better to have a stable PH than it is to have to manipulate it all the time


Ouch, this seems awfully expensive to me but yes, it is basically what I use and am talking about. The crushed coral will only raise and stabilize the pH up to about the same level of your tap water. You really aren't chasing a specific number. You are just stabilizing it. I have very soft water. the CC keeps my tank at a constant 7.2 Even though this does sound expensive it will last for a very long time. You will just have to add a bit more from time to time. Check the pH from time to time and add more as needed. I just have to do it a couple of times a year.
BeardieMama said:
I tested my parameters again just now (20hours after the water change and after taking the Ammonia back to 1ppm, and its only processed half of that ammonia (0.5ppm) in that time, still zero nitrites and about 5-7ppm of nitrates.
So its definitely cycling just not to the point I want it to be, Kadee (my daughter) really wants her Betta this weekend, I'm hoping that the ammonia drops to 0 by tomorrow and that its safe enough to add her Betta, with such a small bio load all i should really have to do is keep an eye on the Ammonia levels for any spike right?
Since you are just going to be having a Betta in this size tank you may want to just water change out the ammonia and go ahead and put your little guy or girl in there. This one little fish shouldn't produce enough ammonia to cause an issue.

But without the water change the ammonia has dropped down to or very close to zero by the weekend I do think it will be safe to get Kadee her water pet.
 
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BeardieMama
Member
Karena007 said:
Yup, once your ammonia reaches 0 it would be safe to add a betta. Test your water over the next few days and if everything's good, you can assume everything will be fine. I also recommend not cleaning the filter for at least 2 months to start with. Usually you should clean it every month, although honestly, with such a light bioload I don't think you'd need to, but I'd leave your filter alone for 2-3 months since the bacteria is still new so a rinse will affect it much more, we don't want to restart the cycle. When it comes to maintenance, gently rinse the media in tank water.
If your water parameters are good after 2-3 weeks, I'd say it's safe to add a few snails if you'd like. I'd wait a month before adding the ottos but I see no harm if you don't quite wait that long as long as you test your water religiously.
Got any particular type of betta in mind? I'm sure your tank will be fine and your betta will be very happy. Trust me, as someone who's first fish was a betta in a 16G, you'll be amazed at how happy they are to have all that space. Since they're raised in cups, they haven't experience 15 gallons possible all their lives. Your betta will be very happy.

Edit: Ohh, PS, a common problem with the API test kit is the ammonia test will often show 0.25ppm when the tank is actually at 0. Based on your current progress, your tank should be at 0 within 1-2 days. If you're readings are 0.25ppm or less for over 24 hours (48 if you're extra paranoid), I think it's safe to assume they're at 0.
Yes i use my tap water as a reference since we have no ammonia in it, so when its getting close to those numbers i do both tank and tap to help determine the reading better haha

Kadee loves the halfmoons and crowntails, she definitely wants a male lol
ATM we only have fake silk plants but I intend to move to live plants soon and some driftwood. Too scared to add driftwood atm since my PH keeps dropping during the cycling. I will post a pic of the tank in a minute, i have a feeling its too "busy" in there oops.
 
GuppyGal7
Member
BeardieMama said:
Hi again. So I have searched for crushed coral and can only find this one thing which I have to order, is this the correct one and will it matter exactly when I add it to the filter? Also will I have to keep adjusting the PH, I heard it’s better to have a stable PH than it is to have to manipulate it all the time
I wouldn't bother. PH altering is only necessary if the fish you want to keep can't live in your natural pH. Bettas can live in a very wide range of pH, and yes, you're right, they prefer a stable pH. For a betta, even if you're pH was outside of the ideal range, I'd still recommend leaving it then bothering to change it. They can adapt very easily, and constant changing will stress not only your betta, but likely you too. Besides, your pH is ideal for bettas already.
 
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BeardieMama
Member
mattgirl said:
Ouch, this seems awfully expensive to me but yes, it is basically what I use and am talking about. The crushed coral will only raise and stabilize the pH up to about the same level of your tap water. You really aren't chasing a specific number. You are just stabilizing it. I have very soft water. the CC keeps my tank at a constant 7.2 Even though this does sound expensive it will last for a very long time. You will just have to add a bit more from time to time. Check the pH from time to time and add more as needed. I just have to do it a couple of times a year.

Since you are just going to be having a Betta in this size tank you may want to just water change out the ammonia and go ahead and put your little guy or girl in there. This one little fish shouldn't produce enough ammonia to cause an issue.

But without the water change the ammonia has dropped down to or very close to zero by the weekend I do think it will be safe to get Kadee her water pet.
EVERYTHING in NZ is expensive unless its lamb or beef for humans haha.
You are all amazing, thanks so much for everyone's input, I seeked advice from FB pages and got so many conflicting opinions which is what messed up my first cycle attempt.
 
GuppyGal7
Member
BeardieMama said:
Yes i use my tap water as a reference since we have no ammonia in it, so when its getting close to those numbers i do both tank and tap to help determine the reading better haha

Kadee loves the halfmoons and crowntails, she definitely wants a male lol
ATM we only have fake silk plants but I intend to move to live plants soon and some driftwood. Too scared to add driftwood atm since my PH keeps dropping during the cycling. I will post a pic of the tank in a minute, i have a feeling its too "busy" in there oops.
Aha, that's completely fine. Just make sure you have a substrate you'd like to grow plants in. Driftwood and plants can very easily be added whenever. I'd love to see a picture! Also, halfmoons and crowntails are gorgeous! I would try to find a local breeder if I were you, they're usually healthier and live longer. Then again, rescuing a pet store betta and giving it good space and water for the first time in it's life in an incredible feeling. It's all up to you.

BeardieMama said:
EVERYTHING in NZ is expensive unless its lamb or beef for humans haha.
You are all amazing, thanks so much for everyone's input, I seeked advice from FB pages and got so many conflicting opinions which is what messed up my first cycle attempt.
As an Aussie I relate. Also, yes, unfortunately you will always receive conflicting opinions. Different people have different experiences and advice. But don't worry, every time you mess up you'll learn something new. That's how we all improve. I'm sure you've learnt a lot about cycling. We can't improve if we never make mistakes.
 
  • Thread Starter
BeardieMama
Member
Yes there’s one Aquarium shop here that also imports amazing breeders and breeds his own, also means they are young when sold so not sold one that’s already past half its life span (I’m all for rescuing, I rescue bearded dragons, however I’d love for Kadee to have as long a time as she can get with her new fishy friend) ❣
 
mattgirl
Member
BeardieMama said:
EVERYTHING in NZ is expensive unless its lamb or beef for humans haha.
You are all amazing, thanks so much for everyone's input, I seeked advice from FB pages and got so many conflicting opinions which is what messed up my first cycle attempt.
I just googled 4.5 kg and it is about 10 pounds so this isn't quite as expensive as I first thought.

I am very glad you came to us. We will try our best to give you a straight answer. Of course even here there are differing opinions.

Edited to add: beef here is getting more expensive every day
 
GuppyGal7
Member
BeardieMama said:
Yes there’s one Aquarium shop here that also imports amazing breeders and breeds his own, also means they are young when sold so not sold one that’s already past half its life span (I’m all for rescuing, I rescue bearded dragons, however I’d love for Kadee to have as long a time as she can get with her new fishy friend) ❣
Ahhh, look's stunning!!! You've done everything right with your setup, I'm sure very soon you'll have a happy healthy betta. Please post pics when you get him.
 
AggressiveAquatics
Member
BeardieMama said:
Yes there’s one Aquarium shop here that also imports amazing breeders and breeds his own, also means they are young when sold so not sold one that’s already past half its life span (I’m all for rescuing, I rescue bearded dragons, however I’d love for Kadee to have as long a time as she can get with her new fishy friend) ❣
Looks great! My only word of advice is dont get a veil tale or the ones with the huge fins. You could if you wanted but bettas don’t have large fins like that in the wild and the big fins can cause swimming issues and you’ll have a lazier bettas that doesn’t swim as much and just rests. And dragon bettas also called samurai bettas are prone to diamond eye meaning their scales can grow over their eyes and blind them. If you want an energetic betta with none of the health risks others have I’d recommend plakat bettas. Just a friendly reminder but feel free to pick whatever type you want.
 
GuppyGal7
Member
AggressiveAquatics said:
Looks great! My only word of advice is dont get a veil tale or the ones with the huge fins. You could if you wanted but bettas don’t have large fins like that in the wild and the big fins can cause swimming issues and you’ll have a lazier bettas that doesn’t swim as much and just rests. And dragon bettas also called samurai bettas are prone to diamond eye meaning their scales can grow over their eyes and blind them. If you want an energetic betta with none of the health risks others have I’d recommend plakat bettas. Just a friendly reminder but feel free to pick whatever type you want.
I'd also like to add some varieties like rosetails actually bite their tails because they're so heavy and uncomfortable, which puts them at risk for infections and overall those varieties have shorter lifespans. But Like AA said, it's your choice. Personally I have no moral qualms with people buying large finned bettas, but they will be lazier. Females and plakats will be more energetic, but less colourful. But dont feel pressured one way because of this, it's all up to you. And let's face it, we don't pick the pet, the pet picks us. You'll pick the right guy. And if you want a huge finned betta because he looked you right in the eyes and you instantly knew he's the one, he's the one.
 
  • Thread Starter
BeardieMama
Member
Karena007 said:
I'd also like to add some varieties like rosetails actually bite their tails because they're so heavy and uncomfortable, which puts them at risk for infections and overall those varieties have shorter lifespans. But Like AA said, it's your choice. Personally I have no moral qualms with people buying large finned bettas, but they will be lazier. Females and plakats will be more energetic, but less colourful. But dont feel pressured one way because of this, it's all up to you. And let's face it, we don't pick the pet, the pet picks us. You'll pick the right guy. And if you want a huge finned betta because he looked you right in the eyes and you instantly knew he's the one, he's the one.
I totally get where everyone is coming from, plakats totally are way more active, however I’m going to sit back and let Kadee choose without my input as he will be hers after all.
Yes there’s a few Samurai Betta for sale here and another friend advised me against them for same reason as AggressiveAquatics mentioned.
 
  • Thread Starter
BeardieMama
Member
Argh!!!! The ammonia hasn’t shifted at all
 
GuppyGal7
Member
BeardieMama said:
Argh!!!! The ammonia hasn’t shifted at all
Hmm. This is your own test kit? Try taking the water to a store. It's possible there's something wrong with yours. When my kit got old, it would always show 0.25-05ppm. Gave me a heart attack but I tested my water at the pet store and everything was good.
 
  • Thread Starter
BeardieMama
Member
Karena007 said:
Hmm. This is your own test kit? Try taking the water to a store. It's possible there's something wrong with yours. When my kit got old, it would always show 0.25-05ppm. Gave me a heart attack but I tested my water at the pet store and everything was good.
Yup own test kit. Just tested my tap water and reads zero so it’s not the kit.
 
GuppyGal7
Member
That is really odd.... I tried doing some digging for people with similar problems. The only advice I could really find is give it another day? You're doing everything right as far as I'm aware... Someone else can probably offer better advice, but it is really weird your ammonia keeps freezing like this. I'll do more digging and see if I find anything else. Continue to let the tank sit, maybe it'll all be gone by tomorrow.
 
  • Thread Starter
BeardieMama
Member
Karena007 said:
That is really odd.... I tried doing some digging for people with similar problems. The only advice I could really find is give it another day? You're doing everything right as far as I'm aware... Someone else can probably offer better advice, but it is really weird your ammonia keeps freezing like this. I'll do more digging and see if I find anything else. Continue to let the tank sit, maybe it'll all be gone by tomorrow.
Could I do a water change to drop it down to zero, put a fishy in there? With small bio load the media should cope?
 
Dunk2
Member
BeardieMama said:
Argh!!!! The ammonia hasn’t shifted at all
What is your pH today? Did you add the crushed coral as mattgirl suggested?
 
  • Thread Starter
BeardieMama
Member
Dunk2 said:
What is your pH today? Did you add the crushed coral as mattgirl suggested?
I haven’t got it yet cos had to order it so waiting for it to be shipped. Will just check PH now
Dunk2 said:
What is your pH today? Did you add the crushed coral as mattgirl suggested?
Looks like it’s dropped to 6.6 again.
 
GuppyGal7
Member
BeardieMama said:
I haven’t got it yet cos had to order it so waiting for it to be shipped. Will just check PH now

Looks like it’s dropped to 6.6 again.
6.6 is absolutely fine for a Betta. Even lower is still fine. I don't think you need corals but it's your choice.
 
  • Thread Starter
BeardieMama
Member
So it’s going to be unsafe for a fishy today even with water change?
So sad for Kadee I’ve been trying to get this darn tank cycled since Feb and keep hitting the same issues! One day spike of nitrites then nothing and then the ammonia stalls
 
Dunk2
Member
BeardieMama said:
I haven’t got it yet cos had to order it so waiting for it to be shipped. Will just check PH now

Looks like it’s dropped to 6.6 again.
Your pH could be the reason for the lack of or very slow progress with your cycle.

Sorry if mattgirl already explained this, but when your crushed coral arrives, rinse it very well, put it in a fine media bag and place it in your filter.

Because you seem to be doing everything right, I think the crushed coral is going to help your cycle along. I use it in 3 tanks to buffer and stabilize pH.

Karena007 said:
6.6 is absolutely fine for a Betta. Even lower is still fine. I don't think you need corals but it's your choice.
We’re not suggesting that the pH needs raised for her Betta. We are suggesting it to help her cycle progress.

Edit to add. . . As pH approaches 6.0, a cycle can stall.
 
GuppyGal7
Member
Dunk2 said:
We’re not suggesting that the pH be raised for her Betta. We are suggesting it to help her cycle progress.
Ahhh, my bad, sorry.

BeardieMama said:
So it’s going to be unsafe for a fishy today even with water change?
So sad for Kadee I’ve been trying to get this darn tank cycled since Feb and keep hitting the same issues! One day spike of nitrites then nothing and then the ammonia stalls
I'm really sorry this has happened to you. Honestly, with a large water change it could be ok to put a Betta in, not ideal but I'm not going to lie to you. If you do a 75% water change, hope the remaining Ammonia will disappear and get a Betta, it probably won't die. However, at this point, I'd wait a few more days. You're soooo close. Your ammonia should be gone in the next few days, and then it will be safe to add your Betta. Another option is you could get an ammonia neutraliser like Seachem stability. It will convert the Ammonia into a harmless variant caller ammonium that your beneficial bacteria will still be able to eat. But I'd stick to a fishless cycle instead of buying more stuff. I'm just letting you know all your options.
 
Dunk2
Member
Karena007 said:
Another option is you could get an ammonia neutraliser like Seachem stability. It will convert the Ammonia into a harmless variant caller ammonium that your beneficial bacteria will still be able to eat.
I think you mean Seachem Prime, which detoxifies ammonia and nitrites up to a combined level of 1 ppm. Seachem Stability is a bottled bacteria.
 
  • Thread Starter
BeardieMama
Member
Karena007 said:
Ahhh, my bad, sorry.


I'm really sorry this has happened to you. Honestly, with a large water change it could be ok to put a Betta in, not ideal but I'm not going to lie to you. If you do a 75% water change, hope the remaining Ammonia will disappear and get a Betta, it probably won't die. However, at this point, I'd wait a few more days. You're soooo close. Your ammonia should be gone in the next few days, and then it will be safe to add your Betta. Another option is you could get an ammonia neutraliser like Seachem stability. It will convert the Ammonia into a harmless variant caller ammonium that your beneficial bacteria will still be able to eat. But I'd stick to a fishless cycle instead of buying more stuff. I'm just letting you know all your options.
You mean Seachem Prime? I already use that as my water conditioner.
I also read with low PH that ammonia converts to ammonium anyways so theoretically wouldn’t be harmful to the fish. But I don’t want her first fishy experience to result in a dead fish

I feel like stripping the darn tank washing everything completely and starting again

I’m using Seachem Stability daily too so thought that would boost the BB
Also, will crushed coral make a difference IF my TRUE tap water is also 6.6?
I have a glass of water that was sitting out since last night, I might check the PH in that and see if it’s naturally low (after gasses have evaporated) or weather it’s the cycling causing the PH to drop.
Another question, do Detritus worms cause a drop in PH? Cos the darn tank has these too
 
Dunk2
Member
BeardieMama said:
You mean Seachem Prime? I already use that as my water conditioner.
I also read with low PH that ammonia converts to ammonium anyways so theoretically wouldn’t be harmful to the fish. But I don’t want her first fishy experience to result in a dead fish

I feel like stripping the darn tank washing everything completely and starting again

I’m using Seachem Stability daily too so thought that would boost the BB
Don’t get discouraged! And don’t start over!

Personally, I wouldn’t add a fish and complicate things at this point. I think you’re getting close.
 
  • Thread Starter
BeardieMama
Member
Tap water after being in a cup for 18 hours

then the tank water
I just don’t understand why at one point it was chewing 1ppm ammonia overnight and now nothing
 

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