newbie questions - advice 10 Gallon Tank

  1. himeh Initiate Member

    Hi all,

    First post.
    I'm new to this hobby and I have a few questions on my 10 gallon tank that houses 2 bettas and 3 cory cats (one cory will be transfered to another tank, a 5 gallon one with one betta). The 10 gal. tank is still in the cycling stage, being less than 3 wks. I test the water every other/every day, do water changes every three days or less, and feeding time is once every other day removing extra food.

    I realized after the fish were added (not all at once), that I added too much fish for cycling process. A mistake I hope I don't regret. I've been monitoring all the fishes everyday and they all are very active and enjoying each others company. I noticed one betta changes color when his mood changes. He gets darker when he faces the other betta in this divided tank. And the cory cats are busy.

    Questions:

    Should I remove some of the fish until the tanks is cycled?

    Is .25 ammonia level dangers? and should I increase my water changes to 50% instead of 10-20%? How will this effect the good bacteria with bigger water changes?

    Is it too late for some of my fishes since I'm cycling the tank with them in it?

    Note: I increased the temp on the tank to 80*F and lowered the pH.
     
  2. flyin-lowe Well Known Member Member

    Any ammonia is hard on the fish. I am no expert by any means but if I were in your shoes I would try one of the different options. If possible you could get a bottle of Tetra Safe Start and add to the tank. It must be Safe Start and not some other brand. If not you need to do daily water changes to keep ammonia levels down. The problem with this is it takes forever for the tank to cycle because you need a certain amount of ammonia to feed the bacteria. Also a lot of members on here use Prime. It is good because it keeps the ammonia from being toxic to the fish however it will still be available for the good bacteria to feed on. I have never owned Betas so I am not sure if they can handle a cycle or not. Another option might be to find a friend close by that has an established aquarium and get some of their filter media. This can be like an instant cycle however you must make sure you trust the source, you would not want to introduce disease at this point and make matters worse.
    Good luck
     

  3. iloveengl Well Known Member Member

    Hello himeh. :) Welcome to Fishlore.

    I'm glad to hear the other betta will be getting its own tank.

    .25 ammonia can indeed be dangerous.

    Do you have Prime or Amquel Plus? A few drops of that every day will neutralize the harmful ammonia and nitrite during the cycling process.

    Imo, increased water changes of at least 20% every 1-2 days is better than 50% every few days. Your good bacteria primarily clings to filter media, decor, and substrate; changing water does not inhibit the growth of good bacteria.

    If you use Prime or Amquel Plus, along with regular partial water changes, then it's definitely not too late for your fishies.

    Why did you lower the pH? What is your current pH reading? It will actually take longer to cycle with a low pH. I don't recommend using any chemicals to adjust pH because they're too unstable and sudden shifts (especially down) can kill fish. Can you slowly raise the pH back up with some crushed coral/seashell or some soapstone?

    Keep us posted and keep asking any questions that come to mind! :)
     

  4. himeh Initiate Member

    Thanks for the replies..

    I did use my friends used media filter and added it to my filter. And I do have prime but I only used it in my 5 gallon tank. I haven't used prime on the 10 gallon because I will return it to the pet shop. I got the small bottle 1.7 size one and the bottle didn't have a seal. I'm not sure if they come without one, so I'll be checking the store for it. I know the two larger bottles have seals on them.

    For the pH... I didn't not lower the pH, it was 7.0 to start with then it lowered to 6.5...I purchased proper pH by API but read bad reviews on it. so I haven't used it. I've read that this product stopped the cycling process, killed live plants..etc...
     

  5. iloveengl Well Known Member Member

    Glad to hear you didn't chemically affect the pH. :) I recommend raising it naturally. This will speed up the cycling process. You can find coral or sea shells in the craft section of Walmart or similar stores and at local fish stores. Crunch it up with a hammer and then scatter it on the substrate, or bag it in aquarium netting if you don't want it everywhere. Walmart also sells lovely soapstone decor in their incense aisle. These are solid soapstone decorations and will not hurt the fish, but they will naturally increase the pH. :)
     
  6. himeh Initiate Member

    so far things are going good...water changed every 1-2 days...using Prime seems to be helping, and feeding time is every other day...It's getting close to the 5-8 week range when things might go crazy in the water so I'm testing every day.

    Ammonia is below .25, pH 7, temp 79*F, but the water is cloudy.

    I hope I don't hurt or kill any of the little guys/gals with my eagerness to start a fish tank.
     
  7. iloveengl Well Known Member Member

    I'm glad it's going well. :) The Prime with water changes definitely makes the difference - it's a great product! :;hf

    The bacteria bloom is a good sign too. The cycle's doing its thing. :)

    Imo, you can increase feedings to every day or twice per day. I only feed once per day with most of my fish because they're pigs, but bettas can be fed small feedings twice a day.

    Thanks for keeping us posted.
     
  8. erk419 Initiate Member

    As long as there are signs of ammonia or nitrites in your tank you want to be doing water changes everyday until they are gone.