Ph Level For Betta

CMA13

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Hey,

I’ve had my 10 gallon tank for almost 2 weeks now, and have a male Betta (I didn’t do a fishless cycle...well waited 48 hrs to add him...newbie mistake...)

I’ve been doing 25% - 50% water changes every 2-3 days (3 water changes since I’ve had the tank). Use a syphon to clean under the gravel and change the water. I use water conditioner before replacing new water into the tank. Heater is on average at 75 degrees, and filter is on a low flow to not stress out the Betta

My water readings haven’t changed much since i first tested
PH - 7.8 (did spike from a 7.4)
Nitrate - 0
Nitrite - 0
Ammonia - .25

Have been using Prime and Stability since this weekend (again newbie mistake waiting on that)

Betta hasn’t eaten but is active. He’s in a tank with artificial plants and hiding spots

How am I doing? On the right track? My ph seems high and I’m worried about the ammonia and the nitrate being 0 and not between 10-20
 

david1978

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your right were you need to be for a fish in cycle. My ph i call it 7.2 but i have seen it a little higher and a little lower. Could be an error on my part or i could really be changing. Lol. So your fine.
 

RyRyTheAquariumGuy

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Oh boy this is giving me flashbacks.. I put a single betta in a 10 gallon and when it came to cycling, it was harder than it should have been.

I'm assuming you may be new to the nitrogen cycle, so if I may humbly add some stuff that many people do not consider..

We all know that Mother Nature creates bacteria to take nasty Ammonia, and convert it into less nasty but still harmful Nitrite. Then she creates another bacteria that takes the Nitrite and converts it into fairly harmless Nitrate. We then remove Nitrates with water changes..

This is all fine and dandy but what I wish someone had told me when I did my ten gallon betta tank is this.. Even though you think you are helping by giving a ton of room for one little fish, it actually is making your cycle so difficult.

Lets use a soldier analogy.. Mother Nature is smart and efficient, and she will only allow as many good soldiers (bacteria that breaks down the ammonia and nitrite) to grow depending on the need. This is because if there are to many soldiers, and not enough food to feed them in battle, they will die off anyways.

One single betta fish could not possibly create enough ammonia (or food for the soldiers) in a ten gallon to sustain a decent colony of bacteria. Don't get me wrong, eventually your tank will cycle and enough BB will form to convert your Betta's ammonia into nitrates, but that colony will be very small because the need is very small.

Basically this means that you are always skating on thin ice and ANY water change or gravel cleaning or power outage could be enough to destroy your cycle. The BB colony needs to build and strengthen over time and CONSTANTLY needs to be fed ammonia.

The larger the BB colony the better, but you cannot grow a decent colony when only supplying it with a small amount of ammonia from a single betta.

If you are extremely skilled in the nitrogen cycle and have a deep understanding, then it is possible to keep the colony going. You are just risking a tank crash at any power outage or one slip up and mistake.

My advice would be to wait until the tank is converting the amount of ammonia you are producing right now on a regular basis, then either increase your stocking (yes it is possible to keep a betta in a community, you just need to be smart about it. I do it all the time). Or maybe shrink the tank down to a 5.5 gallon.

Just some thoughts.

Also, to speed up the process, the ONLY "bacteria in a bottle" I have tested and ACTUALLY SEEN WORK is Tetra Safe Start bacteria. It is the yellow bottle with the GREEN cap. It is amazing (and from Tetra which is ironic lol). You can get it at Walmart even.
 
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CMA13

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RyRyTheAquariumGuy said:
Oh boy this is giving me flashbacks.. I put a single betta in a 10 gallon and when it came to cycling, it was harder than it should have been.

I'm assuming you may be new to the nitrogen cycle, so if I may humbly add some stuff that many people do not consider..

We all know that Mother Nature creates bacteria to take nasty Ammonia, and convert it into less nasty but still harmful Nitrite. Then she creates another bacteria that takes the Nitrite and converts it into fairly harmless Nitrate. We then remove Nitrates with water changes..

This is all fine and dandy but what I wish someone had told me when I did my ten gallon betta tank is this.. Even though you think you are helping by giving a ton of room for one little fish, it actually is making your cycle so difficult.

Lets use a soldier analogy.. Mother Nature is smart and efficient, and she will only allow as many good soldiers (bacteria that breaks down the ammonia and nitrite) to grow depending on the need. This is because if there are to many soldiers, and not enough food to feed them in battle, they will die off anyways.

One single betta fish could not possibly create enough ammonia (or food for the soldiers) in a ten gallon to sustain a decent colony of bacteria. Don't get me wrong, eventually your tank will cycle and enough BB will form to convert your Betta's ammonia into nitrates, but that colony will be very small because the need is very small.

Basically this means that you are always skating on thin ice and ANY water change or gravel cleaning or power outage could be enough to destroy your cycle. The BB colony needs to build and strengthen over time and CONSTANTLY needs to be fed ammonia.

The larger the BB colony the better, but you cannot grow a decent colony when only supplying it with a small amount of ammonia from a single betta.

If you are extremely skilled in the nitrogen cycle and have a deep understanding, then it is possible to keep the colony going. You are just risking a tank crash at any power outage or one slip up and mistake.

My advice would be to wait until the tank is converting the amount of ammonia you are producing right now on a regular basis, then either increase your stocking (yes it is possible to keep a betta in a community, you just need to be smart about it. I do it all the time). Or maybe shrink the tank down to a 5.5 gallon.

Just some thoughts.

Also, to speed up the process, the ONLY "bacteria in a bottle" I have tested and ACTUALLY SEEN WORK is Tetra Safe Start bacteria. It is the yellow bottle with the GREEN cap. It is amazing (and from Tetra which is ironic lol). You can get it at Walmart even.

I’m definitely new to the cycling process. I’ve kept Bettas in small tanks (1-2 gallons) in the past and have never had issues with Bettas refusing to eat...I did frequent water changes when I had smaller tanks like that.

I was thinking maybe getting 4 harlequin Rasboras or lamb chop rasboras thinking that would help the cycle process, and since he is still new I think introducing other fish would be ok ....

But am not sure that’s a good idea either?

david1978 said:
your right were you need to be for a fish in cycle. My ph i call it 7.2 but i have seen it a little higher and a little lower. Could be an error on my part or i could really be changing. Lol. So your fine.
Good to know!
 

Dch48

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Not eating is not good. Mine ate small pellets while still in the PetSmart cup he came in and hasn't stopped since. I bought him and the tank at the same time and he went in about 3 hours after the water was put in. I just waited for the heater to cycle off at 77F and then he went in. While the cup was floating he saw the tank below him and was really wanting to get into it. The tank is still cycling and I've done 7 one gallon water changes (1/3 of what the tank actually holds) in the 12 days I've had it. Ammonia still stays between 0.7 and a little over 1.0 with no Nitrites and Nitrates at 5. I do a water change when Ammonia goes over 1.0. I've used first TopFin Bacteria supplement and now Tetra Safe Start but neither one has had much effect.

My pH reading is about 7.5
 

Fahn

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Your pH is fine, a swing of less than .5 is nothing to worry about.

If you plant the tank heavily enough any amount of ammonia given off by a single betta will be negligible. Floating plants and stem plants in particular will do a fantastic job of keeping your water pristine, and, with such a small bioload as a single betta, your biological filtration would be rendered basically redundant and one could get away with an airstone for water circulation.

If you're new to tanks and plants this is not advised, as there is some knowledge of plant requirements needed, but know it is a viable option. Even if you were to throw a bit of duckweed or Amazon frogbit in the tank (arguably two of the easiest aquarium plants to grow) you would notice a pretty sizable reduction in nitrates and no ammonia or nitrite unless you overfeed.
 
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CMA13

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Dch48 said:
Not eating is not good. Mine ate small pellets while still in the PetSmart cup he came in and hasn't stopped since. I bought him and the tank at the same time and he went in about 3 hours after the water was put in. I just waited for the heater to cycle off at 77F and then he went in. While the cup was floating he saw the tank below him and was really wanting to get into it. The tank is still cycling and I've done 7 one gallon water changes (1/3 of what the tank actually holds) in the 12 days I've had it. Ammonia still stays between 0.7 and a little over 1.0 with no Nitrites and Nitrates at 5. I do a water change when Ammonia goes over 1.0. I've used first TopFin Bacteria supplement and now Tetra Safe Start but neither one has had much effect.

I read that some Bettas can be picky eaters and may just need time to adjust?
I got mine from Petsmart as well. I just bought some dried blood worms yesterday to see if he’d eat those and he just swims up, looks, and leaves them.
I’m starting to wonder if he’s sick. He does have a tiny bump on the side of his guard gill. No white spots, No ich, no ripped fins, no raised scales, color is great, eyes great, just this pump....

Was thinking it’s the water levels but I’m not so sure now...

Lorraine.Kelly said:
My PH is 8.0 and my betta is thriving
That’s good to hear! Makes me less stressed

Fahn said:
Your pH is fine, a swing of less than .5 is nothing to worry about.

If you plant the tank heavily enough any amount of ammonia given off by a single betta will be negligible. Floating plants and stem plants in particular will do a fantastic job of keeping your water pristine, and, with such a small bioload as a single betta, your biological filtration would be rendered basically redundant and one could get away with an airstone for water circulation.

If you're new to tanks and plants this is not advised, as there is some knowledge of plant requirements needed, but know it is a viable option. Even if you were to throw a bit of duckweed or Amazon frogbit in the tank (arguably two of the easiest aquarium plants to grow) you would notice a pretty sizable reduction in nitrates and no ammonia or nitrite unless you overfeed.
Thought about getting a piece of driftwood. May do that.
Thanks!
 

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Lorraine.Kelly

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I got two pieces of driftwood the other day, i have boiled them 7 times and the water is still brown but its getting clearer,i would hate to put them in and the whole tank to go brown lol
 
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CMA13

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Lorraine.Kelly said:
I got two pieces of driftwood the other day, i have boiled them 7 times and the water is still brown but its getting clearer,i would hate to put them in and the whole tank to go brown lol
Wow that’s some stubborn piece of driftwood!

Good to know!
 
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