Somewhat Overwhelmed Newby

Roxylou
  • #1
My old cat died. I have been missing her so much, and my friend said, "get a fish. you need something to love." Well, I went to the pet store and the guy talked me into a betta fish. He said they don't need much space, or equipment, and they can live on dried worms (very cheap.)
hmmm.
As you know, not much of what he told me was very accurate. Sure, they can live in a little jar. But can they LIVE in a little jar? My little Betta, a velvety blue female named Zuzu, let me know right away that she was at least as depressed as myself, going round and round in that murky 2 gallon pickle jar. I bought a heater and thermometer, scoop, syphon, flake and pellet food, water testers and treatment and a live plant and a fake plant and a tiny pagota and more water treatment and changed the water regularly. She darted around like crazy, rested on her leave hammock, but mostly just hung out in the very center at the top, barely moving her fins at all. Ammonia tested low, but not zero, every time. All other tests were good except hard water.
I guess you have all been there.
I tried to find a used 10 gallon tank, used filter and all, but after a week gave up. I purchased, for $20 a 5 gallon tank with a filter and thermometer and light. I moved her in, and created a baffle with a water bottle and plastic plant material, because the current was too much for her.
I have been testing regularly, and so far so good! Ammonia = Zero. All others good too. It's been two days.
Now I find this forum, and I am feeling overwhelmed. The cycling thing. That just boggles my mind. I understand how to partially change the water, and that with a filter total water changes won't be necessary as often. But the whole process of knowing where we are at in a nitrogen cycle is scary to me. I don't want to kill her. I want to really care for her. So I will be reading and re-reading the cycling info and hoping I can figure it out.
I came here today because I was wondering if I could just squirt in a few drops of conditioner if the water tested high in nitrates or nitrites. I found a whole world of information and questions.
Thanks for being here. I hope we make it!
I am going to try to upload a picture of her current setup. The filter I have is a Top Fin Silenstream 10 Power Filter
20171220_141707_Film1.jpg
 

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david1978
  • #2
Dont be so scared its one fish in 5 gallons of water so nothing will happen immediately. Basically since your doing a fish in cycle you will want to test the water every day. If ammonia or nitrites are above. 5 do a partial water change of around 2 gallons that will bring them way down. Once you no longer have ammonia or nitrites and only nitrates you are cycled. At that point usually weekly 2 gallon water changes will be enough to keep nitrates under 20.
 

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Roxylou
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
Dont be so scared its one fish in 5 gallons of water so nothing will happen immediately. Basically since your doing a fish in cycle you will want to test the water every day. If ammonia or nitrites are above. 5 do a partial water change of around 2 gallons that will bring them way down. Once you no longer have ammonia or nitrites and only nitrates you are cycled. At that point usually weekly 2 gallon water changes will be enough to keep nitrates under 20.
Oh! Thank you. I have been pulling her out, just scooping her into her original tub from the store, while I change the water and siphon waste out. She seems quite resilient. She also doesn't seem bothered by the filter flow now that I created a baffle. She hangs out near it and swims around in the current. I don't like the way it blows her food all over the place though. I have it on the lowest setting, too. I suspect I will eventually afford a 10 or 20 gallon but that seems so big for one little fish.
 
david1978
  • #4
I wouldn't remove her to do water changes. Just shush her away from the siphon. Some people shut off the filter at feeding time. Just remember to plug it back in after. Yea a 10 or 20 does seem like a waiste with one fish guess that's why I kind of went overboard on my betta tank. Lol
 
Roxylou
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
I wouldn't remove her to do water changes. Just shush her away from the siphon. Some people shut off the filter at feeding time. Just remember to plug it back in after. Yea a 10 or 20 does seem like a waiste with one fish guess that's why I kind of went overboard on my betta tank. Lol
Great Idea!!!
 
Farlowella Fella
  • #6
You don't need to worry about moving her when you do partial water changes, just use the siphon. My Betta actually seems curious as to what i'm doing. I have been able to teach my betta to feed from my finger which ensures he's getting fed and limits waste food in the tank. Cycling a tank is a little hard on the fish but bettas are probably the most resiliant.
Also add water conditioner (e.g. Seachem Prime) to the new water before adding it to the tank. this will eliminate chloride from the tap water.

Cheers!
 

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Jenova
  • #7
Don't be overwhelmed! You're doing awesome so far by just doing your research and giving your girl a nice living space.

Bettas have one great thing going for them: they really don't create a lot of waste. This means that they're less vulnerable to fouling up their water in a short period of time, but it also makes cycling their tanks a little dodgy. Nitrifying bacteria needs ammonia/waste to feed on, and if the fish isn't making much, the bacteria isn't growing much! I've heard it been said that a single betta in a small tank may never truly "cycle" because of that... but if the ammonia and nitrIte are always 0, it's a bit of a moot point If you test and find nitrAtes, you've probably got some beneficial bacteria going, as david1978 described, so that's probably adequate. (If you have live plants, they may eat up all the nitrates, leaving you with 0. Just another variable, lol )

Does your betta's food float? If so, you might be able to use a fish feeding ring -- it's a little plastic hoop attached to a suction cup that you put the food in to keep it from drifting away in a current. I use these because I *know* I will eventually forget to re-plug-in a filter if I unplug it to feed :S
 
Farlowella Fella
  • #8
I wouldn't remove her to do water changes. Just shush her away from the siphon. Some people shut off the filter at feeding time. Just remember to plug it back in after. Yea a 10 or 20 does seem like a waiste with one fish guess that's why I kind of went overboard on my betta tank. Lol
Haha, my litte guy is spoiled, he has his own 10 gal tank with a couple nerites.
 
david1978
  • #9
Although depending on your bettas temperament a 10 allows you more options like shrimp and snails and a 20 perhaps a school of small fish with her or cories.
 
Roxylou
  • Thread Starter
  • #10
Haha, my litte guy is spoiled, he has his own 10 gal tank with a couple nerites.
I love that! I was thinking of getting some of those, too, but not sure yet how to keep them in. The lid isn't very great, has a 3 inch gap around the filter. I will eventually move her into a 10 gallon. I can tell I am loving this so much.

Although depending on your bettas temperament a 10 allows you more options like shrimp and snails and a 20 perhaps a school of small fish with her or cories.
 

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Farlowella Fella
  • #11
I love that! I was thinking of getting some of those, too, but not sure yet how to keep them in. The lid isn't very great, has a 3 inch gap around the filter. I will eventually move her into a 10 gallon. I can tell I am loving this so much.
My Nerites have never left the water surface, except one time when my cycle crashed (prior to the 10 gal). FYI, they poop a lot but it's good for plants, just saying.
 
HORNET1
  • #12
HI Roxy:
I just want to welcome you to the forum and convey my congratulations on the new addition to your family.
You're getting some good advice from the other posters.
Follow it and I'm sure you are going to make an excellent parent.
 
Hepting_3000
  • #13
I have mine in a 10 gallon and eventual y it just got board and sat in one spot. So I put three of my guppies in and it was interesting for about a day, but my batta finally realized that they were not going to hurt him. But now he just chases them every once in a while and it keeps him moving about.
 
Kitetra
  • #14
Have you added TSS or easy start to the tank?

Edit: I will elaborate on that, Tss or any other brand of acquarium/filter starter contain the bacteria you want in your tank breaking down nitrites nitrates and so on, while not a miracle cure it does help to kickstart the whole cycle and I personally used it to cycle a tank fish in with 18 neon tetras from day 1, so its good stuff and in combination with seachem prime I'm sure the betta will feel at home in no time.
 

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Roxylou
  • Thread Starter
  • #15
Have you added TSS or easy start to the tank?

Edit: I will elaborate on that, Tss or any other brand of acquarium/filter starter contain the bacteria you want in your tank breaking down nitrites nitrates and so on, while not a miracle cure it does help to kickstart the whole cycle and I personally used it to cycle a tank fish in with 18 neon tetras from day 1, so its good stuff and in combination with seachem prime I'm sure the betta will feel at home in no time.
I do have some Prime but haven't used it yet. My other stuff is almost empty. I definitely have been using water treatment. Thank you!
 
Alexolotl
  • #16
So long as there is no chlorine in the water, the temperature is good, and your tank is cycled ok, you should be fine. You’re doing great! Also, welcome to the forums! I’m newish myself (both to the forums and the serious hobby) but I will help in any way I can. I’m hoping to have a betta aquarium similar to yours after Christmas, so I am excited to see how your tank turns out. Good luck!
 
CraniumRex
  • #17
Zuzu is beautiful! Your set up looks good but I might suggest a backing on the aquarium might make her feel a little more secure. You can use anything, really, you don't have to buy one. Even just cut up a black plastic garbage bag to size. Also, I don't know which way your window faces but if you get much sun, you might get algae, too, so that will help.

Cycling - just breathe you are doing great. I know how you feel though - my first tank I tested like a bandit. The simplest way I can explain it to myself is: You need ammonia in your tank (from Zuzu's waste), to get the bacteria that is nitrifying and will produce nitrites. Once you have some of those, the ones that eat nitrites and create nitrAtes will join the party. That is the cycle, oversimplified, but that's about it. The joy of a cycled tank is not having to do your water changes every few days to keep the water safe. It's harder in a smaller tank like 5 gallon but I have no doubt you can do it!

By all means use the Prime (be warned it STINKS like sulphur but not after it's in the tank) and just a tiny bit will work. Prime will also keep Zuzu safe as it changes ammonia into ammonium and detoxifies it for Zuzu, keeping her safer.

You are doing a wonderful job and Zuzu will be in heaven in a 5 gallon and off the charts in a 10 g when you get settled. My four are each in 10 gallon and if I could suggest live plants, there are some really easy ones that bettas seem to love. They also help keep your nitrates down if you have enough of them. Anacharis is particularly good at this - and I love it because you just toss it in and it floats around. My boys love to swim all through it and one even sleeps on it.

Good luck to you and your girl and welcome!
 
Roxylou
  • Thread Starter
  • #18
Zuzu is beautiful! Your set up looks good but I might suggest a backing on the aquarium might make her feel a little more secure. You can use anything, really, you don't have to buy one. Even just cut up a black plastic garbage bag to size. Also, I don't know which way your window faces but if you get much sun, you might get algae, too, so that will help.

Cycling - just breathe you are doing great. I know how you feel though - my first tank I tested like a bandit. The simplest way I can explain it to myself is: You need ammonia in your tank (from Zuzu's waste), to get the bacteria that is nitrifying and will produce nitrites. Once you have some of those, the ones that eat nitrites and create nitrAtes will join the party. That is the cycle, oversimplified, but that's about it. The joy of a cycled tank is not having to do your water changes every few days to keep the water safe. It's harder in a smaller tank like 5 gallon but I have no doubt you can do it!

By all means use the Prime (be warned it STINKS like sulphur but not after it's in the tank) and just a tiny bit will work. Prime will also keep Zuzu safe as it changes ammonia into ammonium and detoxifies it for Zuzu, keeping her safer.

You are doing a wonderful job and Zuzu will be in heaven in a 5 gallon and off the charts in a 10 g when you get settled. My four are each in 10 gallon and if I could suggest live plants, there are some really easy ones that bettas seem to love. They also help keep your nitrates down if you have enough of them. Anacharis is particularly good at this - and I love it because you just toss it in and it floats around. My boys love to swim all through it and one even sleeps on it.

Good luck to you and your girl and welcome!
Cool! thanks for all the great advice and encouragement. The window faces East, but I always have the curtain pulled at night, so it won't be getting any direct sunlight in the morning. Is it ok to have light, as long as it isn't direct sunlight? I thought she might like to see stuff moving around outside. She's very curious and interested in movement. I actually have a white piece of paper I stick on there at night, because it seemed the dark background of the nighttime dark window was creating a reflection of her in the glass, and she was reacting to that a lot. Interesting that you recommend a dark background. The white paper didn't really seem to help with the reflection though, come to think of it. She's very reactive to her own reflection. I read somewhere that they eventually get used to the new container and ignore the reflection. I love the flat glass. The round container had so much distortion. Another interesting thing about her is, she really seems to like physically touching the plants and stuff, and the water that gushes out of the filter. I put a plastic thing up there to reduce the flow, and I put some plastic plants in that, too, to further divert the flow. She goes right in there, through the little tunnel, and wiggles through the plants to get out the other side! I am worried she'll get stuck, but so far she wiggles right through. crazy.
 

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CraniumRex
  • #19
One of my boys went crazy over his reflection for a while, too, but he did stop eventually. The other would be to keep a light on in the room she is in so long as her light is on -- think of trying to see outside when your inside lights are on -- people can see in but all you see is your own reflection when you try to look out.

You can go with trial and error as far as light goes. My one tank also faces east and I had some algae trouble but reduced his tank light time and that seemed to help. You are such an empathic fish keeper - thinking of her wanting to see outside. If she doesn't seem stressed about it then I know lots of people who have it clear on both sides.

That is so cute that she touches everything! She sounds just adorable. She might especially love the softness of real plants or good silk ones. Yours look pretty soft already, but don't be afraid to give her lots of plants and places to hide/sleep/explore. How does she like the squishy anemone thing? My daughter wanted to get one of those for her tank.
 
KakeHugs
  • #20
Roxylou
Here's a simple poster to help understand cycling

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Roxylou
  • Thread Starter
  • #21
Don't be overwhelmed! You're doing awesome so far by just doing your research and giving your girl a nice living space.

Bettas have one great thing going for them: they really don't create a lot of waste. This means that they're less vulnerable to fouling up their water in a short period of time, but it also makes cycling their tanks a little dodgy. Nitrifying bacteria needs ammonia/waste to feed on, and if the fish isn't making much, the bacteria isn't growing much! I've heard it been said that a single betta in a small tank may never truly "cycle" because of that... but if the ammonia and nitrIte are always 0, it's a bit of a moot point If you test and find nitrAtes, you've probably got some beneficial bacteria going, as david1978 described, so that's probably adequate. (If you have live plants, they may eat up all the nitrates, leaving you with 0. Just another variable, lol )

Does your betta's food float? If so, you might be able to use a fish feeding ring -- it's a little plastic hoop attached to a suction cup that you put the food in to keep it from drifting away in a current. I use these because I *know* I will eventually forget to re-plug-in a filter if I unplug it to feed :S
Awesome info! I'm going to get (or make) a fish feeding ring. Unplugging is a little tricky, as my knees aren't too happy getting down on the floor. I've been doing small feedings, then using a turkey baster right away to suck up anything left over... which means taking the lid off and chasing it around the tank.
 
Taff
  • #22
You don't need to worry about moving her when you do partial water changes, just use the siphon. My Betta actually seems curious as to what i'm doing. I have been able to teach my betta to feed from my finger which ensures he's getting fed and limits waste food in the tank. Cycling a tank is a little hard on the fish but bettas are probably the most resiliant.
Also add water conditioner (e.g. Seachem Prime) to the new water before adding it to the tank. this will eliminate chloride from the tap water.

Cheers!
HI there, this is great advice especially about adding Seachem prime. Unlike other water conditionersvit detoxifies ammonia and nitrite for 24 hours to a low mostly harmless level. This will protect your fish whilst allowing the tank to cycle.

Welcome and enjoy your new tank.
 

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Roxylou
  • Thread Starter
  • #23
One of my boys went crazy over his reflection for a while, too, but he did stop eventually. The other would be to keep a light on in the room she is in so long as her light is on -- think of trying to see outside when your inside lights are on -- people can see in but all you see is your own reflection when you try to look out.

You can go with trial and error as far as light goes. My one tank also faces east and I had some algae trouble but reduced his tank light time and that seemed to help. You are such an empathic fish keeper - thinking of her wanting to see outside. If she doesn't seem stressed about it then I know lots of people who have it clear on both sides.

That is so cute that she touches everything! She sounds just adorable. She might especially love the softness of real plants or good silk ones. Yours look pretty soft already, but don't be afraid to give her lots of plants and places to hide/sleep/explore. How does she like the squishy anemone thing? My daughter wanted to get one of those for her tank.
She is adorable. She likes to get in between the glass and the anemone, like she is trapped, but she just hangs out, all surrounded by the soft arms of the thing. Then she just wiggles away. The other plants are bendy but not soft. I didn't know about silk plants when I was shopping. I will be getting some more live plants and some silk, too, instead of the plastic. She doesn't mind them though, and swims through, sort of rubbing on them too. I think you are right about the light. It is better when there is light in the room than just in her tank, as far as reflection goes. She is aggressive! She just won't let up on the "other fish" that follows her around! I'm just glad to see her active again. The round bowl was just getting too boring. I wish I had more money so I could buy her a bigger aquarium and lots of plants and snails. But this is a bad time for me. Anyway she's doing pretty good.
 
CraniumRex
  • #24
Roxylou don't stress about getting anything for her - I am sure the 5 gallon is fantastic and will do her for a good while. I had a betta live for nearly 5 years (a great long time) in a 5g. You have given her a mansion; upgrading to a palace is optional. If the plastic plants don't have any catchy bits on them, they are perfectly fine. My local PetSmart often has them on sale but for the time being I think you have given her a wonderful environment!

I think she will get used to "the other fish" - this behaviour really worried me for the first bit but as long as Zuzu doesn't continue this for weeks on end, this too shall pass.

You are doing a great job.
 
FishL:))
  • #25
I did the exact thing with my male Betta when I first started the hobby.

Mine is currently in a 5.5 gallon aquarium, but before I knew the appropriate size I had my little guy in a 2 gallon.... I feel really bad just thinking of it !!

You are definitely off to a great start now!! The more research the better.

Love your tank by the way!

Best of luck,
FishL)
 
Roxylou
  • Thread Starter
  • #26
I did the exact thing with my male Betta when I first started the hobby.

Mine is currently in a 5.5 gallon aquarium, but before I knew the appropriate size I had my little guy in a 2 gallon.... I feel really bad just thinking of it !!

You are definitely off to a great start now!! The more research the better.

Love your tank by the way!

Best of luck,
FishL)
She was in a big round 2 gallon jar before this. I love this so much better. It's only day 3 but the filter seems to really make a difference in the clarity of the water. I go in after every meal and suction out as much uneaten as I can. I gotta figure out a ring that will contain the food so it doesn't float all over the place from the current. She likes chasing it, but I don't like seeing it break up and fall, and get stuck in corners or leaves and stuff. I hope I can find one cheap. I won't have money until next tuesday. Anyway.... I should just unplug it during feeding, but that's not as easy as it sounds. LOL
 

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MissCap
  • #27
Love your fish’s name. My dog is named Zuzu!
 
tfreema
  • #28
Welcome to the forum!

Beautiful fish and nice setup. Your fish will be happy and healthy.

For fish in cycling, I use stability and prime.
 
Racing1113
  • #29
Awesome info! I'm going to get (or make) a fish feeding ring. Unplugging is a little tricky, as my knees aren't too happy getting down on the floor. I've been doing small feedings, then using a turkey baster right away to suck up anything left over... which means taking the lid off and chasing it around the tank.

If there’s any left over then you’re feeding too much bettas stomachs are super small - about the size of one of their eyes. What are you feeding and how much?
 
FishL:))
  • #30
She was in a big round 2 gallon jar before this. I love this so much better. It's only day 3 but the filter seems to really make a difference in the clarity of the water. I go in after every meal and suction out as much uneaten as I can. I gotta figure out a ring that will contain the food so it doesn't float all over the place from the current. She likes chasing it, but I don't like seeing it break up and fall, and get stuck in corners or leaves and stuff. I hope I can find one cheap. I won't have money until next tuesday. Anyway.... I should just unplug it during feeding, but that's not as easy as it sounds. LOL

Yeah, FishLore is such an amazing place to do research and find help when needed!! So thankful for it!

If you're having trouble with the food going everywhere you could try pellets instead of the flakes. I used to feed flakes and it was always a MESS no matter how hard I tried to feed carefully ( that was a few years ago). Now that I switched over to pellets the aquarium stays a lot cleaner!
 

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Kamaile
  • #31
Yeah, FishLore is such an amazing place to do research and find help when needed!! So thankful for it!

If you're having trouble with the food going everywhere you could try pellets instead of the flakes. I used to feed flakes and it was always a MESS no matter how hard I tried to feed carefully ( that was a few years ago). Now that I switched over to pellets the aquarium stays a lot cleaner!
This is true. I switched to pellets, and not only is it cleaner but I can also be more precise with how much I feed each betta. Just make sure that you take into account that pellets will expand when they get wet. Many people soak them before feeding, but I just know how much they expand and feed them dry accordingly.
 
FishL:))
  • #32
This is true. I switched to pellets, and not only is it cleaner but I can also be more precise with how much I feed each betta. Just make sure that you take into account that pellets will expand when they get wet. Many people soak them before feeding, but I just know how much they expand and feed them dry accordingly.

Soaking is a great method for feeding with pellets. Remember though to reassess how much you should be feeding your Betta if you ever switch to a different brand of pellets.
 
Roxylou
  • Thread Starter
  • #33
I am fee
If there’s any left over then you’re feeding too much bettas stomachs are super small - about the size of one of their eyes. What are you feeding and how much?
ding flakes. A pinch in the morning and at night. A pinch is like three big flakes. They break up and spread all around, with the current of the filter, and drop to the bottom. I made a ring to contain the flakes, and it works pretty good except for the ones that drop. It is a catfood can lid actually, and floats over the food. Here's a photo. I have some pellets, but wasn't sure what difference it makes. They would still flow all over the aquarium. I read that it is really easy to overfeed Bettas, so I am trying not to do that.
20171222_121459_Film1.jpg
 
Racing1113
  • #34
I am fee

ding flakes. A pinch in the morning and at night. A pinch is like three big flakes. They break up and spread all around, with the current of the filter, and drop to the bottom. I made a ring to contain the flakes, and it works pretty good except for the ones that drop. It is a catfood can lid actually, and floats over the food. Here's a photo. I have some pellets, but wasn't sure what difference it makes. They would still flow all over the aquarium. I read that it is really easy to overfeed Bettas, so I am trying not to do that.View attachment 389956
I would switch to pellets. Not only do they make less of a mess, but it’s easier to calculate an exact amount to give. Plus a lot of bettas get bloated with flakes due to how they have to shape their mouth to eat the flakes at the water surface; they gulp a lot of air.
 

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Kamaile
  • #35
I feed my bettas one pellet at a time (normally my girls get two each and my boys get three each). The nice thing about pellets is that I feed one, they eat it. I feed another, they eat it. Almost none of my pellets hit the aquarium floor because of this. Sometimes a fish will spit a pellet back out because they didn't like how they'd picked it up the first time (some pellets are elongated) and it will start sinking. The nice thing is that, because there's only one piece of food in the tank, the fish will follow the pellet as it sinks and eat it off the bottom if it gets there.

Also, because I feed one at a time, I can make sure each sorority girl gets the right amount without having to separate them. I just place the pellet right in front of the fish it belongs to!
 
Roxylou
  • Thread Starter
  • #36
I feed my bettas one pellet at a time (normally my girls get two each and my boys get three each). The nice thing about pellets is that I feed one, they eat it. I feed another, they eat it. Almost none of my pellets hit the aquarium floor because of this. Sometimes a fish will spit a pellet back out because they didn't like how they'd picked it up the first time (some pellets are elongated) and it will start sinking. The nice thing is that, because there's only one piece of food in the tank, the fish will follow the pellet as it sinks and eat it off the bottom if it gets there.

Also, because I feed one at a time, I can make sure each sorority girl gets the right amount without having to separate them. I just place the pellet right in front of the fish it belongs to!
I was hoping to avoid the whole "soak the pellet first" thing. But I like the ease of knowing how much she is eating.

What's with the film that has formed at the surface of the water? And I can't seem to get my ammonia down to zero again ACK worried.
 
HORNET1
  • #37
The film is most likely protein which is normal. You can eliminate it with a skimmer or you can use an airstone to agitate the surface.
As for the ammonia...Is your tank cycled?
 
Roxylou
  • Thread Starter
  • #38
The film is most likely protein which is normal. You can eliminate it with a skimmer or you can use an airstone to agitate the surface.
As for the ammonia...Is your tank cycled?
I have read everything about cycling and still just can't get my head around how to do it. I take out 1 gallon a day and replace it with water that has Prime treatment in it. I use test strips and an API ammonia test. I have one live plant in there, a filter, and feed her flake food (but am considering switching to pellet) So, is my tank cycled? I've had it since Wednesday and this is what I've been doing. I am not sure if it is cycled. Today I took out 2 gallons because I am concerned about the ammonia level. Probably do the same tomorrow. I feel intimidated by the math/science that seems to be involved in this. And then the Prime instructions tell me 1 bottle cap is good for 50 gallons! Even one thread on the bottle cap is approx. 10 gallons, if I'm doing my math right. One cap is 50 gal, or 5ml, 1 ml would be 10 gallons... and I have 5.5 gallons, which is half of a thread on the bottle cap, which is ridiculous. Or maybe I should be adding enough Prime for the 5.5 gallon tank.
I am probably giving her too much Prime.
I am willing to do a lot, whatever I can to treat this little lady with love and care she deserves, but I may have gotten in over my head.
 

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HORNET1
  • #39
Are you showing any nitrite levels?
 
tfreema
  • #40
What is your ammonia level?
What kind of filter do you have?

Here is a good write up on the nitrogen cycle.



Your fish is producing ammonia and the fish food adds ammonia if there is any not eaten. Your tank can take 6 weeks or more to build up enough nitrifying bacteria to process the ammonia.
Since you have fish, we can try to guide you with a fish in cycle. Just make a note to research fishless cycle if you set up another tank in the future.
My recommendation is to:
1. Get liquid test kits for nitrites and nitrates. PH is pretty important too. The API master test kit has all 4. The strips can give you an indication something is off, but are not always accurate.
2. Get stability which is a bacteria starter and start adding ASAP.
3. Use prime during water changes as well as daily to help to keep the water safe. It will detoxify ammonia and nitrites up to 1ppm. Anything over that needs a water change.
4. As long as your ammonia and nitrites are high, do daily 50% water changes using prime. If that does not get you down to less than 1ppm, do back to back until it does. If levels are below 1ppm, just dose prime every 24 hours.
Don’t worry about overdosing with prime. It will not hurt to be a little over. I always round up to the next 10 so you can dose for a 10g.
5. Do not change or wash any filter media in tap water. Use a bucket and tank water or prepare some dechlorinated in the bucket.
6. Breathe. We have all been there. It is overwhelming, but you will get there. If you use the stability, maybe in about 2 weeks or less if the cycle has already started.

I hope I covered the important points. Others that have been there can chime in with advice. We all have our own methods for cycling, but all are based on understanding the nitrogen cycle and feeding the nitrifying bacteria to build a good colony.

Let us know what questions you have.
 

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