TSS Fail. 0 Everything!

  • #1
I set up my Betta tank two weeks ago. Dechorinated with Prime, decorated, and after 24+ hours I added a bottle of TSS. Betta was added about an hour later. No testing, no water changes. Last week my plants came and I added those.

Tested last night and I have 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites 0 nitrates! Nothing at all. It's testing like bowl of water. :-/ I'm running a double sponge filter (rated for up to 30 gallons). PH is at 8. Temp fluctuates between 77 -78. Betta is doing his thing - eating well, exploring, flaring when the cat comes by to watch him (lol)

I have a bottle of stability and added the appropriate amount this morning. My question is how much should I worry about him? I'll test and water change every day using the stability if I have too (But with no ammonia, should I bother with the WC?) but should I try another bottle of TSS or just keep on with the stability?

I've used TSS before and everything went great. Is his bioload too small in a 10g?

  • #2
I do not see that as a fail. If the SafeStart failed you would have elevated ammonia and/or nitrite levels. There are a couple of reasons you may not be seeing nitrates. 1) Your betta isn't producing enough ammonia to make enough nitrate to show up on the test or 2) Your plant started absorbing the nitrates. And yes, your bioload would be less in a 10 gallon tank, which would mean less ppm of everything as opposed to it the betta were in a smaller tank.

I hope you didn't make a mistake by adding the Stability and here's why I say that. Since you have 0ppm ammonia and nitrite, and we know your betta is releasing ammonia into the water, you must have an active bacteria colony consuming that ammonia and also the resultant nitrite. As you (hopefully) know, ammonia and nitrite are the food source for those two bacteria that cycle a tank. Now you've added a plant (which will absorb ammonia from the water) and Stability, both of which will rob the bacteria in your filter of it's food. That bacteria may starve off.

So if it were me, I would stop with the Stability. So long as everything is at 0ppm, you have nothing to worry about. But for now, keep an eye out for an ammonia or nitrite rise.

  • Thread Starter
  • #3
OK, that makes sense to me. Although I "know" about the cycling tanks, I guess my confusion came with the Stability. I thought it was like TSS.

I also hadn't considered the amount of plants. The anubius was in there the first day but I have added a bunch of wisteria and crypto parva.

I'll leave it alone then and keep an eye on things. Not having nitrates is a foreign concept to me. lol

Thank you for your help!
  • #4
Just wanted to let you know that I have never registered nitrates in my 5 gallon betta tank so I'm not that surprised

Agree to just make sure you don't see ammonia and nitrites.

Stability is like TSS but if you're already cycled (and most likely a different bacteria colony has built up as there are hundreds) then its not doing you any good. jdhef has a really good point about adding additional, different bacteria. I wouldn't do it unless you see ammonia and nitrite from here on out.
  • #5
I have to add though I think 10 gallon is a bit large to put a new betta in an uncycled aquarium, unless you are using filter media from a cycled tank... The bioload of a betta isn't big enough. It might overwhealm him.

Then again betta are quite hardy, and do breathe air.
  • #6
I actually had a similar issue when I put a Betta in an approximately 8 gallon tank. Even though I used cycled media I had to wait a looong time for nitrates to build up enough for my test to read it. The plants were using everything!

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