waiting waiting waiting (betta tank cycling)

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windymeadow

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Okay, I am trying not to be impatient but this tank cycling is taking sooooo long! I have poor Joe Cool in a stupid vase while his pretty pristine tank is getting cycled. It has been two weeks and there are no signs of nitrites, sigh. I put 3 drops of ammonina in a five gallon tank every day. I also heated it to 82 to speed things along (?). So should I be seeing nitrites by now? Also I am concerned about ph. Our water is very hard. Should I be doing something about that? I put water conditioner in the tank. Was that right? Also (this should probably be in aquarium plant forum) I am looking at live plants and I am guessing that I need to get low light requirement plants, someone said that Bettas have sensitive eyes. Which reminds me, is 15 watts too bright? Thanks everyone for all your help! I obviously need lots of it!
 

gammerus

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I'm not sure about some other things, but I have yet to find evidence that bettas have sensative eyes.
 

chickadee

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Please do not consider changing the pH artificially as it will be too hard to control fluctuations. The fluctuations will kill your fish much more easily than letting them get used to the high pH on his own. Just be sure to acclimate him carefully to the water and he will do fine. High pH can cause some problems but once you get fish into a tank and plants sometimes the pH will change some so you need to give it some time. I know my pH came down once I had plants and fish in the tank for a while.

Yes you need water conditioner to remove the harmful chlorine and chloramine and heavy metals that are found in tap water. The only time it is not needed is if you fill your tank completely with bottle SPRING WATER. Do not use distilled or drinking water in jugs, only spring water if you choose to use them.

No bettas do not have any more sensitive eyes than other fish and if you have a small cave and some plants and he gets sleepy or tired he can get away from the light if he chooses. No 15 watts is not too bright. I am guessing that you have an incandescent bulb that came with the tank, I would recommend getting a 10 watt mini fluorescent bulb made for aquariums at Walmart to replace it. It will run cooler and save you a lot of temperature problems later. The incandescent bulbs heat up the tank during the day and then the tank temperature drops at night and can make your fish sick.

Depending on the size of the tank it can take longer than this for a tank to cycle. Don't get discouraged, it will take time but be Oh So worth it when it is done. Good luck and congratulations!

Rose
 

shollia

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I'm in the same boat as you, cept I haven't gotten my bettas yet.
I was doing the add ammonia every day method, but read about another way, where you add enough to get a reading of 5ppm, and then you just sit and wait for it to drop, etc etc.... Since it's just going to be the betta in the tank, a large bacterial colony doesn't need to be present.. so adding in ammonia every day to build up THAT much bacteria isn't really necessary.... that's just what I read and what I just started trying today heh.
Hey, I'll try anything to get this tank to cycle quicker than it is! lol
 

chickadee

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It is something to be careful with. You can add enough ammonia to slow the cycle down to the point where it takes forever. The bacteria are so overwhelmed that they just give up. We had another person try that and it took them forever to get the readings down and I believe they even had them go UP to 8 before it was over. I do wish you luck but sometimes slow and steady wins the race. Remember the Tortoise and the Hare?

Rose
 

heatmisr

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Yep, that other person was me. The tank still isn't cycled and it has been 6 weeks. I wasn't intentionally doing the add and wait method, but I was inadvertantly adding too much ammonia. The ammonia reading went up over 8. I did a 75% water change to get it back down to 8. I stopped adding ammonia altogether and it still took about a week for the reading to come down to 1.0. I think that the add and wait method is only good if you are cycling a community tank. It takes a long time to build up a large enough bacteria colony to cycle the large amount of ammonia. Since there is only going to be 1 fish in the tank, the bacteria it took so long to build up will die off because there will not be enough ammonia to feed it. It will probably end up throwing the tank back into a mini cycle.

Just my 2 cents.

Nicole
 

chickadee

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Thanks, Nicole. It helps that you gave your own experience. I can talk forever and it does not mean as much as one or two people giving their own experience. Thanks.

Rose
 

0morrokh

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As for the hard water...I am currently keeping 3 Bettas as well as several catfish in my tap water which is a pH of over 8 and a hardness off the charts...and they are all doing great. A steady pH is much more important than a "perfect" level. Remember that the fish are probably being kept in the same tap water at the store, so they will already be acclimated to your pH and hardness. I have never heard of hard water hurting a fish. Your Betta will be just fine in your water.
 
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