What's up with my tank? Question

Discussion in 'Aquarium Water' started by Lilibeth_Seasong, Dec 13, 2012.

  1. Lilibeth_SeasongWell Known MemberMember

    Hi, I'm new to this site. I set up a 5 gallon betta tank with filter, heater, fake plants etc. I set in up Nov. 2 and added Jungle Start Right Water Conditioner. I let it run for four days before buying a a beautiful blue male Crowntail betta to put in it. I used to drip method to acclimate him to the water. I test the water regularly with my API Freshwater Master Test Kit. The tank has been running for about a month now, and my parameters are still at Ammonia 0. ppm-0.25 ppm (I don't know for sure if that 0.25 is right. It could be the lighting in the room made it look like that.) , Nitrite 0. ppm, Nitrate 0. ppm and pH 7.2-7.6. Is it normal that I haven't seen any increase in Ammonia after a month? Also, there is this strange oily substance on the top of the water. Occasionally I will use a paper towel to skim some of it off. I had this happen when I had this tank set up a few months ago. Shortly after I noticed it that time, all my fish died. So far it doesn't seem to bother my betta. Do you know what causes it and if it's harmful? Thanks for your help in advance. :)

    Last edited: Dec 13, 2012
  2. MagooFishlore VIPMember

    Hello :) does the filter provide any water movement at the surface? If not that can explain the slime I get it on Mordin's tank when the water line drops below the filter due to evaporation but I believe it is pretty much harmless I alway try to remove it though because bettas breath from the surface (Mordin is my betta also known as chief monkey fish :))

    In regards to your readings it sounds like the tank isn't cycled I would invest in some tetra safe start and start again that way you can keep your betta boy.

    To use safe start use a dechlorinator no less that 24 hours beforehand add the safe start and wait for two weeks no water changes no water tests just feed your boy.

    On day 14 do a water change and if necessary do a water change you can always post your test results and ask out opinion as mine took 14 days on one tank 18 on another and a little longer on another.

    Good luck and pictures of your betta are always welcome :D

  3. Lilibeth_SeasongWell Known MemberMember

    OK. Thank you. Is there any way the tank will still cycle by itself? As I said, the tank has been running for a month and I haven't done any water changes because I didn't want to mess the cycle up. I have topped the water off a couple of times because of all the evaporation going on. As far as having water movement goes, there is a little. I don't have the filter on high because the water always flows out the back of the filter and I have heard that bettas don't like strong currants. If the tank was bigger I would probably just get a bubbler. Do products like SafeStart actually work? I've seen mixed reviews.
    I'd be glad to put some pictures of my little Blufee up if I can get any good ones. :) Where would I put it? And do you mind if I friend you? I don't have any friends on here yet.

  4. MagooFishlore VIPMember

    :) of course you can friend me :)

    You can do a fish in cycle put it takes weeks and weeks I have successfully cycled a 5 gallon, 6 gallon and a 12 gallon using tetra safe start and so have other members on here as long as you follow the instructions it'll make it so much quicker for you and Blufee.

    My bettas have one thread in the betta fish section and another in freshwater photos I think :) my bettas are called Mordin and Henry I have been keeping bettas for years and unfortunately have lost a couple along the way but I pretty much have experienced nearly everything as have others on here :)

    There are many betta lovers on this site and they are amazing fish to care for if you do it right which as you are asking questions and he is in 5 gallons you already are :)
  5. Lilibeth_SeasongWell Known MemberMember

    Thank you. I'll look into getting some Safe Start if you think it will help. Do I need to go ahead and change the filter media because the tank has been set up for a month?
  6. MagooFishlore VIPMember

    I would leave the filter media it will be fine I only change mine when it is falling apart :) tetra safe start can't hope and will give your cycle a helping hand
  7. Lilibeth_SeasongWell Known MemberMember

    OK. I know that this thread is a bit old, but I need some more help. I was wondering...how could I have my tank set up for almost three months with a betta in it and still not be getting any Ammonia readings? I use API and the last time I tested my water the readings were: pH 6.0, Ammonia 0ppm, Nitrite 0ppm, Nitrate 0ppm. Actually the the color of the Nitrate test was darker yellow. Is there a chance that my tank has cycled, but because I only have one betta, the readings are low? Maybe I'm just hoping against hope here, but I really want this tank to be cycled. Also as you can see, my pH has dropped quite a bit. This is alright because its steady isn't it?
  8. Lilibeth_SeasongWell Known MemberMember

    Can someone help me?
  9. MagooFishlore VIPMember

    Hello Lilibeth I didn't see your post sorry.

    How is Blufee doing? Did you use the safe start?
    What test kit are you using?
    Do you have live plants? (Sorry can't remember I've only just woke up)

    Sorry for all the questions just trying to help in the best way :)
  10. Lilibeth_SeasongWell Known MemberMember

    Hey Magoo!
    Blufee seems to be doing well. I need to start a thread on the best food for bettas though. I don't think the food I'm feeding him is the best thing.
    I'm using the API freshwater master test kit.
    I don't have live plants yet, but I'm seriously think about some java ferns or moss.
    Thanks for your help! :)
  11. MagooFishlore VIPMember

    Hello Lilibeth :) if you haven't already got your answers about the food I feed my boys new life spectrum betta formula pellets they have the best ingredient list and are very good for bettas :) also you can feed either frozen bloodworms or brine shrimp once a week as a treat. They also benefit from being fasted once a week too it helps to keep the poop moving lol.

    As for plants have a look at anubias too they are beautiful low to mid light plants don't require much maintenance and have big broad leaves that bettas can lie on.

    Both them and java fern can just be attached to decorations or driftwood as they don't like to be planted.

    I'm glad to hear Blufee is doing well if you ever have any questions you know where I am and I will always get back to you as soon as I can
  12. escapayWell Known MemberMember

    The bacteria might be dormant if the pH is at 6.0 or lower. With the Master Test Kit reading yellow, it could be either at 6.0 or anything below that. It doesn't test that low, so we don't know without different equipment...

    How frequent are/were you testing the tank? It is odd that there are no nitrates (are you shaking the bottle really good?).

    You missed Magoo's question on whether you used Tetra SafeStart.
  13. Lilibeth_SeasongWell Known MemberMember

    So do I need to bump the pH up then? If so, how do I do it without stressing Blufee?

    When I first set the tank up, I tested the water very frequently. I knew I wouldn't see changes very soon and Christmas came along, so I didn't test the water for a good while. Now I test it whenever I do a 25% water change (about ever two weeks). I will be doing a water change again in a few days, so I'll make sure I shake the bottle really good then. Maybe I just didn't shake it hard enough before.

    Thank you for reminding me about the SafeStart question. No I haven't used it yet. If I still don't get any nitrates when I test the water next time, I will try to get some. I'll have to get it online. What size bottle do I need for a five gallon aquarium?
  14. shelleyd2008Well Known MemberMember

    Are you doing regular water changes? I know in an earlier post you said you hadn't done water changes so you wouldn't mess up the cycle, which I believe is counter-productive anyway.
  15. Lilibeth_SeasongWell Known MemberMember

    I am doing 25% water changes every two weeks. I wasn't sure at first if I should at first, but I am now.
  16. shelleyd2008Well Known MemberMember

    I'm sorry, now I see that you said that right in the post above mine :eek:

    I looked back through the thread but I can't find it. Didn't you say that your tap water Ph is higher than your tank? I would recommend doing water changes at least a couple times a week, that will help keep the Ph up in your tank.
  17. MagooFishlore VIPMember

    Hello Lilibeth :)
    How is Blufee? I wouldn't use chemicals to change your ph it can make things more difficult with the water.

    If you want to raise it you can add egg shells cleaned ones or crushed coral.

    What is the ph from your tap sorry if you already posted that. It might be worth doing a water change once a week instead of once every two and that way you are introducing fresh water more frequent I do my water changes once a week on my boys tanks usually 50% each time.

    When are you doing the next water test?
  18. Lilibeth_SeasongWell Known MemberMember

    Okay, pH from the tap is about 6.4.

    I just did a 25% water change and my parameters are pH 6.6, Ammonia 0ppm, Nitrite 0ppm and Nitrate 0ppm.

    What do you think?
  19. fishyluvWell Known MemberMember

    Your tank could be cycled. It may just havn't built up any nitrates yet being its just the 1 fish in the tank. I say this because one or two of my tanks have 0 in nitrates because it is very little fish in the tank. I know they are cycled because they have been set up for a long time. It would not hurt to add safestart to the tank if you still want too. Its just the good bacteria a tank needs. I have cycled a few tanks with safestart. It works very well! For your tank, i would get the smallest bottle. I think it treats up to 15 gal. Pour the whole bottle in after you shake it well. Dont change water for 14 days. Just feed very lightly. But like i said it could be cycled especially if your betta hasn't shown any signs of stress or sickness. Good Luck!
  20. fishyluvWell Known MemberMember

    Hello! Hows your tank doing? I would up my water changes to every week. 50% would be awesome! You have to look at it like this: Your fish eat and it pee's and poop's. It is then swimming in it's own waste!! YUK! Thats why all us here on fishlore do regular water changes. There is nothing like fresh water for your fish!! It will keep diseases at bay and will help your fish to be stronger and healthier and to live a longer life!!! I just wish all i had to do changes on were a 5 gal!!!!!!! I have 8 tanks that i do water changes on weekly!!!! My tanks range from 5 gals to 125 gals!!!!!! I do 50% on all tanks!!!!! lol It is a job yes but it is well worth it in the end when you see how happy they are in their clean home!!!!!!!! :)

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