got a few questionss - Page 2 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #11 of 14 Old 07-07-2010, 10:53 PM Thread Starter
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will do- thanks man...
another it a bad idea to vac. the gravel when cycling??
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post #12 of 14 Old 07-07-2010, 11:49 PM
I'd really like someone else to comment to confirm or deny - but i don't think it is a bad thing... I know all the fish waste will accumulate on/in the top layer of gravel so you want to get that, but that is where a majority of your bacterial colonies settle in at, filter too. I wouldn't think there is much of chance for that to interrupt the cycle? I'm just not sure though, if anything it may take longer for the cycle to establish equilibrium since you are removing some of the food source in the cycle's chain... If I were you I'd play it safe and vacuum 1/3 to 1/2 the surface area per water change. Hopefully you will get a definite response.
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post #13 of 14 Old 07-08-2010, 12:13 AM
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Exactly what I'd do and did do, when my tanks were cycling. I would vacuum "this half" of the tank, then the following week the "other half". No need to delay your cycle by going on a vacuum frenzy, lol.

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post #14 of 14 Old 07-08-2010, 08:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Jmalone View Post
okay- so I finally got to check my levels after a lonnng day lol, here they are as of an hour ago--
The Ph has been at a steady level of 7.6 (or higher, the test kit from API only goes up to 7.6) so theyres been no variation there since I set the tank up, and the Ammonia level is has gone from 0ppm two days ago, to .25ppm for the past two days, I was thinkin a WC would be appropriate right now, but I wanna see what you guys say first being as I dont wanna mess anything up with the cycle and what not.

I was also told to give APIs stress zyme+ a shot from the guy at the fish store I go to, any thoughts on that??

Also another question, Ive had a betta for a year now, and this guy has been through the ringer to say the least, he was at my girlfriends house for a while (who neglected to change his water quite a few times), anyways, I treated him to a little 2.5 or 5 gal, cant tell what size, but its perfect size for him, it has a filter and a little light, new plants etc.etc. However, the little crappy marble like substate it came with seems as though its holding alottt of waste and decomposing food, I just didnt have money to buy good stuff at the time because of a lack of cash, however I bought him new gravel today. The ph in his tank is 7.6 as well, and the ammonia just shot up to between a 1.0 and a 2.0, so obviously I want to change his water, im wondering if its a good idea to just move him temporarily into a bowl and just clean the whole tank out and start over with the gravel- thoughts??

a little side note, its amazing how much happier and brighter the little guy is now that he has a good home, I feel bad I didnt do it for him sooner. He practically eats the food off of my hand now when I put it in the tank.

As always guys, I really appreciate the help and advice-
Thanks, Joe
First on the Stress Zyme, I do not recommend it. The claims it makes are rather unsettling [cited from API's website]:
Improves the development of the biological filter and helps clean a dirty aquarium. Contains over 300 million live bacteria per teaspoonful. Breaks down organic compounds that cause dangerous conditions such as ammonia and nitrite poisoning and low oxygen levels. Continuous use assures an active biological filter, cleaner aquarium, healthier fish and good water quality. No refrigeration necessary. Use when setting up and maintaining an aquarium.
I don't mind the bacteria, it's the breaking down organic compounds. This occurs naturally (or should) in any aquarium, and is part of establishing the stability of a tank. I prefer leaving it to nature to establish itself and continue. There are other bacterial supplements to use in a new aquarium that in my view are better. Seachem's "Stability" is one and Tetra's "SafeStart" are two I recommend. Both are 100% bacteria to jump-start the nitrification bacteria cycle. In the absence of plants I would always use one of these in a new tank for a few days.

The pH seems OK, if tap and tank are roughly the same. It would be useful to find out your tap water hardness, from the water supply people in your area.

Re the betta, if the "marble" gravel is actually marble, this will slowly dissolve to harden the water and with a soft water fish like a betta this is not what you want. Course it may be inert and just look like marble. But if you don't like it anyway, replace it with a dark gravel, black or dark brown. Forest fish (like bettas) come from waters with dark substrates and always feel less stressed over a dark substrate. If you get a small bottle of either product I mentioned, you can replace the substrate and put the betta back in with the supplement. And it should have plants, esp floating. Many of the stem plants will float fine. Ceratopteris cornuta is a perfect floating plant, natural to these fish. You can see the profile of fish and plants by clicking on the shaded name in posts, or go to the profiles (second tab from the left in the blue bar at the top).

What water conditioner are you using? One that detoxifies ammonia (along with chlorine and chloramine) during cycling is useful. They do this by changing the ammonia into ammonium which is basically harmless, but the bacteria (and plants if present) still use the ammonium so no issue there.


Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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