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post #11 of 33 Old 05-12-2009, 12:19 PM Thread Starter
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Okay, guys I feel like an idiot I found my ammonia kit and used the wrong color chart lol so I have 0 pp in my tank. And my tap water is reading PH of 7.4 it's a clearer blue than on the color chart that reads 7.6
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post #12 of 33 Old 05-12-2009, 02:07 PM
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Okay, guys I feel like an idiot I found my ammonia kit and used the wrong color chart lol so I have 0 pp in my tank. And my tap water is reading PH of 7.4 it's a clearer blue than on the color chart that reads 7.6
So let us summarize where we are now. The tank has been running for one week with no fish, and your ammonia is "0". At the moment, unless you have added some form of ammonia, the tank is doing nothing. I don't know your level of experience so I don't know whether or not you know how to cycle a new tank, so I'll explain the process.

You need ammonia in the tank in order to get the nitrosomonas bacteria present; they "eat" ammonia and convert it to nitrite. Nitrite is still toxic to fish though less so than ammonia, but another bacteria called nitrobacter will establish itself once there is nitrite and this bacteria will convert the nitrite to nitrate which for now we will say is harmless. But without "food" in the form of ammonia, the cycle can't start. It takes anywhere from 5-9 days for the nitrosomonas bacteria to establish themselves sufficient to handle the ammonia, and there must be a continual supply of ammonia during this period or the bacteria that do appear will die off for lack of "food." Similarly, the nitrobacter bacteria take several days to establish, and this will only start once the nitrosomonas bacteria start providing nitrite. It can take anywhere from 2-8 weeks for the cycling process to establish itself.

What are you adding to the tank to provide ammonia?

P.S. Don't feel like an idiot--if you knew the number of times that we have done similar...

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]

Last edited by Byron; 05-12-2009 at 02:11 PM.
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post #13 of 33 Old 05-12-2009, 02:33 PM
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One way to cycle a tank is using hardy fish, but this involves alot of water changes to keep ammonia and nitrites under .25 ppm. Almost daily water changes. This process is also hard on the fish.
Its easyer to cycle the tank using pure ammonia, unfortunately it takes a few weeks and can be frustrating looking at an empty tank waiting for it to cycle, but it really pays off in the end.
We are all here to help, what ever route you choice.
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post #14 of 33 Old 05-12-2009, 03:41 PM Thread Starter
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well I'm goin with the route of the fish. I bought a betta today they are pretty hardy right? and with partial water changes, with the old gravel I've mixed with the new gravel and added plants to the tank will help the cycle. Did I leave anything out? What is the rule of thumb about adding more fish to a newly established tank?
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post #15 of 33 Old 05-12-2009, 04:58 PM
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Best to add new fish slowly, checking ammonia and nitrites daily. Ammonia can jump from zero to .25 ppm quickly. Yea, I would say bettas are hardy and should make it through the cycle.
Did you get a male or female betta?
Males can be some tricky fish to put in a community tank. What other fish are on your wish list?
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post #16 of 33 Old 05-12-2009, 05:06 PM Thread Starter
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it's a male crowned betta, I've had bettas before in community tanks 15gals and less. But I was thinking of adding a school of 4-5 dwarf neon rainbows aswell.
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post #17 of 33 Old 05-12-2009, 05:37 PM
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Bettas usually do well with other fish if they do not have large and flowy fins. That being said, you never know what will work with fish, no two fish are alike.

My wife rolls her eyes when I talk about getting another tank
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post #18 of 33 Old 05-12-2009, 05:40 PM
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I would think the rainbows would work. Very pretty fish!
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post #19 of 33 Old 05-12-2009, 06:06 PM Thread Starter
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Bettas usually do well with other fish if they do not have large and flowy fins. That being said, you never know what will work with fish, no two fish are alike.

I agree! recently I had a betta that did well with my mollies and then died of old age so I got a new one and he ate the last baby molly I had left.
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post #20 of 33 Old 05-13-2009, 10:03 AM
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well I'm goin with the route of the fish. I bought a betta today they are pretty hardy right? and with partial water changes, with the old gravel I've mixed with the new gravel and added plants to the tank will help the cycle. Did I leave anything out? What is the rule of thumb about adding more fish to a newly established tank?
Just a suggestion, get a small bottle of "Cycle" (or any similar biological stuff) and dose the tank when you add the fish (or now if it's already in there). Cycle contains live bacteria that will quicken the colonization of bacteria and ease the stress of the ammonia and nitrite on the fish. I've never lost a fish using Cycle.

As I mentioned earlier, it takes 2-8 weeks to cycle a new tank. Check the ammonia every day as Twistersmom said; it will rise and then start to fall, at which time you can start checking the nitrite and it will do the same, usually over a period of 2-3 weeks but sometimes longer. When the ammonia and nitrite both read "0" for several consecutive days, the tank is cycled. After that you can add more fish, but slowly; a 15g is a small water volume and it takes time for the bacteria to reproduce [they divide by fission when there is more food (ammonia and nitrite) than they can consume at their present level]. If the bioload is increased too quickly, it will crash the biological equilibrium and start the cycle all over, and that usually harms if not kills the fish.

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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