10 gallon filtered, heated tank, Ammonia-.25 ppm, Nitrites 2-5ppm, Nitrates 10-20ppm, PH 7.0-7.2
Freshwater aquarium, 2.5-3 inch Betta fish, 78 degree water,
10 gallon Aquelon Quiet Flow filter (kit) 100gph
7 hours fluorescent light per day (kit hood light)
fed 3 Betta pellets twice daily and freeze-dried brine shrimp once a week (pellets the other feeding)
Hey, just joined because I need some help. Didn't know about cycling, received a Betta from a wedding in a vase with a plant on top. Did research - found this to be awful - bought and set up a 10 gallon tank, put the Betta in.
It's been 23 days since I put the Betta in the 10 gallon. Did a ton of research and bought an API test kit. Did plenty of water changes (25% each time). He got fin rot. Treated him with Maracyn Two - the hole in his fin healed, though he still looks ragged and the edges are whitish.
Used TLC Start Smart to help speed things up so he might survive the process - got a small Ammonia spike and a big Nitrite spike and Nitrates started to appear. Re-tested my PH and found it to be 7.8. Whoa.
Holes keep appearing in his fins and disappearing from what I can tell. I have been worried about this Betta from the start, especially after all of the research I've done, so I buy some Mopani driftwood (tannins lower PH) and 3 full grown Java ferns (feed on Nitrites) and put them in.
Water is now dirty brown (tannins) and the Java ferns were from PetCo, so they're in ratty condition but I bought from where I had access at the time - more worried about the Betta.
Did a 25% water change last night and those numbers above are from AFTER the water change. I'm gonna test my tap water for Nitrites tonight.
Should the measurement stay at 5ppm AFTER a 25% water change?
The Ammonia and the PH both have dropped significantly since adding the driftwood and plants. He likes the real plants and the wood. He swims through the real plants and never did with the silk ones.
He also swims up to the filter outflow and flares his gills huge (as if taking a big deep breath) and continues to swim around. He doesn't do this all the time.
I cut a 1 Liter soda bottle up and wrapped the middle of it around the filter to stem the outflow - it was knocking him all over the tank.
Initially I just rubber-banded an additional filter cartridge in front of the outflow. I think i caused the fin rot by not using the full force of the filter but he hated the current.
What else can I do to cycle this quicker? I want to help the Betta as much as I can and I'm at a loss.
Sorry about the long post. I'm brand new to this and I'm freaked out. Thanks for any help you can give.