Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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sakemomo 01-30-2008 05:39 PM

water testing of 10G-cycling questions
ok, for those that haven't read my other threads. on sunday i got a used 10gal that came with three (i think they are rather large) goldfish that have been living in that tank for the last 27 months. the filter is an aquaclear 30 and there is an air pump as well with a what looks like a rock at the end that blows bubbles. the previous owner said that he had cleaned the filter on the 25, two days before i got it. i don't know exactly what he meant by him cleaning it. i don't know if he replaced everything or just rinsed thing out.

so i got a test kit today while i was out (foolish me, i didn't even think to pick up any other chemicals to adjust anything once i found out the levels though), it's a nurtrafin master test kit (its a liquid) and i tested everything. the following is the results:
nitrite between 1.6-3.3, possibly higher. the color is hard to tell the difference on...
ammonia between 0.6-1.2, closer to 1.2
PH between 7.4-7.6, again, the color is hard to tell the difference of
GH 80
KH 40

from what i read on the sheets i think the ammonia and nitrite is high. i believe ammonia is supposed to be at 0 right? but these are supposed to be high in the beginning of a cycle right? so assuming that the previous owner has completely changed all media in the filter, the cycle has been going now 6 days? or would me draining the water and moving the fish to my place have interrupted that? the good bacteria is in the filter right? it stayed wet from the previous owner's to my place. was probably not in operation for all of 15-20 minutes.

from my betta and from the previous owner i do have nutrafin fish bowl cleaner, nutrafin betta plus bowl conditioner and nutrafin aqua plus tap water conditioner. i know i don't want to add chemicals to the tank while its cycling. but i don't want chlorine or chloramine in the water when i change it either. where there are 3 goldfish in there right now, i think i need to change at least 25% to get the nitrites down for them. but its cycling. do i change the water and condition it with the aqua plus to get rid of the chlorine and chloramine? or do i make the fish wait it out? i read up on cycling but i'm confused about this part with fish in.

the goldfish are going to my mother's this weekend. i am getting a 25 gal friday. should i wait on giving her the goldfish and use them the cycle the 25? if i am to keep the 10 gal as a hospital/quarantine tank i read i should keep it running. if i keep the goldfish to cycle the 25 gal should i wait until after the 10 gal is done? could i put 2 in the 25 gal to get the started and leave 1 in the 10 gal to finish that one?

i know this is a lot of questions and i thank you greatly for all your patience with me. i am doing my own reading but keeping a tank seems so much more complicated and i'm unsure and get confused on points. again, thank you for all your help and patience

jeaninel 01-30-2008 06:16 PM

You may have lost some of your bacteria from the move and are going through a mini cycle. You need to get your ammonia and nitrites down so keep doing water changes, maybe 25-50% every day or every other day. Make sure to use the AquaPlus water conditioner at water changes. It will not harm your cycle. Also, cut back on your feeding to once a day, a light feeding only what they can eat in 1 minute. Your bacteria needs to catch up and excess food will only add to the ammonia problem. The goal is to get the Ammonia and Nitrites to 0 and have them stay at 0. Nitrates should be kept under 40 (under 20 ppm even better). Did your test kit come with a test for Nitrate?

I'm not sure how big the Aquaclear filter is but if you can squeeze an extra sponge or floss into it you can then use that to seed your 25 gallon tank and jump start the cycle on that tank. Remember though, you need to have an ammonia source to cycle so either do a fishless cycle using ammonia or use the goldfish. I've not done fishless cycling before but here's a link if you've not already read it:

Have patience, keep testing the water and doing water changes and hopefully your cycle will be done soon.

How are the fish doing?

sakemomo 01-30-2008 07:00 PM

i've only been feeding them once a day but that was in the morning, i don't know how long it takes them to eat what i give. i'll watch next time and make adjustments.

the test kit came with everything that i tested for. so, guess there was nothing for nitrate (or at least nothing that said so). what does ppm mean and how to do i figure that out? the kit i have i put the chemical in the sample of water then look to see what color it changed to, then there's the numbers beside the color that i gave you. did i get the wrong kit?

as far as the fish, i think they're cramped. there's one there that is as long as the tank is deep if you add in his long tail fin. they seem reactive though. they follow my finger and are eager to eat. the previous owner said that they jump when they get fed. they have yet to do that for me then but i think they are jumping. i haven't seen them do it but i've heard it and i saw one shaking his head after i heard a splash and a thunk. so i'm not sure if they are jumping because they are in too small of a space or if there's something with the water.

my betta is still in his 1 liter bowl. but i was wondering, would it be alright to put him in the 10gal? the 10 gal at least as a filter and airpump and i could easily pick up a heater, its got to be better then the little bowl that has nothing. because then i could put all three goldfish in the 25G where they will have more room and put the betta in the 10G and be able to get them both cycled. the 10G would already be running about at least 10 days by the time i have the 25G here and running for a couple days before i move the GF, and it has a used filter... or should i wait to put him over still?

okiemavis 01-30-2008 08:14 PM

Is there a heater in the 25G right now? If so, you don't need it, so you can take it out and use it for the 10G (if it has a low enough wattage). Wasn't the problem with your 10G that the filter was too strong and you were worried about the current hurting your betta? If he's doing alright in the current one, I wouldn't worry about keeping him there for another week or so, as you've already had him for a while.

As for the test kit, you got the right one. PPM is just the measurement that goes with the number next to the colour. PPM means parts per million, and is a measurement of concentration, which your test kit tests it. For instance, if you did a test (put some water in the test tube, put in the correct number of drops) and it came out blue, and then you looked at the result sheet and blue meant 5, then it would be 5 ppm.

It's nice to know, but you don't really need to worry about using it. If you just write Nitrates- 5, people will know what you're talking about on this site.

sakemomo 01-30-2008 08:31 PM

i've gotten mixed information on the aquaclear 30 causing problems for bettas, so i'm not sure if it will be a problem or not. i will not have the 25 gal until friday, i'll find out then what the watt is on the heater. what would be the limit for a 10gal? i was told a 5 watt would be ideal.

right now the betta is in a 1 liter suspension bowl. there is no room for anything for him (just gravel and a small skull ornament-which doesn't help him any) and the apartment temperature fluctuates quite a bit, we're having issues with the heater. i have had him for a few months but since i got him to now i have noticed his responsiveness to me and his general activity level going down. it was this that got me wondering if the tank was big enough and maybe he was bored. now that i've learned more, and that they need a heater i'm wondering if that's the problem. i know the cycle is dangerous for him but i don't know if where he is now is any safer. i was thinking where the 10G is already started cycling it might not be as hard on him if he was there from the beginning. i really just don't know where would be better for him. it will be another few days before the goldfish are out of the tank for him to go in it anyway, but the cycle for him to get into the 25 could be months, for that matter the cycle in the 10g could me quite a few more weeks before its finished. i don't know how far along it is now. i'm just worried for him and don't know what to do.

the kit didn't have anything that tested specially for nitrates. is there a calculation i need to do to figure it out from the other tests?

jeaninel 01-31-2008 02:10 AM

You'll need a 50 watt heater for the 10 gallon (5 watts per gallon).

You can buy a separate test for nitrates. They're usually about $6-$7 or so.

SST 01-31-2008 06:58 AM

Your betta will be fine in the bowl as long as you keep up with the water changes and keep him warm. You'll need to do frequent 100% changes to keep the ammonia and nitrites down. You really can't cycle a 1 gal. bowl.

The 5 w. heater would be for the 1 gal. bowl, but I've not seen one. The smallest I've found so far is a 7.5 watt that is for 2-5 gallon bowl/tanks. Some people use these for smaller bowls, but I think that would work only if the amient temperature of the room is extremely cold to begin with. Investing in a thermometer that hangs inside the tank is a good idea...only like $2. They are much more accurate than the stick on type.

Good luck!

sakemomo 01-31-2008 09:21 AM

if the bowl was a 1 gal i would be more comfortable leaving him where he is as i would be able to do as you suggested, but right now, it's not even a 1/2 gal. it only one litre, which is 0.26 gallons, so like a quarter gallon. i don't have room to put in a thermomter and i have no way to keep him warm when the temp in the house gets cold. the heater for the house is really screw-y and we don't have control over it. some days its so cold that i'm cuddled in 2 thick blankets and i'm still cold. other days its so hot its like the middle of summer during a hot spell. those temp flucutations are hard on me and my furred animals who aren't nearly as sensitive to temp changes as poor squee the betta is.

i'm just worried that after all this, getting a 10gal then picking 20gal is going to go for naught. after all i got all this stuff FOR my betta. i don't want to lose him before he even gets in there. i suppose that sounds a little melodramtic, its not like i won't use the tanks even if i do lose squee and i got the 20gal so i could have more fish. but still, i started down this path so i could improve my betta's quality of life and i want him to be able to use and enjoy it.

but maybe what i read was for ideals and he can actually deal with the tamp changes like that? do you think he will make it for the cycle to be done in the tanks? i read that bettas are very sensitive to cold and very sensitive to temp changes, so much so that it could kill them very quickly. maybe it was dramatized a bit? maybe i'm reading too much into it? i want to do what's best for squee but from what i can understand he's in danger whether i leave him where he is or move him to the 10gal that's in the middle of a cycle. is either one less dangerous given the conditions?

sakemomo 02-02-2008 03:48 PM

still doing this right?
i think i'm on track here. at least nothing that i have read says that i'm not. this is what i've done so far.

jan 30 (levels as in first post) did a 50% water change

jan 31
ammonia 0-0.6
nitrite 0.8-1.6
fed fish

feb 1
ammonia 0-0.6
nitrite 0.3
added squee-MUCH more active and seems happy, goldfish ignore him (was not able to pick up new tank like planned due to weather, making arrangements for another day)
added new air pump (whisper- SO much quieter)
added 50 watt heater -75 F
water change 25%
fed fish

feb 2
ammonia 0
nitrite 0.3
fed fish
heat 75F

(when i get my car inspected i will go out and pick up a nitrate tester as well)

SST 02-02-2008 05:18 PM

Cool. Glad it's working out. Keep us posted.[/i]

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