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Old 03-13-2012, 03:37 PM   #1
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Cycling wit Fish and Bacteria in a Bottle

To make long story short

i got a betta and read that 1.5 gallon is to small for it... so i wanted to get a 5 gallon, but then got a 10 gallon in the store aand set it up. And sure enough they suggested bacteria, SO i've set it up and added 2 guppies to my betta.

Its day 6, ammonia is at .25 the rest is at zero. My PH is 8.0-8.2

I have added zyme from API on a day one, and plan to add some tomorrow.
I did a PWC of 30% on a day 3 - my ammonia was at .25

SO not sure what to do next? should i do PWC every day? or .25 is okay - and do a water change if it goes to .5?
I test twice a day - to make sure i wont miss the spike.

Do i have enough fish for it to cycle?
I have about 5 live plants, gravel, filter ( modified it and added a satchel with bio beads and sponge - because original Top FIn filter comes with cartridge that needs replacement once a month) heater and oxygen stone that i turn on for few hours a day.

My temp is around 80-78.

My fish is acting great (except for one guppy that i'm worried about... he does not eat and sits at the top - swims ocasionally) Betta is a little piggy - and eats all his food then goes for a tropical flakes... thats another question - how to make sure he eats his -and guppies eat their flakes?
Other guppy doing great - and catches all the food

I'm thinking about returning the sick guppie to the store ( its been 7 days since i got it) - the main reason is on a day when i picked them up, lady at the store showed me a tank with more guppies, and 2 were dead at the bottom, so i told her no guppies from that tank... is there a possibility that the guppy was sick when i got it? first few days he was eating and chasing the bigger one.


Sorry for a long post - i am new to this so want to get all the help i can

Victoria
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Old 03-13-2012, 03:52 PM   #2
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Your betta is not compatible with guppies due to their flowing/bright finnage.

You need to have a backup plan, a/k/a a 2nd tank, to be able to put the betta in if tank mates do not work with him.

Also, there are very few bacterial starters that actually work. Which did you get? It sounds like your lfs spotted you as a good target to purchase whatever they wanted to sell you.

Any ammonia reading is toxic to your fish. You'll have to do water changes.

Cartridges do not have to be changed out monthly. The manufacturers tell you that so they can make money off of you. Most of us change them out only when they are literally falling apart.

So, in a nutshell, don't believe your store employees and don't believe the manufacturers. We, however, never lie.
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Old 03-13-2012, 04:58 PM   #3
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welcome to AA!
I am not an expert, but I have set up a couple of tanks here recently.

as far as the fish that is not doing well, you can take him back if you want or just wait and see if he pulls through. as long as you are maintaining your water he has a good chance. how long is your return policy on your guppy?

keep your ammonia and nitrites at or below .25ppm if you can. might be a good idea to test your tap water to see what you are starting out with. for me my tap was at .25ppm ammonia, so I was not able to lower that with a water change. but... if you are using prime as your dechlorinator it will neutralize that for you for 24 -48 hours thus water changes every couple of days is good.

I have little neon tetras with my betta. you want something that can swim fast to get away from your betta. a quick little fish would be great. i love my neons.

temp is great. bettas like it a little warmer so the 80 is fine.

as far as water changes go - when you do your water change might as well get in the habit - 50% is a good goal. temp matched and of course treated with the prime before you add it into the tank.

lynda is right - you don't need to add anything else to the tank other than the water conditioner. the tank will cycle with what you have or just with the betta. and you only need to test daily - you can test twice a day if you want, but pretty sure if you are testing daily you will not miss it

good luck!!
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Old 03-13-2012, 05:00 PM   #4
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Lynda thank you!

Ok i guess i better start doing some water changes!
I got API Stress Zyme and Stress Coat to treat water.

Betta has chased guppies around first day, but now seems to be ignoring them. Only once in a while he'll go after one for a few seconds... Should i just return them to the store and get a platy?

I also wanted to get some ghost shrimp and an oto -should i wait untill the tank is cycled?

Oh good that i don't have to change filters that often - but i also added the other stuff to slow the flow of the filter a little - as the current is a bit strong for betta.

PS Love your signature to research before buying!!!
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Old 03-13-2012, 05:04 PM   #5
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Heather thank you!
Return policy is 14 days, so i have a little more time
i thought about getting some neon tetras - but think i might get overstocked?

for 10 gallon:
1 betta
2-3 guppies
want to get:

1 otto
2-3 shrimp
and then 3 neon tetras wont be happy i read? so if i get 5 - is it too much fish for a 10 gallon planted aquarium?
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Old 03-13-2012, 05:06 PM   #6
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Also should i siphon the gravel for every water change? or just get the water from top of the tank?
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Old 03-13-2012, 05:21 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VictoriaC View Post
Also should i siphon the gravel for every water change? or just get the water from top of the tank?
You only need to clean your gravel about once a month or if you see it getting really dirty. No need to clean it every water change. Good stuff grows in your substrate so you don't want to clean it frequently.
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Old 03-13-2012, 05:22 PM   #8
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Oh one more thing while im at it
When should the lights come on? the tank is in the corner of the room - i love the way it looks lit at night so for now i have it on from 12pm till 12 am ( so 12 hours of lights) - is this fine? or should it correspond with the time of the day?
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Old 03-13-2012, 05:23 PM   #9
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Oh great! i'm just worried that some food falls down on the bottom.. that is the reason i was thinking about geting an otto and a couple of shrimp
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Old 03-13-2012, 05:24 PM   #10
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so here is what I would do. switch out the guppies for 5 neons.
what kind of shrimp? not sure the shrimp and the betta go together. I think the otto would like a bigger tank, but you can see if someone with more experience will chime in. a platy would be fine as well
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