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Old 01-29-2013, 08:46 PM   #1
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Exclamation Is my tank contaminated -- should I start over?

Hi all,

I am new to fish keeping! I bought a betta last Sunday. Unfortunately, I have determined he has fin rot. I did my research and realized that I need to cycle my 10 gallon tank and treat him for fin rot. I did as follows, today I bought a 2.5 QT tank with a heater and a filter and moved him to that tank. I plan on doing 100% water changes and using aquarium salt to treat him. Now, as for the 10 gallon...is it contaminated since he was in it for about a week with fin rot? Should I scrap my filter cartridge, gravel and plants? --or--

Now that I know about the fishless cycle, I plan on doing that. Can I continue to cycle my tank using pure or fish food using the same water, filter cartridge and gravel that is already in there? My readings as of yesterday were as follows:

pH: 7.6
High range pH: 8.4
Temp: 80 degrees
Ammonia: *maybe* .25ppm...it looks somewhere between 0 and .25ppm
Nitrites: .25ppm
Nitrates: 5.0ppm

Eventually, I want to put my betta back in my 10 gallon and possibly divide it to house another betta but I don't want to put them back into contaminated water (filter, gravel, etc). Please help, I am so confused!
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Old 01-31-2013, 09:59 AM   #2
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No need to start over that will just set things back further
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Old 01-31-2013, 07:26 PM   #3
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I'm not sure what you mean by contaminated....fin rot is usually a sign of something, usually poor water quality (ammonia, etc). I'd keep him in the 10 gal, test the water daily with a good test kit, change water whenever ammonia or nitrite are at or over.25 and maybe add some aquarium salt to help his fins heal. With clean water they should heal up. I don't see the sense in putting him in a smaller tank that you'd have to fish-in cycle anyway and in which the toxins are going to rise more quickly due to the smaller volume of water.

Test your tap water for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate too, to see what you're starting with. Since both ammonia and nitrite are .25 I'd do a 50% water change to get them down (assuming your tap has 0 of both of those). If you wanted, you could do a full water change since the betta isn't in there yet to get the parameters back down to 0 (again assuming your tap water has 0 ammonia, etc) then put the betta back in and keep testing and doing water changes as needed.
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Old 02-02-2013, 02:32 AM   #4
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Yeah just leave him in the 10 gal, he'll do better.
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