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Old 09-21-2014, 11:15 PM   #1
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Cycled tank-ammo creeping up?

Newbie here-my apologies-this might be long, but the devil is in the details......
Please understand I've been a poor fish-keeper in my past. Now that I have more life behind me than in front of me, I swore to be better. I've been lurking in this forum and found it a great resource and unfortunately a confirmation of my past ignorance......

So to the details:

5G Marineland Portrait.
Planted- with various PetCo plants pre-packed in gel ( rinsed ).
Substrate- Eco Complete.
Heated- Cobalt Micro ( new tonight, it's a replacement of a PetCo version & I'm twitchy--hoping it keeps temp ).
Bubbler- on low.
Cycled- confirmed with API test ( this took me 6 weeks - don't ask, I was an idiot ).
Now stocked with one (1) Male Betta Spendid ( young, under 4 months & active as all heck! ).
All water aged over 24 hrs ( & filtered with one of those ceramic "prepper" type filers ).
Treated with Prime.
Indian Almond Leaf added to ageing water.

After 7 days no PWC readings are:
Ammo .25
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 20
PH 8.0

After PWC ( appx 40%? )
Ammo 0
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 0
PH 7.8 ( I assume this is lower due to the IAL I just got ).

Since I'm planted & have a substrate, I'm probably more like a 4G, so %'s of PWC are rough estimate.

Duke ( my Betta ) is young and growing. He's been in tank for 2 & 1/2 weeks now. He gets fed 2x per day. I feed him Wardley brand Betta food-- Blue. I have to crush it because his mouth is too small to eat the pellets. This causes some debris, which I use a turkey baster to remove ( as best I can ). He doesn't eat longer than about 4 mins. He lets me know when to stop feeding him. He stops eating & spits his food out.

I use a small animal baby dropper to feed him his crushed & soaked food. He does not eat all I "push" into tank from the baby dropper.

Once a week he gets a fully cooked 1/4 pea ( skinned ) to help him poop.

So, the question is: is my "baby" feeding method causing my Ammo load to rise?
Until he grows & can eat full pellets, should I just do more frequent PWC's?

My ultimate goal is a once a week 50-75% change.

Or do I have a tank issue I need to address and if so, how?

Thank you for the input & advice. Click image for larger version

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Old 09-22-2014, 06:39 PM   #2
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I hope someone else jumps in with the answer to the rest, but, with a betta fish, please give him one fast day a week. It is good for him and helps clear him out Also it sounds like you *may* be giving him a little too much to eat. How many pellets per day would you say?

That being said, the way you are feeding him and the fact that he isnt' finishing it (he is probably too full but I can't say for sure) could contribute to more ammonia. Changing the water should help.

I am not super experienced, but, that is my 2cents, I hope someone else jumps in too

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Old 09-23-2014, 11:11 PM   #3
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Thank you. You are probably right that he's getting too much food. So yesterday we started a once a day feeding schedule. It's between 2 & 3 pellets, soaked and crushed. His mouth is still too small to swallow them whole. I'll see how that goes for a week. He's a bit picky about where the food is located in the tank when he eats it -- not floating, and not if it's fallen below 3 inches -- picky little ( insert foul word ) LOL!!! I'm concerned that too much reduction will reduce growth. He's still increasing in size almost daily! His body length is much longer now, and fins are expanding too.
If there are any experienced Betta keepers out there that can tell me about when I can expect him to be fully mature, and what is a good for growth ( better that what I feed now ) food? I would appreciate the feedback. Once he's grown, a day of fasting after his pea --or maybe before it? -- is good advice.

Thank you

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