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Old 10-08-2003, 05:26 PM   #1
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Is pure ammonia necessary if fish aren't in the tank?

Hi everyone,
My betta is fine now. But I'm wondering if I need to take him out and put him in the critter keeper for treatment, what will happen to the good bacteria in the tank? He's the only one in there. Without him, will the good bacteria die, and would the tank have to cycle all over again? To avoid this, is it a good idea to drop some ammonia into the tank if he's not in there? If so, how much? It's a 5.5 gallon tank with one betta.

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Old 10-08-2003, 05:28 PM   #2
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If theres no source of food, the bacteria will die yes.
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Old 10-08-2003, 06:30 PM   #3
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If he's the only one in the tank, it seems like, in the event you need to treat, you could just treat him without removing him, which would probably minimize stress on the lil guy anyways.

Keep in mind though, a lot of meds would kill off your biofilter...so you'd have to re-cycle either way.
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Old 10-08-2003, 06:42 PM   #4
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If you did have to remove him for a couple weeks go to the LFS and buy 2 ghost shrimp I'm sure this would be a much easier way to maintain bacteria than measuring & monitoring pure amonia . If he eats the shrimp when he is returned to the 5 gal, well it's only 50 cents gone and the fish had a healthy meal. BTW I still have multiple grass shrimp as tank mates for my bettas with NO problems.
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Old 10-08-2003, 07:31 PM   #5
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The shrimp may not be enough to keep a decent size nitrifying bacterial colony. Ammonia would work, but you have to figure out how much ammonia your lil betta normally gives off so as not to overwhelm the bacteria in the tank LOL too complicated IMHO.

Surprisingly, the easiest thing to do is to continue "feeding" the tank. Drop a little bit of food in each day; the decomposition of the food will help keep the nitrifying bacterial colonies up to par. Not too much, maybe a couple of pellets/flakes a day.
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Old 10-08-2003, 08:09 PM   #6
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You could always get a fiddler crab [ You knew it was comming, Alli ] and keep him in the tank.


Your milliage may very, but I've never once had any trouble in keeping fiddlers in the same tanks as bettas. and he'll keep your colonies going while your betta's gone.

Just as a side note, if you do get a fiddler, I.. personally.. tend to feed two shrimp pellets per crab twice a day.
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Old 10-09-2003, 02:54 AM   #7
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Thanks, everyone! I didn't realize it was that hard to figure out the right amount of ammonia. LOL -- I wouldn't have the slightest idea of how to figure out how much ammonia he creates! It's either treat him in the tank and take a chance on killing the good bacteria, or treat him out of the tank and take a chance on killing the good bacteria! The ghost shrimp plan looks good -- been wanting an excuse to get them anyway! And I have enough betta food to feed 100 bettas! About the fiddler crab-- I know they're your favorite, William, and they are cool looking, but isn't a 5.5 gallon tank too small, especially if it would get as big as Hammer was?
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Old 10-09-2003, 09:11 AM   #8
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Not really.. Not to small for 1 atleast.

As long as he has access to get above the water level, and a little cave to call his own he'll be most content in a 5.5
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Old 10-09-2003, 11:16 AM   #9
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I like the crab idea. I think a crab and the betta would make a very interesting tank. Since reading William's posts about them I am starting to get that urge....what's one more tiny tank, after all?

Shrimp are also a great idea, or even some big ole snails. My shrimp produce a remarkable amount of waste, ounce for ounce.
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Old 10-09-2003, 08:02 PM   #10
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An t-iasg:

a bheil Gŗidhlig agad?

I can't answer your question but your name jumped off the page at me
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Old 10-09-2003, 08:15 PM   #11
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Yeah! what he said.

Seriously I wouldn't think it would be difficult, but I have to say the fiddler idea is grand! So is the big 'Ol snail idea from tankgirl. (One more lil' tank cant hurt anything.) However, just as an idea, I read about and tried the household ammonia cycling. I can't remember the link but I got it from here. It actually worked out great on my 20g.

I stole the bio-wheels off of an existing tank of mine to start the bacteria colony, added just enough pure household ammonia drop-by-drop until I reached 1ppm on the test and just waited until the ammonia level was back at zero. When it reached zero I did a 15% water change and did it again. I cycled like this about 5 times and tried raising it to 3ppm and by then my bacteria colony was so strong it only took about 12 hours to have it back at zero.

But i still think the crab is the best idea.
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Old 10-09-2003, 10:18 PM   #12
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Quote:
An t-iasg:

a bheil Gŗidhlig agad?

I can't answer your question but your name jumped off the page at me
OMG! Finally someone got it! I know she will be pleased....
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Old 10-10-2003, 02:04 AM   #13
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An t-iasg

Cool name something to do with fish or a fish. The Gaelic/English dictionary I found was kinda hard to understand.
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Old 10-10-2003, 03:10 AM   #14
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Wow!! Cool!! 8)

Hallo, Stew! Tha, tha Gaidhlig agam! Ciamar a tha thu? Tha gu math! An toigh leat na h-eisg?

Hi Socal!! Yes, an t-iasg means "the fish" in Scottish Gaelic. There are some on-line dictionaries that I like; let me know if you're interested and I'll give you the link. One is really easy. You type in the English word and the Gaelic word comes up.

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Old 10-10-2003, 10:08 PM   #15
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Hi Reefnewb,
I'm just curious; where did you get the ammonia? I asked at my lfs and they didn't really know what I was talking about! You used "pure household ammonia" -- so you didn't get it at an lfs? In the cleaning aisle of the grocery store?? Just wondering!

P.S. I bet this is a nice night to go on the canal walk downtown! I wish I was there right now!
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Old 10-11-2003, 10:04 AM   #16
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Tis where I got my ammonia, the local Stop n Shop LOL Just make sure there are no additives and its not the soapy kind.
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Old 10-13-2003, 01:53 PM   #17
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Thanks, Allivymar! I was thinking of doing a fishless cycle if I get another tank, but Bio-Spira is available in my area, and I've used it successfully before, so I'll go with that again.
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