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Old 03-28-2020, 08:12 PM   #1
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Ammonia levels and nitrogen cycle

Hello,

I just started a new tank (5.5 gallon that I've had for years) with a new betta about 3 weeks ago. I've had multiple tanks, 38 gallon, 55 gallon, and a few betta tanks in the past. About a week in, he wasn't acting right so I checked the ammonia and it was super high. Since then, I have been doing multiple water changes a day, trying to get the ammonia levels down as well as always vacuuming the gravel when I do a water change and I feel him very little twice a day, which he always eats everything I give him. I can get them down but then they go right back up. I am currently trying to seed the tank from with filter media from my established 38 gallon but I don't see any progress yet. I've been keeping the ammonia levels below .5 pretty easy with water changes but it hasn't moved to the nitrite stage in the nitrogen cycle yet. My PH is usually between 6.8 and 7, it doesn't really change much. Ammonia is at about .25ppm right now, nitrites at 0ppm, nitrates at 0ppm and temperature is at 78 degrees Fahrenheit. He was super pale, lethargic, and sitting on the bottom of the tank, since I've gotten the ammonia down, he seems much happier and has gotten all of his color back. I'm just not sure how to get the ammonia levels all the way down and move the nitrogen cycle along. I've tried ammonia detoxifiers but have been very careful and only using them as a last resort. I've never had this much trouble with a tank before. Can anyone help?
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Old 03-29-2020, 10:58 AM   #2
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I suggest you stop vacuuming the gravel. Bacteria live on all hard surfaces. We may want or think they will be on the filter but when cycling the bacteria will be in small numbers. Don’t clean the glass touch the filter or deep vacuum the gravel. You should be able to hover just above the gravel to remove solids/ poop and old uneaten food waste.
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Old 04-02-2020, 09:57 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flyfisher View Post
I suggest you stop vacuuming the gravel. Bacteria live on all hard surfaces. We may want or think they will be on the filter but when cycling the bacteria will be in small numbers. Donít clean the glass touch the filter or deep vacuum the gravel. You should be able to hover just above the gravel to remove solids/ poop and old uneaten food waste.
Agree with this. No need to vacuum the gravel at this point, in fact, I did this on my first tank set up thinking I was supposed to and was doing good, in fact what I did was crash my tank and started a mini cycle all over again.
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