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Old 06-14-2011, 11:57 AM   #1
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Thumbs down How do you Set up a tank? Please Help....

I have two ten gallon tanks They are equipped with -

Tank 1
Whisper 2-10 Filter
Petco Submersible Heater (78.6)

Tank 2
Whisper 10i Filter
Aqueon Submersible Heater (82)

Both of the tanks are changed 30% weekly - Tank one has had a filter and been running for at least 6 Months. Tank Two has a filter and has been running for at least 2 months.

I got some gravel from an established tank from a friend to supplement into my tanks. After letting them run for around a month and a half I had the water tested at the petstore. They said my water was great! I am going to be buying a test kit soon, to test for myself.

But What I want to know is what am I doing wrong? My betta fishes keep on getting fin rot.

Both of the tanks are divided and house one betta fish on each side. They are changed 30% each week and I gravel vac with the water change. They are fed twice a day - 2 pellets each feeding...

Yet I am still haveing trouble! I replace cartridges monthly like the filter says and yet I am still having problems. IF you have ANY ideas please help me out. I just don't get it anymore.
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Old 06-14-2011, 12:14 PM   #2
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I think most of what you are doing is right, but, changing the filters every month is probably your problem. If you are taking out the filters and putting in new cartridges, you are takiing out most of the beneficial bacteria (BB). You need to run the new ones with the old for a while for the BB to transfer. Otherwise you are going through a mini cycle every time you change them. I recommend just rinsing them in tank water when you do your water changes and put them back in. Do this until they literally fall apart. Then keep some of the old in with the new until the BB has had a chance to transfer. Probably about a week or two.
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Old 06-14-2011, 12:17 PM   #3
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I think most of what you are doing is right, but, changing the filters every month is probably your problem. If you are taking out the filters and putting in new cartridges, you are takiing out most of the beneficial bacteria (BB). You need to run the new ones with the old for a while for the BB to transfer. Otherwise you are going through a mini cycle every time you change them. I recommend just rinsing them in tank water when you do your water changes and put them back in. Do this until they literally fall apart. Then keep some of the old in with the new until the BB has had a chance to transfer. Probably about a week or two.
Sooo rinse out the bio bag in the tank and then put it back in? The filter also has a sponge inside too. The other has a so called "bio floss". Is there anything I can do about the re-occuring rot? I have tried clean water... and melafix... and tried medicating in a seperate tank with minocycline...
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Old 06-14-2011, 12:18 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saltypuppy View Post
I have two ten gallon tanks They are equipped with -

Tank 1
Whisper 2-10 Filter
Petco Submersible Heater (78.6)

Tank 2
Whisper 10i Filter
Aqueon Submersible Heater (82)

Both of the tanks are changed 30% weekly - Tank one has had a filter and been running for at least 6 Months. Tank Two has a filter and has been running for at least 2 months.

I got some gravel from an established tank from a friend to supplement into my tanks. After letting them run for around a month and a half I had the water tested at the petstore. They said my water was great! I am going to be buying a test kit soon, to test for myself.

But What I want to know is what am I doing wrong? My betta fishes keep on getting fin rot.

Both of the tanks are divided and house one betta fish on each side. They are changed 30% each week and I gravel vac with the water change. They are fed twice a day - 2 pellets each feeding...

Yet I am still haveing trouble! I replace cartridges monthly like the filter says and yet I am still having problems. IF you have ANY ideas please help me out. I just don't get it anymore.
It could be a number of issues. First and most importantly, never change the filter out monthly like the companies tell you. You should never replace them unless they are literally falling apart. During water changes, take the filter and swish it around in water you've removed from the tank just to knock off the debris it has collected.

The vast majority of your beneficial bacteria lives in the filter media, and when it is replaced monthly, you lose a majority of it and the tank will begin to cycle again causing high spikes in ammonia and nitrItes which are most likely responsible for your problems.

It is necessary to keep a good test kit on hand. We all recommend the API Freshwater Master Test Kit. Make sure you don't buy strips because they tend to be very inaccurate.

The gravel that you got from your friend would have contained some of the necessary bacteria to get your tank started, but the bacteria needs ammonia as a food source, and if it sat empty for a month...the bacteria would have likely starved and died.

Try to get a test kit as soon as possible, and always make sure your ammonia and nitrItes are below .25. Once the tank is properly cycled, your levels should always be 0 ammonia, 0 nitrItes and differing levels of nitrAtes.

Also, are you using a dechlorinator / water conditioner during water changes?
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Old 06-14-2011, 12:21 PM   #5
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Without knowing your test results, and being able to run them whenever, it's hard to say. There's something going on, so you'll need a test kit to figure out what that is. And I agree with the others regarding the filter changes.
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Old 06-14-2011, 12:42 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by eco23 View Post
It could be a number of issues. First and most importantly, never change the filter out monthly like the companies tell you. You should never replace them unless they are literally falling apart. During water changes, take the filter and swish it around in water you've removed from the tank just to knock off the debris it has collected.

The vast majority of your beneficial bacteria lives in the filter media, and when it is replaced monthly, you lose a majority of it and the tank will begin to cycle again causing high spikes in ammonia and nitrItes which are most likely responsible for your problems.

It is necessary to keep a good test kit on hand. We all recommend the API Freshwater Master Test Kit. Make sure you don't buy strips because they tend to be very inaccurate.

The gravel that you got from your friend would have contained some of the necessary bacteria to get your tank started, but the bacteria needs ammonia as a food source, and if it sat empty for a month...the bacteria would have likely starved and died.

Try to get a test kit as soon as possible, and always make sure your ammonia and nitrItes are below .25. Once the tank is properly cycled, your levels should always be 0 ammonia, 0 nitrItes and differing levels of nitrAtes.

Also, are you using a dechlorinator / water conditioner during water changes?
Ok So I will go to swishing the filters in the changed water (Stuff in the bucket right) Than replace it. The tanks were not empty, I already had bettas at the time and didn't know that I needed a filter. So I just changed the water frequently while I was cycling the tanks. So it should be good there. I was actually going to but the API master kit today. Yes I do use water conditoner. I have been using top fin - but I don't like it because it appears to leave an oil layer... (It left and oil layer when I was waterlogging a piece of driftwood) So I changed to Tetra Aquasafe /w bio extract. Before those conditoners I was using tetra betta safe or something like that.
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Old 06-14-2011, 12:43 PM   #7
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Without knowing your test results, and being able to run them whenever, it's hard to say. There's something going on, so you'll need a test kit to figure out what that is. And I agree with the others regarding the filter changes.
Ya I had no idea about the filter cartirdges I figured I should follow the box. Well it works for me, its just less money that way.
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Old 06-14-2011, 12:54 PM   #8
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A great water conditioner we use is Seachem Prime. It is super concentrated so it lasts a long time, and it also temporarily detoxifies ammonia and nitrItes to help you keep your fish healthy while your tank adjusts and re-stabilizes.

Another thing you can pick up is a roll of filter material. If you use cartridges, you can take the filter media and a pair of scissors to cut to size and fit into your filter and use that instead of the normal cartridges. It is a lot cheaper and works just as well. But again, only use it when your old cartridge begins to fall apart. It's a good idea to stick a new piece of filter in with the old one for as long as possible to "seed" the new piece before discarding the old.

And yes, when we say use tank water to rinse them, we mean the water from the tank that is drained into a bucket during water changes.

Here is also a great article to help keep your tank and fish healthy while your tank re-cycles.-
I just learned about cycling but I already have fish. What now?!
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Old 06-14-2011, 01:37 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by eco23 View Post
A great water conditioner we use is Seachem Prime. It is super concentrated so it lasts a long time, and it also temporarily detoxifies ammonia and nitrItes to help you keep your fish healthy while your tank adjusts and re-stabilizes.

Another thing you can pick up is a roll of filter material. If you use cartridges, you can take the filter media and a pair of scissors to cut to size and fit into your filter and use that instead of the normal cartridges. It is a lot cheaper and works just as well. But again, only use it when your old cartridge begins to fall apart. It's a good idea to stick a new piece of filter in with the old one for as long as possible to "seed" the new piece before discarding the old.

And yes, when we say use tank water to rinse them, we mean the water from the tank that is drained into a bucket during water changes.

Here is also a great article to help keep your tank and fish healthy while your tank re-cycles.-
I just learned about cycling but I already have fish. What now?!
Thank you so much! This has been a ton of help! Hopefully I can get this all fixed up and not have this problem anymore. I think this explains why my fish would get better for about a month and then get bad again. Hmmm interesting. Thank you!
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Old 06-14-2011, 05:36 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Saltypuppy
Ok So I will go to swishing the filters in the changed water (Stuff in the bucket right) Than replace it.
That's not good to do; you don't want to replace the filter cartridge unless you need to.

Here's a brief rundown of how to clean your filter if it's clogging. You'll want to do this when doing your water change. This assumes you're using the bucket method (I use two buckets). You could do this with only one bucket, but that would be more time consuming.

1) Fill up bucket #1 with tap water, then prep it with Seachem Prime. I also use this opportunity to add any plant ferts that I want to add to my tank, like Flourish Excel or Comprehensive.

2) Siphon your tank of used tank water into bucket #2, typically 25-50% of the total tank's water. Vacuuming the gravel as you do this is a must.

3) Add the treated tap water from bucket #1 into the tank. I use a pitcher to do this so the force of pouring in the water doesn't rearrange my substrate, decorations, or plants.

4) Turn off your filter, take out the filter media, and rinse it off in the old tank water in bucket #2. Then put the filter media back in the filter.

5) Dispose of your old tank water in bucket #2.

This helps keep your filter running at its best while preserving the beneficial bacteria on your filter media.
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Old 06-15-2011, 09:14 AM   #11
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That's not good to do; you don't want to replace the filter cartridge unless you need to.

Here's a brief rundown of how to clean your filter if it's clogging. You'll want to do this when doing your water change. This assumes you're using the bucket method (I use two buckets). You could do this with only one bucket, but that would be more time consuming.

1) Fill up bucket #1 with tap water, then prep it with Seachem Prime. I also use this opportunity to add any plant ferts that I want to add to my tank, like Flourish Excel or Comprehensive.

2) Siphon your tank of used tank water into bucket #2, typically 25-50% of the total tank's water. Vacuuming the gravel as you do this is a must.

3) Add the treated tap water from bucket #1 into the tank. I use a pitcher to do this so the force of pouring in the water doesn't rearrange my substrate, decorations, or plants.

4) Turn off your filter, take out the filter media, and rinse it off in the old tank water in bucket #2. Then put the filter media back in the filter.

5) Dispose of your old tank water in bucket #2.

This helps keep your filter running at its best while preserving the beneficial bacteria on your filter media.
Yup this exactly what I do. Just with the extra step of rinsing the cartridge in the old tank water.
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