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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Nov 2020

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    Default Unplanned Fish In Cycle....

    0 Not allowed!
    I have been cycling my 10 gallon freshwater tank for 5 weeks. I had a previous thread about my attempts. It was not yet cycled and Iím actually pretty sure it was stalled so I was contemplating starting over, again. Then my child brought home a small male Betta, Fred, after a weekend with grandparents. The path of least resistance is to do a fish in cycle.
    I know......and I seriously considered just taking him back but here we are.

    I did a massive water change to bring ammonia down to a safe range and treated the water with prime, stability and Microbe Lift Water Care to jump start the bacteria growth. I really want to do this safety and humanely so I am looking for any advice. Hereís info on my tank:

    10 gallon long
    Filter: Aqueon Quiet Flow 10 Power Filter with standard cartridge and foam ammonia media.
    Air stone
    Tetra heater set to 78 degrees
    Gravel substrate
    One medium piece of driftwood with a few mini Anubias attached to the wood.
    I also have a few fake plants, plastic and soft.
    Food - Omega One Betta Buffett Pellets

    And one Red Betta now named Fred.

    Day 1 -
    Ammonia - .50
    Nitrites- 0
    Nitrates - Not tested
    PH - 7.8 - 8

    * I did a partial water change with prime and stability and retested the ammonia, ammonia was reduced to .25 ppm. Dosed with Bacteria

    Day 2 -
    Ammonia - .50 - 1.0
    Nitrites- 0
    PH - 7.4 - 7.8
    Nitrates- Not Tested

    * I did a 30% water change with prime. retested ammonia, ammonia was barely reduced but was closer to .25-.50. Dosed with bacteria.

    Day 3 - TODAY

    Ammonia - 1 ppm
    Nitrites- .25 ppm
    PH - 7.4
    Nitrates - 0 ppm

    * 50% water change, redosed with Prime and stability. Retested ammonia, ammonia is now .25 ppm and Nitrites are showing as blue but Iím thinking itís somewhere between 0 and .25ppm.

    Like I said I wasnít planning on doing a fish in cycle but my kid will be devastated if we take him back, and I donít want the cycle to kill him either so I want to make sure I do this correctly and humanely. Iím thrilled that Iím actually seeing nitrites because I never once saw nitrites during my fishless cycle attempts.

    I have been acting under the guidance that during a fish in cycle, it is important to test ammonia and nitrites daily and if the ammonia reaches .50 or higher, perform a 30-50% water change, and dose with prime every 24-48 hours to keep the ammonia and nitrite neutralized and from harming the fish. I have been trying not to disturb the substrate too much except to remove poo and uneaten food. I also have not touched the filter. Is this a good process? Today when I did the water change I clearly removed most of the nitrites. Will this be a problem? Will it cycle but take longer?

    Any advice is appreciated.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Sep 2011

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    1 Not allowed!
    Your tank will cycle but will take longer -and much more work. You will want to keep the ammonia no higher than .25, which often means daily or every other day testing and water changes. When you can, consider adding more live plants like maybe a few crypts - Wendtii is usually an easy one to grow, as is water wisteria (Hydrophila difformis). Wisteria is a fast growing plant that will need to be trimmed often in a 10g tank. But the the tops you trim off can then be planted and they will grow roots, giving you even more plants. And be careful with plastic plants with a betta. They are often very hard and may possibly cause damage to the betta's tail. Silk plants are better when using artificial ones.

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