New 40g and having some uncertainties. - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-07-2016, 03:00 AM Thread Starter
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New 40g and having some uncertainties.

So, my daughter and I started a ten gallons tank a while back. We used gravel, a heater, a filter, LED light, and all the trapping for a lowly little beta. Jump forward 6 months, 1and we were hungry for more!

So we uparaded to a 55 gallon. We've upgraded all the components, and used the old filter media and substrate to try and help jump start the cycle. I've got about 6 swords planted with root tabs, and 4 marimo algae balls as well.

The tank has been running for seven days, with one 20 percent water change completed about 4 days in. The ammonia spike is in full effect, was at 8 ppm today. Yes the beta is in there, I feel awful but he seems no worse than normal.

Anyhow, I guess I am just feeling impatient. My 5 year old wants to add fish so badly and so I am just trying to make sure I don't screw anything up and/or do whatever I can to facilitate this process. Should I do more water changes? Any advice is appreciated.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-07-2016, 03:20 AM
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Are you sure your test results are right? I would imagine that at 8ppm that betta would be seriously stressed if not dead. If this is a correct reading then yes, do a big water change with a dechlorinator.

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Last edited by Nlewis; 07-07-2016 at 03:21 AM. Reason: Edit
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-07-2016, 01:05 PM
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Pull the beta out and keep it in a fish bowl. They do just fine like that. No reason to torture the fish. Just because it's not showing signs of stress doesn't mean you aren't killing it. The ammonia will destroy the fish's gills and even if it doesn't die, it can be permanently damaged and affect its health and longevity. I seriously can't understand why people still insist on cycling their tanks with fish.


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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-07-2016, 01:13 PM
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8ppm is high. I would question the integrity of the test kit if you only have one betta in the tank. Once I cycled a similar size tank with a 6" koi fish feeding 3% of his body weight everyday and the ammonia never exceeded 4 ppm. I did 40% water change every 10 days. Also, there were no live plants to offset the ammonia creation.

Typically, though when I do a fish-in cycle, I keep the pH under 6.5. This helps the ammonia convert to less toxic ammonium (but still harmful to delicate species of fish).

I find that ammonium takes longer to convert through the nitrogen cycle, but it is less taxing on hardier species of fish.

Seachem has an ammonia alert that only tests free ammonia. The API ammonia test is total ammonia - free and ionized. Keep the free ammonia low and allow the ionized ammonia (ammonium) to be the one to spike.

I am currently using this method on my 72g planted tank that houses 6 otocinclus cats that usually would never survive a fish-in cycle. They are all very much alive and have grown 1/2" in the few weeks that I've had them.

The tank is down to .50 ionized ammonia with 0 free ammonia. About another 2 - 3 weeks it should all be converted.

Here is also a calculator that I found online. Plug in the stats and it will estimate the concentration of free ammonia (toxic).

According to this calculator, even though I have .50 ionized ammonia, only .0002 is in its toxic form.

https://www.hamzasreef.com/Contents/...reeAmmonia.php

Last edited by Darkblade48; 07-08-2016 at 04:04 PM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-07-2016, 08:26 PM
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I'm not sure why you would have any cycle happening at all if you used the old substrate, media, and didn't add to the bioload. I've started many new tanks over the years by simply seeding from another tank and plopping new life in. I never get an ammonia spike. I'm also not sure how 1 betta could cause that level of ammonia in a 55G (or 40??), ever. Something else has to be up.

are you using strips or drop kits?

Is it possible someone dumped a bunch of extra food in the tank?
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-08-2016, 11:28 AM
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I'm confused, somethings missing here. A single betta in a 55 (or 40?) gallon, with live plants produced 8ppm ammonia in 7 days with 20% wc?? No way. Either the test is wrong, or something else is going on. I'd think with 8ppm ammonia he would be gasping. Get him out of there in case it's right. If you can't put him back in his smaller tank, put him in a small container and do daily water changes. He won't like it compared to his old space but he'll be alive. Are you dosing ammonia for the cycle? Like someone else suggested, could someone have dumped in a ton of food that went unseen?


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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-09-2016, 03:47 AM
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8 ppm of ammonia is REALLY high. The betta may suffer, but he is a hardy fish, and should survive. I would HIGHLY discourage adding more fish, as this would increase the bioload, thus increasing the level of ammonia in your currently uncycled tank. This would lead to the ultimate death of ALL of your fish. I suggest doing more frequent water changes, adding, adding some floating plants, and anything with beneficial bacteria, such as old filter media, bio balls, or even bacteria in a bottle type products, to hopefully speed up the cycling of your aquarium. However, if worst comes to worst, you can use a product called seachem prime, which is a dechlorinator, but also TEMPORARILY removes ammonia, nitrate, and nitrite. However, THIS IS A LAST RESORT and should not be used as a solution because seachem prime is intended to be a dechlorinator, not a waste remover.
Hope this helps!
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-09-2016, 06:25 PM Thread Starter
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So I used the old filter media, the ten gallons of water from the old tank, and the gravel from the old tank.

I buried the old gravel beneath the new, rinsed the filters in the old tank and dumped it in. Then I treated the new water with dechloronator and whatnot before adding it.

I did this with the thought that it would boost the initial cycle. I'm an amateur, so feel free to let me know if this was wrong, but try and withhold any judgement or whatever.

The tank is 55g, not sure why I typed 40g at one point. Also, I am not dosing with any type of ammonia.

The best I can figure is that I just bungled my test, the local fish store got 4 PPM at the highest.

Today I am, according to my test which I performed with care and attention to details, I am at:

Ph 7.6
Nitrite 0 PPM
Nitrate 0-5 PPM, looks to be somewhere in the middle.
Ammonia 1-2 PPM, against looks to me ton be somewhere in between.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-09-2016, 07:10 PM
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thats looking alot better just be patient
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-09-2016, 09:03 PM
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Be aware that because of your location, it's a good chance you have alkaline water, which will make any ammonia present, more toxic.

Secondly: your gravel size a bit largish for a heavily planted tank, it will work but there will be more problems with food disappearing into the larger opening between the gravel pieces and fouling the water.

Is your daughter in charge of feeding of this fish? You should stress to her the importance of not over-feeding, especially after getting a bunch of new fish, the uneaten food finding it way into the gravel spaces will quickly become a problem for Ammonia and Nitrite/Nitrate spikes.

I'd also pull the Sword plants slightly up, (gently) so their 'crown' is about at or slightly above of the gravel level.

Starting small, keeping it simple..(?)
250 gallon stock tank, "pond"
20 gallon H CBS Shrimp tank

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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-11-2016, 05:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrampsGrunge View Post
Be aware that because of your location, it's a good chance you have alkaline water, which will make any ammonia present, more toxic.
.
The PH was stated at 7.6.

I do agree to try a different test kit. Take a sample to a local fish store that uses liquid test kits (not strips) and ask them to retest for you.

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