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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello :)

I have a 3g planted (wisteria) kritter keeper that I have been trying to cycling desperately for 2 months now. Here is my problem..

all attempts are fishless and with no snails

first attempt:
setup - 3g tank, 14w light, white gravel, DIY sponge filter, heater, 4 large cabomba.
added 1/2 tsp clear ammonia which brought it to about 3ppm. Let it hang out for 3 days, checked again, it had spiked to 8ppm. I let it sit for 3 weeks, checking it every other day, and it remained off the charts. I did a 50% water change which brought it to about 3ppm again, and 4 days later, it spiked back to 8ppm and stayed.

I then did a trial and error method of removing pieces of the tank one by one doing the same procedure above thinking that maybe it was something in the sponge, gravel, etc. that was effecting the ammonia. Eventually I ended with a bare tank, and it STILL kept spiking off the charts.



new setup:
3g tank
14w florescent light
6 small wisteria
coconut cave

I am now at this setup. New tank, new plants with absolutely no signs of decay, new gravel, no filter or heater. I added the ammonia 3 days ago at 3ppm, and it's now, you guessed it, 8ppm+.

Any CLUE what this could be? I am trying very desperately to get my bettas in planted cycled tanks and this is making me want to pull my hair out.. I've talked to many people about my problem and all of them have scratched their heads, as I have. I seem to be defying science here..
 

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Fresh Fish Freak
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Welcome to TPT!

What brand of water conditioner and test kits are you using? Some of the test kits will pick up detoxed ammonia, so that is one possibility.

Also, what is the pH of your tap water? N-bacteria shut down below about 6.0.

Bad news is small tanks are just hard to cycle.

You might try and go a little slower, with less ammonia.

****OK- I'd just typed all that out and then your coconut cave caught my eye. I think this is the source of your ammonia. Remove it and leave it out of the tank and I bet you'll have better results.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
water conditioner - novaqua
test kit - API ammonia test kit (liquid)

The spike has happened with and without the coconut, but I'll take it out anyway and see if that helps.

I'm not sure what the PH is on the water.

Is it a myth that the plants feed on ammonia? I'd think having the plants would at least slow down the spike..

Also, there is white slime all over the walls that developed a few days after sitting. Is this normal? I've been keeping bettas for years now and I've never seen this happen. Is it bacteria related?
 

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i am battling the white slime once again in my 2.5 gallon QT. I have been trying to figure out what the hell it is but I cant seem to figure it out. online it seems liek it could be some sort of grey slime algae. I thought overdosing excel was helping but this week the excel hasnt been doing anything.

manually remove as much slime as possible by rubbing it with an algae scraper, your hand or anything really... if its on the plants use a new toothbrush to comb it off. do a 25% water change after. do this every day until the growth is under control

i read online somewhere (i cant find the link again sorry) that it can be a form of bacteria. I started using Jungle fungus remover which also treats bacteria and it looks like it may be working. it was cheap so maybe that will help you out.
 

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Not having a filter will affect your chances of getting a good cycle going, I'd suggest you get or make a small sponge filter for the tank ( please tell me you aren't going to put a bettta in this? )If you add a filter you could take media from a running cycled filter on another tank and add it to the new filter to start your cycle. Much quicker and easier than fishless/bare cycling
 

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It's going to be hard to get a cycle going with no water movement and no filter. I would just add the bettas and change about half a gallon of water every few days.

You don't need a filter, depending on how many bettas you are putting in and how often you are doing water changes.
 

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Bettas do require a filter like any other fish, they also need a heater unless the OP lives in an extremely warm part of the world.

They certainly need more swimming space than 2.5 gals per fish. That tank isn't big enough for one let alone bettas in the plural.

It would however make a great little shrimp tank which could run with a small DIY sponge filter, and if they are cherries then no heater would be needed.
 

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A betta is certainly a choice for a 3g Tank :] .

I have many many bettas, some kept in 20 and 10 gallons, some 5s, and even some in as "small" as 2.5s , and they're all equally happy, healthy and enjoying extremely long lives.

You do not need a filter for such a small tank as long as you keep up with water changes every couple of days, though personally I run with air-powered sponge filters in some of the smaller tanks, though some are also filter less. All my tanks have a moderate amount of plants in them, and I do frequent quality checks on the water and for the most part, the tanks without a filter are about on par with those that do have filters.

As long as you provide your betta with fresh water at the least weekly and you have some plants he/she should be plenty happy. Just don't over feed,and anything s/he doesn't eat, take out :).


Anyway yes, smaller tanks are really hard to get cycled, and if you're haveing so much trouble about it, you can pick up a cheapy air-powered sponge filter for around 2-5$ at a big box pet store.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
honeythorn,

It's a 3 gallon, and it is heated. It'll be a single male. I'm in the works of a female sorority tank in a 20 gallon. Believe me, I've been keeping bettas for years and am rather obsessed :) They can thrive happily without filters.

CaffeinatedCake,

I also have kept my bettas in 20s (have a giant crowntail in one now), 10s and 5s. I am trying to cycled the 3 gallon so I don't have to keep changing the water weekly, it was fine before I became so busy but now it's just getting to be too much. I have just set up my 5g minibow and began cycling it already with incredible results! I suppose it is lack of a filter..
 

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I know how it is with the smaller tanks :[.

To be honest I've gotten to the point with anything less then a 5g that I just put my betta in it and keep an eye on the water quality, doing changes as needed until things even out, and sometimes I just leave the tank fishless for a month or so [usually because I forget about it] and let it do it's own thing and all ends well, as well.

Good luck though! I hope this tank stops being so fussy for you soon :].
 
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