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Alright so..... I feel like I may have been led astray by a local fish store...

1.5 weeks ago I filled my Fluval Flex 15g.

When I was buying plants/substrate and asking for help at a LFS I was told to add Seachem Prime in a double-dose the first time I fill and regular-dose when I do partial water changes. As well, I was given Seachem Stability and told to do a 3x dose for 7 days - then a regular daily dose until the bottle is empty.

They also told me in 7 days from then I could get a Betta without issues even though the cycle isn't over it would be fine - but wait to do further stocking... okay....

So... 4 days ago I got a Betta and he seems happy enough, swimming around, sleeping, eating (Using Fluval Bug Bites and having a hell of a time figuring out how much food to give but that's another issue)

I have test strips for the tank - and up to, and including the day I got the betta I basically saw zero nitrites - maybe the day before I got him I saw a bit - between 1-5ppm on my test strips hard to tell the exact colour.

I kept adding Stability and added a tiny bit of prime as well - 2 days later and now I checked my water again and I see basically 5ppm nitrites which my understanding is not good.

I have done about a 25% water change - but I still see ~2-3 ppm nitrites after that...

What should I do? I just want to make sure my betta stays safe during all this!

Should I keep doing more water changes every day? Should I add a large dose of prime? Something else entirely?
 

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Late to getting an answer to you as I just joined this forum but I have a good deal of experience with betta. You were told some semi true advice that people use to quickly cycle a tank. I, personally, hate that method as it completely stresses out any fish being housed in the tank.

I don't find test strips very reliable, if possible I would invest in test kits for ammonia and nitrites. Small water changes frequently will be the best remedy for your situation as you are in the middle of the nitrogen cycle. 25% changes daily along with daily water testing should help get you through the cycle.

Just because betta can usually survive a cycle doesn't mean that it doesn't have an impact on them so I'd keep a close eye on him.

I would ditch using excessive prime and stability and stick with the normal dose to treat for chlorine with the prime. I haven't seen much of difference using stability versus not using it but I've been told it can be harmful at too high of a dose- mind you I don't have any verification of that, but it's been a rumor that buzzes around the aquarium circles I associate with.

Feeding a single Betta doesn't take very much at all. Their stomachs are about the size of their eye. Remember to remove any food that he doesn't eat considering how small your tank is so it doesn't keep you in a perpetual nitrogen cycle.

Good luck!!!
 

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Just give it time. Your betta is peeing and pooping, the beneficial bacteria are growing. 25% water change every few days should be easy. Use the Prime on your tap water to eliminate chlorine and chloramine.

Don't overfeed!

Do you have a filter? That can help provide a space for the good bacteria to live.

In a month your tank will be fine. Just keep up with weekly water changes then.
 
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