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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi all,
I have a 6 gallon tank currently with a betta fish,
Ive been running this tank since April, and after a whole series of adventures, including the mess I'm currently dealing with right now, I just feel overwhelmingly frustrated and as if I just want to quit having this tank.

This is my first "real" attempt at a planted tank, (ie proper lights, substrate, fertilizers )
and its been a huge learning experience but at this point nothing seems to be going right and I feel like my involvement/ intentions make everything worse.

about a month ago, My betta looked a little bloated and had slightly protruding scales on his stomach, (just the stomach area) and when i noticed a slight spike ( like .25ppm ) This and along with my driftwood having the ugliest and grossest looking algae or bio film growing on it, in order to try to clean that up as well,

I did started doing larger water changes (~40%) instead of like 20% and doing this, I ended up killing off the nitrates in my tank, and my plants started to take a little hit/ show signs of nutrient deficiency and all.

So, I looked into root tabs since the majority of my plants are slow growing anubias plants (coffeefolia and nana petites )
and wanted to add more plants to my tank since it was looking so bare.

Monday, my new plants arrived and I planted them, but for a couple of them, I dug deep into the gravel, and kicked up a lot of debris, I finished planting and did the 50% water change then as well. This is also the day I added Aquarium Co-op's root tabs (4 tabs ) I decided to place one tab under a small cluster of plants instead of putting one every 5 '' in the tank or so. Driftwood was also looking absolutely gross and annoying so I removed it from the tank to scrape off the stuff on it with running water and a brush.

Tuesday, my tank looks a little cloudy, I tested the water and was alarmed by the ridiculously high levels of Ammonia, Nitrite, and Nitrate in the tank.
I immediately did two water changes back to back, about 60% both times, and then a third water change of about 40% an hour later and lowered Ammonia and Nitrite to about .25ppm, dosed some extra prime with each water change.

Wednesday, I check the water parameters again, and Nitrite is back up to about 2 ppm, Ammonia is at .25ppm, and Nitrate is ~5ppm
so.. I just got done with another ~60% water change with extra prime. lowering the Nitrite down to somewhere in between 0 and .25 ppm. like Tuesday.

After those three large water changes on Tuesday, and a fourth just now, I already feel like my current plants along with the new ones I got on Monday will probably melt and die from the huge amounts of water changes Ive been doing which will definitely not help me feel any better when it comes to feeling like I'm failing at this tank.

I honestly didn't expect the Nitrite to kick itself back up so high overnight, considering i have a full day of work tomorrow Im also really worried about it going back up overnight and during the day while I am at work. since I wont be able to change the water until tomorrow night- I am considering another ~50% water change later tonight.. especially since Nitrite doesnt seem to stop rising.

My fish is my first priority, he honestly seems perfectly fine and normal in the way he looks and behaves, if anything he might like me a little less lately from the water changes ive been doing, but other than that I don't see any signs of distress.

I just feel ridiculously overwhelmed and unhappy with all the various problems it seems like I'm putting myself in, trying to keep this tank. Like I clearly suck at it.
, I would love some opinions / feed back / help on how to combat the issue with my water parameter, what may have caused it, and what tf I can do to balance this tank once and for all because I truly hate having to stress over this tank considering that it was supposed to be a fun hobby.
Like it genuinely makes me sad that my attempts trying to make everything right seems to drastically make things worse and now to the point where I may be hurting my fish.

Thanks for taking the time to read this

Edited because I should have added that I am considering on using Seachem Stability for the next week to help the issue- but im struggling to trust my own instincts right now and would prefer feedback before doing so and potentially damaging my tank more.. even with BB somehow. Im sure ill find a way :rolleyes:
 

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You just had a mini-cycle. It can happen when you disturb the substrate too much, I recently had one in my betta tank after a rescape. You did the right thing with water changes and Seachem Prime.

The Prime will detoxify ammonia for about two days, so I would just say keep doing water changes every two days if your ammonia or nitrite is above .5, and dose with Seachem Prime. Your betta will be just fine. There is no real reason to keep changing water every day or multiple times a day, even though your test may say there is ammonia it won't harm your fish. The plants will usually take at least a week to start growing, but once they do they should help cycle any ammonia out of the system. Seachem Stability won't hurt, but since you already have a cycled filter that will probably take care of the mini-cycle faster than adding any beneficial bacteria will.

A picture would help if you want any further advice.
 

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Seachem recommends overdosing up to 5x the recommended amount for detoxifying nitrite and nitrate. They also say it will bind ammonia/nitrite/nitrate for up to 48 hours. I got all this from their website one of the first times I mini-cycled a tank.

It seems to work for me, but I don't know what the chemical mechanism is and neither does Seachem...
 

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Seachem recommends overdosing up to 5x the recommended amount for detoxifying nitrite and nitrate. They also say it will bind ammonia/nitrite/nitrate for up to 48 hours. I got all this from their website one of the first times I mini-cycled a tank.

It seems to work for me, but I don't know what the chemical mechanism is and neither does Seachem...
I came across the same info on their site. I had to laugh, though, that they don't name the binding compound... Maybe it's a proprietary compound.
 
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