Setting Up a Betta Tank - GTA Aquaria Forum - Aquarium Fish & Plants serving the Greater Toronto Area.
GTA Aquaria Forum - Aquarium Fish & Plants serving the Greater Toronto Area.

Go Back   GTA Aquaria Forum - Aquarium Fish & Plants serving the Greater Toronto Area. > FRESHWATER > Beginner's Circle
Register FAQ Members List Calendar Advertise Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read Advertise

Beginner's Circle This forum is dedicated to helping people new to the hobby. If you need help, this is your starting point.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 03-11-2018, 08:56 PM   #1
Salinger
Up-and-comer
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Downtown Toronto
Posts: 52
Feedback Score: (0)
Salinger is on a distinguished road
Default Setting Up a Betta Tank

Hey everyone. So, the saga continues. I have just about everything I need now for my 23g long tank... except the tank. Just waiting on the word from Miracles on when they'll deliver that.

In the meantime, I was at PetSmart last week and they had all their TopFin kits on sale for half price. I picked up a 5.5g kit for only $25. I have to say, it's okay for the price. The LED light is not the strongest, but it lights up the tank well enough. I wanted a betta, but trying to include one in the community tank I want to set up would mean there were a lot of fish I wouldn't be able to house with him. So, when I saw this for $25, I thought it was the perfect solution and a good way to get my feet wet on a smaller scale while I'm waiting for my main tank.

Anyway, I set everything up tonight, and have it filled and the filter running. Everything seems good so far. I used Prime to remove the chlorine. I also purchased some aquarium ammonia and Stability to do a fishless cycle and I'm wondering exactly how I do that. Do I put in the recommended amount of ammonia, and the Stability right away? Or do I just use the ammonia first, and wait? I do have an API master test kit, so I can start testing as soon as needed. I've tried finding the right steps online, but honestly, I've found about ten different instructions, all varying somewhat and I'm not sure how to proceed.
Salinger is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 03-12-2018, 12:34 AM   #2
Fisheye
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Toronto, York Mills and Leslie
Posts: 339
Feedback Score: (8)
Fisheye is on a distinguished road
Default

Hi Salinger,

I see you are up to 2 tanks now... I think you'll really enjoy keeping a Betta, in a proper sized tank no less. You are on a roll!

I've not done a fishless cycle using ammonia, but cycling is cycling-different strategies to get to the same goal of safe, stable parameters. Hopefully someone with real world experience will chime in. I took a page from your book and googled around and found, as you did, that there were lots of different takes on the same issue. Some instructions were exhausting to read and I had to take a nap.

In the event that you didn't search the forum (I didn't at first), there is an excellent, straightforward posting here:

https://www.gtaaquaria.com/forum/showthread.php?t=7292

"2nd method. This one is used by probably 99% of hobbyists. Addition of X amount of NH3 drops until Ammonia level of 5ppm is achieved. This X amount of drops has to be added daily until NO2 spike. Afterwards follow up with X (from previous step) amount of NH3 drops daily until NO2 is 0ppm causing NO3 peak. ~50% water change should follow -> cycled tank. (this recipe uses regular Pure Ammonia 4-15%)
Once the tank has been cycled, the bacterial colony created by this method can handle a large bio load immediately. The amount of Ammonia produced directly relates to the amount of bacteria that will be in the tank (Bio Load). The amount of Ammonia added to the tank during the cycle is significantly higher than what would be contributed by a small number of hardy fish, therefore, a much larger, healthier bacterial colony exists at the end of the cycle using Ammonia than would if you used fish."

Here's a calculator that may be helpful. Scroll down to the bottom for ammonia dosing.

http://www.fishforums.net/aquarium-calculator.htm

The pharmacist counter at Shopper's sells diabetic syringes-I use them for dosing PRIME and liquid ferts.

To answer your question about Stability and ammonia, yes add the Stability as per directions on the bottle and dose the ammonia as per the above.

Stability and similar products add bacteria into your enclosed system to mostly seed the filter and to somewhat colonize on driftwood, rocks, decor...The ammonia is the food that the bacteria eat. Some people use fish food or dead shrimp in place of ammonia. Each to their own.

HTH.

Jackie
(Hope your big tank comes soon!!)
Fisheye is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-12-2018, 04:30 PM   #3
Salinger
Up-and-comer
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Downtown Toronto
Posts: 52
Feedback Score: (0)
Salinger is on a distinguished road
Default

Thanks Jackie! That helps a lot.

I'm okay with the dosing. I bought from Amazon, ammonia actually intended for aquarium cycling. It came in essentially a large eye drop bottle with clear instruction on how many drops per gallon. So on that, I'm comfortable that I have the right type and know the right dose. But the procedure you quoted really helps the how. I was also unsure if I was supposed to let the ammonia establish (if that's even a thing) before adding the Stability.

I added the ammonia this morning before leaving for work, I'll add the Stability when I go home this afternoon. Along with doing my first water test! It may be too early, but I'm anxious just to give it a try.

Thanks for the tip on the syringe! I was checking on Amazon (my go-to place) and they had some, but very expensive I thought for what they were. With a tank as small as 5.5g it'll be really helpful as it requires such tiny doses that even measuring by the threads on the cap as recommended is not really practical.

Does the fact that this tank is so small mean it'll cycle more quickly, or is it all relative; a smaller tank thus less area for beneficial bacteria to populate? I ask only because when I was at Menagerie, a family there who seemed to know even less than I on fishkeeping were asking a lot of questions. The staff member there told them to get their aquarium today, set it up and get it running, then come back in three days to pick up some fish. In everything I've read it generally takes weeks, not days for a tank to cycle.

Last edited by Salinger; 03-12-2018 at 04:40 PM..
Salinger is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Old 03-12-2018, 05:47 PM   #4
Fisheye
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Toronto, York Mills and Leslie
Posts: 339
Feedback Score: (8)
Fisheye is on a distinguished road
Default

Hey,

Yeah, I thought the instructions on this here forum were the bestest. Yay GTAA!!!

An addendum to the Shopper's syringes...you can buy singly.

I'm guessing the Menagerie convo you overheard had to do with the fact that the family were maybe going to use Nutrifin's Cycle (or similar) which is a product like your Seachem Stability. Nutrifin directions say that you can safely add fish after 3 days.

I've gone the Cycle route in a Fluval Edge (6 gal), but was diligent about testing water parameters and doing water changes.

As far as the speed of cycling, well that's a good question but I think it takes at least a month to get stable bacterial colonies. Wondering how you've stocked your tank as far as live plants, type of substrate and decor (real wood, rock or plastic).

Here are better words from the wizards of all things aquaria...

http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebi...estcycling.htm

"Time Frame: Though can be delayed for a month or more most systems can be "cycled" in a few (2-3) weeks generally.

About Temperature, and Establishing Cycling:

More important than any given temperature (within reason) is some sense of stability. Keeping your system in the upper part of "typical tropical seawater" range (upper seventies to lower eighties F) and not allowing it to vacillate more than a few degrees per day will optimize (shorten) the period of time it takes to fully cycle it.

Time Frame: Typically a few (3-4) weeks.

Bacteria and Not Cultures:

There are commercial preparations of bacteria, their adjuncts available that you can add from a bottle directly to your system' Some work pretty well most of the time (e.g. Dr. Tim's "One and Only", Marineland's Bio-Spira, and fresh Fritzyme "), others are "not so reliable. How can you tell if yours is working? See "Testing" below...."

Time Frame: May seem like right away... but best to wait a good two weeks after using these products, measure some accumulating nitrate, possibly algal growth as indications that the system has "really" cycled enough."


I just looked up the TOPFIN kit that you got. The picture on the box actually shows the 5.5 gallon tank stocked with 2 platies, 1 swordtail, 1 albino cory, 4 something elses and 1 gourami. How crazy is that?


J

Last edited by Fisheye; 03-13-2018 at 01:23 PM.. Reason: thought of something
Fisheye is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-2018, 01:39 PM   #5
Salinger
Up-and-comer
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Downtown Toronto
Posts: 52
Feedback Score: (0)
Salinger is on a distinguished road
Default

Here's my Betta tank. It's certainly not going to win any awards for aquascaping but I just wanted to get it up and running. I don't like the aesthetics of the grey cave ornament vs the natural colour of most everything else, but it'll do for now.

I read that bettas like a "cave" but I don't know if this one will be any good. I bought it several weeks ago at Big Al's, before I even considered the Betta tank. It was meant for my main tank whenever I get around to setting that up. The edges seem to be smooth so as to not tear his fins, but I'm not sure the openings will be big enough. The cave and rocks are resin, the plants are real. I doubt the lights are strong enough to sustain the plants, so I may have to add something to help them survive or maybe just swap them out for silk.

https://www.amazon.com/photos/share/...HdhQGCy3n3Mrw5
Salinger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-2018, 02:21 PM   #6
Fisheye
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Toronto, York Mills and Leslie
Posts: 339
Feedback Score: (8)
Fisheye is on a distinguished road
Default

Oh YAY!

So it looks like you don't have anything organic that would contribute ammonia and not a heavy enough plant load to consume ammonia (maybe in a lab someone could say one way or another).

I bet you'll find your betta resting on the top of the java fern a lot.

You could move the java behind and the anubias in front of the cave to hide it if you weren't keen.

Anyway, I hope you'll post another pic with a betta in it!!

J
Fisheye is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2018, 05:27 PM   #7
bettaforu
Devoted Member
 
bettaforu's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Milton, ON
Posts: 3,075
Feedback Score: (49)
bettaforu has a spectacular aura about
Default

Hi there, that's a nice little tank but in reality more than a Betta will require.

Bettas are lazy fish! They are also air breathers and because of this it means they have to continually rise to the surface to breathe air or they die....you would of course know that.

Putting a lot of water in the tank will make the Betta have to work harder to keep going up and down to breathe. They actually do well in only 6 inchs of water.

I may be wrong here, but I do believe Anubias plants are not good for them either. They prefer Java Fern...not moss as they can trap fins inside moss, as they like to push into it and Ive lost one champion that way so don't recommend moss. A couple of nice Java Ferns located around the tank will do just fine, they don't even need to be planted...floating ones seem to be the ones they like best to sleep on.

Stones can rip Betta fins and are not recommended in a tank setup. Best to go with natural plant setting.

Bettas are the easiest fish to keep, don't require fancy tanks at all, and do much better in bare bottom tanks where you can see any dropped food (they are notorious for this) and vaccum it up before it fouls the water.

Planted tanks will need to be vaccummed quite often as Bettas don't have great eyesight and often don't see the food unless its in front of them, why it often ends up on the bottom.

People do keep them in planted tanks but not with a lot of other fish because the fish will nip the fins of your Betta. Danios and small rasboras would work as they mostly ignore the Betta, Tetras and anything bigger will hurt your Betta.

Ammonia spikes will also rot a Bettas fins faster than you can say Betta! Why most hobbyists just keep the Betta in plain old bare bottom tanks...no ammonia spikes to worry about. IAL leaves are a good bottom cover too as this softens the water and Bettas love soft water, although it will darken the water colour, so limit the leaves to maybe one every other month.

Hope this helps. Ive kept and shown Bettas for over 40 years and my oldest boy lived to 5 yrs (most Bettas only live approx. 2 ) don't overfeed them either and give them a day off which will help their disgestive system.

Good luck with your new fish.
__________________
Well they say that you have made it in business when you finally p...s someone off that is already there!
bettaforu is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-28-2018, 12:33 PM   #8
Salinger
Up-and-comer
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Downtown Toronto
Posts: 52
Feedback Score: (0)
Salinger is on a distinguished road
Default

My tank is still not even beginning to cycle. Is that normal? It's been running for almost three weeks and I've been following the ammonia dosing per the instructions and using Seachem Stability, but the ammonia levels haven't dropped at all, and there has never been a nitrite reading register. If it's too soon to see anything, that's fine, I'm just wondering if maybe I'm missing something. I thought using Stability was supposed to speed up the process but three weeks with zero results seems not too speedy to me.

Thanks for all that info Bettaforu. I can only imagine how beautiful some of your bettas are. I'd love to see some photos!
Salinger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-28-2018, 12:43 PM   #9
coldmantis
Devoted Member
 
coldmantis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: East Scarborough
Posts: 2,044
Feedback Score: (87)
coldmantis is just really nice
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Salinger View Post
My tank is still not even beginning to cycle. Is that normal? It's been running for almost three weeks and I've been following the ammonia dosing per the instructions and using Seachem Stability, but the ammonia levels haven't dropped at all, and there has never been a nitrite reading register. If it's too soon to see anything, that's fine, I'm just wondering if maybe I'm missing something. I thought using Stability was supposed to speed up the process but three weeks with zero results seems not too speedy to me.

Thanks for all that info Bettaforu. I can only imagine how beautiful some of your bettas are. I'd love to see some photos!
Ask around in the forum for someone that lives near you, maybe one of them is cleaning their canister filter just asked them for their dirty black/brown water. dump that in and it will be cycled in less then a week if not the next day, I'm doing water changes in these coming days but I'm in east end scarborough.
coldmantis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-28-2018, 06:48 PM   #10
Fisheye
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Toronto, York Mills and Leslie
Posts: 339
Feedback Score: (8)
Fisheye is on a distinguished road
Default

Hi Salinger!

Could you post the ammonia reading-I think you were aiming for 5 as per directions. (api colour chart goes from 2.0-4.0-8.0 so I'm confused but whatever) I just wonder if the bacteria in the Stability is having trouble dealing with the amount of ammonia...

As per seachem help:

http://www.seachem.com/support/forums/forum/general-discussion/21130-seachem-stability-fishless-new-55-gallon-aquarium-cycle

"Ammonia will typically need to peak between 1-2 ppm to facilitate the cycle. If levels have been consistently low on ammonia thus far, you will need to add more organics to the tank. It is best to avoid water changes if possible as this will simply prolong the cycle process as you are removing ammonia and organics before they can peak in the appropriate range.

The product Stability will seed all of the bacteria colonies needed to develop a healthy nitrogen cycle. Thus, by the end of the first week of dosing, your tank should have had some readings for ammonia and possible nitrite if an ammonia source was added. However, it may take some time after these first seven days of treatment with Stability for the bacteria colonies to grow to match the amount of waste available in the tank. The actual cycle process can take anywhere from 1 week to 8-10 weeks depending on the system."

http://www.seachem.com/support/forum...sing-stability

"If you are seeing some ammonia or nitrites, then the bacteria should be working to convert ammonia through the cycle. The rate at which these bacteria colonies grow is dependent on stability of pH, temperature, availability of suitable surfaces on which to grow, and many other factors. We have heard of tanks that have been completely cycled by a few days after the week of treatment with Stability, but most tanks require at least three weeks total to cycle completely..."


Are you running a heater? What temp?

Did you treat tank water with Prime (re chlorine and chloramines). Have you done any water changes over the past 3 weeks?

Finally, just to rule out anything, check the dates on your test solutions and stability.

Coldmantis has a great solution if you are growing impatient.

J
Fisheye is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 05:22 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.