Help needed for Betta tank

david boden

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23 Sep 2019
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Good morning Fishy......that tank's coming along nicely .
The cloudy water is normal when having Mopani Wood added, in my own experience.
The next stage will be it getting it's new ' fur coat'. (nothing to worry about ).
I'll leave it to some plant experts to give you advice on your other questions, I'm more of a simple Neocaridina shrimp keeper. ( 5 aquariums of 'em)
Therefore I actually like lovely slimy glass on two sides of my tanks, and a few slimy bladder -snail trails too, ugh.
best of luck anyway.
 

Fishydib

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I’ve removed one piece of the wood as it was affecting the flow around the tank I’m sure I’ll be manoeuvring the remaining piece around until I’m happy
 
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Fishydib

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West Sussex
Good morning Fishy......that tank's coming along nicely .
The cloudy water is normal when having Mopani Wood added, in my own experience.
The next stage will be it getting it's new ' fur coat'. (nothing to worry about ).
I'll leave it to some plant experts to give you advice on your other questions, I'm more of a simple Neocaridina shrimp keeper. ( 5 aquariums of 'em)
Therefore I actually like lovely slimy glass on two sides of my tanks, and a few slimy bladder -snail trails too, ugh.
best of luck anyway.
I use to have a tank full of Neocaridina shrimp myself, i think shrimp are one of the most fascinating creatures to watch. I was torn as to whether to do a shrimp tank again or a betta tank, when I previously done a shrimp tank they bred like mad and i got overrun with them. Maybe once I’ve got my betta tank all running nicely i might invest in another small tank, i would love to try and keep some of the crystal shrimps but I believe they need softer water, my water is moderately hard where i am so i would need to use RO and I’m not sure I’m confident enough to do this, all looks a bit scary to me.
 

Fishydib

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Well I’ve added nothing to the tank but already there is ammonia present reading 1.0ppm? Is this right? What should i do next? Do i leave it?

D2A947DD-882F-49C1-A732-876B961D7E42.jpeg
 

david boden

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Fishy, I'm not going to tell you what YOU should do, but will tell you what I would do.
I would just forget about that tank now for at least a week, and then test again for AM and NI.
By then, you might be getting a NI reading from helpful bacteria that naturally occur.
Your Mopani will create AM as it gradually goes through various phases.
Then I would just check AM and NI once a week during the few weeks of natural tank maturation.
The NI will take quiet a while to be eliminated in my experience, and during those weeks , it's helpful to maintain a modest AM reading by adding a food pellet etc as and when required, if the Mopani has stopped leaking AM.
Eventually , both readings will be eliminated by helpful bacteria in filter/plants/substrate etc.
When I reach that stage with my tanks ( maybe 4 weeks plus ), I still like to carry on adding a small food source for another 2 or 3 weeks to be sure the tests are satisfactory.
I might add that even during this cycling period, and beyond, I personally like to change about 10%of the water every week ( not sure why ! ), and add a squirt of Tropica Premium plant food once a week.
As I said, I'm not qualified to offer technical advice, just telling you what works for me and my tanks.
Finally, I reckon the longer you can resist adding your Betta, ---the Betta--- lol.
 

Fishydib

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Fishy, I'm not going to tell you what YOU should do, but will tell you what I would do.
I would just forget about that tank now for at least a week, and then test again for AM and NI.
By then, you might be getting a NI reading from helpful bacteria that naturally occur.
Your Mopani will create AM as it gradually goes through various phases.
Then I would just check AM and NI once a week during the few weeks of natural tank maturation.
The NI will take quiet a while to be eliminated in my experience, and during those weeks , it's helpful to maintain a modest AM reading by adding a food pellet etc as and when required, if the Mopani has stopped leaking AM.
Eventually , both readings will be eliminated by helpful bacteria in filter/plants/substrate etc.
When I reach that stage with my tanks ( maybe 4 weeks plus ), I still like to carry on adding a small food source for another 2 or 3 weeks to be sure the tests are satisfactory.
I might add that even during this cycling period, and beyond, I personally like to change about 10%of the water every week ( not sure why ! ), and add a squirt of Tropica Premium plant food once a week.
As I said, I'm not qualified to offer technical advice, just telling you what works for me and my tanks.
Finally, I reckon the longer you can resist adding your Betta, ---the Betta--- lol.
Thanks David, i need all the advice i can get as it’s been a long while since i had a tank. I wondered where the ammonia was coming from, now i know its the Mopani. I need to get a syphon and bucket which i can pick up at the weekend.
I can just about resist getting a Betta, just want the tank to be right before this happens, I’ll save this part of the journey for when I’ve got time off work and i can keep an eye on things.
 

david boden

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Yes, you can top up as required, but ALWAYS add Prime.
You only need a minute amount of it----like one drop per litre.
By the way, on my small tanks, I don't bother with a syphon etc, I just use a plastic kitchen type jug to remove or add in measures of a litre at a time.
 

david boden

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Fishy , I'm gonna pipe down now, as there are other folks on this forum who are better qualified than myself to properly advise you on future Betta care.
Can I just advise you to google ' Catappa leaves and Betta fish', and watch some of the videos , and then form your own opinion on their usefulness going forward.
Be patient now !!
 

Fishydib

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West Sussex
Fishy , I'm gonna pipe down now, as there are other folks on this forum who are better qualified than myself to properly advise you on future Betta care.
Can I just advise you to google ' Catappa leaves and Betta fish', and watch some of the videos , and then form your own opinion on their usefulness going forward.
Be patient now !!
You’ve been extremely helpful I’ve got catappa leaves and alder cones as i used them in my shrimp tanks, always a favourite once they start breaking down.
 

jameson_uk

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Yes, you can top up as required, but ALWAYS add Prime.
You only need a minute amount of it----like one drop per litre.
By the way, on my small tanks, I don't bother with a syphon etc, I just use a plastic kitchen type jug to remove or add in measures of a litre at a time.
Agreed if you are using tap water you need prime. I find the Betta tank at 28°C has loads more evaporation than the shrimp tank which is at 22°C. I top up the Betta tank probably once or twice a week (as if mine drops a little the filter gets really noisy)

I do use a jug for water changes on the shrimp tank but often use a small siphon on the Betta tank. Particularly when starting up I found I wanted to target the wood or areas where there was a build up of stuff. You need a small one though else the water is gone before you know it... You are will probably get some dead spots do to the lower flow for the Betta and the wood in front of the filter so I would still get a siphon.

As regards the tank I suggest you half ignore it. Add some ferts and do a couple of 50% water changes a week. When the plants start growing and things clear up then you can start testing if you want but left for a month and with some growth you should be good to go
 

Fishydib

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Thanks for the additional info, it’s all helping. Is there an ideal temperature to set at for cycling? it’s currently sitting at 25.5
 

jameson_uk

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Thanks for the additional info, it’s all helping. Is there an ideal temperature to set at for cycling? it’s currently sitting at 25.5
In my original thread I was told to go cooler (22°C) but due to forgetfulness and a million and one other things I had to do I ended up leaving it around 27°C. I believe there will be more oxygen available at lower temperatures which should be beneficial but I don't think it will make a massive difference. I would wait for someone who knows to come along though....
 

sparkyweasel

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I would mature the tank (not liking the term cycling) at the same temp and parameters as it's going to run at. The idea being that whatever species and strains of bacteria and archaea develop will be ones that thrive in those conditions, and they won't experience any change of conditions later which could set them back. It works for me, but certainly not the only way to go.
 

Fishydib

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Well my tank is still showing 1ppm of Ammonia, all i can think of is that it’s leaching from the mopani wood? Do i just leave it and wait for it to drop? Should i do a large water change? Should i remove the mopani wood and put something else in there as the water is full of tannins and not very pleasant to look at? I didn’t realise it was mopani wood when i purchased it otherwise i would have got something else.
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
Well I’ve added nothing to the tank but already there is ammonia present reading 1.0ppm? Is this right? What should i do next? Do i leave it?
Do you use Prime as your water conditioner normally? It effects the <"ammonia test results">.
I notice that I’m getting some evaporation, can i just top up and do i need to add prime when i do?
You really need to top it up with DI or rain-water, because the evaporation removes pure H2O and the conductivity will rise as you add more salts (from the tap water). If you are only adding a small amount of water you don't need a conditioner.
Should i do a large water change? Should i remove the mopani wood and put something else in there as the water is full of tannins and not very pleasant to look at? I didn’t realise it was mopani wood when i purchased it otherwise i would have got something else.
I'd definitely change some water. I like the tannin stained look, but I realise it doesn't appeal to every-one.

Personally I'd just change enough water to keep it at an acceptable (to you) level of clarity.

cheers Darrel
 

Fishydib

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When i first filled it i used prime water conditioner but I haven’t topped it up since. I added some Tetra Safe Start on Thursday and I’ve just read that it states not to change the water for 10 days as the prime will wipe out some of the beneficial bacteria, looks like I’m going to have to just leave it until next weekend then i can change the water. Just can’t understand where the ammonia is coming from?
 

sparkyweasel

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The bacteria and other micro-organisms you want live in the substrate, filter media and on hard surfaces, very little in the water column to be lost in water changes. Prime won't kill bacteria.
If I was Tetra's marketing department, I would say 'change the water and add more Safe Start', that would increase their sales :).
But I won't, as you don't need to add anything to start the bacteria/archaea etc population.

The ammonia is quite likely coming from the mopani wood, it will stop after a short while. It really bugs me, because mopani wood came on the market as a great alternative to bogwood; it didn't leach tannins or ammonia or anything. The stuff they sell as mopani now is very different. But still expensive, lol.
 
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