Help needed for Betta tank

dw1305

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Hi all,
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.
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,
I'd agree with @sparkyweasel, you can ignore Tetra the advice, it is based on information that has been <"superseded by scientific advances">.
Just can’t understand where the ammonia is coming from?
It might be from the Mopani wood, but <"wood doesn't contain much protein"> so that is unlikely.

My guess would be that there isn't much ammonia (and certainly not 1 ppm) and that it is a <"false reading caused by the addition of Prime">.
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
It won't do any harm, as long as the ammonia addition is similar to that provided by the stock once introduced, but you don't actually need to add an ammonia source for cycling to continue.

Recent scientific advances have shown that the traditional view of nitrification (that only certain bacteria are involved and you need high pH and ammonia levels) aren't actually true.

Have a look at page 4. of <"Bedside Aquarium">, it summarises where we are now.

cheers Darrel
 

Fishydib

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Thanks for all your help guys, 50% water change done this afternoon. The tank looks much better now that some of the tannins have been removed, just a lovely tinted colour now.
 
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Fishydib

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Hi all,I'd agree with @sparkyweasel, you can ignore Tetra the advice, it is based on information that has been <"superseded by scientific advances">. It might be from the Mopani wood, but <"wood doesn't contain much protein"> so that is unlikely.

My guess would be that there isn't much ammonia (and certainly not 1 ppm) and that it is a <"false reading caused by the addition of Prime">. It won't do any harm, as long as the ammonia addition is similar to that provided by the stock once introduced, but you don't actually need to add an ammonia source for cycling to continue.

Recent scientific advances have shown that the traditional view of nitrification (that only certain bacteria are involved and you need high pH and ammonia levels) aren't actually true.

Have a look at page 4. of <"Bedside Aquarium">, it summarises where we are now.

cheers Darrel
I must say say that the “bedside-aquarium” is a great thread.
 

Fishydib

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Well the tank is still showing 1.0ppm Ammonia, should I do more water changes to get it down or just let it be for a week as previously mentioned?
Apologies for all the questions but I don’t want to not do it right.
 
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Fishydib

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Help needed
Ammonia is now 0.25ppm but no nitrite? Do I just leave it? What happens if the ammonia drops to zero?
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
I seem to have some white matter growing on my wood? Any idea what it is? Do I need to do anything?
It is fungal, this is because there was some sap etc in the wood that the fungi is now growing from, you can just syphon it out. It should stop fairly quickly (once the easily accessible sugars and proteins have been used).
What happens if the ammonia drops to zero?
You are good. That is a good thing.
Ammonia is now 0.25ppm but no nitrite? Do I just leave it?
Yes, just carry on changing some water, you may have no detectable nitrite because the ammonia reading was caused by your conditioner and there was very little ammonia to convert.

You may have <"COMAMMOX Nitrospira"> which are converting ammonia directly to nitrate, you may have a bigger enough plant biomass so that the plants are effectively depleting all forms of fixed nitrogen (NH3, NO2, NO3), or it may be that your NO2 test kit may not be working etc.

cheers Darrel
 

Fishydib

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Hi all,It is fungal, this is because there was some sap etc in the wood that the fungi is now growing from, you can just syphon it out. It should stop fairly quickly (once the easily accessible sugars and proteins have been used). You are good. That is a good thing. Yes, just carry on changing some water, you may have no detectable nitrite because the ammonia reading was caused by your conditioner and there was very little ammonia to convert.

You may have <"COMAMMOX Nitrospira"> which are converting ammonia directly to nitrate, you may have a bigger enough plant biomass so that the plants are effectively depleting all forms of fixed nitrogen (NH3, NO2, NO3), or it may be that your NO2 test kit may not be working etc.

cheers Darrel
Thanks for the update, I’ll do a water change tomorrow and try and syphon out that fungal matter. So once my ammonia reaches zero, do i carry on testing for a week just to make sure? If it gets to zero what does the bacteria feed off?
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
So once my ammonia reaches zero, do i carry on testing for a week just to make sure?
You can carry on testing if you want to, but just don't base your actions on the test kit results. Both the Estimative Index and Duckweed Index were designed not to require test results, the reason for this wasn't the we weren't interested in the results, it was just we had some reservations about their accuracy.

Have a look at <"Is it still cycled?">.
If it gets to zero what does the bacteria feed off?
It never actually gets to zero, even if just have plants and no livestock. The continuing biological processes will still produce ammonia, just not as much as if you have fish etc.

The real point is that the combination of plants and low ammonia loadings encourages a diverse assemblage of nitrifying organisms that can respond to changes in oxygen and ammonia level. There isn't really a good forum reference, but there are quite a <"few scientific ones"> with <"new papers"> being produced all the time.

cheers Darrel
 

Fishydib

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Do you think i should take some of the floating plants out before i get my betta? There’s quite a few in the tank but they don’t cover the entire surface, the roots are very long, should i trim them. Just want to make sure that the betta has enough room to swim about.
When do you think it’s safe to add my betta fish.
1894E556-DDCF-41B2-B89A-CC5B5A519422.jpeg
 
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dw1305

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Hi all,
Do you think i should take some of the floating plants out before i get my betta?
No.
There’s quite a few in the tank but they don’t cover the entire surface, the roots are very long, should i trim them.
I usually thin mine if they get more than about 75% coverage, in the winter I go for about 50% because my tanks receive some ambient light. I like long roots, but other people would shorten the very long ones.
Just want to make sure that the betta has enough room to swim about.
They don't need big clear spaces, wild Betta spp. live in really dense plant and leaf litter habitats.

I think that bubble nesters live in this sort of habitat, and mouth brooders in small streams.

When do you think it’s safe to add my betta fish.
I'd still wait a couple of weeks, just to make sure all the plants are in active growth.

cheers Darrel
 
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Fishydib

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My floating plants are covering about 30% and i quite like the long roots so i can leave as is. My plants seem to be growing quite well, i trimmed one plant back today as it was getting near the top.
Interesting video, didn’t realise they lived in such dense conditions.

Thanks for all your advice, you’ve helped a lot.
Diane
 
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Fishydib

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Well my tank is looking good (i think) I’ve removed the large wood and replaced it with some java fern on driftwood and an anubias, so more plants the better, they are all growing well and look in nice condition. Water quality is Ammonia 0ppm - Nitrite 0ppm - Nitrate 10ppm so no issues here, temperature is sitting at 80f. I’ve also added a small spray bar to reduce the flow for the betta but still moving the surface. Moss balls and catappa leaves added along with a floating log and betta hammock . Water change has been done today.
I’m still amazed that I managed to cycle a tank without adding any ammonia and it hasn’t taken that long to be honest, so thanks to all for guiding me through this.
Once i get my betta how many water changes do you think I should be doing a week and how much should i change out?

BE1EFA9C-EE1D-47C1-9822-521CF0075D95.jpeg
 

Fishydib

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I couldn’t wait any longer to get my betta, i picked up a lovely red one yesterday , not sure what type he is but when i was looking he got so excited when i neared his ever so tiny cube, there was no plants, sand or anything in with him, looked very sad so i just had to pick him. He’s been acclimated to his tank and he’s been investigating every inch of his new home. I’ve fed him and he likes the food, he’s been in his floating log, in and out of the floating plants and seems very interested when i near the tank, his name is Tiffy

2EF78B1E-E653-43EE-AE91-1CAB94A04099.jpeg
 
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Fishydib

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I’m thinking of getting a second 30L cube do you think it would be ok to put two cubes on this solid oak sideboard if i had one each end?

A051A993-25FA-4686-9A30-CF4A65BF7EC3.jpeg
 
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