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I need HELP fast! Any fish ppl here??

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
He was just fine this morning and I came home this afternoon and hes just laying on his side, but still breathing

I feel so bad for the little thing, looks so helpless. I dunno why hes even dying. I did notice that his bubbles were on the top of the tank, like the hose maybe got clogged?! Could that do it? I am not a fish person, so please anyone help me!! I really dont think hes going to make it
post #2 of 23
First off honey- calm down for a moment- what kind of fish do you have, what kind of tank, have you changed anything lately? what's the temperature set on in there, how old is the fish? have you added any new chemicals to your tank?

go to www.aquaria.info and sign up real quick- join the forums and go to the the one about emergencies honey. I am a member there (it's like TCS but for fish.) My sn is the same on there as it is here if you want to pm me. Also, Bryan, Essayon89 is a member there also -he's one of the mods, -there are tons of fish experts on there- they should be able to help you But calm down and sign up real quick so we can figure out what's going on with your fishy

Get some water ready (purified - or water with stress coat in it) and change the water in the tank immdeately- sometimes when you don't know what's wrong- fresh water changes can drastically help. Be carefull when netting your fish and make sure that you don't distress him. Add some stress coat to the tank after you change the water to help his slime coating. Do you see any white spots or stuck together fins on him?
post #3 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by StarryEyedTiGeR View Post
First off honey- calm down for a moment- what kind of fish do you have, what kind of tank, have you changed anything lately? what's the temperature set on in there, how old is the fish?

go to www.aquaria.info and sign up real quick- join the forums and go to the the one about emergencies honey. I am a member there (it's like TCS but for fish.) My sn is the same on there as it is here if you want to pm me. Also, Bryan, Essayon89 is a member there also -he's one of the mods, -there are tons of fish experts on there- they should be able to help you But calm down and sign up real quick so we can figure out what's going on with your fishy
Thanks hun, but I really am worried that hes not going to survive. He is the new betta we just got Friday(I posted about him) anyways-he wont swim at all! He just lays on his side......looks pathetic.
post #4 of 23
Sending prayers and hugs for your little fishy, I do hope he is gonna be ok.

post #5 of 23
I have fish but am not sure what to tell you. I guess I'd have to see him before I could honestly tell you something.
Is his tank clean? Have you done a water change lately? Was he eating when you left?
It could be a number of things. Stress of the new tank, not enough good bacteria in the tank, Over feeding, under feeding. anything.
Sorry i couldn't be more of a help.
post #6 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jugen View Post
I have fish but am not sure what to tell you. I guess I'd have to see him before I could honestly tell you something.
Is his tank clean? Have you done a water change lately? Was he eating when you left?
It could be a number of things. Stress of the new tank, not enough good bacteria in the tank, Over feeding, under feeding. anything.
Sorry i couldn't be more of a help.
Aww, thanks for the help/caring words, its ok. He has only been in his tank since Saturday, and hes been just fine(I thought) I mean swimming and eating, ya know about all a fish can do Anyways-I dunno what can cause the way hes acting. I just feel helpless.........cant do anything for him.
post #7 of 23
What kind of water did you use before you put your Betta into the tank? Did you allow it time to "set up" meaning time for some bacteria to grow? That's what helps to sustain the fish while he's in the tank. If you just set it up and put him in, chances are he got sick from not enough good bacteria in the water.
post #8 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jugen View Post
What kind of water did you use before you put your Betta into the tank? Did you allow it time to "set up" meaning time for some bacteria to grow? That's what helps to sustain the fish while he's in the tank. If you just set it up and put him in, chances are he got sick from not enough good bacteria in the water.
His tank sat ovr night and we also put the chlorine remover in there. I was just looking at him and it looks like his tail is torn?? i am so clueless!
post #9 of 23
Hmmm. A torn tail wouldn't be a reason for him to be swimming on his side though. If you set up his tank and he was ok from Friday to today, maybe it could be swim bladder? I hope you figure it out soon. Some of those fish are just sick and you have no real idea until you get them home and then they just up and die on you unfortunately.
post #10 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jugen View Post
Hmmm. A torn tail wouldn't be a reason for him to be swimming on his side though. If you set up his tank and he was ok from Friday to today, maybe it could be swim bladder? I hope you figure it out soon. Some of those fish are just sick and you have no real idea until you get them home and then they just up and die on you unfortunately.
Yeah I know...I think thats what it may be. I am going to have to do some research on it and see if he has the symptoms. I just wish I could do something for him. Will it eventually kill him??
post #11 of 23
Awww.... We've maintained an aquarium for about 3 years. We've had ich and fungus - but you can see those problems and fix them with meds. I don't know bettas and I don't know this.

BUT - I do know that it's very possible the fish was sick before you even brought him home.

Sending "get well" vibes to your fish! I hope you figure it out.



Laurie
post #12 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LDG View Post
Awww.... We've maintained an aquarium for about 3 years. We've had ich and fungus - but you can see those problems and fix them with meds. I don't know bettas and I don't know this.

BUT - I do know that it's very possible the fish was sick before you even brought him home.

Sending "get well" vibes to your fish! I hope you figure it out.



Laurie
Aww-thanks. See, I really dont know much about fish either(bettas espically) i have known ppl that had them for years and years..lol...
I wonder if he was sick when we got him? Either way, I feel terrible. Theres nothing I can do and he looks pathetic.
post #13 of 23
Dh says that swim bladder will kill your fish eventually, sorry. It might not be what is wrong with your fishy though.
If he's not eating that could be a problem, that will eventaully be fatal too I'm afraid, if he doesn't eat.
Is it possible he might have had a paw in his tank? A helpful paw can be terrifying to a little fishy and might make him get sick.
post #14 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jugen View Post
Dh says that swim bladder will kill your fish eventually, sorry. It might not be what is wrong with your fishy though.
If he's not eating that could be a problem, that will eventaully be fatal too I'm afraid, if he doesn't eat.
Is it possible he might have had a paw in his tank? A helpful paw can be terrifying to a little fishy and might make him get sick.
Nope, no way for a little paw to get in his tank. I think its something else. And if the poor things gonna die, I dont mean to sound mean but I wish he would go, so he can quit suffering.
post #15 of 23
Hmmm. Sorry to sound harsh, but some fish linger that way for Days.....
We have a fish that's sick also and just stopped eating one day and is now wasting away to nothing. I'm hoping he'll go soon too, as he's not looking to good anymore, he looks like a piece of paper at one end and is getting bloated at the other. Poor thing.
I wish I could've helped ya. I hope you find an answer for your fish.
post #16 of 23
Wait sweetie- is this the fish you got from walmart? I'm afraid you may have got a diseased fish. Walmart is definitely not the most reputable place to buy fish/aquatics. Especially not the ones around here. It is very probable that you have purchased a diseased/sick betta- if that is the case there might not be too much you can do for him. Like i pm'd you on the aquaria site though- go ahead and do a fresh water change (do a total changed with distilled water.) Also- do you have a thermometor on the tank? What is it reading right now? Does his tank have a heater? He is a tropical fish so any changes in his climate can cause him to withdrawl -especially if the water temperature is too chilly for him- does he have a lamp on his tank? If so turn it on- if not go get a little study lamp and position it over the tank to warm him up. What are you feeding him right now? He may have grown accustom to a particular type of food and might be picky at the moment refusing to eat - this can make him weak. Call your local walmart and ask the aquatic dpt what they fed him (i'm guessing it was probably NOT what he should be eating.) Go ahead and get some of the food they were feeding him and give that to him- then gradually/slowly wean him off of it and put him onto freeze dried blood worms. It is much better for them as bettas are carnivirous and do not thrive with flake food. Also add some stress coat to the tank when you change the water. If he makes it through the night- go to Petco /Petsmart and get some "Bettafix" to put in his tank- it's wonderful for ill bettas and pretty inexpensive. Good luck hon You're doing all you can for him.

One last thing- is there a filter in the tank he's in? If so- take it out immedately! Bettas (especially ones sold in pet stores in small containers!) do not like currents- it stresses them out to have to swim against a current. They should be kept in still water that is frequently changed so as not to accumulate waste. (some people do have filtered tanks with their bettas- but it is preferable for them not to be in a filtered tank....if however they are the filter/air pumps should be on the lowest settings- still it is best not to have them with a betta as they breath oxygen and do not like currents. In their natural habitat they do not have strong currents to swim against they are in calm water so it can definitely stress them out)
post #17 of 23
Awww, poor fishy!
If you did get him from WalMart and still have the reciept, you can take it back and they will give you your money back.
post #18 of 23
Hi. I dont want to sound negative or rude,but take a look at this, and imo if you cannot replicate an animals natural habitat then dont bother keeping it, its not just a case of putting a fish in a tank because they look pretty. Myself I would put it out of its misery because the fact is it is not right and is is not going to live much longer.

Scientific Name: Betta Splendens
Other Names: Betta Family: Belontiidae
Origin: Cambodia, Thailand
Adult Size: 3 inches (7 cm)
Social: Males cannot be kept together
Lifespan: 2-3 years
Tank Level: Top dweller
Minimum Tank Size: 3 gallon
Diet: Live foods preferable, will eat flakes and frozen foods
Breeding: Egglayer - bubblenest
Care: Easy to Intermediate
pH: 6.8 - 7.4
Hardenss: up to 20 dGH
Temperature: 75-86 F (24-30 C)

Description: The brilliant coloration, and long flowing fins of the Betta make it one of the most well known of aquarium fish. Colors range from red to blue to white. Females are not as highly colored, and have much shorter fins. A well conditioned breeding female will often display horizontal stripes.
Habitat/Care: Bettas are one of the most recognized, most colorful, and often most controversial fish in the freshwater hobby. Debates range on about the appropriateness of keeping them in small bowls. To fully understand their needs it is important to become familiar with their native habitat. Bettas originate in the shallow waters in Thailand (formerly called Siam, hence their name), Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, and parts of China. They proliferate rice paddies, shallow ponds, and even slow moving streams.
Although many fish keepers are aware that Bettas come from shallow waters, a key factor that is often overlooked is the water temperature. These countries are tropical, which means the water temperature is quite warm - often reaching into the 80's. Bettas thrive on heat, and will become increasingly listless when the water temperature falls below 75 degrees F. Water temperature is perhaps the biggest argument against keeping a betta in a tiny bowl (which cannot readily be heat controlled).
Even though Bettas do well in waters low in dissolved oxygen, that does not mean they require less oxygen than other fish. Bettas have a special respiratory organ that allows them to breath air directly from the surface. In fact they inherently must do so. In experiments where the labyrinth organ was removed, the fish died from suffocation even though the water was saturated with oxygen. For this reason, Bettas must have access to the water surface to breath air directly from the atmosphere.
Optimally the water for keeping healthy Bettas should be soft, warm, with a neutral to slightly acidic pH. Water movement should be kept to a minimum, which means that power filters and powerheads are not suitable. Bettas may be kept in a community tank as long as the water conditions are met, and if no aggressive or fin-nipping fish are present. However, only one male may be kept in each aquarium, unless they are separated by a barrier.
The use of plastic boxes that hang inside the aquarium are a suitable option for keeping more than one betta in a tank, or for keeping them in a tank with fish that might nip their fins. Females will generally not fight with each other, and may be kept in the same tank.

NOTE: Selling a betta in a vase with a Peace Lily has become in vogue. However, a flower vase is not a suitable environment for the betta. For more information check the additional information links to the right.
Diet: In nature Bettas subsist almost exclusively on insects and insect larvae. They are built with an upturned mouth that is well suited to snatching any hapless insect that might fall into the water. Internally their digestive system is geared for meat, having a much shorter alimentary track than vegetarian fish. For this reason, live foods are the ideal diet for the betta, however they will adapt to eating flake foods and frozen and freeze dried foods.
Brine shrimp, Daphnia, plankton, tubifex, glassworms, and beef heart, are all excellent options that may be found frozen or freeze dried. If flake food is fed, it should be supplemented with frozen and freeze-dried foods, and if possible live foods.

Breeding
post #19 of 23
Do you have aquarium salt ???
what size tank is it ???

what is the temp???

betta revive is what I am using for my boy betta ... it worked when i got him


Good luck
post #20 of 23
Everyone has stumbling blocks along the way, especially when just starting out in the hobby. An aquarium is a closed system, there really is no way to truly replicate the natural habitat of a fish, all that can be done is to get as close to it as possible and to provide the best possible care.

The betta mods over there are pretty good and I'll jump in and help when I can. Nikki has given you some good advice so far and we'll help to get you on the right track, just don't get too discouraged. The learning curve for this hobby can be a steep one but it's also one in where the basics can be learned rather quickly. I sent you another PM over there.

Barb, please check your PMs.


Hang in there.
post #21 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Essayons89 View Post
Everyone has stumbling blocks along the way, especially when just starting out in the hobby. An aquarium is a closed system, there really is no way to truly replicate the natural habitat of a fish, all that can be done is to get as close to it as possible and to provide the best possible care.

The betta mods over there are pretty good and Ill jump in and help when I can. Nikki has given you some good advice so far and we'll help to get you on the right track, just don't get too discouraged. The learning curve for this hobby can be a steep one but it's also one in where the basics can be learned rather quickly. I sent you another PM over there.

Barb, please check your PMs.

Hang in there.
I knew you'd come by this thread with some good advice!
post #22 of 23
I'm going to be long-winded here so bear with me.

One of the problems with Bettas is that they are kept in overcrowded conditions even before they are shipped to the stores. Another problem is that they are often kept in those useless plastic cups where the fish just sits in its own waste. Think about it, this would be like locking your dog and cat in a closet and letting it live in it's own urine and feces.

Back to then cups/vases/etc. When kept in cramped conditions bettas won't be able to keep and maintain their muscle tissue and as a result they will live a shortened life and die from a fatty degeneration of their tissue and muscle atrophy (which is basically a loss of the muscle fiber).

Another thing that doesn't help is that bettas are inbred and overbred commercially that their genetics aren't what they should be, much like many of the common domestic livebearer strains. Bettas are prone to tumors, bacterial infections such as Flexibacter columnaris, finrot and dropsy.

Based on my own experience I feel that a 5 gallon should be the absolute minimum tank that a betta should be kept in. There are heater made to fit small tanks of this size. Personally, I feel that a 10 gallon is a better choice in that it's easier to heat and it also gives the betta more room to swim. This tank also gives options for a couple of tankmates such as Cherry barbs, Corydoras catfish, Kuhli loaches or Harlequin rasboras. Also, the bigger the tank the more forgiving it is of mistakes. That said, there isn't much room for error in a 10 gallon but the margin is still larger than it would be for a 5 gallon.

Bettas will do best in temps between 75-80F. Any lower than 70F and they tend to become lethargic and will only make movements that are absolutely necessary to it's survival- such as eating- and will lay on the bottom. The opposite is true of temps over 80F. The metabolic rate of the fish will be increased causing the fish to become very active but this increase in metabolism will shorten the lifespan of the fish.

If the tank that your fish is in isn't heated this could be the reason why it's laying on the bottom and not moving. My initial thought was a swimbladder disorder but, like the others already mentioned, it could be anything. I was over my parent's house a couple of years ago and Dad was doing a water change on his 29 gallon tank (which I now have) and refilled the tank with cold water. I noticed this because his gorgeous male Pearl Gourami was laying on its side at the bottom of the tank. I checked the water and it was cold so I started doing some rapid partial water changes will warm water to bring the temp back up. As the temp approached what it usually was in the tank (78F) the fish started to stir and came around. He ended up being okay.

Filtration is fine in a betta tank as long as the current is very light. Powerheads and mechanical filters that create a lot of turbulence should be avoided. In a tank with too much current the betta will become stressed and the constant current can wear down the slime coating of the fish leaving him/her susceptible to bacterial and other types of diseases such as Ich. IMO, a small air-driven sponge filter is the way to go. The air flow can be regulated by a valve to help keep the turbulence low.

A betta will also benefit from having live plants in the tank. Since a 10 gallon tank doesn't throw off a lot of light, low-light plants like Java ferns, Java moss and the floating plant, Hornwort, all make great plants to use for a betta tank. Not only do the live plants provide cover to help the fish feel more secure but they also aid in the biological filtration of the tank by taking in ammonia, nitrite and nitrate.

Since you have only had the fish for a couple of days the tank will have to undergo what is called cycling. I can rail on ad-naseum about ammonia, nitrite and nitrate and it's effects but short and sweet, here is a quick rundown on what the cycle is:
Cycling is the process of developing nitrifying bacteria in the filter and on every surface of the tank. This bacteria is what is responsible for the biofiltration of a tank. Once established, this bacteria will convert ammonia to nitrite. Another bacteria will convert nitrite to nitrate. Ammonia is highly toxic to fish. Nitrite is less toxic than ammonia while nitrate is the least toxic of the three compounds. Normally, with a regular maintenance schedule, nitrates can be kept around 10ppm without much difficulty.

Here is what you need to know about cycling:

The cycle is started when fish are added to a tank. Fish give off ammonia from their gills through respiration. Fish also pass a dilute ammonia in their urine. Leftover food, decaying plant matter and other waste products will also give off ammonia. All ammonia is toxic at .25ppm or above. The amount of ammonia that it takes before a fish succumbs depends on the species. In a cycled tank there will be 0 ammonia.

It can take up to two weeks before enough nitrifying bacteria is established to bring the ammonia down to 0. Once this biofilter is established, it will remain in the tank and grow and decrease as you add and lose fish.

The bacteria responsible for the biofiltration is aerobic. This means that it loves and needs oxygen to survive. The majority of biofiltration in a tank takes place in the filter. This is why it is important to have a good quality filter with lots of room for sponges or filter floss. This will give the bacteria a larger surface area to colonize. The bacteria will also live on every surface inside the tank as well. They can't be uprooted by gravel vacuuming. The following is what can kill the bacteria:

1.Chlorine- never rinse your filter media in tap water. This will kill off the bacteria colonies. Rinse the filter cartridge, sponge, floss or whatever you are using in a bucket of used tank water and reuse it.

2. pH swings
3. poor filtration
4. temperature changes
5. daylight/light- this why filters are dark
6. medications such as antibiotics (regardless of what the packaging says)

After the initial two week period you will see a climb in nitrite. While nitrite isn't as toxic as ammonia it is still toxic-usually at 2ppm or above. To counter nitrite toxicity, add 1 teaspoon of aquarium salt per 20 gallons. Table salt is fine to use but it must be non-iodized. Water changes and gravel vacs must also be done to remove high nitrite levels. Salt isn’t and never should be considered a replacement for water changes.

Nitrites will remain very high for about six weeks. The bacteria responsible for converting nitrite is a painfully slow growing one. These bacteria are also sensitive to the things listed above.

One day you will find accumulating nitrate with falling nitrite. When the ammonia and nitrites both have a reading of 0 and you have a noticeable buildup of nitrate the cycle is complete.

Once complete, a regular maintenance schedule of weekly 20-30% water changes should be done along with thorough gravel vacs to remove fish poo, leftover food and other waste. This should be enough to keep your nitrates between 10-15ppm. If your nitrates are higher then you need to cut back on the amount of food that is fed daily or increase the frequency of water changes. The lower the nitrates the more your fish will thrive.

Last but not least (for now) I want to touch on water conditioners. I don't know what type of water you have in Kansas (city, well water, etc.) but many communities have will add ammonia to the chlorine in the tap water which creates chloramine- a more stable chemical than chlorine that is also used to treat water. Water can also contain trace elements of heavy metals. I use a water conditioner that neutralizes both chlorine and chloramines as well as toxic heavy metals. It might be a good idea to get a water report so you can see what is in it. In rural areas it isn't uncommon to have a high level of nitrate in the tap water.

Hope this helps and give a shout if/when you need more help/info.
post #23 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Essayons89 View Post
I'm going to be long-winded here so bear with me.

One of the problems with Bettas is that they are kept in overcrowded conditions even before they are shipped to the stores. Another problem is that they are often kept in those useless plastic cups where the fish just sits in its own waste. Think about it, this would be like locking your dog and cat in a closet and letting it live in it's own urine and feces.

Back to then cups/vases/etc. When kept in cramped conditions bettas won't be able to keep and maintain their muscle tissue and as a result they will live a shortened life and die from a fatty degeneration of their tissue and muscle atrophy (which is basically a loss of the muscle fiber).

Another thing that doesn't help is that bettas are inbred and overbred commercially that their genetics aren't what they should be, much like many of the common domestic livebearer strains. Bettas are prone to tumors, bacterial infections such as Flexibacter columnaris, finrot and dropsy.

Based on my own experience I feel that a 5 gallon should be the absolute minimum tank that a betta should be kept in. There are heater made to fit small tanks of this size. Personally, I feel that a 10 gallon is a better choice in that it's easier to heat and it also gives the betta more room to swim. This tank also gives options for a couple of tankmates such as Cherry barbs, Corydoras catfish, Kuhli loaches or Harlequin rasboras. Also, the bigger the tank the more forgiving it is of mistakes. That said, there isn't much room for error in a 10 gallon but the margin is still larger than it would be for a 5 gallon.

Bettas will do best in temps between 75-80F. Any lower than 70F and they tend to become lethargic and will only make movements that are absolutely necessary to it's survival- such as eating- and will lay on the bottom. The opposite is true of temps over 80F. The metabolic rate of the fish will be increased causing the fish to become very active but this increase in metabolism will shorten the lifespan of the fish.

If the tank that your fish is in isn't heated this could be the reason why it's laying on the bottom and not moving. My initial thought was a swimbladder disorder but, like the others already mentioned, it could be anything. I was over my parent's house a couple of years ago and Dad was doing a water change on his 29 gallon tank (which I now have) and refilled the tank with cold water. I noticed this because his gorgeous male Pearl Gourami was laying on its side at the bottom of the tank. I checked the water and it was cold so I started doing some rapid partial water changes will warm water to bring the temp back up. As the temp approached what it usually was in the tank (78F) the fish started to stir and came around. He ended up being okay.

Filtration is fine in a betta tank as long as the current is very light. Powerheads and mechanical filters that create a lot of turbulence should be avoided. In a tank with too much current the betta will become stressed and the constant current can wear down the slime coating of the fish leaving him/her susceptible to bacterial and other types of diseases such as Ich. IMO, a small air-driven sponge filter is the way to go. The air flow can be regulated by a valve to help keep the turbulence low.

A betta will also benefit from having live plants in the tank. Since a 10 gallon tank doesn't throw off a lot of light, low-light plants like Java ferns, Java moss and the floating plant, Hornwort, all make great plants to use for a betta tank. Not only do the live plants provide cover to help the fish feel more secure but they also aid in the biological filtration of the tank by taking in ammonia, nitrite and nitrate.

Since you have only had the fish for a couple of days the tank will have to undergo what is called cycling. I can rail on ad-naseum about ammonia, nitrite and nitrate and it's effects but short and sweet, here is a quick rundown on what the cycle is:
Cycling is the process of developing nitrifying bacteria in the filter and on every surface of the tank. This bacteria is what is responsible for the biofiltration of a tank. Once established, this bacteria will convert ammonia to nitrite. Another bacteria will convert nitrite to nitrate. Ammonia is highly toxic to fish. Nitrite is less toxic than ammonia while nitrate is the least toxic of the three compounds. Normally, with a regular maintenance schedule, nitrates can be kept around 10ppm without much difficulty.

Here is what you need to know about cycling:

The cycle is started when fish are added to a tank. Fish give off ammonia from their gills through respiration. Fish also pass a dilute ammonia in their urine. Leftover food, decaying plant matter and other waste products will also give off ammonia. All ammonia is toxic at .25ppm or above. The amount of ammonia that it takes before a fish succumbs depends on the species. In a cycled tank there will be 0 ammonia.

It can take up to two weeks before enough nitrifying bacteria is established to bring the ammonia down to 0. Once this biofilter is established, it will remain in the tank and grow and decrease as you add and lose fish.

The bacteria responsible for the biofiltration is aerobic. This means that it loves and needs oxygen to survive. The majority of biofiltration in a tank takes place in the filter. This is why it is important to have a good quality filter with lots of room for sponges or filter floss. This will give the bacteria a larger surface area to colonize. The bacteria will also live on every surface inside the tank as well. They can't be uprooted by gravel vacuuming. The following is what can kill the bacteria:

1.Chlorine- never rinse your filter media in tap water. This will kill off the bacteria colonies. Rinse the filter cartridge, sponge, floss or whatever you are using in a bucket of used tank water and reuse it.

2. pH swings
3. poor filtration
4. temperature changes
5. daylight/light- this why filters are dark
6. medications such as antibiotics (regardless of what the packaging says)

After the initial two week period you will see a climb in nitrite. While nitrite isn't as toxic as ammonia it is still toxic-usually at 2ppm or above. To counter nitrite toxicity, add 1 teaspoon of aquarium salt per 20 gallons. Table salt is fine to use but it must be non-iodized. Water changes and gravel vacs must also be done to remove high nitrite levels. Salt isn’t and never should be considered a replacement for water changes.

Nitrites will remain very high for about six weeks. The bacteria responsible for converting nitrite is a painfully slow growing one. These bacteria are also sensitive to the things listed above.

One day you will find accumulating nitrate with falling nitrite. When the ammonia and nitrites both have a reading of 0 and you have a noticeable buildup of nitrate the cycle is complete.

Once complete, a regular maintenance schedule of weekly 20-30% water changes should be done along with thorough gravel vacs to remove fish poo, leftover food and other waste. This should be enough to keep your nitrates between 10-15ppm. If your nitrates are higher then you need to cut back on the amount of food that is fed daily or increase the frequency of water changes. The lower the nitrates the more your fish will thrive.

Last but not least (for now) I want to touch on water conditioners. I don't know what type of water you have in Kansas (city, well water, etc.) but many communities have will add ammonia to the chlorine in the tap water which creates chloramine- a more stable chemical than chlorine that is also used to treat water. Water can also contain trace elements of heavy metals. I use a water conditioner that neutralizes both chlorine and chloramines as well as toxic heavy metals. It might be a good idea to get a water report so you can see what is in it. In rural areas it isn't uncommon to have a high level of nitrate in the tap water.

Hope this helps and give a shout if/when you need more help/info.
Wonderful information! Thankyou Bryan. I'm sure a lot of people will find this helpfull
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