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Cycling Issue
05-29-2015, 03:08 AM,
#1
sproutyrouty Offline
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Cycling Issue
So I need a bit of advice, i fully cycled my tank 2-3 months ago and added cardinals and a betta. No issues with ammonia or nitrite.

I went on holiday for a week used a tetra feeding block, I've now come back and my ammonia is at 1pmm every day even after a water change and nitrite is at 0.5-1pmm.
Im currently doing 90% WC's everyday.

Something has nuked my bacteria and i have no idea what.

I run a 30L tank no live plants, PH is 7.5, filter is running fine and temp is between 25-28degrees. Im using aqua safe everytime i do WC's and i now also add aquarium salt.

Im at a loss at what to do.
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05-29-2015, 03:48 PM,
#2
Thor Online
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RE: Cycling Issue
Hello, sproutyrouty. Welcome To the forum!

It was the feeding block. Stay away from such products. They are known to cause ammonia spike. Fish are cold blood animals. They can go for 3 weeks or more without food. You were away for only a single week, they could be totally fine without anyone feeding them at all.

I don't think your beneficial bacteria is any less than before. You just need to get the remains of the feeding block to get rid of the source of ammonia.

Do you have any gravel? Vacuum the bottom of tank to get rid of any debris during your partial water change.

Keep eyes on the ammonia. If it is still not at 0ppm, keep up the daily partial water change.

By the way, how long have you had your fish?
It is a generally not recommended setup to have betta in the same fish tank as nippy fish like Cardinal Tetra.
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05-29-2015, 10:04 PM,
#3
sproutyrouty Offline
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RE: Cycling Issue
Yes I have gravel and use a gravel vac already, I've had the cardinals 3 months and the betta 2 months they are both fine together the fighter came from a community tank in the pet store. I've never had any issues with either.
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05-30-2015, 04:29 AM,
#4
Thor Online
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RE: Cycling Issue
Do you still get any ammonia and nitrite from your latest readings?
Just keep up with the water change. You may do no more than 50~70% partial water change each time to avoid shock the fish. You may also cut back on feeding which can help your situation. Stop feeding the fish for a day or two completely will do no harm at all but dramatically lower the potential ammonia you put into the system. Afterward, you can feed them once every two days with only enough for them to finish within a minute with no leftover. Then once a day with similar amount after everything is back to normal.

Adding aquarium salt in this case would have no real benefit.
If you use Seachem Prime for every water change, you can minimize the ammonia damage to the fish since it can temporarily turn the ammonia into relatively harmless ammonium for up to 48 hours.



I know sometimes the incompatible fish can be peaceful with each other, but all it takes is one incident to make it from "no issue" to "too late". Most Tetra species can be very nippy, and the slow moving betta's long fin makes the perfect target. Just a word of caution. Personally I wouldn't house a betta in an aquarium with anything but bottom feeders. Please don't try to duplicate what the pet stores do. They often keep fish in less ideal conditions for obvious reasons.

By the way, how many Cardinal Tetra do you have?
Your tank is on the small side. Too many fish can also easily cause ammonia spike.

P.S. Use an automatic feeder instead of some "food block" next time you are gone for more than two week. Wink
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05-30-2015, 08:01 AM,
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sproutyrouty Offline
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RE: Cycling Issue
I did have 3 lost one so only have 2 now, ammonia and nitrite spikes are every day ammonia at 1.0 and nitrite at 0.5-1, I'm doing a 90% water change every day when i get in from work.
That will deffo help next time, I've slowed the feed down to once a day however I'm going to try once every other day.

Thanks for your help I appreciate it.
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05-30-2015, 03:50 PM,
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RE: Cycling Issue
Normally, we are supposed to feed the fish only once a day. Feed them no more than they can finish all of it within a minute.
How often were you feeding them? From the sound of it, you were feeding them more than once a day which is not needed. More fish food means more ammonia in the system.

On a side note, Cardinal Tetra is a school fish. They need minimal 5~6 to make a school in order for them to show natural behavior.
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05-30-2015, 09:41 PM,
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sproutyrouty Offline
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RE: Cycling Issue
(05-30-2015, 03:50 PM)Thor Wrote: Normally, we are supposed to feed the fish only once a day. Feed them no more than they can finish all of it within a minute.
How often were you feeding them? From the sound of it, you were feeding them more than once a day which is not needed. More fish food means more ammonia in the system.

On a side note, Cardinal Tetra is a school fish. They need minimal 5~6 to make a school in order for them to show natural behavior.

Yeh I know I'm going to get more but don't want to do so until my ammonia situation is sorted.

I fed them 2 flakes on a night and a morning it's now just once every other day
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06-03-2015, 06:43 AM,
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sproutyrouty Offline
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RE: Cycling Issue
Ammonia and nitrite are back at zero thank the Lord!!!!

Did a huge change to get nitrate back down however today I've come in and notice there is fin damage to my Betta, this also occurred before I was away but had re grown I used melafix for a week then found out I shouldn't use this with fighters so I stopped.

However today it looks like his back fin has gone through a shredder, I have only silk plants and I genuinely have never seen my cardinals even go for the fighter.
Now the ammonia and nitrite is under control I was going to add more cardinals to make them more of a pack, would you recommend this or should I get something else more compatible (I don't want shrimp) lol
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06-03-2015, 03:11 PM,
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Thor Online
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RE: Cycling Issue
I believe your betta's fin was damaged by Cardinal Tetra. These nippy little fish do not have to chase the betta all the time to do the damage you have seen on your betta. They just need to do it from time to time.

I highly recommend you to get a separated tank just for the betta. A 5 gallon will do fine although 10 gallon is recommended.

For your question, since you just got the ammonia and nitrite under control. It is a good idea to wait a little longer before adding more fish, and it is the best to add no more than 1 or 2 fish at a time since your aquarium is not that big to begin with.
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06-12-2015, 07:14 PM, (This post was last modified: 06-12-2015, 07:16 PM by sproutyrouty.)
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sproutyrouty Offline
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RE: Cycling Issue
So He tank has been fine for around a week now, I'm finally going to add some more fish, should I get the numbers of cardinals up to 5 by adding 3 more or should I get some false juli corys not sure what should be the priority there.

Are the cardinals attacking the fighter because they feel threatened? If so surely a few more would be ok

Or do I skip more cardinals and get some sunburst wagtail plattys
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06-12-2015, 10:07 PM,
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Thor Online
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RE: Cycling Issue
Tetra in general are nippy fish. They attacked betta out of their own habit of nippy nature. Betta's long fin makes it a great target. Tetra are also generally faster than betta. The poor betta doesn't stand a chance although it does bear the name of "Siamese fighter fish". It is the victim here.


Corydoras catfish are also schooling fish. They will also be shy if you don't give them at least 5~6 in number. Keep in mind if you get both corydoras and cardinal to 5~6, your fish tank will be overstocked. Personally, I wouldn't put anything other than bottom feeders such as corydoras in the same tank as betta just to protect the betta. You might be in a hard situation since you already have cardinal tetra. It is your choice to up the number of cardinal to 5, or get rid of the cardinal and get 5~6 cory instead.
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06-12-2015, 10:58 PM,
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sproutyrouty Offline
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RE: Cycling Issue
Thanks Thor, another option I was thinking of was some sunburst wagtail platys they don't seem like nippers, I think with my cardinals I'm just gona wait it out for them to go then restock with something else.
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06-13-2015, 01:09 PM,
#13
Thor Online
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RE: Cycling Issue
Actually platy are nippers. They might also get the betta's aggressive side out.
Betta is a middle water level fish, it is the best to avoid adding more fish who occupy the same water level. It is why I only recommend bottom feeders.

If getting a second fish tank is an option for you, the betta needs to be housed alone.
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06-13-2015, 05:42 PM,
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sproutyrouty Offline
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RE: Cycling Issue
Brilliant thanks for your advice Thor Smile
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