Reddit Reddit reviews API FRESHWATER MASTER TEST KIT 800-Test Freshwater Aquarium Water Master Test Kit

We found 280 Reddit comments about API FRESHWATER MASTER TEST KIT 800-Test Freshwater Aquarium Water Master Test Kit. Here are the top ones, ranked by their Reddit score.

Aquarium Test Kits
Fish & Aquatic Pets
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API FRESHWATER MASTER TEST KIT 800-Test Freshwater Aquarium Water Master Test Kit
Contains one (1) API FRESHWATER MASTER TEST KIT 800-Test Freshwater Aquarium Water Master Test Kit, including 7 bottles of testing solutions, 1 color card and 4 glass tubes with capHelps monitor water quality and prevent invisible water problems that can be harmful to fish and cause fish lossAccurately monitors 5 most vital water parameters levels in freshwater aquariums: pH, high range pH, ammonia, nitrite, nitrateDesigned for use in freshwater aquariums onlyUse for weekly monitoring and when water or fish problems appear
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280 Reddit comments about API FRESHWATER MASTER TEST KIT 800-Test Freshwater Aquarium Water Master Test Kit:

u/Jadis4742 · 417 pointsr/interestingasfuck

Another betta picture hits /r/all! And no one else has already said it, so I guess it's my turn.

  • As others have pointed out, yes, this is photoshopped. I prefer the original myself.

  • Bettas are great pets, ESPECIALLY when housed correctly. That shitty tiny bowl at the pet store? Not a proper tank for a betta. Pet stores LIE TO YOU so people will keep buying shitty, tiny tanks and bettas when their current betta dies. It's not in their interest for you to be smart, do research, and invest in a decent setup, because then you'll have a healthy fish for several years and won't be spending money replacing everything.

  • Bettas really do best in at least a 5-gallon tank, but 2.5 gallons is considered the minimum.

  • Bettas are tropical fish. THEY MUST HAVE A HEATER. Problem is, heaters for tanks that small are notoriously fickle. You don't want fish soup, after all. I used this heater for my boys and their 5-gallon tanks.

  • All fish tanks need a filter, otherwise you have to commit to changing AND treating 50%-100% of the water in the tank EVERY DAY. It's a pain, trust me.

  • You MUST dechlorinate water before adding it to the tank, otherwise your fish will die. It'll be a bottle called dechlorinator or water conditioner.

  • Get a water test kit. Don't bitch about it, just do it. It's kind of fun, actually. Test your water levels once or twice a week. If your fish get sick, this is the first thing /r/bettas and /r/aquariums will ask about. People will judge you if you don't have this already.

  • Bettas are best kept as solitary fish. If you want to keep a betta in a tank with other fish, you'll need at least a 20-gallon tank and probably the advice of /r/aquriums for stocking.

  • Yes, you or your friend has/had a betta that was playful and active for four years in a shitty, 3oz vase with a bamboo plant on top that you stuck in a cabinet and only fed once a week and never changed the water. I don't care. You were doing it wrong and you should feel bad. People get mad if you stick a dog in a closet, never let it out, and never clean up the shit that accumluates in there, but somehow if it's a fish it's ok. It's not. Fish aren't as smart as dogs, but they are still living creatures that deserve to be treated well.

  • Yes, the pet stores keep bettas in cups and overstock their fishtanks, but those are temporary situations, and every morning I promise you they have to throw away a bunch of dead fish. Corporate doesn't care.

  • While I'm here, goldfish are meant to grow up and be huge, gorgeous poop machines. They need a 30-gallon tank MINIMUM with appropriate filtration. Your goldfish died from a combination of suffocating in its own shit and internal organ failure from stunted growth. Sorry.
u/Oucid · 22 pointsr/Aquariums

Glad you seem so willing and ready to help your betta! Im gonna try to cover everything that you need to help your betta live a happy healthy life in one comment :)

Requirements -

  • 5 gallon tank+
  • Filter
  • Heater (5watts per gallon is good)
  • places to hide, like silk or live plants (your moss ball is a live plant/algae) nothing sharp and plastic plants can tear fins (ive seen it happen)

    Petsmart sells 5 gallon kits that come with filters and lids! A 25-50watt heater will work for a 5 gallon, preferably adjustable like the 50watt aqueon is common in pet stores and theres a preset heater that would also work the tetra 40 or something i think its 50watt as well

    You will also need to cycle your tank! Ill explain that a bit more below and include links.

    Fish-in cycling -

    Basically the fish-in cycling process consists of 50% water changes daily using Seachem Prime (preferably). Do this until your tank is cycled, which I’ll explain how to know that below.

    While cycling, add the beneficial bacteria directly into the filter daily.

    A good filter set up is something with low flow, it can be baffled if needed. For filter media (or the guts of the filter) cermaic bio media, aquarium sponge, and filter floss would be great. Don’t replace any of this unless it starts breaking down, then you’ll need to seed new media, but you shouldn’t have to worry about that for a long time.

    You’ll need an API Master Test kit, this is an accurate way to know your parameters (such as ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate). This is more accurate than strips, with test strips its super easy to get an inaccurate reading. The kit also lasts longer so you’ll get your money’s worth. I’ll include a link below to the kit.

    When the tank is cycled, you’ll test and find 0 parts per million (ppm) ammonia, 0ppm nitrite, and ‘x’ amount ppm of nitrate. (Dont focus too hard on what parts per million means, its just how this stuff is measured. Nitrates should be kept under 20ppm, they arent as toxic as ammonia or nitrites but can be in large amounts.)

    After your tank is cycled, you’ll need to do weekly water changes of 15-25% using a gravel vacuum preferably. Gravel vacuum/siphons allow you to get the dirt out of the gravel easily without needing to take it out. Highly recommend getting one of these! Its a necessity!

    • ⁠Avoid large water changes, it could offset the balance of your tank. Never rinse the filter media in tap water, that can kill the beneficial bacteria (which I’ll send links to explain that more in a second). To clean the filter inserts aka media, just take them out and swish or squeeze in old tank water till the gunk is out. You’ll probably only need to do this once a month or so.



    Nitrogen Cycle:

    Fish-In Cycling:

    My diagram/explanation on the cycle:


    API Freshwater Master Test Kit 800-Test Freshwater Aquarium Water master Test Kit

    Seachem Prime Fresh and Saltwater Conditioner - Chemical Remover and Detoxifier 100 ml

    Northfin Food Betta Bits 1Mm...

    This is the best quality pellet I’ve found, here’s why:

    • ⁠Nutritious, includes whole ingredients
    • ⁠No fillers, hormones, or artificial pigments
    • ⁠Packed with proteins, amino acids, vitamins, and minerals
    • ⁠Floating pellets, roughly 1mm (they float for a bit then drop, my bettas chase them down)
    • ⁠Easily digestible to promote optimal nutrient absorption
    (This stuff is advertised by seller, but if you read the labels its all good)

    Helpful other supplies:

    Seachem Stability Fish Tank Stabilizer - For Freshwater and Marine Aquariums 500 ml

    (Bacteria in a bottle, it’ll help speed up the cycling process but it is optional)

    Gravel Vacuum/Siphon

    (Of course you don’t need this specific one, I just chose the best seller off Amazon as an example of what to look for. The local pet store should have these for around $10)

    How-To Gravel Vac:
u/Discoveryellow · 22 pointsr/washingtondc

UPDATE: March 6, 2016 Sunday

Today I went to the store and grabbed a Fiji bottle. (No I don't endorse it, and think it is a terrible idea to ship water across the world, but it was THE ONLY WATER WITH electrolytes analysts and a PH value, which I replicated in the test).

Okay here is my imgur album for anyone who wants to scrutinize color as I tried used flashlight at different angles to give most accurate light (warning lots of photos):

  • Bottled Fiji (PH, Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate):

  • Tap DC Water (PH, Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate):

  • Fiji vs DC (Phosphates, as I understand are both runoff pollution AND are added to prevent Flint-type pipe corrosion):

  • Fiji vs DC (KH and GH, this test is based not just on color but number of drops so I wrote results down):

    Ah, forgot to mention, I use API test kit:

    And here is the public report:

    EDIT - Thinking with all the Flint Michigan stuff fresh on everyone's mind: who else out there in DC independently from our utility tested the water we drink?

    EDIT2 - a redditor suggested trying testing bottled water and posting the results. Some why the comment is now deleted, but I think this is a great idea and will come back with that tomorrow when I buy some bottled water.
u/Dd7990 · 20 pointsr/bettafish

Umm.. ok. Unfortunately, if that bowl is Liam’s permanent home, he won’t have the really great life that he deserves. No living fish should be forced to live in such a tiny bowl/tank permanently.

A 5gallon is the recommended minimum tank size to give your new pal the best possible quality of life... You can keep him TEMPORARILY in the bowl but you’ll need to change the water DAILY with fresh dechlorinated water (or pure spring water works too but is a bit more costly) since such a small container is going to foul up fast. Remove any leftover food/waste ASAP as soon as you see it.

A larger tank is going to be more stable and better for the betta in the long run. I really hope you’ll upgrade him sooner rather than later.

Some cheap ones can be had: (manually click on and select the 5gal. It’s going for around $31.99 at the time of this comment) (be sure to get the 5gal. version currently priced at $25.99 at the time of this comment, DO NOT USE THE DIVIDER, I’m linking you this tank with the intent that you only put one betta in it, 5g for one single betta).

I recommend a sponge filter which isn’t included in those kits but would be gentler/more effective for a betta than those filters included in the tank kits. Also recommended a 25w heater (assuming you go for 5 g tank) with a manual temperature control knob since preset heaters are not accurate.

Once you have the 5g tank, sponge filter, and proper heater, you need to do Fish-in Nitrogen Cycle:

Must Have Items for your Nitrogen Cycling process + Additional Info: <-- Beneficial Bacteria blend, add 2x-3x the recommended amount of this directly into the filter, filter media, & tank water, especially after a water change. Add the bene-bacteria on a DAILY basis, for up to a week or longer if you like. Don't worry about "overdosing" on Bene-bacteria, the more the better when trying to kickstart a nitrogen cycle. <--Best water conditioner, also temporarily binds ammonia into less harmful form. <--- ABSOLUTELY MUST HAVE, VERY IMPORTANT, liquid water parameters test kit. Three main things to check daily or every-other-day: Ammonia, Nitrite, and Nitrate. Not cycled will read 0 Ammonia, 0 Nitrite, 0 Nitrate. Cycling in progress will read some ammonia and/or some nitrite, but little or no nitrate. Fully Cycled will read 0 Ammonia, 0 Nitrite, and 5-10 ppm of Nitrate, then when nitrate reaches 15-20 ppm in a cycled tank a water change is necessary to reduce said nitrates. ​

Other stuff:

Also... try getting NorthFin Betta Bits, they're one of the best pellets with high quality ingredients, little or no fillers, and absolutely no nasty toxic preservatives. My bettas love them so much that they inhale them like it's drugs for a drug addict or something LOL (or exactly like Kirby)!

Beware of overfeeding, which is equally bad for bettas (they are gluttons and would eat till they burst if given the chance) (save this pic for reference, feed betta as much as makes his belly match between 1st and 2nd photo, then let him digest back down to a normal belly before feed again.)

Filter - any as long as it have adjustable flow (or else you can make a baffle if the flow is too strong, google about that), or many here recommend a basic Sponge-Filter to have a gentle water output that won't be stressful and push the betta all around the tank (the ones with big fins have a hard time with strong currents in their tank).

Heater - Any heater, following the 5-watt-per-gallon power rating rule, with a manual knob for setting temperature (so for example 5g you want at least 25watt heater), don't go for preset heaters (they're not very accurate). Bettas like 78-80F (25-27C).

Plants - Bettas like to have a lot (like a jungle) of plants to hide in, swim through, explore, play, and rest on. Some beginner live plants that don't require special setups are Marimo Moss balls + Java moss, other live plants may have special requirements in order to thrive. Silk plants (cloth leaves) are fine too if you don't have a green thumb. I do a mixed hybrid tank; silk plants + lots of marimo moss balls + java moss. Make sure if using silk/fake plants that there's no sharp pokey bits, remove and sand them down if there are.

Decor - Bettas appreciate cave-like decor that they can hide in. Make sure there's nothing sharp on the inside of the cave, nor sharp edges or sharp parts outside. Avoid also any smallish openings that a betta can get their head stuck in if they get curious. Another nice decor is the ZooMed Floating Betta Log (for 5g or larger tanks), bettas like hanging out in there.

More info on Betta care & needs:

If after reading all this info it seems like more than you can handle, you should try to rehome him on r/aquaswap to a local aquarist with a big planted tank to give him the best life. He’s a living creature and you have to consider his needs as you are responsible for his quality of life. If you want to keep him, then you absolutely have to give him the best care and best environment possible so that he can live a long healthy life (bettas can live 3-5 years and sometimes more if you really treat them well). When there’s a will there’s a way! You can and should do it!

u/EienShinwa · 19 pointsr/AquaSwap

I mean, this is a pretty good deal imo. I don't think you should be dismissing and downvoting this post without doing the proper research. FYI did the math:

17lbs Seiryu rock - $32

Nano 511 Externa Canister Filter - $69

Jardli Glass Lily Pipe inflow and outflow - $49.90

JBJ Rimless 10 gallon - $159.99 cheapest I could find, it's 189.99 at petco

Glass lid - can't find one for 10g so I'd assume custom made $5+

GH & KH Test Kit & API Master Kit-$8.59 + $22.54 = $31.03

Tropica Aquarium Soil 3L - $49.60

5 Gallon Bucket w/ lid - probably like $3-5

Seachem Purigen - 2 packet is $19.49

Cleaning magnet - $5-20

Spider Wood - Depends like $10-25+

Siphon - depends probably $5-10

Test Strips - $5.22

  • The bonuses he's providing like the aquascaping tools - probably $10+?

    By the way, these are all conservative numbers. The total comes to around $484.31, which is if everything is brand new. Even if some of the products are used, the cost is 52% off the conservative value of all the items in this package. So for the quality of the items here, I don't think it's a bad price at all. Now the question is, which items are new and which items are used?
u/ashleyasinwilliams · 19 pointsr/bettafish

Welcome to the sub and welcome to the fish-keeping hobby!

First off, I seriously can't thank you enough for being willing to learn and change to help out Draco and keep him healthy. I'm sorry the pet store gave you bad info, they really suck at that and that's why so many fish end up in this kind of situation. Unfortunately most of them don't get caring owners like you who are willing to get the adequate housing after finding out the pet store's recommendation was terrible.

Here's a link to the basic care sheet. Gives a good outline of what you need. Here's a link to the wiki as well. The basics you're going to need:

-A bigger tank (5 gallons is minimum, but 10+ is even better and tbh there isn't much of a price difference at all between a 5 gallon and a 10 gallon tank)

-Water conditioner (Tap water contained chlorine and/or chloramines, which are toxic to fish. New water needs to be treated before it's safe. I recommend Seachem Prime water conditioner, as it's very concentrated and also temporarily detoxifies ammonia which is useful during cycling)

-A lid (Bettas are naturally inclined to jump. Tank kits come with lids, or you can buy one separate like the versa tops, or if money is tight, you can get $2 plastic craft mesh and use that)

-A an adjustable heater (Bettas thrive at temperatures between 78-82 degrees F)

-A thermometer (gotta make sure the heater is doing it's job. Get a glass or digital thermometer, not those "stickers" they sell, as the stickers are super inaccurate)

-A gentle filter (Bettas don't like high current. If you get a hang-on-back style filter, you'll likely need to baffle it. Google "water bottle filter baffle" and you'll find really easy ways to do that. Otherwise sponge filters are a really great option, about as gentle as they come, and super cheap too)

-A water testing kit (You need to be able to test for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrates. Safe values are 0ppm ammonia, 0ppm nitrite, and 20ppm or less nitrates. Get a liquid testing kit as paper strips are crap)

-Some decor so he doesn't feel too exposed (Avoid plastic plants as they can tear fins. Stick to live or silk. If you're on a budget, clean ceramic mugs make cute little hiding caves! Just make sure there's no soap residue)

After all that, you're also going to want to check out the fish-in cycling guide. Absolutely vital for fish health.

I'm pretty sure that covers everything, feel free to ask any questions you come up with! Good luck and I hope Draco lives a long, happy life with you :)

u/how_fedorable · 15 pointsr/bettafish


We have a care guide with all the basics, and a wiki with more detailed info.

Here, and here are a couple of guides on cycling. It's a process new fishtanks must go through to make them safe for fish.

For now, regular waterchanges and a heater are most important!
About 20% daily should be fine, make sure the new water is the same temperature as the old water, and to add the conditioner.
Seachem prime is a good conditioner, I'd stay away from the ones marketed towards bettas (they are not that good, and way more expensive).

other useful things you may need, but not asap:

  • a testkit. very useful during the cycling process, or to check whether anything is wrong. Get this one first!

  • Stuff to do water changes: buckets, and a hose. maybe a syphon

  • some decorations: plants (real or silk), driftwood, coconut halves, etc. Make sure they don't have sharp edges though!

  • a lid/hood

  • good food

  • basic medication (e.g. API general cure)

u/MilkPudding · 12 pointsr/bettafish

It sounds like Swim Bladder Disorder, which, while alarming to see, is actually not life threatening in most cases. He will most likely heal on his own in time, if you give him a good suitable environment for him.

I recommend Seachem Prime as a water conditioner, it's the board favourite around here and the good thing about it is that it converts ammonia (produced from fish waste and anything else decomposing in the tank, is toxic to fish) into a harmless form for 24 hours. Since you do not have the Nitrogen cycle established in your tank, this property will be very useful in keeping your fish comfortable while the cycle gets started.

If you don't know what it is yet, please read this article about the Nitrogen Cycle and then this guide to Fish-in Cycling. This is not optional information in fishkeeping!

By the way, those fake plants you have--bettas have very delicate fins that are easily torn on the typical plastic aquarium plant; here we have something that's referred to as the "pantyhose test", which is basically what it sounds like--stretch a pair of pantyhose over your fingers, and run it over any tank decorations you have. If the decorations snag the pantyhose, they are rough/sharp enough to tear a betta's fins. For this reason, silk fabric plants are recommended for betta tanks over plastic plants. Make sure any hides you have for him don't have any holes small enough that he'd get stuck (I learned this one the hard way), bettas are curious fish and like to stick their heads in everything.

I posted this list of affordable but good tank supplies for someone else yesterday, so here you go:

Here is a list of affordable supplies:

Aqueon Quietflow Filter, $14. I replaced the filter cartridges inside this unit with ceramic filter media (gives nitrifying good bacteria a place to grow for biological filtration) and Seachem Purigen (absorbs organic waste) along with a good chunk of filter floss (way cheaper than buying filter pads) to make it more effective, but it's not strictly necessary if you're on a budget.

Hydor Theo Submersible Glass Heater, $20. This is my favourite heater, I've set up five tanks so far using this model. It heats up well, holds the temperature steady automatically, and it's adjustable, so if you ever need to turn up the temperature (sometimes needed to treat illness), you're all set.

Seachem Prime, $5

API Master Testing Kit, $19. This is extremely helpful to have when setting up your tank, so you can test the ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels in your water. All three are toxic to fish in high quantities, in order of most to least bad.

If your betta is sulky or a picky eater, you can try tempting him with freeze-dried bloodworms (but feed very little, as they expand when they get wet and are super fattening) or soaking his pellets in garlic juice.

Edit: Also, yeah, do not feed him "generic" fish pellets. Bettas are carnivores and need to be fed as such. I suggest Hikari Bio-Gold betta pellets.

u/timeywimeystuff1701 · 12 pointsr/Aquariums

I use the API Freshwater Master Test Kit (Amazon link).

u/BrilliantNova · 12 pointsr/shrimptank

I was in your shoes not too long ago, it's overwhelming! Here's a list of things that I bought, but I am not an expert so if others have better input go for that:


  • 10 gallon tank with hood
  • Broad Spectrum Light The one that came with the hood did not provide enough for the plants, you definitely need to invest in a broad spectrum bulb.
  • CaribSea Flora Max Substrate I learned that shrimp prefer darker color substrate, this was worth the investment! My shrimp were so unhappy with cheap gravel, after switching to this substrate they are very active.
  • Air pump
  • Sponge filter
  • Heater, maybe optional for you?
  • Thermometer
  • Gallon Bucket
  • Siphon
  • Seachem Prime Because it's a smaller tank, I ended up poking a pinhole sized hole in the seal so that I could use it as drops rather than pouring it in.
  • [Seachem Stability] ( Use this while you're cycling your tank, follow the instructions.
  • API Test Kit
  • Feeding Tray For the longest time I was really confused as to how the feeding tray worked, you can either get a tube or pre-soak the pellets and then drop them into the tray using long tweezers. This will help prevent ammonia/nitrite spikes.
  • Long Tweezer Set
  • Pellets Do also feed them blanched vegetables, make sure to peel the skin and buy organic to avoid chemicals/pesticides
  • Timer Outlet Worth the investment! So you don't have to keep remembering to turn the light on and off.

    Shop for whatever is cheaper, I have a huge heater because I had an extra one from before. I've read that it's not necessary but also have read that if you want them to breed you need to stimulate warm water. For now, I keep the heater off and leave it at room temperature of 72F. They seem very happy! Most important in my opinion, add plenty of plants and a marimo ball or 2.

    Lastly, I'm unsure of the siphon, I think it's good to have a bucket and siphon just in case your water parameters are looking bad so you are prepared to do a water change. From what I read, shrimp have a very low bio load and should be able to sustain themselves. Make sure to do tests regularly.

    EDIT I just read that this is your first aquarium, so here is a detailed write up:

    Setting up your tank

    1. Find a stable top to place your aquarium on, keep in mind a well sunlit room will mean more plant/algae growth. Make sure it's sturdy and made for heavy objects, don't want to place it on a flimsy shelf or it might break! I keep mine on top a waterproof place mat because water drips are going to happen.
    1. Rinse everything as a precaution! NEVER use dish soap!! If you must sanitize, vinegar is okay. Just make sure to rinse thoroughly. Also, NEVER use any kind of soap on your hands before handling things, just rinse well with water. Add your substrate, I lightly rinsed mine as there are beneficial bacteria living inside the substrate, pour it in. Make sure it's at least 2" of floor. Your water will be cloudy if you bought the substrate I listed, don't worry as it will settle after an hour and be clear.
    1. Fill water half way, use a small plate and pour the water on top of that to avoid the substrate being pushed around. NEVER use hot water! If you're using tap water be sure to always use cold water. It's also recommended to purchase "RO water" (Reverse Osmosis Water) as some times your tap water can be too "hard". The best thing to do is use the test kit on tap water and go from there. If the kH/gH are very high 100+ you will need to use RO water. I like to place my plants and decor now while the tank is half full. Place in your thermometer, heater, sponge filter, etc. After that, continue to fill all the way to the top remembering to aim the stream on top the plate. Leave about a half to an inch from the top.
    1. Take out plate, plug in filter, add in Seachem Prime and Seachem Stability. Please read the label for instructions and dosage according to your tank size. Since there is nothing inside you can add it after you've added the water to the tank. Moving forward, be sure to add the chemicals in the water bucket BEFORE pouring into the tank.
    1. Turn on filter, wait for the water to settle and temperature to come up. They say shrimp can tolerate 52F to 86F but ideally room temperature water is best, this is where your water heater will come into play. Follow which ever cycling method you choose before purchasing your shrimp. This can take up to 6 weeks.

      After your tank has cycled

    1. When adding your shrimp, there are many methods, the way I acclimate my shrimp is:
    1. Put the shrimp in a 1 gallon tub using the water that they came in.
    1. Drop in a tablespoon of the tank water, ONCE every 2 minutes.
    1. After the water has reached 1/3 old water, 2/3rd new water, your shrimp are ready to be placed into your tank.

      Please don't skip the important step of acclimating your shrimp! They are very sensitive to water changes and this ensures that they will survive.

      Here are my water parameters, people have all kinds of ranges but this is what works for me:

  • kH: 60 / gH: 40 / pH: 7.0 / NO2: 0 / NO3: 20 / Ammonia: 0 / Temperature: 72F

    I hope this helps... again, I was in your shoes not too long ago, it was really overwhelming. But after a lot of research I think my tank is in a good place :). Other users, if there's anything in my list that seems incorrect please let me know!
u/perhapsso · 12 pointsr/bettafish

Welcome to the sub! There is lots of misinformation out there about betta care and I'm going to help you set things straight.

Bettas are tropical fish and require three things:


Heater to keep the tank at 78-80 degrees

2.5 gallon (absolute minimum) or larger tank (5 gallon is strongly recommended)

Once you meet these requirements you have a better chance of saving your fishy friend.

If you haven't already take the time to read the care sheet. It's full of info to get you started on the right path. Also check out the nitrogen cycle. This will help you keep track of the health of your tank. You're going to need a water test kit to do this. Fish keeping is more about keeping water than fish.

I'd be delighted to answer any and all questions you have about anything.

For the moment you need to get him into a bigger container and do more frequent water changes. It's possible he's suffering from ammonia poising. He appears quite swollen, it could be that he is bloated. How often and what do you feed him?

u/alexkitsune · 10 pointsr/bettafish


Okay, I'm going to save you from a dead fish here, alright?
Water contains a few chemicals for treatment to make it safe for us to drink, one of them is chlorine, in that same family...there is also chloramine.
These burn the hell out of fish's gills. Its dangerous.

Get yourself a bottle of seachem prime. Its a dechlorinator. This will make it safe your fish to even exist in the water.

Second, read about fishless cycling

Since it sounds like you're getting the betta soon. You can read about fish in cycling
You can use that handy dandy bottle of seachem prime dechlorinator to also detoxify ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate for about 48 hours per dose. ONLY PRIME DOES THIS, not any other dechlorinators.

You see, filters on fishtanks contain a happy little bacteria colony that takes fish waste (Ammonia) turns it into a harmful nitrite, then turns it into relatively harmless nitrate. It keeps your fish stress free and also, if those toxin levels get to high--it kills them/ or makes them susceptible to disease. You can check the levels with this test kit

Bettas enjoy low flow in their fishtanks because they aren't the strongest of swimmers. I recommend a sponge filter. They also like their tank between 78-80 degrees. So a good heater is a MUST.

u/TheShadyMilkman206 · 10 pointsr/bettafish
  1. Acclimate the fish to the new tank:

  2. You will need an API master test kit to be able to tell when your tank is fully cycled. There is really no other way to be sure. Test kit: For a beneficial bacteria colony to grow to substantial size and stabilize it usually takes 3 to 4 weeks.

  3. Depends on the size of the pellets and the size of the fish. You will have to use your best judgement. Generally speaking, a fish's stomach is about the size of its eyeballs. My best suggestion is to just physically watch his belly as you feed him. Most full grown Betta with an average size food will consue ~3-4 pellets twice a day.

  4. This is a complex question that depends on your setup and how much effort you want to put into tank maintenance. Many plants can grow ok in low-tech situations. That being said, giving them nutrients and Co2 will always make them much healthier.
u/Fayhunter · 10 pointsr/bettafish

PetSmart has a 5 gallon kit on sale right now. All you would need is a heater.
I also recommend getting the API test kit and Seachem Prime for dechlorinating the water. Some silk or live plants would be good too. Take a look around the subreddit over the next week or so to see what else you should get. But the tank, test kit, and prime are pretty essential imo!

Welcome to the wonderful world of Betta fishkeeping! 🐟

u/menmoth50 · 9 pointsr/Aquariums

Step one is to learn and understand the nitrogen cycle! Having its gills burned away by ammonia is a horrific and agonizing, torturous death for a fish. Processing the ammonia out of the water is a vital necessity, not an option.

Purchase a master test kit, and learn how to read and interpret the results. I have taught children how to do this, it should be a breeze for you. Don't be intimidated by the numbers, it is simply a matter of making the numbers from the test match what your fish need to thrive.

Plan ahead! The more planning you do while the tank is dry, the better. It is far easier to erase a line from your notepad than to rip out a substrate you hate and replace it. It's easy to let impatience get in the way and to charge forward, but that will lead to mistakes. Too many mistakes will discourage you and may push you out of the hobby, and I want you to be a lifelong fishkeeper.

YouTube, hobbyist websites, and /r/Aquariums of course, are all good sources of information. Use them. There are a lot of good people right here who will jump in to answer any question you have moving forward.

I envy you. Setting up my first tank was an amazing experience, and I wish I could feel it again. I wish you the best of luck, OP.

u/TheToxicTurtle7 · 9 pointsr/bettafish

If you can get it, seachem prime will help heaps because it will neutralise ammonia for 24 hours and its one of the best water conditioners out there, also a master test kit will help you know how much ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and ph. If you do get the master test kit try and keep ammonia under 0.25ppm (parts per million)

u/flizomica · 9 pointsr/bettafish

This test kit is pretty much a staple of the hobby.

u/boyfish · 9 pointsr/bettafish

2.5 is quite small (like the absolute smallest I would feel okay seeing a fish in), but if those are the dorm rules, there's not much you can do about it, right? Unless you feel like breaking the rules.

The layouts of the tanks look great, though I would be very cautious about plastic plants, which are notoriously capable of snagging and tearing betta fins. Silk or live plants are great alternatives. The fish should be okay in the 2.5 gallon tanks as long as you stay on top of water changes! In a cycled 2.5 gallon, I recommend doing water changes twice a week to ensure that the water parameters stay at safe levels (as opposed to a cycled 5+ gallon, which only requires weekly water changes).

If you haven't done any research on the nitrogen cycle yet, check out this link on fish-in cycling. You should get a water testing kit (the liquid kind, not paper strips) and check for ammonia/nitrite/nitrate every day or so and do water changes when they are detectable. You and your roommate can share one test kit and it can be used hundreds of times!

You should put some biological media (like aquarium sponge and/or ceramic pieces) in the filter as well, since the "replaceable" carbon cartridges that come with those kits aren't very good, and once you have good media, you won't ever need to replace it anyway.

I can't tell if there are heaters in those tanks, but you should get an aquarium heater and thermometer for each tank, as bettas are tropical fish who do best in 78-80˚F. Temperatures that are too low will make them lethargic and at risk of getting sick.

Take a look at the sub's care sheet if you haven't yet already! There's a ton of useful info there about how to give your fish great lives. You're doing well so far!

u/reishka · 9 pointsr/Aquariums

Without some frequent water changes, expect a lot of those fish to die. Get yourself a water testing kit ASAP (like this one) and monitor the heck out of those water parameters. Those that do a fish-in cycle usually only do so with 2 - 3 fish. It can take a month or more for a tank to fully cycle, and in that time you will have ammonia spikes, nitrate spikes, and nitrite spikes -- all of which are harmful to fish and must be managed apropriately (generally, with water changes). Having live plants will work in your favor, but it will not erase all the effects of cycling a tank. The shrimp may or may not survive.

You also seem to have some high-maintenance plants in your tank (such as the dwarf hairgrass). Unless you have high enough light, fertilizer, and possibly CO2 (it may grow without, but I doubt it will thrive), this plant will most likely die. You also may want to rethink your DIY filter -- Bubbling items are not usually recommended in an aquarium with live plants since it helps disperse CO2 instead of letting the plants use it.

Make sure you have a good water conditioner on hand, as well.

Before you continue any further with aquariums and fish-keeping as a hobby, I definitely recommend you visit the "Helpful Links" section of the sidebar and read most of the things there; the e-book, the guide to aquariums, fishless tank cycling (even though you're cycling with fish, it will educate you about what your tank is going through), lighting guide, and stocking levels are a good place to start.

u/Qxzy-unbv2 · 7 pointsr/Aquascape

I just bought a 17 gallon tank Fire Aqua and a Fluval Light. The fluval light is the new bluetooth one and looks amazing. You can choose the sunrise, and sunset with your phone which automates things for you.

Here's some advice. Rocks, substrate, tools, plants, and wood is expensive. So don't be surprised at a hefty bill when you get what you want. Do some research on how much substrate you can put in the tank. I wasn't sure how thick I was able to lay it at the bottom, and I don't think I did enough. Research how you can give the tank more depth by adding height in certain areas and proper ways to do that. (Maybe lay down big rocks firs then add substrate over top) to create a mound.

Get a complete testing kit. I forgot to get one and I'm waiting for it to come in the mail. Also some ammonia to start your tank cycle when it starts to get cloudy. Info here.

Depends really what your budget is. My light costed more than the tank itself, and all the other stuff doesn't come cheap. Especially plants and decor.

Let me know if you have more questions.

u/Tb_aquatics · 7 pointsr/Aquariums
u/NeuroCartographer · 7 pointsr/Aquariums

That is most likely a snowball pleco, which are nice little guys that are pretty hardy, good omnivores, and get to be about 4-6 inches. There are quite a few babies like this currently available in my LFSs, and I have a few that have done quite well in a community tank.

I agree with the other commenters that you are getting an ammonia/nitrite/nitrate spike from the addition of new fish. I recommend Seachem products to help (not affiliated, just long-time freshwater and saltwater tank hobbyist). First, use Seachem Prime as a water conditioner to help - after doing a water change. Your tank will need to do a mini-cycle to recalibrate the bacterial load for the addition of new fish. You will likely need to do frequent water changes until the cycle ends. Test with something like API master test kit to track the rise and fall of ammonia/nitrites/nitrates. Ammonia and nitrite spikes kill fish very quickly, while high nitrates shorten the lifespans of the fish by more slowly harming their organs (regular water changes help keep nitrates down long term). Add a bubbler to the tank to help with the stress by making sure there's not additional stress from low O2. For the fin rot, clean water can cure it. You likely will need to treat the fish as well with something stronger. Seachem makes paraguard, which I use all the time for quarantine and mildly ill fish. You can add an antibiotic like Seachem kanaplex to ParaGuard or treat separately with kanaplex to help with fin rot. Both medications work by being added to the water (rather than feeding to the fish). The best thing about Seachem products is that they affect the pH much less than any other products I have tried. Note the additional oxygen is usually necessary when treating with medications. Seachem Stress Guard can also help transition fish to a new tank. All these products are available on Amazon and usually are at Petco/Petsmart/LFS.

For future fish additions, I recommend 1) adding only 1-2 fish at a time to limit the cycling problem and 2) QUARANTINE your new fish, so you can treat any diseases they may have before adding them to your community tank. Even a small tank with just a bubbler can work as a quarantine for a small fish for a couple weeks, and can be a literal lifesaver for your other fish.

Also - there are a lot of great online communities for different types of fish that you can check out to learn more about these things. For plecos, start with this one. :) Good luck with your new guy!

u/supernick97 · 7 pointsr/bettafish
u/[deleted] · 7 pointsr/Aquariums

Ok so you have a lot to learn but you came to the right place rather than just throwing fish in. Thank you! Here is a kind of TL;DR that should cover the basics and if you have any questions just ask me.

  • Read This link
  • Buy This liquid water test kit, its a similar price to the strips, will last longer and tests for more
  • Buy an ammonia source. I would personally recommend picking up pure ammonia because it is the most accurate, least messy and overall most hands off. ACE makes a pure ammonia thats perfect but any unscented, and uncolored, ammonia that doesn't foam when shook would work fine. You can pick it up at most hardware stores.
    *Now to the actual cycling part. Add 3-5ppm of ammonia to your tank. Here is a great calculator
  • Every two days (or less) check your ammonia levels. If it's less than 3ppm (but > 0) redose your ammonia back to around 4-5 ppm
  • If your ammonia is at 0 ppm after dosing back to 3-5 ppm 2 days ago check your nitrite levels. If they are also 0 ppm then check your nitrate levels.
  • If your nitrate levels are less than 15ppm then just add fish. If your levels are greater than 30 ppm do a 50-60% water change then add fish.
    *This will take 1-2 months so be patient. You can try to use the bacteria supplements but for the most part they are as effective as the medicine you get to make your male parts bigger.
u/karasuyukito · 6 pointsr/Aquariums

Craigslist is your friend.

So is making a lot of the things yourself. (diy!)

For a start, here's a good site for making your own stand.

Discus are not really a good starter aquarist fish..... They need pristine water conditions and a very exact pH. I don't entirely recommend that particular fish for you at this time. But if you do decide on them, good luck. They are a lot of hard work, but can be a very rewarding fish.

Seriously, if you have the skills, make your own filter. It's possible, and fucktons cheaper than anything you're going to get new. Your best bet for filters would be to make/buy a canister filter or to make a sump for your tank. Protip for sumps: Build your tank stand around the design of your sump. You'll save yourself a lot of heartache in the long run.

I can tell you, for buying a brand new 75 gallon tank and everything that I needed for it, was over 1200$. And that wasn't even with super awesome filters, which is what you're going to need. (Although I love the ones I have, they just wouldn't cut it for Discus.) So yes, you're going to want to seriously craigslist for the things you want, or make them yourself. You'll get the most bang for your buck that way, I promise. So yes, realistically and for what you want, you're going to need to buy used and make everything else yourself. Especially with your budget, and the fact that you just can't get the Discus fish themselves cheaply. If you make everything, they could potentially be the most expensive part of your setup.

Please switch to chemical testings for your water parameters. The test strips are not nearly as accurate, and you'll want to know exactly what's up with your water if you really want those Discus. For the most part, this is the best kit you can get. You'll thank me in the long run.

For 4 Discus and friends, you're going to need AT LEAST a 55 gallon aquarium, and even then, I think that's too small. I've never actually had them though, but be warned. It will be a large tank.

If you want to plant the tank (Do Discus tear up plants? That one I don't know.) you're going to want to go with the Walstad Method. You'll get the best plant growth, for the least amount of work. And the cheapest. AND you might even be able to skip out entirely on CO2 dosing. If you do want to CO2 dose, there are a billion ways to make a reactor thingy from scratch, and could potentially cost you less than 10$. The only problem with those though, is unless you built one into the system, you don't entirely have a way to perfectly and minutely adjust your control, and you don't want to blow out your tank. CO2 reactors are also not cheap, but if you want to buy one, this is apparently one of the best you can get.

You could always start collecting and building all the pieces your going to need, but since you're moving so soon (and because you're going to want to completely cycle your tank before fish, seriously, picky Discus) you most likely better off waiting until after you move to set it up. Like I said though, might as well start making and collecting the pieces for it now.

Hopefully, I think I've covered all your questions. If not, feel free to ask. :)

u/dietchaos · 6 pointsr/shrimptank
u/NewAgeAlice · 6 pointsr/bettafish

Both pop eye and fin rot are usually caused by the same thing; bad water conditions. High ammonia, high nitrites, high nitrates, high salinity.

What are the parameters of your tank? (API Master Test Kit can be found here: )

u/Lolikeaboss03 · 6 pointsr/bettafish


api liquid test kit

sponge filter

airline tubing for sponge filter

air pump for sponge filter


fluval spec v kit. Comes with filter, decent light that can grow some lowlight plants, idk what else but I hear it's pretty good, I would look around on other sites to find it cheaper

dechlorinator if you don't already have it

heater, I happen to live somewhere where the temperature of my tank floats right in the bettas range, but if this isn't the case for you then you'll need a heater

You'll need something for a lid, can't find anything on amazon but you have a few options: going to a petstore and looking for a 5 gallon lid, going to other websites to look, or making a DIY lid, which can be done with greenhouse panels, or even wood if you don't mind cutting.

Substrate is optional, but if you want it you can either get pool filter sand, which you can find at your local Home Depot or lowes (assuming you're in the US), you'll have to rinse it first but it's really cheap, $8 for 50lb which is more than enough.

I would buy the tank in person at a store or on some site like Craigslist where you can find used tanks for cheap

Also, don't forget to cycle your tank, if you don't know what that is I would do some research on it, it's possibly the most important thing in keeping any aquatic creature

Off the top of my head, will continue to edit to add stuff

u/irishspice · 6 pointsr/BeforeNAfterAdoption

Do you have a heater? They need water that is close to 80 degrees. They need a filter, either a sponge filter or something with a gentle flow that doesn't knock them around. Do you use Prime or another water conditioner to remove chlorine when you do water changes? You'd benefit from an API test kit to make sure that your water in the tank is healthy for him.
r/bettafish can give you a lot of help. Post pics and give details about him and they will be glad to help you sort him out.

u/FuckkEverything · 6 pointsr/bettafish

Okay, well first of all you need this, not the strips. The strips can be very inaccurate, and a higher price is well worth months of use and actual correctness. Second of all, is your tank cycled? Your strips don't even have an ammonia reading, so he could have died from ammonia poisoning if your tank wasn't cycled. How long was he in there? If it was more than a few weeks, it very well could have been the ammonia. If it was a few days, then something was probably in the water that was toxic, like maybe cleaning chemicals (soap) or chlorine.

u/Pantaz1 · 6 pointsr/bettafish

I have discovered a great little sponge filter which allows you to put in ceramic beads to host good bacteria. Currently I have one in my 10 gallon with a HOB that I occasionally turn off.

The biggest factor that made me buy it was that most of the reviews were from betta owners with plenty of photos to back it up. So if you get that you will also need an air pump and the tubing. I use the recommended Tetra air pumps for 10G.

You will also really want a heater, betta fish prefer roughly 78f degrees. You will also want a substrate, I have noticed my betta fish have preferred sand over gravel. If you put some driftwood in there, it will lower your PH. Certain rocks will increase you water hardness. Lastly, get an API water test kit;

Stay away from test strips.

u/foryeve · 6 pointsr/bettafish

You need to do a fish-in cycle. Here is a guide:

You want water that is not lacking in minerals. If your spring water does not have minerals it's not safe to put your fish in. Tap water after conditioned is fine.

I would separate the females. The idea that they can live together is a complete lie and in a 10 gallon 3 females will absolutely shred each other. They are just as aggressive as males. Petco's fish care is a complete joke.

You need to do daily 25-50% water changes daily until your tank is cycled. After the tank is cycled, you can cut down to 1 25% change a week. Do not use test strips, they are inaccurate. You want the liquid test:

Also side note as most people tend to forget, but Bettas live in heavily planted areas in the wild so some plants definitely wouldn't hurt. Silk is fine but live will make maintenance easier.

u/Drawtaru · 6 pointsr/Goldfish

Hoooo boy. Okay so here's the deal. You have waaaaaaaaaaaaaay too much fish for your tank. The minimum recommended size for one goldfish is about 75 liters, and it increases as you add more goldfish. For two goldfish, you'd need 113-151 liters (depends who you ask). And your filter needs to be moving 10x the capacity of the tank per hour. So for example, if you had a 75 liter tank, you'd need a filter that's moving 750 liters per hour. Anything less than that is going to cause problems.

First things first, though. Your water quality is not good. I can almost 100% guarantee it. Your tank is not large enough for your fish, and you don't have a filter, so your water is going to quickly become lethal. This isn't a scare tactic. It's the truth. This is why your new fish died. It likely already had a weakened immune system from the stress of moving, and the poor water quality quickly overwhelmed it. Goldfish are some of the messiest fish out there, thus they need a lot of water and a lot of filtration, otherwise they will literally die from breathing their own toxic water.

Don't use chemicals to regulate your water quality. You need to get a water test kit and start learning how to keep track of your water parameters yourself. As of right now (is in like, today), you should be testing your water every day, and changing 50% of it every day, and make sure you're using a water conditioner like this one every time you change the water, since tap water isn't safe for goldfish.

So, to summarize, go get at least a 75 liter tank (but larger is always better with goldfish), get at a minimum a filter that moves 750 liters per hour, get a water test kit (drip test, strips are not reliable), and get a water conditioner. Do a 50% water change every day, adding water conditioner to the new water before adding it to the tank. This stuff is all going to be expensive. But once you have it, the cost of keeping the fish is quite low. It's a small price to pay for the health and wellbeing of living, feeling animals.

If you have more questions, be sure to ask.

u/intangiblemango · 6 pointsr/Goldfish

A 40 gallon will be much better than a 5 gallon. Be sure to put a good filter on it. (I would choose an Aquaclear 70 if your mom isn't bringing you a filter). It will give you a lot more wiggle room since they won't get to be 12 inches overnight! People do budget stands made from cinderblocks all the time, if you're not getting a stand. I'd stick to bare bottom if you are on the budget. It's cheaper, safer, and easier to clean than any substrate would be. You can buy some cheap peel-off paint and paint the outside of the tank black and do something like this and it will look pretty luxe for not a whole lot of cash. (I would skip the live plants and do driftwood myself, since my goldfish seriously chow down on any plant life in the tank.).

For now, I would do daily 50% water changes. Drain half the water with a gravel vac like this. Add your dechlorinator (again, SeaChem Prime is the best choice, especially in a too-small tank). Add in water that is the same temperature. If you absolutely can't do a thermometer, feel the water and make sure you cannot feel ANY difference. Not perfect, but it shouldn't kill your fish. I would still strongly encourage you to buy a water test kit, since you will be doing something called fish-in cycling. The toxic ammonia and nitrite are not immediately visible, but can cause serious damage to your fish. You want your parameters to be 0ppm ammonia, 0ppm nitrite, less than 20ppm nitrate. Yours are not going to be that, and testing your water is the only reliable way to know when to do a water change, and how serious things are. The best of the reasonably priced is API Freshwater Master, which is usually around $20 on Amazon.

Unfortunately, I wish that the practice of giving away goldfish (or any live animals) as prizes was illegal, since I agree that it is absolutely not fair to you to ask you to spend hundreds and hundreds of dollars on a hobby that you didn't intentionally choose and didn't know anything about until someone gave you a life to care for, and it's certainly not fair to the fish to send them home with people who are not prepared for them! I'm glad you are working on providing a better home for your fish.

P.S. I'm always happy to talk about goldfish, so you are welcome to PM me in the future if you have more questions!

u/PJsAreComfy · 5 pointsr/fishtank

You shouldn't add new fish without quarantining them - especially when you suspect there's an issue in the tank. Don't add any more right now.

When in doubt, water changes are a good idea so that was a good move.

Is the tank temperature okay and is it possible you forgot to use a dechlorinator to treat tap water? Could any chemicals have been introduced from your hands, aquarium equipment, room sprays, etc.? Are the filter and heater working, and is the filter media overdue for a cleaning?

You should really get a water testing kit. The $22 API test kit is better than strips and more cost-effective long term. A fish store can test your water for free too. Without testing you can only guess what's happening in the water, and something's clearly wrong. I'd bring in a sample ASAP and pick up a test kit.

u/eyewatchtheoffice · 5 pointsr/bettafish

I hear test strips aren’t very accurate, I would recommend the API Master Test Kit

Also with the food freeze dried isn’t great, I would recommend frozen bloodworms or at least the Fluval Bug Bites

Also how often are you doing water changes?

I would say to fast him for a couple days and see if that helps.

u/Verivus · 5 pointsr/Aquariums

You need at least a liquid test kit. This will have the ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and ph tests you need. You can get a GH/KH test and TDS meter, but those aren't as essential as the aforementioned unless you're keeping higher-grade shrimp.

EDIT: I would not get the test strips... they are notorious for being inaccurate. I have tried using them before, so I am speaking from experience. The liquid test kits are much, much better and impossible to screw up if you follow the directions.

u/Encelados242 · 5 pointsr/Aquariums
u/Hoodwin70 · 5 pointsr/Aquariums

Just take your time. I always see people trying to rush this stage and end up failing miserably. Also the strips arent very accurate, try these instead. oh and keep soaking the driftwood its most likely leaching tannins.

u/SillyCamper · 5 pointsr/Aquariums

First, welcome, I hope you enjoy this subreddit we have. The first thing to know is the nitrogen cycle. You MUST understand this like the back of your hand before getting a fish, otherwise the fish wont be happy, or it might die. Figure out what your tap water is, in terms of pH, and other things in the water. To test this water you will need a test kit. A really high quality and highly recommended one is this. You can also use test strips but I dont know any good ones. Secondly, the smaller aquarium you have, the harder it is to maintain stable parameters. Stable parameters means happy fish. A good small starter aquarium is a 10 gallon for $10 at petco. With a filter, light, HEATER <---(All of these are needed), it should be around $30-$40. Remember, this is a pet, take care of it. Yes, you can buy fish online, I would do some research and see if there are of good quality. Another thing to be aware of is maintenance. Maintenance includes water changes and overall health of the aquarium. Do some research to make sure you have a cycled aquarium (cycling refers to the nitrogen cycle, that needs to be monitored). Aquarium fish cannot live from just straight tap water, which means you need a water dechlorinator such as this. In summary, to keep a fish alive and healthy/happy you need: heater, proper size aquarium, filter, light,water dechlorinator, and basic knowledge of the nitrogen cycle.

u/Silver_kitty · 5 pointsr/fishtank

The API Master Freshwater test kit is the go to for most aquarium-keepers here. They work better/more accurately than strip tests. Your list is pretty good in terms of what to measure.

Please be careful that you do this in a way that doesn't harm the fish.

For goldfish, you should ideally have a 20 gallon tank for just 1 fancy goldfish and a high flow filter because goldfish are messy. Instead, I'd recommend zebra danio. They're hardier, more active (which means more fun to watch), and you could have many in a 20 gallon tank, but you'd still need a filter, as well as a heater since danio are tropical.

How much time does she have before the project is due? People here tend to advocate for a "fishless cycle" since ammonia and nitrites are toxic to the fish and will stress them. If you have a couple months, I would do a fishless cycle where you add ammonia and you watch for the bacteria to develop to turn that ammonia into nitrites and nitrates. If you have less time but know someone with a tank or a local fish store, then you can ask for filter media from an established tank which will help jump start the cycle, then you might be looking at under a month (depending on how much filter media you get).

If you really want to do "fish-in cycling" the zebra Danio are pretty hardy and can probably handle it, but this subreddit doesn't tend to support fish-in cycling since the ammonia and nitrates can be bad for the fish, so again, try to ask for filter media from a friend/store.

If she wants some other stuff to talk about/try to create a plan to measure: plants use nitrates from the aquarium water. Maybe study aquaponic systems and compare a plant watered with plain water compared to a plant watered with nitrate-containing aquarium water. Still requires a cycled aquarium though :)

Feel free to ask any other/follow up questions and I'll do my best to help!

u/Palmfrond11 · 5 pointsr/bettafish

He might stand a chance if he gets into a larger body of clean, conditioned water and you step up water changes.

If the fish is in a small vase, ammonia levels will build up very fast, which means he would need his water changed daily. I can see where you’re coming from but the acute stress of a new tank would be less damaging than the ongoing stress of living in dirty water. It has been slowly killing him and making him more weak. Imagine how you’d feel entering a warm, clean room after being in a freezing cold one with smoggy air. You’d instantly feel better even if it was unfamiliar.

They can survive in small water quantities but that doesn’t mean they will do well or live their proper life span. They are only meant to survive in puddles to get to bigger puddles, and make it to the next rain which brings fresh water.

I would say get him into a new, minimal 5 gallon container ASAP! Get a 5 gallon tote from a store if you can’t get a tank right away. It’s better than what he’s in. You can probably find a kit that comes with tank, and filter together.

Change out 20-50% of that water daily. Use a gravel vaccum to suck up the waste. Make sure you add enough conditioner for the whole tank, not just what you’re adding.

After that, read up on the nitrogen cycle, which should be enough to convince you to get a filter. A ~$5 sponge filter is fine and has a low current. You’d need an air pump and tubing for that. Or just get a canister filter. Like i said you can probably find a kit at a pet store that has light, filter etc for a good deal.

If you plan to fish-in cycle definitely make sure you have Prime, Stability and a liquid API test kit

Amazon has them, pet shops too.

Also a heater is important. High 70s-82 is the best for their little cold-blooded bodies.

Most importantly yes, your instinct is correct, get him into a bigger tank. Good luck!
I’ll edit and link some of the stuff I mentioned.

u/Scottvdken · 5 pointsr/Aquariums

You really need to get a proper test kit. It is probably the most important tool in aquarium care. The API Master Kit is affordable, and will last a long, long time. I agree with above, it sounds like a swim bladder issue - but fish will also surface if they don't like the water quality. Are the other fish displaying any strange behavior?

u/Nezsa · 5 pointsr/Aquariums

Meanwhile, north of the border, test kits are still $50. +15%

I love you Canada, but damn pet-keeping hurts :')

u/dumb_giraffe · 5 pointsr/bettafish

Your parameters are vital information, because unclean water could be causing this lethargy. What's your ammonia and nitrite level? If you don't have a test kit already, most local fish stores will test a sample for you.

How old is the tank, and how often do you perform water changes?

u/thefishestate · 5 pointsr/Aquariums

So today's important lesson is that fish stores, especially the larger chain stores, are notoriously awful at providing accurate information. They often either don't know, don't care or are just trying to make a sale.

Topfin filters are not the most popular, and you always want to lean toward over-filtration. This stuff about the filter is kind of an aside at this point, but as you increase stock in the future it's something to consider. This isn't an immediate issue.

I would recommend getting the API Freshwater Master Kit and taking control of your own testing. The paper strips are not very good at all. The nitrate test is often done incorrectly because people don't read and follow directions and assume it is done like the other tests.

Properly cycling your tank is going to be the most important step for the health of your fish.

u/SHOULDNT_BE_ON_THIS · 5 pointsr/Aquariums

Might wanna see if any fish stores or /r/AquaSwap in the area will rehome your fish instead of you trying to save them. I'd say your best bet is to rehome the non-betta fish and then keep your betta in the tank alone (like it should in that tank) and keep the water quality pristine with daily water changes and get yourself a freshwater testing kit

u/Camallanus · 5 pointsr/Aquariums

You need to cycle the tank:

And get a better test kit than those unreliable test strips especially since you didn't get one that tests for the way more toxic ammonia:

u/lovethatbetta · 5 pointsr/bettafish

Also I saw that you weren’t sure what cycling is. A lot of people don’t realize what it is until after they get their fish, but cycling is important.

Basically the nitrogen cycle starts when there is waste. This can be in eaten food, waste given off plants, or fish poop. This very quickly turns into ammonia, which is toxic for fish.

Good bacteria then eat that ammonia, turning it into nitrite.

Nitrite is less toxic, but still very harmful.

Then another good/beneficial bacteria comes in and eats the nitrite, turning it into nitrate, which is not toxic in small amounts.

The nitrate comes out of the tank through water changes.

But in a newly established tank like yours, there is no beneficial bacteria yet, which is why it’s dangerous for the fish, because there is nothing breaking that ammonia down into less toxic chemicals. Many fish can get illnesses like fin rot, which is where the fins rot away from being in an uncycled tank. New tank syndrome is common, it’s when a fish dies from being in a new/uncycled tank.

Fortunately, you can cycle your tank, which is where you build up that beneficial bacteria. You will need a water test kit to test your water, and Seachem Prime water conditioner which conditions and detoxifies the water. You will also need to do some more research, here’s an article about how to fish-in cycle . Best of luck! I hope this made sense and helps. :)

u/xAnhLe · 5 pointsr/Aquariums

Before I answer your questions, I want you to know that getting more advanced meaning spending a lot more money and time. A lot us learn by making mistakes, and that's how I started, by making a lot of mistakes.

I don't know what level of planting you want to do. It can be as easy as adding a few amazon swords into your tank right now, or as difficult as buying new light, CO2 equipment, fertilizers, etc.

If you want to save a lot of money from mistakes then here is what you should do:

  • Buy a new tank. preferably a big one like a 75G at least since you'll probably want a lot of fish and some of those fish will need a good size tank. I think 75G minimum is the perfect size for beginner as oppose to 55G because of the width. It gives you comfort zone for a lot of fish. Look for it on craiglist first, and be patient. Of course you can get bigger tank if you want

  • You'll need substrates. I personally like Eco-Complete. $22.99 on Amazon. You can also have a layer of sand on top. I use pool filter sand. Something like this

  • You'll need light. 7000k Light is great for plants. LEDs will save you tons of money in the long run. Personally recommend Finnex. They simply have the best LEDs out there. There is a used one on Ebay for very cheap. link I don't know how much I can trust them, I personally would buy a new one if I have the money.

  • You'll need plants. If you live close by Miami, I can give you a few good places to go to. If not your LFS can provide you with these. There is also a seller on Ebay called FishRUs who has some very good plants. You can start with amazon swords, anubias, or whatever plants you want. You'll make mistakes and kill plants, but that's what we humans do. Just make sure you utilize google.

  • You'll need fertilizers. Don't waste your money on Seachem. Read this page Fertilizer can be purchased here

  • You'll need a CO2 system. Aquatek Mini for 87.99 + CO2 tank $26.59. Then go to a local paintball shop and refill your CO2 bottle for $3-4.

  • Water change. You can use Aqueon Water Changer $27.99 you can also buy the 50FT version if you need. You won't regret this buy, trust me.

  • You'll need a filter. Sunsun Canister Pro Kit $97.99 Probably the best canister out there for this price. You can go FX5 if you have the money.

  • Purigen filter media ~$20

  • API Test Kit $22.99

  • There are a wide variety of cichlid. I don't know what you like, but I personally LOVE South America cichlids. These fish are also compatible with your gouramis. You can get a few rams, and 4 angelfish to begin. Discus are beautiful, but don't try it until you feel comfortable with the basics and do enough research. Along with those, you can also get some tetras and corys catfish.
u/IfThenReturnDead · 5 pointsr/aquaponics

The tldr of it is that you feed fish and they produce ammonia waste. You need to have enough media (gravel, hydroton, etc) to support enough bacteria to convert the ammonia before it kills your fish. Ammonia is extremely toxic to fish so any detectable level of ammonia will cause stress, disease, and eventually death.

The bacteria converts the ammonia to nitrIte and then eventually nitrAte. NitrIte is toxic to fish as well but not as toxic as ammonia. NitrAte is what the plants consume so this is where another aspect comes into play. Too much nitrAte guessed it...also toxic to fish. This means you need to have enough plants to keep your nitrAte in check.

So it becomes kind of a dance to get the right balance in your system.

You absolutely will need this test kit and in the beginning you will need to be testing the water every day. You will eventually get extremely good at it.

My advice to you is to start small. By a 20 gallon fish tank and cycle it for 30 days. Add 1 fish and do a Styrofoam floating raft with plants on top. This will do a few things. First, it will make sure you actually want to get involved in aquaponics. Second, it will make sure you kill the least amount of fish. I haven't met a single person who hasn't killed fish in their system. It's going to happen. At least this way you get the hang of it and get a better understanding of how it all works on a smaller scale.

u/smishgibson · 5 pointsr/bettafish

The rust from the clip could definitely be a factor, but I would bet that ammonia toxicity is the likely culprit.

Please take a moment to read these 2 links:

The main takeaway from this is cycling your tank. Your betta "exhales" ammonia through its gills and its decomposing waste gives off ammonia. Ammonia is EXTREMELY toxic to fish and can easily kill them. Some of the first symptoms are fin rot and lack of appetite. When a tank is cycled you have a colony of good bacteria growing in your filter. Your filter pumps water through these bacteria and they convert the ammonia to nitrite(less toxic, but still toxic), then they convert the nitrite to nitrate. Nitrate is pretty "non-toxic" compared to ammonia and nitrite, but if it builds up too much it can hurt your fish. Most people do a 25%-50% water change every week to keep the nitrate from building up too much.

A second take away is your tank needs to be heated, a betta needs to be in the range of 75-80F, with 78F being the agreed upon optimal temp. I don't think your tank includes a heater is why I mention this. I not sure the best way to get a heater into it, looks like that may be difficult. EDIT: Looks like this user was able to had a heater. (

Regardless of whats going on, you will need a product like get a product like ( It will detoxify ammonia for 24 hours after dosing, please will make "new" water safe for your first. It also removes harmful chlorine and chloramines found in tap water, and can also detoxify metals.

So now, what to do with this knowledge? You will need to do several water changes to correct the rusty water and potential ammonia toxicity. First thing is to verify that your water is high in ammonia. You can either by a test kit like (, or take a sample of your water to a local pet store and they will test it for free. You want to test this water before you do any water changes. The reason for this is sometime if the water is REALLY BAD and the ammonia is high and the PH is low, the ammonia can be less toxic. Then you do a 50% water change, half the ammonia is still there but BOOM the PH is back up in the normal range and this make the ammonia SUPER toxic again and could shock and kill your fish very quickly.

If you verify the ammonia is high, Do you could:

  1. Dose your tank with Prime.
  2. Do a 50% water change with new prime treated water
  3. wait 24 hours
  4. Do a 50 % water change, but add enough prime to the new water do that it would treat the whole tank.
  5. Repeat steps 3 & 4 until the rust color is gone and ammonia and nitrite read 0, and nitrate is less than 10ppm.

    If your ammonia is NOT high, you can simply:

  6. Do a 50% water change with new prime treated water
  7. wait 24 hours
  8. Repeat steps 1 & 2 until the rust color is gone.

    And as a final though, if the fin rot isn't associated with ammonia or the rust, one of the best treatments for it is super pristine water. So doing a 25-50% water change (with dechlorinated water) daily until it resolves would be a good course of action.

    EDIT: I seem to have overlooked something. If your ammonia is high, that means your tank isn't cycled yet and that you don't have a good strong colony of beneficial bacteria. So after getting the ammonia and nitrite level down, you will need to test for ammonia and nitrite DAILY and be sure you are doing daily water changes of a size large enough to keep the ammonia/nitrite very near zero (less than 0.25PPM) and that the water is always treated with prime. Once the bacteria take over you will see the ammonia and nitrite will stay at dead zero and nitrates will rise. At that point you will only need to do water changes large enough to keep nitrates below 10PPM. This is usually 25%-50% weekly as stated above.

    I know you are worried about your betta, but with a few steps, I think he may be able to recover. Best of luck!
u/CrypticCorn · 4 pointsr/bettafish

I'll list off the things you need in order of importance

First is bigger tank! Your bowl isn't cycled anyway so more water volume can only help. I have the same tank that you linked and I like it but I don't really like using filter cartridges so I just changed it out for this stuff

Next, heater. Warm water has been in my experience the biggest difference between a healthy and unhealthy betta. You want one that has an internal thermostat and you can manually set the temp to a number. You'll want a thermometer to go along with it

Filter is important but not as important as heater imo. You'll still need it if you don't want to be doing multiple weekly water changes to keep the quality perfect

Finally are the comfort items: plants, caves etc. If you want plants decide how into it you want to get. Regular gravel would be fine with some plants but if you really want to go for it get something like ecocomplete or fluorite that's designed for plants. I'd recommend at least a couple live plants (Anubias and crypts are easy) because they go crazy for them.

Everything else is mostly to make things easier for you or for decoration.

When you have it set up you'll want to do weekly 20% water changes. A test kit will help you make sure that you're on the right track. If you have any ammonia: water change. If you have any nitrite: water change. If nitrate gets to 20: water change.

u/dmacintyres · 4 pointsr/Aquariums

Okay, looks like that's a platy but I'm not 100% on that ID. Don't feed it flake food as it's super messy. Pool and spa test strips are pretty much worthless, you're going to want the [API Master Test Kit] (

We also need to know what size tank you have. Dimensions or gallons are fine. It looks like it's something like a 2.5 gallon which really isn't suitable for anything other than shrimp. Once we have more info we can be of help.

u/Fapachino333 · 4 pointsr/Aquariums

Yes you will need a testing kit for ammonia (preferably the api master test kit) wait until your ammonia and nitrites are zero and your nitrates are 10-20 and you’re goood to go

u/hibbert0604 · 4 pointsr/bettafish

I never imagined that I would be a fish owner, but I have found myself with one, and I have a huge soft spot for all animals, so I can't stand to see them neglected so I want to provide the best home the little guy I can! Here is the list of what I've gotten so far. Let me know what you think and if I have made any mistakes!

Aquarium Rocks

He already has ~5lbs so I figure 10 lbs should cover a 5 gallon tank pretty well.

Betta Balls

Gravel Vacuum

Seachem Prime


Heater for 5 gallon tank

5 Gallon Tank

API Freshwater Test Kit

He already has a betta log, betta hammock, a small decorative plant, Tetra betta pellets, and some bloodworms for treats. Hopefully this covers all bases for little Zazoo! (Yes, my gf named him after the bird from the Lion King. Lol) If you have any other tips for a complete beginner, I'd love to hear them! Thank you for your suggestions!

u/Ka0tiK · 4 pointsr/Aquariums

Cloudiness (especially with a smell) typically means the tank is undergoing a cycle of bacteria. This means that the bioload the tank was presented with (whether the goldfish or mollies) was too high and the tank mini-cycled. You should see a spike in nitrites, followed by nitrates after this occurrence.

Try to buy a liquid test kit such as the master freshwater API test kit as they are way more accurate than strips.

Also, do not follow recommendations on that pamphlet. Nitrates should always be <20 ppm, ideally 0-10. You can accomplish this through periodic water changes with a water conditioner.

Nitritres and ammonia should always be 0 when tested, given the tank is properly cycled for its given bioload.

At this point you'll want to do daily water changes at the proper temperature and with water conditioner to keep nitrites and ammonia as close to 0 as possible for fish health. Cloudiness should dissipate typically in a week or less depending on the extent of the mini-cycle. DO NOT disturb filter media at this time, you'll only make the cycle take longer.

u/haggeant · 4 pointsr/Aquariums

This is the best bang for your buck. It lets you test everything you want to. If you want to test just ammonia, or just nitrites you can buy the individual test kits, but API makes the most for the least amount of money as far as testing, that I have seen.

u/extra_silence · 4 pointsr/Aquariums

It should say on the bottle of whatever brand you're using. However, I would recommend picking up this kit. It's way more accurate than strips ever could be.

u/Wakenbake585 · 4 pointsr/Aquariums

You have to cycle the tank first. To start the cycle you need to add ammonia. Typically take around 6weeks for a full cycle.

Read this to learn how and why to cycle.

Here is ammonia drops

Here is API Master Test Kit which you will need to monitor water while cycling and afterwards.

u/mary_boberry · 4 pointsr/bettafish

The recommended tank size for a betta is at least 5 gallons. They like to swim around a lot and like places to hide and explore.

A heater is important because bettas live in tropical areas. I believe the recommended temperature is around 80F but I have mine set to 78F because I have shrimp in my tank and I don’t want to cook them.

A super important thing with fish is cycling the tank, which means beneficial bacteria is grown in the filter to convert harmful chemicals from things like extra food rotting at the bottom or the fish’s poop. Those things create ammonia which is very toxic to fish. The bacteria convert ammonia to nitrate, which is still toxic to fish. Another type of bacteria converts nitrate to nitrite which is okay for fish at low levels. Completely changing the filter and water will disrupt the bacteria growth and start the cycle over. To test the chemical level, a great test kit is the API Master Kit which is about $18USD on amazon as opposed to $30USD at Petco.

For the filter, I use the one that came with my 10g tank I got at Petsmart for $30USD. I did have to put an aquarium sponge in the hole where the water comes out because the current was too strong and it can stress out the fish. I know Petco has dollar per gallon deals on tanks but they do not come with lids or filters.

For cleaning the tank, I use a gravel vacuum which helps pick up food and poop from the bottom as well as take out water. I generally do 25-30% water changes every week to week and a half.

With regards to the decorations, if it’s a silk plant made of cloth, it’s okay. Plastic plants can rip betta’s fins which are super delicate. A good test is to take a pair of pantyhose or tights and run them alon the decoration. If they snag, the plastic is too rough and could rip the fins. I have sanded down a couple decorations that were too rough.

I hope Beta-Ray Bill is happy and if you have any other questions, feel free to message me! I am putting some links to some of the things I talked about below.

Tank I have:

Cycling info: for fishless cycle
Or for a fish in cycle

Other information:

Edit: the API master kit is $21USD on amazon:

u/RainaAudron · 4 pointsr/Aquariums

In order to have fish, you need to do a fishless nitrogen cycle. You need to get API test kit and liquid ammonia in order to make your tank hospitable to fish (add ammonia daily to about 3-4ppm). It will take several weeks to complete, it is done so you build up enough of beneficial bacteria which break down the waste produced by the fish. Only then get the fish. Otherwise they may die from ammonia/nitrite poisoning.

u/Chainingcactus · 4 pointsr/Jarrariums

you can try this not sure if it’ll test O2 levels, but the snails may just like the light

u/roboto6 · 4 pointsr/bettafish

Okay, that changes a lot of things. I read some of your other comments too and I think we may have a couple problems.

Honestly, 3gal isn't exactly too small but it's also too small. We recommend no less than 5gal. I too bought my first tank under the rule of 1gal per 1 inch of fish and I noticed a huge difference in Finnegan's activity when I went from a 3.5 to 5gal years ago. Now. all of my fish are in at least 5gal and I'm actively upgrading those to 10gals too. The larger the tank, the more wiggle room you get on water quality because it takes longer for toxins to build up and cause major issues. So, if you can go bigger, you should.

When we say cycled, we mean the nitrogen cycle, not moving water (although that is important too). Since the odds aren't great that your tank is cycled knowing what we know now, we have a couple action items. We need to test your water parameters first and foremost. A liquid test kit is absolutely necessary here. If you don't have one, they're usually only $22 on Amazon or It'll cost a lot more at the store so load one of those links and have either Petco or Petsmart price match it for you so you can pick it up at the internet price today. Test strips are notorious for giving values lower than they really are. Plus, those liquid test kits give you far more tests than test strips will for that price.


It is very possible that you have some water quality issues that are making your little guy sick. The easiest way to fix this is to identify the exact issue and fix it. You're likely going to have to do a water change today. I'll be honest, the betta water conditioners are a scam at the least. They're just a watered down version of other water conditioners so they don't work nearly as well and cost much more. If you can, grab a bottle of something like Seachem Prime, it'll only take a few drops to get your water conditioned and it works instantly. Make an effort to get your new water for your tank around the same temperature as your tank currently is to reduce stress on your fish. Sometime like Seachem StressGuard will also be helpful here.

As a bigger picture fix, we have to get that tank cycled. Since you already have the little guy, we're going to be doing a "Fish-In Cycle" which is outlined here. Unfortunately, that's how I've had to cycle most of my tanks so if you need help, I can work with you through that too. I personally use Tetra SafeStart Plus to start the cycle although I use Seachem Stability regularly too. Neither of those products are guaranteed to start your cycle though.

Also, I personally strongly advise against plastic plants. Betta fins are delicate and plastic tends to rip them. I'd swap them out when you can for either live or silk plants. Live plants come with the benefit of helping control nitrates but they are a bit more work. Silk plants are the simplest to execute. I'd make a larger tank and different plants the next priority behind getting the water quality under control.


Edit: At this point, can you also include a picture of your betta? I want to make sure we aren't also developing some fin rot, if so, we want to make sure we take steps to treat that too.

u/Ask461 · 4 pointsr/bettafish

Ah I see. I would really suggest you get a water test kit and see what the ammonia is and what not. He definitely would love more plants and less bubbles for sure! Do a water change too if you have done one.

u/OrionFish · 4 pointsr/Aquariums

I’m sorry to say the above comments are right. Common goldfish get over 1 foot in length and are incredibly messy fish. They really belong in a pond, but you could theoretically keep one in 75 gallon (but a 90 gallon is the same footprint with a little more height, offering more water and therefore easier to keep clean). Really, they should have a tank that is at least 6 foot long and 18 inches wide, but a 75 (4 feet and 18 inches wide) would be the bare minimum. Anything narrower and the fish will have trouble turning around as goldfish get over 12-14 inches long if they are healthy. They will stay smaller if their growth is stunted, but this is extremely unhealthy for them and results in a much shorter lifespan. With a 75 or 90 gallon, be prepared to do 30-50% waterchanges every week (which should be pretty easy with a system like the python. You won’t need a heater, but you will need a great filter. I recommend a canister filter, but if that is out of your price range two of these or better yet two of these will work well. Goldfish are plant eaters so you won’t have to worry about plants, so you can get whatever light you like/what’s cheapest. Big tanks are expensive, but you can often find them used along with the stands (which saves a ton of money). You can also get a 75 gallon half off from Petco during the dollar-per-gallon sale, and then build your own stand (tons of plans online). For substrate, I would buy pool filter sand (very cheap and great for goldfish, it can’t get stuck in their mouths like gravel and it looks awesome, it’s easy to keep clean too). There are a lot of ways to cut costs, especially with a goldfish tank that doesn’t need a filter or fancy light. Feel free to ask any questions, and please do some research on the nitrogen cycle (introduction ) it’s the most important thing you can possibly learn as a new fishkeeper! You will need a test kit too, to test your water. Don’t bother with test strips as they are very inaccurate, go ahead and get this. If you want to cycle the tank quickly and without a hassle, this is the only one that really works. Welcome to the wonderful world of fishkeeping! Best of luck with your pet! Goldfish are lots of fun.

Edit: petsmart has a 75 gallon tank with stand, lid, and light for half off today for Black Friday (at $249 a screaming deal for a brand new tank!!) if you are interested.

u/xzElmozx · 4 pointsr/bettafish

Fish in cycling is totally possible. Just buy some seachem prime (seriously, this stuff is the top of the top, get it), make sure you're doing regular (every other day is what I did) water changes of ~40-50% (side note, get one of these doesn't have to be the same one but something similar. This lets you do the water changes without taking the fish out of the tank which stresses the fish).

And most importantly, get a complete test kit one like this, not the strips they're inaccurate and make sure the ammonia, nitrate, and nitrite levels don't go too high. If they do, do a 60% water change and add some seachem prime and check back in a few hours.

You can also get something like this to jumpstart your bacteria growth. Putting filters from previously established tanks also works

He should be fine as long as you do all this! Love the setup btw!

u/sycatrix · 4 pointsr/Aquariums

I hear strips are not very acrurate, I use this guy instead.
I like your driftwood.

u/lacynp · 4 pointsr/Aquariums

API Freshwater Master Test Kit

Go buy this. Do the test. Report back with your water quality parameters.

u/johnzhe727 · 4 pointsr/Aquariums

Hold off on the food. Adding food means adding poop and increasing potential for ammonia problems. These large fish should be fine for a week without food, and snails can hibernate for weeks without food. Don't feed too much of the food either, go slow so you can catch ammonia problems.

Buy a water test kit. It needs to test: Ammonia (NH4), Nitrite (NO2), and Nitrate (NO3). The API Master Test Kit is one of the best. Something like the API 5-in-1 test strip is not good because it does not test ammonia (NH4).

EDIT: Subreddit wiki is a good resource:

u/ricksza · 3 pointsr/shrimptank

Get rid of the test strips and buy a real water test kit Amazon has the API Master Kit for $22.

u/Nparallelopposite · 3 pointsr/fishtank

Okay I see what your seeing now.

Okay so edit up in this bitch! OP, I read your strip wrong. Badly wrong.. You have no nitrite and no nitrate present in the tank based on this strip. Which means, you have noooo cycle at all started. You have "new tank syndrome" also known as your tank ain't cycled. (How long have you had this tank? Have you ever cycled a tank before?)You have no beneficial bacteria eating the poo and pee as it breaks down! And no ammonia test on this strip so we can't even tell for sure how bad the fish are. You need to get a master fresh water testing kit from either a pet store or from Amazon.. These come with little bottles of chemical plus little test tubes. Super easy. And 100% more reliable. Get yourself some seachem stability and if you don't already have a water conditioner/dechlorinater, get some seachem prime while your out shopping..all this should cost you about...50$ or less? I provided a link to the api master test kit. Apis a very reliable brand. I have their set as well. I posted links at the bottom of this comment for Amazon.

Follow what I said above about cycling. This is technically going to be fish present cycling, since at this point I'm sure you have a lot of fish and no other place to keep them so let's do this ;

Daily; Test water with master kit. You only have to test ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. (Uonless you are using RO water, your pH should be fine for the fish you have. The pH on the strip is about average. The strips really only seem to be good for pH to be honest.), if you have any ammonia or nitrite values, replace the water with fresh dechlorinated water, add beneficial bacteria and then test again the next day until ammonia &nitrite are 0 and nitrate finally shows up. Once that shows, you're cycled and can proceed to just test weelyl or bi weekly and do 50-75% water changes biweekly or monthly depending on how high their nitrate levels are. Try to stick to less than 40ppm and change it if that goes higher.

But since you have no nitrate value at all, you have no cycle. Which means the fish are probably in an early stage of chemical burns due to high ammonia levels. Theyee gills are burning and are having trouble breathing. But since the test strips do not have ammonia on them as a testing option, we don't know how bad it is. We can only assume based on how they are acting.. OP please do a 75% water change of your tank today and continue with 50% changes daily until your cycle is built up to keep your fish from dying.

Master test kit

Seachem stability ( beneficial bacteria)

Seachem prime ( water conditioner/dechlorinator)

( You can get the smaller bottles of seachem but it's better to get the 500ml price wise due to the fact you'll always need them. Total cost of all this, on Amazon at least will be about 49$ + tax)

u/apistia714 · 3 pointsr/Aquariums

it's my pleasure. you can find plain ammonia at wal-mart. just make absolutely certain-- CERTAIN-- you only use ammonia that is free from dyes, fragrances, and surfactants (soap). you can also buy this it's unspoiled ammonia in a dropper bottle. also make sure you have this don't use strips for testing as they're unreliable.

u/robertg92 · 3 pointsr/Aquariums
u/framauro13 · 3 pointsr/Aquariums

Instead of test strips, you might look into getting an API Master Testkit. It will give much more accurate readings, and will last longer, saving you money in the long run. Test strips can vary in accuracy depending on how much they're exposed to air. The first few from a fresh bottle tend to work well, but I've always noticed nitrates and pH getting harder to read the further I get into a bottle. A liquid test kit like the one API makes will give you more accurate readings.

Also, as hoodwin70 said, you can't rush cycling. It took about 5 weeks in my 29G, and around 4 weeks in my 5G Betta tank. The best I've ever done was 2 weeks in a Betta tank using filter media and substrate from an existing tank. Just make sure if you use bottled ammonia to start the cycle that it is clear ammonia and has no additives. The general idea for fishless cycling is that by adding ammonia, you help build up the necessary bacteria colonies that will convert the ammonia into less harmful forms, mainly nitrates, which you can then remove from the tank through water changes. Most fish can tolerate higher nitrate readings than they can nitrites or ammonia.

The quick and dirty run down is this: add ammonia to the tank (via bottle or decaying fish food), and wait for nitrites to show up (about a week or less). Once nitrites show up, the first colony is becoming established. At this point, if ammonia reads 0, add more to keep feeding the cycle. You should start to see nitrates after a while. This part usually takes the longest: waiting for nitrites to go away, and can take weeks. Keep feeding small amounts of ammonia to keep the cycle going, and when nitrites and ammonia read 0, you're done. Do a large water change to get the nitrates low (under 10ppm) and you should be good to add fish. Ideally, you'll never read ammonia and nitrites, only nitrates. You'll probably want to do a water change whenever they read around 20ppm (that's when I do mine). The link in the sidebar will have more detail, but that's the gist of how I usually do it.

As for the driftwood, to help with leaching, it's a good idea to boil it a few times before putting it in the tank. That'll get a lot of the junk out of it and reduce how much is leached into the tank. Although some people prefer that yellow color since it's not really harmful to the fish.

Good luck!

EDIT: Link to the testkit.

u/Bad_lol_player · 3 pointsr/bettafish

Water changes won't damage your BB. Yeah I understand they are pricey, maybe if you can afford it, amazon has it for $23. But I would definitely get your water tested whenever you can, and make sure they're testing all 3 parameters. Also, I wouldn't trust anything they tell you when you get your reading (regarding how harmful it is, causes, etc. not the actual readings). If you have any level of ammonia or nitrite, it is poisonous and it is a 100% indicator that your tank isn't cycled. Sounds like you're really taking in a lot of information and trying your best, good luck :)

u/tewls · 3 pointsr/aquaponics

If you can't make a reading more accurate than that you need another testing system. I recommend

u/mooninitetwo · 3 pointsr/Aquariums

Unfortunately people at pet stores are often more interested in selling you stuff than whether or not your fish lives :( Even though people think of goldfish as a beginner pet, they're actually much more work. They produce a ton of waste, can get quite big (8 inches or more), and can live more than a decade.

You can do one of two things to keep them alive - rehome them/return them, or get a much larger tank (40 gallons or more, so like ...150 liters? I think?) and a very high powered filter.

In the setup you have now they could very well survive for a few years, but they won't be thriving. That tank looks quite nice and could totally be used for other fish - a single betta would be perfect for that tank, or possibly some white cloud minnows (not sure on them though).

Continuing water changes will possibly keep him alive for now. Do you have access to a Freshwater Master Test Kit? If you can get one of these and test the ammonia every day it will help. If the ammonia gets above .25 ppm, switch out 20-30% of the water with treated water until it is lower. Eventually the good bacteria in the filter and gravel will build up and help control the ammonia so you will only need to do partial water changes a few times a month. This process is called the Nitrogen Cycle and it will take 3-6 weeks to complete. Whatever you decide to do with your fish, cycling is the #1 priority in a new tank. That test kit will allow you to determine what stage of the cycle you're in. Here's a link with a cute little graph.

The plant looks like cabomba, but I'm not 100% sure. But I think goldfish like to eat plants? I've only kept them with plastic plants. Either way, cool plant.

So it's up to you if you think you should rehome/return them, get a big tank, or see how long they last in that one. They're very cute fish! Hope Dennis feels better soon!

u/fs2d · 3 pointsr/Aquariums

They are actually on sale for half off on Amazon right now! - ours cost $41. Snatch it up while you can, IMO, /u/cockleburrito

>If you've been doing a fish-in cycle for 2 months and haven't lost a fish, go ahead and pat yourself on the back for that.
>I would imagine that after 2 months and fish, your tank may actually be cycled already.

I also second this, although using Platies probably helped a lot with that. They're about as close to indestructible as you can get in aquarium fish, which is why a lot of people recommend using livebearers if you absolutely have to do a fish-in cycle.

u/oliviac30 · 3 pointsr/Aquariums

Hmm odd that the water fizzed up. Did you rinse out the tank and rinse off the carbon and decorations before putting them in? The fact that you can smell chlorine is probably a good indicator you are best of to switch to a different water conditioner. (I like Seachem Prime.) Betta's like a low flow filter so just keep an eye on the filter or even switch to a sponge filter, or filter with a sponge over the intake, etc. Remeber to test your tap water too! I will link some products I have used or similar to those I have used in the past and had success with. (It may be a good idea to compare prices at your LFS store to Amazon, as I know my local Petsmart/Petco charges a fortune for a lot of aquarium items without much selection.)

API Freshwater Test Kit (Amazon wow $19.99 right now!) or at your LFS -Don't buy the test strips.

SeaChem Prime ($4-$13 depending on size from Amazon or at your LFS. I swear by Prime.)

A thermometer is a good idea to make sure your heater does not create a major issue. I do not use this exact one but figured I would add it to the list with a link ($2)

Here I will just attach a link for a sponge filter I use in a 10 gallon (~$12). You will need some airline hosing and an air pump (tetra air pump works) if you get it, though I think it may be a little big for a 4 gallon. Also, an aquaclear is by far my favorite HOB filter if you go that route. Hopefully, your filter will workout!
Tetra Air pump (~$7)
Aquaclear 20 (110V ~$25): This may be a little big for your 4 gallon, not sure as I have the Aquaclear 50 on my 30 gallon but I will add it along just in case.

Airline Tubing (a few dollars, great to have)

Household Ammonia without surfactant (to do your fishless cycle) see link

If you decide to go with silk aquarium plants, they have few fun options online. I would also suggest really plants as they will help reduce nitrates in the future. Some good low-tech plants would be anubias, or java fern (and some others). These can be tied to a rock or driftwood as don't need to be placed in the gravel/sand/soil itself. (A small clip-on LED for an aquarium should work
if you go this route.)

I would provide food options, but r/bettafish has done a great job!

Here are a few they have mentioned:

Ocean Nutrition Atison's Betta Food (~12)

New Life Spectrum Betta Formula (~$10)

Hikari Betta Bio-Gold (~$13)

You should be able to find frozen daphnia, and frozen brine shrimp at Petco/Petsmart, and live brine shrimp at your LFS.

Will add on later! Happy cycling and keep us posted!

u/SeattCat · 3 pointsr/AquaticSnails

Do you know what type it is? Here are some pics of common ones:
Mystery snail
Nerite snail
Ramshorn snail
These can have different colors than the ones pictured but the shape should be the same. I don't have any experience with ramshorns so I can't give advice for them but I have mysteries and nerites.
Nerites eat algae off of the glass of the tank. If there isn't any algae, you can give them algae wafers or some cooked veggies like carrots or spinach.
Mystery snails will eat algae wafers and they also like veggies. Mine love zucchini. Blanch the vegetables to keep them from floating around the tank.

Snails need a source of calcium to keep their shells healthy. Cuttlebone can be found in the bird section of a pet store and it dissolves in the tank over time. You can also make 'snello' - snail jello. Plain gelatin, TUMS (for the calcium), veggie baby food and fish flakes is a nice way to provide food and calcium all at once.

Snails poop A LOT. I recommend getting a filter and a gravel vacuum to clean the tank out. Waste can cause ammonia levels to rise, which is harmful to the snails. You can test the water parameters (pH, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate) using a test kit. The API test kit is kinda $$ but it's good. Mystery and nerite snails like water between 65-82*, although nerites like it on the warmer end. You might need a heater.

Snail behavior:
Mystery snails are pretty active. Mine like to crawl up the side of the tank and then float down to the bottom. This is sometimes called "parasnailing". It's cute. Nerites hide. They have interesting sleep cycles where they'll be awake for long stretches of time and then go to sleep for several days. If you have a nerite, I highly recommend getting a lid for the tank if you don't already have one. They like to sneak out which can lead to them dying. Leave about an inch of water between the top of the tank and the water line because snails still need access to air. Mystery snails have a siphon which allows them to get oxygen.

Mysteries and nerites reproduce sexually. If you have one you don't have to worry about your snail creating a million clones of itself.

u/Felis_Cuprum · 3 pointsr/bettafish

Hm. If you can, please try to buy an API liquid test kit right away. They're at any pet store that carries fish stuff, or you can get one on Amazon with prime shipping. Sometimes they go on sale even cheaper on other pet websites if you google around.

It's absolutely crucial that you have a way to test for these levels since they affect your fish's health.

Read this quick explanation on cycling so that you have a better understanding of what is going on in your tank, and what these chemicals mean for your fish. Most fish or pet stores will test your aquarium water if you bring a sample in, for free.

(And no problem with the cast, I had to wear a cast once so I know the struggle! Good on you for trying to help your fish anyway!)

It's possible he ingested gravel, but more likely he just needs clean water and time to heal. You mentioned in the post title you were using a medication, which medication is that?

Sometimes it's better to hold off on meds and put him in a hospital tank, like you have done, and treat him with aquarium salt. The general dilution is 1 tsp per gallon, and you do daily 25-50% water changes with freshly conditioned water. Don't do salt treatments for longer than about 10 days since it's a little hard on them but it helps with wounds and with general illness. When you do a salt treatment, dissolve the aquarium salt in a cup of tank water before pouring and mixing it in, it doesn't work as well if you just sprinkle it in solid.

Either way if he's in a smaller tank you'll want to do 10-25% water changes daily because their food and poop releases ammonia, which makes them sick. I just got a new betta and am keeping him in a 1 gal quarantine tank floating in my main heated tank, and after a single day the ammonia jumps up to 0.1 ppm. You want it to stay 0 and never ever above 0.25 ppm. It's a lot of work doing these water changes but you typically see a huge improvement in their health - you're acting as a river flushing out old water and letting new water flow in.

u/midnight_waffles · 3 pointsr/Goldfish

Ammonia is one of the most important things to test for. Plus, test strips are notoriously inaccurate. This kit is the thing you need. If you're hell-bent on keeping the test kit you have, at least buy an ammonia test kit. Your ammonia and NitrItes should read 0 ppm. NitrAtes can be present, as long as they are <20 (some people say less <40, but I always err on the side of caution). Did anyone at PetSmart educate you on how to properly cycle a tank? I'm really surprised they sold you a fish with a brand-new tank...That's pretty messed up of them. But I'm not surprised. They might have sold you a sick fish, too, that is just now showing signs of illness with the extra stress of being put into a new tank. Super sorry I can't be of any more help at this point! Could you try posting your photo of the fish again?

***Edit: I got the photo to load. It's definitely not ich. That looks like some fungus...Maybe? It's so hard to tell. He looks really sick, whatever it is. It did not just start all of a sudden-I think they sold you a very sick fish. If it dies, do yourself a favor and do not ever buy anything at that PetSmart again. I'm so sorry. I hope he pulls through.

u/SweetMamaKaty · 3 pointsr/Goldfish

The main problem is likely ammonia poisoning. Even though you have a filter, you don't yet have a "cycle". The others are correct that your current tank is too small, but the fish will die long before it grows and needs more space if you aren't able to keep the ammonia down.

The best product to get is Seachem Prime, and use it at each water change.

For now, yes change 100% of the water - daily - until you know that you have a cycle in place by testing your water with the API Freshwater Master Test Kit.

If this all seems too much to manage for a fish you weren't looking to own in the first place, you could always rehome it via Craigslist or surrender to a pet store. If you decide to keep it, you're in for a fun, rewarding hobby! :D

u/Twofu_ · 3 pointsr/Aquariums
u/joshellis625 · 3 pointsr/Aquariums
u/gmasterdialectician · 3 pointsr/Aquariums

research "fish-in cycling", as this is what you are now doing. i'd advise picking up a decent water testing kit ASAP. until you have a testing kit to guide you, i would do DAILY 50% water changes to ensure safe water parameters. when you're able to go out and pick up a kit, you could also buy a couple low light plants like java fern or anubias to help just a little with water conditions and to give your fish some soft cover during the stress of fish-in cycling. keep feeding to a minimum, as any extra will only contribute to ammonia by 1) not being eaten and rotting in your substrate, or 2) being eaten and making extra poop. also, finding an appropriate pellet food would help your water quality greatly. flakes dissolve the second they hit the water and can contribute to bad water quality more then people might expect, especially if there is overfeeding (which is very easy to do and a common beginner mistake)... a gravel vacuum would also be a good buy and make it a lot easier to keep your gravel clean.

it sounds like you care about your fish, and if you're committed to learning about fish-in cycling and staying on top of water quality, your fish should be ok. i would wait until your tank cycles to add more fish, and even then i would only increase stocking levels incrementally. aqadvisor is a great resource for figuring out how much bioload your setup can handle. if you stick with the hobby, you'll find that good ole clean water will fix just about anything. you're getting a crash course in this now unfortunately, but you'll come out of this with tons of knowledge that 99% of people who get fish at the petstore never bother to care about. your future fish will thank you!

u/squaredk2 · 3 pointsr/Aquariums

For real, if your serious about the hobby, spend the ~$25 for this kit. It has everything you need, and the nitrate test (most used) lasted me about a year. I also have had a second tank for 6-7 months, so it could easily last you 2 years if you only test nitrate on 1 tank. If you think about it, tank, filter, heater, fish are the only major expenses. $25 more could save all that time, money, and effort if something goes wrong. Trust us, you dont want to have to keep going to the lfs to find out what your params are.

u/MandiPandaBear · 3 pointsr/bettafish

Good on you for taking the poor guy!

First, the spots don't really look like ich. Ich is more like the fish has salt grains sprinkled on them. The spots on the this guy look like either fungus or bacteria. Also, from the picture, it looks like he has some pretty bad fin rot and he's very pale.

I see an air pump, is it hooked up to anything in the tank? I don't see a filter, but you can use that air pump to set up a sponge filter.

The tank itself looks to be ok, although a very odd shape... I'm thinking it's probably 2.5-3 gallons which is alright for a betta (though 5 gallons is ideal)

Honestly, if there's no filter or bubble stone, I'd do a 100% water change, rinse the gravel really well to get any detritus out (judging by the state of the tank, I'm sure there's a lot...). Until you get a filter, you should do 50-75% changes every day. Look up fish-in cycling as well. I'm sure we have a link in our wiki. Scoop the little guy into a holding cup while you change the water, then slowly acclimate to the cleaner water. With his compromised immune system, too much stress may be a death sentence.

Like I said about the spots, it looks like a fungus or bacterial infection. Bacterial is more common and would fit with the MO of fin rot, so I'd start with that for treating. Any antibacterial would be good, but get him in clean water first.

Can you take a pic of the heater?

As far as buddies go, a single snail or a few shrimp would be fine with him. Nerite snails are one of my favorites. They eat all kinds of algae, lay eggs that don't hatch in freshwater, come in lots of colors, and stay relatively small. DO NOT do a mystery snail, they get huge and produce a lot of waste. Ghost or amano shrimp are good choices. Shrimp are much more sensitive to water quality though, so make sure you get the tank fixed before adding anything.

Finally, definitely get this test kit. You'll need it for cycling and is much more accurate and cost effective than strips.

u/bruisesandlace · 3 pointsr/Goldfish

You can also do a fish-in cycle since you already have him.

You'll definitely want him in at least a 20 gal tank, although I've started mine in 10 gallons and let them grow out. 20 gal can sometimes be tough on the budget, but be aware he will need one eventually.

You'll want a water testing kit of some sort. This one is probably the gold standard but you can get away with just some lfs test strips, as long as you're testing nitrates, nitrites, and ammonia.

Also, goldfish are social (not to be confused with schooling) so he'll probably want a buddy at some point if he start showing depressive-like symptoms.

Welcome to the hobby! The addiction now begins lol

u/MINECRAFT_BIOLOGIST · 3 pointsr/Goldfish

If you don't mind spending the money, you can get a test kit to check your levels of ammonia, nitrates, and nitrites, amongst some other things. I believe the usually recommended one is this one:

It's pretty worth it and will last you a decent amount of time. You might have high levels of ammonia without realizing it, even if you follow your local pet store's instructions. And if that's not the case, then at least you've ruled something out.

u/bigblueturret · 3 pointsr/Aquariums

You should cycle it. Buy a freshwater test kit like this one,and some pure ammonia (I got mine from Ace's hardware store). Essentially you want to build up nitrifying bacteria colonies in your filter, so your fish do not immediately die of toxic ammonia produced by fish, and nitrites. To do this, add enough ammonia so the concentration of it in the aquarium is 2ppm, and keep adding ammonia until all of it is converted into nitrate, and ammonia and nitrite read 0. This is a simplified explanation though, a more complete guide is here. After this, you can add fish.

u/piratesaurus · 3 pointsr/bettafish

Good idea doing a water change. Is the tank cycled and do you know the water parameters? If you don't, the api master test kit will tell you everything you need to know.

(sidenote: Herb is a great name for a fish.)

u/cosalich · 3 pointsr/Aquariums

Lots! I'm fond of White Cloud Minnows, Mosquito Rasboras, Celestial Pearl Danios and Ember Tetras in small tanks. You could have a small school (8-12) of any of those species. I'm also a huge fan of dwarf freshwater shrimp like red cherry shrimp.

Before that though, you'd definitely want to rehome those goldfish and do some serious tank renovations. Wash the gravel, clean the glass and replace the media in whatever filtration you have. Then cycle the tank fully and add a small heater. Once the tank is fully cycled (you'll know this because you will have picked up a test kit) you can start thinking about finding some small fish to add.

u/sagehoney · 3 pointsr/gardening

I highly recommend reading FAQs or beginner recommendations from /r/Aquariums , /r/bettafish , and /r/PlantedTank (though the latter may not exactly apply to you). They will have the best sources available for you, and the communities are always super helpful when it comes to new questions. Below is my personal advice, but I've never tried aquaponics before.

First: Get a water conditioner! Chlorine and heavy metals from tap water are toxic to fish. API has a good one.

Secondly, I would recommend a heater! This will make your fish super comfy and also provide the added benefit of an increased metabolism so your plants will get more food. :) Also, bettas are more colorful when they're comfortable (i.e. in warm, clean water). Be sure to get an adjustable one so you don't accidentally fry your fish. This will be the best investment for your tank. Also get a thermometer to make sure the heater is working properly. I like this kind of heater from Aqueon.

Upon further reading about the product, it's listed at being 3 gallons which is about the minimum size for a single betta. This tank should cycle if given a proper filter and time. I would also suggest getting a filter of some sort. The kit includes a "pump" but unless it has any media for the bacteria to grow on, you won't truly have a "cycled" tank. [Read up on the nitrogen cycle. This is the difference between a fish living a week and 3 years.] Cycling your tank will take about a month. During this time, there will be no nitrates for the plants to use. Your fish will just be sitting in ammonia/nitrite water. This is unhealthy for the fish, and it's the leading cause of death in beginner aquariums. There are other fishless methods that will cycle a tank before the fish goes in. This is considered the most humane (and it's as easy as throwing in some fish food to rot) since the fish won't be swimming in essentially poison for a month.

I personally use hang on back (HOB) filters since they're easily available and easy to use, but I don't think this will work with the lid you have going. There are also under-gravel filters and sponge filters which I am very unfamiliar with. It's important not to change the filter media - that's where the beneficial bacteria live. The only reason you should ever throw it away and change it is if it's literally falling apart. /r/aquariums can give you a better suggestion on a filter than I can. Here's some from Petsmart. Get one with a low flow since a betta's long fins will act like sails! They don't like being swept away very much.

Also, you'll need to monitor the ammonia and nitrate levels in your tank. There's a $30 freshwater master test kit from API that will last you YEARS and help you keep your fish healthy. Regardless of what the website says, you'll also need to do water changes and clean the bottom of the tank. No tank is ever "self cleaning", but it is true that plants use harmful nitrates and can take some out of the water.

You may also want to keep some common fish meds on hand (fungus, bacteria, and ich meds) in case your fish gets sick. Some of these may harm your plants or make them inedible for humans though, so be careful!

A gravel vacuum is also helpful for water changes, but with that small of a tank, large cups could also suffice.

tl;dr Get some water conditioner, a heater, a thermometer, a filter and a water test kit. Find a nice, adjustable heater, a filter that will work with your lid, and get a test kit for your water that covers ph, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrates.

u/Burningfyra · 3 pointsr/Aquariums

do you know what the water paramaters are things like the ph ammonia nitrite and nitrate? if not get a test kit like this it would help us alot if we could know the ammonia nitrite and nitrate.

u/olsmobile · 3 pointsr/aquaponics

The API freshwater test kit is probably your best bet. It will test ammonia, pH, nitrates and nitrites. The strips aren't nearly as accurate.

u/WhoaBuddyxD · 3 pointsr/aquarium

As far as equipment goes, get an AquaClear 20 (or 30) filter, an Aqueon (or other reliable brand, I've used Hydor with good luck) ADJUSTABLE heater. A thermometer. The lights you get depends on what you plan on doing with your tank. You're also going to need a water testing kit, a dechlorinator (most people will recommend Seachem Prime).

Is this going to be your first aquarium?

u/joshshua · 3 pointsr/Goldfish

Lots of opportunities here:

  1. Keep the tank out of direct sunlight, which can cause dangerous variations in tank temperature.
  2. 90% water change once per month is too much water, too infrequently changed. Change no more than 25% of the water at a time or you will stress the fish. Frequency of changes needs to be enough to keep up with the Nitrates, which is largely driven by number of fish and amount of food input.
  3. Your old filter contained bacteria which convert ammonia to nitrite and convert nitrite to nitrate (AKA biofilter). The new filter is not colonized by these bacteria, so your fish are likely swimming in very toxic ammonia. Buy a water test kit and test your water. If your ammonia and nitrites register any amount at all, you can buy some concentrated bacteria to kick-start the biofilter. Dose the bacteria solution slowly with small amounts every hour and monitor ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels 2x a day until the tests register zero ammonia and nitrite. Once the bacteria are established, your tank will be "cycled" and the fish can start recovering.
  4. A 10 gallon tank is much too small for even just one comet goldfish. You should consider upgrading to at least a 55 gallon tank, but with two comets I wouldn't go smaller than 75.
  5. I disagree with the pet store about the aquarium salt, but I can only offer my own personal experience to support my argument. Big-box pet stores are a mixed bag, in my experience.

    Finally, do you treat the fresh water you use for water changes with a dechlorinator? If not, you need to get your hands on some. The chlorine that is added to municipal water supplies can kill the beneficial bacteria in your tank and lead to dangerous ammonia and/or nitrite spikes.
u/iwrestledasharkonce · 3 pointsr/Aquariums

Welcome to fishkeeping! A betta is a fantastic introduction!

/r/bettafish has some great betta-specific resources. Since you'll be getting the fish immediately, read this document on a fish-in cycle. You'll want to get a test kit, this is the favorite but most pet stores that offer fish will also test your water for free.

What is he in currently? If the tank is appropriately sized (2.5 gallons or up) with a filter and all, it may not NEED cycling as it may already BE cycled. Just make sure your stepdad keeps the filter and gravel wet and moves the tank promptly.

I noticed the Marineland Portrait was going for $10 off on Amazon today, if you are in the market for a tank. :)

u/paradoxbomb · 3 pointsr/aquaponics

pH is super important. Basically, if it gets too high plants can't uptake crucial nutrients even though they're present in the water. Most plants that you can grow aquaponically struggle to thrive at around 7.4 and higher. Some, like strawberries, won't grow much above 7.0. Goldfish and algae are much more forgiving about pH - they have no problem up to 8.0+.

The nitrification cycle will naturally lower the pH over time, but if the grow media you're using contains limestone, it will dissolve and raise the pH faster than nitrification can bring it down. Additionally, your city water may have a high pH that you need to balance when topping up water. I use hydrochloric acid from the local hardware store to pH balance my top up water. It's about $8 for 32 oz, and it goes a very long way.

Most people use the API test kits for pH (consensus seems to be that the strips aren't very accurate). There's a low range kit and a high range kit, you'll probably need both. You can also just go for the full test kit. Most fish stores will have these kits as well.

u/BatFace · 3 pointsr/bettafish

I'm a little new to the hobby, had my betta for 7 months, but I will answer as best I can.

> 1. Should I cycle my fish tank while my betta is in the bowl, or should I just put him in the tank already and get rid of the bowl right off the bat?

Put him in the tank. A cycling tank will be better for him than the bowl. You need a test kit, this is a good one. You will need to test the water daily, someitmes twice during cycling and hcange the water if you can detect ammonia or nitrite. After that once a week to keep nitrates below 40ppm should be fine.

>2 I've had a fish tank before, and I was wondering if I could put up a bubble wall in the background or if that would be disturbing to him.

Bubblers in a small tank are usually too much for a betta. Someone else chime in about a buble wall, though, I have no experience in that.

>3 Are there any plants that are really low maintenance that I can put in with him?

Java fern, amazon sword, crypts, I believe are all hardy low light plants. /r/PlantedTank will have better advice for plants, I'm still strugling to keep mine alive.

>4 Are there any algae eaters I can put in with him? Can I give him a plecostomus roomie, or would they fight?

Plecos get huge. They are sold as small algea eaters but this and this are not huge for a pleco, they need large tanks and have a large bioload(poop factory).

Mystery snails are good with betta, and nerite snails are algae eating machines. Shimp can be fine with betta, though some betta will just eat them, some leave them alone. Depending on the size of tank you are willing to get, a small school of cory cats or otos might be fine, but you'd need something like 10-20 gallons.

Please be sure to read the info in the side bar. You should really get at least 2.5 gallons, preferably 5 gallons, a filter and a heater, and a bottle of dechlorinator/water condition(seachem prime is good). Cover or hiding place that aren't jagged, these can be live plants, silk plants or caves that don't snag panty hoes when ran across it.

It's so great you want to give your new betta a better home, update us with pics soon!

u/ipodnano165 · 3 pointsr/bettafish

Well I have this tank I didn’t pay that much but this is my tank tank tank cover and my rest of my set up that I recommend filter heater


And you need one of these no matter what tank you get api master kit

u/Pheadrus0110 · 3 pointsr/aquaponics

> How and when should I start up the system and then when after that should I add tilapia and plants?

You should add plants after you get the system into a starting location and have been running the system for a 3-4 weeks. while adding either raw urine or pure concentrations of ammonia daily to the running water. The ideal is to have the nitrite/nitrate cycle stable before adding fish.

> > I'm in USDA zone 7a. People are already planting soil gardens here but I'm guessing our night temperatures aren't quite warm enough for tilapia yet.

Depends upon the breed of tilapia. Blue tilapia can easily live in 40+ degree water. They won't grow very quickly but its surviavable.

> I've heard various recommendations to get the bacteria going: add chemical ammonia and let it run for a while, add disposable minnows or fish and let it cycle with them for a while, or add pond water which will already contain bacteria. I do have a large, healthy pond on my property with many fish so I have easy access to pond water, minnows, bluegill, crawfish, and tadpoles. I'm ok with losing pond fish as the system balances itself but I'll be buying the tilapia from a supplier so I'd rather have the system stable and safe before I add them.
What chemical levels will I need to monitor? What testing kit do I need and where should I get it? Is there a good one on Amazon?

Get the master aquarium testing kit. petco has them and amazon. test for ammonia, nitrites, nitratesm and PH. If you have hundreds of dollars get the oxygen meter too.

>What kind of fish food and where should I get it?

Feed your self real food from whole ingrediants and feed the scraps to the fish. NO HOTDOGS. course tilapia will eat almost anything. but the main thing to concentrate on is... are you wanting a heavy harvest of fish?

>How many tilapia for this system? I'm hoping to stock them small and then harvest them at the end of the growing season.

Well, thats a 300 gallon system tank. A realatively safe level would be if you stock for aprox 1 pound of fish per 5 gallons of water. 60 pounds of fish at the end of the season, depending on growth.

>What easy to grow, hard to kill plants would you recommend for a beginner in zone 7a? We like full-sized tomatoes, jalapeño peppers, poblano peppers, zucchini, strawberries, and squash if they're not to difficult. If they are I'll probably skip them for the first year. I'm open to suggestions on whatever's easy!

The fruiting stuff will need a couple ounces of phosphorus and potassium added to the media beds. you should consider dual-root zone aquaponics. It allows for amendments to be added to the root zone of the plant instead of indiscriminately to the system.

>The person I got the system from ran it without any aeration aside from the natural splashing as water runs into the growbeds, fish tanks, and sump tanks. Think I'll be ok with this or should I add an aerator?

You will be ok like this most likely... But growth of tilapia follows the 1-1-1 guideline. 1 pound of feed plus 1 pound of oxygen grown for 1 year equals 1 pound. More oxygen will allow the quick growth that your interested in.

u/TRenegade · 3 pointsr/Aquariums

This is the one most people recommend and the one I use =)

u/gundam2017 · 3 pointsr/Aquariums

Can i offer some advice?

  1. Ditch the strips. They are wildly inaccurate. Get this instead

  2. You want to aim for double the gallons in filtration. Try either 2 HOB filters or 1 larger one like a marineland 350

  3. Im not seeing substrate. Please dont get puke colored rock. Get a $8 50 lb bag of black blasting media instead. Your fish will thank you.

  4. I dont see decorations. I highly recommend driftwood and live plants. They arent too expensive and will help the health of the tank

  5. Fish. Get a small pleco like a gold nugget, bristlenose, or snowball. Cories would love that tank with sand. 1 large school of fish like cherry barbs (like 15)
u/BabyCowboyAkir · 3 pointsr/Aquariums

i have a 150w in my 46 gallon and it barley keeps up, have to have it cranked to max (86 i think) to keep the tank at 78) I'm going to move up to a 200 soon, or probably just adding a second heater.

price difference is negligible between 150 and 200 for the most part.

I use this instead of the python adapter, half cost, same thing, add a $1 hose clamp if you want but you may not need it, the pressure doesn't get to high out of inside faucets honestly. You don't need the hook in all likelihood, I do my changes solo without the hook just fine.

If you want to save even more money, you can DIY the whole thing for cheaper as well, just search around on the youtube channel of a guy called king of DIY

Don't spend $26 on test strips, strips suck, spend $22 on the api liquid test kit, it will last longer anyway

the bacteria quick start is real hit or miss, all brands, so don't put too much faith in it, you'll still spend weeks cycling probably. remember to get a source of ammonia ($3 for a bottle, get pure stuff, without anything added, if you shake it and there are lasting bubbles, its not what you need)

plants get expensive FAST, so 150 for plants, decorations, fish is gonna be tough. Pool filter sand is great easy substrate though, so is black diamond blasting media if you prefer black, both are probably in the $10 range for enough to cover your tank to the proper depth. driftwood and nice rocks can add up fast.

/r/PlantedTank has a weekly giveaway thread but its not too filled ever, r/aquaswap can get you some good deals on plants too. is aquarium ebay and can get you some good deals too.

I just looked back up and saw you didn't actually say plants, but plants are cool and help your tank stay stable and healthy, you'll probably want some eventually. But you will probably want a better light for live plants as well. That can be down the road I guess.

If you are buying from petsmart, know that they will pricematch their own website, the instore prices are outrageous. Online has to at least compete with other places though, so have the products pulled up online on your phone when you check out. petsmart also has an app, make an account and play their dumb little treat game. Right now if you beat it on hard its 20% off a single item, which is great for your tank stand combo. Easy and medium gives you a 10 and a 15% off as well. Its a simple enough concept, but beating it on hard can suck, I definitely get the feeling it just lets you win after a while though (10ish tries, quit for a day and try again and you'll get it quick)

For stocking it, a couple dwarf gouramis if some kind, honey or powder blue or whatever you like. maybe a schooling fish like cardinal or neon tetras. mollys or platys are colorful and will breed, corys for the bottom. a nerite snail, play around on and see what you can safely stock together and the basic requirements. Dont take it as gospel, just a good baseline and jumping off point for more research.

u/vette91 · 3 pointsr/Aquariums

Do you have a water test kit like one of these?

But, it kind of looks like fin rot. How frequently do you change the water and since it is a live planted tank, what/how frequently are you adding to aid in the growth?

u/D2WilliamU · 3 pointsr/DotA2

It really depends what you are searching for in your water, but for a lot of things yes!

There are test kits available for aquariums that have reagents and instructions to determine levels of lots of important things in water, like ammonium, nitrite, nitrate and pH.

Complex kits like this

And simpler kits like this

Ammonium, Nitrite and Nitrate levels generally spike if things like Raw Sewage is dumped into the river, or fertilizer from fields has been washed off into the river due to heavy rain.

Understanding Nitrate levels in water is very important, due to it being toxic to human babies. It causes something nicknamed 'blue baby syndrome' by messing with haemoglobin. Nitrate in water is also toxic to animals such as horses and cattle, so keeping an eye on nitrate levels in their water and feed is important so they don't die from nitrate poisoning. Special care should be shown to pregnant animals with regards to nitrate exposure.

pH can also increase if rivers are being "limed" where their pH is being increased, in an effort to negate the acidity caused by growing crops.

For other more obscure ions and minerals you can get little handheld test kits from people like sigma, and Hannah instruments. These can range anywhere from €50 to a few thousand €.

Sorry for wall of text.

tl;dr; yes, aquarium kits on Amazon are useful if you are concerned about water quality.

u/seonadancing1 · 3 pointsr/aquarium
u/AzarothEaterOfSouls · 3 pointsr/fishtank

If you go to a local pet store they might be able to give you some cycled water or some filter media that you can put in. Don't put a goldfish in there, it will just stress out your remaining fish even more. If you can, get some Prime and some Stress Coat and add them to your tank. You will also need to get a test kit so that you can check the water parameters in your tank. Once you know what the parameters are, get back to us and I can give you some more specific information on how to level it out. (If you can't find a water test kit like the one shown, test strips are better than nothing but I would order a kit ASAP.)

u/rela82me · 3 pointsr/bettafish

Would this testing kit be worth it? Or would you have any one day amazon recommendations? The ones at the store seemed overly priced.


u/Luxray978 · 3 pointsr/reptiles

You should probably upgrade your filter, its only rated for 20 gallons. The general rule for turtles is you want filters rated for 2-3 times the gallonage of the tank. The tank is also a bit small for a red eared slider generally adults need 120 gallons of water, or a 4'x2'x2' tank. The stuff on the shell seems to be a fungus or plant of some sort. I would also suggest picking up a water testing kit like this one Since turtles live in water most of the time poor water quality can effect them quite severely.

u/nsalapatas · 3 pointsr/Aquariums
  • First thing is first. Decide on how large an aquarium you want/can keep at your place. The larger the aquarium, the more stable the system will be. Buy that tank + all the other accessories (filter, heater, etc.), and the API Master Test Kit.

  • Read up on the nitrogen cycle. The fishless nitrogen cycle can take weeks to fully cycle, but it is the only way to ensure that you wont be poisoning any helpless fish (which will likely die because of it).

  • Now you have plenty of time to do all the research/decide on every aspect of your aquarium prior to anything living goes in. Substrate and plants can go in prior to the tank being fully cycled (in fact, they might expedite the process a bit).

  • Your substrate (gravel/sand) will be dependent on personal preference/ requirements of the species of fish you will be keeping.

    Unfortunately, as /u/vortex1324 said, there is just so many variables to consider at this point that it's really not meaningful without any direction.

u/pink_mango · 3 pointsr/Aquariums

So the filter wasn't cycled? That would be a problem.

While adding the 50% cycled water was definitely a good idea, it wouldn't be enough to avoid recycling.

Do you have a test kit? If not, purchase one. (Don't get the strips, they are useless). You will have to monitor your tank every day, to make sure that the ammonia/nitrite/nitrate levels don't exceed what the fish can handle. (see the links to the nitrogen cycle on the side bar)

It will be some work, but you can cycle your tank with the fish in it, and keep him healthy, if you are diligent.

Then once the tank is cycled you can stick to water changes every week, and testing it before you change the water to make sure everything is good.

u/Scalare · 3 pointsr/Aquariums

Yeah, hopefully it's not as bad as I'm imagining (I occasionally browse craigslist for aquarium stuff... which might warp my faith in humanity a little bit). It's all applicable to moving an aquarium generally though. The idea being to go with as little change as possible during a stressful event like moving.

My approach would be to simply drain off all the water into buckets (a handy tip for the budget fishkeeper is to hit up your local ice cream shop for some of their empty tubs) with the fish and filter media. I don't usually bother with substrate for a smallish tank (which is light enough for two people to move without any difficulty even with substrate). At the other end, simply fill up the tank from the buckets (gently pouring the fish bucket in last), plug in the equipment and you're done. You can sell it as the easiest, most stress free way to move a fish tank (coming highly recommended from some random guy on the internet). Tell her you don't mind it being a bit dirty; as it'll be less stressful for the fish that way.

API is the usual go-to for test kits. Their master test kit covers all the basics.

u/roninsysop · 3 pointsr/Aquariums

invest in a liquid test kit like this, it will open your eyes to the conditions inside your tank, and you might be surprised how fast ammonia builds up (particularly in a sub-10gallon tank). and yes, I think most here would agree that 4 gals is too small for anything but 1 Betta..

u/goots · 3 pointsr/Aquariums

When you expand, this might be a handy tool for you: AquaAdvisor

Right now, if I were you, I would purchase:

HOB Nano filter

Siphon Water changer/gravel vacuum - Carry your aquarium over to a drain. Keep an empty two liter handy to pour freshwater back in.

You cycled your tank, right? If not, you may want to pour some of this in there to help.

Water Test Kit Keep track 2x a week. Small tanks are more difficult since water conditions can go bad quite quickly. Keeping an aquarium is not about fish, it's about chemistry.

Spiral CFL bulb to replace the incandescent you probably have. Incandescents suck and heat your aquarium way too much.

Thermometer Glass, with suction cup.

Light timer Trust me, keeping that light on all day is only going to cause algae, and won't make your plants grow quicker. 6 hours in the beginning, 8 hours max.

Heater 25 watt, keep at 80 degrees. The gradient lines will NOT be accurate.


Low-tech tank care Study this, and pay attention to the dry fertilization part.

u/holtzmanned · 3 pointsr/bettafish

Get a [check valve](Marina Plastic Check Valve for the sponge filter/air pump tubing so the water doesn’t go back into the pump.

You need an [API freshwater master test kit](API FRESHWATER MASTER TEST KIT 800-Test Freshwater Aquarium Water Master Test Kit to keep track of ammonia/nitrite/nitrate as you cycle your tank and throughout the life of your tank.

[Dr. Tim’s ammonium chloride](DrTim's Aquatics Ammonium chloride - 2 oz bottle is optional because you can buy pure ammonia for cheaper at the grocery store, but I used it. It’s an easy way to start and maintain your fishless cycle. Just add 4 drops per gallon of water to bring the ammonia up to 2ppm.

u/ed077 · 3 pointsr/bettafish

Maybe buy/order a test kit: API Freshwater Master Test Kit.

This will make it easier to keep an eye on your water quality.

u/angelinsilence · 3 pointsr/axolotls

Hi there! I have some aquariums at home too, though I don't have any lotls. I find r/aquariums is pretty reliable for advice when it comes to tank care.

If you want to do some reading about the nitrogen cycle, check here and here.
These and other websites can be found by Googling "aquarium nitrogen cycle" or something similar.

If you have a local fish shop (LFS) nearby, I would suggest going there and talking to employees about getting a tank started, as well as any equipment you may need.

In terms of testing your water parameters, I and many others in the fishkeeping community recommend the API Freshwater Master Test Kit, which can be found here on Amazon or at your local Petsmart or Petco.

When I started keeping fish, I really didn't have anyone around me that could give me pointers. The internet is a great resource. I would definitely recommend joining a couple forums related to aquariums, as well as making good use of Google.

Hopefully this at least gives you somewhere to start!

u/jickeydo · 3 pointsr/Aquariums

Dwarf Gourami Iridovirus is what you're thinking of. Dwarf gourami are notoriously unhealthy fish due to popularity and quality. However, there are signs and symptoms, and without knowing how the fish behaved prior to death there's no way to point conclusively to DGI.

OP, I do take issue with one thing you said. You can't seem to justify buying one of the fancy water testing kits? You can afford an aquarium and the things that go with it and you buy horribly inaccurate testing strips, but you can't be bothered to spend 27.19USD on a proper liquid test kit? Your water chemistry is as important to your fish as food is. You should know your water chemistry yourself, not take your water to a pet store for testing. It's the same as having a dog and saying "I can't justify that silly rabies shot" - if you're going to play, you have to pay. It's as simple as that. Period.

u/dinaaa · 3 pointsr/Fish101

/r/aquarium isnt even that good for really learning how to take care of fish. /r/PlantedTank is the best place. theyll tell you youre no good but then immediately list all the things you should do to become great!

  1. never do 100% water changes.

  2. only do like 10-15% every two weeks. (by this, i mean, siphon out 10-15% of the 20 gallons (so, approximately 2-3 gallons), dump it, and get the same amount of water that you just dumped, dechlorinate it using some sort of solution), either use a tank thermometer to measure the temp of the new water to make sure its as close to the existing tank water temp as possible, or simple wait for a few hours for the water to become room temp (unless you have a heater, then really try to get the water the same temp).
  3. water temp differences can really shock the fish. do not place them in an environment that is radically different from where they were before
  4. YOU DO NOT TAKE THE FISH OUT WHEN YOU DO A WATER "CHANGE" (just take it from the top, or carefully use a siphon, you will not bother them)
  5. changing the filter is basically death to the tank. as the person said above, you just got rid of the good bacteria that has taken months/years to build up. this bacteria performs chemical filtration which is the most important thing.
  6. always check the pH of the water you are adding. it should be around 7 if it is normal tap water.
  7. fish will be shocked by difference of temp, and difference of pH. you should monitor the tanks ph periodically too. you can buy the freshwater test kit from amazon for <$30. it seems like a lot, but if you are serious about fishkeeping (which is more difficult than keeping a cat or a dog, so you should be serious about it), then definitely spend the money to test your water.

    also, you should really understand the nitrogen cycle in the tank. here is a simple overview that is worthwhile learning. and get real plants. they help with maintaining the water and by providing a natural and stress free environment for the fish which leads to happier and healthier inhabitants.
u/katamari37 · 3 pointsr/bettafish

If it was me, I'd start by doing this:

  • Upgrade his tank to something larger, at least 3 gallons, although something like 5 is more preferable. Despite the common misconception that bettas need a minuscule amount of space to swim around, they actually prefer larger areas. It's like keeping a horse exclusively in its stable. ...Except underwater.

  • Invest in a filter (this filter requires a separate air pump but it's worth the extra cost) and a heater. Filtration and heating are necessities for bettas, and poor water quality is detrimental. Buying a water test kit will tell you everything you need to know about your fish's quality of water. If you can't afford the kit, your local fish store might be able to test the water for you if you bring a sample of it to them.

  • Make sure your plastic plant is soft enough that it can't rip his fins. A good way to check is to run pantyhose over the plant, and if the pantyhose rips, the plastic is too hard. Live or silk plants are normally the way to go.

    I hope this helps! I know it can get a little pricey but it's more than worth it to ensure Flameo's healthy and happy.
u/PhxSentry · 3 pointsr/Jarrariums

Cycling the jar is the culprit, i have a 5.5 gallon tank with just RCS for breeding. there was a lot of initial curves I had to over come. they will jump to the top if the water is really bad, (no oxygen, high ammonia, Nitrites, Nitrates) It took my filter on that aquarium some time to cycle but one day i went to test the water and everything came out perfect so give it some time.

When it comes to the established aquarium, I would take some of the gravel, or a little of the ceramic media from the filter (if you have some) and put that in the jar to help cycle it. A large majority or the beneficial bacteria is in the filter and substrate, not the water column. taking some of the gravel or filtration media, will speed up the process. I have done this a couple times with success, and I have friends who beg me to crack open my Eheims and give them some of the ceramic media :p.

As for the RCS, they will die no matter how perfect your tank is. My parameters are all right, temp is stable, tank is parasite free, and its only RCS, and every once in a while i will see a pink body at the bottom. I fear that online breeders are not keeping their tanks genetically diverse enough, i feel that in time, we will see weaker and weaker cherry shrimp simply due to extensive inbreeding. Dont be afraid to buy shrimp from multiple people to help keep your future tank stable and happy.

If you don't have one already, i HIGHLY suggest you invest in an API Master Test Kit, Amazon has them the cheapest i believe. It will last you quite a while. I use mine several times a week to test my tanks and jars. it will really help you see whats happening during the cycling process.

No matter what don't give up. I know people like to throw an entire jar together and get the their Fauna in there in day one, but this can be disastrous unless you are able to watch the container extremely close for the first couple weeks. Dont be a afraid to start fresh, let it cycle for a couple weeks and then ad your RCS. good luck!

u/gertzz · 3 pointsr/Aquariums

Yes you need to separate them. Here is a conversation about why they can’t be housed together.

Here you can read about the care requirements of an angel fish. The only fish I’ve ever owned is a betta so I can’t do much more on that subject.

Your current tank is a perfect place to permanently keep your betta. They will love having all that swimming space to themselves. If you really want tankmates you can consider getting snails or shrimp. r/bettafish is a great spot to get the specifics of betta care.

Again you absolutely have to get a filter. I got this sponge filter for my 5.5 gallon betta tank. With this you also need a pump and tubing but you probably already have that with the air pump you have.

You will also need to cycle your tank(s). Basically your fish are producing waste, and the filter is home to bacteria that eats this waste; since you don’t have a filter you need to grow this bacteria from scratch. Get a filter and a liquid test kit like that one. Test your water daily and do daily water changes. You can read about how to fish-in cycle here.

u/waleedwale1 · 2 pointsr/Aquariums

Go for a 10 gallon. Get a decent heater, I like this one,
The 50 watt should be fine.
As for a filter, get this,
And put this inside the filter to reduce nitrates and to get the clearest water you will ever see. Look at the reviews,
As for a thermometer,
I have the same thing ad trust it inside my saltwater tank and the battery has yet to run out for about 2 months. Gravel is your choice an depends on the look you want for your tank. I personally like sand in white, black, or in natural sand color. The white really brightens up your tank. You should probably get a few easy lowlight plants like java fern, a moss ball, and java moss. Fishless cycling is highly recommended and this is a pretty good test kit,
It lasts a while. When starting the cycle, use fish food in a mesh bag or a piece of deli shrimp. It will produce ammonia. At this point start testing for ammonia and nitrites. Web the ammonia goes down, start testing nitrItes and nitrAtes. When nitrites go to 0, test everything for 2 days and do a water change to bring nitrAtes down. Your tank is ready for fish when you have 0 ammonia, 0 nitrItes and under 40 ppm of nitrAtes. Don't use any cycling products your LFS recommends. Most of them don't work. As for stocking, you can do a male Betta with an amano or bamboo shrimp, or a male Betta with a few pygymi cories. As for algae, 2 nerite snails should do the trick. Don't get a pleco. Most LFS's will tell you that they will keep your tank clean. They grow to over a food and I've seen this happen many times. They are also pooping machines. A clown pleco is possible if your tank has drift wood. Have a weekly water change schedule of 20%. Good luck!

u/Limosa · 2 pointsr/Aquariums

Hmm, that's weird, platies shouldn't be that aggressive. A breeder net is small and will likely stress the gourami even further. Clamped fins are an indication that the fish isn't feeling well. Does it have a fuzzy lesion on the head? It's difficult to see from this pic. When did it stop eating? It's skinny.

Poor water quality could be the cause. Platies are hardy fish, so they won't show symptoms as early as the gourami does. How often do you do water changes? Do you treat the water you add?

Bring a sample of your water to Petsmart, they can test the water for you. Ask if they can test pH, NH3/NH4 (ammonia), NO2 (nitrite) and NO3 (nitrate). You'll want the ammonia and nitrite to be 0, and the nitrate to be <20 ppm. Ask them to write down the values. Liquid tests are more accurate than strips. For $22 you can get an API test kit from Amazon. Lots of people around the sub use it.

Overeating can lead to bloating. Flakes generally aren't high quality food, but they wouldn't cause this. Try to find high quality pellets as a staple, and supplement that with live or frozen foods. Feed as much as your fish eat in a minute or so.

A 20g with a dwarf gourami and 8 platies isn't overstocked, so don't worry about that.

u/alcimedes · 2 pointsr/Aquariums

Most people probably have one, but it's a good enough price I thought I'd share.

Appears to be the lowest price it's been on Amazon in over a year.

u/Shadowpriest · 2 pointsr/Aquariums

I would suggest the API Freshwater Master Test Kit versus any paper/litmus test strips for determining water quality and parameters.

If you're going for a true nano tank, here are some fish to consider. I have betta and shrimp tanks and on that list my personal favorites (besides the ones I have) are Ember Tetras and Chili Rasboras.

If you're looking for plants and aren't sure of the varieties, colors, difficulty and requirements, this may be a good place to start.

If you're going for a planted tank, I'd suggest with simple low light plants like Anubias, Java ferns, and Marimo moss ball that are easy to care for. If you want simple aesthetics, I'd suggest a monochrome sand substrate and a simple piece of driftwood you can attach the plants to.

If you'd like ideas for how you want your tank to look, you can check out u/Plantedtank for setups.

u/Ottoblock · 2 pointsr/Aquariums

Test kit:

I don't know what to suggest with the thermometers, whichever one seems to have the most reliable ratings.

u/JustaBabyApe · 2 pointsr/bettafish

I apologize if my post came off snarky, but bettas are a very misunderstood breed. They belong in a min. 5 gallon tank. I've seen others raise in something as small as a 3 gallon tank, but it was not worth the maintenance they had to keep up on. Bettas do best in 78-80 degree water, so a heater and thermometer is mandatory. You want a filtration system, but you want to be careful with the current as something too strong will stress them out. Bettas are not the best swimmers because of the weight of their fins, so most bettas will began to bite them off to lessen the load. As others have suggested, you want to test the water, either by bringing samples to your lfs, are buying a kit, which I prefer. You will also want to cycle your tank to avoid ammonia spikes. I've added links to some helpful things including illnesses so you may be able to diagnose with a little research.

Betta illnesses

Nitrogen cycle

Betta fish care

Great filter with adjustable flow

Heater 100w

Edit : api test kit

Great for establishing a new tank

Dechlorinate, detoxify

u/Virginia_Trek · 2 pointsr/Aquariums there is a lot wrong here. I'll try to make it simple as to not overload you with information, and if you have further questions, please let me know and I'll expand.

  1. Check the seals and assure that the tank is not leaking or going to leak. A tank in this shape is high risk. Bubbles in the silicon joints are a bad sign. Actual leaks are a worse sign.

  2. The tank needs to be cleaned. The filter, filter material (DO NOT THROW OUT! RINSE AND SQUEEZE IN BUCKET OF TANK WATER NOT TAP WATER), hood, and probably under the substrate should be cleaned. The walls should be scrubbed of algae and grime. If you do not wish to totally empty the tank and clean by hand, i recommend scrubbing the glass with a clean sponge or aquarium cleaning brush. I recommend soaking the filter parts in tap water and cleaning with a sponge. As for the substrate (the gravel), you will need a siphon/aquarium vacuum to get under it. There is bound to be loads of fish poo and particulates. The hood can be cleaned with wet paper towels or sponges.

  3. A series of water changes should be performed. It is tempting to do a huge one, but depending on how bad the tank is, a series of 10-20% changes may be the safest route. You will need to buy a test kit (i recommend the API kit) to check the parameters. The levels you absolutely need to know: ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, ph.

    I've never kept an oscar before, but i believe ~7.2-7.6 ph is optimal. For all fish, 0ppm ammonia, 0ppm nitrites, and probably 0-30ppm nitrates are good numbers. Eventually these will be stable and you will only need to do probably one 25% change weekly. This takes about 10-30 minutes depending on your tools and proximity to a water source.

    I would say this is a 75g, but honestly, i suck at guessing. Dimensions would clear it right up. The two plecos will eventually outgrow it, and may have already. They will need most likely a 120g+ tank. The oscar should be happy here. Absolutely do not pay someone to clean and maintain the tank. It is a lot of work up front, but it will be so much cheaper and easier for you. I have 3 tanks (2.5g, 20g, and 75g) and i spend maybe 40 minutes a week total. I spend 20 minutes a week on my 75 and it is mostly water changes.


    In addition, the plecos probably need driftwood or something equivalent to suck on to. Currently the atat is the only thing they have in the tank and that is not making them happy.

    Things you must buy bare minimum to ensure livable water quality:

  4. Water parameter testing kit. I strongly recommend the API master test kit

  5. SeaChem Prime is by a long shot the best water conditioner. Removes chlorine, and temporarily detoxifies ammonia and nitrites for up to 48hrs.

  6. Siphon for cleaning and removing water for changes. Most will work, but you need a fairly large one for a tank this size. This one will be fine.
u/mobile_monster_ · 2 pointsr/Aquariums
u/Wemmsie · 2 pointsr/bettafish

I think the transparency of his fins are a bit deceiving, but the curling of the fins may be caused by poor water quality OR it may just be because he has some rosetail in him.

Are you able to test ammonia, kh, ph, nitrates and nitrites? I highly suggest investing in a water testing kit. The API test kit will be the best $20 you will ever spend for your fish. If you get the kit, I also suggest adding some 5mL pipettes for much safer and convenient water testing.

u/NoGimmicks · 2 pointsr/Aquariums

New person here replying.

  1. Use clear ammonia. No scented or colored ones. Ammonia is usually sold in a 10% ammonia 90% water sort of solution. You probably won't be able to find 100% ammonia. You don't need it anyway. All the cycling guides assume the common household ammonia.

  2. I believe Bio-Spira is only for saltwater tanks. My cousin used a nutrafin (I think) when he did his first tank, I don't think it did anything. Skip the bottled bacteria.

  3. The amount of ammonia you need to add varies on the size of your tank, but the time between redosing is usually about every other day. On the initial dosing you want to get the ammonia in your tank to read about 3 ppm. No more then 4 ppm though. If you hit more then 4 ppm do a large water change to lower it. You want to redose the ammonia when it gets down to 1 ppm, which should take about 2 days. So if you dose on a Friday and come back Sunday night or Monday morning I think you'll be fine.

  4. Once your tank is cycled, you should be doing weekly water changes of about 20%. That is the general rule, but it can change depending on your stock (fish) and filtration. Here's a quick rundown of how the cycle works in a fully cycled tank:

    a. Fish eat foot, produce poop, and poop has ammonia in it. Ammonia is bad.

    b. Bacteria in your tank will consume the ammonia, but as a byproduct produce NitrItes. Which are also bad for fish.

    c. Another bacteria is going to consume the NitrItes, but as a byproduct produces NitrAtes. NitrAtes are tolerated a lot better by fish then Ammonia or NitrItes. Fish can handle about 40ppm of NitrAtes safely.

    Therefore, when your nitrAtes hit 40ppm you should be doing a water change. If you have great filtration, lots of plants, little fish, it may take you 2 weeks to hit that number. Your weekly water changes would only have to be done bi-weekly. If you have "ok" filtration, messy fish and not a lot of plants, it may only take 5 days.

    Daily testing after your tank is cycled is still required to see how long it takes your tank to go over 40 ppm Nitrates. AND you still need to test afterwards to make sure the amount of water you changed is enough to lower the Nitrates to a safe level. If 20% isn't enough, then you may need to do 35% weekly water changes. It really depends on your setup. We can't know for sure until your tank has been fully set up.

    As far as how to do water changes, you should really invest in a water changer. It hooks up to your faucet and lets you pour water directly into the tank. Way easier then using numerous jugs or buckets. Regarding temperature and dechlorinator, you should just "eyeball" the temp with your hand. You are doing a 20%-35% water change, so the temperature shouldn't be swinging more then 1 or 2 degrees. Your fish should be able to handle it. I would suggest doing the water change directly into the tank and then dosing with the dechlorinator for the full amount of water in the tank. Ex. If your tank is 55 gallons, but your only changing about 15 gallons or so, you should dose the tank for all 55 gallons. Dechlorinator is fairly cheap, so while it does waste a bit, its probably not worth your time to be doing 5 gallon buckets at a time and waiting. Your fish will be absolutly fine with chlorinated water for a few minutes. It's not an instant death. Just get it done within half an hour of adding in the new water.

    Buy this:
    It's the API master test kit. Pretty much the standard in water testing. Don't get any paper strips, they suck. Your LFS should carry them if you can't order online or want them fast.

    You should also get this:

    It makes water changes SO much easier. Suck water out of the tank directly into your sink, and refill directly from faucet to tank. Such a time saver. There are other brands and lengths, so you may want to double check what you need/like first before ordering. LFS will carry this, but a lot more expensive IME. Might want to order this online and do it the hard way while you wait.
u/Valravn_Ulfr · 2 pointsr/Goldfish

They look like it might be ich. Have they been puffing their gills out or rubbing on things? Are they darting back and forth? You could check out Goldfish Emergency and see if the symptoms match. Sometimes anti-ich medicine won't work if you don't clean the tank thoroughly enough.

Also, I can tell you that you have too many fish in there. That might be okay for the fantails, but the comets put you over capacity. Goldies also like water between 65-75 degrees Fahrenheit, so if you can try and lower the temperature a bit slowly. Only a degree every few hours.

In addition, are you checking amonia, nitrites, nitrates, and pH? If not, you need to go and get a tester kit. i also strongly reccomend a GH & KH test kit as well as your goldies will be much happier with proper water hardness and if they are sick it will also help them heal more quickly.

u/Never_Again34 · 2 pointsr/Aquariums

Ah, I'm not the most experienced person who could be advising you, but i can help with the basics!
First, it is recommended that you add some sort of "cap' to the soil, this meaning that you put some gravel or sand of some sort over the soil. Without the cap, you would have a very muddy bottom of the tank, and you wouldn't be able to see through the water very well. As for what type of soil to use, to be completely safe, nothing with added fertilizers, I've heard people use Miracle Grow organic gardening soil before.

As for the driftwood, if you wanted to break a branch off of something to put into the tank, it would most likely float, and depending on the size, it could take from a few weeks, to a year or more (There are ways of making it sink though). If found already waterlogged, and wasn't near a source of salt water, then it would be quicker.
If you find a piece you like , boil it for a while if small enough, or let it sit in the bath in hot water for a few days. Don't forget to change the water in the tub regularly to remove the tannis ( otherwise it would leak from the log, and turn your whole tank brownish). As for removing any gnarly bacteria, or parasites, i would imagine that you would simply have to let it dry out for a while before putting it in the tank, of course if you boiled it, there wouldn't be a need for that.

As for cycling, you should go get yourself a test kit if you don't already. I'd recomend an
Api Freshwater Master Test Kit You will know when you are done with cycling, when you have 0 Ammonia, 0 Nitrites, and from 0-10 Nitrates. During this time, you may get some algae blooms or other things that may make you think that your tank is hypothetically falling apart, these are all part of cycling.

For lighting, maybe 3-4.5 Watts of lighting per gallon, but it really depends on what you want to grow in the tank, and how deep it is.

Hope this helps, I haven't done much research into Chiclids, sorry!

Edit: Almost forgot, it may be beneficial to diffuse Co2 into the water, either by a rather large DIY system, or a rather expensive professional system. If you are interested I can further explain a DIY setup

u/Mocha_Shakea_Khan · 2 pointsr/bettafish

I'm sorry your betta passed. This test kit has the most important tests you'll need. It's on sale for $20 so i'd scoop it up real fast if I were you.

u/smallwhitegirl · 2 pointsr/bettafish

aquarium cycling is the buildup of bacteria that convert ammonia and nitrite (poisonous) into non toxic nitrate. The bacteria mainly live in your filter media that you do not have because you don't have a filter. The nitrogen cycle is the single most important part about fish keeping. Daily water changes can be stressful. Do you keep him in the tank while changing the water or cup him? Sponge filters are good filter because they have an adjustable flow, but any filter appropriately sized for your tank can be baffled (slowing rate of water output). Whatever filter you get remove any carbon and replace it with biomedia such as seachem matrix or ceramic rings. How many gallons is your tank? Bettas need at least 2.5 gallons but the bigger the better because it will help keep your parameters stable. Also test strips are not that accurate so I would highly suggest getting the liquid test kit. Here are the links for everything I recommend. I hope your guy starts healing soon! Fin rot's best treatment is clean warm water. Maybe lay off the medicines for now because they can be harsh on their organs.

u/LicianDragon · 2 pointsr/Aquariums

Please provide more information for your tank. We need size, number of fish, species of fish, and your water parameters (testing with a liquid test kit by API not paper strips those are useless). If you can, please also test for GH and KH values as well. You have plants so at night their respiration flips so they take in oxygen and put off carbon dioxide. This can crash an imbalanced tank and cause drastic daily changes in your pH.

Snails themselves will not harm a fish but in very high numbers will begin to have a significant effect on your bioload and can affect your ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate.

What species of fish were you mixing with goldfish? It's generally not recommended because goldfish require colder temperatures than most other fish and put off far too much ammonia for them to handle.

Staying at the surface indicates stress. If they're also gulping water at the surface then you have an oxygen deprivation issue. Did you suddenly add more fish than normal? It's possible your tank was already maxed out for bioload and the extra fish caused it to crash. Adding to many fish at once can also cause problems as your current bacteria colony needs to adjust to the higher amount of waste being produced.

I have never come across a product that claimed to rid a tank of nitrates that worked. At best, they can prevent more nitrates from being produced (such as seachem purigen) but they're not cure-alls.

At the very least, do a 50% water change and see if they improve. Get the test kits I mentioned ASAP and start testing your water on a weekly basis. You can do hundreds of tests with a single kit so they're actually less expensive than paper strips in the long run.

API Master Test Kit.

GH and KH test kit.

u/rmarkham · 2 pointsr/pics
u/Maio3o · 2 pointsr/bettafish

Here are two test kits I found online, they're not that cheap. But they're a necessity for the hobby.

Just change the water as often as you can until you can save enough for a test kit. You have to make sure the water is clean so his fins don't get infected.

u/Iboughta75g4myBetta · 2 pointsr/Aquariums

Unfortunately, test strips are notoriously inaccurate and everybody (serious fish keepers) STRONGLY RECOMMEND using the API liquid Master Test Kit:
API FRESHWATER MASTER TEST KIT 800-Test Freshwater Aquarium Water Master Test Kit
It really is the only reliable way to make SURE your water parameters are on point. Are you able to get one? It's well worth the price... I think u get something like 600 tests out of it. I have 7 betta/community tanks running and use nothing but this test kit. It never lets me down and I always KNOW the readings are accurate so my fishies are safe🤗.

Did u inspect your heater for any leaks or cracks? Sometimes they "break" and sort of shock the shit out fish and that can certainly be deadly after awhile. I've read about that happening and even tho people put their hand in the tanks, they didn't feel it...but the fish did☹️.

u/Tanichthys · 2 pointsr/Aquariums

Reading your other posts it seems you already have fish in your tank, and quite a few, far more than I would have suggested starting with. You're going to need to do daily large water changes of around 50% or so.

I don't know if this shows up differently to you than me (I'm in Europe, not the US), but Amazon India has it for 2720 rupees with free delivery.

ETA: you can also get an ammonia kit for just under 1000, and a nitrite kit for 776. If budget is a real concern those are the ones you need to get first.

u/brokendollparts · 2 pointsr/bettafish

The rubbernose can get huge and will eventually need a much larger tank. They can also become aggressive as adults and can be a threat to the betta. I'd separate them.

With the recently added fish, your parameters might be off. If you don't have a testing kit already, I recommend the api master kit and test asap.

edit: just saw your ich comment - a salt bath and heat are the best remedies for ich. Also make sure your water is super clean with frequent water changes.

u/ErrantWhimsy · 2 pointsr/bettafish

Some bettas are really picky like that. I had one who would only eat blood worms, which is bad for them, but he lived for over two years. When you get a new fish, start him out on only the pellets and see if that helps.

Buy a test kit, the toxicity levels in your tank are very important to monitor! If you were to post about your sick fish on any other forum, the first thing you would have been asked about was your ammonia levels.

They make paper strips that measure everything that aren't incredibly accurate, but will give you a decent idea. To be very accurate, you want the kit that comes with dropper bottles and test tubes. Like this.

The nitrogen cycle goes like this: Biological waste breaks down. This includes old food, fish waste, or bits of live plants. Then bacteria take that waste and turn it into Ammonia, which is highly toxic. You do not want any ammonia in your tank (staying in that form), ever.

Next, a different kind of bacteria breaks that down into Nitrite. This is still harmful to fish, but less so than pure Ammonia. Large amounts of this for long periods of time will end up stressing your fish and probably making it sick.

Finally, the Nitrite is broken down into Nitrate. This is okay, in small levels, for fish to be living in.

The reason we do water changes is to keep Ammonia and Nitrites from building up. Fresh water should have zero levels of both, so it just keeps your fish safer.

However, if you change too much water or clean your gravel too thoroughly, you will kill off the good nitrifying bacteria. Some companies make bottles of bacteria to help prevent this, but a lot of aquarists question their functionality.

u/velo443 · 2 pointsr/aquarium

Relax, I think you're ok. The "chemical" look on the water surface is probably just bio-film. See this thread for suggestions:

Have you tested your water's pH, ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates? If not, get a test kit like this: Post your results here for advice. But I'm guessing that two 50% water changes every week is more than you need. You can probably cut that back to once a week or once every two weeks. That's assuming your levels are ok and your filter is working as it should.

Based on your photos, I'm guessing your tank is pretty new? The spots of algae on the rocks look like the beginning algae I've seen in newer aquariums. Same for the brown spots on the anubias. Treating your tank with Flourish Excel might help with the algae: Or, if your water chemistry tests come back ok, you can get a small shrimp or two to help clean up the algae. You want to make sure your water chemistry is ok for shrimp. Do a little research before you buy any. You don't say how big your tank is, but it can probably take a small shrimp or two.

u/WritingLetter2Gov · 2 pointsr/Fish

Ah! That's alright! A lot of the people at pet stores are completely clueless about how fish need to be taken care of and give out information that is completely false. Almost everyone who gets into this hobby has that same experience at first. It's actually fantastic that you're asking questions! Most people only learn about the nitrogen cycle when they come to the aquarium subreddits because their fish is dying :( You're way ahead to the average new fish keeper!

So the nitrogen cycle is the process in which good aquarium bacteria take your fish's poop and other waste in the form of Ammonia and turn it from poison to stuff that is ok for your fish. Once the cycle starts, bacteria will turn the Ammonia to Nitrite to Nitrate. Ammonia and Nitrites are poison to your fish and any level over 0ppm is considered dangerous. Nitrates are safer, you can have up to 20ppm (some hobbyists say even up to 40ppm) before they are dangerous to your fish. Your moss balls will help eat up the nitrates, but they could still get out of control if there's too much waste in the tank.

To figure out how your tank is doing, getting a liquid test kit like this one is a really good idea. A lot of stores sell test strips as well, but they are super expensive compared to the liquid tests and notoriously inaccurate. Plus the liquid kit is good for ~800 tests, and the strips only come in packs of 10-12. :P

I know when I first started keeping fish last November, it was so confusing for me. /r/aquariums has a really nice write up on how to start you tank's Nitrogen Cycle in their sidebar that helped me get my brain around it. There's actually a little bit of work involved in getting the cycle started, but once you have it established, you will probably only need to do small (~30% of the water in your aquarium) water changes once every week or so. It makes keeping fish soooo much easier.

To get it started, you'll probably want to do a "fish-in" cycle. It's a little harder than cycling without a fish, but it's worth it. The best thing you can do to get the cycle started is to set up your filter so there are lots of places for the good bacteria to live and grow. A lot of people will keep a sponge in there or special filter media (like this stuff but there's a bunch of different brands) to get as much surface area as possible for the bacteria to grow. You won't need to buy filter replacements like pet stores claim you need to. Just rinse your filter stuff off in old tank water every couple weeks and return it to your filter. Another option is sponge filter (which I really recommend), all you need is an airline and pump to run it.

Once you've good a good home for your bacteria planned, it's mostly just taking care of your fish as normal and waiting until the cycle is fully established. Feed your fish like you always do, and check how the ammonia/nitrites/nitrates are doing every day. If the ammonia or Nitrites are above 0ppm or the nitrates are above 20-40ppm, just do a ~30% water change on your tank. Usually this means doing a small water change once per day for the 2-3 weeks it takes for the bacteria to establish themselves. :)

As for feeding your betta, there's a couple different things to keep in mind that will help you figure out how much to feed her. If you watch the area slightly below/behind her gills, you can watch to see if she has eaten enough. Usually that area will become more rounded out when she's full. You can also look at that area to see if she is constipated, which is really common for betta fish. If she gets constipated, you can skip a day of feeding her (most people will do this once per week, it's not bad for them), try changing food brands (some fish have an easier time with flakes) or giving her a little bit of a pea (you can soak it in garlic if she doesn't want to eat it). The other rule of thumb is don't feed food that she is going to waste. You can give her a little food and if she eats it, give her more. But once she starts ignoring the food or if it sinks to the bottom, that's too much food (a lot of people will use a turkey baster to suck out any left over food to keep the tank clean). It can take a little while to figure out how much food she needs, especially since she's growing, but it should become more clear within a couple weeks :)

I'm super jealous that you're starting out a tank with a girl betta, I recommend you look into doing a betta sorority once you e got your cycle set up! They're so cool and I probably won't be able to set one up until after my male betta fish passes.

u/Inlikealamb · 2 pointsr/Goldfish
  1. The guy with the black markings is called a Ranchu.
  2. Don't add anything else to the tank as you really want a 120 liter tank or so for two fully grown fancy goldfish.
  3. Water changes should be done as often as is reasonable and you should use a water test kit of some kind. (Even the cheap strips are better than nothing)
  4. Goldfish are filthy and filters like to overestimate their effectiveness so I would suggest picking up a sponge filter and hooking it up to the air pump instead of the bubble wand to add extra filtration and to give you two filters so if one fails you don't have zero filtration while you replace the other one.
u/whiteblankpage2011 · 2 pointsr/bettafish

I read all the comments of your last few posts. So be ready, this will be a LONG reply.

  1. First, read the wiki at the top of the front page. Not once, but like 10x. Get VERY familiar with it. In general, there are a LOT of basic things you don't know about fish. That's ok, but please try to learn on your own a bit before asking people for help.

  2. Learn how to do fish-in cycling. Your tank will take MULTIPLE weeks to cycle, until then you will need to keep up with DAILY water changes, as explained in the TIFU post I linked above.

    2.1) Buy an [API freshwater test kit] ( The parameters everyone talks about are ammonia/nitrites/nitrates. Once again, this info is explained in the wiki on the front page of this subreddit.

  3. Your fish has a small cut on its face. How can you help him? CLEAN WATER through daily water changes. Remove or sand down (use a piece of sand paper from home depot) sharp decorations. Replace fake plastic plants with silk ones.

  4. From what I understand, your betta has difficulty breathing and staying up right, he lays at the bottom and/or leans against objects/walls. He has a hard time coming up to eat food. Does that sound familiar? If so, he has [swim bladder disorder, SBD for short] ( Once again, the wiki at the top of this subreddit has ALL the info you need about causes and treatment. SBD may never resolve itself or it might take 6 months to clear up. It sucks, I know.

  5. Straight from the wiki: "The swim bladder can sometimes be affected by bloat or constipation, so fasting can help. Fast you fish for 3 days. Do not feed peas; they can be harmful in the long run. If this does not work, sometimes the only solution is time for the swim bladder to heal, which can take up to 6 months. Look into modifying your betta's environment to support recovery. For example, if he is sinking, provide platforms near the surface and lower the water level so he does not overexert himself trying to surface." Add betta hammocks, tall plants that offer him resting spots near the surface.

    Please let me know if you have any questions.
u/saboom · 2 pointsr/fishtank

You could get something like this to test all your water parameters, it is more accurate than the strips. Make sure you shake the nitrate test bottles really well like the instructions say. Anytime your fish are sick the first thing to look at is water parameters, after that is ruled out you can move on to other things.

u/jynnjynn · 2 pointsr/Aquariums

> This weekend me and my SO are getting a 50g

That is great.
Definitely do look up fish-in cycling, as you'll need to do it for the 50,

If you do know anyone who already has an established tank, getting some used filter media from them will greatly help in getting yours established. (make sure to keep it wet with tank water from their tank during transport so the bacteria don't die)

If you don't have a test kit, consider picking one of those up as well. The API master test kit is great, has everything you'll need, is more accurate, and will last way longer than the strips, making it more economical in the long run. The strips are less hassle to use, however.

Id recommend seachem prime as your water conditioner if you'll be fish-in cycling as it has additives that help neutralize ammonia.

Standard 10g is 13" high, 20" long, and 11" deep.
5.5g is 11"high, 17"long, 9"deep
that may help you positively identify it.

u/mellor21 · 2 pointsr/Aquariums

So the one thing that sticks out is that your test kit doesn't read ammonia. Once you're about to run out of strips, do yourself a favor and buy api's liquid test kit. You'll get more tests for your dollar.

Nevertheless, it's hard to say what killed them without more info. Did they have strange marks on them? Were they acting weird before they died? This long after the fact it's just a guessing game.

But I can say, unless they were wild caught barbs and tetra (pretty unlikely), the hardness was not the problem.

u/TheLastZergling · 2 pointsr/PlantedTank

Buy this best test kit ever :)

u/Oreosmooshy · 2 pointsr/bettafish

The best thing to seed a new tank with is some filter media - putting in a decoration from a cycled tank is better than nothing, but it won't help a whole ton since most of the bacteria lives in the filter.

You really need to be able to test for ammonia yourself in order to do cycling (since you need to measure out the correct ppm when you're dosing the ammonia). If I were you I'd get a test kit like so. Test strips aren't super accurate and they're more expensive in the long run, plus not being able to test for ammonia is problematic. Spending a month or two constantly taking samples to and from the store would be frustrating.

u/Barbary · 2 pointsr/Aquariums

This ( is the kit I meant in the previous post. It's like $30 in stores but a lot cheaper on Amazon (especially with prime if you have it). I also recommend Seachem Prime for conditioning the water, many advanced aquarists use it (try not to smell it because it is absolutely foul). It is also common in pet stores

u/Zevyn · 2 pointsr/Aquariums

Pick up an API Master Test Kit from Amazon. You'll pay around $35 if you buy it from a pet store, so Amazon is a good deal. You really only need to worry about ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and PH with easy tropical fish and the master kit has all of those. The rest doesn't matter all that much in my opinion for a beginner housing relatively hardy tropical fish, so don't sweat them.

I test during a cycle and then again only after I add new stock, often skipping PH since it's been 7.6 tap and tank since the dawn of time in my house. I don't test the water other than that, but I change 40% or so of my tanks water every weekend.

If you properly acclimate fish, then the PH shouldn't matter so long as you keep it stable in your tank thereafter. Fish can adapt to the new value easily. By drip acclimating or just adding a cup of your tank water every 5 minutes or so you're slowly changing the PH value over time so you don't shock them.

Since it appears you are not doing a fishless cycle with an external source of ammonia, you should probably get the fish in there sooner than later. The water won't be safe for them, so you're going to want to change out 5 gallons of water a day and treat it with your water conditioner, which will make the water safe for about 24 hours. The guppies will provide a food source for the bacteria that will grow in reaction to the ammonia source, eventually completing the nitrogen cycle. After it cycles around 4-6 weeks, then you can start changing water out once a week or so and slowly add more stock. If you don't want to do all those water changes, then you should consider doing a fishless cycle, which has some benefits: it requires less work and the bacteria levels for your biological filter will be boosted where you can add all of the fish you want at one time, rather than a couple of them every week or two.

u/c8lou · 2 pointsr/betta

Hi! it's okay, a lot of us have been there! I think it's awesome you're taking care of the little guy. I'm about to give you a whole bunch of information:

  1. White tips are fin regrowth. If you're seeing regrowth, it means you've improved his conditions from whatever they were previously and he's only going to get more pretty. Congrats!

  2. As per above, I would ease up with medicating. This statement is going to cause you some stress going forward and I apologize in advance but: sometimes overmedicating can be harmful too. AQ salt and melafix can be rough on a betta so you want to use them sparingly.

  3. In absence of a filter, your aquarium isn't cycled. There's info sheets kicking around, but for purposes of the rest of my post, filters are important because they house the bacteria that turns fish waste (ammonia) into nitrites, and then those nitrites into nitrates. This is important because ammonia and nitrites at any level are harmful to fish, whereas nitrates are fine up to a certain points, and plants will 'eat' nitrates and reduce them. Without the bacteria cycle, your fish's waste just stays as ammonia and hurts them.

  4. In terms of fish health, ammonia will lead to fin rot and also ammonia burns on their gills. So, I would highly recommend buying the following two products: API Master Test Kit and Seachem Prime. These two product are your best friends in ammonia control. The test kit will help you monitor ammonia and nitrites until your bacteria establishes, and seachem prime is something you can add to neutralize ammonia for a period of 24 hours. It's also a dechlorinator, so you should put it in any new water you're putting in the tank. Seachem Prime is one of the best things to have on hand when keeping fish.

  5. Until you get your filter running and your cycle established, you're going to have to keep doing fairly frequent water changes. These should be enough to keep his fins on their route to recovery without any of the medicine, but keep an eye on him. I would say that the black on the tips is part of his natural colouring, by the way. Very pretty fish!

    Eventually, you will have an established bacteria cycle and will only have to change some of the water once a week. Until then, you need a test kit to monitor ammonia levels with the aim of keeping them at zero either with water changes or the Seachem Prime. Another recommendation I'll make outside of your questions and concerns is making sure to get a thermometer to watch that the temperature stays stable. Unfortunately, 2.5 gallons is a small volume of water in terms of temperature regulation, and swings in temperature can be harmful to their swim bladders. A thermometer will let you keep an eye on that. Ideally his temp would be as steady as possible between 78-80F.
    Also, I'm not sure what your method is for water changes, but if you can find a way to do it while leaving him in the tank, it would be less stressful for him. Stress can weaken their immune systems and make them more susceptible to various illnesses.
u/goofyasiankid · 2 pointsr/Aquariums

Yes- that works. A test kit or a local pet store who will test your water for you. You will see an ammonia spike; this is normal. What you are looking for is when the ammonia drops back down to 0. At that point, your filtration has the necessary bacteria buildup to turn ammonia into nitrates.

u/Mbrands95 · 2 pointsr/Aquariums

I believe that if you take a sample of your tank water to any fish store they would test it for free or a small charge. Keep your eyes peeled for a master test kit like this. As for the platies and mollies, you can ask them to take them off your hands and you might even get some store credit. If you find a fish shop that can do this for you, it will be worth the long drive.

To get rid of snails you can you a piece of lettuce in you tank and take it out late at night. It will be covered in snails when you remove it.

u/King_oftheRumbaBeat · 2 pointsr/bettafish

So, if the tank is only a week or so old it is definitely not cycled yet, which means if you want to ensure Ruby's health and survival you have some homework to do regarding a fish-in cycle. You can find information on that Here. What it boils down to is minimizing feeding and doing frequent water changes to keep ammonia and nitrites from reaching a concentration that is too stressful and/or lethal for your fish. It looks like the tank is a decent size, so it could take a while for levels to become too too dangerous. Also, betta are pretty resilient for cycling because they can also take oxygen directly from the air. But any amount of ammonia or nitrite is stressful, which can increase susceptibility to disease, and you may start to notice irritation/inflammation of the gills. A freshwater parameter testing kit can be found here. In my opinion this is essential for any fishkeeper, not only for cycling but also for identifying potential problems down the line. Good luck and enjoy your fishie =)

u/anonymoose_octopus · 2 pointsr/bettafish

Okay, if I'm guessing correctly, I'd say your tank isn't cycled. With a fish-in cycle, you're going to to need to either have the right products to help you along, or you're going to have to do daily/every other day water changes, to protect your fish.

What test kit are you using? Keep in mind that test strips are highly inaccurate and shouldn't be counted on. Anyone in the fish hobby will tell you that the API Freshwater Master Test Kit is a MUST HAVE, especially for fish-in cycling. You'll need to test daily to make sure the ammonia levels don't become toxic to your betta.

Here are my list of recommendations:

  1. Seachem Prime, as a water conditioner and ammonia detoxifier. It's the best of the best. You can find it at most pet stores, or online. I personally use Microbe-Lift XTreme as a water conditioner, but I have Prime as well. I started my cycle with MLXT and I just felt more comfortable continuing with it. I've cycled in a few weeks, and it's a great alternative to Prime, IMO.
  2. Tetra Safe Start Plus. I'd recommend the 1.69 oz bottle for your size tank. You'll want this to speed up your cycling process to get there as quickly as possible. You dump the whole bottle in for your tank size and refrain from water changing for at least a week to let the BB (that's bottled bacteria) colony grow. Make sure you add this 24 hours AFTER you add any water conditioner to his tank, though. If you add it before then, the BB will die. If your levels get dangerous for your fish, dose Prime to detoxify the levels.
  3. API Freshwater Master Test Kit. Again, this is a must have, and it's cheaper than the strips anyway in the long run (you get something like 800 tests out of this kit, instead of 4-5 for the strips).

    Until you get all of the necessary products to properly and safely cycle your tank, you'll need to do daily water changes of 20-30%. Otherwise the ammonia could build up in your tank and kill your fish. Even levels of 0.25 ppm is dangerous.

    I know this is overwhelming, but if you have ANY questions at all you can free feel to either post here or PM me.

    Also, is an EXCELLENT source of information on all things fish. They're an extremely active forum that has helped complete newbs like myself out when I needed help most. I'd highly recommend doing more research on the nitrogen cycle and asking for help there.

    EDIT: I'm sorry, I didn't even see your last question. Oops. I got my plants from Petco/Petsmart, but has great plants that arrive in excellent condition, from what I've heard and read.
u/FutureThr0waway · 2 pointsr/bettafish

Hi there! You've probably already seen the info sheet stickied here, but also this page about the nitrogen cycle was super-helpful for me, personally. A filter is good, but it's much better if you get your tank's cycle all set up and running properly. Right now, the filter is only going to pull out debris mechanically from the water; the nitrogen cycle will help biologically remove toxins from your water column, mainly ammonia from waste and such, that can hurt Finley's quality of life.

I don't have experience with your specific filter, although as a general rule, filters included with tanks aren't always ideal... for a 3.5gal, filters like this one are pretty well-reviewed. I have used it myself on a 5.5gal, although you might want to baffle it a bit so the flow doesn't blow Finley around the tank; a sponge can be used here, or something fancier.

You'll probably want to complete a fish-in cycle to give Finley the best possible environment. As far as filter material (you can see it on the image in that filter I linked), you'll want both mechanical and biological filter media (where you beneficial bacteria colony will live). Some people also use chemical filtration, like carbon inserts, but mechanical/biological is fine for a nano tank.

Fish-in cycling is not preferable, but totally doable. I've done it, you just have to really stay on top of water changes/parameters to make sure Finley's home doesn't get too toxic for him while you're starting your cycle. I swear by Tetra SafeStart+, never had a problem kick-starting a cycle with it, but not everyone has good experiences with "bottled bacteria." Do you have a water-testing kit? This one is the most accurate/popular, I think.

I hope this helps! I was very confused in the beginning, myself, and slowly learned how everything worked with help from this sub. Let us know what else you need help with! :)

u/nkdeck07 · 2 pointsr/bettafish

Test Kit That's the API one, I have yet to see a petstore that doesn't sell that one. Get a liquid kit that tests for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. Don't get the strips, they aren't accurate and tend to go bad.

Water Conditioner they may not have that exact one, just look for a product that says "Removes chlorine, chloramine and heavy metals" I think someone else listed a few.

Yes the filter bag, if you can only run it a week can you cut down part of the one from your 10 gallon and put it in the 3 gallon? The filter bag is where most of the good bacteria live that eat the ammonia and nitrite. A week is really kind of pushing it as you would only get enough bacteria to jumpstart a fish in cycle which isn't good for the fish. You can also help this process but keeping the gravel from the old tank wet for the trip as the bacteria live there too.

Unless your room is kept at 80 degrees it's going to be too cold. He's already going to be stressed from the travels and heat will help. It's like $10 and you will have a much happier fish.

Like a grocery bag, just something to block the light. Just stick the zip lock inside that.

Much as he will eat in 3 minutes once a day. Honestly it's probably more likely a water quality issue then anything else. The rules of trouble shooting anything wrong are usually water quality first.

u/william44isme · 2 pointsr/bettafish

The best is the API Master Liquid test kit. Pretty much everyone on this sub uses and recommends it - it's basically the kit to have. Test strips aren't very accurate at all and can get some pretty crazy results. I would avoid them if possible.

The API kit can be a bit expensive, but it can do over 800 tests so unless you regularly start or crash tanks it will last for years. It's a lot cheaper on Amazon - £35 at my LFS but just £22 on Amazon. It's $22 on US Amazon.

Amazon UK Link

Amazon US Link

u/mollymalone222 · 2 pointsr/Aquariums

I'm sorry are you saying you have 12 fish in a 3.6 gallon tank right now? And you're thinking of upgrading to a 10 because your parents will be doing the maintenance when you are away? If this is the case, that is absolutely not an ok set up for those fish. I don't want you to feel bad. But, you need to bring all 12 of those specific fish back to the LFS as none of them are acceptable in a 10 gallon. There is only one fish that can be in a 3.6 gal that I can think of, that is a male or female betta. But, if you're going to be staying in the dorm, then bring the tank with you unless they have rules about aquariums or leaving the heater unattended. If they are going to do all the maintenance, get a 20 long and they won't have to do hardly any maintenance and you can keep all the fish. Move them over immediately and buy a bottle of Seachem Stability and dose the tank every day until it's cycled. But, you will need a gravel vacuum, just a small one like this and you can use it if you have sand. If you want gravel, you would need a larger tube or it can bend easily. Get the tank at the $/gallon sale. Order your other items online and see what's cheaper. But, You will HAVE to get the following: The Stability, an API Master Test Kit (it will need to be used regularly for testing pH, Ammonia, Nitrites, and Nitrates), a filter (get something like this Aquaclear 50 so you will have enough filtration for those fish and the box is a good size so you can add filter media like this instead of the cartridges which aren't as good anyway. Then all they'll have to do is swish around in the bucket of tank water maybe once a semester. But, there are more things to buy for a tank, a lid, a light, substrate, live plants, etc. An adjustable heater.

The best pet parent you could be would be to return the fish and get a Betta and for goodness sake, tonight at least add water to the top so it's close to being 3 gallons at least.

u/ThatMortalGuy · 2 pointsr/bettafish

Hello there, I got back into the hobby about a year and a half ago. I used to do what you are thinking on doing, change the water every week but after doing some research I found that doing a fishless cycle is not that hard and better for the fish (also you don't have to do the water change as often and don't have to do full water change)

Here's a good link with some good information about cycling

For my method you'll need a test kit (I use the API Master kit) and pure Ammonia (I use Ammonia from Ace hardware) when buying Ammonia make sure that it doesn't have any aditives as they can harm the fish, a good way to find out if it has any aditives is to watch out for bubbles, if it has bubbles then it provably has additives on it.

So here's what I do now, set up your tank with everything that's going to go on it (heater, filter, gravel, etc) get your filter up and running and then add some Ammonia (I think 1mml is enough for 10 gallons but I can't remember from the top of my head) DON'T ADD ANY FISH ON THE TANK BECAUSE THEY WILL DIE OF AMMONIA POISONING
Wait a few hours and test for Ammonia, you should get a reading of high levels of Ammonia, if you don't then add a little more, then keep testing for Ammonia daily and adding more Ammonia if the levels get low, after a few days you'll notice that if you add Ammonia in the morning and you check at night that the Ammonia will be gone, that means that you have the bacteria in your filter. Now start testing for Nitrates and Nitrites, once you start getting a reading of Nitrites and then Nitrates then your tank is ready, do a few 30% water changes and you are ready to go and your Betta will thank you for it.
Just don't forget that you still need to do water changes because unless you have a lot of live plants, water changes is the only way to get rid of Nitrates.

Good luck.

u/Confidence_Trickster · 2 pointsr/Goldfish

Welcome to /r/goldfish! It's so timely that you posted this, there's actually a 'beginner's guide' to goldfish over on /r/aquariums right now!

Since you guys are already set up, the most important aspects that will pertain to you and your fish are how large their tank is, and what your water quality is - meaning how much ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates there are, but water hardness/softness and ph are also important, too. Most people test their water quality with different kinds of kits you can pick up at a pet store. I would say that those two factors will most determine the long term health and happiness of your goldies ^_^

If you already have one of these kits, please post your water parameter info, as that knowledge can be helpful in other being able to give you specific feedback/suggestions.

Other than that, it looks like you guys are on the right track from what I can see in the pictures. Lost of people recommend sand for goldies because they like to forage on the bottom and can get gravel lodged in their throats, so that was a smart move!

p.s. best of luck with your plants... goldies like to tear them up, but I've heard some success stories, too :)

u/jordgubbe_head · 2 pointsr/bettafish

Totally understandable! I'm new to this as of November, so I'm still learning all this as well!

So basically there's a chemical cycle you have to get your tank to go through, called the nitrogen cycle. The sidebar has a lot of info on it, but pretty much your fishy poops out ammonia (also made by decomposing plants and food) which good bacteria make into nitrites and then into nitrates.

If you bring in a jar of tank water, most pet stores will do the testing for you for free; otherwise you can buy a testing kit to check the water yourself at home. (Most people recommend going with a liquid testing kit like this one, as they're cheaper per test than the paper test strips.)

Ammonia and nitrites can really hurt bettas; you really want to keep the amounts of these in the water as close to 0ppm as you can. Bettas can handle 20-40ppm of nitrates before you have to worry.

Usually it's best to get your tank to build up these good bacteria before you add the fish, but if not you can do fish-in cycling (it's more dangerous for the fish though and is a lot more work). If your ammonia or nitrite levels are anything above 0ppm, you usually want to do a 25% water change every day. If your nitrate level is above 20ppm, you want to do water changes as well.

Once you get the cycle established, your fish will appear much more vibrant and less likely to become sick. I had never heard of it before finding this sub, it's a complete life changer for your fish.

It also means that you will probably only need to partially change the water only once every week or two, so it makes aquarium keeping much less work! :)

u/Crimzonlogic · 2 pointsr/Aquariums

Yeah, unfortunately a setup like that was doomed to end in a fish death. I got a similar setup as my first tank from poor pet store advice, too. Mine was a betta instead of a molly, but it was still bad for the fish. We got had for a quick sale. Sorry about your molly. :(

First thing's first, if you want to create a healthy aquarium you must read up on cycling aquariums. Just putting a fish in a new tank and leaving it will cause ammonia to build up from waste and uneaten food and that will kill the fish sooner or later, usually sooner. This is undoubtedly what killed the molly. A mature, cycled filter will process ammonia pretty quickly, making it safe for a fish to thrive in an aquarium. All a cycle really is is letting a colony of nitrifying bacteria develop in your filter. There is a list of links on the right side of this subreddit with info on stuff about aquariums, specifically look at "helpful links". In there is an explanation of cycling and other stuff that's good to know. One more really important note is that even in a cycled tank, you must regularly change a portion of the tank's water with clean new water. A quarter per week is good for a lightly stocked tank. 50% weekly is better. The cycled filter will take care of ammonia/nitrite, but it won't do anything for nitrate and dissolved solids. Water changes help keep nitrate and dissolved organic junk from building up too much. Clean water is essential for keeping fish and other animals healthy, and dirty water won't cut it.

You said you want an undemanding pet, though at first, getting an aquarium going can be complicated and may take time. Cycling a tank can take several weeks to a couple of months, depending on how you do it or other factors. It usually takes about a month. If you don't have enough time to dedicate a bit of each day to testing the water and setting things up during a cycling process, then you may want to wait a bit to set up a proper tank. However, once a tank is cycled and you've gotten a hang of water changes, a simple aquarium setup shouldn't consume much of your time to maintain: It's usually a weekly water test and water change and daily feedings.

I recommend buying a master test kit to do water tests with. It's pretty accurate, more so than the little dip test strips, and cheaper than those in the long run, too. During a cycle you'll see ammonia and nitrite read very high at certain points, but a fully cycled tank should always read zero ppm ammonia, zero ppm nitrite, and less than 20 ppm nitrate. As for ph, the most important thing is that it remains stable and doesn't fluctuate a lot. If it reads 7.6 the first time you test, for example, you want it to keep testing for 7.6 every time you check it. If it fluctuates more than .2, then it might not be stable. Most common fish will be fine in a stable ph between 7 and 8.5 and livebearers like mollies especially do well in the higher end. Tetras prefer the lower end of that. If you use city tap water, then your ph will likely be somewhere around 7 or 8.

That 2.5 gallon won't really cut it for any fish. For mollies in particular I'd say a 20 gallon tank is a good minimum tank size, and a 20 gallon long is better than a standard 20 high. Mollies are supposed to be brackish fish(about halfway between salt and freshwater) but can live in freshwater tanks, so that's why the store owner was giving mixed info on that. They are pretty hardy as far as fish go, but they aren't invincible and still need properly cycled tanks. They also need aquarium heaters, unless you live in a tropical area and the ambient temperature in the tank consistently stays about 78 degrees. Whatever fish you get, an aquarium heater is almost definitely required. The majority of fish in the hobby will be tropical and need a consistent warm temperature, usually about 78 degrees F. A 100 watt heater would be enough for a 20 gallon, and they usually aren't that expensive. If you live in a warmer climate like California for example and you don't turn your house into a refrigerator with ac, you could get away with a 50 watt heater which will be a bit cheaper. Get an adjustable heater rather than a preset one. That way you can tweak the temp up or down a little if needed.

Mollies also are better off kept in "harder" water, meaning water that has more minerals in it. If you use tap water for your tank, then it will probably be good for mollies. You can buy test kits to find out what your water hardness is, and if it tests toward the higher end of the scale then it's good. Many other common freshwater fish in the hobby actually prefer softer water than mollies, however.

Mollies are livebearers that will breed rapidly and without any special conditions. A female will give birth to a bunch of babies about once a month if healthy. You could get a tank that has way too many fish quickly if you let them breed unchecked. Females are also often pregnant in the store since they are usually kept alongside males, so I would recommend getting several males and no females. If you do get a mix with females, you want at least twice as many females as males since the male livebearers typically harass the females relentlessly and can stress them to death. Having more females means the male's attention is divided and not always focused on one female.

If you can't do a big enough tank for mollies, a five gallon or ten gallon would be perfect for a betta. Bettas are hardy so long as they are in a tank that is cycled and heated, and they will usually pay lots of attention to you once they realize you are the one who feeds them. In either a five or ten gallon you could also keep an aquatic snail with the betta. In a ten gallon you could keep a school of pygmy cories with him, too. In a ten gallon tank, a honey gourami could be swapped with the betta as a single fish of interest. Platies are a similar species to mollies and a few males might be good in a well-decorated ten gallon, though they have a bit less personality than mollies in my opinion.

The stringy poop you mentioned could have been from internal parasites, internal infection, or constipation. There's no easy way to tell for sure. It's a sign something is wrong with the fish, that's for sure.

TL;DR having a healthy aquarium can be a big hassle to figure out at first, but it will be worth it if you get the hang of it and see your fish thriving.

Sorry for typing a full memoir, I just got home from work and I'm too restless to sleep but too tired to get up from my computer.

I spent so long typing this that other people managed to get in relatively long posts before me. Why did I type this much? lol

u/FaultyHelix · 2 pointsr/bettafish

If the ammonia in his tank gets too high then yes it can kill him. You need to do 25% water changes every other day to keep it down! I also suggest getting a liquid testing kit. Here's the testing kit I recommend!

u/TheFlyingSpagoots · 2 pointsr/Aquariums

>I think Ive convinced her that she could not handle a 75 gallon tank

NO!!! Bigger tanks are by far easier to take care of than smaller tanks. A 75 gallon is far more beginner friendly than a 10 gallon for example. More water = more dilution which means you're less likely to have nutrient spikes which could harm inhabitants.


As for turtles, they are messy creatures. This means she will need adequate filtration for them. I would recommend looking into a canister filter rated for 100+ gallons. Also essential for her to get a water testing kit and keep an eye on her water parameters. Don't get the ones that use strips, they are not reliable. Go for a quality liquid test kit.

u/smilemorepleez · 2 pointsr/bettafish

Here's my suggested shopping list:

The API Water Testing Kit - about $22 at Amazon, might be more expensive at a pet shop

Indian Almond Leaves - ($7) I put in a fresh 1/4 a leaf each week

VitaChem - ($11) vitamin drops to help with color and fins - a drop a day and he'll swim around and hunt for the vitamin specs

Polisher Filter - ($3) Use scissors and cut a couple of chunks for the back compartment in the Marineland tank. It helps slow the flow down a little and kept the water super clean.

u/Griffscavern · 2 pointsr/Aquariums

Sorry about the fishes death. The strips don't show ammonia, that is way worse than nitrites or nitrates. My suggestion is to get this kit to test for everything.

u/inrotation1 · 2 pointsr/bettafish

API Master test kit! Test your ph, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate. Cheaper than buying from your LFS.

u/Hobanobaclypse · 2 pointsr/Aquariums

Going by the fact you tagged yourself as a noob I'll put in a bit more detail!

So fishless cycle wise (as opposed to fish-in cycling), you're going to want to get a source of ammonia to kickstart the bacteria reproduction off. Like you mentioned you can use fish food, but I tend to find this unreliable and people regularly ask questions related to the use of this because it's much less efficient than simply adding pure ammonia in. Pure ammonia is the best option because you can dose the exact amount each time, it's available instantly rather than having to wait for degradation of organic matter to occur etc., if you do the route of pure ammonia dosing then get household ammonia which has no other ingredients other than ammonia and water. There's a simple 'shake' test which is as it sounds, if you shake the bottle and there are no bubbles after a second or so then it's likely it doesn't contain any detergent chemicals.

You'll also need to invest in a freshwater test kit,, API is very well received here for their 'Master' liquid test kit. Test strips simply aren't accurate enough to rely on. Also a dechlorinator such as seachem prime, this is so your tap water isn't going to contain any additives that will kill off bacteria/harm your fish, seachem prime is a good choice because it's very cost efficient and also claims to detoxify the ammonia/nitrites, not sure if this claim is 100% proven but the cost effectiveness is why I use it.

For the cycle you need to have your filter set up properly, you say yours has a sponge and carbon, but really you want as much surface area for the bacteria to live on, so if there's space it would be worthwhile adding in some bio media such as ceramic bio rings into the filter after the sponge. A thing to note here is from now on don't wash your sponge in tap water, when cleaning your filter just keep some of the water you drained out of your tank in a bowl and rinse the sponge in the bowl by squeezing it to get the muck off, bacteria will be killed off by using untreated tap water. Also to note, the carbon isn't too useful for anything other than removing medication from the water so it won't add too much benefit during this process.

Now onto the cycle itself, you want to start off by dosing your water to about 2.0ppm ammonia, this is the optimal level for bacteria growth, and now wait! It'll take some time before this level starts to go down, so I'd recommend not testing for at least 2-3 days because otherwise you'll just get your hopes up as nothing will change. After about 2 weeks the ammonia level should go down, and you'll begin seeing nitrites, then another 2 weeks and you'll see the nitrites go down, voila your cycle is finished. During the second stage of the cycle where nitrites are being processed you'll want to keep dosing your tank to 2.0ppm ammonia to keep the bacteria fed. At the end of the cycle do a large water change and you're ready to go.

As a note, I did try and use some of the bottled bacteria like Tetra SafeStart, API Quick Start, but had no luck with any of them, I would avoid them and just do the normal process to avoid any unnecessary purchases.

Hope some of that information helps :) having been through this process I think I covered all the issues I faced.

u/jyding · 2 pointsr/PlantedTank

I agree with u/SudoPoke. Sand by itself doesn't have a lot of nutrients for the plants (none actually) and can starve the plants that mainly feed from the soil. If you do not dose fertilizers you're not feeding your plants either, so they don't have any food! You're basically putting them in an empty room and hoping they survive haha. Water parameters for a planted tank with no live stock doesn't matter toooo much but can help to indicate if something is wrong or can point to the source of an algae infestation.

I would invest in an API test kit, some kind of fertilizer (the complete fertilizer by aquarium coop would be a super cheap and easy to use option for you) and a different substrate. I recommend control soil or ADA amazonia. They're a bit expensive but they're worth it if you're really trying to get into plants and planted aquariums with livestock. Amazonia has some cycling issues so you have to do some pre-treatment. Controsoil is a bit easier, and cheaper, but isn't as comprehensive as amazonia. It's a bit of an investment in the beginning but again these items should last you well over a year. 490.00 today can last you for up to 2 years so that'd be about 20 cents a day.

Check out these links:

u/nyquill81 · 2 pointsr/turtle

I am no turtle medical expert at all, but one thing I can think of is have you tested the water parameters? The API liquid freshwater master test kit is one of the most accurate kits out there and would tell you if ammonia, nitrates or nitrites were a factor.

I do know they make turtle eye drops and you can get them at most pet stores, I bet it wouldn’t hurt to do those while you wait for your vet visit.

I would think 78 is plenty warm for your water.

I hope someone else has more advice and I hope your little friend is OK. Good luck.

u/whale52 · 2 pointsr/bettafish

Okay, just to clarify on a some things:

  • The 76º reading is coming from a thermometer in the water and not the room temperature, right?

  • And then what do you mean by WNL? Also how are your nitrites?

  • What's your water change schedule?

    And then some notes:

  • As far as feeding goes, a betta's stomach is about the size of its eyeball. Soak a pellet in tank water for a few minutes so it expands to the size it'd be in his stomach, then drop it in the tank and compare the size of it through the glass to his eye. Some people feed them that much once a day, others twice a day.

  • Test strips really aren't very good at giving accurate readings. While you're at the store today you should also pick up a liquid test kit; they're much more accurate and cheaper in the long run. Here's the most popular one.
u/jfberger1957 · 2 pointsr/bettafish

You can get the API Master Kit on amazon for around 20 USD! At most pet stores its $35-40.

u/prunepotato · 2 pointsr/bettafish

Do you know what the ammonia/nitrate/nitrite is? If not, get a test kit; it's sold in most pet stores.

I don't know if you've cycled your tank or if you're in the middle of cycling it. If you are currently doing so, do daily water changes to keep the ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate at 0 ppm until it has finished cycling.

Give him clean water and time! Good on you for creating a good home for him :)

u/weenie2323 · 2 pointsr/Aquascape

Very good idea to get the plants growing well before adding fish, you may need to add some fertilizer since there will be no fish poop(nature's fertilizer) yet. I strongly suggest you buy a water testing kit and using your testing results to guide when to add fertilizer(nitrates below 20ppm) and how much water to change per week(nitrates above 20ppm). The Spec V is a nice little tank, I have 3 of them. As long as you are committed to doing regular water changes(try starting at about 25% per week) you could have a small group(8-10) very small species of fish like the Green Neon Tetra or the Chili Rasbora. Doing a weekly water changes on a Spec literally takes less than 10min:)

u/Hiskm · 2 pointsr/Aquariums

I see from your post history that you appear relatively new/are inexperienced in the hobby.

Please ensure you fully research everything to do with the fish you want to keep.

Invest in a proper test kit such as API Freshwater Master Kit. US/UK

A quarantine tank for all new fish.

How to cycle an aquarium.

Post as much information as you can get, including tank parameters, tank mates, tank size, what equipment you are using, age of fish etc to enable us to help you with your query.

Read the Wiki for this sub, it contains a lot of great information for the start of your journey into this hobby and also check out the Rules to ensure your post stays up and you can get an answer for your question.

u/littleChubs · 2 pointsr/Aquariums

Parameters basically refer to the ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels in the tank. These are usually measured in ppm, which is "parts per million." It's just a concentration unit. Ideally, your ammonia and nitrate would be at 0 ppm, and nitrate should be managed at low levels via water changes. You can buy test kits at the fish store, and the prices will vary based on the kits.

I like this one because you can cover all your bases with one purchase, and the tests are pretty accurate.

When I first started keeping fish, it was one of those free goldfish giveaways in the dorms, and I had the poor thing in a tiny critter keeper with gravel. It only lasted a week. The next year, I got another free fish and that lasted a year. Since then, I've been clawing my way to more success, but without knowing the "parameters" of your tank, it can be really hard to know how to tackle problems.

Best of luck in your fishkeeping. We all know how frustrating it is starting out, so don't feel too bad. I'm sure there are lots of people here willing to help :)

u/Offer_Expires · 2 pointsr/PlantedTank

I have this, I use it to measure the overall level of nitrates in the tank. I know it's not as specific as measuring NPK individually, but it gives me some idea of how much fertilizer is in the tank. Hope this helps.

u/sgcdialler · 2 pointsr/Aquariums
u/rumphy · 2 pointsr/Aquariums

I would spend the $20 on the API Freshwater Master Test Kit (you can find it at any pet/fish store worth their salt, but probably for closer to $25 or $30) and do the testing yourself rather than rely on your store's testing. That way you can do the tests regularly from home.

Secondly, you shouldn't be at all 0's to be cycled. You should have nitrAtes building up. Your bacteria need a steady supply of ammonia to process into nitrite and then nitrate in order for your tank to be "cycled", and it can die if you don't maintain the ammonia supply, just like feeding your fish.

Ask your store if they have any refrigerated bacteria starter, otherwise I've heard Tetra SafeStart is one of the only decent off-the-shelf bacteria cultures.

u/RattusRattus · 2 pointsr/bettafish

This and this is what I have, but for about the same price you can get the gold standard. I honestly wouldn't be using the strips, except I got them to test my water for hardness before I had any tanks (it's liquid rock) and the Walstad setups I have have a different ecology than a traditional tank.

u/GrilledCheezus71 · 2 pointsr/PlantedTank

First, buy one of these:

Once you have that data you should be able to figure out what is wrong in your tank.

Secondly what sort of heating, lighting and filtration are you using? How often do you do water changes?

u/KataKataBijaksana · 2 pointsr/Aquariums

Like they said, depends on what you're looking for.

With a 10 gallon, you could try something like

1 Betta (males are prettier)
10 ember tetras
A couple mystery snails

You could use plastic plants as well. The cycle is always important, but with these fish, it's less important. If you make a mistake, ember tetras, a betta, and snails will likely survive.

Things you'll need: 10 gallon tank, a filter (hang on back filters are generally the cheapest and easiest for beginners), a heater, water dechlorinater (water conditioner). DO NOT BUY FISH YET

When you hear "cycle your tank", people mean that you need to have to correct concentrations of bacteria in your tank. There are 3 biproducts of these bacteria, but we'll just say that the bacteria is the biproduct for simplification. Those 3 bacteria are


Ammonia is toxic to fish, even in small amounts. By the time your tank is "cycled" Ammonia should be at 0 ppm (parts per million), but as you begin your cycle, it will be much higher. Ammonia is created from fish poop and uneaten food.

Nitrite is also toxic to fish, but less toxic than Ammonia. A cycled tank also has 0 Nitrite in it. Nitrite eats the Ammonia, effectively converting it to more Nitrite.

Nitrate is only toxic to fish in amounts greater than ~35 ppm. Nitrate eats Nitrite, converting it to more nitrate. When you change the water in a tank, you're just removing the nitrate before it hits concentrations that become toxic to the fish.

You might be wondering how you can tell how concentrated these substances are. There are water test kits for sale. They seem a bit pricey to a beginner, but they're worth it.

There are instructions on how to test your water inside the kit.

So on to the how to cycle your tank section.

To cycle a tank (dont buy your fish until it's cycled, but have everything you need like a filter and heater running in the tank), you need to somehow get Ammonia into the tank so that your Nitrite can have food so that your nitrate can have food. You should drop a pinch of fish food into the tank every day and let it rot at the bottom. That'll make Ammonia. Once there's a consistent supply of Ammonia in the tank, your Nitrite will start to eat it and start reproducing, lowering the Ammonia to 0, and raising your Nitrite. As Nitrite builds up, Nitrate will come into the tank to start eating the Nitrite, and start to reproduce. Normally the process takes at least a month. You'll drop a pinch of food in every single day for that month, and as long as your filter is running, the bacteria should grow. Make sure that any water you ever put in your tank (including the first time you fill it up) has been treated with water dechlorinator. Chlorine kills the bacteria you want to have in your tank, as well as the fish.

Some people say you should change 20% of the water every 7 days while cycling. I would personally test the water, and if the Ammonia or Nitrite is over 2 ppm, change 30%. You should test the water at least once a week to make sure that Ammonia or Nitrite isn't so high that it has taken over the cycle. If either of those get too high, they take up all of the room and there isn't enough space for the others to grow. If your Ammonia or Nitrite is above 4ppm, you should change 50% of the water so that some of the bacteria starves and makes room for the others.

Once your tank is cycled, your Ammonia and Nitrite should be 0 (or extremely close to 0), and your nitrate should be 20-40ppm. After that, it's safe to add fish. With the fish I mentioned earlier, it's probably safe to add them all in at once, but with fish with a bigger bio load (fish that eat and poop more) you have to add them over time, but ember tetras don't eat or poop a ton, and a betta won't either. So just cycling the tank should make it stable enough to handle the fish.

I think I've explained it all, but if I forgot something, someone could chip in.

Honestly there are a lot of very opinionated people in the hobby that tell you that you HAVE to do it a certain way (which fish work, how much filtration you need, what substrate is best) but I've found the best way to learn is trial and error. Everyone in the hobby makes mistakes, each fish has a unique personality, and it's a ton of fun. There are general guidelines on what works and what doesn't, but sometimes what people say on here just isn't correct. So don't get discouraged, be patient, be ready to make mistakes (but do your best to not make them), and study up on the fish you want! The bigger the tank, the easier it is to keep the fish happy, but if you have any questions I'd be happy to help!

u/wrayworks · 2 pointsr/Aquariums

For starters, my thought is that your tank is not fully cycled. Check the sidebar on the right for more information.

Basically, a colony of beneficial bacteria exist in every healthy aquarium - they process fish waste (ammonia - toxic to fish) into nitrites (still toxic to fish) and ultimately into nitrates (not toxic in "normal" levels).

If you tank was not fully cycled, and it likely wasn't after just a few days, adding such a large number of fish at once will possibly cause ammonia poisoning. If you look at your fish - are their gills red/irritated?

A basic test kit will give you numbers for ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates. I like this kit - stay away from test strips. Ideally, you want ammonia and nitrites to be at zero. Up to maybe 30ppm is acceptable for nitrates.

Nitrates are not removed from the water by the bacteria, and they do not evaporate. The main purpose of weekly or bi-weekly water changes (depending on bio load) is to remove some of the nitrates and "water down" the concentration with fresh, clean water.

Basically, you added way too many fish at once to a too-new tank, and incompatible fish to boot. Now, I don't think anyone can blame you for that, as you were given inadequate or poor information at your store. However, you're at a good resource here at /r/aquariums! The sidebar has great info and links about stocking levels as well. Good luck!

u/echoskybound · 2 pointsr/bettafish

You can definitely speed up a fishless cycle with water, filter media, or pretty much anything from an established tank. Basically what cycling does is establish a colony of nitrifying bateria - this bacteria consumes toxic ammonia (produced by fish waste) and turns it into less toxic nitrate. You can add ammonia directly with products like this, and I highly recommend the API Freshwater master test kit which includes an ammonia test. Once you see ammonia levels going down, that's how you know a bacteria colony is forming, and the cycle is complete when ammonia drops to 0ppm.

What about the nitrate? It's not good for fish either, but it's not as bad as ammonia. It is, however, plant food - so if you want to add a few easy live plants, that can help soak up some nitrate. I recommend hardy low light plants like anubias and java fern.

Tankmates really depend on the individual. Some bettas are very chill and get along with other fish just fine, and some are extremely aggressive and will bully or kill other fish. You can test out personalities by moving the cups around in the store and seeing who flares or who freaks out, vs who reacts calmly and curiously. Avoid fast, nippy fish with a betta with a long tail - bettas with big tails are slow swimmers and can't get away if other fish are nipping at their fins.

u/MeghanAM · 2 pointsr/Random_Acts_Of_Amazon

Water testing kit for my aquarium! I really want to finally get my fish and snail and more plants, but I don't want to kill them. That would be the most disappointing pet experience yet.

u/xtwistedxlovex · 2 pointsr/bettafish

At a glance, she could stand to eat less. Obesity is unhealthy for fish too. Their stomach is around the size of their eye, and bear in mind that dry foods will increase in size when they absorb water.

The issue is most likely to be water quality. Get a liquid test kit (strips are more expensive long term AND unreliable) to monitor your parameters; you want to aim for 0 ammonia (very toxic), 0 nitrite (somewhat toxic), and low levels of nitrate (safe in small amounts) to ensure the health of your fish. Meanwhile you should do frequent water changes (don't forget dechlorinator!) to improve the water quality so she can recover. The tissue will be transparent when it begins to grow back; that is not a cause for concern.

While not strictly necessary, it's highly recommended to have a thermometer. It's not uncommon for heaters to malfunction and get stuck in the 'on' position, leading to a cooked tank. The stick-on-the-glass ones aren't really that accurate, but even one of those is far better than having none at all.

u/Kairus00 · 2 pointsr/Aquariums

If I may make a recommendation; buy some of that stuff from amazon. You'll save some money. These are Amazon's prices:

u/cheese_on_rye · 2 pointsr/bettafish

Just removing water is fine. If you like you can purchase a siphon to help remove some waste from the gravel.
As for cleaning the sides, I find these very useful.

For a 3 gallon tank I would definitely do 20-30% water changes twice a week. I would not add any more fish, aside from maybe a snail. Adding any more fish would overstock your tank, causing it to get dirty faster and upping the chances of illnesses.

No. Cycling takes at least a few weeks. (read the article I posted in an earlier comment) You can keep track of where it is in the cycling process by doing daily water parameters tests. Here is a really good kit.

u/mothpens · 2 pointsr/axolotls

Water parameters are super important! You can pick up a testing kit on Amazon for a good ten dollars cheaper than I've seen in stores, and I can't even begin to tell you how much of a lifesaver it is! ( Also it's just good to have for peace of mind. )

I was really new to keeping a fish tank when I first got my guy, and quickly learned aquarium decor is ridiculously expensive. Terra cotta pots are a pain to find on Amazon in my experience, but if you have the opportunity to pick a few up in a gardening store ( basically for pennies! ) they make excellent hides. ( Of which you want at least two per axolotl! ) I have four in my tank; two normal, one sliced in half to make a kind of cave a bit lower to the ground. ( Just make sure you sand down all the edges! ) The last one is wide, but only a couple inches tall, so I filled it up with sand to give him a little raised platform. PVC pipe can also be used as an inexpensive hide, and I've seen people do some really cool stuff with it. Also, plants! I grabbed these off of Amazon and my axolotl loves them, but in terms of live plants, you can't go wrong with marimo balls. ( Though there are other live plants that work well with them! Java fern and java moss are just two examples. )

Also, Axolotls are messy little guys. I'd highly recommend getting a turkey baster to clean up their waste and any uneaten food they leave behind. Personally, I feed my axie nightcrawlers with a big pair of tweezers and it helps keep the tank neat and tidy. ( Plus, it's a lot of fun! )

u/TheTidalshock · 2 pointsr/bettafish

22 dollars API Freshwater Master Test Kit 800-Test Freshwater Aquarium Water master Test Kit

u/callmebunko · 2 pointsr/PlantedTank

OK, so here's one problem - you are not going to get accurate results with test strips. But, I don't know what your finance situation is, so maybe you need to use them for now and anything is certainly better than nothing. If you have a few bucks to spend, get a test kit like this one, which will test much of what you want to know about except water hardness, but this one does that.

Your nitrates aren't bad. Before we talk about things to try, I have to say the following: if you change more than one thing at a time you will never know what's working and what isn't. Try one change at a time, give each change two or three days to make a difference, keep a written record with dates (and time, if you're obsessive like me), and don't just write down what you change. Try to include things you observe, and try to take cell phone pics so you can accurately measure change. Be patient, observe the tank daily, be patient, and try to be patient.

An 8 hour split may be too much with the Nicrew, but it really isn't way overboard. I do a 7 hour split but I have no experience with Nicrews, I have two Finnex Planteds and a BeamsWork, and I don't know when you changed to the Nicrew and your 8 hour regimen. You could try a blackout for a few days, and then back to your current regimen.

If your light is sitting atop your tank you can try raising it a bit. A 10 gallon is what? 12 inches tall? You can jerry rig something to raise the light, or you can get something like this, or you can hang the light from the ceiling with fishing line. If you have aquascaping tweezers you can pull algae out manually, or you can use a toothbrush; not to brush the leaves, but to grab the algae in the bristles and pull it out. I've tried all of these things in different tanks, with good results. I've also used Seachem Excel, but only once or twice a week, not daily as the directions say. It definitely helps, but it isn't a cure and it only kills the algae, like the Algaefix you are already using. If you use Excel, wash your hands afterward. There are some scary and, to my mind not very scholarly, articles on the web about the chemical used in Excel, which Seachem claims is a different isomer than what it actually uses. But wash your hands afterward anyway - it's a simple precaution. Keep this in mind: if you use either one, it will make it harder to tell if the other things you are doing are having any effect. So, maybe bite the bullet for a couple weeks to try the other things, and if you start making headway you can use just a bit of the Algaefix or Excel to help push things along.

You should also consider how heavily planted your tank is. More plant load is better to out-compete the algae. If you have a lot of plants, you also want to provide them with nutrients or the light is next to useless. A good way to increase the plant load inexpensively and relatively fast is floaters. Check the AquaSwap forum here on reddit - /r/AquaSwap/, but keep in mind that you cannot be certain that you will not get snails with the plants, even if the seller claims the plants are dipped before shipping. Snails are not a bad thing, and would probably be helpful for you. Another inexpensive way to beat algae! And, if they get out of hand you just stick a stainless steel fork in a hunk of cucumber, put it in the tank for about two hours, grab a zip-loc baggie and hold it in the tank, grab the fork, put the cucumber and snails in the bag, pull the fork out of the cucumber, and close the bag. Into the garbage with it. It will be covered with snails.

Getting back to the floaters, they will suck up nitrates, provide shade for your anubias, and you'll be pulling handfuls out of the tank in no time (into the garbage! don't take a chance of letting them into the wild by throwing them in your yard). You can keep the floaters corralled with clear air line tubing and suction cups. Make sure the diameter matches, like these do. Cut a length of hose, heat near one end while holding the end so you can pull it until it comes off, leaving a pointy end that you can now stick into the other end of your length of hose, creating a circle. I use the silicon repair stuff to "glue" it together. This guy shows you a better way to do it, in his second video in the series at 2:45. But if you want to get motivated for your algae war, watch the entire series. You will never be the same. And after that, go learn here.

There are a lot more things you can do, but maybe start with these and keep reading about this stuff whenever you get a chance. Good Luck, and let us know how you make out.

u/dustbin3 · 2 pointsr/Aquariums

That's a small change, so it wouldn't be the ph or temp. The strips are notoriously inaccurate, here is what I use (and most of this subreddit from what I've seen)

Although it doesn't sound like the water parameters are your problem either, since it happened when you did the small change. I would look at the hoses or bowls that you used and make sure to disinfect them. Or maybe he swam right under it when you were pouring it in and got a dose of ammonia.

u/ROGUE_TITS · 2 pointsr/Aquariums

you take a sample of water on a test tube and add liquid tester, you usually shake the tube afterwards, and then it'll give you the test result, don't worry, most will have instructions. here's the api freshwater test kit, most people here use it

u/Dacowboyjesus · 2 pointsr/Aquariums

Buy this test kit, don't waste your time with strips, just buy this kit. It is well worth the investment.

Do not put anymore livestock in your tank until you have proper readings on the test kit. The side bar has instructions on properly cycling your tank.

As merfish said Corys are without a doubt a schooling fish and in my experience pygmy corys are especially in need of a school. I would try to take him back or find someone who has an established school.

u/obri3 · 2 pointsr/bettafish

Pretty sure I’ve read that if you’re not using a heater then you must factor in that the tank temp will be 7 degrees below room temperature. Why risk it right?

Shopping list.

Interpet Internal Aquarium Power Filter PF Mini for Fish Tanks, Black/Blue

All Pond Solutions Aquarium Fish Tank Submersible Heater, 100 W

API 800 Test Freshwater Aquarium Water Master Test Kit

Tetra AquaSafe to Turn Tap Water into Safe and Healthy Water for Fish and Plants, 100 ml

£52.28 everything
£22.47 filter and heater.
£27.87 filter, heater, water conditioner.
£17.58 filter, water conditioner. (Get this one)

u/Moatilliatta_ · 2 pointsr/Aquariums

There's debate about whether test strips or liquid test kits are better. Most recommend the API Freshwater Master Test Kit (liquid tests are usually more accurate, and probably more economical than buying test strips, but it's hard to properly clean the test tubes). Test strips work just as well (Cory from Aquarium Co-Op uses strips; they're quicker, easier to use, and don't require cleaning test tubes).

So, uh, like, if you didn't test your water, um, how did you cycle your tank? >:[ Seems like everything turned out OK in the end, though. Fish-in cycling just isn't very popular in this subreddit. Or maybe you took your water to a LFS (also not a very popular practice here).

Your vet friend does indeed sound like an awesome person, which is why I think it's shitty to rely on him to take your pets when you move away. Having a vet pet-sitter is great. Having a vet you can schlep all your unwanted pets onto is great - for you, not for him. The right thing to do would be to not get pets you can't care for, IMO.

I'm a nano-fish gal, myself. Currently obsessed with pseudomugil rainbowfish at the moment (I have several pseudomugil gertrudae, and I'm planning to get some pseudomugil luminatus in the coming months. I currently keep 1 female plakat betta (unfortunately I recently lost her beautiful mate to dropsy), 2 powder blue dwarf gouramis, 12 spotted blue eyed rainbowfish (pseudomugil gertrudae), 1 bamboo shrimp, 12 amano shrimp, 12 blue velvet shrimp, and 8 blue dream shrimp in a heavily planted 60 gallon community tank. I'm intentionally very understocked as a way to ensure my feesh have lots of space, and used plants, rock caves, and driftwood to ensure they had lots of hiding spaces for when territorial disputes occurred (bettas and gouramis can both be territorial/aggressive). Keeping smaller species allows me to get more fish (hehe), and I just generally like the look of a big jungle tank with appropriately sized smaller fish darting through it.

u/deejaywhy · 2 pointsr/PlantedTank

Fair warning, incoming essay haha

27 gallons is perfectly fine. The first thing you will want to read up on is the nitrogen cycle and fishless cycling. The best way to cycle your tank is to ask a local fish or pet store if they can give you some used filter media to jump start your cycle. If not, buy an API test kit and follow the steps in those guides then your tank will cycle in about a month.

For filters you have two main options Hang off the back (HOB) or canister. HOB are easy to maintain and clean which seems great as a beginner. They need to be cleaned every couple-few weeks. Aquaclear are great HOBs. For your size tank I would get an aquaclear 50 or two of the 20/30s (one for each side).

I prefer canister filters. They give you more options for customization, can hold more media, and don't need to be cleaned as often as HOB. Buuuut they typically come at a steeper price. The most popular brands are eheim, fluval, and sunsun. I have eheims and love them. Reviews for sunsuns can be hit or miss, but they definitely have good value for their price. When picking a filter you generally want a turnover rate of 8-10 times your tank size. So 27 gallon tank, youd want about 216 - 270 gallons per hour (gph), keep this in mind when picking a canister.

If you plan on tropical fish you will definitely need a heater. Aqueon pro and eheim make good heaters. If you go canister, you can get an inline heater which are nice because you don't have to look at it or try to hide it in your aquarium.

For planted tanks you need a substrate. The cheapest option is to use pool filter sand along with some root tabs. Look into the walstad method if you wanna keep it low tech and cheap. The only problem with this method is that if you ever want to move plants or hardscape around it can be a bit messy. The more expensive route is to buy some aquasoil. There are a few types, but the most well known is ADA aquasoil. These substrates are packed with nutrients that last at least a couple years usually. In between is to use a porous substrate like Fluorite or eco-complete. These come with a little nutrients, but will need fertilizers to continue its benefit.

Fertilizers area great way to keep your plants happy and healthy, but for many plants are not really necessary. If you decide to use them you can buy them in liquid or dry form. I suggest buying dry because it is much cheaper, but you will have to figure out how much you need to dose. Luckily there are calculators out there that can do it for us!

Lighting you have many options. My favorite are finnex LEDs. They are middle of the ground pricing wise and do their job very well in my experience. Here is a good guide for lighting. When researching a light you want to use you should do so by finding its PAR value at the level of your substrate. Low is about 0-30 PAR, medium 30-50, and high 50+ PAR. Low you don't need pressurized CO2 to avoid algae, medium it is recommended, but you can get away with a densely planted aquarium and use of seachem excel, and high you need pressurized CO2.

I like to use hardscape in my aquariums. Things like rock and drift wood give a natural appearance to aquariums, provide shelter for livestock and take up space. If you get into aquascpaing, hardscape plays a major role.

Plant selection will depend on your lighting, fertilizer, and CO2. Here is a list of good low light/low tech plants. If you want more demanding plants do your research and ask questions if you have them!

Fish selection depends on you and what you like. See a fish you're interested in? Do NOT automatically trust a sales man at a petshop or fish store. Do your own research on the fish before buying and ask questions about people's experience with the fish and its compatibility with your tank. In a 27 gallon you can fit 1, maybe 2, groups of most smaller schooling fish and then some bottom feeders.

A general stocking plan would be 10-12 of a schooling fish like neon tetra (or something of that size), 10 salt and pepper cories, 6 otocinclus, and some red cherry shrimp.

The most important advice I can give you is to do your research. Doing your research will save you time and money. People are generally friendly and helpful on this subreddit so don't be afraid to ask more questions.

u/youlikeupvotebrah · 1 pointr/fishtank

Does he seem to be in distress? Sometimes when I watch people jog at the track they have a funky gate. Doesn't mean there's something necessarily wrong with them, it's just how they move. It could be that you got a cooky betta buddy.

If you have a water parameter testing kit ( If not you may consider getting one. It'll tell you if there's something wrong with your water making your fishy swim weird. Did you use dechlorinator? Maybe upload a video and we can see a bit better if there's anything wrong with the lil guy.

u/show_me_ur_fave_rock · 1 pointr/Aquariums

I thought I remembered it always being that price on Amazon, turns out the price has increased quite a bit the past year or so.

u/OteeseDreeftwood · 1 pointr/turtle

Buy this:
These are more accurate than the strips, and measure ammonia too. Basic aquarium nitrogen cycle: waste - ammonia - nitrites - nitrates.

You need biological media in your system (typically in your filter) to accumulate nitrifying bacteria that turns the toxic ammonia and nitrites into less toxic nitrates. The only way to eliminate nitrates is through regular water changes.

To answer your question though, turtles are pretty hardy creatures, and can handle far more variance in water conditions than most of your typical aquarium pets. High levels of any of the previously mentioned toxins is bad for their health, and should be monitored, but I don't think that's your problem.

Is he young? He may just be growing and shedding some scutes. This is natural and shouldn't cause any concern. You may be overfeeding, and he may not be getting adequate UVB, which can cause shell health problems. Really would need to see a picture to tell what the issue may be.

u/ValdusAurelian · 1 pointr/bettafish

Here's the basic guide for betta care. In particular you'll want to take a look at the section on maintaining the tank.

The quick summary on water parameters: your fish and anything that decays (excess food for instance) in the tank produces ammonia, which is highly toxic. In a cycled tank the filter has a colony of bacteria that turns ammonia into nitrite, which is still toxic. Then another type of bacteria turns nitrite into nitrate which is much less toxic. The only way to remove nitrate is through plants using it as food or by changing the water. This is why you don't want to change your filter media or wash it in tap water with chlorine, you need this bacteria. A test kit gives you all the tools to test your water for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate so you can see if your water is safe. It may look perfectly clean but be full of toxins that could make your fish vulnerable to things like fin rot or outright kill him. This is even more of an issue in such a small volume of water, the toxins can build up very quickly. You should be doing 25%-50% changes on the water at least once per week, maybe twice, treating with a water conditioner like Seachem Prime each time.

75 is too low for a betta, 80 is the typical temperature but anything between 78-82 is good and the more stable it is the better.

If you can't upgrade his tank yet the best course of action is to start doing the 25-50% water changes 1-2 times per week. That should keep his water in good condition so he can start healing.

Edit - If it looks like his tail is continuing to get worse over a couple days you'll probably want to treat him with a round of antibiotics. If it's an infection you don't want it to reach his body. KanaPlex would be my #1 choice.

u/aznexus · 1 pointr/vancouver

I use this:

Lets cook!

It's pretty basic compared to what you want. I'm guessing you have a salt water aquarium?

u/skiiiier · 1 pointr/bettafish

Aquarium light
Aquarium heater
Aquarium filter
Aquarium lid
Water Conditioner
Water test kit
And then you can get the aquarium (10g) at Petco
I strongly recommend live plants: Java ferns, anubius, Marimo Moss Balls, bacopa, cryptocoryne, Valisnaria, hygrophila, easy low light plants. Malaysian, Spider (not sharp), Mopani, and manzanita are all good types of drift wood for a betta aquariums

u/Jeeeepy · 1 pointr/Aquariums

Hi everyone,

I got some questions for my first fishtank.

I got a 29gal aquarium and I want to start it. I plan to buy this filter (Marineland, Penguin 200 (30 to 50G) and this heater (Pawfly 200W). I'm buying this kit and this stress coat from API. I have a cleaning kit and some decos. Should I buy something else?

I would like to stock my aquarium with a Betta as the centerpiece. I've read online that some other species can live with him, what y'all think?


u/doozer_12 · 1 pointr/Aquariums

I am on my phone, and it keeps deleting stuff, so I am going to have to reply in sections and hope that I don't have too many typos.

Did you test for nitrites? If ammonia and nitrites spike, but your nitrates are down, then you might be going into a mini cycle. You shouldn't since you kept your gravel etc, but I have heard that changing the carbon sometimes does that to a small tank after a move because so much bacteria builds up on the cartridge bag. Rinsing the other parts of the filter might do it too.

You should absolutely be monitoring your ammonia as that is usually the most dangerous spike that you can have. A properly cycled tank should have no ammonia, or very low levels of it. Ammonia can spike because of issues with the tap water, a mini cycle, or a dirty tank. It helps to test your tap water every now and then, but you should get in the habit of testing the water in the tank about once a week. More often if your numbers are high. Signs of an ammonia spike can be stressed, sick, or dying fish. Gasping, not swiming properly, hiding, etc. Test strips don't have the best reputaion around here, and I recrecommend a regular test kit. I will look for a link to the API test kit after I post this. I am afraid that doing it now will make me loose everything that I have written (thanks phone).

You should also be using a water conditioner every time you add water to the tank. Prime and Aquaclear are two easy to find brands. Stresscoat is another. If you can't get to a LFS then you can probably find Aquaclear at a grocery store, Target, or Walmart. I would do this ASAP. Edit#4: You mentioned that the tap water and the tank water (pre move I think) had similar parameters. The water conditioner is still important because tap water parameters can fluctuate, some conditioners like Prime or Stress Coat help build the slime coat, and some help with the tanks water cycle. I am going to let the Purigen website explain that to you though, because they do a far better job of it than I can:

It sounds to me like you might be over feeding. Even if that hasn't caused a major spike in your ammonia yet, it will. I feed every other day. Some people recommend feeding daily, except for skipping a day once a week. Never feed more fish flakes than your fish can eat in a few minutes. You can always give them more if they finish that quickly, and it is a big pain to have to vacuum out the extra food if you over feed. Wafers are a bit different. If the algae eater is coming out at night, then feed him before bed and remove what is left the next day.

If your algae eater is acting more comfortably at night then he is probably just adjusting to the move. Most of them prefer the dark anyways. He could also be acting weird because of ammonia or because the water needs to be treated with a water conditioner.

Your Rosy Barbs sound like they need 2 friends. They might have been cool with each other before, but a move like this (even though it is still their tank) can trigger an attitude change. You should really try to get them once you have verified that the ammonia and nitrites in the tank are low, and you have added a water conditioner.

I will post more in edits, but I want to post this now in case my phone acts up.

Edit: The test kit that I mentioned:

Edit #2 I highley recommend investing in something like this for gravel vacuuming and partial water changes: It's fast, easy, and efficient. I ordered a long one and it hooks up straight to my sink. If your substrate is sand then you might want to stick to a turkey baster and snails though.

Edit #3: I mentioned that you really ought to add 2 Rosy Barbs, but I forgot to mention that you can find them already at the size you need if you are willing to make phone calls or possibly go to a few different LFS. The tiger barbs that I rescued were almost fully grown, and my LFS was able to find them tank mates that were similarly sized. They don't have to be exactly the same size, as long as they are close. If your fish are 2.5 inches and you can find a few at 2 inches or close you will probably be ok. It's the young ones that are under an inch that I would stay away from. I would wait on the other barbs until you resolve the bullying with the Rosy barbs.

Edit #5 (see 4 way above): What is the tank's temperature right now?

I will look at this again in the morning, when I am on my computer. My phone hasn't been cooperating. I am sorry if I missed something. Let me know if I did or if you need clarification on something. You are welcome to pm me too.

u/DylanMcDermott · 1 pointr/Aquariums

How long have you had the tank? Was it cycled before you added the fish?

Odds are there's too much waste and possibly too much light in that tank.

Mollies and similar livebearers are pretty high-waste fish and that tank looks pretty small so there's also a reasonable chance that your ammonia levels are pretty high and your tank was overstocked for its filtering capacity. You should get a freshwater test kit (example you could also get a strip but i'd avoid relying on the strip alone) if you want to be able to make a better diagnosis

u/farmertruck42 · 1 pointr/axolotls

Set up for TWO Axolotls

Realistic initial set up cost $145
(Not including cost of axolotls)

$5-$150 30g tank MINIMUM preferably 40+ (OfferUp Facebook groups Craigslist pet stores)

$1-$130Hides - decor or caves or even home made must be water safe even pvc piping works minimum of 2 for each (decor can become expensive fast if you want to make your tank look very “pretty”)

$20-$75 Filter - something with low current flow sponge filter or a canister filter with something to break up a strong flow if you have a sponge filter you need air line tubing and a air pump (link of canister filter is what I use in my 55g tank )

Bacto-Surge High Density Foam Filter

Penn Plax Airline Tubing for Aquariums –Clear and Flexible Resists Kinking, 25 Feet Standard

Tetra Whisper Easy to Use Air Pump for Aquariums (Non-UL)

SUN 4-Stage Aquarium External Canister Filter with 9 Watt UV Sterilizer 264GPH (HW402B with Pro Filter Kits)

$10-$15 Water additives
Water dechlorinator follow instructions on bottle if the tank isn’t fully cycled use prime plus follow instructions on bottle it helps keeps the water healthy for the axolotls too

API TAP WATER CONDITIONER Aquarium Water Conditioner 16-Ounce Bottle

Tetra 77960 SafeStart, 100 Gallon, 250-ml, 1.69-Ounce

$20-$35 API water test kit to make sure the water is in good parameters

API FRESHWATER MASTER TEST KIT 800-Test Freshwater Aquarium Water Master Test Kit

$2-$10 Aquarium thermometer that reads down to 60 degrees F

CNZ Digital LCD Thermometer for Aquarium Fish Tank Vivarium Reptile Terrarium

$5-$20 Aquarium syphon

Aqueon Medium Siphon Vacuum Aquarium Gravel Cleaner, 9-Inch


$2.50-$3 Fishing earth worms (Walmart sporting goods section)
$10-$15 blister pack of 30 blood worm cubes (I can sell them to you while supplies last for $15 or you can buy them at any pet shop that sells fish)

Earth worms when they get bigger try to feed them nibbles of a worm like the size of their head and move up as they get bigger and frozen blood worms for first month to month and a half try to feed the earth worms to the axolotls ever couple days by hand until they start accepting them they might start accepting earth worms as soon as a week after receiving them from me (feed frozen blood worms every other day until they are regularly eating pieces of worm )


You can use a turkey baster and clean up their poops as you see them you’ll still have to do water changes but much less water 25%-35% or use a syphon once a week and do a 30%-50% water change along with the water dechlorinator and some of the safe start plus make sure to test the water regular with the api test kit

Keeping the water to the correct temperature

60-64F is the perfect water temp for them but it can be hard to achieve during summer but doing more regular water changes can help with that and putting a fan over the aquarium blowing on it will help by up to 4-5 degrees

NO SAND OR GRAVEL ESPECIALLY NO GRAVEL EVER sand maybe fine once they are 6-7inches but they will swallow it and they can become impacted and possibly lead to death

u/IcyRip · 1 pointr/axolotls

Hopefully they’ll be ok! I don’t blame you, they’re adorable. I’ve put a couple links to some very trustworthy websites, be sure to read up on Tank environment (ex: sand or bare tank only, no gravel) and diet because they’re special :)

I actually have a worm compost just to keep enough worms around to keep my bois fed, and my tank is in a basement so it stays cool enough with the fan I have on it (15 C to 18 C)

Axolotl City


Also since you mentioned this is your first time with a fully aquatic creature, do you have a water test kit? They’re imperative to tell if your tank is cycled properly or if somethings wrong. I use and personally vouch for the API Master Kit because it’s the cheapest and most accurate chemical set out there. I’ve put an amazon link for that too, and a couple articles about the Nitrogen cycle

API Test Kit

Nitrogen Cycle

Nitrogen Cycle & New Tank Syndrome

Tbh if you read all that, you’ll know pretty much everything you will ever need to!

u/Bananna219 · 1 pointr/bettafish

The Tetra 6-in-1 EasyStrips do not have ammonia, but made sure to purchase the separate ammonia test strips. I will invest in an API freshwater master test kit once these strips run out... or maybe before then if I have some extra cash. Thanks for your advice!

u/Lumumba · 1 pointr/aquaponics

I use the API freshwater master test kit for all my testing needs and this thermometer.

For the hydroton "crib" I just meant that I dug a hole about 4" deep and filled it with just hydroton, and put 2/3rds of the plant in it. Assuming hydroton is the ideal medium for root development, I wanted the plant to have the highest ratio of it as they are starting out.

u/openbluefish · 1 pointr/Aquariums

The irony is that I have spent less on shrimp that the cost of the test kit. I think this is the one that /r/Aquariums likes. I'll try to take a sample to my pet store will test it.

u/JewDewd · 1 pointr/Aquariums

I bought my kit on amazon for about 20$

here is the link

If you want a sustainable population, I highly recommend getting a ton of moss for the shrimp to hide in. You would want smaller fish so they will go at them less (a perfect example are mollies).

u/KaulitzWolf · 1 pointr/Aquariums

Personally i'm a Betta fan, so if you haven't ruled them out completely then here's my suggestion:

get the tank all set up except for plants and begin cycling. I suggest picking up Seachem's Prime for a dechlorinator (it's cheaper in the long run since it's more concentrated and it has some other benefits. This specific bottle treats ~2,500 gallons). You will also want to order the API master test kit if you don't have it yet.

If you want a short cycle try Seachem's Stability to quickly establish the proper cycle and/or get some filter media (the brown gunk) from a friend or LFS. Proper cycling can take weeks to months on a new tank.

Once the tank is established (or before if you're treating with stability) get some good low-light plants like anubias (these are especially good for Betta's, with their broad leaves) and java fern. Mosses are good too. Keep an eye out for pond snails which can easily overtake a tank. Driftwood or other decor can go in now too, get all your aquascaping done before you add any fish.

Now, with the tank all set up and cycled (keep that bacteria fed w/ fish food or pure ammonia) you can go and get your fish. If you are worried about aggression and still want a Betta bring along a small mirror. You can some idea about the fish's temperament, but this test is imperfect. I have a male that flares at anything that moves, but I housed him with both shrimp and Otos (my sorority ate the shrimp when I had them in there) and he just ignored them.

Even if you have an aggressive Betta getting a larger mystery or nerite snail will make that a moot point, since they have thick protective shells. Some Bettas will attack them a little, but when they get no reaction they will get bored and eventually learn to live in peace with it. (contrary to popular belief Bettas can be fantastic in a community tank, not all females are docile little angels, and not all males are ruthless killing machines. There are always some aggressive Bettas, but generally they are only aggressive towards other Bettas and fish that look similar. Note that if you have fancy male guppies then a female Betta is a better option)

u/JxC0112 · 1 pointr/bettafish

Are you starting from scratch and are you new to aquariums?

You can get a 5 gallon ish kit for $30 online or even at a large pet retailer ( All you really need to buy is the interior decorations, heater, etc. I would also look up the cycling process (fishless if possible) and invest in a liquid test kit ( If you are set and really want to have your fish in ASAP, I would suggest getting "Tetra Safestart" to speed up your cycling process, although it will still take around a week.

If you're not new to aquariums, I would suggest looking on amazon. Certain stuff is cheaper than pet stores, especially if you buy in bulk (free shipping!).

u/sombrerobanana · 1 pointr/Aquariums

The 5-in-1 is a test strip kit, right? If I'm right, the one you're looking for is a liquid test kit. Here's a link to it on Amazon. The test strips aren't accurate.

u/Loumeer · 1 pointr/ShrimpTanks

The test strips are useless. They will not give you good reading for anything. You need to get the master API test kit for freshwater.

u/Aetyrno · 1 pointr/Aquariums

It can take a couple days for ammonia to start building up. They may seem fine so far but as their waste builds up in the tank you may start having problems. Look up the signs of ammonia and nitrite poisoning in fish and watch for those.

The most useful thing you can get is a master test kit which will let you test for ammonia and nitrite. Ammonia and nitrite should ideally be 0 (irritant at 0-1ppm, dangerous above 1ppm), nitrate below 40ppm.

Water changes are the best way to control it - change enough water to keep the ammonia below 1ppm until the bacteria build up and are able to keep up with the fish. Feed sparingly while the bacteria is getting established; fish are scavengers and don't need to eat more than a few times a week.

Is your water going through a filter? I personally wouldn't put unfiltered water from a fish-bearing river into my tanks as it could contain fish parasites, but you may also be ok due to the temperature difference between that water and your molly tank.

u/FlyingPinkMonkey · 1 pointr/Aquariums

The conditioner is good for treating tap water. I have never used the stress zyme, but it seems alright for establishing some good bacteria. For fertilizers you can just buy some seachem flourish : and excel . Also be prepared to buy some root tabs if you are getting heavy root feeding plants like amazon swords and jungle val, they will appreciate the extra nutrients . Another option for fertilizers is to make your own with dry fertilizers. This method is much cheaper than buying the expensive commercial ones, so you can look that up and try it out if you want.

For the water testing kit, it is purely optional IMO but highly recommended. They are useful during cycling to check water parameters so you can confirm your tank is indeed 100% cycled. They are also useful for weekly/monthly tank check ups to see if anything is fouling your water (which can potentially kill your plants and fish!). You can either buy the testing strips or the liquid test kit. Both are pretty expensive, but you'll get the most bang for your buck with the liquid test kit-

u/jairuncaloth · 1 pointr/Aquariums

It seems like the thing that more people mess up at first is not respecting the nitrogen cycle. If you try to rush though this step it is almost guaranteed that your pretty new fish won't live. We followed the advice of our LFS and put fish in after two weeks going solely based on their single water test. Only one of our little guys survived. Get stuff to test for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate since that is the only way to tell for sure if your tank has cycled and it's OK to put fish in. Amazon has the best deal I've seen on the test kit I see recommended around here the most. $20 right now and it covers the nitrogen cycle and Ph.

u/Gblaze · 1 pointr/aquaponics

I have this test kit. Where did you find your tilapia from and did you get brood stock or fingerlings? Right now I don't have a lot of fish because I don't have a lot of money and cant find to many good deals on tilapia and definitely can't find any good priced brood stock.

u/Txmcda · 1 pointr/Aquariums

[here](API COPPER TEST KIT 90-Test Aquarium Water Test Kit is the copper test kit. I’ve never personally dealt with copper but I know some common fish foods contain it, so check the ingredients on whatever you feed your betta and if it does contain copper, find a new fish food that doesn’t. If there is a copper problem and the food isn’t the problem, I would use [this](Seachem Cuprisorb 100ml to remedy it. Also I highly recommend investing in an all round ammonia/nitrite/nitrate water testing kit such as [this one](API FRESHWATER MASTER TEST KIT 800-Test Freshwater Aquarium Water Master Test Kit if you don’t already have one.

u/happuning · 1 pointr/bettafish

Seachem Matrix Bio Media 250ml

This should be more than enough.

In case you want a bag to put it in.

API Freshwater Aquarium Water Master Test Kit in case you don't have it already

Absolutely need a liquid test kit, strips aren't accurate, idk what you have haha. If you need anything else linked, just let me know. We all have to start somewhere.

u/TsunamiBob · 1 pointr/Aquariums

Are you using test strips? Most people recommend, at a minimum, the API master test kit.

Also, are you using any glutaraldehyde-containing "liquid carbon" products including but not limited to:

  • Easy Life Easy Carbo
  • Seachem Flourish Excel
  • API CO2 booster
  • Azoo Carbon Plus
  • Cidex
  • Metricide
  • NilocG Enhance
  • Dinosaur Spit
  • Rhinox Easy CO2?
u/dirvin7588 · 1 pointr/axolotls

No no no, I would never intentionally steer someone wrong in the matter of owning and maintaining a pet.

This is the test kit you need. it comes with test tubes and drops. No strips in this test.

u/Farts_the_Clown · 1 pointr/bettafish

I was hoping Ny bc I would've taken him from you and put him in my hospital tank.

A vase is not a tank and a filter is recommended bc a tank needs to be cycled.Cycling is when it can sustain the nitrogen cycle using bacteria that lives inside your tank and your filter. Having a suitable tank, gravel and filter allows the tank to provide a stable environment for your fish.

The setup I recommend is
a 5.5 gallon tank from your local petstore. Petsmart or petco usually has them. If you can get a bigger one then I would suggest that.

The filter i recommend is either an aqua clear hang on back filter like this
or a Im pretty fond of these filters also,
Get a filter that is rated for a tank 1-2 times the size of the tank you would purchase.

I can't recommend a low cost heater but I do recommend you get one and also a thermometer.

Pick up a bag of gravel and maybe a little decorative house also for your fish to hang around and swim in. Providing a stimulating environment for your fish will combat him being "lazy."

I also suggest you read up on the nitrogen cycle and pick up a test kit so the next time you have an issue with your fish, you can tell anyone what the ammonia, nitrate or nitrite levels are in the tank. You can find out what those are from reading about the nitrogen cycle. I suggest this

Read more about properly taking care of you betta and you will see less of these problems and have happier fish. Feel free to ask any questions

u/scupanine · 1 pointr/Goldfish

This is the kit everyone is mentioning- correct?

u/PosEyeTive · 1 pointr/bettafish

If there’s anything I recommend, it’s getting fish medication. It may not seem like a necessity right now, but it’s always good to have on hand.
I would recommend you look into getting Seachem Kanaplex
( )
and Seachem Prime (not a medication, just a good water conditioner)
Oh, and also to test the water parameters you can get the API Master Test Kit
Happy fish keeping! You’ll really fall in love with your betta!

u/SmallMXB · 1 pointr/fishtank

water parameters refers to your ammonia levels, pH, nitrate and nitrite levels. Things u test for in you water that could lead to disease if not under control. You can use an API Test Kit to test your parameters.

u/likeyoubutbetta · 1 pointr/shrimptank

So you need a way to test the ammonia/nitrite/nitrate levels in your tank. Most people use this test kit as it's pretty accurate and easy to use, the only downside is that it's a little expensive depending on what country you're from (pretty cheap in the US but gets more expensive in other countries). This type is a liquid test kit - you put some water in a test tube, add some chemicals and then compare the colour of the water to a chart.

The other kind of test kit is this kind, where you dip a paper strip in the water and see how the colour of the paper changes. On the whole, this kind is very inaccurate and I wouldn't recommend them at all.

u/mandym347 · 1 pointr/Teachers

Ph is a big thing to research, along with cycling a tank, species requirements, and water changes.

Water test kits are helpful, and you can use them to teach the kids a bit of chemistry and scientific method. API is a great brand for this, so you might look at something like this. I don't recommend the test trips; test tubes and droplets tend to more accurate (and more sciencey!)

/r/aquariums is a great place to ask questions.

u/Aquariums_SS · 1 pointr/SubredditSimulator

If you buy an API freshwater master kit is the API master test kit. I need to figure out how to breed them and oscars...So that'll be interesting.

u/100812 · 1 pointr/Koi_Keepers

Koi do not have skin really, there are scales and then a slime coat on top. I can't really see much from the pictures but here's a couple shots in the dark. First they can lose scales from stress and moving. Second have you tested the water in the tank recently for Ammonia, Nitrite and Nitrate? If the tank wasn't properly cycled this may be a problem. If you do not have a way to test for these then you need to get it. I recommend API Master Freshwater test kit.

u/B_Huij · 1 pointr/Aquariums

There is more to plant care than I can easily explain in a reddit comment.

I think though that your primary concern right now should be making sure your NO2 stays as close to 0 as possible while your biofilter grows in. After a couple of weeks you should see your nitrites at 0 consistently. Hopefully you don't have to lose any fish in the process. One of the signs of nitrite poisoning is that your fish will stop eating. So if you notice that, I recommend testing for NO2 and doing a water change immediately if the levels are high.

Best kit I can recommend for testing:

u/Esperath · 1 pointr/PlantedTank

I would start off with the test kits and watch for a week or two to see what your baseline nitrate/phosphate levels are. If you're already keeping fish, or your tap water already contains phosphates, you may not need to dose as frequently or at all. In particular, if you have a ton of fish and not so many plants, you'll probably have an excess of nutrients that need to be removed through water changes.

Phosphate test kit

Master test kit, which includes nitrate test. Ammonia/nitrite are most useful when first cycling your tank, so if your tank is otherwise stable, you could just buy a single nitrate test kit.

If after testing for a while it looks like you need to supplement, then you can look into alternative means for acquiring ferts in your country.

u/Pachurick · 1 pointr/bettafish
u/StartledSophie · 1 pointr/Aquariums

r/bettafish has a caresheet you might find useful. I third the recommendations for a larger tank and cycling your tank before you get critters. I used Tetra Safe Start and got my tank cycled in about a week. You'll probably also need a water testing kit; this is what I use and see recommended a lot.

u/MagicTripLunchBox · 1 pointr/Crayfish

I use test kits from API:
pH, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, hardness

For their main food source, I use calcium-enriched algae pellets.

Not every cray will eat fish, so I wouldn't worry about that at all.

A 10 gallon might be ok for your crayfish right now, but it will eventually require at least a 20 gallon tank (ideally 30+).

Here are some steps you can take to help out your cray:

  • Remove any old food. Do a 50%+ water change, being sure to use a dechlorinating water conditioner like Prime. Make sure the water is about the same temperature as your tank. Repeat water changes at least every other week. Test your parameters to make sure they are ok!
  • Turn your tank lights off (if you have any) and add some more hiding spaces. Try not to spend too much time right next to the tank, or interacting with your cray in any way. It needs time to adjust to its new surroundings. It probably doesn't feel safe just yet.
  • Offer a small piece of algae wafer or blanched vegetable every other day or two. Remove it if not eaten.

    It's great that you're reaching out for more information. It sounds like you and your cray will really benefit from doing some more online research. Read up, there is a lot to learn!
u/checkers15 · 1 pointr/bettafish this is what most recommend. It's more accurate than test strips

u/50percentdriedmango · 1 pointr/bettafish

Update: I really need some advice. The fin rot seems to be slowly getting worse/not really getting better, and my 5.5 gallon tank is still nowhere near cycled (the ammonia just spiked, and I purchased a master test kit so I can test for other levels.)

I've been doing water changes of about 50% every other day now. Is this enough or too much? There are some short clear bits that appear to be fin regrowth at the end of her fins and tail, but above the regrowth there are still portions that look like they're receding. I've been adding in Prime whenever I do a water change.

How much salt can/should I be dosing the tank with weekly?

I was reading online that some people do fish-in cycles with TSS and treat the water with prime to stop the fish from feeling the effects. It sounds like a bad idea since Beatrice has fin rot, but I'm getting really concerned and I really want her fin rot to start healing, especially by now. All of your help is greatly appreciated!

u/otp1144 · 1 pointr/Goldfish

Test strips are not very accurate. You should get this

What kind of filter do you have on it?

Also just because all your fish look healthy, doesn't mean they are

u/Scarbarella · 1 pointr/Koi

Go to a pet store or on amazon to buy a water test. You have no way of knowing your filtration is “very adequate” without it. If koi don’t live in absolutely pristine waters they are so susceptible to disease or succumbing to disease. This could potentially be an easy fix for you. Here’s a link to what I mean:

API FRESHWATER MASTER TEST KIT 800-Test Freshwater Aquarium Water Master Test Kit

Edit to add: koi have an amazing ability to heal on their own when the water is good. Having clear water doesn’t mean the ammonia or nitrates are not sky high. Even with regular water changes I have to watch my ammonia levels.

u/luvdisclover · 1 pointr/bettafish

API Testing kit, get the tubes, not the strips this is what I have and it has everything you need.

also check out the care guide, a testing kit is essential to owning a healthy and happy betta and so is research

u/odakotarose · 1 pointr/bettafish


That's okay, everybody starts out being like 'ammonia? whaaaaat?' :)

Okay, so the quick version is that ammonia is a byproduct of fish waste. Ideally your tank will be cycled (short for Nitrogen cycle), which means that there are good bacteria that live in your filter media and take the ammonia from fish waste (toxic to fish) and convert it into nitrites (still toxic) and then convert that to nitrates (safe as long as they're kept under ~20ppm)

Here's an article that explains it.

Most likely the stuff that was under your gravel could be waste that got buried, or dirt, or other substrate matter that's in your tank.

The thing about ammonia is that it's invisible, and you can't really smell it unless it's straight ammonia, which is just horrific smelling- it's the stuff that makes window cleaner smell so acrid, so you can imagine how bad it would feel swimming in the stuff. Ammonia can 'burn' fish fins and if left unchecked it can kill, so testing for ammonia would be really good to make sure the water is safe for your fish. Keeping the ammonia levels down will also help his fins heal faster.

This is a fantatic water testing kit that most aquarium keepers swear by- it's simple, cheap and has 800 tests in it so you'll be good for a couple years. Also this kind of test is more accurate than the strips.

Seachem Prime is the water conditioner most people swear by, because not only does it detoxify ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates (the parts of the nitrogen cycle I mentioned earlier) but it also removes chlorine and chloramines which are found in tap water and are safe for humans in small quantities but really bad for fish.

If you can only do one of the two right now, I would get the Seachem Prime immediately, and you can dose 1-2 drops per gallon, every day.

Sorry for such an info dump, lol.

tl;dr Read up on the nitrogen cycle because knowing how it works will help keep your fish healthy, get Seachem Prime to condition your water, and get an API Freshwater Master Test kit if you can afford it.

u/atvar8 · 1 pointr/bettafish

> It will be more expensive up front, but will cost you so much less in the long run to get an API master liquid test kit ( The strips actually end up being way more expensive in the long run and can be inaccurate.

How often would I need to re-purchase this, if at all?

> Get an adjustable heater (

This is one of the models I was considering! Glad to know I wasn't looking at crap. :D

> When you run out of water conditioner get Seachem Prime. It lasts forever as you only need literally about 1 drop per gallon. It also happens to be the best conditioner out there in terms of keeping your fish safe.

What makes one conditioner better than another? Chemical makeup and concentration? I'll go ahead and get this when I run out, I'm just curious.

Also, another question... What's the general stance on things like moss balls? What sort of live plant should I get for an office that has zero natural sunlight, and will it grow in the gravel, or do I need a different substrate?

u/teskham · 1 pointr/Aquariums

only the tests in here. Plus seachem's copper test.

u/zynix · 1 pointr/aquaponics

>I can't find the other comments that you left

That's a bit odd, will check to see if I kept a backup.

> going to have my water tested by my local fish shop. - If you are in the USA and have Amazon Prime, this is the cheapest you will ever find it.

u/MsRenee · 1 pointr/bettafish

Most likely not a water quality issue then. As far as test kits, I like the API master test kit. I don't know that I would call it cheap, but it's got everything you need in there and it does quite a few tests.

I'd be interested in seeing a video of the behavior you're worried about. I've got a fish that I could describe as swimming sporadically against the front of the tank, but it's just his way of begging for food.

u/cupofj47 · 1 pointr/bettafish

Congrats on your new betta.
I had a betta- halfmoon with a tail like that.
It's not fin rot. It's just the coloring on the tail. Fin rot is also ragged and dark.

Your tank being under a week old means it's not cycled.
Read this article. ( ) It will help you understand the whole nitrogen cycle. In a nutshell- you need bacteria that will break down the deadly ammonia produced by your fish when it poops. It takes time for the bacteria to grow. In the meantime, so your fish doesn't die of ammonia burn/ammonia poisoning you will have to do lots of water changes and stay on top of the water parameters. Get yourself an API liquid freshwater water testing kit.

Broke? I don't recommend this and I did this when I didn't know any better, but I cycled the very first tank in this manner- get the ammonia testing kit and the 5 in 1 testing strips. It's better than nothing. The liquid is best and most cost effective in the long run.

Ammonia readings of any kind are no good. Ammonia should always read 0. Nitrites are also bad. They should read 0. Nitrates are meh. anywhere between 5-20 is alright. 40 and above isn't great. You keep nitrates low with plants. There's also PH. 7.2 to about 8.1 is OK.

So test that water. Daily water changes- 25-40% depending on your ammonia/nitrite (not the nitrates, you see nitrates, that means the right bacteria are starting to grow in ) readings. Do not overfeed. Lots of patience. It takes about a month to cycle a tank.

Good luck.

u/addman1405 · 1 pointr/Aquariums

Looks like ammonia burns to me. Anything sharp he could have knocked his noodle against?

This kit will change your life. Seriously.

u/PlantedTank · 1 pointr/bettafish

The test strips aren't the best. Something like a Master Test Kit is pretty standard among freshwater fish keepers. They are liquid tests, They test for PH, Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate. I would also take a sample of your tap water for a specialty fish store and have them test for dGH and KH. This is to get a baseline, and see if it is outside of what is healthy for the fish you choose to keep. Look up what dGH and KH your Betta needs, if your tap water falls within those lines, great! No need to worry much about that in the future. If not then go ahead and buy a kit to test for them, Read up on either Remineralizing if it is to low, or splitting distilled with your tap water if its basically liquid rock. Bear in mind that dGH and KH does not evaporate out of the water, so if you just keep topping off instead of doing water changes it will continue to rise. But your going to be doing plenty of healthy water changes anyways right? Great! So don't worry about it as long as the base line from your tap is safe.

If your drinking water is provided by a public water supplier, the quality of water is regulated. Suppliers must routinely test and report their water. So if you contact your water utility company they can provide information on your tap water. You can look for things like levels of chlorine, copper content, Lead (oh my!) and other things. Its good to know, for you, and your fish.

u/Venymae · 1 pointr/bettafish

The most accessible and reliable one is the API master test kit. Since you don't have one, a water change can never* hurt. Fresh water and conditioner. Have you changed anything recently? New filter pad? New water source? New food?

u/gottagetanotherbetta · 1 pointr/bettafish

The problem you have is that these strips are very inaccurate and they are difficult to read. Also they don't test for ammonia which is the most important thing you need to know in a new tank. You need to get a liquid test kit like this, it's much better.

I would say that it looks like you do have a small amount of nitrites (NO2) which is not good so I'd do daily water changes and follow the instructions in the sidebar for doing a fish-in cycle.

u/rhytz · 1 pointr/Aquariums

Not sure if you tried to include a picture. I don't think bio enhancer will really help you. Your best bet will be to follow the fishless cycling routine and wait for your good bacteria to naturally establish itself. If you don't have an actual water test kit, I recommend getting one (fishing keeping can get expensive fast).

Actually, I remember using gravel like yours in a betta tank and it was awful with tiny rock specks floating everywhere. It was so annoying. I think sand is a lot easier to deal with and looks better.

u/nothing_gets_past_u · 1 pointr/Aquariums It's at the cheapest it's been in a while so it's a good time to buy one.

u/bettab00000 · 1 pointr/bettafish

Strips are inaccurate. The Master Kit is $22 at Petsmart, they'll price match their online price.

The kH and gH kit is on Amazon, might be at Petsmart but I never seen.

u/Elhazar · 1 pointr/PlantedTank

As a bare minimum you should have ammonia, nitrite and nitrate - all stages of the Nitrogen Cycle. Usually you can get all cheap as part of one kit, like API Master Test Kit.

Sure, you can leaves your plants alone. The plant will also take up some of the detritus for nutrients, so that's fine.

u/PM_your_cheesy_bread · 1 pointr/Aquariums

Ideally you want to test for 3 parameters: ammonia (NH4), nitrite (NO2), and nitrate (NO3). Take a look at this simplified diagram illustrating what is happening in an aquarium. The first two nitrogen compounds are ammonia, which comes from waste, and nitrite, which is the first compound that ammonia gets broken down into by the nitrosomona bacteria in your bio filter. Those two compounds are the most dangerous to fish so if you are only testing for two of the three compounds, I would recommend NH4 and NO2. The nitrates should be the only compound increasing in concentration in a properly cycled tank, and they can only be removed by water changes. However, they are generally not acutely toxic to fish so they pose no threat under ~20 ppm. The API freshwater master test kit is what a lot of people use. For only $21 you can test for all 3 parameters as well as pH. It contains hundreds of tests for each, and once your tank is fully cycled you shouldn't have to test water parameters very frequently. Realistically that is $21 for months of water tests. Another note, if you ever come to this subreddit for help if you notice your fish behaving weirdly, the first thing people are going to ask for are your ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate concentrations. If you can't provide that, you won't be able to get help diagnosing an issue. So all in all, the $21 would be an extremely good investment.

u/hannick9 · 1 pointr/bettafish

Do you have a water test kit? Many people use this one:

u/VinylScratch01 · 1 pointr/Goldfish

Do you know if they used strips or test tubes?

I would recommend buying one of These it will give way more accurate results than strips. And it will last like 800 tests, great for if any time something seems off in the tank

u/DrZed400 · 1 pointr/Goldfish

U can find seachem prime and the test kit in pet stores.