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This is exactly why I stopped cleaning the tank and it bumped the ammonia level to 0.5 (however there is never any leftover food with this Betta).

I think my original issue was a bacteria bloom caused by dosing the tank with Stability and no ammonia source.

Yesterday I restarted Stability with an initial dose, I’ll continue the maintenance dose for 7 days, and keep an eye on the ammonia level.
You still clean the tank just don't add anything else to the tank besides food and daily/weekly maintenance. Just let it naturally do its thing. Too much of a change at once will kill your betta. And let me tell you whe they say the swings can go hard in smaller tanks thats true. All I do in small to nano tanks. 2 gallon all the way to 40 gallon. Used to do big tanks bit its not challenging enough for me. All 5 of my tanks are planted and have some kind of living animal in it. Been going good for years just doing fish in cycles and letting the tanks do their thing. Just water changes and feeding.
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 · (Edited)
Just water changes and feeding.
On that note, I have not changed the water yet.

There seems to be a lot of mixed opinions about whether or not to change the water before the tank has cycled.

If my ammonia spikes to an unsafe level I’ll try a 25% water change to see if that improves things.

Also, what do you consider to be daily/weekly maintenance?
 

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On that note, I have not changed the water yet.

There seems to be a lot of mixed opinions about whether or not to change the water before the tank has cycled.

If my ammonia spikes to an unsafe level I’ll try a 25% water change to see if that improves things.

Also, what do you consider to be daily/weekly maintenance?
Glad you asked. I rinse my filter media in a bucket of tank water once a week. Two times a week I do a quarter (25%) tank water change. Once a week I have to trim plants in 4 aquariums as my 2.5 only has floaters, shrimp, and anubias (Blackwater setup). I wipe down the outside of the glass and if the inside needs it I scrap off the algae on that. Plus if you add liquid nutrients you'll need that as instructed on bottle. Or if you have co2 check that its not low or pushing to much into the aquarium. I also check and clean all equipment (heaters, filters, temp probs, lighting guards, etc
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 · (Edited)
I rinse my filter media in a bucket of tank water once a week.
Interesting. Does the bucket of tank water get returned to the tank after using it to rinse your filter media? If not, isn’t there a lot of beneficial bacteria living in the filter media that are being discarded with the waste water?

Also, is this good practice with every kind of filter? My Aqueon has ready-to-use filters, is there be a benefit to rinsing those weekly?
 

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Interesting. Does the bucket of tank water get returned to the tank after using it to rinse your filter media? If not, isn’t there a lot of beneficial bacteria living in the filter media that are being discarded with the waste water?

Also, is this good practice with every kind of filter? My Aqueon has ready-to-use filters, is there be a benefit to rinsing those weekly?
You dump the water used for rinsing. You might lose some, but not really enough to say so, as it lives in the media.

When you say "ready-to-use", do you mean cartridges? My advice, is don't use them. I'd get some coarse sponge or ceramic bio media and some filter floss. Put the sponge/media in the bottom of the filter, top it off with some floss. Those cartridges are expensive and unnecessary.
 
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