Please evaluate my tank for my sorority - Betta Fish and Betta Fish Care
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-03-2013, 05:53 PM Thread Starter
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Please evaluate my tank for my sorority

I've been getting my 12 gallon tank ready for my 4 girls, which should arrive in about one week. Today I did a 80 percent water change, vacuumed the gravel, cleaned the sides, and removed any plant debris.

I still too new to remember the names of my plants. I know there is wisteria, anubis, hornwort, and banana. There are two long leaf plants, but I don't know their names. I want to buy some floating water sprite to give better surface coverage. Can anyone tell me where I can purchase some?

I have driftwood with a plant growing on it, a floating log, the red cylinder with holes in it, clay pot, and a decorative reef.

Currently in the tank are one female betta, two female platys and one male platy, three albino cory cats and one panda, and six surviving platy fry. I have one other female betta currently in quarantine. It will grieve me to take my platys back to the lfs, because I have enjoyed watching the babies, but since they are pooping machines, I will take them out of the tank.

So that will leave me with 6 female bettas and four cory cats. Should I get a mystery snail? Anything else?

I hope I get a good score from you guys, but I've got a week to make whatever improvements I need to make before the girls get here.

Thanks for your advice!
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Boys:Miracle; Pasodoble;Blaze;Girls:Sapphire;Dodie;Queen B;Jewels;Pretty Bird;Sweetheart;Trouble;Blessing;
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-03-2013, 06:15 PM
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The long leaves are Valisneria, looks like Java fern in front/on the driftwood with Anubias on top? Hard to tell in the picture.

Looks pretty good to me, I think you need more breaking points in the middle/front though. I suggest some Cabomda or Cardamine Lyrata maybe. Rotala or Ludwigia would make a nice accent as well. And maybe some Cryptocoryne Wendii up front on the sides would be nice too

As far as the floating water sprite, I found mine at my LFS so maybe look around at stores. You can always just take a regular planted water sprite and let it float, position the stems so they go outwards like a starfish and then it will grow new shoots up towards the light. You push them back down into the water otherwise they'll get burned. I have to do this nearly every other day with my water sprite in the 33 with my sorority but it's worth it!

RJ (H. Lifalili), Acara (EB)
Ghost, Trip (Angels)
Leopards: 2:3 Hawkeye, Cullen, Luna, Astrael, Dorian
Gargoyle: Cloudjumper
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-03-2013, 06:32 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, Lilnaugrim!

Will I be able to get most or all of that at my LFS, or should I order it online? I live near enough cities that I could find aquarium shops, Petcos and Petsmarts and other fish stores. Which is the best one shop stop for plants?

Boys:Miracle; Pasodoble;Blaze;Girls:Sapphire;Dodie;Queen B;Jewels;Pretty Bird;Sweetheart;Trouble;Blessing;
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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-03-2013, 06:36 PM
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Local, little stores. Petco and Petsmart often mismark their plants as "aquatic" but they aren't. If you're near Dallas, Dallas North Aquarium in Carrollton is nice ^^ I love going in there.

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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-03-2013, 06:43 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, Kithy! I'm closer to Denton, but can still make it.

A filter question. Again, forgive my ignorance. The aquarium has an apparatus that keeps the water stirred up, but no sponge filter like my 4 gallon Aqueon. Should I buy a sponge filter? If so, what kind?

Boys:Miracle; Pasodoble;Blaze;Girls:Sapphire;Dodie;Queen B;Jewels;Pretty Bird;Sweetheart;Trouble;Blessing;
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-03-2013, 07:08 PM Thread Starter
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I've attached close-up photos of the plants and how they are "planted" currently. How should I better secure these plants for their best success of thriving? Two of the plants were potted. I took one out of its pot. you will see it is right next to the other that is still in it's pot. One store clerk told me to leave them in the pot, the other told me to take them out. What is best?

Two of the plants, one being the wisteria, is wrapped or tied at the roots. Should I push these deeper in the gravel?

Thanks again!
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File Type: jpg Photo-60.jpg (48.0 KB, 100 views)
File Type: jpg Photo-59.jpg (41.2 KB, 100 views)

Boys:Miracle; Pasodoble;Blaze;Girls:Sapphire;Dodie;Queen B;Jewels;Pretty Bird;Sweetheart;Trouble;Blessing;
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-03-2013, 07:13 PM
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I've no experience with sponge filters >.< I have all my filters baffled in various ways. Sponge filters are good because I think they are supposed to cause less disruption which is great for long finned fish.

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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-03-2013, 07:19 PM
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Actually in a sorority you kind of want a power head or a HOB or something that will create current. It helps break up fights and chasing.

And for the pots, take them out of the pots and out of the wool. If you don't, it won't root in your substrate. All plants can be pushed right down into the gravel except for ones with rhizomes which happen to be Java Fern and Anubias. They can be buried with the roots, but the part that the leafs come from have to be out in the open. So that's why it's easier to tie it to driftwood or rocks or ornaments

But yes, take them all out of pots, give the roots a bit of a trim too if you can, just a little bit like less than half an inch. This stimulates new root growth which is obviously good! And yes also unwrap the lead weights from the plants, those can cause plants to rot. And then you can separate the stems just a little so they have breathing room and then room to grow as well and fill in nicely.

RJ (H. Lifalili), Acara (EB)
Ghost, Trip (Angels)
Leopards: 2:3 Hawkeye, Cullen, Luna, Astrael, Dorian
Gargoyle: Cloudjumper
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-03-2013, 07:25 PM Thread Starter
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If you look close at the left of the aquarium, you will see that I have baffled the flow with pantyhose tied with a rubberband. I will make sure there is enough current to keep the girls too busy to fight.

And I will follow all of your suggestions regarding roots and pots.

Boys:Miracle; Pasodoble;Blaze;Girls:Sapphire;Dodie;Queen B;Jewels;Pretty Bird;Sweetheart;Trouble;Blessing;

Last edited by Janan; 07-03-2013 at 07:29 PM.
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-03-2013, 07:29 PM
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That's fine then, what exactly is it though? Is it a filter or just something to blow the water around? Either way, you can add a sponge filter if you like, certainly no harm but if you don't think you'll need it then that's fine too. It would certainly give a boost for the beneficial bacteria to take place and colonize on

RJ (H. Lifalili), Acara (EB)
Ghost, Trip (Angels)
Leopards: 2:3 Hawkeye, Cullen, Luna, Astrael, Dorian
Gargoyle: Cloudjumper
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