A few questions... - Betta Fish and Betta Fish Care
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-18-2013, 02:20 PM Thread Starter
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A few questions...

So I planted my 5 gal tank last Thursday. Since I'd had a few failures in the past, I didn't completely convert it to a NPT. I left two of his big fake plants, and put in some wisteria. I used Miracle Gro Organic Potting Mix as my substrate, and gravel as my cap. I have a 6500K lightbulb for it too.

The plants are doing well, one has clearly grown a bit more, some others look like they may be growing new leaves.

Now I just had a few questions since I want to make sure I'm doing it right this time...

1) Do I need to put any CO2 thing in the tank?

2) When do you need to prune the plants? Also, what's the best way to do it?

3) One of the plants has some leaves that seem to be disintegrating. Should I be worried?
(The substrate got really kicked up when I was adding water when I set it up, so a lot of the plants and other stuff has a fine coating of dirt. I rubbed the dirt off most of the plants today because I didn't want it to affect the plants' ability to absorb light. When I rubbed on that leaf, it just fell apart totally.)

4) Is tannis (I think that's what its called) leaking from the soil a problem for my betta?
(I didn't know about soaking it to get rid of tannis until after I was finished with the tank. I did remove basically all the larger wood chips from the soil before I used it for my tank.)

5) How long until the Ammonia spike stops?
(I've been changing out about 1 1/2 gallons of water from his tank daily to make sure that it doesn't harm him.. and also to deal with the tannis.)

I think thats all the questions I had. If this goes well, I'll consider adding more plants and making it a real NPT. For now, his PVC pipe decorations will stay :P
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-18-2013, 02:28 PM
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1. CO2 shouldn't be necessary, but some more difficult species do require it. If you put up a list of what you have I can tell you if it is necessary.

2. I wouldn't do any serious cutting until the plants have time to establish themselves only cut off the dead leaves. I would imagine waiting about a month would be fine and then trim back the largest leaves down to the substrate level. I could give more specific direction with a list of plants.

3. It isn't anything to worry about it is normal for plants to die off some when placed in a new tank. It should grow new leaves soon.

4. I have never experienced tannins leaking from the wood within the soil, but then again I use a sand cap for mine and that provides a tighter seal than gravel. If it is just tannins (tea colored) leaking out then it will actually benefit your betta not harm it.

5. I can't say for sure when the ammonia spikes will stop occurring because every tank is different, but as long as you continue with the daily water changes the betta should be fine.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-18-2013, 02:36 PM Thread Starter
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1) I just have water wisteria. It was the only low light plant that Petsmart had that wasn't half dead. If this goes well, then eventually I'm going to get more plants

3) Okay. It was only on two of them, so I just wanted to check

4) For my own curiosity, how does it benefit bettas?

5) Thats fine. I got one of the Mardel test strip kits, and it says its only gotten up to 0.5 (but since its strips its prob a little higher).

My boy built a bubble nest even tho the filter was on, so I'm taking that as his approval of his new setup.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-18-2013, 02:45 PM
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Okay, you definitely don't need to worry about CO2. Water wisteria is very easy to grow and you may even find yourself with too much of it.

The tannins soften the water and make it more acidic which bettas enjoy. The tint that it provides to the water is also appreciated by bettas because it simulates a more natural environment.

I highly recommend springing for the API Liquid test master kit. It is far more accurate than strips. You may be needing to do larger quantity water changes if the strips are reading 0.5 as that much ammonia will be harmful for the betta's health.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-18-2013, 02:56 PM Thread Starter
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Good. I like having one less thing to worry about.

Thats interesting, thanks for that tidbit of knowledge.

I've been considering getting one lately. It makes sense to get a liquid kit anyway. If you're only using a few drops per test, then you'll end up saving money in the long run. I'll get one on Thursday since thats my day off
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