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Old 03-26-2012, 01:38 PM   #1 
masustic
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first betta

so i am new here and any advice would be greatly appreciated In fact I just signed up today. So much useful info in here I couldn't resist. Well about a month ago my two daughters talked me into going into petsmart and fell in love with a couple bettas. So on the advice of the clerk I got them two small bowls and the fish and headed home. Got them set up in there bowls and the kids loved it. I however had a feeling that this could not be right. So after a night of researching the next day I went out and got them each a 5gal heated and filtered tank. They have been in there tanks for about a month or so and seem to be doing well. They were both small and almost albino looking when we got them. Now a month later they have grown a bit and are very colorful!They also got tank mates last week. They each have 2 ghost shrimp and 2 small cory cats. I am not sure if the tanks are big enough but they seem to all get along great.I have really fell for the little guys, I would of never thought I would be sitting in the kids room talking to fish all day
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Old 03-26-2012, 04:29 PM   #2 
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Congrats and welcome to the wonderful world of the fish keeping hobby...great hobby to be apart of and share with the whole family....

You are correct in your thought that the 5gal tanks are not suited for more fish along with the Bettas-its not so much of them getting along that can be problematic-it more in the lines that the 5gal tanks doesn't have enough space to meet the needs of the other species of fish-especially since they really should be kept in larger groups of at least 6 or more-its not that they will drop dead if not kept in the proper numbers-but more that it can limit stress, help make them feel safe-plus when kept in proper groups with the correct substrate you get to enjoy their neat personalities and playful behaviors....one of our goals in fish keeping is to meet needs and for them to live a full life as can be done in a closed system.....sounds like another tank is in order.....lol......

The ghost shrimp are the perfect tankmates for the Betta in the 5gal tank, however, sometimes they can end up as snacks-this can vary based on the Betta itself and type of cover you have for them, sadly ghost shrimp are short lived to start-usually 1-2 years.....

You will find with fish keeping the best way to keep them healthy is by prevention-this being water quality and nutrition....since your setup are new you are going to be going through the nitrogen cycle for the first 4-8 weeks and you might need to add a 50% water only change to your already weekly 50% with vacuum you should currently be doing to maintain water quality-unless you have water test kit on hand-then base the second 50% water only on test results of ammonia, nitrite 0.25ppm or greater

Once you have nitrate 5-10ppm without any ammonia, nitrite spikes for several days-you are most likely cycled and the 50% with vacuum weekly is all that need to be done to maintain water quality....then you need to start giving the filter media a swish/rinse in the bucket of old tank water with a water change a couple of times a month to maintain the filter media......

Remembering that aquariums are closed systems and nothing leaves the tank until you remove it....what is in the filter is just being circulated over and over until bacteria takes care of it and even then you can have build up of that....everything is recycled in a sense.....

Look forward to seeing pic and hearing more about you and your children fish keeping adventures.....
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Old 03-26-2012, 07:54 PM   #3 
Bombalurina
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As usual, OFL gives the best advice.

Is there any way for you to return the cories, or upgrade to a larger tank? If you bought one 20 gallon tank you could divide it and have a betta and 4-6 cories in each section. :)
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Old 03-26-2012, 09:07 PM   #4 
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Well after reading your posts I called up a friend of mine and he is willing to trade me 2 10g tanks for my 5g's and 10 bucks. Would a 10g be enough space for a betta and a group of cories? I also picked up some new filters today as my attempts to slow the flow of the ones we had did not work. I picked up two tetra whisper 10i's on the advice of a friend. hopefully those will work with the new tanks also.Have not opened them yet just to be safe. also I am looking into using sand instead of gravel in the new tanks. Thanks for all the advice guys!!
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Old 03-26-2012, 10:04 PM   #5 
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Sand is definitely the way to go for cories - nicer for their barbels and it's so cute to watch them play in it. Just be aware that with sand you need to poke/stir it on a regular basis to prevent gas pockets forming.

Huzzah on the ten gallons, they are fine for cories and a betta. :) What sort of cories do you have? If pygmies, get a school of 6-8 per tank. If pandas, 4-6, and if the larger species (bronze, peppered etc), 4 is the number. Remember that they need schools of their own species of cory. :)

To speed up the cycle in your new filters, transfer the old filter media across, since they will already be colonised with some good bacteria. :)

You seem like a really good fish parent - ready to keep on upgrading for your fish! :) It's lovely to see.
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Old 03-26-2012, 10:20 PM   #6 
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I have been reading up on sand and saw a thread about stirring it up alot. The cories are peppered. The 10 gallons will be here in the morning so I guess I know what I will be doing tomorrow. The best part is the kids are really getting into it. They are really excited and love to help me do water changes and such. This is my first go at keeping fish so it is a great learning experience for all of us. The 5 year old is already asking if we can put "real plants" in the tank......I think we will save that for after we get the hang of the fish
Thanks again everyone for the info

the pic in my avatar is Dotty! He was almost all white when we got him but his tail had blue dots all over it and thats how he got his name(5 year old logic)

Last edited by masustic; 03-26-2012 at 10:23 PM.
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Old 03-26-2012, 11:20 PM   #7 
djembekah
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very pretty fish ^-^
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Old 03-26-2012, 11:32 PM   #8 
Bombalurina
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I love the way marbles change colour like that. :)

Peppered cories are beautiful, no? I love their irridescence. :) I'd suggest 4 for each tank. :)
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