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Old 12-27-2012, 04:00 AM   #1 
Kytkattin
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Arrow First NPT: The Early Stages

As some of you may know, I won the recent Christmas contest for a betta on Aquabid. The currently un-named fish (a giant) will be shipping from Thailand early in the new year. I had originally started another tank, but I decided that I am done with gravel so I restarted 3 days ago. This is my progress so far. It still needs a lot of work, and the light I currently am using, while plant appropriate, is only temporary until I can build my own soon with much higher wattage. I don't really know what I am growing, I just wanted stuff with roots! And of course fully aquatic. lol. I plan on getting some ghost shrimp tomorrow as my "canaries in the coal mine" as it were, and doing a full test with my API master test kit. I want it to be as safe and perfect as possible. Hopefully my IAL will get in before he gets here. Any plant that is a must-have that I should be looking for when I go out shopping? How does it look so far? Am I doing anything seriously wrong? Also, should I start him off with a lower water level or smaller tank? I imagine that he will have spent the last 4 months in a 1 gallon or less and don't want to stress him out more than traveling almost 8000 miles will already. Of course I am majorly stressing that I don't know what I am doing even though I have been a good betta keeper for a few years now. Anyone want to lend me some sanity?



And the fish, in case you didn't see:

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Old 12-27-2012, 06:05 AM   #2 
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It looks like you have the substrate rooted plants covered. Maybe add some tall plants and floating plants for balance and cover. That should help your new betta with the stress of new surroundings.
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Old 12-27-2012, 11:41 AM   #3 
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Yep, tall plants and some floaters (maybe oak leaves too if you have them, they float for a while and then sink) should help too - you've got a great start there.

My standard for my bettas is lots of plants, varying heights, oak leaves, floating plants (I have salvinia and water sprite), and driftwood. That way they feel safe with cover and have lots of places to explore when they're ready.

Also, maybe a coffee cup or some sort of ornament for hiding...IDK if this is appropriate for a NPT...some fish use them, some don't, but it might be nice if he's stressed at first.

That is one beautiful fish...congrats on winning him! I think he's gonna be so so so happy to be with you in that beautiful big tank, even if he does spaz out a bit at the beginning. Its also fabulous that this fish is going to a responsible owner as opposed to a careless person...go you!

HTH. Forgive me if it doesn't!
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Old 12-27-2012, 01:57 PM   #4 
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I am currently conflicted on what hardscape items I should get as this is technically a temporary set up until May when he will be moved into a tank with a full hardscape built from concrete that is in the works. I was really tempted to get a nice big piece of driftwood, but I don't want it to go to waste when I am finished. For $5 at Petco though they have a really cute branch wrapped in Christmas moss that I am considering getting and will give the tank instant height. I am also going to look for some dwarf-hairgrass while I am out, or just something that doesn't have broad leaves!

I am slightly overwhelmed with Crypts right now. I bought two pots of them, what I think to be different species, and one of them had like 15 plants. The other one is just one big plant that you can see on the right side. And at the way back, not doing so hot, is an Amazon Compacta.

Oh, and I threw away the packaging, but I have something growing in the back behind the anubuis that is supposed to grow right to the top! It is really pretty and subtle.

I got all these plants except the crypts and moss ball on 50% off clearance, hence why the sword isn't the greatest right now, but I believe it can come back. The anubius was the best deal. They look perfect, even if I am stuck with Nana again.

I really want a banana plant, maybe some wisteria (but I haven't had success with that one in the past), and if push comes to shove, I will get anacharis for height. Oh, and frogbit for surface floaters. I have always wanted frogbit! I am going to go to a different Petsmart today that had some rarer plants on clearance the last time I was in so wish me luck! And thank you for saying I am a good keeper. I don't always feel like one. At the very least I have been doing this for 10+ years now, so at least you know I won't get bored and know a few things!
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Old 12-28-2012, 01:28 AM   #5 
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Went and got some more plants today. Here is a picture of what it looks like now.
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Old 12-28-2012, 09:48 AM   #6 
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You may want to add another 1/2" or more to the top layer.

Whatever you capped the soil with doesn't seem sufficient.

Scoop out the floating bits of soil on the surface before they fall back down.

Otherwise it looks good so far.

Really like the red lettuce in the center. What is the scientific name for that plant?
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Old 12-28-2012, 10:24 AM   #7 
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That looks great! Any betta would be happy to be in there, I think.

And, if the driftwood is a concern, you can skip it. It's not necessary, especially since this tank is temporary. ATM I have driftwood all over the place, some not being used, and it is a waste of money, although that mopani wood is pretty cheap at the LFS.
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Old 12-28-2012, 01:14 PM   #8 
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I broke the cap when I poured water in the first night. So the cap was fine, it was a mistake on my part. My shoulder is kind of bum sometimes and that darn watering can is heavy so I missed the plate at one point while pouring.

telanthera cardinalis is the pink plant. Supposedly an easy to grow plant despite the stunning pink foliage. Of course it wasn't cheap either. Came from a little pack from Petsmart for $10. The only other plant that comes close to that price was the Marimo at $7. Of course the Marimo won't grow very fast so there isn't really a chance I could ever sell cuttings of it like I will hopefully be able to do with this one.

This video (among others on youtube) helped put things into perspective. This fish is probably coming from less than 2 gallons with either an IAL or similar leaf, or nothing at all. I think he will be just fine in this tank as long as the water stays clean and warm.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YSF1SFtucKk
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