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Old 01-16-2013, 09:42 PM   #341 
katmandew
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Thank you for your advice. I didn't realize I could go without a filter. I was just reading the post on cycling..argh....I am already driving myself insane with this. Do you think I should clean everything out and start all over doing a fishless cycle? and the person from Petsmart said to do a once a week 25% water change, does that sound right? Also this gravel vac thing looks a little difficult but now would probably be a good time to practice with it.

One other thing what kind of live plants would you recommend and what needs to be done to maintain them? with the live plants do you leave the lid on your tank and use your light? I just ordered the API testing kit and the Prime conditioner :)

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Old 01-16-2013, 10:14 PM   #342 
twolovers101
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Quote:
Originally Posted by katmandew View Post
Thank you for your advice. I didn't realize I could go without a filter. I was just reading the post on cycling..argh....I am already driving myself insane with this. Do you think I should clean everything out and start all over doing a fishless cycle? and the person from Petsmart said to do a once a week 25% water change, does that sound right? Also this gravel vac thing looks a little difficult but now would probably be a good time to practice with it.

One other thing what kind of live plants would you recommend and what needs to be done to maintain them? with the live plants do you leave the lid on your tank and use your light? I just ordered the API testing kit and the Prime conditioner :)
Bettas are one of those fish where having a filter is totally optional as their long fins can making having a current a tad stressful. I would just wash everything out with very hot water (no soap).

If you stick with the filter and want to do a fish-less cycle, that would be the easiest route for both you and the fish. When you cycle a tank you have to do water tests almost daily and do water changes whenever there is a large spike in ammonia, nitrite, or nitrate. Usually those changes will be 50%. Once your tank is cycled then you can do 25% weekly changes but it's still a good idea to do a test once a week.

Gravel vacs can take a bit of getting used to, so when you do your changes while you're cycling it'd be helpful to practice :)

If you choose to go the planted route there are tons of options open to you, this thread http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=114575 has a lot of good information.

Some good beginner plants are: anacharis, water wisteria, hornwort, java moss, java fern, marimo moss balls, and anubias

Light wise, you're going to want to get a 6500K CFL (compact fluorescent) bulb I think the wattage rating on the hood is 13 W, I found a 10W 6500k CFL bulb at walmart that has been working amazingly well for me.
If you do the full planted route, then you will need to do roughly 25-50% water changes until your tank can maintain itself. One member who is very knowledgeable about planted tanks, Old Fish Lady, will tell you that if you get enough of the right plants then you will be able to create a self-sustaining environment and not need to do water changes at all. Though some people still do it out of habit.

Lastly, don't be afraid to ask questions, you can never ask too many, and it's better to be well informed than confused :)
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Old 01-16-2013, 10:28 PM   #343 
katmandew
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Wow this is a lot to take in! I found how to do a baffle for the filter so I think for now until I know what I'm doing, I'll stick with the filter and the decorations I already have. As soon as the test kit and conditioner arrive I will clean everything and start over and cycle the tank before getting another fish. Meanwhile I can practice with the gravel vacuum.

Thank you again for all your help, it's very much appreciated!!
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Old 01-16-2013, 10:29 PM   #344 
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You're welcome :) good luck!
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Old 01-17-2013, 10:49 AM   #345 
sunlight
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If you don't want to cycle i don't blame you. I don't cycle my 5 gall tank because it a pain for me. You can just do 1-50 and 1-100% water changes every 8 days.
Also i would suggest to wash the tank with hot water very well and let it completely dry out. Just in case if he was sick already and might had parasites since he was going to the top and gasping for air. Sometimes they do that for the reason if they have gill flukes. He probably didn't but just to be safe. So just rinse it and let it dry out for about a week. It will kill any parasites if there ware any. Do the same with everything(gravel , decorations etc....). If you have live plants you need to put it in the water with NO water conditioner for about 2 weeks.
If you ever buy live plants always quarantine it the same way. I would advice to buy new betta and also quarantine it for a week or even more before you put him in the tank , so you don't end up with disinfection tank again and everything in the tank. Or at least you can put him in the tank without gravel and decorations. When you buy a betta may be wait untill they get new shipment or at least don't buy if they have a few left from current shipment. Just check for any symptoms of disease. We can give you tips on that if you want.
When you will go buy a betta take your water and let them check it. They will do it for free. Just make sure your water is ok . Some people have ammonia in the water , high ph or other issues. And i would really advice to buy water conditioner Prime by Seachem . It the best water conditioner in case you have problem with your water.
Also like you wrote the people at the store gave you advice just to put betta in the water without acclimation. It can be the reason that betta will be very stressed and in some cases even die if you shock him with drastic temperature difference. So when you put betta in the new tank with new water you need to acclimate him.
To acclimate i personally use aged water so it easier for me. Or i have my betta in his changing cup which you can use original container he came in and with 1/4 of the water and slowly every 5 min add new water and let him . Do it for about 5 times so this way he will acclimate to the new water temperature. Always put lid so he don't jump . Bettas are very good jumpers and there is a lot of accidents them to jump out.
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Old 01-17-2013, 02:19 PM   #346 
katmandew
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Thank you Sunlight. After reading the whole post on soil based tanks (Twolovers provided the link) I was thinking of going with live plants until I reread posts about cycling. I would hate to get rid of the set up I have since I spent a good deal of money on it. I already ordered the Prime and the API test kit and both should be here tomorrow or Saturday.

I am going to clean everything the way you and Twolovers suggested and start over. I AM going to buy a thermometer to keep an eye on the temperature. The 25 watt heater is adjustable so that's all good. And I totally agree with what you said about buying the fish when the new shipment comes in.

I've decided to be patient and do the fishless cycle using a couple drops of ammonia and watching everything for a couple weeks or however long it takes to make sure the water is ready. I still feel terrible that I killed my first fish from lack of experience, but I'm so happy I found this site. I've learned a lot already and thank you for your help :)
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Old 01-17-2013, 05:50 PM   #347 
sockergirlie
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Thanks so much for all the info!!! It was extremely helpful!! Turns out my Betta wasn't all that active because he was cold!! Now swims around way more and is way more comfortable :)
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Old 01-19-2013, 12:33 PM   #348 
gandy78
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My heater is a preset heate and only staying at 74 degrees. Is this bad. They seem to be happy.
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Old 01-20-2013, 02:53 PM   #349 
katmandew
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I thoroughly cleaned my tank and decorations yesterday and about 8 hours ago I refilled it and added a couple drops of ammonia to start a fishless cycle. Referring back to my original post on here, this is my first tank and due to some misinformation by Petsmart my first Betta died in three days :( From the good people on here I learned to cycle my tank first and to purchase the API Mater test kit. I just did the tests just to see and I'm wondering how can my results be so good? Am I testing to early? should I have waited 24 hours? It looks like the ammonia is on the .25 side, PH test was 7.6, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 0. Can anyone shed any light on this for me?
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Old 01-28-2013, 05:29 PM   #350 
Kbud
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I have a question: Aside from feeding my betta splendens Aqueon Betta pellets, I want to mix it up: would freeze-dried bloodworms and sun dried baby shrimp work? Is it guaranteed that a betta will eat a little snail, or is it only when it is in the mood. I'm just worried that if I got a little one it might not be eaten and repeatedly reproduce. It was horrible! Snails we everywhere when I had a Dwarf African Frog!

Also, I have plants, will this be sufficent to decompose waste for fertilizer or is a snail recommended? They are tiny cuttings I am trying to grow back. What are some types of snails that do not reproduce when they want to - one snail stays one snail!
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