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Old 01-20-2013, 08:58 PM   #31 
KCalNeon
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More questions:*

This might be obvious but will my tank be just fine without shrimps and snails and live plants? For now, I just want a single Betta fish, silk plants, hides, heater, filter etc. I think if I keep up with water changes and everything else... It'll be fine? Also, my tank will have 2 silk plants and 2 hideouts (bridge and something else) is that a good setup?*

I've seen a lot of topics that say when something changes (like you add something new to you're tank) you'll have to do more frequent water changes. In what cases do we do the more frequent water changes and why do we do them?*

Can you change you're fishes decor (the fake decor) to make it look nice? I heard it might stress out the fish. How often do you change out your decor and what precautions do you take?

Am I right in saying once the sponge in your filter falls apart, simply replacing and putting in another one is fine? There's already enough BB, or do you have to do something else?*

Say you're on a long vacation.. How would you take care of the feeding and water changes? I don't know anyone who would be able to do a water change properly. :/ No one I know has experience with fish. *

Is it really bad if you do a water change too early or too late? What's the worst that can happen? I know some things might come up and I might have to do a water change a day later or earlier. *

How would you disinfect and reuse *a 5 gallon tank if you're Betta passes away and you want another one? What about a Pet store Betta that passes away suddenly... How would you prepare the tank for a new Betta? and do you have to cycle again?*

Where do you get you're Bettas from? Are Pet store Bettas unhealthy?*

How many watts for a 5 gallon Heater? And what kind of light is best for a 5 gallon?*

The light cycle... Well I'm kind of confused. I go to school from 8:00am-3pm should I leave the light on while I'm at school and when it gets a little dark (at around 6pm) turn it off? That means I can spend about 1hour of time with him because of homework and other stuff in the afternoon. So is it ok if I turn the light on all day while I'm at school then a couple hours after coming home, I spend some time with him and then turn it off to let him sleep? Do I have to turn the light on at the same time everyday or is it ok as long as he gets 8-12 hours? On the weekends I wake up later so I won't always turn it on at the same time.*

The only concern I have is that my lamp is on my chest*
(which will be right next to the tank on my*dresser)*
*Would a small piece of wood in between the two be good? Because after I turn the light off to let him sleep, I'll have to turn on my lamp a couple times which might bug him.*My lamp lights up my whole room because my room is small so won't the light still bug him even with a divider?*

I've seen videos of people using exercise mirrors for their Bettas and almost all of the comments say they're cruel. I'm not too sure about mirrors. How do you exercise you're Bettas and how much time do you spend with them?
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Old 01-21-2013, 01:13 AM   #32 
KCalNeon
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Also, do tank backgrounds stress out Bettas?
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Old 01-25-2013, 11:57 PM   #33 
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Sorry! Missed your new questions...
*This will take a few posts

1. You don't have to add these things, but plants add oxygen and suck up amonia (good for long vaca to answer another question) and snails and shrimp clean algae. My Mystery Snail does a great job of it, but it's your decision

2. When we add new fish/inverts to remove the extra amonia and when we treat for illness to remove meds or salt

3. It is actually a good thing to do as long as your fish is not blind because it is a form of enrichment and most say once a month, but doing it more or less doesn't hurt anything as long as he has 1 piece that never changes (Gus's is a pink rock) to leave them something farmiliar.
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Old 01-26-2013, 12:08 AM   #34 
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3. (part 2) Rinse all orniments well with warm water and let them soak (some also let them soak in salt water or even weak bleach/vinager water, but that's up to you). Rinse like crazy. Place them in a covered bucket (or any container) of treated water for a few days to a week. Try to use a white or clear one. Then, test the water. If the pH, hardness, color (some pieces can leach dyes into the water!), and everything are what they should be, you know that the orniment is most likely aquarium safe.

When it comes time to change orniments, wash and rinse your hands and arms well (how much will be in tank), rinse the pieces you will be adding, and have fun. I always turn off my filter to keep the water from sturring. It's also a good time for a gravel cleaning (btw, get the siphon type because you don't want suction so powerful that you suck up your fish!) You might also have to take a bit of water out to not slosh any around and you will need a clean towel
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Old 01-26-2013, 12:23 AM   #35 
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4. I can't comment on sponge filters persay, but benificial bacteria is in everything in your tank. The surfaces, the substrate, the filter, everything has it. I have always been told to never change 2 of these at once because it will crash the system. I'm not sure if all that's true or not, but I do follow it just in case it is.

5. Feeding with pellets is very easy and fish can survive without eating for a while. Leaving him alone and unfed for a long weekend trip wont kill him, but he will sure be happy to see you! Just don't overfeed and make him ill. Longer and you can have a friend come over and tell them how many pellets to feed him. Do lots of pwc leading up to the trip, gravel vac, and add plants (if you can) and he will be fine in his cycled tank. Also, put his light on a timer to keep his day/night cycle so he wont stress
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Old 01-26-2013, 12:37 AM   #36 
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6. A day early or late in an understocked cycled tank is NOTHING to worry about! Overstocked? Maybe. Uncycled? DEFINITLY! Just watch out for amonia spikes as new tanks will do those first few months. Even cycled, that first month will leave you scratching your head as to how something got so wrong so fast. But if you make it though all of it, it's a breeze after that (most of the time).

7. That's a hard question to answer and mainly it depends on how the fish died. If it had a disease that other fish could get (like paracites), most of the time it's just easier to disinfect the tank than treat it. Also, make sure you disinfect according to the disease. If it was natural (constapation), injury related, or from a defect (swim bladder), then the fish can be removed and after a gravel vac and a few days of pwc (to get rid of the amonia), a new fish can be added.

To clean a new tank, you can mix water with either bleach or white vinagar. Rinse very well
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Old 01-26-2013, 12:57 AM   #37 
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8. Stay away from WalMart as their bettas as extreamly unhealthy in most cases. Mom and Pop stores are almost always the best. Petco/Smart is kind of a store to store deal. Find out when they get in fish and pick out your betta 1-2 days after that so you can see how active and healthy they are.

Gus was from walmart. Horrible shape when I got him. Half dead, pale, fin rot, and amonia burned, but he had sprit. It took some special treatment, but he made it and is a beautiful little man. I worry though about how long he will live as walmart bettas usually die young because of everything they have to go through. Just don't support it even if you want to as they will keep doing it as long as they can make money.

Cami is from PetSmart. She came home happy, healthy, and wiggling like a puppy! She also was younger and adapted faster than Gus did.

9. The type of light depends on rather you have plants or not.
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Old 01-26-2013, 01:17 AM   #38 
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10. Your fish needs 8 hours of light and 8 hours of darkness to have a sleep schedule. The other 8 are up to you. I do 10 hours of light, 9 of dark, and 5 of ambiant (4 is sunrise til lights on and 1 is lights off til bed). You need to have a scedule that is the same (give or take) for several reasons. One is that it sets up their sleep schedule and without that precious down time, they will hid during the day, get stressed out, not be able to get into a rythem of and routine, and so on. Another one is that fish don't have eyelids. Now I know that sounds random, but imagine what it would feel like to walk around in your home and have it go from pitch black to beaming bright or visa versa at random points during the day? It's a bit stressful huh? And you have eyelids! So at least you can blink and squint until your eyes adjust. Fish can't. But, if they know just about when lights off or on is coming, their eyes actually start adjusting an hour before! And it's much less stressful when you can see it coming

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Old 01-26-2013, 02:46 PM   #39 
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11. Having a light on in the room after the tank light is turned off is good because his eyes can adjust to the darkness. The piece of wood would block the direct light. It would depend on how bright it got. Too bight could mess up his schedule. You can put up a makeshift curtain or wrap a towel around it (or something similar) to keep it dark at night. Just don't cover the hood. (also, if I haven't said before, a timer for your tank light is a good idea for vacations and lazy days)

12. A mirror makes a male betta think their is another betta close and makes him want to strut and show his domanance. When the betta "leaves" he gets an ego boost out of it. Doing this for a few minutes (no more than once a week) is fine. Don't it for a long period of time (over 15 minutes) will exhaust the poor guy. Doing it for an excessive period (hours or even days!) will not only exhaust him, but he will loose intest in it and have a deflated ego.
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Old 01-26-2013, 03:01 PM   #40 
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12. part 2: You can float ping pong balls for them to bump around, temporaraly add hampster tubes for them to swim through, redecorate the tank, teach them to follow your finger or jump for food, give them a tankmate to pester (like snails or shrimp), add a marimo ball (which many betta play with or sleep on), blow bubbles with a turkey baster, and so much more! And I interact with him every day although I'm not sure what is exercise and what is just goofing around.

13. Not that I've heard of. Why do you want a background? Bettas are very social and enjoy interaction. I don't think it would hurt though
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