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Old 06-06-2013, 09:50 PM   #1 
Seki
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Sorority plans!!

Having finally gotten my little Nova on the mend, I am finally able to concentrate on my plans for a small sorority! I'll have to do some rearranging to get all the tanks properly set up in my room (tiny room!), but I want to make it work. So I'm in the planning stages for the new tank! Suggestions are welcome!!

Equipment
- Top Fin 10 gallon Aquarium Kit (the one with the tank and hood only... bare bones)
- Fluval 50 watt heater (Also looking into Eheim... anyone have one of those? I have a Fluval in my 5.5 gallon and I LOVE it)
- Tetra Whisper 10i Internal Filter (Another possibility is the Aqueon Quietflow10, but the Whisper seems to be gentler when it comes to the current)
- Thermometer (can never have too many! I might put two in a ten gallon)

Decor
- Substrate of some kind (I have used gravel in all three tanks I have now... but I was considering sand for this one. Any one have pros/cons of gravel vs. sand? What about using marbles?)
- Silk plants (I have a brown thumb... I think live plants would be a bad idea for me)
- Some sort of ornaments/decorations... Open to suggestions for a theme! I already have a Japanese Garden theme, a Roman Ruins theme, and a colorful tank with silly things like a turtle figurine and purple/red silk plants along with a "rock formation" ornament. I'm not afraid to do something fun and silly, but I also don't shy from more natural looking tanks. I do like themes, though. :)

Fish
- 5 or 6 female bettas... suggestions on a number? I am hoping to have a mix of crowntails, halfmoons, doubletails, and veiltails. :) My LFS has a pretty darn good selection sometimes!
- MAYBE a snail
- MAYBE a ghost or cherry shrimp (I don't know much about them, so I would have to research before putting one in a tank)

So... am I missing anything glaringly obvious? Do you guys have any tips or suggestions? I would love to see what some of you all have done with your sororities!
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Old 06-07-2013, 09:53 AM   #2 
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Whenever doing filtration for a tank it's always a good idea to get about twice the amount of filtration. So if it's a 10 gallon, get a 15 or 20 gallon rated filter for optimal filtration.

I prefer the hang on back ones because it gives more rooms for plants and hides and stuff, it would be the easiest to maintain as well.

And on thermometer will be just fine, put it across from where the heater is so you know it's heating the whole tank that way.

As far as substrate it's preference. I'm in the middle of changing most of my tanks over to sand (I've only got one left, yay!) and I use Black Tahitian Moon sand which looks gorgeous. I've been told that sand does still trap food and waste though, you have to churn it every now and then as well so that it doesn't hold in any aerobic gasses which are harmful to you fish if left to sit too long. You can just use your finger or a chopstick, or tweezers to move it around.

Gravel is good too, however some can chip easier than others which can be unsightly (but I personally don't care lol) I feel it's harder to clean because you have to siphon out the gravel as well although it's easier with silk plants because you don't have to worry about uprooting much. So it comes down to preference.

You could still have a natural looking tank with some other decor in there, I love my small terracotta pots (make sure to plug up the hole on the bottom!) I just give a 5 minute boil or bath under extremely hot tap and they're ready to go in. (Don't use ones that have been used before though) My boy's have started to sleep in theirs at night

And 5-6 females would be fine, I would do 6-7 though. With the higher filtration that would be great, the more you can spread aggression out the better. I've even seen other's who've had 10 females in a 10 gallon. It works just fine so you could easily go up to 9 if you felt comfortable with it. It still gives each girl over 1 gallon but it's not like they're confined to that one gallon so that's why it works

I wouldn't do any snails or shrimp, snails unless you get a Nerite, have too much bio-load. And shrimp would very quickly become a snack unless you had a very overgrown NPT with a sorority, which you wouldn't have But they do have very tiny bio-loads and you could fit 10+ in there if you wanted to, just be warned that they will most likely be picked off.

And for tips, I suggest getting a breeder box or something that you can put the girls in "time out". You will get a bully here and there so it's a good way to put them in the box so they can still see each other but not touch and harm.

When I QT new girls for the two weeks, I actually float them in the big tank (partly because I don't have other heaters) but it allows them to get used to each other's presence and when I put them in, I feed the older girls up front while I let the new girl in in the back. generally they go right to the bottom of the pecking order and I have no problems. I do have a new girl right now though and i forsee her being in the QT container for a lot longer than her two siblings lol (she seems to have a vendetta against her younger sibling)

But yeah, I think that's about it until I remembered the things that I forgot XD
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Old 06-12-2013, 10:59 PM   #3 
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So, plans are moving along! I bought the tank and have ordered the sand! You're right, I do love the look of the Tahitian Moon Sand! I am gonna have to figure out the best way to rinse it, though. With gravel I generally just put it in a bucket and swish it around with my hand, dump the water, refill, swish, and repeat. But if I did that with the sand... I think I would throw out half the sand when I dumped the water!

I'm waffling a bit on heaters. I absolutely LOVE the Fluval 50w I have in my 5 gallon, but I have heard such good things about the Eheim Jaeger, and the Jaeger is slightly shorter. My tank is only 15 inches tall and the Fluval is 11 inches long, I think? The Jaeger is 9 inches and fully submersible... Also, I was looking at 100w heaters. Too much? Should I stick with 50w?

Aqueon Quietflow 20 is ordered and should arrive soon! I'm going to keep the filter that came with my kit as a backup in case I should happen to need it. It's an internal filter, and I was looking to have a HOB for the sorority after giving it some thought.

Reconsidering live plants... what would be best for someone who is terrible at keeping plants alive, like me?

Also, how might I go about kickstarting my cycle? I already have a fully cycled 5 gallon... Everyone says take "media" from the filter and put it in the new one, but I don't exactly understand what that means.

It took all my willpower not to walk away with this absolutely gorgeous female I saw today. I kid you not, she was PURPLE. Not blue, not red, legitimate PURPLE. I wanted her sooooo badly. But I don't have a home set up for her yet, so I had to leave her behind.
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Old 06-13-2013, 09:44 AM   #4 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seki View Post
So, plans are moving along! I bought the tank and have ordered the sand! You're right, I do love the look of the Tahitian Moon Sand! I am gonna have to figure out the best way to rinse it, though. With gravel I generally just put it in a bucket and swish it around with my hand, dump the water, refill, swish, and repeat. But if I did that with the sand... I think I would throw out half the sand when I dumped the water!

I'm waffling a bit on heaters. I absolutely LOVE the Fluval 50w I have in my 5 gallon, but I have heard such good things about the Eheim Jaeger, and the Jaeger is slightly shorter. My tank is only 15 inches tall and the Fluval is 11 inches long, I think? The Jaeger is 9 inches and fully submersible... Also, I was looking at 100w heaters. Too much? Should I stick with 50w?

Aqueon Quietflow 20 is ordered and should arrive soon! I'm going to keep the filter that came with my kit as a backup in case I should happen to need it. It's an internal filter, and I was looking to have a HOB for the sorority after giving it some thought.

Reconsidering live plants... what would be best for someone who is terrible at keeping plants alive, like me?

Also, how might I go about kickstarting my cycle? I already have a fully cycled 5 gallon... Everyone says take "media" from the filter and put it in the new one, but I don't exactly understand what that means.

It took all my willpower not to walk away with this absolutely gorgeous female I saw today. I kid you not, she was PURPLE. Not blue, not red, legitimate PURPLE. I wanted her sooooo badly. But I don't have a home set up for her yet, so I had to leave her behind.
Great! Here's how I clean my sand: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-XB0bwtZh8 not my video but it works great! basically I make a funnel out of paper and duct tape, scoop out the sand from the bag and into the washed out soda/water bottle and fill it about 3/4 of the way. I then submerge it and you can watch what happens in the video. It does still create a bit of a cloud but you're going to get that if you wash it in the bucket as well. And minimal sand loss with this method

And no 50Watt's is great for a 10 gallon! You'll have more power if it ever comes time to treat your sorority for any illness. Be sure to have a thermometer as well so that you can regulate your temp. Sometimes what the heater is set at isn't what the temp actually is! So start at the lowest setting and work your way up to 78-80

Aqueon is a good filter, glad you got the 20! So to "move over" a cycle you can take the filter media out. Media is the cartridge/foam that you have in the filter. Also the carbon floss if it has it as well. Or you can just move the whole filter over for about two weeks if you don't absolutely need it for your 5 gallon ( just do two changes on that tank a week and it will be fine without the filter). You can also take pantyhose and cut off the toe so you have a good 5-6 inches of pantyhose and take a bunch of gravel from your 5 gallon and put it in the pantyhose. Gravel and literally any surface on your tank holds your Beneficial Bacteria which will help kickstart the cycle on your 10 gallon. So tie up that pantyhose when it's full and plop it into the 10 gallon. Any ornaments/plants you want to put in there while it's cycle is good too. And after it's done cycling you can replace those items.

Have you ever tried Java Fern, Java moss, Anubias, Water wisteria, water sprite, rotala, ludwigia, common crypt's or Anacharis? Those are all low light plants and some of them are pretty hard to kill. But you absolutely need cover for a sorority and lots of it.

If you cannot do plants at all I suggest getting lots of silk plants, specifically ones you'd find at like wal-mart or Jo-Anne's or something craft store. You can use all those decrative plants as long as they do not have metal in the stems, bend them and see if it's hard then it probably has metal. Then just rinse under very hot tap water and in they go! It might not look as "nice" as real plants but it will certainly work!

Sorry to hear about the purple girl! Sounds like she'd be awesome! You know you could always keep them in their cups, acclimate them to your tap water and change their water every other day or every day and have them float in your tank while it cycles if you really want them or tupperware/plastic ware containers work great as temporary homes!
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Old 06-13-2013, 08:11 PM   #5 
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That video is really helpful, thank you!! I should be able to keep most of my sand cleaning it that way.

Question about moving the filter from my 5 gallon... would that restart my cycle in there? Everything is stable and happy for Hiei (my fishy in the 5 gallon) and I don't want to disturb that and have to re-establish the cycle in his tank. I can definitely do the pantyhose full of gravel thing! Not a big deal if not, but can I put it back in the 5 gallon when I'm done?

As for plants... when you say hard to kill, are they REALLY hard to kill? I mean... I'm pretty horrible at keeping plants alive. I killed my lucky bamboo and everything. If I try some live plants and they end up dying, will it do harm to my tank? If so, I probably won't try it because I'm certain some of the plants will die. If not, I might give it a shot because I can always take them out if they die.

No worries, even if they aren't real, the tank will be overflowing with plants. It looks like I'm leaning towards a Cambodian/Jungle Ruins theme. I'll link to some of the ornaments I'm considering getting. Would love opinions!
http://www.amazon.com/Marina-Decor-M...petsupplies_15
http://www.amazon.com/Blue-Ribbon-Ca..._petsupplies_1
http://www.amazon.com/Petco-Cambodia...petsupplies_17
http://www.amazon.com/Hydor-H2Show-L..._petsupplies_2

You think it would be okay to do that, with the cups and all? I really want to do what's best for the fish, so I had been planning not to buy any until I had the tank ready to go. I was also planning on putting all the girls in at the same time. I have read that's best to avoid anyone establishing territory and then getting defensive when a new girl is added?
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Old 06-13-2013, 08:23 PM   #6 
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Yep you can keep the girl in the cup and she'll be fine! Just do a water change at least every other day and she'll be right as rain Even if she is in the tank when you get the new girls, take her out, rearrange the tank and she won't even have a territory left to defend and she won't fight over the spot she wanted before.

As for the gravel, yes it can go back into the tank once it's done! If you are worried about crashing your cycle on the 5.5, leave the filter there. Instead if you can, just take out more gravel from his tank and put it into the 10, then you can put it back when you're done That would probably be the best thing to do!

Java Fern and Anubias are pretty darn hard to kill, like my Anubias survived a bleach dip, some diseases and all sorts of different water chemistries when I moved it around all the time and it's still flourishing in my 3 gallon right now! Even if you just had a few Anubias and some Java Fern it would really help the water quality and then put a whole bunch of fake plants as well and that would be great!

Mmm I love that first decor and the third one together. I think they'd all look fantastic if you were to get them all! lol Are you getting the medium or large for the Mandrake root? Also beware with those resin decorations, I have one very similar and it's not smooth at all. It's easily sanded but it's very sharp. I just threw mine into my sorority but I'm not even sure that my Betta's ever even go back there so no one's ripped their fins on it yet but just be warned
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Old 06-13-2013, 08:31 PM   #7 
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Alright, I'll just move over some gravel and get my cycle kickstarted with that! And then Hiei can have it back hahaha. I'm sure he'll be quite offended I took it in the first place (he's my plakat and definitely the feistiest of my three boys!). LOL

I'll try some Java Fern and some Anubias, then, and then jam-pack the rest of it with silk plants. I'm planning on keeping everything pretty much "natural" looking in this tank, so I'm gonna stick with different shades of green plants, nothing bright or colorful. That's what the bettas are for, right? hahaha

I'm seriously considering just getting it all, then returning what I don't like in the tank after I play with it a bit. I'm ordering it with a gift card off of Amazon (thanks mom and dad!), so I'm a bit freer with my money than I normally would be. Have you seen the price on some of those?? And I was going to get the large mandrake root... do you think I should get the medium?
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Old 06-13-2013, 08:50 PM   #8 
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Haha got to love giftcards! I'm not sure all of it would fit though....take a look at the dimensions of some of them. If you want, you can get that corner piece, the last one and two others. Either the mandrake root and the third house thing or the mandrake and the first house thing <--yay for technical terms lol. But you should be able to fit most of them in there with some finagling. And yes I think you should get the medium one although sorter but the footprint isn't as big so if you measure it out correctly, you might be able to get away with all four!

And yes I'm glad you're keeping it to the greens ^_^ that's the only thing I don't like about fake plants, why have all these colorful plants that's going to take away from the beauty of your fish? Either way, it's going to look great!

Oh another thing about Java Fern and Anubias, don't bury the rhizome. You'll see the rhizome is where the leaves come out of, on the Anubias it looks like a regular...stem I guess and then on the Java Fern it looks like a green rod where the roots come out of on bottom and leaves up on top. The roots can go into the gravel though, just not the rhizome. Another great thing about those plants is that they will grow on anything! You can tie your Java Fern to that Mandrake root and it will grow there! Which makes it easier for you and you don't have to worry about where the rhizome is and how to bury it lol
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Old 06-13-2013, 10:10 PM   #9 
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No, no, I wasn't planning on putting all of it in there. I was going to get all of it and return some after I figured out what I wanted to put in the tank.

I am really in love with the mandrake root and the little house... now I am perusing Amazon for a little rock formation or something to finish things off. I like the other pieces I listed, but not enough to get them, I don't think. :)

I will be careful about the live plants and not burying rhizomes lol. Tying the plant to the mandrake root is an interesting idea... I'll have to see how it looks!
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Old 06-14-2013, 10:43 AM   #10 
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Certainly! I love tying my java ferns to things lol although half of them are just sitting on some terracotta pots right now and I'm hoping they'll root on it in a month or so lol But I've got a giant java fern on a piece of driftwood right now and some more on some rocks and some others in my plastic mesh in my 10 gallon hoping they will grow enough to block some more views of the Betta's
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