Well, everyone learns from their own experiences and mistakes, but isn't it easier to learn from the mistakes of others? I thought it would be great if everyone can add a few things that they have learned about fish, aquariums, bettas, etc. to this thread and then we'll have a great thread containing everyone's knowledge. Since I started in this hobby around two and a half years ago (wow, has it really been that long ) I've learned a TON from my mistakes and sucesses alike and I'd like to share everything here. If you'd like to add something that would be great, you don't have to be an expert or even have much experience, as everyone's information is valuable. Not everyone may agree on certain things because everyone's situation is different, but I encourage you all to put what YOU think works for YOU because it may just help someone in a similar situation immensely.
I've been working on writing everything out, so I'll have it up and typed tonight. Be warned...it will be long ! So if you like this idea please share your experiences. There's only one thing; please only share things that you have learned through YOUR experiences because that's what this thread is all about.
I'd say the most important thing that I learned from keeping bettas is that they have amazing personalities and each is unique whether it's looks, personality, pickiness in food, lol.:D, or just how they greet you.
But either way, I'm glad I found this forum.
ive learned alot about the females especially lately. mine seem to have their own cliques, usually based on their own colors, and that small and larger ones are fine together, but the smaller ones think their all the boss.lol funny watching them chase after a female twice their size.
the males, ive learned each is very particular in what they will eat and when they will eat. some eat very little, some eat like they are pigs lol
So far, I think I know more about plants being the daughter of an avid rose gardener. Since it has been 25 years since I had any fish, I'm still remembering what I used to know.
Two things I know for sure; you cannot keep a betta in a peace-lily or bamboo vase. It's too small and they need more than the roots to eat since they are carnivorous fish.
Picky eaters: fast them one day, feed them moistened food. In the pantry keep two or three different kinds, they need some variety; betta flakes/Hikara betta pellets and bloodworms as a treat for example.
Read the ingredient label; soy, wheat or other fillers should be no higher than fourth on the list and protein content should be no lower than 45%.
There are two things I have learned since joining FishForum. One is that bettas really do better in tanks/containers larger than a gallon. I still have 3 in 1 gallons but they're females. I'm working on getting everyone upgraded! I've also learned about cycling and why it's better to do a fishless cycle so you won't harm your fish. Even though I don't have cycled tanks, maybe someday I will and when I do, I'll have my forum friends to take me through it step by step. :)
I'm learned all the fish are entirely different. The most recent thing I've learned is that one of my boys must be fasted every other day, because no matter what I feed him, he bloats up.
As previously stated, I've also learned about the different personalities of the fish. I've learned what fish hate what color, and what color they don't mind much. I've learned which of my fish are utter flirts, and which ones just want to be left alone.
I've also learned a lot about keeping bettas in different containers. I've learned that the bigger the betta is usually the case, but there are the strange ones that like smaller places better.
So now I'll add the....essay , that prompted me to start this thread. I was writing it basically to review what I've learned over the years, and I figured it'd be good to share it. So if you want to read it you can, but beware it's long! Also keep in mind that this is strictly my opinions/experiences so certain things will be different for everyone. Oh, and there's pretty much a story behind each point, so if you want to know why I came to these conclusions just ask and I'd be happy to share my experiences.
1) CONCERNING FISH SPECIES
a. Do what YOU like, not what others like. For me it is keeping bettas.
b. Species-only setups are ideal for those that wish to perfect keeping one species of fish.
c. Most bettas actually enjoy seeing other bettas which makes them more active and happy. Also they are less likely to develop boredom-related vices.
d. Male bettas with other males in a divided tank may or may not work depending on personality.
e. A female and male betta in a divided tank seems to be ideal because they can impress each other without becoming stressed over defending territory.
f. Drip acclimate only when the room temperature is close to the tank temperature otherwise the holding container may cool over time.
g. Young fish (Please note that Iím not talking about fry here, rather fish that are a sellable size, but still quite young such as some of the tiny females that youíll see in stores) need more frequent feedings during the day (3-4 small feedings).
2) CONCERNING AQUARIUMS
a. Craigslist is a great place to find good deals on aquariums and supplies.
b. Ask for specifics on craigslist before you buy e.g. a broken light BULB may mean that the entire fixture doesnít work : /
c. Remember to unplug glass heaters while doing water changes. Iíve broken a few because of this L
d. Fishless cycle ALL tanks even if they are well seeded with established filter material. While I have had some new tanks stay cycled with just some old filter pads, others have not worked out so well so I tend to play it safe now. All tanks are not created equal so a little prevention works wonders.
e. NEVER put anything in a tank not meant for aquarium use. Glazed pottery is a NO GO.
i. Exceptions: craft canvas dividers, water bottle baffles, play sand, and terra-cotta flower pots
f. Do NOT use driftwood found in nature. It may leech toxins that canít be detected except by a change in behavior of your fish which none of us want.
g. Decorate so that it is easy to clean around/under decorations, as well as cleaning the decorations themselves. If you make things easy to clean, it will result in a much cleaner and healthier environment.
h. ALL filter intakes need nylon for bettas.
i. Too strong of a light encourages algae growth in an unplanted aquarium.
j. Plant lights seem to encourage algae growth in an unplanted aquarium.
k. Silicone dividers to tanks before setting up. This makes for much less worrying over the divider slipping out of place later.
l. Fill tanks and let the heater adjust for at LEAST several hours before getting fish (this more applies to temp. tanks for me because I cycle all my others).
3) CONCERNING LIVE PLANTS
a. Seriously, if you canít grow plants on land it probably wonít work out underwater. Iíll admit that I fall into this category.
b. The cost is significantly higher.
c. If you are a neat freak, like me, live may not be the way to go.
d. If your plants are dying then your water quality is suffering whether it tests badly or not. Know when to give up.
4) CONCERNING DISEASES
a. Internal parasitic infections may have many symptoms that overlap with other diseases so keep this in mind if your efforts to treat one problem yield no results.
b. Feed-through medication (Jungle Anti-Parasite Medicated Fish Food) is the only thing that works for IP.
c. Jungle Anti-Parasite tablets appear to work for IP short term, but do not actually solve the problem long-term.
d. Quick Cure is a great medication for ick.
e. Jungle Fungus Clear is the BEST for fin rot and fungal infections
f. Melafix= DANGEROUS; do not use on bettas!
g. Increase food very slowly in swim bladder disorder cases, and sometimes more frequent but smaller feedings (3-4 times daily) is the best in these cases.
h. With extreme or persistent SBD cases, peas can be used sparingly as they tend to work better than daphnia.
i. Tetracycline (Maracyn-TC) hasnít worked any of the times I have used it.
j. ALWAYS, ALWAYS, check your water quality right away if you see a problem.
k. Trust your instincts and watch your fish. They will tell you if something is wrong by their behavior, and if you sense that something is wrong you can react before it gets worse.
I've learned that if your betta is sick (or any other fish) WATER LEVELS TELL ALL!!! Because when I came home one day I saw that Midnight had some weird fluffy smoky colored stuff all over his fins and body (I had just gotten him 2 or 3 weeks before that) and a day or two later he died. the same then happened to spectrum. So i got my water tested and it turns out the water was WAY to acidic which caused a fungal infection. This happened because i was either A. overfeeding ( I was not. aka 3 or 4 pellets a day.) or B. not netting uneaten food out (which was the case) so I did a 75% water change and scooped debris out but my water was still a little acidic so they reccomended using an air stone or something of the sort to break up the gases or something like that. lol. So im going to get one this weekend for Rose (my new girlie!!) and hopefully it will help.
Last edited by Maryrox247; 10-05-2009 at 10:21 PM.