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Old 07-17-2013, 05:23 PM   #1 
shannonpwns
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Help with new tank!

I have a new betta coming next week, and I really want her tank to be ready when she gets here! Or at least very soon after she gets here. So I'd really love some help. I'm a little flustered and worried that she won't even survive transport, so I can't even wrap my head around what I need to do to prepare! :(

Okay, I got her a 5 gal hex aquarium, with a built in filter in the hood. (Not sure if I should even run the filter or not though) Opinions?

I am going to be using gravel in her tank, live plants, ghost shrimp, and mts.

I have the 6500k bulb already, and I have ordered a few plants on eBay, but they won't even be shipping until around Monday, like her. I need to go get some filter media, a new test kit (just ran out), a few plants from the pet store I guess, new gravel and some more shrimp.

Should I order the snails on eBay now? I've heard people call them pests and prolific breeders, so I thought they'd be cheaper than $10 for 8...sheesh lol. I'm gonna run out of money At this rate LOL.


SO, here's my plan: clean the gravel with tap water, fill the tank, mix in conditioner. Check the flow on the filter, if the current is too strong, should I just not use it? I can even just get her a sponge filter if i need to. Add 50watt heater and make sure it still works.

Then, add the shrimp and plants that I buy from the store. Or is it too soon to put them in there? I'm seriously forgetting everything I've been studying for sooo long, because I'm so worried about my soon to be new fish. :(

Do I even need the mts with gravel? I can't remember...

Should I get some little Tetra's or something to jump start the cycling? If so, can they stay in a 5 gal tank with her after she gets here? Or is that a bad idea?
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Old 07-17-2013, 05:29 PM   #2 
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Oh almost forgot... About the plants...do they need a fish in with them to survive for a week or so? And the shrimp...can I just feed them if they have no fish to clean up after?

I have this bottle of stuff called "cycle", not sure where it came from, but it says it releases massive amounts of BB into the aquarium to jump start the cycling process basically. Can I use this?

Do I need Prime for a new fish? Because I just ran out of that too last month. And aquarium salt, I don't have any of that. Do I need it?
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Old 07-17-2013, 05:39 PM   #3 
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Yes, you can use cycle.

However, I advise putting in shrimp until your tank is completely cycled because they are sensitive to changes in the water parameters.

If the filter current is too strong, you can baffle it with a sponge, or the DIY water battle baffle which you can see somewhere on the forum.

For snails, ramshorns are great for planted tanks. They do not eat the plants, but eat algea. However, they can become a pest snail, and overtake your tank if you do not keep the population under control. You can do this by using a piece of lettuce in the water overnight, and in the morning there will be many snails on the lettuce and you just throw it away.

Most plants will come with snail eggs. You should ask the seller if there is possibility of snail eggs on them, and if so, what kind of snails.

Most people recommend doing a treatment on the plants before placing them in an aquarium. I do not do this, so I don't know how to go about this, but someone else may be able to get you more details on that.


*If you do want snails, I have a lot of baby red ramshorn snails that are just a few days old. I can ship some to you in a few weeks once they are bigger. They would be free, and you would just pay for shipping.
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Old 07-17-2013, 05:48 PM   #4 
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Thank you for your reply! I think to be on the safe side when I go to the store in a minute, I will get a sponge filter to go over the filter intake just in case.

And that's right, I forgot all about invertebrates and the cycling process, I blame my concern for my new fish lol. Betta Brain. Lol. So no shrimp today.

I know people clean their plants in bleach, but I've never done that and didn't plan on it, just a rinse in tap water is what I usually do.


If you wouldn't mind giving me some snails, that would be appreciated sooooo much! And of course I can pay the shipping no problem. :):):):) thank you!!
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Old 07-17-2013, 09:46 PM   #5 
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No problem! Year I ordered plants, and now I have 50 lil baby red ramshorn snails! :P I can definitely send some out when they are a little bigger.
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Old 07-17-2013, 09:58 PM   #6 
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I've got her tank started! Can't wait to get the rest of the plants in there when they arrive so it doesn't look so bare in the back haha. Gonna find her a ping pong ball too, so she doesn't get bored!

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I added some Cycle to the water, so hopefully that does something good for the tank... I'm always leery about using chemicals. Hopefully I'm not doing anything wrong. Should I be testing the water levels every day?
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Old 07-17-2013, 10:37 PM   #7 
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I added Cycle about 2 hours ago, and just tested the ammonia level and its at 1.0ppm. Is that normal?
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Old 07-17-2013, 10:39 PM   #8 
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Yes, you'll want to test the water everyday.

The ammonia levels are normal, and is okay if no fish are present. What you are doing is a fishless cycle, and the product you used is jumpstarting it :)

And a ping pong ball is a wonderful idea! I may have to get my betta one!
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Old 07-17-2013, 11:32 PM   #9 
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So it says to add it once a week. Should I hold off on putting my new betta in there when she gets here until its completely finished cycling? (she will hopefully be here weds next week) or can I put her in while its cycling? I don't want to injure her in any way, or stress her or anything.

Thank you for all your help! It's been a while since I've messed around with cycling a tank. All my bettas are in 2 or 2.5 gallon tanks that I just do 100% WCs on every few days. But I plan on getting them all into larger tanks very soon. It's just 2 males and 2 females (soon to be 3). I think I may get another one of these 5 gal hex's cause it'll fit right next to this one on the stand if I scoot it over to the edge. And I have a 10 gal and 20 gal to work with.
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