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Old 07-24-2012, 06:57 AM   #1 
Aus
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Where the wild things are

Littlebettafish is selling me 5 betta strohi juvies (they arrive Friday! squee~!) , and this is to be their new home. I'm pretty proud of this tank, it's taken a lot for me to put it all together and such.

This picture is property of Littlebettafish, and is of the oldest male, who is showing adult colouring:




I'd like to include some info on the species in this thread. They're pretty interesting, as all wild bettas are. Strohi are mouthbrooders, and I'm really hoping to be able to breed them..

The tank is around 35 gallons, but will only be filled to 25 or so, as I want to grow some emerging bog plants in there, like dwarf papyrus and maybe a couple of the larger crypt and anubias species.

It's far from finished, really, but by Friday it'll be a decent home for the strohi, the rest is just cosmetic.

As it's so hard to cycle a tank with very soft water, this will be treated as an uncycled tank, so lots of water changes/massive filtration.. I'm buying an eheim canister as well as keeping the sponge filter in, and the plants ought to help with water quality too -- I'd not mind some advice on a water change schedule for this particular tank, however.

I wanted to emulate their native environment somewhat. Thus, I've mainly stuck to plants I know are found in SE Asia (aside from a few swords..which will be replaced with biotope-appropriate alternatives sooner or later..). The water's soon to be quite dark with tannins (wood, IAL, peat..), and I'm presently researching what critters available in this country (snails/shrimp/etc) will happily live in very soft tannin-y water with the bettas.

Lighting is Dymax T8's, all white, soon to have the back row replaced with pink plant-specific globes.

Substrate's a washed, coarse inert sand from LFS.

Will be dosing Flourish & root tabs occasionally.

Anyway, here it is as it presently looks:








Like I said, still pretty rough-looking but well on the way!

Last edited by Aus; 07-24-2012 at 07:08 AM.
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Old 07-24-2012, 08:22 AM   #2 
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Ok... wow! I love the natural look of the tank and I think that betta is adorable!
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Old 07-24-2012, 08:31 AM   #3 
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oo! Congrats! They will be very happy there, that tank is amazing!
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Old 07-24-2012, 11:30 AM   #4 
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Awesome setup! They'll love it there :)
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Old 07-24-2012, 12:03 PM   #5 
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Amazing tank! I'm so excited for you!
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Old 07-24-2012, 12:48 PM   #6 
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you will have some very happy looking fishies!
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Old 07-24-2012, 12:58 PM   #7 
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Awesome tank love the plants !
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Old 07-24-2012, 01:36 PM   #8 
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Thanks, everyone! I hope to update this thread pretty regularly, keep it as a kind of log for how the tank does as I hope to raise B. Macrostoma in a couple of years.. But was advised to start with an 'easier' wild - thankfully LBF had these strohi juvies in need of a home. :)

Now, some info on the various planned and (mostly unplanned.. ) present stock.

Present stock:

1. Pond snails.

Hitched in on the plants. I can see quite a few babies. Not a problem - if the bettas don't pick them off or they don't perish from the soft water, hand removal is not too annoying.

2. Ramshorn snails.

^ Ditto.

3. A few red cherry shrimp.

I don't boil my driftwood to death before adding it. I like the funky goo that grows on it. And so do cherry shrimp! I spent this evening watching one tiny shrimp strip white mold off a bit of wood the size of my palm. She's pretty much gobbled up a huge tract of the stuff in one night...

And this is why I add shrimp to my betta tanks, despite that they end up eaten sooner or later. They are brilliant cleaners for planted tanks - and give the betta something to chase around, as well as extra nutrition when they manage to catch one. Both of my other bettas in planted tanks have shrimp in with them. Both are fat and sassy, and in 100% good health. I think planted tank + rcs + betta is a pretty good combo.

So there'll soon be an adjoining shrimp colony in a planted bowl set up beside this tank, because $2.90 per shrimp is way too costly for betta snacks..

Planned stock:

1. The bettas!

They are Betta strohi, AKA 'Father Stroh's Mouthbrooders' which are part of the Foerschi group of bettas. More info tomorrow, as I'm too sleepy to type it now. :B

2. Blond snails?

An Aussie native snail (I wonder if they like to surf..) Apparently can withstand soft water conditions. Eats algae, also likes to eat plants.
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Old 07-24-2012, 04:40 PM   #9 
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I am so happy for you, what a treat to raise wilds. They are beautiful and I am looking forward to pictures of them in their new tank :)
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Old 07-27-2012, 01:03 PM   #10 
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Thank you Candice, it really is a treat - I'm really grateful to Littlebettafish for giving me the opportunity to experience keeping wilds.

They arrived today! And are settling in beautifully. There's five of them, and they are loving the 3ft tank and all its hidey places. They're really good at changing colours, and I don't think they like the lights I have, must see about getting some pink bulbs..

They are sharing a tank with Om-Nomnom, a baby bristlenosed catfish. Om-Nom is hilarious, and isn't fazed a bit by curious, nippy juvies. I purchased a really cool bit of wood as a tank feature today and he's been scooting up and down that for an hour now while the strohi watch.. five little faces, lol.

LBF also very kindly gave me a -huge- can of peat so I added a little of that to see how it went, and it actually looks really good on top of the sand, makes the tank look 'aged' and very natural. The water's not very dark yet, though. I think another handful added over the next few days might slowly do the job.

Anyway, here's a really nice pic of the dominant male coloured up and relaxed beside the sponge filter, which is apparently his castle...



And another of one of the smaller juvies, just beginning to relax a bit. More pics, soon!

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