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Old 07-25-2012, 06:18 PM   #11 
Mudiwa
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Hey Staffylover - we live in Essex, but I am not actually English - I am originally from Poland (lived here for 9 years now though, so feel like at home :)).

Thanks for all the comments people :) Joining the forum has inspired me to actually go and buy some equipment. So I have a tank, a filter, a heater, some gravel and a rock. And all the potions for testing and treating water.
I need plants and fish now, but that we will do on Saturday I think - I think I am too impatient to do fishless cycle and will just do it with fish in. I will see if I feel called by any of the fishes on Saturday :)
I have set the whole tank up, it is up and running. I already know I need a container to take water out/put it in - it took me 10 trips to the bathroom to fill the whole thing up.
And what do I do with my fish when I am changing water? Is it not going to stress him/her if I keep him/her in the tank? Can I put it in a different container for those few minutes? (no filter, no heater?)
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Old 07-25-2012, 06:22 PM   #12 
teeneythebetta
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When I do water changes, I put my bettas in their cups (ya know, the one you buy them in) and sit them aside. I unplug my heater & filter, siphon out some water and put new water in. Then I plug the filter & heater back in. My heater has a light on it, when the light is on, it is heating. One the light turns off, I float them in their cups in the tanks for about 15 minutes to adjust to the new temp. I use my finger to make sure the water in the tank & water in their cups feels like the same temperatures. If it is, I release them.
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Old 07-26-2012, 03:09 AM   #13 
SpookyTooth
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Congrats on all the supplies! I love bringing home a new tank, always such a feeling of anticipation!

In the UK bettas aren't sold in cups (at least not in my experience) but are put into waterproof bags with water and packed with extra oxygen to stop the bags getting squashed + to allow oxygen to dissolve into the water. :) The fish themselves are usually in cubes in a "betta wall" in independent retailers but in chain stores are often kept in large tanks with tetras or other small schooling fish. Some independent retailers keep them in large tanks with other fish as well but this is usually temporary while their betta barracks are being set up.

I use an aquarium siphon (a cheap 3 one bought off eBay - they're easy to find by searching "Aquarium Siphon"), it has a squishy centre that you squeeze and let go of to start the flow running, then you simply skim it along the gravel or sand (depending on substrate) to pick up debris and it takes water out at the same time. You can then use it to put treated water back into the tank in next to no time! Just make sure when taking water out that your bucket or container is below the level of your tank, and make sure when putting water in the bucket or container is above the level of your tank (these things are powered by gravity). It's also important to make sure water is treated with dechlorinater and is within two degrees of the original tank water before adding it back.

With a small siphon and water changes 40% or under you shouldn't need to move your fish as the water chemistry isn't changing too drastically (someone please correct me if I'm wrong) but if you would prefer to move your fish a method I sometimes use is a plastic measuring jug. I gently scoop my fish into one each (as I have two), then cover the top of this with something that has holes to stop jumping. Once the water change is done I gradually acclimatize the boys to their water (they share a tank but it is divided in two) by allowing them to float in it for about fifteen minutes then gradually swap out old and new water so they adjust to the chemistry change.

I like jugs that have a long handle because you can hook this over the side of the aquarium while re-acclimatizing your fish to their home, makes it a lot easier than bobbing the jug in the water... Kaze appears to have learned how to tip this over and has avoided the acclimation process multiple times because of it. He's absolutely fine but each fish is unique and may not take to the change in water chemistry so well (I do monitor him if he does this, he hasn't at all lately though as the tank has finished cycling and he's safe to leave in there during water changes as they are smaller now, hooray!).

One thing I don't know if you've read about yet that is really important is ensuring that you don't change the sponge in your filter or take out your gravel and clean it thoroughly while doing a cycle. The beneficial bacteria you're trying to establish lives in both filter sponge and in the gravel and it may cause your cycle to stall if you clean either one of these. It can be beneficial to occasionally rinse your filter sponge in old tank water (chlorinated water kills the beneficial bacteria) to remove large particles of debris but this shouldn't be done too often... the dirtier your sponge looks, the more BB it has (or so I've been led to believe )!

Last edited by SpookyTooth; 07-26-2012 at 03:12 AM. Reason: More info
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Old 07-26-2012, 05:42 AM   #14 
Mudiwa
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thanks again for all the tips guys :)
This is our tan for now:


And my daughter is not that interested in an empty tank:


although she did spend a long time looking for a fish.
The tank is placed low, so she can see it, and also it is supposed to be her fish as well, so I am hoping she will learn she is not allowed to tap the tank or put her hands in. If it doesn't work, I will move it where she can't reach it.
Also, I know the heater is quite close to the tank, but we never put them on a full blast, so it shouldn't affect water temperature. I can always turn it off for the winter, as no-one sleeps in that room for now anyway (my daughter still sleeps in our bedroom, and uses her room as a playroom only).
So we still need plants and THE FISH :)
Also - how much gravel should I put in the tank? I put about 2 cms (less than an inch) thick layer and I am not sure this is enough?

Any comments are very welcome, I won't get offended if you tell me I've done something wrong :) There is no fish yet, so now would be the time to get it right :)
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Old 07-26-2012, 05:46 AM   #15 
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The tank is going to be absolutely gorgeous once plants are in there. The contrast between the centrepiece, the gravel and the foliage will be great in my opinion. The gravel depth should be fine, you might need to add a little more around the roots of the plants you get (if they are stem plants) as they settle in but the gravel itself should help keep them weighted.

It all sounds good to me :) I can't wait to see it when it's done! I also love your daughter's outfit!
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Old 07-26-2012, 05:49 AM   #16 
Mudiwa
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Thank you :)
I picked this stone as a hiding place and something to entertain the fish, as it looks smooth (and I read you shouldn't put anything with sharp edges in a betta tank). I am considering anchoring it somehow though, as it is almost suspended in water - it seems very light for a stone ;)
I don't like too many colours, so I wanted to keep the tank pretty simple to best show off a beautiful fish I'm gonna get.

(that's my daugher's PJ's - I love it too - wish they made them in adult sizes ;)).
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Old 07-26-2012, 05:53 AM   #17 
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It's surprising just how light some ornaments can be! You might be able to bury the bottom of it in gravel to weigh it down a bit, that certainly helped with a couple of ornaments I've had in the past.

Ahah!
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Old 07-26-2012, 07:58 AM   #18 
teeneythebetta
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Very pretty tank so far, and I agree love the PJ's! Lol.
Be sure to leave the fish food VERY out of reach... When I was like 6 yrs old, we had a betta in a bowl (yes my mom didn't know what you know about proper care) and I dumped a crap load of food in the tank, picked up the bowl & dropped it. My mom didn't want to pick up the fish so she called a neighbor, they picked him up & took him home.

Needless to say we didn't get another fish after that.
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Old 07-26-2012, 08:19 AM   #19 
Mudiwa
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Fish food is going to stay in a locked cabinet with all the liquid tests and other chemicals we keep at home - Mia is far too curious to let her get her hands on anything like that - she would probably try to eat it :)
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Old 07-26-2012, 05:08 PM   #20 
Freyja
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Bit late yeah but welcome to the forum and the addictive world of bettas.
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