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Old 01-08-2013, 02:12 PM   #1 
LittleBettaFish
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Setting up my first NPT

Well today I will be setting up my first NPT. This is a trial run to see how well my plants cope in this style of set-up. For now this tank will be as low tech as possible. I have a half-filled 3 footer on my back deck that houses some tadpoles and the plants in there have gone nuts. I am scooping out a handful or two of duckweed out a day. So since this seems like a good spot, I decided I will be putting my test tank next to that.

Soil I am using is Miracle Gro Organic Choice potting mix as this seems to be tried and tested. Since this tank is low tech as possible I will not be adding any heating or filtration. I want to see if I can't get a stable tank that requires only mechanical filtration even when fully stocked. The soil will be capped with Sarawak sand, and at present I will not be adding any hardscape in.

Plants I will be using are vallisneria nana, giant duckweed, azolla, hornwort, najas tenuifolia, limnophila brownii and hydrilla. Most of these are native plants so I am hoping they do well.

Plan essentially is a semi self-sustaining tank where I don't have to stress too much about things and ideally only need to feed and occasionally fertilise and do water changes.

Photos will be coming once it gets a bit later in the day as currently it is only 6am. My plants are also still in transit and should be arriving later this afternoon.
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Old 01-08-2013, 04:47 PM   #2 
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Good luck! :) I'm going to be giving my own shot at a NPT sometime soon!
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Old 01-08-2013, 11:06 PM   #3 
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Well I have the test tank all set-up now as my plants arrived earlier than I thought. Sorry for the atrocious photos. These two tanks are in a spot where they get full sun for a couple of hours a day and so it was hard with the glare to get the camera focused.

First, this is my 3ft tadpole tank. It has been running for a few weeks now and the plant growth is insane. It has only a few handfuls of ADA amazonia and I didn't even get any ammonia readings as the plants took care of that. The poor pathetic plant on the right is my umbrella sedge. It had all this beautiful new growth and either the possums or my dog chewed it off. So I have hacked it back and will bring it in at night to rule out possum attacks.







This tank doesn't get water changes just topped up with water from the hose. I am thinking of kicking the tadpoles out (they are not meant to be in there) and putting a pair or trio of Aphyosemion australe in. They don't mind if the temperature dips down to low 20s.

The glass needs a clean but the dogs run down on that deck every five seconds so that doesn't help.


This is my test tank on the left. Will be monitoring the water parameters every day and hopefully getting some better pictures of it tomorrow.


Then this is my Betta ideii female surveying work from her tank in the rumpus.
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Old 01-09-2013, 04:53 AM   #4 
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Too cute! And nice set up :)

Possums can be a pain sometimes! We have them in our forests, and our dogs go NUTS at them.

Keep us updated!
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Old 01-09-2013, 05:09 AM   #5 
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Thanks. The 3ft is only set-up because my wonderful father accidentally netted three tadpoles out of my grandparents' dam when we were catching mossy larvae. I still have no idea what to do with them as technically you can't keep them but I would feel awful having to euthanise them.

We get brushtail possums up in our roof and they are such a pain. One always likes to sit up in a tree on our deck and every night without fail, the dogs rush out there to go bark at it. I think it just does it to taunt them.

I would have tried some wild bettas out in the 3ft tank but I am a bit leery as even though day time temperatures have been above 30 most days at night it still gets pretty cold for them.
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Old 01-09-2013, 05:48 AM   #6 
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I checked out your website today. I watched all the videos etc. I loved it! You have so many awesome, pretty tanks :) You must be so proud.

And maybe you could put them.. back in the dam? Are they big enough to catch right now? Or maybe wait until they're old then let them free... What are the laws on that in Australia? Here in NZ, they sell tadpoles in store! :)

Possums are a real pain. My brother went to put something by our fence at night time, (and behind our fence is a forest we own) and a possum jumped out to attack him. Luckily he moved in time. They can be pretty viscous - they even run after people! (Had it happen to me..). And they're killing all of our natives :(

Hmmm... I'm guessing you can't put a heater in at night? That could work.. turning it on at night etc... Or maybe even putting blankets over the tank while it's still hot and leaving them on overnight could help keep the heat in? Just a thought, but I'm not sure...
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Old 01-09-2013, 06:22 AM   #7 
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Thanks. I love my wild bettas. Although a couple of my pairs are being rather naughty and playing a bit rough. Hoping that by bringing down the temperature slightly I might curb some of the aggression and induce them to spawn.

So you're in NZ. I know our possums are terrible over there. Brushtails are so aggressive. They tear each other to shreds at night. We get them in our roof and they just have wrecked everything. We have been trying to get them out but they are so persistent!

The tadpoles I believe are spotted marsh frogs based on pictures I've looked at online, so they don't require a license to keep. However, it is illegal to actually remove tadpoles and frogs even if it is from your own property. I think the risk of them introducing a disease is pretty slim as they have been pretty quarantined in their tank so I may just put them back next time we are up there.

I am thinking of Australe 'gold' killifish. They can handle lower temperatures than bettas (even on a really cold night it was still around 17 degrees when I checked it in the morning) and I think I might try a trio of them out in there as they are only $11 and I can always move them inside if they don't do well.

This was my original male that I had and sadly lost. Killies are such great characters.

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Old 01-09-2013, 06:38 AM   #8 
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I wish I could keep wild Betta, but I don't think I'd be very good at it. I think maybe in the future I could try, but probably not. May I ask, how do you get your water green? I know a few people do it, and apparently their Betta love it more and are more active..

And yes, I live in New Zealand. :) Possums are cute, but they really are a pest, and I get you about the house thing! I'm sure we get them in our sleep-out shed. We're just lucky they can't get into our chicken coop (it's metal mesh and doors etc) otherwise they would slaughter our birds. They are very aggressive.

Chances are, if they were in a dam and the other tadpoles are fine, they probably don't have disease. It wouldn't hurt to do a quick run down of the tank though before you use it again - just in case. Tadpoles are cute, but I don't think it is something I, myself, would enjoy as a pet. They're not very active when they turn in to frogs, so I've heard. I prefer lizards. :)

Are wild Betta readily available in Austria to you? Or did you ship in a pair of each type and breed them? :)

Oh, he is GORGEOUS! I love his tails. He looks like fire. So pretty. S.I.P <3

Also, may I ask, do you find wild or domestic Betta to be more aggressive?
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Old 01-09-2013, 02:27 PM   #9 
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The water is green in the main 3ft tank because it gets several hours of direct afternoon sunlight so it gets a bit of algae happening even with all the plants. It was a bit cloudly in the photos as I had been moving plants around, but it is actually surprisingly clear when it settles for a tank with no filter or water circulation.

I think the whole 'jumping' thing freaks me out a little with frogs. They are getting big and fat though on all the algae and stuff in there. I think it's the first time my nan and pa have had tadpoles of large numbers since the Black Saturday fires went right along the road they live on.

Wild bettas are available through our main wholesaler, but I prefer the ones imported in by this lady who has a business called Fishchick Aquatics. They are generally guaranteed male/female pairs and of higher quality than the ones the wholesaler provides.

I have so far bred my rutilans, persephone, unimaculata, burdigala and tussyae. Everyone else was purchased as adult breeding pairs. Wild bettas grow out really slowly so it can take up to 12 months for some of my species to reach adult size.

Wild bettas are usually less aggressive than splendens. However, there can be exceptions. My ideii pair (lost the male) were highly aggressive and apparently it is not unknown for one partner to kill the other. She can't be with any other fish as she attacks them quite viciously.

Otherwise they are not too bad. They will get their fins torn up every now and then when someone is in a snit but they heal surprisingly fast as I have them on a pretty high-protein diet.

Killifish are awesome. They are like the perfect cross between Betta splendens and wild bettas. They are brightly coloured and personable, but are capable of living together and haven't changed much from their natural form. Here are two of my current males sparring over a female.



As you can see they aren't that aggressive but still quite feisty and they put on a good show for you.
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Old 01-09-2013, 06:02 PM   #10 
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Thanks for explaining how you make it green to me. I've seen a few people using "green" water and always wondered how they made it that green. It, of course, never occurred to me to ask. But that does make sense to me now.

Frogs do move fast and they do make a lot of noises too, if they are the right breed. Black Saturday fires? I've not heard of them. Maybe I should look it up. It seems that Australia has been having a LOT of bush fires lately - are you okay where you are?

Whilst watching your videos, I got the impression they will spawn naturally - just by keeping them in the same tank, spawning occurs. Is this correct? Twelve months is a long time for a fish to take to reach adult-hood! That is a lot of them that you have been able to breed. Do you sell them much? You must be so proud of yourself - I would be ;)

Okay, so are are generally less aggressive. Just the common exception, just like any other species. I got into an argument with someone who thought that domestic Betta are less-aggressive than wild Betta. I did not think they were.

That's one angry female! ;) (Is she the one that has her own tank in your videos? That get's, I quote, "Quite lonely"?)

Do wild Betta eat differently to domesticated Betta?

I agree. Killifish are pretty and they look like little flames to me! :D. I saw one for sale online once but I didn't know what it was so I didn't buy it. it's the only one I've seen here - you can't really get them here in NZ.

You get such great pictures of your fish! I am jealous. :P

Sorry for all the questions - It's not everyday I find someone who owns these species! :D
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