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Old 01-30-2013, 11:41 PM   #1 
White Mage
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Talking Hey There!

Hi! I'm White Mage, a newbie "betta keeper" from Texas. :3

I got a new female Betta on Monday, her name is Candace. I'll post a pic once I can get her to stay still O.o

New to betta keeping, and my sister also got a new aquarium (tropical community in the making), but added too many fish at once and is having cycle issues. (Just added an almost full bottle of Safe Start so it should get under control now, her poor Tetra keeps freaking out, though the Molly and Algae Eater seem fine)

Went to Petsmart today and bought a moss ball for each of our tanks, should help keep stuff under control as well. Over $200 later, we seem to finally be gaining control over the water quality.

ANYWAY, back to the betta, her tank is 5.5 gallons, and is very nice looking. I might add a snail or 2 later on, but right now I want it to cycle for a bit. She seems to LOVE it, she's always swimming around exploring ever inch, except she won't eat... I think she's too excited O.o I tried giving her pellets a few times, but she would eat and spit it out several times then just ignore it... I got some freeze dried bloodworms today and she nibbled on that/played with it for a bit before the filter took it away D:< (she ate about 1/3 of it) gave her another, she didn't care. (probably full?)

Also, snails are boring -.- whats a good fish to put with a female betta? (besides shrimp, I don't like them...)
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Old 01-31-2013, 10:03 AM   #2 
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Weclome to the forum!! I hope you and/or your sister have read about properly cycling a tank or have someone who is knowledgable guiding you through it. Simply setting up a tank & letting it rund does not cycle it, you will need to do daily water testing & frequent water changes while its cycling, can take 8 wks to finish!! New Bettas often don't eat well the first few days, I don't know what brand of pellet you're feeding but I'd suggest getting New Life Spectrum. They are a great size & healthy, don't feed the blood worms as her every day diet. With a 5.5g tank, IMO, adding other fish won't work, not enough space & ammonia & such will build up faster. Snails, IMO, are not boring, I actually enjoy watching my move around especially the Mystery Snails. Hope all goes well with your new fish!!
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Old 01-31-2013, 10:18 AM   #3 
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Thanks! Yeah we (I've) done all the research we need to know about cycling, and they guy at Petsmart was VERY helpful, he pretty much knew what he was talking about. (apparently he's had fish since he was 5) he said to wait a week on her tank to let the bacteria grow from the Safe Start, but if the nitrates get high or w/e in the meantime, to add a bit of Prime. Her tetra may or may not make it though because of all the stress he said... I better prepare my sister for it :c

Speaking of prime, that stuff is hard to measure! So little does so much D: How will I treat water thats only like a gallon or so? O.o I know half a mL treats 5 gallons, but after that... :S

I actually looked for NLS at the store, but they don't have it. I am using Aqueon Betta Food and Freeze dried BloodWorms.
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Old 01-31-2013, 10:40 AM   #4 
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Thanks! Yeah we (I've) done all the research we need to know about cycling, and they guy at Petsmart was VERY helpful, he pretty much knew what he was talking about. (apparently he's had fish since he was 5) he said to wait a week on her tank to let the bacteria grow from the Safe Start, but if the nitrates get high or w/e in the meantime, to add a bit of Prime. Her tetra may or may not make it though because of all the stress he said... I better prepare my sister for it :c

Speaking of prime, that stuff is hard to measure! So little does so much D: How will I treat water thats only like a gallon or so? O.o I know half a mL treats 5 gallons, but after that... :S

I actually looked for NLS at the store, but they don't have it. I am using Aqueon Betta Food and Freeze dried BloodWorms.
If the guy at Petsmart told you the tank would be cycled by adding Safe Start & letting the tank run for a week without testing the water or doing water changes then he didn't give you correct information about cycling a tank. If your sisters fish are not doing well, I suggest doing at least a 50% water change with temp matched, conditioned water. Y'all really need to test the water for ammonia, nitrites, nitrates & Ph to see if the tank is cycling & where its at in the cycle, both tanks.
Prime is great BUT it ONLY detoxifies ammonia up to 1ppm (if I remember correctly) per dose & only for 24-48 hrs so I strongly suggest you don't rely on it completely. Water changes are a much better way to address water issues. As for measuring, I just put a little bit into the cap depending on the tank size I'm treating, I don't worry about be precise.
Petco has NLS, Petsmart will have the Omega One, I don't know the nutritional breakdown of the Aqueon or their size. You might try breaking them up into smaller pieces or soaking them.
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Old 01-31-2013, 10:56 AM   #5 
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Alright, whole story:

Sister bought a 1.77 gallon tank, put 3 fish in it. (don't hate, she's a newbie, lol) I thought it looked crampy in there, but she liked the tank because it matched the colors of her room etc. Anyway, we went to petsmart to ask the guy there to test our water. Mine was perfect ammonia/nitrates wise (ph was a bit high) but my sisters levels were getting too high (everything bad was above stress) so we bought her the same tank I got (http://www.petsmart.com/product/inde...uctId=11459461)

Yesterday after work i took her water sample to be tested again, it was MUCH better, but things were a little high. (we had run out of the Safe Start type chemical that came with her other tank) He said to add that in to help speed the cycle up, and it might even instant cycle after a week or so because it's a smallish tank. He suggested to get some test strips to test the water everday because the PH levels and stuff are gonna spike and lower a lot.

I got home and tested my betta's water again, it seems ok, though the PH and hardness is around 7 (same as last time), which the guy at Petsmart said is probably because I used Springwater instead of soft tap water.

Anyway, I put 15mL of safe Start in my tank for a small boost, then put the rest in hers like the guy said. (I was a bit iffy about putting the whole bottle in there but I looked around online and apparently it's fine) Gonna test water again later, but her fish seem to be pretty relaxed, except maybe the Tetra who spazzes out here and there. Guy at Petsmart said if the Nitrates/trites get too high, to do a 20% water change. (instead of 50% because it will kill too much of the bacteria from the safestart, and put too much stress on the fish)

Oh, the filter is making way too much of an underwater current towards the bottom of the tank for my betta, what do I do? D; she's getting tossed around down there :C
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Old 01-31-2013, 12:05 PM   #6 
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The tetra is snazzy because they are a schooling fish and need at least three of them they also need a heater as they are tropical fish you said they spent over $200 setting up a 1.77 that is ridiculous for that money you could have easily gotten at least a 15 gal heater and the decor got it set up properly and not have an overstocked tank. The VERY helpful guy at the pet store was VERY dumb in this matter.

You on the other hand are doing great! Just a heater is recommended however you have one lucky girl! I am sure she is happy in your care :) if you have any questions feel free to pm me :)
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Old 01-31-2013, 12:21 PM   #7 
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We bought her a 5 gallon tank a couple days after we got the 1.7 when we went to test the water. (The guy at the petstore wasn't there when she first got her 1.7 tank, and neither was I. My dad was a bit arrogant and didn't ask for help >.> lol), we also had a heater and an air stone. Initially, the 1. 7 tank, heater, fish, and air stone only cost around $45-50 dollars, but when we upgraded we had to buy more gravel, plants, caves, conditioner, safe start, a water test kit, then add my tank, heater and decorations, and 2 moss balls... yeah.

Add it all together... over $200 DX

We would've gotten a 10-15 gal, but we don't have anywhere to put it, lol.


Last edited by White Mage; 01-31-2013 at 12:40 PM.
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Old 01-31-2013, 12:37 PM   #8 
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Alright, whole story:

Sister bought a 1.77 gallon tank, put 3 fish in it. (don't hate, she's a newbie, lol) I thought it looked crampy in there, but she liked the tank because it matched the colors of her room etc. Anyway, we went to petsmart to ask the guy there to test our water. Mine was perfect ammonia/nitrates wise (ph was a bit high) but my sisters levels were getting too high (everything bad was above stress) so we bought her the same tank I got (http://www.petsmart.com/product/inde...uctId=11459461)

Yesterday after work i took her water sample to be tested again, it was MUCH better, but things were a little high. (we had run out of the Safe Start type chemical that came with her other tank) He said to add that in to help speed the cycle up, and it might even instant cycle after a week or so because it's a smallish tank. He suggested to get some test strips to test the water everday because the PH levels and stuff are gonna spike and lower a lot.

I got home and tested my betta's water again, it seems ok, though the PH and hardness is around 7 (same as last time), which the guy at Petsmart said is probably because I used Springwater instead of soft tap water.

Anyway, I put 15mL of safe Start in my tank for a small boost, then put the rest in hers like the guy said. (I was a bit iffy about putting the whole bottle in there but I looked around online and apparently it's fine) Gonna test water again later, but her fish seem to be pretty relaxed, except maybe the Tetra who spazzes out here and there. Guy at Petsmart said if the Nitrates/trites get too high, to do a 20% water change. (instead of 50% because it will kill too much of the bacteria from the safestart, and put too much stress on the fish)

Oh, the filter is making way too much of an underwater current towards the bottom of the tank for my betta, what do I do? D; she's getting tossed around down there :C
OK, first I pat you on the back for making improvements!!!! 50% water changes may hurt the safe start but its better for keeping the fish healthy so thats up to you. Strips, not accurate & only last 30 days however a liquid test kit such as the API Freshwater Master Kit is more expensive up front but MUCH MORE accurate & lasts for months. Ammonia will be your first concern, then nitrites, both need to be kept <.5 preferrably <.25. As for the filter, I don't have UG filters so I have no idea if it can be baffled but I would turn it off if its that bad & either go without one or get an HOB. Someone else may be able to better advise.

Last edited by shellieca; 01-31-2013 at 12:43 PM.
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Old 01-31-2013, 12:41 PM   #9 
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These are our tanks, we both have HOB filters that came with it. (Top fin power filter 10) A heater that keeps it at 78 degrees, and she put an air stone in hers. (I DID have one, but poor little betta kept getting wisked away)


Her tank: http://i46.tinypic.com/1zxl9xz.jpg (algae eater is in the pine apple, can barely see him but he's on the ground)

My tank: (betta is in plant on the right) http://i50.tinypic.com/25zjodi.jpg

Last edited by White Mage; 01-31-2013 at 12:44 PM.
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Old 01-31-2013, 01:27 PM   #10 
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These are our tanks, we both have HOB filters that came with it. (Top fin power filter 10) A heater that keeps it at 78 degrees, and she put an air stone in hers. (I DID have one, but poor little betta kept getting wisked away)


Her tank: http://i46.tinypic.com/1zxl9xz.jpg (algae eater is in the pine apple, can barely see him but he's on the ground)

My tank: (betta is in plant on the right) http://i50.tinypic.com/25zjodi.jpg
Sorry, I don't know where I got you had an underground filter. I can't access your photos (work computere thing) so based on what you're saying you have the same 5.5g tank & filter that I do. For the filter I took some pre-filter sponge, cut it & stuffed it into the intake tube, slows down the flow & helps to keep my Bettas fins from getting shredded. I also had to use the plastic water bottle trick for the outflow because the sponge didn't slow the flow enough. What kind of algae eater does your sister have? Most algae eating fish are not appropriate for a 5.5g tank, when purchasing fish you have to consider they're needs as an adult. If she has a Chinese Algae Eater she needs to take it back or rehome it, they grow to be about 6" in a tank, become very aggressive & do not eat algae all of their lives. I would do some research on the fish she has to make sure they are appropriate for her tank, there aren't many that are.
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