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Old 04-03-2008, 10:54 PM   #1 
studioskim3
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What the Petco guy says...?

I recently installed a new tank (14gal) for my wonderful pet betta... and its only been a week of cycling. I am going the with-fish-cycling routine, and I read in the aquariumfishforum that if going this route, we should change its water at least 20% everyday... now... I just called earlier today about algae problem... it hasn't occured yet, but I'm learning of what to do... and he told me that I should add a otto or pleco (sorry, this conversation was overphone so I don't know spelling) catfishes... either or to help w/ the algae... now.... here are three things I'm curious about:

1.) are otto/ pleco catfishes compatiable w/ a betta (AND) are they hardy? The petco guy says that they are... but I'm a lil skeptical as they dunno what they're talking half the time.

2.) He said that I'm changing his water too much and that i should cycle it (WITHOUT WATER CHANGES) for the next 2 weeks...

3.) He also said that I CAN add an otto or pleco catfish WHILE CYCLING b/c he will contribute to the ammonia level/ cycling of the water. Is this right?

What should I do? From my research in the fish forum... I SHOULD be changing his water for the next couple of weeks everyday in order to keep the ammonia down (or something along that line), and that I CAN'T introduce a new fish until the water is fully cycled.

I haven't checked the water parameters yet b/c I haven't gotten that in yet, and I am waiting for it. My betta is EXTEMELY happy ( i think ) and he likes to explore is tank up and down, side-to-side, front to back even through the filter area throughout the day, and likes to rest in the area where it is his "hiding" place where I added a lil cave and plants so that he can be away from the filtered water ( hang-on-back Aqueon 10 Filter). He loves to eat betta pellets, flakes, and peas... not much of a bloodworm fan though.

So what should I do?
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Old 04-03-2008, 11:10 PM   #2 
herefishy
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Stay your course young man. Don't worry about the algae until it gets here.
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Old 04-03-2008, 11:11 PM   #3 
Zule
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The first thing you will learn, is NEVER listen to the people at places like Petco or Petsmart. They will often steer you in the wrong direction. He would have doomed you to much grief for your fish.

Do not get a pleco. Most of what you'll see in Petco will be the common variety, which will grow well into 18 inches or more, and they don't tell you that. You would have to rehome it eventually. A pleco would also not be a good idea in a cycling tank. They produce as much waste as a fish twice their size.

Otos are compatible with bettas, but don't introduce any until you actually do have algae growth. Some will not eat prepared foods, even algae wafers. They also tend to be sensitive, so I'm not sure if adding them to an un-cycled tank would be a good idea.

And yes, please continue with your water changes. Without water changes ammonia will build up and will be negative to your fish's health. Ammonia burn is not a pleasant experience for the fish.
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Old 04-04-2008, 04:24 AM   #4 
studioskim3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by herefishy
Stay your course young man. Don't worry about the algae until it gets here.
hehe, I'm a girl, hehe

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zule
The first thing you will learn, is NEVER listen to the people at places like Petco or Petsmart. They will often steer you in the wrong direction. He would have doomed you to much grief for your fish.
I figured this as well... I would rather listen to ppl in a forum (about fishes and ppl who love and care and actually KNOW fishes) then a guy at petco, who works at a corporation and went around EVERYTHING that everyone says... I figured that he wouldn't know what he was talking about.... maybe he actually is an "aquarist", but as far as I know... mayb not.

I will continually to make the everyday water changes, but how long do I do this till? until its fully cycled (eek!!! everyday water changes for the next 8 weeks!?) or just until the ammonia level is down?

Also, when the tank is cycled... how would I introduce the oto catfish? Would i need to do the whole quarantine thing and do I need to purchase them in a bulk, b/c they are group oriented or would just one be okay, be able to maintain a clean algae-free tank? Sorry... the only fish I ever took care of are goldfishes (when I was 5) and bettas... never even heard of oto catfish... are they easy to maintain as well?
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Old 04-04-2008, 06:49 AM   #5 
herefishy
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Oops.
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Old 04-04-2008, 08:27 PM   #6 
studioskim3
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HAHAHA.. ur okay... :)
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Old 04-04-2008, 08:44 PM   #7 
Zule
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I don't think you need to do it every single day, you should be okay with doing water changes every few days. But don't wait too long, otherwise too much ammonia will build up. What's in the tank? Just the betta?
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Old 04-05-2008, 01:27 AM   #8 
studioskim3
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yup.... just my one male betta... I THINK he is happy... he swims around the 14 gal tank ALOT... and then he'll rest a lil... then swim alot... then rest... is that okay? or is he saying something to me?
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Old 04-05-2008, 01:49 AM   #9 
Zule
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I think it's okay. He's got a lot to explore and therefore will need to take the occasional pit stop. :)

One betta in that size tank shouldn't create too much ammonia, I believe. If you had him in a 2.5 gallon or something small like that, the water would cloud up real quick. But there's a lot more water for it to be diluted into. You'll still need to keep an eye on it though. Good luck!
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Old 04-05-2008, 08:53 AM   #10 
tenpaull
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I would just like to comment on not listening to pet store personnel on petshops like Petco and Petsmart. I am sorry but I have to disagree. IMO one should not downright dismiss everything they say, it's just you should read first before listening to them. Be open-minded, but skeptical. Listen to the details and if common sense says it is crap, then drop the suggestion then and there. no offense meant. I had a cousin who works in a big pet shop company and he knows the ins and outs of fishkeeping. |:)
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