My little guy bit his tail a few weeks ago. Since he has never had a tail-biting habit before, and hasn't done it since, I assume he is lonely (It was around the time my brother's betta died, he was in a separate tank but they knew of each other). He is in a half gal quarantine tank currently.
Long story short, while he's recovering, I want to do a 360 on my tank. It is an under-decorated 10gal with nothing covering the bottom. In addition, I want to cycle it (It's never been cycled), and prepare it for two or more Cory Catfish as well. I will be adding the Corys first, so that I don't have a big territory problem with my betta. Hopefully this will make my betta get over his loneliness. I'd also like to add some plants, real and fake.
I've read the guides here, and since I'm taking on a lot, I'd like to share my plan, hear your opinions, and ask some questions. In advance, thank you for your help and consideration!
What I have:
- 1 Veil-tailed bi-coloured splendens betta male, named Mako
- 10 gallon tank
- 2 silk leaf hammocks
- 1 scratch-tested colosseum decoration, size medium
- 1 scratch-tested plant / cave combo decoration, size small
- Medium-sized gravel (Will not be using for the tank makeover)
- 1 Fluval Thermostat hang-on-back Heater (Which I highly recommend!)
- 1 Tetra Whisper 10i Internal Power hand-on-back Filter, low flow (Also highly recommend!)
- 2 overhead lights built into tank lid
** As for stuff that may or may not be part of the tank makeover process: Pellet betta food, bloodworms (freeze-dried, frozen), daphnia (Freeze-dried), mysis (Freeze-dried), water conditioner, water softener, aquarium salt, epsom salt, BettaFix, Tetra Fungus Guard, waste remover, soft net, sponge tank cleaner, two quarantine tanks, each a half gal.
What I intend to get:
- Substrate, probably sand.
- 1-2 Aquarium plants. Must be compatible with betta, catfish, substrate, low-flow filter, temperature of between 75F and 80F, and artificial light (Tank light and external lamp available. Sunlight very limited). Not being used as decoration or fish habitation, more so being used to keep toxin levels down.
- 1-4 Cory Catfish, or any other fish compatible with betta, substrate, plants, decorations, filter, and tank temperature between 75F and 80F.
- Cory Catfish food, or other fish food.
- 1 Soft, blue plant, size medium - large, for Mako to camouflage with.
- 1 Submergible platform, to create more of a distinction for the territories of the fish.
- 1 alternative decoration, size large. (Will be a smooth driftwood root / cave system that breaks surface of tank to reduce jumping. Blue/Grey colour so Mako can camouflage)
1) Empty tank. Clean tank, filter, heater, and decorations with hot water and salt.
2) Add plants and substrate. Not sure how to plant the plants, so that process of which to add first and whether or not there needs to be a lot of water and light is still up in the air.
3) Add decorations.
*Optional* I may or may not leave the tank for three months in order to let the substrate settle and become condensed. If I do, then I will cycle after three month and use the tank explicitly for caring for and growing the plants until then.
4) Add filter and heater.
5) Start the cycling process: plant method with no fish.
6) Once the cycle is complete, or a few days before, I will buy catfish and their food. When tank is safe, add catfish.
7) Take care of the catfish for a while to make sure they are okay in the tank. If I am buying four, I will add them one-by-one, or two-by-two. Name the catfish at some point.
8) Once the catfish are acclimated, add Mako.
From there, it's the obvious care and maintenance. If Mako doesn't get along with the catfish, I already have someone else willing to take them and the food. Mako will then stay in the tank. If the time comes and the person does not want the catfish anymore, I have a 3gal tank that I will keep them in with the same substrate and one of the decorations from the cycled tank.
There's a lot of stuff covered in this plan that I still don't know a lot about yet. If anyone is willing to give me recommendations for plants or other fish, I would really appreciate it. Also, I acknowledge that there may be some parts of this plan that will not work. If anyone is willing to correct anything written here that is uninformed, again I would very much appreciate that.
To everyone who has taken the time to read and / or respond, thank you very much!