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Old 08-22-2008, 09:03 AM   #1 
bc100903
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Preparing tank... temp & plants

I've been scouring the internet for information preparing for my Betta (who I haven't gotten yet). Yesterday I bought test kits for the water and a thermometer. I got it the thermometer at PetSmart and it's a dlgital one that you put in the tank. I left the light on in the tank overnight and it read 82.3 degrees this morning whenI came in. (My office stays warm, just like I like it ). Some information I read say that your tank should be between 78-80 degrees and others say 72 - 86. I certainly don't need a heater if my little tank is going to keep the water this warm right??? My tank actually holds 2.5 gallons. I'll leave the light off all day and see what it reads. What is really a good temp?

Another question. I want to add Java Moss and Java Fern. Do I need to prepare the water with Flourish? Are these supposed to be free floating? A few of the LFS have Java Fern and what I saw didn't look that good. I did find some for $9.99 and it looked very healthy, but the guy at the stor said I needed to prepare my tank with Flourish or this iron supplement. It's all so confusing

I'm sure I'll have more questions..so please bear with this Newbie

Thanks,
BC
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Old 08-22-2008, 09:57 AM   #2 
iamntbatman
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Sounds like he was just trying to sell you more stuff. I have plenty of java fern and java moss and I definitely don't use any type of fertilizer. Java moss can float, but you can also just have it in clumps along the bottom. You can tie it to rocks or driftwood with fishing line or natural colored cotton thread. Java fern works best if you tie it to a piece of driftwood or rock since it doesn't really root that well. If you do stick it in the gravel, make sure the rhizome isn't buried.

Is the bulb on the tank an incandescent bulb? If so, and if it has the appropriate sized base, you can switch it out for a compact fluorescent bulb (the swirly type). If there isn't room in the fixture for a traditional compact fluorescent used in house lamps, they sell narrower bulbs designed for aquarium use at many pet stores. They not only aren't as hot, but also are more energy efficient and produce light that's more useful to your plants. 78-80 is really ideal for your fish, but it's mainly big temperature fluctuations that you have to worry about. If the office is warm enough to keep the fish at 78 degrees without a heater, you may not need one now but you may once winter hits.
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Old 08-22-2008, 02:31 PM   #3 
bc100903
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Water Temp, small tank - Lighting

I checked the box and the bulb is fluorescent. The replacement info says 5-6 watt. I've had the light off since 7:30 and the temp is now 80.8. So obviously the light is heating up the tank. I guess I can see if I can find a small watt bulb.

I'll take back the iron stuff that guy sold me and I'll buy the java fern. I think I'll have to buy the moss off the internet.

Thanks again,
BC
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Old 08-22-2008, 02:37 PM   #4 
iamntbatman
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If you can't find a bulb that fits in the socket, you could always get a cheap desk lamp and use that to light the tank. It's really good to have some kind of light for the fish, since they need a day/night cycle to keep their biological clocks functioning correctly just like we do. Try to avoid an incandescent or halogen lamps as those put off a lot of heat. It doesn't have to be anything fancy - both java fern and java moss will do well in low-light conditions
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