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Old 06-20-2013, 10:54 AM   #1 
JoyLightfoot
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Kind of overwhelmed...

My girls have been BEGGING for fish, and I finally gave in and bought them each a betta. I was really hesitant to do this because my husband and I used to have a 250 gallon salt water tank and it was expensive and a LOT of hard work to maintain. Betta fish have the reputation of being hardy and easy to care for and so that is why I picked this species. I started out as a novice and got them each a half gallon bowl with gravel and their own fish. Later I was researching what other fish could live happily with bettas and came across this forum. I was shocked at my ignorance and we went to the store to try to correct the mistake. I purchased a 10 gallon tank, and the saleswomen told me how she does dividers in her tank. I went home and did the dividers and then after it was filled and all set up we put the fish in. One of my daughters really didn't want to put her fish in there (he was happy as can be in the tiny bowl), but I talked her into it.
Now my other two daughters' fish are blowing bubbles and looking happy, but hers is dead...
I don't know where I went wrong, I tried to follow all the advice that I read here but it went horribly wrong.
The only thing I can think of is that maybe the filter flow was not low enough. Does anyone have any filter advice? Do you think I would be better off removing the filter? I have ghost shrimp and a couple of albino plecostomus in the tank with them, could that be the issue? I also bought plant bulbs to grow plants in there because I thought it would be fun for them to watch the plants grow in the tank.
Any thoughts would be appreciated.
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Old 06-20-2013, 11:04 AM   #2 
lilnaugrim
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It might have been sick from when you got it from the store, that's not overly uncommon. A few of mine have passed even when they were placed into wonderful cycled tanks.

So I ask, do you know about the Nitrogen Cycle? I feel that in SW tanks it would be there, but I don't know enough about them to speculate.

Also most of those bulbs are probably duds, sorry to burst your bubble again >.< About 2 out of 10 will grow and that's with an extremely good luck and a good green thumb. I suggest taking them out before they rot unless you are confident that you can grow them Plants that I do suggest you get or look into are Java Fern and Anubias, great low light plants, fairly inexpensive. One of my Anubias I've had for a year and it's flourishing so well! They're both low light plants and low maintenance so you basically rinse them off and plop them in and you're good to go! Just be sure to not bury the Rhizome. The rhizome is the part where roots come out the bottom and leaves come out the top, sometimes referred to as a crown. But the roots can be buried no problem. Both these plants will also grow on ornaments given time, just tie them on with fishing wire or regular thread and watch them attach over a month or so time.

Also what kind of Pleco's are they? I know you said albino but are they Commons? Or Bristlenose (BN)? Either way, BN's get up to 4-6 inches and Commons grow passed a foot. Soooo I highly suggest you return them to the store or find them a new home, even BN's need a 30 gallon minimum. All algae eaters are huge poop machines so the more poop you have in there the worse your Ammonia levels are going to be, that's why it's important to have the Nitrogen Cycle going. If you need help understanding it I can try to explain a little for you There's also a great sticky on it in the Betta Habitat, Tank and Bowl section ^_^

I think I covered it all great job with the 10 gallon and the dividers though!!
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Old 06-20-2013, 11:34 AM   #3 
JoyLightfoot
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I appreciate the advice! I was worried I was going to get snubbed for my ignorance!

Where is the best place to buy the Anubias and Java Fern?

The Plecos are commons (oops). As far as the nitrogen cycle goes, yes I am familiar with it however my husband did all of that care and so I have never done the testing and and maintenance for the SW so I kinda forgot that little detail in this tank. Oops again... I was just determined to get them out of the little bowls ASAP.
I guess I assumed it would be naturally cycled by adding the gravel that they had in their bowls to the new tank since there was already their natural bacteria on the gravel. In retrospect, that was probably a bad idea. I did read Olympia's step by step cycle guide (awesome, but my ADD mind didn't absorb everything very well.)

What type of filter do you recommend? The one I have came with the tank kit.

Also side note: The saleswoman told me that the pleco would stay small in a small tank. I am so disappointed in her misinformation...
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Old 06-20-2013, 12:10 PM   #4 
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It's a very common myth that fish will stay small in a small tank. Bad conditions will stunt their growth a bit, but what mostly happens is they just die. So people think it's true, but they also think that plecos and goldfish only live a year or two, when in fact, if they live less then 20 it's because the owner is doing something wrong.

My condolences to your daughter about her betta.
Sadly, it happens. My own daughter was heartbroken because we got a run of sickly bettas, all you can do is learn from it and try again.

There are instructions on here for how to build a baffle for your filter;
http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=30139

You should be able to get Anubias and Java Fern where you bought the fish. If they don't stock them, ask if they know of somewhere local you can get them. if that fails, you can buy them online.
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Old 06-20-2013, 12:19 PM   #5 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Riverotter View Post
There are instructions on here for how to build a baffle for your filter;
http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=30139.
Awesome! Awesome! Awesome! I'm going to do that ASAP!

Also good news! Her beta wasn't dead!!! He was just "resting"! I got the net and was about to pull him out and he started swimming! I am SO relieved!
Here he is!
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Old 06-20-2013, 12:20 PM   #6 
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Most big box pet stores will have live plants. Beware the ones in tubes, half the time those are not water plants. When in doubt, I will whip out my phone and look up the name of the plant online to find out more about it. They are at least usually honest about the names on those tubes

Good luck, and I feel your daughter's sorrow. My sons' betta that we've had a year and a half passed away a couple nights ago, and he was in tears when we went outside to lay him to rest in the garden.
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Old 06-20-2013, 12:24 PM   #7 
lilnaugrim
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No worries! We were all in your place, or someplace similar to your's at one point But I understand your worry!

Here's another baffle you can do that might be easier for you, it's up to you which one. Read the comments to see how it's put on; http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=56100

As far a cycling goes it takes about a month to get it complete so you wouldn't have had the Beneficial Bacteria (BB) growing in the tank yet. So during the cycle you're growing your BB to make a colony as I'm sure you know. With doing this with fish in the tank you'll have to test everyday or at least every other day. When you see your Ammonia getting over .25ppm it's time to do a water change. Do a 25% or so water change and test again after an hour. If it still tests at .25ppm or over, do another change. Always use your water conditioner!

So it's going to be kind of a pain in the butt but just keep testing your ammonia and do a change when it gets over .25ppm. Soon Nitrites will come into play and you can monitor them to keep them under a safe level like .25ppm but mostly look at your ammonia and do a change when that one gets over .25ppm.

Soon Nitrates will come in! Still checking ammonia to keep it under .25ppm. Once you test and both Ammonia and Nitrite fall to ZERO within 24 hours, your tank is cycled! Your nitrates will be high so that's when you do a big water change like 75% and then your fish are safe to continue with a weekly water change
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Old 06-20-2013, 12:50 PM   #8 
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What wonderful news! Keep a close eye on him to be sure he's not getting sick, but sometimes they just feel the need to hide and stay very still for a day after being moved to a big space.
LOL, agoraphobic fish.

Lilnaugrim gives very good advice on helping the tank cycle.
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Old 06-20-2013, 01:34 PM   #9 
JoyLightfoot
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lilnaugrim View Post
Here's another baffle you can do that might be easier for you, it's up to you which one. Read the comments to see how it's put on; http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=56100
I read this and one of the suggestions was:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lion Mom View Post
If you want a "quick" fix you can fold a large amount of gauze and rubber band it to the front of the filter. On of the posters here did that some time back & it seemed to work pretty well.
I can't make it into town today and I don't have gauze. Would cheesecloth or t-shirt material work?
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Old 06-20-2013, 03:40 PM   #10 
lilnaugrim
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No cheesecloth and no tee-shirts or clothes. You can't use anything treated with any sort of chemicals or dye that might leech to the water. I mean...you can, but I certainly wouldn't recommend it ^_^ They'll be fine for now, just get it when you can, it's not essential
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