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Old 06-23-2013, 06:02 PM   #1 
aemaki09
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Help with making a great set up for my smaragdinas

I ordered a pair of Guitar Smaragdina's from a Thai seller on aquabid a couple weeks ago, and they are on their way to Linda right now.

I have a 5 gallon set up for them cycled with a sponge filter, but I dont really know what else I should do to make it ideal for them.


These 2 will be my first wilds, EVER, and so please bear with me if some of these are stupid questions, I've done some research about them, but I feel it's always better to find out about your personal experiences.

1. Is it possible to keep them together, but in something smaller than 5 gallons? Or is 5 gallons still too small?
2. What do you all use to cover up openings in your hood? I was considering craft mesh, but if there's something better please let me know.
3. substrate? Was considering bare bottom, but sand is also another option.
4. what type of aquascaping would be best? driftwood and/or plants, rocks, leaf litter, etc?
5. Is it okay to keep them together permanently, or should I get 2 tanks for them?
6. If I can keep them together, how often should I expect for them to breed, how do I motivate them to breed?


Any other info would be fantastic! I want to be as prepared as possible. I probably should have asked sooner, but I almost forgot they were coming in till I got an e-mail from the seller this afternoon, whoops
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Old 06-23-2013, 06:11 PM   #2 
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I haven't actually kept smaragdina, but being splendens complex fish I would not try and keep the male and female together in a 5 gallon tank. Wilds can still be aggressive towards each other, and splendens complex are I believe one of the most aggressive of the complexes.

I use cling wrap over the tops of all of my wild betta tanks. Wild bettas are notorious jumpers and they will get out through the smallest of gaps, particularly those around the heater and filter cords.

In my experiences, wild bettas show off their best colours over a dark substrate. I used to use sand covered with a scattering of peat moss, but have also used just straight peat moss and dark aquasoil as well. Some people do bare bottom tanks but none of my wilds have really liked it.

I personally prefer natural set-ups for my wild bettas. Lots of wood, floating plants and leaf litter. I like to give them a set-up that would emulate their natural habitat, and also provide the fish with lots of mental enrichment. Tannin heavy water is also great for wilds as it makes their natural iridescence really shine.

I have found that wilds can be very different in levels of aggression, even within the same species. I have one pair of fish that will rip each other to shreds, and then another pair of the same species are extremely peaceful. I would ask Setsuna on whether or not to house them together as he is the expert on this complex.

Lots of live food and water changes with slightly cooler water will induce spawning in most species of wild betta.
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Old 06-23-2013, 06:25 PM   #3 
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Thanks LBF! I was hoping you would see this!
I'll get another tank going for one ASAP then. Do you think a 5 would be okay to spawn in or should I just add another 10 for one of them and move whoever I put into the 10 for spawns?
What do you use to keep the cling wrap from touching the surface? I have tried it for spray painting the backs of my tanks and it always seems to fall onto the surface.
Is peat moss a necessity, or do you just prefer to use it? I've heard negative things about it lowering pH alot and isn't reliable to not have swings.
I'll ask setsuna to take a look at this too.
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Old 06-23-2013, 06:30 PM   #4 
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Peat moss isn't going to lower your pH massively unless your water has a very low KH value to begin with. If you have reservations about using it, you can use another substrate. Smaragdina don't need an excessively low pH.

If you do use sand though, just be aware that some sand can harden the water and raise the pH. I had this happen in a tank of mine and so I had to remove it.

Well if you pull the cling wrap tight and then smooth it down against the glass it should hold for at least a few days. I hate cling wrap simply because it is time-consuming to replace. But I have never lost a wild betta to jumping since I started using it.

Not sure about spawning this complex. I know Setsuna likes spawning his wilds in smaller quarters. Mine spawn wherever and whenever since I keep them in pairs/groups so I don't have much experience in that regard.
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Old 06-23-2013, 06:48 PM   #5 
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I'll have to try some moss then, if I can find it around here before they get here, don't see any sense in acclimating them to my current parameters, then having to acclimate them to new ones when I get some moss.

I haven't noticed that as being an issue with the type of sand I normally use, but if I have to get a different kind, I'll keep an eye on it to see if it becomes one.

I'll try clingwrap one more time LOL if all else fails, I'll just get some more craft mesh and cut it into a snug fit for them. Hopefully they are an exception and arent super jumpy like I've heard most wilds are LOL

I PM'd setsuna, so hopefully I'll get some info about the spawning side of things sometime soon.

Believe it or not, you've really helped even if you haven't worked with these guys before. Thanks!
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Old 06-23-2013, 08:35 PM   #6 
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1. Is it possible to keep them together, but in something smaller than 5 gallons? Or is 5 gallons still too small?
Yes, its possiable to keep them together but only for a short period of time because they will eventually breed. Just have your tank planted
2. What do you all use to cover up openings in your hood? I was considering craft mesh, but if there's something better please let me know. You can use anything that you could find in your house cut up cardboard ect....just have every hole or opening covered because they will jump out
3. substrate? Was considering bare bottom, but sand is also another option. If you want to have sand or anything in your tank then i recommend just put the male in there because if they so breed without you seeing it all your frys will go to waste bare bottom is they way to go when breeding.
4. what type of aquascaping would be best? driftwood and/or plants, rocks, leaf litter, etc? If your only keeping the male inside the tank then anything if fine it really doesn't matter but wild betta's do like smaller containers such as beanie case (4X4X8). Guitar smaragdina is the most shyest of the splenden complex you will never see him in a tankted tank
5. Is it okay to keep them together permanently, or should I get 2 tanks for them? Not really....its only good for a few days only because as i said hey will eventually breed
6. If I can keep them together, how often should I expect for them to breed, how do I motivate them to breed?

every 2 weeks at least

Last edited by Setsuna; 06-23-2013 at 08:39 PM.
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Old 06-24-2013, 12:05 AM   #7 
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Thanks setsuna!

Do you think splitting the 5 that I have for them would be okay, or should they be in seperate tanks?
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Old 06-24-2013, 03:25 AM   #8 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aemaki09 View Post
Thanks setsuna!

Do you think splitting the 5 that I have for them would be okay, or should they be in seperate tanks?
i think you should give the female the bigger tank and put the male into a smaller tank like a Beanie case if you have one that way you get to see him flare and he wont always hide form you because if you put the male in the bigger tank you will never see him.

do you have a picture of him by any chance?
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Old 06-27-2013, 11:00 PM   #9 
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I just got them in today. Not very great pictures, they are still clamped up from the whole ordeal, but hopefully that wont last long.

At the moment I put them both into seperate 1.75 gallon QT tanks (critter keepers) with some floating plants, a preset heater at 78*, and IAL for tannings they are just in there until I can get that 10 gallon cycled. I'm considering dividing it. Maybe divide it so the female gets 3/4 and the male gets 1/4 to follow your suggestion, but I may put him into a one gallon container instead if you think that's a better idea. I don't mind if I don't see him TOO often, I would like to see him occasionally, but I also want him to feel comfortable and act as naturally as he/they can in a closed system.

Heres a pic of one of their tanks, I'm planning to change the craft mesh over to saran wrap before I go to bed, but other than that, something else I should change to make them more comfortable?
Sorry if I sound paranoid, but these are basically my pride and joy right now and I don't want anything to happen to them.



Female



Male:


Last thing:: I kind of want to try a Mouthbrooder next (depending on how these guys work out for me). Any suggestions on one for a first-timer?
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Old 06-27-2013, 11:33 PM   #10 
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Most mouthbrooders are fairly low maintenance and not all that particuler when it comes to water parameters. Macrostoma are really the only species of mouthbrooder I wouldn't recommend for a first-timer.

Species from the albimarginata complex are perhaps the most forgiving and they don't require a lot of space.

If you have the space to house members of the unimaculata complex (excluding macrostoma) there are quite a few options to choose from.

Good to see your pair arrived safely though. They should settle in quite quickly and start to show their proper colouration.
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