Betta Fish Care  
Go Back   Betta Fish and Betta Fish Care > Betta Fish Bowls, Habitats, and Accessories
Check out the eBook Betta Fish Care Made Easy
betta fish
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 07-06-2013, 10:24 AM   #1 
TakingthePlunge
Member
 
TakingthePlunge's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Clarksville, TN
First time with Bettas

So, time for an admission: I've been lurking on this site unregistered for about 6 months now, but this is the first time I've registered. You guys are all great, and your information is the best I have found online!

Since you guys are geniuses, (read as "have enough experience that I look like an idiot") I thought I would ask you guys for some help and/or opinions. This is going to be a long thread, because I have a lot to share/ask.

I have almost always had fishtanks, since I was little (I'm almost 30 now), but they've always been things like Goldfish and Plecos. This is the first time I've ever had a Betta, and while you guys have done an awesome job of helping me get Jackson and Picky Penelope back on their fins,as it were, I'm still at a loss for how to get them out of their little bowls.

Jackson is a veil-tail rescue from a petstore. My husband had a Betta named Carl for a while that died (old age, at 5 years), and when we saw Jackson finless and covered in Ick, my hubby finally decided his mourning period was over, and we needed to rescue the poor little guy. Jackson is doing well now, and his fins are growing back nicely. He finally has an appetite back, no rubbing, no signs of ick, and slowly reducing the salt level with each water change.

Picky Penelope is an all red crowntail that we were given because a friend (that doesn't know that Veil-tails are not for breeding) thought that Jackson needed a girlfriend. Yes, we know they can't be housed together, so they're in 2 separate 1 gallon bowls. Penelope is HUGE compared to Jackson, and she's healthy and happy, though she prefers bloodworms over betta pellets. (Picky little wench. Lol. )

With my goldfish, we always used a carbon filter and water changes once a month after the first month of weekly changes, and everything was fine. I want to use live plants in my larger aquariums, but I'm running into some problems. My goal: Picky Penelope in a 10 gal tank with a plastic stump, 1 fake plant, mixed gravel and stone, 3 apongeton bulbs and 1 water lily bulb, equipped with carbon filter with a flow-diffuser so there is no surface current. We would eventually love to get a community tank going.

Currently, the 10 gallon tank is set up with gravel, stones, the plastic stump, the fake plant, and 5 gallons of water cycling through the carbon filter (which has a foam sponge on the intake so that it reduces the suction). The plant bulbs are in a separate container with some organic aquarium fertilizer until they sprout. I just had to clean and restart the 10 gallon tank, because I had "brown algae" diatoms on the glass and all surfaces and foggy water. It had only been running for 4 days. I was using bottled drinking water, but the tank is an old one, as are the plant and the stump, and even when cleaning with PP, I don't think I got everything.

I want to cycle the water to stabilize it, so I need help. It has been suggested that I use Shrimp, Daphnia, Cysclops or other filter feeders to help reduce the "brown algae", but I don't know which ones (if any) would be compatible. I also have been told to use erythromycin on the small plant container to kill off the cyanobacterium that seem to have infested my live plants, especially the lily bulb. Someone recommended a Flagfish (Jordanella Floridae) to combat the filamentous algae that might try to take hold, but I don't really think these would be good with Bettas. Otocinclus, flying fox, poecilla, shrimp and snails were also suggested for the algae.

The only fish we have now are the Bettas, so if you were me, how would you cycle/ set up the tank to prep it for Penelope? Right now, getting fish "shipped" aren't really an option, so I will need to find things that are more locally available. We have some good pet stores here that even sell Half-moons, but they are clueless about community tanks, and their live-plant tanks look a little... snaily.

Last edited by TakingthePlunge; 07-06-2013 at 10:28 AM. Reason: add more info
TakingthePlunge is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-2013, 01:32 PM   #2 
TakingthePlunge
Member
 
TakingthePlunge's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Clarksville, TN
I also wanted to note that I've read all the stickies about nitrogen cycles, setting up tanks, etc several times, but there are so many ifs, and, or buts that I still don't know where to start. Thanks for your time, guys.
TakingthePlunge is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-07-2013, 04:23 AM   #3 
Tikibirds
Member
 
Tikibirds's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Warrensburg, NY
Since you already have the fish and the tank, you can do a "fish in" cycle.

Quote:
Establishing the nitrogen cycle for the Betta in 1gal-10gal filtered tank can be safely completed with a healthy Betta with or without testing products.....provided that you make the needed water changes......
In 5gal-10gal filtered without live plants:
Water changes of twice weekly for the next 4-6 weeks
Of... 1-50% water only and 1-50% with vacuum in all areas you can reach without moving anything or disruption of plant roots.
*The 50% with vacuum will be the water change schedule for the life of the system to maintain water quality once the nitrogen cycle has established.
Filter media needs swish/rinse in old tank water a couple of time a month

*If you have water test kit-base the water only change on: ammonia, nitrite 0.25ppm or greater.
With a low bioload often you don't need the second water only-I always recommend it when you don't have test kit to err on the side of caution...its the safety net....

Live plants can change the cycling process as well, however, you have to have enough of the right species of plants that are actively growing.
Not all plants can use enough of the byproducts fast enough to help keep the water safe for the Betta.

Using lots of fast growing stem plants and floating plant you will have a silent cycle. The active plant growth can use the ammonia before conversion and it can take a long time if ever to see the nitrate reading we look for to tell us cycling stages/completeness.
As for the algae - nerite snails, otos or a bristlenose pleco ae supposed to be some of the best at eatting algae.

Oto info - http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/p...s/oto-catfish/

Bristlenose pleco - http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/p...tlenose-pleco/

I would go with the pleco and one nerite snail, if it were me. Be keep in mind, any of them are going to be high poopers and that will require bigger water changes. I wouldnt get the pleco or otos till AFTER the tank is cycled though. I got 2 clown plecos and they max out at about 3 inches - OMG do they POOP
Tikibirds is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-07-2013, 08:34 AM   #4 
TakingthePlunge
Member
 
TakingthePlunge's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Clarksville, TN
Thanks for the reply, Tikibirds. Jackson is still regrowing fins, so I don't know about using him for the tank set up. I have another question about the plants, though. They are only now starting to sprout (I've had them for over a month now!) Are they still ok to use to start the cycling, or do I need to wait until they are more developed?

My parents once tried snails with our goldfish years ago, and they took over everything, and even ended up ruining the filter. Any tips on dealing with that aspect?

Last edited by TakingthePlunge; 07-07-2013 at 08:47 AM.
TakingthePlunge is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-07-2013, 10:47 AM   #5 
Riverotter
Member
 
Join Date: May 2013
Ok, the fish are still in bowls?

If so, get a bottle of hydrogen peroxide and dump it into your (fishless!!) tank.
this will kill the algae, even the stuff hiding in the plants and decor, without killing the plants.

It will have totally broken down to water and oxygen in 3 days (actually, much less time then that, less then a day, but it makes most folks feel better to wait) and then you can go on and cycle like normal.

Pond snails are very aggressive eaters adn breeders. Try to avoid them. But there are Ramshorn snails in some very cool colors, blue, pink, red, spotted and if you don't over-feed them, they won't over run you.
Riverotter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-07-2013, 08:53 PM   #6 
TakingthePlunge
Member
 
TakingthePlunge's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Clarksville, TN
Oh! I never thought of using H2O2 with my H2O!

Yes, both Jackson and Penelope are still in the 1 gallon bowls/tanks. To use the peroxide, I'm guessing I would need to take the charcoal filter out for 24 hours or so, and then start the cycle up again? What about the sponge over the filter intake-- should that be treated or will the peroxide ruin it?

My plants are still in a separate 1/2 gallon bowl with the fertilizer because they aren't growing very well -- even in a weak/young state, the peroxide would be safe?

Nerite snails would be the more aggressively breeding species, compared to the Ramshorn, then?

As for the fish, I'm keeping both bowls fairly bare at the moment since I was fighting ick and fin rot on Jackson and I wanted to keep an eye on Penelope. Hopefully tonight I'll get out my ancient camera and take a few pictures!

Last question! (for now, Lol) What do we think of Corydoras in the five gallon tank, once it's established? I was recommended those and Butterfly striped loaches today. The butterflies were gorgeous, like little rays, but I know nothing about them.

Thanks for all the wonderful suggestions and info so far. I'm getting excited!
TakingthePlunge is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2013, 04:18 AM   #7 
Tikibirds
Member
 
Tikibirds's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Warrensburg, NY
Quote:
My parents once tried snails with our goldfish years ago, and they took over everything, and even ended up ruining the filter. Any tips on dealing with that aspect?
Not all snails are the same. Pond snails, ramshorns and malaysian trumpet snails are hermaphroditic snails and those are usually the species that will overun a tank. There are ways to maintain their population.

Nerite snails will not repoduce in fresh water, they need brackish water

apple snails - are either male or female and you one one of each for them to breed. They lay egg sacks above the water so if you dont want baby snails, remove the egg snack

Rabbit snails and Trapdoor snails - they are either male or female as well but instead of laying eggs - they give birth to live young. Not sure about Rabbit snails but with trapdoor snails, they mate and then the female will give birth to one live snail a day for about 2 weeks.

Assasin snails - these guys will eat other snails.

Rabbit snails and Assasin snails are usually a bit harder to find and cost a bit more.

Apple snails/mystery snails you can get from petco, ect.

Trapdoor snails - they are the ugliest snails as they are only olive/brown with black bodies but they are pretty intersting to watch - when they do move. They are usually sold to people who have outdoor ponds. They would do better with cooler water fish like goldfish but can be kept in heated tanks. It does speed up their lifecycle though. These guys are also filter feeders. They will lay on their back and stick their "meaty bits" out and just chill like that. WHen they are young, they also float upside down on the surface of the water and if you watch them, you can see their mouths moving. You do need to make sure they have access to food, if not then you need to feed them veggies or algae waffers
http://www.eliteinverts.com/buy-aqua...snails-online/

AS for the plants, I do beleive you can cycle with sprouting plants but plants may mess with your readings if you use the test kits.

Last edited by Tikibirds; 07-08-2013 at 04:20 AM.
Tikibirds is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2013, 01:30 PM   #8 
OrangeAugust
Member
 
OrangeAugust's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Connecticut
Quote:
Originally Posted by TakingthePlunge View Post
My parents once tried snails with our goldfish years ago, and they took over everything, and even ended up ruining the filter. Any tips on dealing with that aspect?
Nerite snails- they eat lots of algae and can't reproduce in fresh water. They will lay eggs but they won't hatch.
OrangeAugust is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2013, 08:38 PM   #9 
TakingthePlunge
Member
 
TakingthePlunge's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Clarksville, TN
Have I mentioned lately how awesome you guys are? You really are.

Thanks for the phenomenal information. I think I'm going to look into some nerite snails, since they can't breed in fresh. I guess the only time I would have to worry is if I needed to do a salt treatment for a sick fish, but depending on the illness, I may be able to take the snail out, or put the sick fish in a hospital tank...

You win some, you lose some. You guys rock. Thanks again!
TakingthePlunge is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2013, 08:52 PM   #10 
lillyandquigly
Member
 
lillyandquigly's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Plecos are a big no no, they require much more space then a 1 gallon bowl
lillyandquigly is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Breeding bettas for the first time, advice and help needed. Bettasaremykids Betta Chat 2 05-17-2013 09:48 PM
Great Time For Rescuing Bettas hannah16 Betta Chat 10 12-03-2012 10:30 AM
saving bettas one webpage at a time? OMGemily Betta Chat 21 03-18-2012 10:15 PM
First Time Breeding Bettas Xqwerty Breeding Betta Fish 2 01-06-2012 10:17 AM
Fun time for Bettas? Wed Betta Fish Care 10 07-29-2009 03:29 PM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:28 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.