I'm going to start my thread here with an intro to my 3 tanks and hopefully updates as they all evolve. Oh yeah, make that 4 tanks - one more is arriving on Tuesday!
The first was my Fluval 2g. It is home to my first Betta Sushi. It has a gemstone gravel substrate (Oregon sunstone and clear quartz to be exact since my other hobby is cutting gemstones!) and has progressed from silk plants to live plants (from peachii!). His companions are a dark-footed purple mystery snail (the first one from peachii's dark ones) and two ghost shrimp which are hard to find. He had a Cobalt 10W heater (which is great! because it fits in the pump section of the tank and doesn't take up room in his swimming area) but it made the tank too hot, close to 85F. So he has now been downgraded to the Cobalt 5W (again great!) and the tank is about 77F. He also now has a floating Betta Log which I've tried to make neutrally bouyant because I don't like it all the way up at the top. It goes up and down so sometimes I add a stone and sometimes I take one away! I put a piece of cholla in (from RussellTheShihTzu) so maybe the shrimp will be happier.
Not a week later, my second tank arrived. It is a Fluval 5.6g. I decided to try a natural planted tank. Hmmm. Not sure about it yet. It is right next to my sink in the kitchen so it is convenient to water and draining! I used Miracle Gro with a cap of Fluorite Black Sand. I didn't rinse either one (should have!). It has been about two weeks and numerous water changes and it is still a mess every time! I think I will add some more sand and see if that helps keep the disturbance down. The water is never crystal clear yet and I think the plants are not doing that well because the water is so dark with every change. But they are growing and the tank is evolving. I'm not giving up yet!
It's inhabitants include Turquoise, a lovely doubletail male, 3 ghost shrimp (if they are still in there - I haven't found them lately!), 3 oto cats and a light-footed purple mystery snail courtesy of peachii, along with more of her plants! I'm thinking of moving Turq to the new tank for a while until the NPT behaves properly. He looks kinda dingy....but he has a nice heater and filter, some new cholla and a really small Great Wall of China. I was using a Cobalt 25W adjustable heater but have downgraded him to the 10W I took out of Sushi's tank because it fits in the pump compartment. His tank too stays around 77F now. BTW, both those heaters are actually listed for smaller tanks but do fine in the current bigger ones.
Of course, after I read about the great deal on the TruAqua tanks, I had to get one of their 14.5g ones! (And a 6.6g one but that comes this week!) I thought I'd try a sorority in this one. I have a Fluorite Black Sand substrate which I rinsed and that helped greatly. I added some silk plants, live plants, a couple fake logs and a 100W adjustable heater that was also on sale from TruAqua. Then it was time to go to the fish store. I don't have much access to LFS so it was a trip to Petco. I didn't really plan on buying everybody that day, I just wanted more sand, a few decorations, and some shrimp. They didn't have two out of three so I bought fish!
I got the oto cats and Turq for the NPT and then I went on to stocking the 14.5g! I now have 6 glowlight tetras, 3 oto cats, and then the sorority sisters. Well maybe sisters. I decided to get betta babies that seemed to be females. The lady there had actually bred bettas several times so maybe she knew what she was talking about! (There bettas seemed fairly well cared for) I came home with six babies. Now comes the fun part! Watching them grow...
I have been doing frequent water changes to get rid of the growth stunting hormone that I've heard about and it has been a week. Everyone still looks good. I need more plants and places for them to hide, they are quibbling a little and one has a nipped fin (that either happened early on or before she came home with me. I am convinced at least two are definitely female, leaning towards female on two more and still unsure of the other two. Oddly, the three pairs seem to be several weeks different in ages so maybe that's why I can see male/female differences. I haven't named them yet but I have ideas....
Here's the tank and the first two babies. These two are the largest/oldest and both have obvious egg spots. They chase each other but there have been no additional fin injuries in the last week and they are not exclusively hostile!
The next two babies I am having trouble telling apart. They are the middle two in size and have very similar coloring. I also don't have an opinion on male or female for either of these so if anyone can tell, please let me know your opinions!
S/he is holding her fins in and not getting around much although she still is eating. I've got her now in a 1g QT, nice and warm, no company to add stress. I added some salts (both kinds) and hopefully s/he will perk up soon.
Had my first casualty today. Not the baby betta above but one of the oto cats in the NPT. Not sure why but it is quite possible that I injured him sometime while working on that tank. The water gets so mucky when I do anything in it that I can't even see the fishies. I could easily have set something down on him even though I try to go really slow. Sigh....