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Old 04-20-2015, 05:45 PM   #1 
Athra
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I figured I'd give one of these a go, to keep a record for myself if nothing else!

My husband and I are currently living three hours apart from one another for job reasons, and he decided to set up a tank for a betta after he moved. He had a betta years ago, but we believed what a random Petsmart employee told us about care, and unfortunately didn't research it ourselves. He did regular water changes etc, but Chuck (the betta from years ago) was in one of those betta cubes, and he ended up getting what we're pretty sure was dropsy, and unfortunately passed away.

Cue to several years later, and he decided to try again with a betta, but did all the research on his own this time, which led him to this site. Now his new betta, Ronan, is set up in a heated, filtered 10g with some neon tetras as well. Well, his tank was so gorgeous I wanted to give it a try as well!

So I went and bought myself a 10g kit, which included a heater and a filter, gravel, silk plants, etc, and set myself up a tank!



I tried to do a fishless cycle on a 10g tank first, but due to some mishaps on my end the fishless cycling process kind of failed for me. I've been obsessively checking all the LFS while trying to cycle, and then I found this guy:



He had to come home with me!

So I bought him, named him Locke, came home and did a 100% water change on the tank, tested it to make sure there was no ammonia left, primed etc, and proceeded to float him:



I floated Locke for 20 minutes, and then added approx 1/4 a cup of tank water to his cup, floated him for another 10 minutes, added more, another round of 10 minutes, and into the tank he went!





He was really fiesty in the cup at the pet store, and started flaring at his reflection in the back of the tank as soon as I had him in there. I tried to feed him that same night, but he wasn't interested at all, so I turned the light off and left him be. Yesterday morning he did eat, though! So yesterday and today I've started to set up the routine of feeding him twice a day, 3-4 pellets each time. (I'm using Omega One betta pellets).

I added a new bottle of Tetra Safe Start to the tank today, since I messed up the fishless cycling process, and now I'll be doing a fish-in cycle. Hopefully this won't stress Locke too much!

I also left the light off for him all day yesterday so he could get more used to his big space, and today when I turned the light on he was like WHAT IS THIS MADNESS?! lol, but he calmed down after a minute and now he's swimming all around the tank :)

AND I know this is a long first post, but last thing - when I opened up the lid to feed him tonight, I was confused like WHAT is making these bubbles all over my tank... OH! HE BLEW A BUBBLE NEST!



I know a bubble nest is not actually an indicator of their happiness or anything, but it made ME really happy :)
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Old 04-21-2015, 02:38 PM   #2 
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He looks gorgeous! Great job with the tank set-up. Keep monitoring those ammonia and nitrite levels. My concern is doing a fish-in cycle with a betta. I prefer using tetras because they're more hardy. Find a LFS and ask how often you should be doing water changes if you're cycling with a betta.
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Old 04-21-2015, 05:18 PM   #3 
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He looks gorgeous! Great job with the tank set-up. Keep monitoring those ammonia and nitrite levels. My concern is doing a fish-in cycle with a betta. I prefer using tetras because they're more hardy. Find a LFS and ask how often you should be doing water changes if you're cycling with a betta.
Thanks, I love him & I'm pretty happy with the tank too!

I know it would have been better for me to be patient with the fishless cycle & waited to buy Locke, but I couldn't resist him. I hope that going through a cycle with me will at least be better for him than living in the cup at Petsmart!

My closest LFS that's not a big box chain is about a 30-45 minute drive. Not out of the question, but not somewhere I can get to often... and I don't trust the local Petsmart or Petco at all. Before I bought Locke, I went into one of them to ask a question about a thermometer, and they asked what fish I was keeping... I told them I wanted to keep a betta, and their response was that no thermometer or heater was needed, room temp was fine! I know that's not true, so I don't trust them with any questions about bettas now.

I do have the API Master Test Kit, though, and I'm going to be testing the levels every 2-3 days until cycled. If the ammonia is at .25, I'll do a water change. If for some reason it doesn't hit that after a week, I'll do a water change anyway. I'm actually going to be testing parameters in a couple hours, after dinner tonight :)
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Old 04-21-2015, 06:43 PM   #4 
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Readings tonight:

Ammonia: .25ppm
Nitrite: 0

I did have a nitrate reading... I'm assuming either my cycle didn't 100% crash before, the TSS I added last night is working very fast, or I messed up the test. I don't trust the reading yet!

Since I did have a .25 ammonia reading, I did a 25% water change. Locke was pretty calm during the change! I wasn't sure how he would react, but he went to the surface and rode it down, super curious.

I was sad to destroy the bubble nest, but I think he got started on another one already lol



At some point I need to set up my room so there's not the terrible glare when I try to take pictures, but that is a project for another day!
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Old 04-22-2015, 07:11 PM   #5 
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On the suggestion from someone on a different thread, I bought an air control valve for my airstone so that I could try turning it on again, and see if he liked it with a less powerful flow. Well, I hooked it up and turned it really low, and he loves it! He started playing in the bubbles almost immediately, it was SO CUTE.

Of course as soon as I grabbed my phone to take pictures & maybe a video, he was like "bubbles? I don't care about bubbles." :P
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Old 04-22-2015, 07:45 PM   #6 
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He's beautiful! I love the tank set up and his colors
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Old 04-22-2015, 08:13 PM   #7 
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He's beautiful! I love the tank set up and his colors
Thank you!
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Old 04-23-2015, 06:20 PM   #8 
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0 ammonia reading tonight, yay! I didn't read for nitrite or nitrate tonight, but did dose with prime as precaution anyway. Locke is getting more comfortable by the day, it seems like. I feed him a single pellet at a time, and he's starting to see my hand as the FOOD GIVER instead of THE MONSTER RUN AWAY hahaha.

My husband will be up this weekend! I think we might make the trip to the LFS. It's a bit of a drive, but so fun, and he doesn't have any near him that aren't box chains. I won't be buying any fish, and I highly doubt he will either, but they have some GORGEOUS salt water set ups that are awesome to just look at. Can't wait!
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Old 04-27-2015, 07:59 PM   #9 
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I changed my tank up a little bit:



My mom got one of those anemone's for her betta, and he LOVES it, so I had to get one and try it out. I haven't been able to get a good pic yet, but I've seen Locke laying in it a few times!

I also took the background off of my tank. I didn't want to, I really liked it - but no amount of adjusting the lighting in my room or anything would stop Locke from flaring in his reflection in the background when the tank like was on. He's much more relaxed without it - now the light is on and he's swimming all over his tank, enjoying it, instead of flaring in the back the whole time! Turns out, I like it better that way anyway - partially because he seems more pleased with it, and partially because I think it makes the colors in my tank pop a little better. Plus, I can see him better when I'm sitting at my desk and glance over :)
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Old 04-27-2015, 10:50 PM   #10 
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Locke is such a handsome boy! :D
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