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Old 07-22-2009, 10:10 AM   #1 
RoseyD
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New to fish - bettas in planted tank

About a week and a half ago, I went to the local petsmart to 'just look' at fish for some ideas for a planted tank I was going to be setting up - and rather than just looking, I got sucked into buying some tiny blue medicated cups full of girl betta.

I had heard that the girls got along - and, while the tank wasn't ready, I had 2 - 2 - 2.5 gallon bowls/tank - that could be used while the other larger tank was in process.

Well - what a hellish experience that was. I came home with 7 girls, and 5 survived the weekend. - And, I really quickly learned that 2 gallons is not enough space for such territorial fish... although I tried making it work by adding lots of fake plants, and some soaking pothos stems and caves, and bought a third bowl halfway through the first week.

Then, I decided to order a 5 gallon tank to give them some more space, and that arrived on Thursday, which I filled with water, and by Friday, put two of the calmer girls in there, with more fake plants and cave, and lots of floaters. They seemed to get along fine until this morning, when I noticed that the smaller girl is starting to show signs that her tail fin was nipped.

Anyway - Over the weekend, my live plant order arrived, and I set up a natural planted tank attempting to follow the Walstead method with dirt and gravel substrate, and decent light.

Saturday, I put 4 of the 5 fish in there, and then removed one who was being picked on, and put her in with Baby in the 5 gal. again.

The 3 in the tank were loving the 20 gallons with tons of plants... swimming after each other and doing some chasing, but lots of socializing too... The pecking order seemed pretty quickly set between them all - of the largest fish Topaz taking the lead, followed by Pearl, then last, Ruby. (Sapphire was the one who was put in the 5 gal. with Baby).

The following night, I tested the chemical levels, and noticed that ammonia was on the rise, although not by a lot, and decided to move the girls out of there for a bit, until the plants got settled better and could handle the fish load...

I've been testing the tank nightly - and, last night - the ammonia level still hadn't increased any further, the plants all seemed to be growing, and the tank water was becoming a whole lot less cloudy - so, I decided to return the three girls to the tank.

They loved getting out of those 2 gal. bowls! Whoowee! what a party! - but Topaz was pretty agressive with Ruby (her tail fin was torn in half) - and, after giving Topaz a chance to get some exercise in - I decided to separate her from them, this morning - and, put Sapphire in there, instead.

I may have to give Topaz the 5 gal since she doesn't play nicely. And move Baby into the 2 gal. bowl, with the intention to eventually give her a chance inside the big tank (when she grows a bit more).

Anyway - all this, just so that I could post some pictures, of the large tank, and the fishies... :)
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From the first night when they were playing nicely:

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Old 07-22-2009, 10:15 AM   #2 
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And these are from last night, after adding the fish again. As you can see, the water has cleared up quite a bit.

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Topaz hunting poor Ruby
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Old 07-22-2009, 10:56 AM   #3 
MrVampire181
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Nice fish :) Reds are more aggresive than most bettas so watch them but other than that it looks good to me :)
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Old 07-22-2009, 11:03 AM   #4 
dr2b
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Great tank!
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Old 07-22-2009, 11:28 AM   #5 
dramaqueen
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7 females in a 2 gallon is asking for trouble. I'm glad you realized that and moved them to a bigger tank.
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Old 07-22-2009, 11:36 AM   #6 
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Erm I forgot to tell you good looking fish too. I love red colored bettas... I saw one yesterday I almost bought lol.
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Old 07-22-2009, 11:41 AM   #7 
RoseyD
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OH NO! ... it was 7 females broken up into 2 groups - one 2.5 tank with 4. and a 2 gal. bowl with 3.

By the next morning, one girl had died, and I moved two of the others into a 12 gal. I am still trying to cycle to have - another one die. - I discovered that the filter on that eclipse tank was TOO strong, so I took the other girl (Baby) out of there, and that was when I bought the other 2 gal. tank to put her into it. So, by mid week, I had Topaz alone in a 2 gal. and Baby moved into a 2 gal. - and when pearl was being picked on in the '3 fish' 2.5 gal - I moved Pearl in with Baby (with no problems).
- making the 3 bowls as -aggressive Topaz alone, and the other two bowls with 2 bettas each (with lots of floaters/and fake plants to break their view of each other...)
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Old 07-22-2009, 12:58 PM   #8 
Zan
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when i set my plant tank up i left the plants a whole week before adding the fish. as i was told that getting the plants set up with the cycle and the fish aswell can sometimes crash it.

general plant care, make sure the roots are beded properly, get some plant food and only give them 8 hours of light a day. any more light and i found they grew to fast and or died.
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Old 07-22-2009, 01:19 PM   #9 
RoseyD
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zan, I'm following the walstad technique. she has a book out on how to do the tank using organic soil as part of the substrate - which fertilizes the plants and using decent light - for a 12 hour day to aid in 'summer' growing plant cycle.

I still have a lot to learn on it - but she has told me on the el natural forum to stick with the 12 hour cycle, and possibly add a siesta in, to combat future algae growth. But, that I should be able to put the fish in right away, just monitor the chemistry on the tank, and be ready to do partial water changes as necessary.

thus far, day 4 on the tank, my ammonia was testing at .50 last night, and nitrites are still at 0. - if the ammonia goes up to 1 - I'll do a 30-50% water change, and test again...
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Old 07-22-2009, 03:00 PM   #10 
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Oh, it sounded like you had them all in a 2 gallon bowl. Sorry about that.
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