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Old 09-08-2013, 10:48 PM   #11 
HLewis1990
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Your cycle is only complete when your ammonia is 0, nitrites are 0, and you have any amount of nitrates, usually 5-10ppm. Change 50% water with conditioner any time you have ammonia or nitrites or nitrates over 10-20ppm.
Great! What testing system do you recommend?
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Old 09-08-2013, 10:51 PM   #12 
marshallsea
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Great! What testing system do you recommend?
API liquid master kit is popular and what most people use making it easier to ask and get answers if you have questions. Around 30 bux but will last a long time.
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Old 09-09-2013, 06:11 AM   #13 
HLewis1990
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A couple more questions :p

Should I be using any kind of filter? If so what kind?
I have a limited budget, and as such will have to buy some things NOW, and some things LATER. That being considered, what should I purchase now? (I have 30-40$ to work with for the week). I need a filter, lid w/light (for plants), plants/fertilizer, and an API testing kit. Can't afford all of them at once, but can hopefully have everything by months end...

Thanks!
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Old 09-09-2013, 08:13 AM   #14 
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Originally Posted by HLewis1990 View Post
A couple more questions :p

Should I be using any kind of filter? If so what kind?
I have a limited budget, and as such will have to buy some things NOW, and some things LATER. That being considered, what should I purchase now? (I have 30-40$ to work with for the week). I need a filter, lid w/light (for plants), plants/fertilizer, and an API testing kit. Can't afford all of them at once, but can hopefully have everything by months end...

Thanks!
Some may disagree and say get the test kit first or the filter first but I would wait on the test kit and just say that if you tested and showed ammonia you would change water any way. Keep ammonia down by only feeding 1-2 pellets a day. Change 50% every 2nd day unless he shows signs of distress, then every day. Wait on the filter also. Although these are very important, fast growing plants go a long way towards solving the problems they prevent. Buy 15$ worth of plants, $10 Seachem Flourish and find a lamp in your house that you can position over your tank and go to Lowes Home Improvement and buy a 6500k Compact Florescent bulb.
Petsmart here only sells slow plants and they don't really help a lot. Petco sometimes keeps Anachris and Wisteria in their tanks. Do you have a non-chain pet store around? If you can't find fast plants you may have to order online.
Next week get a basic cheap hang on back type filter since you don't want the water to stagnate and this is an important part of the cycling process. It may have too much flow for your Betta in a 10g. If so, rig a baffle to calm the water a bit. Buy a filter media sponge and use in place of the cartridge that comes with your HOB filter.It will have good bacteria on it when you're cycled and you just rinse it in changed tank water, not tap water. Don't let it dry. Keeps you from buying expensive replacement filter cartridges. You can buy the API liquid ammonia test kit by itself since you don't expect to have nitrites or nitrates for at least 3-5 weeks. P.S. Since a CF bulb won't put off a lot of light, let your plants float under the light until you get a full hood. It will probably be a double bulb hood so get another 6500k CF . Florescent bulbs only grow plants for a year brfore they lose intensity.

Last edited by marshallsea; 09-09-2013 at 08:17 AM.
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Old 09-09-2013, 08:54 AM   #15 
HLewis1990
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Originally Posted by marshallsea View Post
Some may disagree and say get the test kit first or the filter first but I would wait on the test kit and just say that if you tested and showed ammonia you would change water any way. Keep ammonia down by only feeding 1-2 pellets a day. Change 50% every 2nd day unless he shows signs of distress, then every day. Wait on the filter also. Although these are very important, fast growing plants go a long way towards solving the problems they prevent. Buy 15$ worth of plants, $10 Seachem Flourish and find a lamp in your house that you can position over your tank and go to Lowes Home Improvement and buy a 6500k Compact Florescent bulb.
Petsmart here only sells slow plants and they don't really help a lot. Petco sometimes keeps Anachris and Wisteria in their tanks. Do you have a non-chain pet store around? If you can't find fast plants you may have to order online.
Next week get a basic cheap hang on back type filter since you don't want the water to stagnate and this is an important part of the cycling process. It may have too much flow for your Betta in a 10g. If so, rig a baffle to calm the water a bit. Buy a filter media sponge and use in place of the cartridge that comes with your HOB filter.It will have good bacteria on it when you're cycled and you just rinse it in changed tank water, not tap water. Don't let it dry. Keeps you from buying expensive replacement filter cartridges. You can buy the API liquid ammonia test kit by itself since you don't expect to have nitrites or nitrates for at least 3-5 weeks. P.S. Since a CF bulb won't put off a lot of light, let your plants float under the light until you get a full hood. It will probably be a double bulb hood so get another 6500k CF . Florescent bulbs only grow plants for a year brfore they lose intensity.
Ok.

So plants/lights first--no problem. I live in a metropolitan area so finding the plants shouldnt be impossible.
For this first week where only plants and Neptune are in the tank, what should my water changing schedule look like? I was considering doing a 50% change when I go to install the plants, that way water doesn't spill out due to displacement. Do you think that would work?
Secondly, I did some digging and thought the Whisper i10 filter set looked pretty neat. Is there another brand that is preferred or that would work better for my specific circumstances?

I don't have a lid yet, so I'll have to find some glass I can use to act as lid/light stand--

I have a table lamp that has a fully adjustable neck--should I point the light straight down into the tank?

I feel stupid asking so many questions, but they just keep popping up the further I get into this hahaha
Again I appreciate all of your help--you've been vital for the getting started process :)
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Old 09-09-2013, 09:23 AM   #16 
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For the lamp, put it to the side and shine it in one side so his cave is still shaded. Also,. good job for upgrading him!
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Old 09-09-2013, 10:04 AM   #17 
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Originally Posted by HLewis1990 View Post
Ok.

So plants/lights first--no problem. I live in a metropolitan area so finding the plants shouldnt be impossible.
For this first week where only plants and Neptune are in the tank, what should my water changing schedule look like? I was considering doing a 50% change when I go to install the plants, that way water doesn't spill out due to displacement. Do you think that would work?
Secondly, I did some digging and thought the Whisper i10 filter set looked pretty neat. Is there another brand that is preferred or that would work better for my specific circumstances?

I don't have a lid yet, so I'll have to find some glass I can use to act as lid/light stand--

I have a table lamp that has a fully adjustable neck--should I point the light straight down into the tank?

I feel stupid asking so many questions, but they just keep popping up the further I get into this hahaha
Again I appreciate all of your help--you've been vital for the getting started process :)
Do a 50% water change at least every other day unless your fish is showing distress, then every day until you get plants. With a lot of plants every 3 days at first, until you can test. Water level should be 1'' below top or more, Bettas are jumpers.
Whisper 10 is fine.
I use an adjustable lamp on my spare tank and I float the plants with the light 1''-2'' directly over them. Fast plants crave light. The standard hood on my 20g restricts light to part of the tank, making it difficult to get light to all of the plants so I went to a glass store and had a piece cut ,leaving room for the filter at back plus a few inches, for 10 bux. It's awkward getting into the tank for maintenance but you can buy a glass top with a handle and hinge for more $. Don't sweat the questions. There's a lot of experienced people here ready to help.
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Old 09-09-2013, 10:20 AM   #18 
HLewis1990
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Originally Posted by marshallsea View Post
Do a 50% water change at least every other day unless your fish is showing distress, then every day until you get plants. With a lot of plants every 3 days at first, until you can test. Water level should be 1'' below top or more, Bettas are jumpers.
Whisper 10 is fine.
I use an adjustable lamp on my spare tank and I float the plants with the light 1''-2'' directly over them. Fast plants crave light. The standard hood on my 20g restricts light to part of the tank, making it difficult to get light to all of the plants so I went to a glass store and had a piece cut ,leaving room for the filter at back plus a few inches, for 10 bux. It's awkward getting into the tank for maintenance but you can buy a glass top with a handle and hinge for more $. Don't sweat the questions. There's a lot of experienced people here ready to help.
Suggestions for water changing procedure? dO I just scoop it out? Siphon? When putting new water in, I condition it as before I'm assuming? How do I compensate for the temperature difference that will exist between remaining tank water and new tank water to be added?
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Old 09-09-2013, 10:31 AM   #19 
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Suggestions for water changing procedure? dO I just scoop it out? Siphon? When putting new water in, I condition it as before I'm assuming? How do I compensate for the temperature difference that will exist between remaining tank water and new tank water to be added?
Starter water change kit is a siphon hose and bucket/jugs.Temp difference is a problem. Get a 5 gal jug or 5 1 gallon jugs. Since your tank water is room temp, fill your jug/jugs and sit them close to your tank and let them reach room temp. You can keep them full for the next change. Add conditioner just before doing your change.
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Old 09-09-2013, 04:06 PM   #20 
HLewis1990
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I'm adding plants to the tank on Thursday evening. I'm thinking 2-3 wisteria, 2 Anacharis, and maybe a 1-2 for a smaller low-light plant. Any suggestions? Maybe something that would look good in the foreground of the tank, assuming I plant the Wisteria/Anacharis in the background?

I went to PetSmart today and noticed the Wisteria they had there was very tall. If I do get tall Wisteria, can I simply plant it in the substrate rather than let it float? The height would be close to the top of the tank, and thus close to the light source... For more even light distribution, would two lights work?

If I do ground my plants in substrate would the little fertilizer pellets (Seachem) work if I placed them under the roots and then buried them in substrate?
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