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Old 12-23-2015, 02:10 AM   #1 
feistygirl
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Red face The Feisty Fishy Life of a Feisty (fishy) Girl ;-)

Hi all! My name is Niki. I'm a soon-to-be betta owner. I'm very excited about getting my first betta! It's been over 10 years since I've had a betta fish. I've learned soooo much from reading the threads on this amazingly helpful forum, and I feel that I'm about as ready as I can be (apart from getting my tank ready - haha) to adopt my new betta friend.

I ordered my tank, heater, and thermometer online from Petco not too long ago. I wasn't expecting my shipment until sometime next week and low and behold... it was waiting for my at the post office this morning! .... However, I since I had doctor appointments and important errands to do today I couldn't race back home and set it up like I wanted to. So, when I got home tonight I dug in, got all the instruction booklets out and read them them. Gosh, I was doing so good. Got the tank set up (dry, to start out with), was setting the filter and heater where the instructions showed to place them and then.... I had the not so clever idea to put my thermometer on the inside of the tank and used the suction cup to hold it to the inside wall of the tank, to see if I it was a good spot. Sigh. Sadly, I didn't think to wet the suction cup once I found the spot where I thought it looked best. I turned my back to review the directions again, and I hear a loud noise behind me, coming from my waterless tank....


The thermometer had unsuctioned itself and fell into my dry tank. Needless to say, the tip of it broke and the little particles and bits spread throughout the base of my tank. I took a picture to post on here and I'm hoping it allows me to post it, so y'all can see what I'm talking about. It's not the best quality though.

Okay, so after I got that cleaned up and the made sure to rinse out the tank real good, I decided to fill my new tank up with water to test out the heater and the filter. I'm hoping that it's okay to do this even though I don't have my water conditioner yet.
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Old 12-23-2015, 04:15 AM   #2 
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Luckily, I ordered an extra thermometer. Sadly, it didn't come with a suction cup to place on the side of the tank so, for now, I have it placed at the bottom of the tank to test the temperature for the heater.

These are the type of tank, heater, and thermometer that I got:
  • Tank: Tetra 5 gallon Crescent Aquarium Kit (it came with its own filter);
  • Heater: Tropical Heater Kit for biUbe biOrb (Hydor 50 watt that came with a biOrb glass thermometer - the one that I broke)
  • Thermometer: Petco Glass Thermometer (didn't come with a suction cup or anything and it's currently standing up in the bottom of my tank)

Also... I bought a variety of things from Amazon either last night or the night before:
  • API Freshwater Master Test Kit (shipping today)
  • MAGIOVEŽ Digital Aquarium Thermometer for Hydroponics Aquarium Fish Tank.... (on the way)
  • Penn Plax Quick Aquarium Net (on the way)
  • New Life Spectrum Betta Formula 1mm Semi-Float Pet Food, 50gm (not yet shipped)
  • Aqueon 06226 Mini Siphon Vacuum Aquarium Gravel Cleaner, 5-Inch (not yet shipped)
  • API Aquarium Salt, 65-Ounce (not yet shipped)
  • Seachem Prime, 100 mL / 3.4 fl. oz. (not yet shipped)
  • Jardin Plastic Aquarium Tank Plants Grass Decoration, 10-Piece, Green (not yet shipped)
  • Zoo Med Laboratories AZMFA50 Sinking Ceramic Betta Log (not yet shipped)
  • Artificial Resin Arch Bridge Fish Tank Aquarium Ornament 5.6" (shipped but not due to arrive until Feb. 5th)
  • Pets First Denver Broncos Helmet Ornament (shipped)

Furthermore, I also have some items in my "Save for Later" section of my shopping cart:
  • Marina Betta Waste Remover for Aquarium
  • Reef One Biorb Silk Plants, 2 pack
Okay, so I'm not sure if I still need the Marina Betta Waste Remover since I'm getting a fish tank vaccuum, but I guess it wouldn't hurt to have both. Although I'm leaning more toward just getting a regular turkey baster instead of the Betta Waste Remover since it's cheaper.
Now for the plants, as much as I'd really like to get the biOrb silk plants
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...=ATVPDKIKX0DER
I'm having a difficult time bringing myself to spend $15 on them.

Things I still need or would like to get:
  1. Gravel, substrate, pebbles, marbles, or something (can't decide what to get)
  2. Frozen treats for my future betta (brine shrimp and bloodworms)
  3. Possibly some more plants
  4. Emergency/Quarantine Tank
  5. One gallon containers
  6. Epsom Salt
  7. Potassium Permanganate (PP) - not sure how to get that

Let's see.... What else do I need? Hmm... I wonder if I'll need Safe Start (even though I'll be using Prime in my tank as soon as I get it)?
I was considering getting a snail but I've pretty much talked myself out of getting one since I've read that they poop A LOT.

Okay, just checked the thermometer again and the water temp in my tank is up to 74.5 degrees Fahrenheit. I have the dial on my tank heater set at 79 degrees. Hmm... perhaps the heater hasn't been running long enough, or cool air is getting in due to the tank lid not completely covering the top of my tank. I suppose I could let the heater run for a few more hours and then check the thermometer again to see if there's any change.
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Old 12-23-2015, 10:09 AM   #3 
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There is no way that thermometer had mercury in it and that spilled out, right? That is too bad it broke! I wonder why the other one didn't have a suction cup?!

You have some very nice things picked out for your future lucky betta!

For the substrate...is there a chance you would want live plants in the future? When you look at tanks are you more attracted to light or dark substrate? I think you would use a turkey baster and a gravel vac. They're both good...vac for deep cleaning during water changes and the turkey baster for "oh I see ONE LITTLE POOP THERE or a bit of missed food..."

My bettas all love their floating betta logs. LOVE them. I soak them for a few days though because they do have a smell at first. Eh.

Do you have a favorite type and color of betta? Will you be ordering him or picking him out locally?

I admire you for researching and preparing so well before bringing him home!
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Old 12-23-2015, 01:57 PM   #4 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BettaSplendid View Post
There is no way that thermometer had mercury in it and that spilled out, right?
Nah, modern thermometers use dyed alcohol. Even if it was mercury it would come out in liquid, not little specks:
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Old 12-23-2015, 02:45 PM   #5 
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You can easily get PP from eBay. If you want one please handle them very carefully. They stain your clothes *and skin*. It totally freaked me out last night when the brown PP stains on my fingers don't get washed away. Luckily they disappear this morning but it could've been worse! Here you go anyway:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/161915582383...%3AMEBIDX%3AIT. Why would you need PP by the way? You don't have live plants? I understand they can be a part of your first aid kit but the diseases that PP can treat are sorta rare.

Suction cups are only a couple cents each from Petco, or you can buy a sticker therm you can just put outside the tank wall :)

You definitely don't need the "Marina Waste Remover" or whatever that is. That's just their way of getting people to shell out more money. An airline tubing (50 cents each in most chain stores) works as a siphon just fine.

Deffo don't order any plastic plants, and I don't know if you'll ever need that net. Just trying to help you save money.
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Old 12-23-2015, 02:54 PM   #6 
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^^The sticker thermometers are well known for being inaccurate, so I don't recommend one of those.

PP should only be used by people with a lot of experience because it's so easy to kill your fish with it. It's super concentrated so you have to get the amount just right. A lot of medicines have diluted PP and I recommend those over using it straight.

Last edited by SplashyBetta; 12-23-2015 at 02:59 PM.
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Old 12-23-2015, 04:32 PM   #7 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SplashyBetta View Post
Nah, modern thermometers use dyed alcohol. Even if it was mercury it would come out in liquid, not little specks:
Ah, very good. I am glad to learn that. !
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Old 12-24-2015, 01:36 AM   #8 
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First off, thank y'all so much for reading my journal and for your comments! I'll answer all your questions as best as I can before I move on to my next journal entry.

@BettaSplendid

Quote:
Originally Posted by BettaSplendid View Post
There is no way that thermometer had mercury in it and that spilled out, right? That is too bad it broke! I wonder why the other one didn't have a suction cup?!
No, the liquid from the broken thermometer didn't get in my tank, only the little specks and plastic from the outer casing that had broken when it dropped. I still can't believe how stupid that was of me to do that!

The other thermometer was a cheaper one that I added to my order, not realizing that the heater kit came with a thermometer. But it's a good thing I ordered it, since I had an accident with the other one. I guess it didn't have a suction cup because it's called a standing thermometer; or, at least, that's what it says on my order form. I don't know.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BettaSplendid View Post
You have some very nice things picked out for your future lucky betta!
Thank you!

Quote:
Originally Posted by BettaSplendid View Post
For the substrate...is there a chance you would want live plants in the future?
Yes, I'm planning to have live plants in the future but I thought maybe I needed to start out with artificial plants to begin with. I don't want to take on too much at once. I don't know if it's better to start off with live plants or not but, yes, eventually I'm planning to upgrade from fake plants to real ones.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BettaSplendid View Post
When you look at tanks are you more attracted to light or dark substrate?
Uh... I'm typically more attracted to lighter substrate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BettaSplendid View Post
I think you would use a turkey baster and a gravel vac. They're both good...vac for deep cleaning during water changes and the turkey baster for "oh I see ONE LITTLE POOP THERE or a bit of missed food..."
Excellent point. Thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BettaSplendid View Post
My bettas all love their floating betta logs. LOVE them. I soak them for a few days though because they do have a smell at first. Eh.
I'm getting a floating log?? Oh that is SO awesome! I thought it would sink to the bottom of the tank and stay there. Huh. Well, that's really cool. Oh, and thanks for the tip!

Quote:
Originally Posted by BettaSplendid View Post
Do you have a favorite type and color of betta?
I'm embarrassed to say that I do not know all the different types of bettas. I'm still learning. When I read the forums and see the shorthand abbreviations for all the bettas, I have a hard time knowing which type of betta they're referring to. I guess I need to find an online guide to help me with it. I'm still in "set-up and preparation" phase. Right now I'm more concerned with having the appropriate tank, heater, food, all the correct supplies, and make sure I have everything set up accordingly and know all the things I need to do, not only get ready for my betta fish, but also to care for it so that it can thrive and be happy. I may have to come back to this question and answer it later when I've progressed from "set up/prep" phase and have moved on to "finding a betta friend" phase.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BettaSplendid View Post
Will you be ordering him or picking him out locally?
Originally, I was planning to pick one up from a local pet store. Since I've joined here and learned that you can order them online I have considered that. I'm not too particular. I REALLY REALLY want a baby betta but I feel that I should wait until I have an, at least, 10 gallon fully planted tank with live plants along with some fry companionable fishes to put in the tank with him too. If I'm going to get a baby betta, I want to do it right. However, since this is my first time to own a betta fish again in over 10 years, I feel that I need to start small with an adult betta and go from there. Does that make sense?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BettaSplendid View Post
I admire you for researching and preparing so well before bringing him home!
Well, thank you very much! I want to make sure I do everything right so that my fish can be happy and healthy and hopefully live a long, fulfilling life (like my dog did).
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Old 12-24-2015, 01:51 AM   #9 
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@Seren27

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Originally Posted by Seren27 View Post
You can easily get PP from eBay. If you want one please handle them very carefully. They stain your clothes *and skin*. It totally freaked me out last night when the brown PP stains on my fingers don't get washed away. Luckily they disappear this morning but it could've been worse! Here you go anyway:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/161915582383...%3AMEBIDX%3AIT. Why would you need PP by the way? You don't have live plants? I understand they can be a part of your first aid kit but the diseases that PP can treat are sorta rare.
Okay, so the reason I thought I needed Potassium Permanganate (PP) is from reading the "Betta Fish Disease and Treatment" sticky thread in the "Betta Fish Diseases and Emergencies" forum. DarkMoon17 has a list of products to keep on hand and PP is listed as one of them.
Here is a link to the thread I read concerning having PP on hand:
http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=73332
That's why I thought I needed it. However, from reading what y'all have commented about it, I'm a bit scared to get it now. I'll hold off on getting that until I'm more experienced.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seren27 View Post
Suction cups are only a couple cents each from Petco, or you can buy a sticker therm you can just put outside the tank wall :)

You definitely don't need the "Marina Waste Remover" or whatever that is. That's just their way of getting people to shell out more money. An airline tubing (50 cents each in most chain stores) works as a siphon just fine.

Deffo don't order any plastic plants, and I don't know if you'll ever need that net. Just trying to help you save money.
Okay, thank you very much, Olivia. I know you advised me to get live plants over artificial ones but I'm a bit hesitant to start out with live ones, since I'm not very experienced and I would hate to unintentionally put my fish's life in danger by messing up the plants.


@SplashyBetta

Thanks for the information on the modern models of thermometers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SplashyBetta View Post
^^The sticker thermometers are well known for being inaccurate, so I don't recommend one of those.

PP should only be used by people with a lot of experience because it's so easy to kill your fish with it. It's super concentrated so you have to get the amount just right. A lot of medicines have diluted PP and I recommend those over using it straight.
Okay, thank you. Good to know.
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Old 12-24-2015, 02:37 AM   #10 
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Hi all! Okay, well... I have a feeling that, after I post this entry, I won't be able to post another one until after Christmas. My family is having a big family Christmas this year and I doubt I'll have time to update my journal, and might not be able to get back on this site, until after Christmas.

I've uploaded some pics to share with y'all and show you guys what my tank set up looked liked. The first picture basically shows what my tank looked like with just the heater and filter going, along with the LED light turned on. This was when I was testing the heater and also to make sure the filter and light worked.

The second picture is with the hood lifted off and looking down into the tank so you can see my set-up better. Is the filter cartridge placed in the filter correctly, or do I need to turn it around to where the padded blue is facing towards the back? And, also, does it look okay?

The third picture shows the standing thermometer that I placed at the front of the tank. I'm concerned the reading is a little high. Is it showing 82 degrees Fahrenheit, or am I reading it wrong? Do I need to bring the temp down closer to 80 or 79?

I appreciate my readers so very much and love hearing from y'all! If anyone has any questions, please feel free to ask. I encourage comments and any questions you have for me. Thank y'all for reading my journal.

Wishing everyone a happy, Happy Christmas and very Merry New Year!
Hope you all have a wonderful holiday this year and on into the next year!
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