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Old 12-01-2013, 03:55 AM   #1 
Onlyonagoodday
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Exclamation An overcrowded tank?

Hello all,
I haven't been on in ages because I lost my betta of two years a while ago and moved to another state since then, leaving my 10 gallon tank behind. Since then my mother has been caring for my 10 gallon and the tetras in it. She has become somewhat of a fish enthusiast and has really enjoyed having the tank. She started adding live plants to the aquarium and it now looks lush and lovely (something I could never do, plants and I never agree with eachother). But recently when I returned home for a visit I saw there were some new additions. When I had the tank there was a school of six tetras and two ghost shrimp. She has since added a snail (I have no idea what kind, I know nothing about snails) and here's the big one- a betta. As soon as she sent me the picture I fell in love. He's beautiful, and I can't believe she found him as petco. I have to admit the tank looks gorgeous but it seems like that's a lot for a tiny ten gallon. While I have told her to be wary of pet store employees I'm pretty sure one of them told her this was an okay set up. She does regular water changes (50% of water every two weeks I believe). I'm just wondering if all these guys can coexist in a tank of that size? My initial reaction was to want to put the betta and either the snails or the shrimp in their own tank. But do you think more frequent water changes could help with the bioload instead of separating the fish? Right now it's something would like to try and avoid because I would have to teach my mother how to cycle an all new tank. This is kind of a last resort if absolutely necessary.

Also, a minor question - when I saw the tank I noticed that the temperature was 85 degrees. So I turned the dial on the heater clockwise (it's a marineland submergible heater) to turn it down and the thermometer is still showing that it's the same temperature. Does that mean the heater is broken or that it is just taking awhile to take affect? Also is clockwise the right way to turn this heater down (I tried to find a guide online and had no luck)? What temperature would be best for what's in this tank? I was trying to set it at 80 degrees Farenheit.

Sorry for such a long post - but I'm worried about the tank!
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Old 12-01-2013, 03:59 AM   #2 
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Also I just had to post a photo of this betta. He is so lovely. This was the first photo I saw of him. His name is Chekov. My mother and I both really love Star Trek.http://www.flickr.com/photos/87552045@N05/11148390484/

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Old 12-01-2013, 05:25 AM   #3 
Hallyx
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That's a lot for a 10g, but not dramatically overstocked. A 50% weekly wc should handle it. The water change is not so much to remove ammonia or nitrate as it is to remove dissolved solid waste and siphon.vacuum solid waste, to rinse out the filter media in old tank water (do not replace) and to replenish minerals that the fish and plants use up. A heavily planted tank can absorb more bioload than a merely cycled tank.

If she's been doing 50% bi-weekly changes for two years now, I can guarantee the tank is cycled. You can find out by getting one of these:
[ame="http://www.amazon.com/API-Freshwater-Master-Test-Kit/dp/B000255NCI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1379756505&sr=8-1&keywords=API+freshwater"]Amazon.com: API Freshwater Master Test Kit: Pet Supplies[/ame]

Observing the weekly rise in nitrate will tell you a lot about how stocked the tank is.

In my experience, most devices, like heaters, turn down counter-clockwise and turn up clockwise. But according to this picture on Amazon, it's the other way around.
[ame="http://www.amazon.com/Hydor-25W-Submersible-Aquarium-Heater/dp/B0006JLPG8/ref=sr_1_sc_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1385896554&sr=8-1-spell&keywords=marineland+submergible+heater"]Amazon.com: Hydor 25W Submersible Aquarium Heater - Original Theo: Pet Supplies[/ame]
It should be clearly indicated on the heater. Perhaps I'm looking at the wrong one.

It's wonderful your Mom got involved in the hobby. That is a beautiful crowntail. She has excellent taste.

Last edited by Hallyx; 12-01-2013 at 05:28 AM.
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Old 12-01-2013, 10:38 AM   #4 
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Yeah, it could definitely be worse, and I'm grateful it's not. I checked on aqadvisor which said the tank was stocked to 91% capacity which made me feel more comfortable. The tank does have quite a few plants in it.
The tank is definitely cycled! And the test kits are there.

My heater does not indicate on the top and I can't find a guide online. I turned the top 16 hours ago but the tank temperature is still reading 85 degrees and that worries me. I'm afraid it may be stuck? Should I purchase a new heater for her?
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Old 12-01-2013, 01:54 PM   #5 
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Nothing to add, but just wanted to say kudos to your mom. I like her already LOL
BTW the betta is gorgeous. I got my two there and at the time they had some really lovely ones.
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Old 12-01-2013, 02:08 PM   #6 
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I love his colors =]
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Old 12-02-2013, 03:43 AM   #7 
Hallyx
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Your readings will tell you more than aquadvisor. But it's great you know where to check.

By all means, get a new heater. A heater is not something you want to mess with or go cheap on.
Amazon has several that are good:

[ame="http://www.amazon.com/EHEIM-Jager-Aquarium-Thermostat-Heater/dp/B003SNO8VS/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1385976291&sr=8-5&keywords=Eheim+Jager+heater"]Amazon.com: EHEIM Jager Aquarium Thermostat Heater 75W: Pet Supplies[/ame]

(or their 50W model) Many use this one or the Hydor Theo which is like your Marineland.

[ame="http://www.amazon.com/Cobalt-Aquatics-Neo-Therm-75-Watt-Plastic/dp/B008AGWZOK/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1385976525&sr=8-5&keywords=neo+therm+heater"]Amazon.com: Cobalt Aquatics Neo-Therm 75-Watt with Plastic LED: Pet Supplies[/ame]

Easy to set, has own thermometer, rugged and pricey (also their 50W model)

[ame="http://www.amazon.com/Elite-Submersible-Preset-Heater-Watt/dp/B000HHM03G/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1385977122&sr=8-3&keywords=Hagen+mini+elite+heater"]Amazon.com: Elite Submersible Preset Heater, 50 Watt: Pet Supplies[/ame]

I've been using their 25W model continuously for 3 years. A little hard to set, no increments or detents, but stays set.
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Old 12-02-2013, 04:12 AM   #8 
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I picked up a 50 watt aqueon heater! The temperature readings are looking better and I like that it allows the exact temperature to be set. I am aiming for about the 80 degree mark.
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Old 12-02-2013, 04:16 AM   #9 
Hallyx
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I hear Aqueon's are good. I got one from Petco a while ago; someday I'll get to use it.

Let me know how that works out for you.
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