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Old 01-01-2014, 03:48 PM   #1 
Betta Nut
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Betta Nut's Journal

New year, so figgured I'd start a journal!
This first part will probably be long, since I'll start from the beginning.
Used to really be into fish keeping when I was younger, had a 30 gallon I was always playing around with. Bought TONS of books about everything fish and read them all voraciously. I learned a lot, but only about regular tropical community tanks. I never had a betta though. Maybe I did once, when I was very young, but have forgotten about it.

Many years later, I decided to get back into fish. Budget and space wasn't going to allow me to have a big community tank like before though, so one day when I was picking up some stuff at WalMart, I went to look at bettas. Remy was love at first sight, and though I hadn't planned on doing anything but look, I grabbed him, and bought some basics to set him up.
Remy in his first home: Name:  Remy 1G.jpg
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I didn't have his heater or live plants at first, just a log with a silk plant attached and sand. I joined this forum pretty quickly though, and learned bettas need warm water! Also decided to get some live plants to help with ammonia, something else I didn't know about. I thought you only changed water when it looked dirty. So glad we have so much info here :)

So, Remy started looking rather big for his one gallon, so I went out and bought a 3 gallon kit that was on sale. In went Remy, and he sure used every square inch of that tank! Active guy. Name:  Remy Lebeau2.jpg
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Now, I had a spare tank. We know what comes next, yes? I went to a LPS to see what they had, with the intent to get a sickly fellow who noone would pick and was doomed to death in a cup. Little Wilbur was a sad sight there on the shelf. Tan body, brown fins, no hint of color. To make it worse, his fins were just single skinny spikes no thicker than a pencil lead their entire length. I knew he was the guy I was looking for.

I got him home and warmed him up a little before putting him in Remy's old tank. Within an hour of being in there, he was clearly a solid red veiltail. He didn't swim, just floated on the top with his still spiked fins, uninterested in food. I had doubts he'd make it, but figgured I'd at least make him comfortable til he died.
2 days later, he started trying to swim a little, and ate. Fins were the same, and he'd try really hard to swim to the bottom, but he'd get tired and popped back up like a cork. I was getting hope in his chances though, since he was eating (he was practically skeletal)
On the 4th day, I woke up and saw his fins had almost completely unfurled, and were remarkably undamaged... And he was swimming normal!
It was literally overnight he went from a sickly thing to a normal betta with nothing more than a warm home with room to move.
I don't have pictures of him unfortunately, but he's in Remy's old 1gallon with the old log, plant, and a few sprigs of moneywort. He's doing great, but got moved to the nightstand to make room for the next guy on my desk. I wish I had all 3 right here to watch while I'm on the computer.

So, a couple weeks passed, and I really, really wanted to add a lighter color or marble to my "family"

Petco had a nice looking marble, but he was really quite sickly, and this time, I wanted a healthy one.

Petsmart on the other hand, I found Igavon. Well, he found me, isn't that the way it works? I really couldn't afford another betta and setup, but I was in the throws of the addiction, so I did the best I could.

Name:  Igavon.jpg
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So now we are at present date, redid Remy's tank a little because I have been so inspired by tanks shown in the big "show your betta's home!" thread, I just needed to add a few things, plus his plants have really grown!
Name:  Remy tank.jpg
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One last thing, about tank mates for Remy. I got 2 super cute whisker shrimp to be janitors. They have soooo much personality, they got named Lenny and Squiggy. They are pretty big, and fearless, which in the end was their undoing. The first few days, everyone was just going about their business, and I was really pleased it was working out. Then for no apparent reason, Remy started tormenting them. He seldom bit, was just "nose herding" relentlessly. I was hoping he'd get over it, but in the end, he exhausted both of them to death :( The shrimp were not smart enough to hide, although they had plenty of cover for it. They'd just scurry around on the bottom or swim merrily through the middle of the tank.
Oh well, live and learn.
Now I am trying out a snail, but it's not looking too good eaither. Remy is such a brat. He's bit off the poor things antannae. I have heard they grow back pretty fast, so have just been letting things run their course, hoping Remy will finally accept him. He's not constantly bugging it, just flares at it now and then with an occasional shell peck. I'd put the snail somewhere else, but they just poop too much for a 1 gallon, so since I'm not as compassionate as if it were a fish, I'll just see how it works out over time. Sorry if someone thinks "You're being so cruel!" But for me, a snail is not like a fish!

That's all for now. I'll update here now and then. it's just nice to have a record of things I think!

Last edited by Betta Nut; 01-01-2014 at 03:59 PM.
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Old 01-01-2014, 05:50 PM   #2 
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good luck with your snail! I personally prefer brittlenose plecos to snails or shrimp, they're hardier and less maintenance. But I guess it depends on your betta's temperament, Confishius is a very mellow boy and just stays out of plato's way.
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Old 01-01-2014, 06:08 PM   #3 
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I'd love some corys or other bottom feeder, but with a 3 gallon, really shrimp or snail are my only options. Soooo if snail gets dead too, I will have to be the janitor more often :P

Interesting though.. I thought all plecos got to be giants, but I see the brittlenose is only 3 or 4 inches. If I ever get a bigger tank, I'll keep them in mind!
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Old 01-02-2014, 11:49 PM   #4 
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Today's observations: Remy is terrified and flares and darts away if I put my finger to the glass of his tank, but I can put my whole face right up there to look at him closely, and he swims right up for a staring contest, doesn't move. Wierdo.

Igavon is gross and eats his own poo.

Wilbur looks like a catamaran sailing around his tank in circles rapidly in full flare at his reflection if I don't have the bedroom lights on. Stresses me out seeing him like that so I keep a light on til it's time for us to sleep.
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Old 01-03-2014, 11:50 PM   #5 
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Today did 100% changes for Wilbur and Igavon, used the API test kit to check Remy's parameters before I gave him a partial.
Learned a valuable lesson to not just read directions for the tests, but the warnings too!
I shook off a little excess solution at the top of the dropper bottle for the second ammonia test addition, to get accurate drops, and 2 drops fell on my pants at my thigh. I felt something, at first I thought it was just from feeling wet, but within 15 seconds it was burning bad! I hurried and rinsed it off, and got a little blister there.. nasty stuff. Think I'll get a pair of gloves to use from now on!
Anyway, tests were good, 0 ammonia/nitrite, 10 nitrate, so whew.. Me cleaning Remy's tank 100% a week ago to redecorate and foolishly adding dechlorinator *after* I put tapwater in the tank didn't kill my cycle.
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Old 01-05-2014, 02:21 PM   #6 
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I think I am going to switch out Igavon's cheezy plastic bowl for one of those glass 2 gallon "brandy snifters" in WalMart's craft section. They are bigger, prettier, glass instead of plastic, and the same price as this cheapo plastic bowl I got. Isn't it funny how just because something is "for fish" it doubles the price? This bowl of his now got a little algae on the front, so I scrubbed at it with a wet paper towl, now it's all roughed up/scratched. So cheap.
Good thing is, when it's replaced, I won't consider it another opening for another betta, lol. I'll keep it for a hospital tank. Although I will use the force of positive thinking that my boys will never get sick :)
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Old 01-07-2014, 03:15 AM   #7 
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Ahaha, Lenny and Squiggy.. I am now hearing shrimp conversing in -those- voices.

Gorgeous little tanks, you really have some flair for decorating. Lovely fishies, too. I see you've already the gained the inability to leave a LFS without a betta under your arm, LOL. They are addictive!

Oh my, and that creepy betta stare. It's like they're sort of drifting off in thought, wondering if your head will fit in their mouths, and how they might go about testing this hypothesis.
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Old 01-07-2014, 10:26 PM   #8 
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lol Aus.. yes, I heard them conversing in -those- voices too! Would of been a great video to record the 2 shrimp with a backtrack of Len&Sq from the show! I am so sad they didn't work out :(

I was worried my mystery snail was going to die in the tank and foul the water, so he's been chilling out in a tupperware container with a few pieces of broccoli and an occasional algae tab piece til I figgure out what to do with him. His antennae already have fully regrown.

I picked up a nerite tonight "just because". He looks like a piece of my gravel and Remy has been ignoring him for a few hours now. Plus it doesn't have those irresistable wiggly antennae.

Friday is payday, and I am really considering getting a 10G L and dividing it up for my 3 boys. Thing is, I usually don't like how they look, plus I'd have to buy something for a stand. And buy who knows what else. The mesh dividers always look cheezy to me *sigh*

It's probably what I will do eventually, but for now I will probably just end up putting Igavon in something else.
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Old 01-07-2014, 10:38 PM   #9 
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You know.. I have thought for a long time that the fishkeeping supplies industry is a little retarded when it comes to bettas.. They sell these HORRIBLE dinky 1/4L tanks with spiky plants and disco lights.. guaranteed to kill your fish in a week.. When they -could- be selling attractive, pre-divided 10g tanks for probably not much more.

Ah, well. Yeah, I don't like the look of most dividers, either. You could try a moss wall? Like, mesh with java moss growing all over it? I am sure there's plenty of places online with instructions for those, and they do look quite nice.
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Old 01-07-2014, 10:55 PM   #10 
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yeah, I have seen the mosswall too, but it never looks quite right.
I'd prefer just a solid black, possibly clear, sheet with small holes for flow. It'd be easy enough I guess to get some cut the perfect size and silicone it to the sides...

Actually, writing this down is making me envision a triple layer sheet, black on the two outer ones, clear in the middle, with some artsy-fartsy cutout designs in the blacks.. Hmmm.... Now I want to try that :P
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