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Old 02-16-2014, 06:45 PM   #1 
Exquisite
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Opinions on Products; Recommendations

I am trying to streamline the products I use for the care and treatment of my Betta boys, mystery snails, and marimo algae balls.

I am going to list some products that I have and some products that I am considering buying. I would like your thoughts and recommendations for alternatives if you feel so inclined.

Thank you.


I own/have used:
  • Seachum Prime (this one is a keeper)
  • API Quick Start
  • API Stressszyme
  • API Stress Coat + (necessary for slime coat properties?)
  • Aqueon Water Clarifier
  • TopFin Ammonia Remover (no longer need now that I have Prime)
  • Betta Revive
  • Tetra Fungus Guard
  • API FW Master Test Kit
  • API Aquarium Salt, 65-Ounce (disc'd use because I have a snail. Should I reuse?)
  • API PH Buffer 7.5 (disc'd use)

Considering buying:
  • Tetra LifeGuard
  • Triple Sulfa Powder Packets
  • Seachem Purigen
  • Seachem StressGuard
  • API Calcium Test Kit
  • API Phosphate Test Kit
  • API Copper Test Kit
  • API GH and KH Test Kit

Anything I missed and should add to my list?
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Old 02-16-2014, 07:55 PM   #2 
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Might want to add Epsom salt to your list. (100% pure, no dyes or perfumes)
That can be used for internal issues like constipation and bloating.

No need to use aq salt unless your treating for a specific condition. I'm not sure what effects it has on snails.


Most fish keepers believe in using minimal chemicals in their tanks.
Don't use the Ph buffer stuff, betta adapt to wide range of Ph, trying to change it will cause more stress to them.

A healthy fish will generate its own slime coat. Butt you can use the Stress coat to help with damaged fins or scales if needed.

In general, don't add chemicals other than decloronator if not absolutely neccesary.
Hope this helps.
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Old 02-16-2014, 08:12 PM   #3 
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Stresszyme and Safe Start supposedly do the same thing (Add BB), and you shouldn't need to add them more than once if they actually work. Make sure to wait a day between using Prime, since it'll mess with them and make them useless. Stress Coat isn't necessary, you can use it if you'd like but Prime is a better conditioner and bettas produce as much slime as they need naturally. Clarifiers are wastes of money in my opinion, clean water should be all you need- a cloudy bloom is natural & harmless when first setting up an aquarium and should clear up in a day or two.

Snails & other inverts can't have AQ salt, so you'll need to separate them if you ever do a salt treatment (Copper is harmful as well). You won't need the buffer or Purigen (Your cycle should handle all the ammonia your fish produce) in my opinion. And all those extra test kits aren't necessary either, unless you have wildly fluctuating water parameters. Your township should put out an official yearly water condition report, which includes average hardness and such.

In general, less is more. I only add water conditioner and sometimes tannins to my water unless treating for a specific illness; clean water is all you really need for healthy bettas.
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Old 02-16-2014, 08:29 PM   #4 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rana View Post
Stresszyme and Safe Start supposedly do the same thing (Add BB), and you shouldn't need to add them more than once if they actually work.
Ok, Thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rana View Post
Make sure to wait a day between using Prime, since it'll mess with them and make them useless.
Didn't know this. Kinda important! Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rana View Post
Stress Coat isn't necessary, you can use it if you'd like but Prime is a better conditioner and bettas produce as much slime as they need naturally.
Was leaning towards disc'ing this, but wasn't sure about the STRESS reducer, though that part might be helpful.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rana View Post
Clarifiers are wastes of money in my opinion, clean water should be all you need- a cloudy bloom is natural & harmless when first setting up an aquarium and should clear up in a day or two.
Agreed. Thanks.

Quote:
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Snails & other inverts can't have AQ salt, so you'll need to separate them if you ever do a salt treatment (Copper is harmful as well).
Really good to know. I wasn't 100% sure but someone randomly mentioned this and so I thought it would be better to stop using.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rana View Post
You won't need the buffer or Purigen (Your cycle should handle all the ammonia your fish produce) in my opinion.
Cool. Thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rana View Post
And all those extra test kits aren't necessary either, unless you have wildly fluctuating water parameters. Your township should put out an official yearly water condition report, which includes average hardness and such.

In general, less is more. I only add water conditioner and sometimes tannins to my water unless treating for a specific illness; clean water is all you really need for healthy bettas.
I have hard water, but I do think the water is pretty stable... though we are entering a pretty bad drought which I am not sure how water quality will be impacted (other than its obvious availability). Anyways, thanks for the suggestions!
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Old 02-16-2014, 08:32 PM   #5 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Racoon293 View Post
Might want to add Epsom salt to your list. (100% pure, no dyes or perfumes)
That can be used for internal issues like constipation and bloating.

No need to use aq salt unless your treating for a specific condition. I'm not sure what effects it has on snails.


Most fish keepers believe in using minimal chemicals in their tanks.
Don't use the Ph buffer stuff, betta adapt to wide range of Ph, trying to change it will cause more stress to them.

A healthy fish will generate its own slime coat. Butt you can use the Stress coat to help with damaged fins or scales if needed.

In general, don't add chemicals other than decloronator if not absolutely neccesary.
Hope this helps.
Epsom salt. Ok, thanks. Do you have a brand recommendation? Or just anything meeting those parameters?

Do you know of any products that are JUST for slime coat, without the water conditioning components, since I use Prime anyways and the other respondent suggested that they cancel each other out when used together?

Thanks for your input.
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Old 02-16-2014, 08:36 PM   #6 
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Any brand of Epsom salt will do. It can be found at any pharmacy.

I don't know of any slime coat specific products, but I'm pretty sure prime helps with slime coat generation.
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Old 02-16-2014, 08:48 PM   #7 
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I'm not 100% sure it's the same for all BB products, but a Tetra rep once explained how ammonia-locking conditioners will mess with the solution they keep their bacteria suspended in, basically rendering them useless. I assume it's the same for the rest, so I always say to wait a day before and after water changes to be safe.

I used Stress Coat as my conditioner for a while, and personally I didn't notice much of a change other than my water getting more oily. It adds in aloe I believe, which is basically just an organic slime- whether it actually does anything beneficial is up for debate, some people love it others hate it. I'm pretty ambivalent, if you already have it might as well use it.

If you're looking just to reduce stress, why not add in some tannins? India Almond Leaves (IAL) are the most recommended but driftwood, Rooibos or decaffeinated Green tea, or dried Oak leaves are also frequently used. It darken the water and makes it more acidic, which mimics bettas' natural habitats and is supposed to keep them happier and healthier.

Oh and for Epsom, you can pick it up at pretty much any pharmacy or larger grocery store. It's used as a laxative and theraputic soak for humans, so it's pretty easy to find. I got a pound of store-brand for like a dollar at a grocery store. :3
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Old 02-16-2014, 08:55 PM   #8 
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Thank you, both.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rana View Post
I'm not 100% sure it's the same for all BB products, but a Tetra rep once explained how ammonia-locking conditioners will mess with the solution they keep their bacteria suspended in, basically rendering them useless. I assume it's the same for the rest, so I always say to wait a day before and after water changes to be safe.

I used Stress Coat as my conditioner for a while, and personally I didn't notice much of a change other than my water getting more oily. It adds in aloe I believe, which is basically just an organic slime- whether it actually does anything beneficial is up for debate, some people love it others hate it. I'm pretty ambivalent, if you already have it might as well use it.

If you're looking just to reduce stress, why not add in some tannins? India Almond Leaves (IAL) are the most recommended but driftwood, Rooibos or decaffeinated Green tea, or dried Oak leaves are also frequently used. It darken the water and makes it more acidic, which mimics bettas' natural habitats and is supposed to keep them happier and healthier.

Oh and for Epsom, you can pick it up at pretty much any pharmacy or larger grocery store. It's used as a laxative and theraputic soak for humans, so it's pretty easy to find. I got a pound of store-brand for like a dollar at a grocery store. :3
Very helpful. Thank you!

Re: Stress. I am having a hard time finding IAL at a reasonable price and that will ship in a reasonable amount of time. Also, driftwood, oak leaves, etc are all challenging for me to find pesticide free in my city's. Also DW is expensive as well (and no one sells oak leaves because it sounds ridiculous). Someone else recommended Roobios and so I am going to look for it online.

Regarding Roobios, is it always sold decaf? Or do I need to be aware of that? Also, tea bags or loose leaf?
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Old 02-16-2014, 09:03 PM   #9 
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Rooibos is an herbal tea, so it's 100% caffeine free. The bigger concern is making sure it doesn't have any flavors or other ingredients.

I like tea bags since it's convenient to just plop them in, but you can go loose-leaf if you'd like. If loose-leaf I would brew it in conditioned water and just add some in until it's as dark as you'd like, since adding leaves straight to the tank is messy. If you leave either in the tank long-term it'll probably start growing mold which is harmless but looks gross, so I take the bags out after a day.
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Old 02-16-2014, 09:07 PM   #10 
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Quote:
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Rooibos is an herbal tea, so it's 100% caffeine free. The bigger concern is making sure it doesn't have any flavors or other ingredients.

I like tea bags since it's convenient to just plop them in, but you can go loose-leaf if you'd like. If loose-leaf I would brew it in conditioned water and just add some in until it's as dark as you'd like, since adding leaves straight to the tank is messy. If you leave either in the tank long-term it'll probably start growing mold which is harmless but looks gross, so I take the bags out after a day.
Fantastic. Many thanks for your suggestions.
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