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Old 05-22-2010, 11:25 AM   #1 
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Join Date: May 2010
Location: Michigan
Angry Argh! Petsmart Experience

First I would like to say, how thrilled I am to have found this site! I had no idea there was such a community for these little guys. I have learned SO much already...sad to say, I have had my betta in the classic Vase scenario since I got him around 6 months ago. I honestly thought they were pretty little fish you could keep on your windowsill...I'm SORRY! :O
I went to Petsmart today looking for a larger tank and to ask about the Octo Cats and live plants. I was informed that there is no point in live planting, and they don't carry the stuff there to sustain them (substrate etc) and down talked them the whole time, ugh. (Even though they sell the live plants...)
As far as the Octo cats, they could NEVER live with bettas because Octo's are tropical fish and need to be kept warm, Betta's are kept at room temp (68deg)....I puffed up and quoted a few of you guys on here, he CLEARLY was not going to be persuaded, so I said fine, and walked away. What a butt! I plan on going back another day when he is not there :P
I'm still not clear on live plants or what substrate to use, he only had negative to say, so I am still just as lost.
Any tips would be great!
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Old 05-22-2010, 11:39 AM   #2 
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Yeah, petstore employees are really annoying sometimes...
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Old 05-22-2010, 11:42 AM   #3 
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I love reading posts like these. It makes me laugh that pet stores actually hire ignorant people like this! I don't know how pet store people I have to argue with, they still don't get it.

Welcome to the forum by the way!! :)
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Old 05-22-2010, 12:11 PM   #4 
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Thanks for the warm welcome.

Yeah, he was clearly the fishy captain in his own little world, the end all of fishy knowledge...I was not going to get through to him. *sigh*

Some day when I know more, and am more confident in my fish parenting skillz, I might go back and pick a fight with him.
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Old 05-22-2010, 12:39 PM   #5 
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68 degrees YIKES!! I'm glad that you found your way here :) Good luck in upgrading your little buddy's home. If it were me, I would focus on getting a larger tank with a heater as a priority. Once you learn all about the aquarium cycle you can decide whether you wish to plant/ filter or not. Here's a great post that I recommend everyone new to bettas read:

I have used the fishless cycling method using pure ammonia on all of my new tanks with great success. From what I understand, you are looking at planting your tank, but I will give you a word of caution. I would not try planting the tank as a means to cycle on your first attempt. It usually takes a little bit to get the hang of growing aquatic plants, and in order for this method to work, the plants must be growing very well. Don't get me wrong, plants are great, just as a safety I would advise you to preform a fishless cycle first until you get the hang of growing them.

Another tip- if you need to keep your betta warm while you cycle his new home, you can probably float/attach the vase inside of the cycling tank. You will still need to do daily full water changes, but at least he will be warm.

Of course, it after reading the link you don't want to cycle that is fine (although you will still want to upgrade the size of the tank). Just keep up on full water changes to avoid the build up of toxins. Live plants don't ususally do well in uncycled tanks though, because of the changing water parameters and the need to be constantly rooted up.

Hope this helps and good luck :)
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Old 05-22-2010, 03:35 PM   #6 
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Well, for substrate with plants, you can really use either aquarium gravel (which is what I used in my planted tanks), sand, or a soil based substrate such as Fluorite or Eco-Complete. What type of plants you want to get are based upon the lighting and your substrate/fertilizers. If you decide to go with gravel (and possibly sand, I've never used it), you may have to use root tabs to help any root feeders grow.

When you say Octos, do you mean Otocinclus?
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Old 05-22-2010, 03:38 PM   #7 
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Old 05-22-2010, 03:54 PM   #8 
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Thanks for the link! That helped a lot.

Yeah, Oto's sorry xD

I would like about a 10 gallon, but feel like that's a lot of room for one lonely fish, was thinking a few Otos or an ADF and see how he likes company. He's never puffed up at me, and after making him live in that vase, I'm sure he'd have plenty to puff at me about!

Also considering a 7gal/3gal split for a small sorority/single male tank, but not sure if that works or is suggested. Opened another thread about that.
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Old 05-22-2010, 09:05 PM   #9 
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Hello and welcome to the forum.
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Old 05-23-2010, 01:00 AM   #10 
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Holy cow 68 degrees? I keep hearing horror stories about other petsmarts in different parts of the country, and it makes me appreciate the one near my house more and more. Every person I've talked to in their fish department (so far I've talked to 5 different people) all are very knowledgable and don't mind my stupid questions. Matter of fact, I showed my divided 10gal setup to the last girl I talked to, and she was stoked to meet someone who is taking care of their betta above and beyond the typical vase with a plant. We talked for an hour, and she was actually asking me questions about bettas. Lol. I don't know a whole lot, but she said she was going to buy a 10gal for her betta as soon as she was off. I was proud.

Anyway, to the OP, heater heater heater! If u really want to see your betta brighten up, get him into a bigger tank with some proper lighting and a heater and you'll be amazed. Plant your tank heavy, like when u think there's enough plants, add a few more. Your betta will appreciate it. Stay away from plastic plants, as they may rip your little buddy's fins to shreds. Silk plants work well, but you'll appreciate live plants as much as your fish will. They'll help filter the water, and will give your fish an underwater playground to keep himself amused.

You can use gravel or sand as stated before. I personally haven't ever used sand, but my next setup will. Also, in my experience, invest in a hood for your tank that takes 1 fluorescent bulb as opposed to a hood with two small bulbs. It'll help promote plant growth as well as brighten up your fish (as long as you pick the right bulb). Also think about investing in a little "hidey-hole" for your buddy, as thy appreciate a place to hide for some "alone time" lol. It can be something store bought, or made. A lot of people I've seen here use a small terra cotta pot.

Phew, sorry for the long winded post. The people on this site are very helpful and always willing to answer questions (trust me, I've asked some dumb ones lol). Welcome to the forum, and let's see some pics of your little buddy =)
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