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Old 08-09-2014, 01:59 PM   #1 
2boys2fish
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questions regarding cycling, and zucchini betta, help.

Ok, my tanks have been set up since the beginning of July. the 2nd one I set up maybe two weeks after the 1st, so it is a bit further along in it's cycle. They are two 10 gallon tanks, There is a male betta in each one.

Ok, first the question about cycling:
both tanks have pothos growing in it and sponge filters. The first tank has 2 pothos in it. I was a bit hasty and got a snail, and added it to that one a few weeks ago before the cycle had complete. Then I got some harsh ammonia spikes, and put the snail in a bowl by himself once I realized that ammonia was not good for him, and plus that, this betta fish was very harsh with him and nipped him every change he got and took off his antennae. He went from cruising around to staying in his shell all the time. When i put him in the bowl, and he realized this betta was gone, he went back to his old self and started cruising around like he did when I first got him. I changed his bowl water every day and put zucchini in, (and other things that he couldn't be bothered with, such as cucumber and algae wafers, but he was happy when I stuck with the zucchini. This is important later.) After a couple weeks in his bowl with daily changes, he grew his antennae back.

Anyway, this first tank went through ammonia spikes, and nitrite spikes. They have both stopped and remained consistently at 0 for the about a week now. But I am also getting no nitrate spikes at all. I personally think the vile still looks yellow and thus 0 for nitrates. My husband says it doesn't look very yellow to him. but not quite orange (the next level) either. Has my tank cycled? Are there nitrates there, but the pothos plants are sucking them up? There is also two struggling stalks of moneywort and a couple sprigs of floating anacharis in here is well.

On to question #2, the zucchini-betta.
even with daily water changes, the snail in the bowl got so he wasn't looking so good. I did a test on his water, and realized that, even with daily water changes, it had gotten so to that the ammonia in his bowl was more than both of the tanks, since they had both passed the ammonia>>nitrite part of their cycles. So I noticed that the betta in the 2nd 10 gallon tank has a slightly less aggressive-"hunty" personality than the first betta. When I give him live food, it takes him forever and a day and resucking it up and spitting it out directly in front of his face with the turkey baster before he ever sees it. I felt like he would be a bit more gentle with the snail. This tank is still getting some slight nitrite readings, but the ammonia has remained at 0 for several days now. I put the snail in there, and he really blossomed. He almost immediately came out and cruises all over this tank. He has been for several days now. The fish did nip off half his antennae once, but he hasn't any more. The fish is constantly right beside the snail, and the difference that I notice is that the snail no longer flenches at him or goes inside his shell every time this fish comes close to him, the way he did with the first betta fish. I think these two get along much better.

But, at the same time, when I put his blanched zucchini in, I notice the betta pecking and pecking at it. This morning, I noticed that the betta fish looks slightly engored. I asked my boys if they had overfed him again, they said no, they had not fed him at all. Then I notice the betta picking at a floating zucchini seed. there was a hole through the zucchini this morning. the snail has never eaten a whole through the zucchini before.

I think this betta fish is gorging himself on the snail's zucchini. This can't be healthy, right? Not sure what to do.

Last edited by 2boys2fish; 08-09-2014 at 02:10 PM.
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Old 08-09-2014, 05:10 PM   #2 
hopeful fish
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Cycling question:

If ammonia and nitrite are both 0 and there are fish in the tank, then the tank is cycled. The pothos may very well be eating up the nitrate, because 1 betta in a 10 gallon is light stocking. Just a tip: If the pothos is all underwater, it will die soon. Keeping its leaves above water will let it survive. Pothos is a hardy plant, but it is a land plant. It will thrive with its roots in water, but it has to have its leaves in the air.

Zucchini Betta:

I know that bettas are usually carnivores, but love to go for the occasional vegetable. If your betta is eating too many, though, this would cause the same effect as overfeeding (bloating, swim bladder problems, etc). You could try to grow some more algae so that you don't have to feed the snail, or try and find a veggie that the betta doesn't like that the snail does. A daylight lightbulb or some natural light might make some algae in the tank. It will be hard to find a balance, though.
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Old 08-09-2014, 05:37 PM   #3 
2boys2fish
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both tanks have a clamp-light with a 6500K bulb in it. I went to Lowes and got some plastic suction cups with hooks and some plastic thin cord, and tried to fasion some kind of way to keep the roots and some leaves (because both bettas love to rest on the leaves) in the water while the majority of the rest of the leaves remain out of the water, but the pothos is thriving and sprouting so well that it keeps leaning towards the clamp light, and this putting itself back under water. The pothos I have had in there for about 3 weeks now, it has not died yet, but started sprouting more leaves. I did have a philodendron as well, but it did not handle being in the water and has long since rotted away, so I will stick with the pothos.

I will try to find some more things that the snail likes but the betta does not.

I had planned to divide an aquarium, put both fish in there, and make another community tank with frogs, snails, and shrimp. But the other betta seems to do well enough with friends in his tank that I may just do one or two more snails and a frog or shrimp or two over in there with him, and leave the second betta by himself in his own 10 gallon. I don't know.

The fact that the other betta tolerates tankmates well changes everything. I'd rather leave the two betas seperate and not have to deal with them breaking into each other's side.

Last edited by 2boys2fish; 08-09-2014 at 05:54 PM.
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Old 08-09-2014, 05:52 PM   #4 
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I also grew some algae on a rock outside and put it with the snail. He grazed over it for approximately 2 seconds and have ignored if for the past 3 days that it has been sittin in there. He passes everything to make a beeline for his zucchini slice.
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Old 08-09-2014, 06:04 PM   #5 
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Have you left the rock in there with no zucchini slice? He may prefer the zucchini, but if he eats the algae, then that could work.
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Old 08-09-2014, 07:53 PM   #6 
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No have not tried leaving it out. Everything I read on snails was all "CALCIUM CALCIUM CALCIUM!!!" and zucchini was the first thing I could get my hands on that had calcium in it.
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Old 08-09-2014, 10:07 PM   #7 
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I've read on this forum to bury a bit of cuttlebone in the gravel for calcium.
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Old 08-09-2014, 10:16 PM   #8 
2boys2fish
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I'll try that. I have no substrate just yet, though. Will that affect the ph or the betta?
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Old 08-09-2014, 11:35 PM   #9 
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I can't speak from experience, but a quick Google brought up a post on another forum that says the cuttlebone will cause ph to rise slightly.
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Old 08-10-2014, 12:29 AM   #10 
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Would IAL hurt the snail? if not you can put IAL in there to lower the pH that the cuttlebone adds
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