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Old 10-09-2010, 04:22 AM   #1 
TharBePirates
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Exclamation Jeffery's Cookie Jar

Sooo... I'm beginning to think Jeffery's cookie jar has become a self sustaining ecosystem...

The Setup-
A 2 gallon plastic jar that used to hold animal cookies.
A spare Hydori mini heater I had
A few handfuls of some extra gravel I had
An extra coffee cup
Extra Anacharis and Java Moss clippings.
Two rocks I had lying around.
A Ping-pong ball I found
In all, the only thing I bought for this entire setup was Jeffery. And he was like, $7.

So Jeffery sits on our kitchen table, where his bowl gets indirect sunlight (which, has made the floating anacharis grow insanely large, but we haven't taken any out because it's not taking over the jar) and where he spends his day looking out the window and demanding noms. Though he's my roomie's fish, I still change his water. Now it started out as 100% every day. Then it was 50% every day and a 100% change on Sunday. That went to a 100% change every four days. Then 50% every four days....

And now it's a 50% once a week.

And that sounds HORRIBLE. Like I'm a horrible fish keeper who doesn't know anything about bettas and he's suffering in that cookie jar. But here's the thing, I just tested his water. 7 days ago he got a 50% change and his coffee cup was rinsed off because there was a little algae on it. That's it! That's all I did 7 days ago and now I test his water annnnnd.

Ammonia- 0
pH- 6.8

And he's not sick, he's thriving. He's this big finned, fiesty hellion who will rush your finger and bite you if it so much as dips in the water. He blows bubble nests and nudges around his ping-pong ball and flares whenever we hold up the pepper shaker. He eats Wardly pellets, blood worms and small pieces of chicken and turkey. Spoiled, is the word that comes to mind. Spoiled and extremely healthy.

What's up with this setup? Is it the plants? Does he have bacteria living in his gravel (that I never wash. I just stir up the mulm and try to get as much out each time). Don't get me wrong, I kind of like this low maintenance thing, but I'm just curious as to why this defies all fish keeping logic. Also, I want to know if I'm doing the right thing or if I should step things up.
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Old 10-09-2010, 10:54 AM   #2 
Oldfishlady
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With the active growth of the plants they are working as a filter and keeping the water safe for the fish by using the ammonia as plant food, IMO/E 50% weekly should be fine as long as the plants are actively growing. You may want to add a complete change every month or so.

Watch the Betta and he will tell you if something is wrong.
Love to see some pics....
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Old 10-09-2010, 03:42 PM   #3 
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What about Nitrate and nitrite levels? Those, while not as toxic as ammonia, can build up over time and harm the fish. I believe these are absorbed by plants as well but only when there is no ammonia source (?) not sure.
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Old 10-09-2010, 03:58 PM   #4 
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The plants use ammonia for food before conversion and due to the lower oxygen level the bacteria doesn't colonize and thrive as well if at all from just the oxygen in the water and produced and used by the plants-you may not even see nitrate levels.
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Old 10-09-2010, 04:06 PM   #5 
MrVampire181
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Wow...that home just sounds awesome! I mean sure it seems a little less than perfect but it seems to be working.
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Old 10-15-2010, 11:28 PM   #6 
TharBePirates
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Sorry it's taken me so long to put up pics, the battery for my camera died.

I now have 2 set ups like the one I talked about since I got my female VT. The first here is my roommate's male VT, his anacharis and java moss is thinner than before as I gave some to the female. The water params haven't changed though. Also he just had a full water change.-


The second is my little VT's new setup. The only thing I don't have for her is a heater, due to lack of funds. However we're having our indian summer right now with highs of 90s, so she's doing well. She also has a mixture of plastic and live plants because she's very small and tends to act insecure in open water. Next month I will be getting her a heater and a bunch of anacharis to replace the plastic and stuff her tub with, so she has all the cover she desires. Live plants currently in Ariel's tub are small bits of Riccia, Java moss, Lacey Java Fern and a few springs of Anacharis.


The fish housed in both setups-

Jeffery


Ariel
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Old 10-16-2010, 05:43 AM   #7 
weluvbettas
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Cool little setup!
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Old 10-16-2010, 07:00 AM   #8 
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Gorgeous fish! The boy has such big finnage, and so healthy looking!
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Old 10-16-2010, 09:52 AM   #9 
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That's a nice setup! Like Oldfishlady said, pants will do a lot of the work for you. That's why some people also choose to addplants when they're cycling their tank.
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Old 10-16-2010, 09:55 AM   #10 
Owlets
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jupiter View Post
That's a nice setup! Like Oldfishlady said, pants will do a lot of the work for you.
Best typo ever. 8D
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