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Old 11-18-2010, 08:27 PM   #1 
TokyoBetta
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Is this a good setup?

Hi there

Sam had a lump on his chin and some inflammation of the left gill last week.
Lump has gone almost completely down and the gill doesn't look red from the outside. It's a little tiny bit raw looking compared to the other side, but the redness isn't spreading out to his body and he's active and not gasping for air.

I understand the inside of the gill itself, the inner-organ should be red anyway, so maybe that's okay.

Anyway he's doing much better so I'm continuing to let nature take its course.

I suspect he had a slight infection due to a rotting plant I had in there. (which I have since removed)
The plant had some white fungus on it.

So please critique my aquarium and routine.

TANK
5-gallon/25L
1 fish


PREVIOUS ROUTINE/SETUP:
-Unfiltered/uncycled
1 weekly water change 100%
Water treatment pellets (3-4)
Aquarium salts (1.5 scoops)
Plants

CURRENT NEW ROUTINE/SETUP:
-Filter but uncycled (one of those bubbling ones that sits at the bottom)
-Monthly filter changes (have bought replacement wool cartridges)
-bi-weekly 50% changes with 2-3 treatment pellets and a 0.5 - 1 scoop of salt into the new water before putting it in
-Vacuum the gravel to remove big pieces of junk


Questions:

How often do I need to take stuff out and clean it, just when it appears to be getting dirty?
i.e. are slightly dirty ornaments a big deal or is water the bigger concern?
How often do I do a 100% change? Once a month?

Thanks
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Old 11-18-2010, 11:11 PM   #2 
TaylorW
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Salt isn't good to use unless your fish is sick, it can cause organ damage when used long term.
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Old 11-19-2010, 02:05 AM   #3 
wallywestisthebest333
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Well since you seem to want to keep your boy in there long term why not do a fish-in cycle?

Do you have a test kit?
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Old 11-19-2010, 08:49 AM   #4 
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In a 5gal filtered tank with one Betta-I would make 50% weekly water changes with substrate vacuuming in all areas that can be reached without moving anything or disruption of plant roots- once the tank is cycled-during the cycling process I would add a 50% weekly water only change unless you have testing products and then make the extra water change based on ammonia and nitrite reading.

On your filter-I would give it a rinse/swish in old tank water with a water change a couple of times a month and when the water flow slows to maintain good flow-I would not change the filter media too often-it this an undergravel filter or a box or sponge filter...post a pic...care can be a bit different on them.

I would not use the aquarium salt on a regular bases-for one it is not needed and long term especially in low doses can cause resistant issues and when you need it for treatment it may not be effective. The salt may have been the reason your plant died too.

What kind of plants do you have now?

Love to see a pic.....
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Old 11-19-2010, 09:14 AM   #5 
TokyoBetta
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Hi

Oldfishlady and TaylorW, thanks for the advice.
I will stop putting salt in. I was adding salt because I thought it was good for him, and because I was worried there weren't enough minerals and things in the water following the water treatment.

I will just do water treatment alone from now on.

Wally I have pH testing, it's at 7.0 right now.
I don't have an ammonia test kit though, I want to test my ammonia so I may have to special order one.

Oldfishlady, can I cycle my tank on a little pump filter like I have? I was under the impression I needed a proper filter. Like a large one that sits along the back of the tank.

FILTER:
It's a aquarium wool + gravel filter, as pictured.
Oldfishlady, ..so you think that I should not change the filter contents - rather just take the wool out and rinse it in the old water to remove solids and junk when I do my water changes?
Incidentally I did a 50% water change today. Added salt :(
(I will make sure not to do that from now on)
.. but at least he has clean water now. So.. once a week 50% water changes with this kind of filter is okay? Or with this small filter is 50% changes twice a week better?

PLANTS:
The plants I have are Anarchis.. they seem to be most resilient, the only plants I've had that actually grow by themselves.
I want to float some juniper moss on the waters surface though.

Here's my filter:

I added the tube to direct bubble flow into the corner and make the water less agitated, as Betta's prefer apparently.

My current setup:



And while I have your kind attention Oldfishlady, do you have any tips for diet?
I took your advice on shrimp/spinach/garlic but I couldn't mash it well-enough and make a paste and gave up. I need to get a food processor. Recently due to his little illness he hasn't been eating much, (he had a lump on his throat and a red gill. Lumps gone and gill seems better.. keeping an eye..) and I fear he has minor constipation due to a lack of poop on the ground and reduced appetite (although there's no physically visible bloating and he still eats a pellet or two a day. But he used to eat more..).

I think I will get the food processor and try your recipe but in the mean time, any tips on getting him to eat peas? I made a pea thread in the Betta Care forum but no replies yet.. my issue was that he didn't show interest in the peas and the bits of pea sink to the ground and he doesn't seem to think peas are food. I even tied a pea to dental floss and let it float there dancing in the water current but he still showed little interest.

Even if he's not constipated I want to add peas to his regular diet as a preventative measure.

Last edited by TokyoBetta; 11-19-2010 at 09:27 AM.
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Old 11-19-2010, 03:44 PM   #6 
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Your tank looks great-I love the white gravel and what a neat little filter-I have not seen one just like that one-however, many years ago that type of filter was used a lot and they work kinda like sponge filters....and yes, you can cycle with that type of filter-the bacteria need not only surface area to colonize- but more important they need oxygenated water and this filter provides both.

As far as cleaning the filter wool-every month or so I would pull it out and give it a rinse/squeeze in some old tank water with a water change-you want to maintain the flow inside so that the bacteria have good oxygenation-if it gets really nasty just remove/replace half the wool at a time...did you make it yourself or buy it-I found one of my old box type filters like that and started using it again a couple of weeks ago and did the same thing-gravel in the bottom and poly-fill/wool and it works great and the things has to be at least 20 years old...laffs....

Good plant choice, I like how you planted it and it should help with the water quality and with one Betta-IMO one weekly 50% with a vacuum should maintain your water quality-hit that white gravel lightly with the vacuum to keep it turned over so it won't look to bad-it tends to turn brown especially with new set ups from the diatoms.
But to be safe you may want to make a 50% water only change mid week too in addition to the regular 50% a week for the first 4-6 weeks or when ammonia/nitrite test 0.25ppm of greater

For the homemade food-I used a garlic press and crushed my garlic and then the side of a knife to make a paste and then smashed in the blanched spinach while it was still warm-the shrimp I chopped and then smashed with the side of a knife and then mixed everything together-it was still a tiny bit chunky but still small enough for the Betta to eat without any problem...I use the side of my knife for most of it and then used the tip to feed-my Betta would see the knife and come and eat it off the tip...this was a steak type knife so it wasn't very sharp with a round tip on it

The spinach works great for the fiber/greens so I never used peas-I viewed the spinach as what would have been in the stomach of what the Betta would eat...kinda...You are what you eat......gut loaded theory....
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Old 11-19-2010, 05:05 PM   #7 
TokyoBetta
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Thanks Oldfishlady.

I'll go with 50% water changes twice weekly for the next two months and then move to once. I'll also rinse the filter in the old water before I toss the old water, and keep the wool unless it gets really nasty.

Hopefully I can cycle the tank that way.
I'll have to pick up an ammonia and nitrate/nitrite test kit thing at some point...

I'll try again with the recipe. Sam still is eating very tentatively compared to how he used to eat. I'm a little worried about that but as long as he's eating a couple pellets a day he won't die so now I just have to get some greens into his diet so I can eliminate my fear that he's constipated.

I haven't got a garlic press :( Maybe its an excuse to buy one of those 'magic bullet' food processors hehe.

I'll keep you posted thanks

edit: by the way someone else msg'd me and ask so I'll post it here - I didn't make the filter it came with my tank actually. The tube though I attached myself its 13mm, in order to make sure there was no stream of bubbles that might hurt his delicate fins, as the water/air comes out at a decent pressure.

Last edited by TokyoBetta; 11-19-2010 at 05:07 PM.
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Old 11-19-2010, 07:27 PM   #8 
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I love the way your tank is set up! And that's a very unique filter! :)
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Old 11-20-2010, 03:55 AM   #9 
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Thanks! I hope Sam (my fish) appreciates it as much as you guys!
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Old 11-21-2010, 02:20 PM   #10 
bettablue
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[quote=TokyoBetta;515864]Hi there

Sam had a lump on his chin and some inflammation of the left gill last week.
[quote]

I have a betta w/ a lump too and I was wondering what it means? is it permanent?
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