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Old 12-31-2010, 05:27 PM   #1 
Torat
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A Few Questions

From your Sticky - "MUST READ! General Betta Care and FAQ (V. 3.0)"
Quote:
The air temp above the water needs to be close to the temp of the water to avoid infections and shock.
I have divided my tank, and the cover doesn't completely go all the way down on one side. My apartment is currently at 69 and my tank is set at around 79.5 (it's between the two lines on the thermometer). Is this something to be concerned about? I'd imagine the air between the two isn't 69 but it's probably closer to it (considering the filter opening, heater opening, and the teeny little opening where the tank doesn't rest completely square).

From your Sticky - "MUST READ! General Betta Care and FAQ (V. 3.0)"
Quote:
Anything under 2.5 gallons should have a 50% change every other day. 2.5 and more should have 50% changes at least twice/wk. If a filter is running in the tank, 50% changes once/wk are usually plenty.
From your Sticky - "Betta Fish Care"
Quote:
For 2.5 gallon and larger tanks: If your aquarium is cycled, you should change 10% of the water twice a week or 25% of the water once a week.
I have a 10 gallon. I have a filter. 50% once a week?

Because of the opening in the top of my tank, the water evaporates quite a bit. And because it's open I also get this lovely little film on top of the water (apparently it's protein and maybe kitchen problems, though I NEVER EVER cook [lolsad]). To rid the film, I end up doing maybe a 2-5% water change daily or every-other day (since my betta doesn't like my 5 gallon internal filter). I'm trying to find a hood that covers the tank right or a better way to divide the tank, but until then this works.

I have one fish in this 10 gallon right now. That's not a huge bioload, and my water parameters are perfect(ish-see below) even though I do only a maybe 25% water change every week or so? Should I consider jumping up to 50% regardless?

I have yet to vacuum my gravel (it finished cycling, I added Ulmo maybe a week or two ago, so it's coming up). The water removed while vacuuming - am I safe in assuming that this is good to cover my water change? I'd think vacuuming removing water, then filling it - then removing more water and re-filling it would be overkill?

Also, there's a lot of talk of 100% water changes in the "Quick Question" thread. I was always taught, and thought it was a rule of thumb to NEVER EVER do a 100% water change unless there was a communicable disease or something?

I have live plants, by the way.

From your Sticky - "MUST READ! General Betta Care and FAQ (V. 3.0)"
Quote:
The pH level should be between 6-7.5.
From your Sticky - "Betta Fish Care"
Quote:
A cycled aquarium will ideally have the following parameters:
Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: Under 20 ppm
pH: 7.0 (Betta fish can tolerate a range of 6 - 7.5)
When I had my pH level between these two (usually towards the 6.0 range), Ulmo stopped eating, swimming, flaring, his fins weren't free-flowing and he sat at the bottom until he went up to get gulps of air. The water up here is pretty acidic, so usually I go to the grocery store and get gallons of water. I was really concerned, so I just changed the water right away (we were having a lovely blizzard) and hoped that that, with a raise in temperature and some salt would work. I raised the temperature a little and went to get the salt from my neighbor (I didn't have any) and when I came back, despite the fact that the temperature BARELY went ANYWHERE, he was free-swimming, and was seeming to do GREAT. I did water parameters, the only change was the pH. It seems he does best at around 7.7-7.9 for the pH. Is that OK? As long as he's doing great, is it alright?

The following are questions stemming from the "The Quick Question Thread" thread.

JKFish said:
Quote:
Well of course, his fins improved greatly oak leaves, IAL, etc make tannins which help with fin growth and scale development, but he was REALLY lethargic, so much it was sort of scary, and I'm not sure if that's supposed to happen.
What are tannins? How, exactly do they help? And if I put an oak leaf in a tank with an otherwise healthy (no finrot, etc.) fish, would it hurt them or help or do nothing? (Like, preventative?) And is there any way to get tannins without using an oak leaf?

I have a few more questions, I'm going to throw these out right away, though. (My computer is low on battery, don't want to lose all this!)
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Old 12-31-2010, 05:51 PM   #2 
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The tannins will not ever harm a fish. they are just natural stuff released from wood, leaves, etc....
The 10 gallon with filter, 50% once a week sounds good.
Don't worry to much about air and tank differences, you should be fine.
About the PH: It is fine if he is healthy
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Old 01-01-2011, 11:54 AM   #3 
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Tannins are an acidic compound released from dead leaves and wood (and tea!). In a betta's natural habitat, the floors of the ponds are littered with fallen leaves, which release these tannins, creating brownish, slightly acidic and relatively soft quality of water that makes a 'blackwater' environment. You can simulate a blackwater environment in your betta's tank by a few different methods:
-Putting an indian almond leaf or oak leaf in the tank (you can purchase them off eBay)
-Purchasing a 'blackwater extract' product like Atison's Betta Spa (made from Indian Almond Leaf)

Although the initial dip in pH may require some adjustment on the part of the fish, Indian Almond leaf (IAL) has been proven a powerful general tonic for bettas.


On another note, bettas generally prefer softer water but if your water is ridiculously soft (and therefore acidic) like mine (I live in Vancouver), you may want to buffer the water just a touch by either adding a small nylon stocking full of crushed coral to your filter box, or by adding appropriate ammounts of GH/KH buffer to your water. All fish need some degree of minerals in the water to help them osmoregulate (keep the right amount of fluids inside your body) which is probably why your fish perked up in the 7.7-7.9 water... I bet if you test it, it will have a bit of hardness.
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Old 01-03-2011, 03:16 PM   #4 
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A few more questions -

1.) I'm not pleased with the choices of silk plants at the Petsmart and Petco up here. They seem limited. I was thinking of making my own. I understand the concern with the wire in the middle. I'm thinking of taking the leaves off (you know how you can just pull them and the circle part that stays on the plastic-metal part juts slides off) - and then just kinda slide them onto plastic zip ties. I did one last night and it turned out OK. I think it'd turn out BETTER if I had something to glue it together with. I tried aquarium sealant. That did NOTHING for me. I even held it in place for the whole 5 minutes while it "cured," thinking it'd be OK and stand where it was where it could finish "drying" for 48 hours. Nopes. I haven't tried hot glue - just wanting to make sure that'll work OK. Any ideas on how to get it to stay to a rock?

2.) I love the look of this - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WO4KpdCrx_o

How do you think they have the filter hidden in there? Do you think you could have live plants with that setup? Do you think it would be an easy set-up water-change and parameter-wise? My experience with silicone make me think that would be super-hard - how do you think they did it? I would totally do this, if it's easy or seems better for the betta - more realistic, what have you.

3.) There's no IAL or oak leaves here. Will blackwater extract work OK? Or Amazon extract? I've read something about banana leaves?

4.) I want to get a heater with a thermometer built in. For the 10G. Submersible. No budget requirement, really. Anyone have any suggestions based on EXPERIENCE? Pros-cons.

5.) Muriel has been getting what I THINK are the vertical bars for breeding. She's blue, so it's kinda hard to compare since there aren't a lot of pictures of 'em on Google. Anyway, she's not in the same tank as Ulmo - and he's noticed her, too. (He won't leave her side of the tank alone, and they "dance" alongside their tank glass.) I have no intention of breeding the two (and he doesn't make bubble nests besides random bubbles anyway) - is this unhealthy? They literally won't leave each other alone. My attempts to put anything between the two are thwarted by my cat.
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Old 01-03-2011, 03:31 PM   #5 
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Also, I'm thinking of maybe just skipping to live plants. I love the look of amazon swords - are those the only swords that'll work?

Are there any plants that look like the Petsmart Mondo grass that are NOT Mondo grass?

Are there any plants that LOOK like the Petsmart Gold Ribbon or White Ribbon that is NOT Gold/White Ribbon? lol.

Also, a lot of live plants seem to bring in snails. Do bettas like eating baby snails?
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