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Old 02-09-2011, 01:39 PM   #1 
k2ofcu
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Info overload: your opinions on current setup requested

Ok- I really have read LOTS of WONDERFUL things on this forum- thank you so much!

But- my dear Fred (my tiny (1.5" nose to flared fin) new CT betta-rescued from store in water so rank I couldn't tell what color he was (really!)- plus he was SO little!) is not the only one swimming at this point! (MY HEAD!! LOL)

I'm in the process of setting up my tank- (Fred doing ok in a holding 1gallon + bowl but I know that's not a forever situation- he's much better now than on arrival, but am trying to get things set up ASAP for him).
I know I need to do certain things and have specific questions at this point:

Tank: Tetra Water Wonders, glass, 6 gallon (got it for $40 as it seemed like a good deal (?) given that the filter was included (compared to other setups) and it was large enough to split into two 3 gallon setups later).
Would like to ultimately split this for two bettas- good idea or no?)
http://www.csnstores.com/Marineland-50050-MRN1010.html

Have added gravel & silk plants so as to not hurt fins, etc.
Also added a betta log for happiness sake.
Planted some Betta Bulbs (?-live plants)- nothing so far (planted yesterday! ha!!)

Filter: Came in kit- Whisper 10i (takes M filter) (quiet, but seems to be huge for this size tank?) Can see silk plants waving- betta log careened a bit but seems to be stable with one end up against the glass at this writing.

Using Bettasafe to condition water (hey, just starting out- know that there's likely better but again this was a mercy buy).
He's getting Hikari Betta Bio-Gold pellets (wouldn't eat Wardley offerings). 2 pellets 2xday, and occasionally skip a day.

Filtered tank has been running since running since yesterday- but have not added fish yet.
Don't really want to get zebras to cycle tank, etc.- I have enough pets and Fred was a mercy acquisition! lol (one more betta would be fine if I split the tank, but have to hold off on building a 'school o' bettas' right now! lol)

1) Should I add aquarium salt or not?
(how much for 6 gallons). Can do the math based on what I've read (seen anything from ~1 tsp to 1 T for this size recommended) but advised or no?

2) Bet it needs baffling- will look into the aquarium sponge effluent baffle or water bottle baffle for the effluent. (thanks for the stickys!)

My question- what about the intake?
Am worried that Fred will get sucked up like a vacuum.....this filter seems like a horse for the size of tank.....
Will I burn out the filter motor if I block the intake with aquarium sponge?

3) Went to local fish store- who recommended putting a hard ceramic like beads into the filter for a bio filter (looked like stringable cylindrical beads) & not rinsing them thereafter (just tank water). Looks like there's room for them in the filter- good idea or no?

4) Also recommended adding a biosponge to the gravel for 3 months to establish the good bacteria. Again- good idea or no?

5) Heater: know I need a 25 W adjustable- Hydor or Elite?
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...=ATVPDKIKX0DER

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...A33WNC5RWNU3Z1

(best places to get these? - just using Amazon for illustration)

The store says that they'll do free water tests (if I want to run them in there) or I could just get a kit (have seen the recommended kits here and feel comfortable with them if needed.

When should I bring Fred over to his new digs?
I presume after the heater arrives (and I set the tank to....?) - but how long thereafter (after temp stabilizes, cycling considerations, etc.)?

How often should I be changing water with this setup?

Pics of everything available if requested!

THANKS!
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Old 02-09-2011, 02:00 PM   #2 
SmokeNLark
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Ok, let me see how many of these I can answer :p

First, it looks like a nice tank at a pretty good deal. You should be able to divide it if you choose to. Each fish would have 3 gallons, which is good. There are advantages and disadvantages to this, so it's really your choice.

Most people recommend Prime as a water conditioner. I like it because its super concentrated, making it cheaper. (2drops per gallon). But bettasafe is fine.

Hikari I believe has recently changes their formula to include wheat as the primary ingredient. I would try and find something else that has fish meal as the primary ingredient. HBH is what I use. He might not like it at first, but he'll get used to it.

Even if a filter isn't super strong, baffling is a good idea. I would not recommend the water bottle way in the sticky though. It can be quite sharp and I've had a betta get stuck in it. Just rubber band a filter sponge to where the water comes out. Works extremely well.

You can cycle the tank with your betta in it, that's your choice. Just make sure to do extra water changes to keep the ammonia down.

For salt, I personally do not use it on a regular basis. Some people say it helps prevent disease and other say it is linked to kidney failure and if your fish does get sick, then salt isn't as effective. Salt is your choice. The carton should have the amount to use per gallon on it.

For the intake, I have found that my fish stay enough away from it for it to be a problem. I did put some sponge in a filter intake once and it stopped working correctly. Just collected crap in the intake and dried it up. I wouldn't do anything to it unless you see your betta having problems with it. Just keep an eye on it.

The beads hold more bacteria. In a 6 gallon tank, your filter media, gravel and decor should hold enough for it. They are not necessary, but don't do any harm, and that is your choice as well.

I would go for the Hydor heater. I know people here use them. I don't have one, but I did have an Elite brand heater and it was crappy.

If your store does free tests and you can run to the store whenever you need to test, I'd skip the kit. Around here the kits are $30. I have one because I find it much more convenient and easier. That's up to you.

As far as moving your fish to his new tank, I would move him whenever. If he is not in a heated bowl now, there's not reason not to give him the bigger tank. It'll actually fluctuate less than the bowl, even though both are unheated. That is, if you choose to cycle your tank with him in it.

While it is cycling (if you're keeping him in it), I would change 50% twice a week. It'll take longer to cycle, but he'll be fine. After that, I would change 20-30% a week.

And welcome to the forum. :)
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Old 02-09-2011, 03:36 PM   #3 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SmokeNLark View Post
Ok, let me see how many of these I can answer :p
Thanks very much -appreciate the kind welcome, too!

Glad to know that the tank & conditioner are ok- will get Prime and HBH when I see them (likely at my local fish store).

Did read about the Hikari formula change- but it seemed like he wasn't eating because other pellets were too big- the Hikari was the only tiny pellet that I found (and I did see him eat it).

As for baffling- came up with a 'novel solution' that I think is ok: (but set me straight ASAP if not!)

a) Since I had some gravel left (with mulm) from his bowl- took that and poured it into a new clean drawstring mesh bag (have these because I swim) that I'd rinsed with his bowl water:

http://www.amazon.com/Honeywell-BL00.../dp/B000MQTPEO.

Tied it into a knot and cut off the top 2/3rds (with drawstring) & put the gravel package in the bottom of his new tank (to 'seed' the tank with gravel/bacteria from the old bowl without mixing it with the new gravel (which I may end up doing since it doesn't look so bad anyway).

b) Took the drawstring upper half and tied off the open bottom ~2-3" down from the top (to make a very short drawstring bag)(used a cable tie which was cut very closely so as not to leave a sharp edge).
Tied a knot in the drawstring so as to not have a huge long tail of drawstring & cut off the excess (to make a tiny drawstring bag).

c) Put drawstring bag over effluent spout and snugged it up- took tail of drawstring and secured it back under the clips for the wiring (from the light/filter).

This seems to really have dampened things down- there is flow, but it goes through the drawstring mesh bag which serves to baffle without impediment (so it seems).
(can provide pictures! lol)

Anything I should /should not have done? Please feel free to disabuse me of my ignorance! ha!


Will keep an eye on the filter intake- so far so good!

Good to know about the beads- thanks!

Ordered the Hydor today- everyone seems to be happy with Hydor but they don't sell them here in town (in 25W anyway).

Test kits are on sale right now around here -the kit you mentioned is going for ~$23- will pick one up.

I did move him - just as well because the bowl was much dirtier than I thought (which is why I thought to seed it with the 'old' gravel from the tank)- thanks for advising since I'd have been afraid to do so!

At first, he hung out behind the filter at first but did explore the upper regions of the tank (including the log) and has blown a random bubble or two (no nest yet!).
Seems ok but am watching!

Quote:
Originally Posted by SmokeNLark View Post
While it is cycling (if you're keeping him in it), I would change 50% twice a week. It'll take longer to cycle, but he'll be fine. After that, I would change 20-30% a week.
Will do - thanks for the guidance & kind welcome!
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Old 02-09-2011, 03:57 PM   #4 
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My fish Cleo, he always got sucked into the intake and he would just rest there up against it scared to move I guess, because once moved the tube a little he would dart away, I think he was just scared.Anyways, I used the same sponge I bought to baffle my filter with and cut a piece of it down the middle (so it wasn't so thick) and then I just rubber banded it around the intake. worked really well! The water still gets through, and I don't have to worry about my fish hurting himself.
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Old 02-09-2011, 05:22 PM   #5 
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Your welcome, glad it helped :)

You're baffling sounds good. I can't really picture it, but if its safe and slowing the flow, you're good. :)

If the pellets are too big (only my slightly older fish don't have problems) crush them up a bit. It'll make it easier for him.

Any other questions, just ask!
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Old 02-09-2011, 08:11 PM   #6 
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I feed Aqueon betta pellets. They're really small and the first ingredient is meat. :)

My fish liked to stick himself onto the filter intake "for fun" at first (he scared THE CRAP OUT OF ME the first time he did this... He detached himself while I started basically freaking out and swam up to look at me like "HEY MOMMY LOOK WHAT I DID!!!")... It never ripped his fins (thank goodness). I did the same exact thing Littlebittyfish suggested, but took it off a few months after because the filter wasn't sucking up my live plant debris. Since then, he hasn't stuck himself to it. I guess he learned when I had the sponge on there that it wasn't so much fun, lol.
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Old 02-10-2011, 11:33 AM   #7 
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LOVE the advice, the ingenuity, and the stories @ your bettas' efforts to thwart their safety! LOL Thank you!

I do have pictures of the baffle setup (which really doesn't look so bad, seems to be effective, and couldn't be easier/cheaper (can pick up a 4 pack of those bags for <$2.50 if not $1.00-$2.00 @ the dollar store) - is there a link where I can find information about how to post the pictures?
BTW- neglected to say that I turned the drawstring bag inside out (after gathering the bottom with a zip tie) before attaching it to downspout- it makes for a neater appearance, keeps the zip tie away from fishie, and creates more of a baffle effect). (again- yes- I have pictures which make more sense than my prose! ha!)

Little Fred Nancois (named after the pet sitting clients (Fred & Nancy) who kindly allowed me to bivouac his tank in their bathroom while I prepared my home for his arrival) has settled into his 6 gallon tank- exploring EVERY corner (which makes me feel guilty about possibly sequestering him to half that if I divide the tank).
Not a speed demon, but does roam at all levels & corners- doesn't seem to be bothered by intake at this point (and the aforementioned baffle seems to be ok, too). BOLD little guy- not much flaring but seems feisty (and expect him to perk up even more with the heater).
I shake my head to think that he was existing in 1/2-3/4 c dreck before all this.... :(
No significant bubble nests yet (the tank is @ 72-74F right now- heater in transit), but he's happily hanging out in his Betta log (seems to love that thing).

If he's on his own in a 6 gallon- will he grow to the size of that tank, or is there a limit (eg: will he grow koi sized? lol)? Fine by me, but just wondering! lol

He is so little, however, that he can be hard to find if he's not 'en log'! lol

Thanks so much!
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Old 02-10-2011, 12:37 PM   #8 
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Haha, he will not get anywhere near koi sized. He'll get about 3 inches long excluding the tail.
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Old 02-10-2011, 01:31 PM   #9 
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Thanks for the insight @ ultimate betta size- would be fine if he grew larger- just didn't know what to expect! lol

Quick question- am reading a bit and it seems that we never change out the carbon filter? (just rinse off the muck with tank water and reinsert?)
My filter (whisper 10i) has a black sponge (bio?) filter, and a white (for now) carbon package (with space behind it to put those ceramic beads for bacteria.
Don't we want to clean things up with the carbon through time (& change that out every 4 wks or so, if not the black sponge/bio beads)? If not, fine by me, but want to do the correct thing!
(Why do they have row on row of replacement carts in the stores? -is it just a $$ thing for the stores?)
Am just a bit befuddled! (such a newbie, I know! lol)

Also - it may be just me but it seems that the tank water looks slightly more milky today (or am I being paranoid @ ammonia/nitrates?)

Just put him in yesterday afternoon (it's been 24 hrs) -should I do a 50% change already?

Thanks!
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Old 02-10-2011, 01:41 PM   #10 
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Info overload: your opinions on current setup requested

I think I attached the picture of my filter baffle- sorry for spam if not!
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