This is so totally tl;dr XD <3 Sorry!
Okay. So the other day while shopping in my local walmart for algae wafers in the fish section, I noticed there were no bettas. Last time Id gone, they were all in such awful shape (most were dead and with the worst fin rot Id ever seen..), so I said something to a well to do but naive employee, who promised he'd speak to his manager.
Well, he did. And sure enough, the dead ones were removed and the manager allowed another enthusist from the area to take the remaining few home for free. Yay! That made me so happy.
There apparently was a "huge problem" in their tanks, and their fish "needed to go", said the manager (he's a nice guy). They had VERY few left, and I inquired why, fearing disease. Apparenly and thankfully that wasnt the case,instead many small fish had been placed with larger ones and many were eaten or killed by being bullied or hurt by the overly powerful filter, especially the precious little neon tetras.
There were only two ones left in their tank.
I was all sad an whatnot, and told the kid I hope things work out.
...He told me they're getting rid of all the small fish in the store for the next day, and that "he doesnt know what would happen to them".. I knew he meant they'd either be neglected or flushed. I almost died.
He offered to give the two little tetras to me for free, because he'd rather them be cared for then dead. I took them and brought them home.
Now, I know- I was advised not to get any fish for my tank, but I couldnt leave them there
I figured maybe another friend would take them or something, because I wasnt sure how Alle would react.
Turns out, he doesnt care at all about them <3
When I got home, I realized I actually have three under 1" little(males?).
Two of them <3
They're doing very well. They've brightened up like mad, eat happily and have made a mini schoal (I know I need 5+, but, well...Cant. :c) They have tons of hiding places if they need them, I bought micro mini terracotta pots (3) for them as well as heavy foliage and a dark, marble bottom. The current doesnt bother them at all.
I put many fake floating plants at the top (real ones soon to come!) so they can nom easier. Alle really doesnt try to nom their food and is fed before hand.
Blueberry and Kiwi before they shoaled with Kumquat <3
Kumquat follows Alle around like crazy, and Alle doesnt care at all unless he gets by Alle's bubble stone, and only then will he chase them away slowly. He's too slow to get them :p
Playing together by the bubbler, they really like it there :D <3
Anyway, even though my tank isnt quite large enough (12x12x11, 11 is the water level measure) for all of them, I want to take the best care of them possible.
Any pointers on tending to them? Ive got the tank at 77-79', the filter is baffeled and on, theres a bubbler, hiding spots galore, noms twice a day as much as theyll nom in a minute or two, and diligent water changes and testing. My ammonia doesnt go over .5, and rarely goes past .25. The water fits what Ive been able to research that they like as far as hardness and alkalinity and pH, too.
I love these little things, and I want them to live a good life :c! Please, any info is greatly appreciated.
Sorry this was so ungodly long! x_xU I figured I may as well explain the circumstances in which they came to me to eliminate at least a few people telling me how horrible I am for stocking my tank like this willingly :/
I know the load is high, I know. Im vigilant with what I do to care for the tank. Im not asking for critisism, Im asking for answers and help <333