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Old 06-02-2011, 11:18 AM   #1 
icameasarat
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New Betta Habitat and other fish

my daughter wants a new betta for her birthday, in the past we have had 3 (at seperate times) and kept them in a 5 gal eclipse biowheel tank. i threw the tank out when the last betta died so i am starting all over.

was looking at a few tanks, would like some input, i really want to get another biowheel filtration one, since i LOVED it in the past, it really seems to keep the water in great quality.

http://www.petsmart.com/product/inde...uctId=11164161

there is that one, which is a 10gal glass tank, and comes with the heater as well

or,
http://www.aquariumguys.com/eclipse....562_a_7cQI0244

which is a 12 gallon, not sure if that comes with a heater or not, of course i would get one tho.

for "friends" i was thinking a few albino cory catfish, and is there anything kinda colorful that is "safe" and would fit in a 10gal? if not id be happy with the catfish.

live PLANTS id like afew, low maintance live plants, any suggestions?

id like to spend about 100-120 on tank and supplies (gravel, plants) and then fish costs are seperate ;)

thanks
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Old 06-02-2011, 12:12 PM   #2 
Oldfishlady
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Welcome to the forum......

Either tank will work, however, I would go as big as you can especially if you want tank mate....at least 10gal....mixing species with a Betta can often be a feeding challenge since Bettas can be pigs...lol.....

Other than a school of corydora (4+) you have several tetra species that will work and stay in the 1-11/2 inch range that work well with Bettas-however, every Betta is different in their tolerance of tank mates-due to size of the tank (10-12gal) this has limited space and some Bettas can corner other livestock and injury and/or kill them...same for the Betta-other tank mates can get to his fins.......

Live plants-low-mod light- naja grass, swords, crypts, ferns, moss to name a few that will work, however, you may need to change the light bulb to a daylight 6500k bulb to get good plant growth...often this is the reason plants fail...wrong lights......

Do you understand the nitrogen cycle-and do you plan to get water testing kit or use the fish shop to test your water....either works.....

Other supplies you may need-a bucket, vacuum/siphon, net, plastic cup, dechlorinator, thermometer for the tank and for replacement water for water changes...everything can be kept in the bucket

Look forward to pics once you get it all set up.....
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Old 06-02-2011, 01:39 PM   #3 
icameasarat
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thanks for your help :) i think i will stick with the albino corydora for now, and maybe upgrade the tank if her interest is there in a year or so (of course i will be the main upkeeper of the tank, but it will be in her room) i have a awesome tropical fish shop literally right up the street so will go there when i get it set up (before i get fish) to help with the water. i do work in dialysis so have access to very pure RO water which i hear is good for fish tanks, no i do not understand the nitrogen cycle at all, which is why i joined a forum and plan on reading up before getting the tank :) i lucked out with the last bettas, they lived quite a long time (2 to 3 years-- tho i hear they can live as long as 5 or more-- the petstore told me they only live 6 months LOL) i will look into those types of plants as well, and see what kind the fish shop carries.

thanks so much for the help!

oh as for the thermometer, i think the one tank i was looking at comes with the heater, thermometer, and net, if not i will purchase one, as well as a vaccum, i used to have one, but tossed all my fishy stuff :/
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Old 06-02-2011, 03:28 PM   #4 
Oldfishlady
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You don't want too pure of water, although R/O water is really good-if used you will need to add mineral replacements or use a 50/50 tap with dechlorinator and R/O water and that should take care of mineral replacement needs....but personally I would use your tap water and dechlorinator...make thing easier especially with water changes during the nitrogen cycling process.....generally your tap water is fine and fish will adjust without issue...

The nitrogen cycle
You can safely cycle the tank with fish provide that you are willing and able to make the needed water changes-you can also do the fish-in cycle without a testing kit on hand....you also have the fishless cycle method but you really need a testing kit on hand...

The nitrogen cycle is the process of bacteria that help to keep the water safe, however, since these are closed systems they still need water changes. Two bacteria at work-one that converts ammonia to nitrite and one that converts nitrite to nitrate.

It can take 4-8 weeks to establish the nitrogen cycle-temp, pH, stocking and live plants are a few things that can change the process.

These bacteria are sticky and adhere to everything in the tank-on the walls, decorations, plants-both live and fake, in the top layer of substrate and in the filter media-very little are in the water column...so water only changes will not hurt or stall the process-but-over cleaning and/or changing the filter media can

In a 10-12gal filtered tank without testing products on hand-stocking with live plants, 1-Betta and 4 corydoras-water changes of twice weekly-1-50% water only and 1-50% to include substrate vacuum in all places that can be reached without moving anything or disruption of plants roots....

Without live plants you may need to add a 20% water only at that stocking level..... and any time the fish have a behavior change-even if you just made a water change......

Once you see nitrate of at least 5ppm and ammonia/nitrite 0ppm you are most likely cycled and can reduce the water changes to 50% weekly with vacuum-however, with live plants-you may or may not see nitrate since they use ammonia for food and conversion may be slowed-this is not a bad thing-just that it can be confusing to new keepers...not to worry-depending on the number and species of live plants and growth state-they will help to keep the water fish safe...live active growing plants are a good thing...lol....

Its not as hard as it sounds-the tank is going to cycle as long as you have a filter running all the time and the bacteria have an ammonia source and surface area to colonize......

Filter media-this needs to be left alone until the nitrogen cycle had established unless the water flow is really slowed due to debris and then give it a rinse/swish in old tank water with a water change to get the big pieces of gunk off...you want the filter media to look dirty...this is good......then a couple of times a month give the filter media a rinse/swish in old tank water to maintain water flow....if you plan to use carbon (not needed) change per package direction once the nitrogen cycle has established-you may need to add an extra water only change between the weekly water changes due to mini-cycles or spikes that can occur when changing out the filter media-you can also cut a piece of the sponge from the old filter media and keep with the new filter media to help seed it with the good bacteria....

When making water changes-un-plug both the heater and filter and use like temp water for re-fills and Always use dechlorinator with any water added to the tank-once the filter has been turned back on the water should clear within an hour-if not-you missed a water change somewhere, overstocked or overfeeding-monitor the water temp for a couple of hour after plugging the heater back in.....and since you work in the medical field...I don't need to remind you to wash your hands before and after working with the tank...lol.....you already know this....lol....so this is for others that may be reading this.....
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Old 06-02-2011, 05:27 PM   #5 
icameasarat
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thanks for being so indepth! i think a stop at the local fish store is in order, to talk to them a bit about the initial set up :) dont worry, im eager to learn, and want to do this the right way and have happy fishies.

do you find it easier to cycle the tank WITH fish or without fish for a beginner? in the old tank, i did complete changes every other week, and a half change in between those with a gravel vaccum thing, and cleaned everything out (gravel and such with epsom salt) so i think it would be much easier to have a "cycled" tank. and it seems like it would be a more stable enviroment for the fish as well :)

back to reading up.. haha
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Old 06-02-2011, 08:42 PM   #6 
gbose
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Icame,

Absolutely, a fishless cycle is less pain. Just add an ammonia source (It must be pure ammonia, without scent, surfactants, etc -- I recommend 'janitorial strength ammonia' from Ace Hardware). Test your water evey few days, using a good liquid kit. You;ll see the amminia go up (since you're adding it), then Nitrites will go up -- and Nitrates go up. When Ammonia and Nitrites are zero and Nitrates are readably high, your tank is cycled.

If possible, add some filter media ftom an established tank to your filter. That could reduce your cycle time to 2-3 days, instead of weeks.

Good luck!

GB
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Old 06-02-2011, 08:43 PM   #7 
gbose
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PS -- don;t mess with RO water. Use tap water with dechlorinator...
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Old 06-03-2011, 06:26 AM   #8 
icameasarat
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i have a whole house water softner, would my water be okay to use?

and thanks for all your help :) im going to go to the fish shop today
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Old 06-03-2011, 09:32 AM   #9 
Oldfishlady
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You really want to bypass the home water softener.....

IMO-fish in cycling is easier than fishless....
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Old 06-03-2011, 06:50 PM   #10 
icameasarat
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldfishlady View Post
You really want to bypass the home water softener.....

IMO-fish in cycling is easier than fishless....
okay, i will have to ask hubby how to bypass the water softner lol i have not a clue. it says that you can get some start up bacteria from a existing set up-- would it be wise to get some start up from the fish store? or is that risking a illness to my new fish?

im going to get the tank and equipment this weekend, and i have till mid july to get it set up and cycled properly and get the fish then, since this will be my daughters birthday present :)
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