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Old 06-24-2011, 11:26 PM   #1 
phillyfarmgurl
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Hey, new here, would like some opinions

I must say I love this site- I have been stalking it for a week now. It is so informative, and everybody seems super friendly. I do not have my betta yet, I want to make sure I have everything right before I bring him home :) I have other fish (goldfish) and a turtle, but I have been wanting a betta for a long time, and now I finally have the money/space/time to get one. Yay!

Oh, and thanks a million for posting the betta care sticky thread-it really helps!

This is the setup I am doing:

Tank- plexiglass, 5 gallon, bowfront, filled 4.5 gallon

Hood- I took the black top rim off the tank and attached soft mesh screening with Krazy Glue (glued edge is outside of tank) I want to make sure he can't jump, but can still breathe

Substrate- gravel, medium size, 1/2 from established tank

Filter- yes, was from an established tank

Heater- yes

Tank temp- 78-79 degrees F (falls to 77 at night)

Plants- live- combination of lily-type plants, and shorter plants he can rest in/on

pH- 7.0-7.1

I don't have an ammonia/nitrate/nitrite test kit yet, it should be delivered tomorrow, then I can post the numbers

Cycled- yes, with fish (who seem to be quite happy, so I guess the numbers are ok? lol)

Hiding spots- yes- and I did a "pantyhose test"

Water- tap, mixed with Tetra AquaSafe conditioner


I also have a "fish bucket", gravel vac,sturdy, not-gonna-be-shaken kind of spot for the tank. It's out of the direct sun, it's on a wall opposite my bedroom windows. He'll get light, but it filters in from the sides. (should I get a light for the tank?) I'll get the pellets when I get my fish. (and I need to return the betta flakes, lol) I am also getting him freeze dried bloodworms and brine shrimp for treats.

Does everything sound about right?

Any comments/critiques/various pointers greatly appreciated :)
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Old 06-24-2011, 11:41 PM   #2 
Tisia
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the betta doesn't actually need extra light (can be nice for tank watching though) some of your plants might though. there's some debate on freeze dried's nutrition value, and they can cause bloat/constipation when they soak up water and expand in their tummies. mine seem to prefer frozen over freeze dried anyways, lol. pellets make sure meaty items are the first couple ingredients, usually over 40% protein, though some brands have lower protein percentage but have higher quality ingredients which are really good
sounds like you're doing pretty good though :) and we love pictures here, so feel free to post lots, lol
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Old 06-25-2011, 01:14 AM   #3 
Sakura8
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Hi, phillyfarmgurl, welcome to the forum! Sounds like you've really got your act together. You'll have a very happy betta, especially if you keep up with the water changes. Pretty much everything Tisia said. Light isn't necessary but good for watching and for your plants. Good pellet brands to try are New Life Spectrum Betta Formula (often at Petco), Omega One Betta Buffett Pellets (hard to find but very good), Top Fin Color-Enhancing Betta Bits (at Petsmart, high protein, so-so ingredients).

Pics will be welcomed as soon as you get your guy (or girl) home. Good luck!
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Old 06-25-2011, 01:23 AM   #4 
phillyfarmgurl
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Thanks! I've spent 2 weeks getting the tank set up and done to make sure it's ok, and I've been reading everything I can find (mainly here, ultimate bettas, and nippyfish) and trying to learn as much as I can before I get my fish. I can't wait to see who I end up with, lol.

And no worries, you will be pic spammed :D
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Old 06-25-2011, 01:28 AM   #5 
Sakura8
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You didn't listen to anything they told you in the pet stores so your success rate is skyrocketing.
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Old 06-25-2011, 11:55 PM   #6 
phillyfarmgurl
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whee!!! Got my test kit early- Ammonia, Nitrites, and Nitrates are all 0!!!

Going to get my fish tomorrow, and I think I know who I want- he's a crowntail, black and red...I was looking at him this morning when I went for my pellets (anybody use New Life Spectrum pellets? they had the most betta friendly ingredients, and was the only food with a 40% protein, all the others were 35-37%...food I have can be seen here: http://www.petco.com/product/112087/...eCat=LookAhead)

Anyway, I went back to him 3 times- silly me telling Dad "Don't worry, I'm just looking."

He followed my finger round the cup (which was big for a beta cup, and clean +++) and flared at my thumb! Mom's gonna take me to get him tomorrow after I get done work...I'm so EXCITED!!!


and yes, there will be pictures!
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Old 06-26-2011, 12:05 AM   #7 
Tisia
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nls is good stuff, can't wait for the pictures!
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Old 06-26-2011, 12:05 AM   #8 
gbose
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Phillygurl,

I'm sorry to rain on your parade, but your readings are not good. A cycled tank should have 0 for Ammonia and Nitrites, but a measurable amount of Nitrates.

0 for all items means your cycle hasn't started yet. I urge you to delay your purchase of the fish.

Regards,

GB
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Old 06-26-2011, 12:12 AM   #9 
phillyfarmgurl
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no worries, gbose- I know my tank has cycled. I probably read the test wrong (I'm good at that) I'm using a filter and gravel from a well-established tank, and I have been keeping goldfish in it as well to make sure the little bacterias eat, lol. I also did a 50% water change today and vaccummed the gravel. I think I got it covered, lol.
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Old 06-26-2011, 12:14 AM   #10 
Sakura8
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You CAN delay the start but if you wait for the whole cycle to finish, you'll have to wait a torturous 4-6 weeks.

Or, did you use a fishless method to cycle your tank, such as leaving a piece of shrimp in there? That can allow the tank to cycle very quickly.
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