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Old 09-16-2011, 04:07 PM   #1 
Trobar
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Several questions

1) Jake is in a 1.8g tank filtered atm. I'm having issues with keeping the PH level up. more often than not the ph doesn't even register on the strips I've been using (used the ones from the pool as well and got the same results). Is there anything other than the PH up drops that I can use to stabilize this water?

2) I have successfully talked my husband into getting a larger tank :) Was thinking of a 20g but he likes the Fluval cube any opinions??

3)He also suggested using the tank we got for a bearded dragon. The lizard died several years ago after a very happy long life of 13 years (that critter was even too lazy to die at the 10 year mark that most do). This tank is watertight, I tested that outside for a couple days. It is 40" x 18" x 18". No idea on how many gal or how much it would weigh fully loaded so I know what kind of stand he would have to make. What kind of things would I need to get for it. Filter (size?), heater (size and how many). Do I need a hood or can I just put florescent lights ontop the screen? How much sand will I need? Also a round about $$ would be helpful I am so new to fish it is pathetic

And yes there would be other fish besides one betta in it

and last but not least:

Which would you do???

Here is a current pic of Jake (and yeah I spoil my granddaughter she picked out the tacky gravel and cave but considering its her fish.....)
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Old 09-16-2011, 05:45 PM   #2 
Kytkattin
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Low PH is great for a crowntail! Don't mess with your PH unless you have good buffers. High PH will cause a crowntail's fins to curl. Like curly hair in humidity. Bettas will adjust to whatever PH comes out of your tap (treated with chlorine remover, of course)!

I am not sure the size either, and I am not great at math. lol. If I was guessing I would say it is probably 20-30 gallons, because that sounds about right for a beardie tank. However, you would need to get a glass top, or a hood that could be put directly over the water. The screen will let water get to the light, which is a big no-no for safety reasons.
If you use sand, you will either need to have the tank planted, have trumpet snails, or aerate the sand yourself to prevent it from getting all nasty and toxic.
Natural colored gravel might be easier to maintain.

I am not sure about the size filter. However, I strongly recommend the Hagen Aqua Clear filters. They are very customizable as far as filter media, so you have a lot of flexibility.

Expect to spend about $60 for the filter and light (together). Unless you already have a light from the beardie. Then you just need a glass top. Substrate varies a ton in price.

Your boy is just gorgeous! Very stunning fish!
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Old 09-16-2011, 06:07 PM   #3 
Trobar
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He is my granddaughter's fish but thanks I will tell her others think her fish is pretty. God help me when we get the glofish.....

As for the lights from the beardie, that is long gone, we babied it thru the last years of his life (like I said before he lived alot longer than was .. um.. recommended?) and the tank is WAY bigger than 20g that I've seen
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Old 09-16-2011, 06:22 PM   #4 
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Well she picked out a beauty! Be careful with Glofish and Bettas. They are actually just genetically modified Zebra Danios. These tend to be fin nippers and tend to not get along with bettas. Basically they should not be kept in the same tank.

Ah, well, then I guess a new light is in order. With good care pets can live a lot longer than most people think they can. 30 years ago cockatiels were only expected to live about 15 years, now they live to 30 easily!
I just did the calculation and you have a 56 gallon tank! Wow. You could have a ton of fish! Though with that, you should look into a Fluval canister filter. For a tank that size, they are great filters. We have them on all of our large community tanks (one 55, one 240).
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Old 09-16-2011, 06:23 PM   #5 
iloveengl
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trobar View Post
1) Jake is in a 1.8g tank filtered atm. I'm having issues with keeping the PH level up. more often than not the ph doesn't even register on the strips I've been using (used the ones from the pool as well and got the same results). Is there anything other than the PH up drops that I can use to stabilize this water?

I don't recommend messing with the pH unless it is dangerously acidic. Bettas will adapt to most pH. Using drops can cause the water to fluctuate, and a drastic pH shift down can be fatal. Adding crushed coral will help raise the pH. If you're using tester strips, it's possible that the strips are old or just not working correctly - they're notoriously unreliable.

2) I have successfully talked my husband into getting a larger tank :) Was thinking of a 20g but he likes the Fluval cube any opinions??

I like a 20g because it provides a bit more swim space, and more tank mate and aquascaping possibilities, but the cube is definitely snazzy looking. It really depends on what you want to do with it.

3)He also suggested using the tank we got for a bearded dragon. The lizard died several years ago after a very happy long life of 13 years (that critter was even too lazy to die at the 10 year mark that most do). This tank is watertight, I tested that outside for a couple days. It is 40" x 18" x 18". No idea on how many gal or how much it would weigh fully loaded so I know what kind of stand he would have to make. What kind of things would I need to get for it. Filter (size?), heater (size and how many). Do I need a hood or can I just put florescent lights ontop the screen? How much sand will I need? Also a round about $$ would be helpful I am so new to fish it is pathetic

If your measurements are correct, then it's a 56 gallon tank.

With water, decor, etc. that's about 480 lbs.

I would recommend a hood and light. They're easy and provide a space to put a HOB filter and to make water changes and feedings easy.

I have no idea what stuff costs new. I've always purchase (or received for free) off Craigslist for about 10% of what the stuff costs in the stores. If that's an option for you, I'd check out Craigslist in your area. Just search the "community > pets" section and the "for sale" section with key terms like "fish" or "aquarium."
Best of luck!
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Old 09-16-2011, 06:38 PM   #6 
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^ +1, great info..

I like the 20gal, if you go the 20g long route.. you can divide it and have lots of bettas! lol
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Old 09-20-2011, 03:08 PM   #7 
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Agreed. The "unknown tank" is probably about 56 gallons (i was going to say 55, but my calculations were only based on the sized of other tanks). It will likely weigh almost 600lbs filled with water, gravel, etc. I think the standard "safe" estimate is 10lbs/gallon (water alone is 8lbs/gallon, then tack on 2 extra per gallon for gravel, decor, etc).

A 56 gallon tank is quite a project to get going and maintain. I would start with a 20, especially if it's a 20 long. You will have plenty of options there, and the water changes aren't nearly as daunting. Overall, it is just easier to maintain and requires less expensive equipment.

With a 20 gallon tank, I'd recommend an Aquaclear 30 HOB filter. In my opinion, the best filters out there, and flow is gentle enough that it doesn't bother my betta in her community tank.

You want the substrate to cover about 2- 3 inches at the bottom of the tank. For heat, you want at least 5 watts per gallon, more is better within reason. I have a 100W heater in my 10 gallon tank, it works beautifully. For a 20 gallon, you'd probably want 150-200W.

For light, you want 2-3W per gallon.

Test strips are indeed notoriously inaccurate. You can usually take water samples to local pet stores and they will test it for free - just ask that they SHOW you the results. Often times the people working there have no clue what safe ranges are and will give you bad advice. Don't buy into pH altering products - the bounces between uses are far more damaging to your fish than the low pH would be. Research other fish who prefer slightly acidic water if you're getting tank mates, and don't get anything too flashy and colorful, or with long fins, or any "nippers." Corydora catfish prefer slightly acidic water and are great, peaceful tank mates. Neon tetras need acidic water, but they can often be "treats" for your betta as they are small and brightly colored.
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Old 09-23-2011, 01:44 PM   #8 
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I am going to put the 56g on hold and go with the 20g from Walmart (I work there and get discount making it around 90 for the tank/filter/light/heater).

I am leaning toward sand. I saw on this forum somewhere that play sand is doable, is this right or do I need to buy actual aquarium sand?

The tank is going to be planted with real plants and for the fish wish list is:
3-4 cories
5 or 6 glofish (yeah grandkid got me wrapped around her little finger)
1 betta (Jake, the one who started this whole thing)
1 snail

This would still leave me some room for something else according to the recommended site http://aqadvisor.com/, just not sure what maybe a frog or

The help I have received on this forum is awesome. Everyone is helpful and questions don't go unanswered.

I hope to have my 20g up and running with fish by Christmas. I kinda overspent my play money on butterflies for my grandma's birthday. I bought 100 live butterflies that we all released on her 100th birthday :) (what else do you get someone who is 100?)

I'm sure when I am ready to buy the tank, I will know what I am supposed to buy in regards to plant types that I'm still researching, and what fishes to put in first to cycle the thing. Apparently Jake is last so he will have to deal with the 1.8g for a couple more months.

ANY tips and suggestions are more than welcome. Hey some day I might even be able to answer some questions
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Old 09-23-2011, 02:02 PM   #9 
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If you have the room (and it sounds like you will) I would get a larger group of cories. They do best in groups of 5 or 6, and more is always better with shoaling fish. Glofish are at their best looking under a black light, I believe, so keep that in mind. As with the cories, more of those will be better.

I like platies as community fish as well, they are sizeable enough and varied enough that they can add a lot to a tank. They aren't shoaling fish so you don't have to get a lot of them, but the males can be aggressive toward each other (occasionally, not aggressive like male bettas) and you want to keep the ratios in favor of female if you have both. 3:1 females to male is best, 2:1 is acceptable. 1:1 is bad news for the female during mating time. There are a lot of different colors and species available though, and they're pretty easy to care for as well as peaceful. Just a suggestion. Look at what your local pet stores have though, and then come here to research anything you think is cool. YOu might get lucky and find something you love that will definitely work in your tank. And you'll prevent yourself from accidentally getting something completely unsuited for your tank.
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Old 09-23-2011, 07:30 PM   #10 
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I wouldn't do glofish with bettas. They are genetically engineered danios, with the same temper as them - fast and nippers.
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