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Old 10-06-2011, 10:34 PM   #1 
Kiere
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NPT Plant, Substrate, and Betta Concerns

I have been slowly making upgrades for my betta over the months I have had him. My latest upgrade was adding plants, a moss ball and Vallisnerias. Here are pictures after planting.


This is after a 2-3 weeks after planting.

The Vals are obviously doing great but the moss ball on the other hand is looking a bit rough in comparison to when it was just put in the tank. I have rinsed it once when it started to look fuzzy.

Moss Ball today... well not really ball like


Lastly when Orville was purchased he had fin rot and I was unaware so it went longer then it should before I could start getting rid of it. Needless to say it was a battle and his fins have regrown and still show growth and no rot, except a small slit that started to grow and not fuse back together. Will his tail ever fuse back together? Is there something else that could be wrong?


I do 100% water change every 2-3 days with prime, I have a plant LED light on for around 8-12 hours a day, temp always hovers around 80. The tank is 1.5 gallons and I have a mini filter.

I plan on changing the substrate to sand since stirring the substrate with the baby Vals can be challenging. Any additional advice/thoughts would be helpful since, I thought I had been doing everything right.
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Old 10-06-2011, 10:45 PM   #2 
Micho
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First of all love your tanks!

About the moss ball, I would bring that poor boy out, give a rinse under tap water, try to make him squeaky clean and put him in a container with colder water around 76F. He should perk up sooner or later.

His fins should fuse back with time, I would suggest doing one 50% water change and one 100% change every week, just to make it less stressful for him. Sand sounds like a great plan!

Other than that I think you're doing great.
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Old 10-07-2011, 01:56 AM   #3 
HatsuneMiku
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ooo is that the umbra fish hotel tank !! .. i didn't know it was 1.5g !! i always wanted to get one .. but i had a few questions ..
does the lid come off completely? also, a lot of reviews say it leaks .. do u have that issue ? x_x

for ur moss ball .. whenever you do water changes .. you gotta rinse the yuckies off it .. squeeze it to get out trapped gasses that the algae has made from photosynthesizing .. and roll them like dough so they stay round .. also make sure it's not sitting on the same spot for too long of a time so the bottom of it doesn't brown and die
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Old 10-07-2011, 09:32 AM   #4 
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When you do twice weekly water changes that's a good time to rinse the moss balls. Becareful when you squeeze, mine like to.. erm, fart. Really smelly.
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Old 10-07-2011, 10:48 AM   #5 
Kiere
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Ok! Moss ball is rinsed and in a window. Feel like after rinsing and squeezing back into a ball the little guy has shrunk and isn't very round. But Hopefully It will perk up. Orville loves cuddling it so I hope it makes a full recovery.

Where is the best place to buy sand and is there any to kinds I should avoid? I just always end up re-buying things.. this will be my 3rd substrate change... but then the tank should be done... knock on wood...

Micho question on the water changes. I was trying to do that amount for a week but the tank kept developing a thick film on the top of the water, even with the filter breaking the surface of the water. I also thought that Orvilles tail split regrowth had re-split. So I went back to my every couple of days water change. I know my tank is small but I hope to get it close to cycling as possible.

Thanks for the tank complements I know that the size is highly debated here, but it works for me and my betta. Hatsune Miku it is the Umbra! Unfortunately the tank does not have a lid, but high sides. The one thing I had to modify since I like to keep the water to the top was use clear packing tape on the handle cut outs so I would not have a jumper. I too have read about people having problems with leaking but I have not have that particular problem. I really like the tank and Orville does too! He is always peaking around the windows, it is pretty cute.
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Old 10-07-2011, 10:51 AM   #6 
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I used silica sand in my tank. It's white and the plants are growing like mad. Not sure where you could get it, I got it from a LFS, but another place that you might find it is like a cement or landscape company. Silica sand has been used in some outdoors projects I -think- I'd just ask at a local fish/pet store.
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Old 10-07-2011, 12:24 PM   #7 
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kiere .. the film on top is normal .. an easy way to get rid of it is to lay a unlotion unscented paper towel across the top like 2-3 secs and let it soak up the surface film =D ..

unfortunately 1.5g won't cycle .. 5g is the bare minimum for a tank to cycle and even at 5g the cycle is unstable and you could get ammonia and nitrite spikes .. there isn't enough surface space for good bacterias to colonize even with the filter .. and because in a 1.5g and doing 100% water changes every 2-3 days as your doing won't have enough constant ammonia for the bacterias to start to grow .. just keep up the good work with how ur already doing with the water changes and he'll be fine =D .. after he's healed up i would suggest water changes to be 1 50% and 1 100% each week .. and during the 50% one you don't have to take him out so it'll be less stressful on him =D
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Old 10-07-2011, 02:49 PM   #8 
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Love that tank...really cute and you did a great job on the scape.....I am going to disagree with a few things however, one being, 1.5gal tank is fine for long term keeping of adult long fin males.....also, since you have live plants you don't want to make 100% water changes and along with the filter-plus live plants you can establish the nitrogen cycle, however, due to limited surface area the nitrogen cycle will not be stable....but it will cycle.....but with those 100% water changes and over cleaning you are starting from square one each week....

In a 1.5gal filtered with live plants-water changes of twice weekly 50%...1-50% water only and 1-50% with light vacuum in all places without moving anything or disruption of plant roots......if you added some floating plants and/or some rooted plants like naja grass-you could drop the water changes to just the 50% with vacuum weekly and maintain the water quality for a single Betta in a 1.5gal tank......

Filter media needs a swish/rinse in old tank water a couple of times a month with a water change to maintain water flow......

Also, this really isn't a NPT (natural planted tank) but it is a beautiful lightly planted tank...to be a NPT it needs dirt substrate and mass plants......but its awesome none the less.......

If you change the substrate to just sand-don't go over 1inch deep

As posted the surface scum is most likely organic and harmless, however, too thick it can compromise gas exchange-the filter should keep it broke up some and using dry paper towel can help remove it along with water changes.....common cause are from decay plant material, fish foods, uneaten fish food left in the tank, things in the air-on your hands...etc.....

Once the system balances it may start to take care of itself a bit more-unless it is open top and/or close to the kitchen...smoke and oils in the air from cooking is often a big cause of the surface scum
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Old 10-07-2011, 09:04 PM   #9 
Kiere
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Thank you for your advice OFL!

I figured I could get close to cycling with all the plants and filter. I will look into getting a floating plant. Any particular recommendations? One weekly 50% water change would be a nice change.

I am pretty sure I will be getting to changing to sand in the next couple of days with the Vals do I need to use root tabs with the sand? I was planning on not since the Vals are already doing so well.

I have herd that snails are good to have if you use sand substrate and have plants. Would a snail be an ok addition in my tank? Since, the tank does not have a lid my fear is said snail escaping. Would that happen?

Sorry for the miss-use of NPT I thought the n stood for new, lol.
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Old 10-08-2011, 08:45 AM   #10 
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As long as you don't go over 1 inch with the sand....you should be okay....the plant roots should pull enough oxygen into it to prevent any problems....

Good floating plants...water lettuce, frogbit, duckweed are all really good....

Root tabs-maybe 1 tab every 60 days or so wouldn't hurt....
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