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Old 10-18-2011, 01:45 AM   #1 
Shesha
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Newb Shopping + Plant

A little bit of background history on me: My mother kept an aquarium for me when I was super young (~6 y/o?), but I don't remember it so well other than watching my mother and aunt siphon the tank one day.
I then kept 2 minnows in a 1g bowl when I was 15 y/o. They didn't last long.
I'm currently trying to grow triops in a critter creeper but these %^&*ing things won't make it past a week. But of course, the lone sneaky fairy shrimp stowaway has been thriving.
I've kept a lot of pets (4 dogs, 6 snakes CURRENTLY), so I generally have good animal care taking skills though I am inexperienced with fish.

1. Is this a good deal? http://www.petsmart.com/product/inde...uctId=10868052
I've been eyeing it for a bit because it has everything included, but I'm unsure if it would be cheaper to buy pieces of different brands separately.

2. I like the look of Water Lettuce. Will Water Lettuce roots harm a Betta? I know nothing about the texture of its roots, but I know that Hornwort can tear fins, (or if Bettas like them at all!) so that's a concern of mine.

I threw together a tentative cost list using PetSmart prices. Does it look good? There are 2 other petshops nearby, PetsPlus and a lps. Neither have a site so I'll have to go to the stores for a price comparison later. Or if anyone can point me to an online shop with competitive prices..!

The plants in my list will be Anacharis and Watter Lettuce (depending on the answer I receive).

I won't be getting everything all at once. I'll be doing a silent cycle first with the Ghost Shrimp, adding 10 more each week for a month. I'm assuming 40-50 shrimp will be okay because 1) some will die and 2) the Betta I put in at the end will snack on some.
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Old 10-18-2011, 02:11 AM   #2 
Bombalurina
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This could just be me and my inability to see things in front of my face, but do your lists have heaters? Definitely important! 50 watts. :)
I'm not familiar with water lettuce, but anacharis is definitely good. If you are into floating plants, duckweed is definitely good stuff. I started out with 3 little leaves that escaped my notice until a week later, when I had 300.

50 shrimp will be fine. I prefer RCS to ghost, but they are more expensive.

Don't bother getting the Melafix. In my experience, it does zilch and I have read instances of it irritating betta's labyrinth organs fatally. If you must get something like it, get Bettafix, which is far less concentrated. But it is basically just eucalypt oil and I really don't think it does anything which clean warm water won't do. It certainly won't treat parasites or bacterial infections.

Why have you gone for Hikari cichlid food instead of betta food?

Personally I'd go for Prime, not Stress Coat, but that's your choice. :)

What are the Biobags?

Other than that, looks good! :)
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Old 10-18-2011, 03:38 AM   #3 
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if you have a petco around you .. the $1/g tank sale is still going on .. i just went today to get some betta bulbs and saw the signs still up .. that might save on some costs .. ur 10g tank would be $10 =)

also, the hoods that come in those tank kits are for the most part not very good lighting for plants .. if your gonna go the planted route i'd invest in a better hood
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Old 10-18-2011, 10:25 AM   #4 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bombalurina View Post
This could just be me and my inability to see things in front of my face, but do your lists have heaters? Definitely important! 50 watts. :)
The heater is included in the Top Fin set-up but I've read mixed reviews on it due to the inaccuracy of the nozzle. That's what I've put off to the side under Marineland MD90439 using a price I averaged from Google Shopping. It'll probably be just a few dollars more if I get a different brand from a different place.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bombalurina View Post
I'm not familiar with water lettuce, but anacharis is definitely good. If you are into floating plants, duckweed is definitely good stuff. I started out with 3 little leaves that escaped my notice until a week later, when I had 300.
I wanted duckweed! But I got talked out of it for the reason that it'd take over the tank in no time at all. I was told that it's a pest.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bombalurina View Post
Don't bother getting the Melafix. In my experience, it does zilch and I have read instances of it irritating betta's labyrinth organs fatally. If you must get something like it, get Bettafix, which is far less concentrated. But it is basically just eucalypt oil and I really don't think it does anything which clean warm water won't do. It certainly won't treat parasites or bacterial infections.
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Originally Posted by Bombalurina View Post
What are the Biobags?
Noted! Neither the Melafix or BioBags were something I considered necessary. I'm always preparing for the worst, so I included them just in case. I'll look further into medication. BioBags is a filter media, again, just in case. I'll have to see what the media actually is and then go from there, but as with the food below, I just picked at random for the sake of adding it to the overall cost. (Better to over-estimate and have extras IMHO..)


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bombalurina View Post
Why have you gone for Hikari cichlid food instead of betta food?
I honestly just picked at random lol I typed up a quick comparison today, and I'll probably keep comparing for a while. I've attached it too, so you can see how price-efficiency crazed I am I don't buy into foods specially made for this-or-this-species when it comes to fish food. It looks like a lot of rebranding and overpricing to me, so I'm trying to compare nutritional values. You can see by my chart, there's a food branded for Bettas that has a grain as its leading ingredient (followed by soy, I believe)
http://i1009.photobucket.com/albums/...4/fishfood.png

Quote:
Originally Posted by HatsuneMiku View Post
if you have a petco around you .. the $1/g tank sale is still going on .. i just went today to get some betta bulbs and saw the signs still up .. that might save on some costs .. ur 10g tank would be $10 =)
I do not, unfortunately. The nearest is about an hour away

Quote:
Originally Posted by HatsuneMiku View Post
also, the hoods that come in those tank kits are for the most part not very good lighting for plants .. if your gonna go the planted route i'd invest in a better hood
Is it the hood itself or the light bulbs? I read a review that also said that it wasn't good because of the bulbs, and that they could be changed for something like GE bulbs (granted, the review is 5 years old and might not be relevant).

Thank you two so much for your input!
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Last edited by Shesha; 10-18-2011 at 10:28 AM. Reason: Image resize is unreadable! D:
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Old 10-18-2011, 03:41 PM   #5 
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It's the bulb that matters, not the hood. Replacement bulbs are relatively inexpensive and pretty easy to find if your hood comes with a crappy one.

And yeah, trust me, with a small tank that you will be doing frequent water changes with, you don't want duckweed lol. It is annoying as all heck and gets EVERYWHERE, and if you ever decide you want to get rid of it, it is pretty much impossible to fully eradicate. Frogbit is a similar floating plant, but it's bigger so it doesn't get all over the place.

I wouldn't recommend anacharis for a betta tank - it prefers cooler temps and bettas need warm!

Last edited by Princess Penny; 10-18-2011 at 03:44 PM.
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Old 10-19-2011, 02:56 AM   #6 
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It's so hardy, though. :) My tank is absolutely full of the stuff and I have much more lush, vibrant, healthy growth than any of the cooler tanks I've seen it in. Grows like an absolute weed. My water is heated to 80F. :)

As for duckweed, yeah, it will take over your tank, but I don't really mind. When it gets too much I scoop it out, wait for it to dry out then throw it away. It's a personal preference, though. :)
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Old 10-19-2011, 03:48 AM   #7 
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it's both the bulb and hood .. as there's no standard hood that is designed for all bulbs ..

what happened to our 10g hood/bulb was that we wanted 20" t5's (which 20" would be the bulb size for that 10g tank that your looking at) but the bulbs were not manufactured in the size of our hood .. and the other options that were available to the wattage and capabilities of what we wanted for our tank were insanely over priced and the sizes didn't even fit exactly too well into the hoods fixtures (we had to put the hood on sideways cus the bulb would stick out too much and make the lid uneven) .. it was a total nightmare .. returning/exchanging bulbs .. exchanging/returning hoods .. eventually we ended up just getting the bulb we wanted that fit a hood that we found that had adjustable latches that clipped onto the side of the tank .. so that we could have some 24" t5's

i also love your food comparison chart !! the most popular betta foods you could look into are hikari bio gold mini pellets (they recently reformulated .. you want the one where the 1st ingredient is fish meal) and new life spectrum betta formula

personally i would not feed flakes as those are pretty messy and sink fast which makes excess food removal a pain and it's difficult to judge how much your actually feeding .. where as pellets u can count how many u are feeding ..

oh and i forgot to mention .. for the whisper biobag 8-count .. it's actually 1 complete cartridge .. with extra filter pads and a bag of carbon .. i'd recommend getting 1 box of carbon with that .. and when you put it in your tank .. put 1 assembled cartridge + 1 empty sponge pad .. so when you do your once a month swish .. u can alternate between the two sponge pads .. and you really won't change the pads every month as the box suggests as a lot of good bacteria will colonize on the pads .. it'll probably be around 10-12 mo's before actually throwing out one sponge pad .. and never throw out both at a time .. alternate them

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Old 10-19-2011, 06:29 PM   #8 
Shesha
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Thank you so much for all the replies. I went my first round of shopping today and basically had to throw my entire plan out the window because my mom talked me into getting a 30 gallon. I have to re-research everything, haaah ;_;
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Old 10-19-2011, 06:33 PM   #9 
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Hey the bigger the tank the better! Generally I would stay away from Top Fin, even the employees at my FPS don't recommend Top Fin products.

Anyways, with a thirty gallon you could easily do a community tank with a Betta, or a sorority with many female bettas! It's really up to you, the limits are basically almost endless with a tank that big.
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Old 10-19-2011, 10:07 PM   #10 
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you wouldn't have to do re-research too much .. just a bigger filter ... bigger wattage heater .. more substrate 2lbs per gallon .. in the same brands that you were already researching just now in the bigger sizes =D
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