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Old 10-24-2011, 08:17 AM   #1 
BellasMomma
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Need to buy a test kit.... suggestions anyone?

My story is, got a betta cuz thought they are pretty and cheap to care for, did research learned thats not the case. told the hubby Violet need more space so we upgraded 1 gal. did more research upgraded even more 10 gal. come to find out Violet doesnt like her big space, told hubby we need to divide the tank so Violet will be happy - hubby not so happy... Im concerned that maybe the whatever they r called levels r out of wack, i need the BEST CHEAPEST test kit - if that even makes sense. my 3 dollar pet has cost us over a 100 dollars -totally not Violets fault, it was I who didnt do the research before buying... petsmart and petco r in my area... thanks guys... a bunch
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Old 10-24-2011, 08:34 AM   #2 
tf1265
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As far as test kits go, the one that is almost universally (at least on this forum!) agreed upon is the API liquid test kit. It will allow you to test your pH, ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates. They can be kind of pricey - $20-$35, depending on the store.

If you have 1 betta in a 10 gallon tank, it would take a long time for the chemicals to get way out of whack assuming you are doing somewhat regular water changes. Are you conditioning the water? That is extremely important, as the chlorine and chloramines in the water will damage your fish and need to be removed.

As far as Violet not liking all her new space - how long as she been in it? It sometimes takes bettas a week+ to get used to new surroundings. Does she have plenty of hiding spaces and plant coverage? A 10 gallon IS large for a single betta, so to get her used to it at the beginning make sure you have a lot of dark plants (real or fake) and places for her to retreat to so she doesn't feel exposed all the time. As she gets more comfortable, some of these can be removed.

I hate to say it, but do you heat your tank? A tank that large will need a heater, especially with winter approaching. If you buy one on ebay it will cost you about $10. If you buy one in a pet store it will cost you $35+ for a 100W heater. Bettas like water that is about 78-80 degrees.

Filters are optional, but you'll have to do a lot of water changes (10 gallon with 1 betta - alternate 1 50% change a week with 1 100% change a week).
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Old 10-24-2011, 10:01 AM   #3 
Trobar
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I got my API liquid kit from ozbo.com for under 20. They shipped it rather quickly
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Old 10-24-2011, 08:39 PM   #4 
BellasMomma
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tf1265 -
Housing
What size is your tank?
10 gallons.
What temperature is your tank? 78 degrees.
Does your tank have a filter? Yes, Bio-wheel 100 Baffled.
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No.
Is your tank heated? Yes.
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? None.

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish?
Top Fin Color Enhancing Betta Bits.
How often do you feed your betta fish? 5 pellets in the morning and 5 in the evening.

Maintenance

How often do you perform a water change? Once a week.
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 20%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Top Fin Betta Water Conditioner.

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters? No.

Ammonia:
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH:
Hardness:
Alkalinity:

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Just stress stripes.

How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Sleeping habbits when upgraded from a 1 gallon to a 10 gallon. Doesnt sleep like she used to. And about a week and a half after she was in the 10 gallon she started acting funnie, swims around frantically and paces back and forth in the back bottom of the tank.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? Her first night in her 10 gallon tank - for the stress stipes and 1 1/2 weeks after being upgraded for the pacing. Its now been 4 days since she was pacing.
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? I bought more plants and caves for her to hide in, I thought maybe she felt too exposed, still no change for the stipes. I put her back to her 1 gallon bowl and she has calmed down greatly since then - for the pacing.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? Not that I know of.
How old is your fish (approximately)?
At least 2 months. I've had her for 1.
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Old 10-24-2011, 09:23 PM   #5 
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I did the math on the strip kits and it is a chunk up front for the API kit, but you get SOOOOO much more for your money in the long run and it is more accurate:)
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Old 10-24-2011, 09:30 PM   #6 
BellasMomma
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ok so im kinda confused... i thought it was the test strips that werent that accurate.... ive never seen a kit so i think i may just not be understanding. do all test have strips... i saw some online that had little test tube thingies, do u then put it on a strip...? what is the inaccurate one so i can stay away from it...
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Old 10-24-2011, 10:14 PM   #7 
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The API is what is known as a liquid test kit. They don't involve strips. You put your water in a little glass tube and add some drops. The water then changes colour depending on what level of whatever it is you are testing for is in it. They are much more accurate than strip tests. :)

I'm not sure the pacing is necessarily a bad thing. An active betta is a happy betta, in my book. If she is staying still in the one gallon, that tells me she is less happy there. When my bettas are stressed by too much space, they hide. If you gave her hiding spots in the ten gallon and she wasn't using them, that says to me that she didn't want them, because she was enjoying swimming.
Stress stripes aren't always the best indicator of stress. Even in ideal conditions, it can take a while for them to fade. I would put her back in the 10 gallon, fill it full of plants and caves (as many coffee cups as you are willing to give her) and wait it out. :)
Since the ten gallon is new, it may be cycling, in which case I would be doing more, bigger water changes than you are currently. It could be the poor water quality that necessarily comes with cycling that is causing her stress. The test kit will tell you.
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Old 10-24-2011, 10:37 PM   #8 
BellasMomma
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BOMB - oooo ok!!! the kit i was looking at online was api... so ill propbably go wit that one. should i be doing more like 50% water changes every week...?? or more. it wasnt that she was active, wat was worrying me was the style of her swimming. the 10 gallon is about 5 ft away from my laptop and at first i would get caught up in just staring at her swimming, my husband would be like wow u r obsessed wit that fish!!! i just thought it was so peaceful to watch her. and then the frantically pacing started and it was nerve wracking instead of peaceful... so im gonna get a test kit tomorrow, should i wait to put her back in until i test the waters. also its due for a change, even though she hasnt been in it... should i test the water before or after water changes.... or both...
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Old 10-24-2011, 11:40 PM   #9 
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BellasM,

Test before water changes, Remember to use dechlorinators. Change 50% of our water twice a week at first. As your tank 'cycles' (ie ammonia and nitrite reading fall to zero) you can start changing water one a week.

Good luck!

GB
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Old 10-24-2011, 11:41 PM   #10 
Bombalurina
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I would test the water before putting her in, just in case. Test daily until the cycle is over. :)
As for the style of her swimming, I am, of course, just guessing from the information you've given us. :) You can see her and are the best judge of what is right or wrong from her behaviour.
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