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Old 01-25-2012, 10:50 AM   #11 
onemanswarm
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Good luck with the tail biting. Sorry I don't have any insight to offer on that topic. I'm interested in the concept of enrichment as a solution for incessant glass surfing. Would someone (Pataflafla, I'm looking your way!) please expand on this a bit? I know the hand mirror is often used to encourage some flaring, but this is the first I've read about bottle caps and buttons on strings. I'd love to know more about how this works!

With respect to Ghosties, they're fun little guys to watch. I recently added a small group in with my Betta and they're getting along surprisingly well. I figured they'd likely end up as snacks, but so far so good. Not much to them as far as care goes. They're good cleaners and seem to be willing to eat just about anything. I've read that shrimp pellets and flakes are preferred. They'll adjust to a wide range of parameters, but they do prefer stable conditions. Apparently, they're fairly easily stressed. They like to have plants and other hiding places. They are difficult to breed compared to other species like Red Cherry Shrimp.

I've read that they turn grey when they're not doing well and will generally die a day or so after this happens. Not much you can do for intervention since they don't respond well to medication. Obviously nothing with copper unless it's trace amounts in a liquid plant fert. They turn pink when they die. Hard water or a calcium supplement will help them moult. They're very vulnerable and will generally hide for a couple days after moulting while their new exoskeleton hardens. That's about all I got for Ghost Shrimp 101. Good luck!
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Old 01-25-2012, 11:13 AM   #12 
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BTW, a quick question on temp that I forgot to ask: Any idea how you're able to maintain such a high water temp without the use of a heater? Is he in the sunlight part of the day?
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Old 01-25-2012, 02:21 PM   #13 
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As far as bottle caps go, it gives them something new and colorful to look at as well as something they can attack and move around. It also provides a little anchor for nesting, should they decidedly like it or feel comfortable around it. Some colors bring out different reactions from them (Ratchet, my main tail biter for example, hates yellow bottle caps, but is ok with red and blue).

The button and string allows from a betta to chase something a little more akin to prey size and attack it. It's more suitable for them to get their frustration out on that rather than their tail. It also lets them follow something and practice stalking.

No matter how domesticated we make an animal, there are still instincts that remain, so enrichment helps to keep those from becoming harmful by providing an outlet for them.
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Old 01-25-2012, 02:27 PM   #14 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pataflafla View Post
As far as bottle caps go, it gives them something new and colorful to look at as well as something they can attack and move around. It also provides a little anchor for nesting, should they decidedly like it or feel comfortable around it. Some colors bring out different reactions from them (Ratchet, my main tail biter for example, hates yellow bottle caps, but is ok with red and blue).

The button and string allows from a betta to chase something a little more akin to prey size and attack it. It's more suitable for them to get their frustration out on that rather than their tail. It also lets them follow something and practice stalking.

No matter how domesticated we make an animal, there are still instincts that remain, so enrichment helps to keep those from becoming harmful by providing an outlet for them.
That's great info! Thanks for taking the time to elaborate on those suggestions. I think I'll try a bottle cap tonight. Gives me a good excuse to crack open a beer when I get home! I'll sanitize it first of course. Top down in the water, I assume?
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Old 01-25-2012, 03:06 PM   #15 
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Onemanswarm: as far as heat goes, my dorm room is RIDICULOUSLY warm...so it seems to keep the heat pretty constant. He also has a light that I keep on during the entire day which seems to help (ie: if i dont turn it on the temp drops a few degrees)...I know you may be thinking that the temp might fluctuate at night too much when it is off, but it doesnt seem to drop more than a degree or two tops...I only have a 2gal so a heater is rather difficult a thing to have, and I cannot upgrade right now (though I'd like to give him a nice 5gal someday!)...so I monitor the temp in a ridiculous fashion.
[/tangent]

As far as the ghosties...two died...so i took the one out and put him in a new little four dollar tank with my marimo ball and some gravel. Bought three new ones (So I'd have Wisdom, Courage, Power, and Applesauce) and that happened last night. TOday I come back from classes around 2 to find only one is left, triumphantly standing on top of the marimo ball. The other two were dead. I'm assuming they are the two that molted (I saw skins as well) and the remaining one killed them while they were vulnerable. Lesson learned. I decided the last one is Power because Ganon is an a**hole. XD theres a whole elaborate story with their names.
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Old 01-25-2012, 04:10 PM   #16 
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I wouldn't try any metal in the tank. I don't know if a metal bottle cap would float at all, but plastic ones from soda bottle and milk bottles do float nicely.
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Old 01-25-2012, 04:21 PM   #17 
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I put a plastic white one in there today...he nosed it around a little and lost interest. Probably gonna remove it =P...I think I'll try rearranging his tank when I clean it...may save up and buy a couple more plants and some glass marble...gem...things...to keep him interested.
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Old 01-25-2012, 06:24 PM   #18 
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I wouldn't try any metal in the tank. I don't know if a metal bottle cap would float at all, but plastic ones from soda bottle and milk bottles do float nicely.
Oops. Guess I better get the net! For what it's worth, he definitely seemed to enjoy the enrichment exercise. I hadn't ever seen him truly flare before.

Shot a quick video:
Betta Bottle Cap.wmv - YouTube

Unfortunately, this was the best picture I could get given the spontaneity of the circumstances:




Last edited by onemanswarm; 01-25-2012 at 06:26 PM.
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Old 01-25-2012, 10:05 PM   #19 
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So my last shrimp died and I'm unsure why. Within 48 hours I've managed to kill a total of 7 shrimp =(...this last one didnt have an explanation...nothing to kill him...I had him in a little tank, probably a half gallon, with some gravel and a marimo ball...it was only temporary and only he was in there after the others died...wondering if it was due to stress or something...besides he was only there for something like 20 hours. Blah...guess the little temp tank is now my designated aquatic plant propagating tank and water change temp tank.
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Old 01-25-2012, 10:10 PM   #20 
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Maybe there was low oxygen concentration in the water after 20 hours? I've never kept shrimp in a tank that didn't have a filter, so I don't know if they need the filtration or not.
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