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Old 02-22-2012, 10:13 PM   #1 
labloverl
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Getting ready for new betta

I have a 10 gal cycled community tank that I lost a male betta to about 2 weeks ago. I vaccumed the gravel on the last weekly water change (50%). I also have an adjustable 50w heater. I'm having a slight problem with that part though because the floating thermometer says 81 but the water does not feel like it. Actually, I had a 7.5w heater in the tank before, and the temp stayed at 78 and the water felt good and warm. Any ideas as to what could be happening with that? What's the best temp?

If the heater works properly (got it today) then I would like to get a betta tomorrow. I would like to go ahead and change the water before I get him, but will it matter if it's a day ahead of schedule? I'm not exactly sure what the last betta died from. Maybe cotton mouth, but there was a whole issue with water temps and maybe water parameters. But I think that I've got all of that corrected. Do I just need to clean the decorations?

I want to get it right this time! Any help is appreciated.
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Old 02-22-2012, 11:21 PM   #2 
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You are more than fine to change your water a day ahead of schedule. I often push my water changes dates up or back depending on what I'm doing. If your tank is cycled I would leave it as is. Whatever killed your betta isn't killing everything else and cleaning everything would just kill your cycle.

Where is your floating thermometer located? If it's at the top, then it will read a higher temp because heat rises. Ideally it's best to place it around the middle of the water column.

What else is in your community tank? Your betta could have been stressed to death by the other members.

If you had an issue with water parameters, do you have a test kit to make sure this doesn't happen again?

Do you have anything you can quarantine your betta in? A 1 gal bowl or something like it. When introducing fish into a community tank you run a risk of infecting everything in the tank. Always quarantine a new fish before adding it to a tank with other fish.
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Old 02-22-2012, 11:31 PM   #3 
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The thermometer is in the middle, and it still reads above 82 while the water still feels cool. I even have a meat thermometer sitting in the bottom, and it says 80. I just don't get why the 7.5w kept the temp at about 78 and the water warm to the touch, and with the new heater, it feels as if there's no heat being put in at all. The lights on and everything.

I have a few neons and glowlight tetras in the tank. I have test strips to test the water, and I test it twice now, so hopefully I've got that in check. I'll know more about how that's going when I change the water.

I only have a goldfish bowl... How long does he need to be quarantined?
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Old 02-23-2012, 12:22 AM   #4 
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Hmm. That's odd about the temp. I would go by the thermometers rather than your hand. Depending on how cold your hand is, the water could feel colder or warmer. Generally the hand test is rather unreliable.

Neons and glowlights should be fine, but they need to be kept in groups of 6 or more each. In less than that, they can become nippy and aggressive towards other fish. How often do you change the water? If you're doing once weekly changes (ie the tank is cycled) the only reason you should have trouble is if the tank is already overstocked. If that's the case adding another fish isn't a good idea.

Actually you might want to invest in the drip tests as the strips can be very unreliable. Depending on humidity they can give different readings. The drip tests give much more accurate results.

*cringe* I hate the term goldfish bowl. Nothing against you, but I hate the perpetual myth that goldfish can live in bowls. Oddly enough a better term is betta bowl because it's a great quarantine tank. I would keep him separate for at least a week as you will need to observe him for a few days to make sure he doesn't have any parasites or bacterial infection.
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Old 02-23-2012, 10:32 AM   #5 
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Okay, I felt of the water last night while the thermometers still read the same, and the tank felt warm all over. So I adjusted the heater to what I think was around 79. This morning the tank thermometer said 78 and the water felt cool again. I'm so confused by this because the water does not feel warm enough. I know there could be a difference with what it actually feels like to me, but surely my hand can't read that much of a difference, when with the 7.5w heater, it always felt warm and the temp stayed at 78.

Should I go ahead and get a betta? I'm moving the 6 glowlights to another tank so that he wouldn't be overstocked.
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Old 02-23-2012, 02:08 PM   #6 
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Actually there can be such a difference. My tanks stay a constant 78-79F. I've felt them before and they felt cool to the touch. Other times they feel nice and warm. Remember, human body temp is up in the upper 90's F. If you have two thermometers in there telling you the temp is around 78F, I would trust them over your hands.

Actually I would move the neon tetra as betta's comfort zone (78-82F) is just outside their accepted range of temperatures (68-78F). You can check it out here: Neon Tetra (Paracheirodon innesi) Profile On the other hand, glowlight tetra fit very well in the betta comfort range at around 74-82F. Glowlight Tetra (Hemigrammus erythrozonus) Profile
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