My name is Erica, I'm 21 years old and I'm from Miami, FL. I am currently working as a medical assistant and studying to become a medical doctor (no specialty chosen yet, although my bachelors is in Neuroscience :p). I have a husband and a baby boy who is a year old.
I recently bought two new bettas! I now own a black/silver/blue Multicolor Crowntail and a red/black Halfmoon. I have them both in ten gallons with respective heaters, hiding spots, soft tank decorations, and filters. I do have a few questions, if anyone can help me out. Thanks guys ;)
Thank you! Well, I have a few of them, so here goes:
1) I am very interested in cycling my tank. Unfortunately, I had to buy the fish and the setup the same day, so I'd like to know about natural cycling. I only have the one betta in each tank; are there compatible tankmates that would speed the process? Any bacteria I should add to the tank that won't harm the fish? Etc
2) I am also very interested in planted tanks. I have looked around the internet, but I see that there is a necessary set up with fluorescent lighting, co2, ferts, etc. When setting all these things up, what are some good luscious starter plants? How far will these things run me monetarily? I am interested no matter the price, but would just like to see how long I would have to budget. Also, will the addition of these things make my fish uncomfortable in any way? Plants to avoid with bettas? Special substrate for the plants?
3) I am quite concerned about tank maintenance. I read that if you have a 10g filtered tank, you only need to do 25-30% water changes once a week. I purchased a self start vacuum for this process--would you recommend anything different? Also, when doing this process, am I supposed to take some of the current water, place the betta in it, and set him aside to re-acclimate later? Also, when adding the new water (tap water) do I add the recommended amount of water conditioner for the entire 10 gal?
4) Last question, I promise! One of my tanks has a Tetra Whisper filter for 10gals. It's really strong and I think the current is a bit much for my betta. What can I do to soften the current without ruining the filter?
Thanks for all your help! Some good flaring pictures coming soon!!! :D
1) As far as putting tankmates in an uncycled tank goes, i dont think is a good idea, this could cause an ammonia spike and kill your betta; compatible fish are cory catfish (albino, panda, spotted, etc), ghost shrimp and platy, some say tetras but i find them to always nip the fins of my betta.
so i think you should wait a couple of weeks before adding anymore fish, the betta is fine.
2) Bettas love Dwarf lily and those are not very expensive but yes, you will need special subtrate and lights, etc. so expect to spend around $100 or more.
3) About the water change and this is my personal opinion, that all depends on the filter and the amount of fish you have; for now with the betta only, you would need a 25% water change weekly and clean the gravel, if you add more fish a 50% water change would be in order and also clean the gravel. only add water conditioner to the water you are replacing not to te whole 10 gallon and the betta can stay in the tank, as long as the water you are changing is about the same temperature as the one in the tank.
4) The filter should be okay without you doing anything to it.