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Hello everyone!

Being new to betta fish, I figured I ought to track my growth as a betta mama in a place where feedback and criticism is readily available. I have two betta males, one HMDT named Salem and a 7-ish week old betta fry who I suspect is some sort of round or veil tail.

Salem is my oldest betta from September 2018. He has a crooked spine which I believe to be moderate scoliosis. He is a very aggressive fish and is so obsessed with his reflection that his tail has been torn to pieces. I attempted to upgrade him to a 5.5 and even a 10 gallon tank in hopes of the increased space would calm him down but the biting only got worse. He is back in a 2.5 gallon where he happily sits in his lantern hut and carefully guards his bubble nests from the likes of the filter.

My baby betta is unnamed. His ventral fins are uneven but his goofy look only makes me adore him more. Being a college student, I was unsure if the little guy would survive the long ride home for winter break but he is indeed thriving. He is currently in a heated 10 gallon grow out tank where he will stay for the duration of my break before I split the 5.5 gallon between him and Salem once next semester starts and he won't be able to swim through the divider in place. (Also, the divider I had DIY-ed was not fry proof and he charged Salem... it was a fun night to say the least. Regardless, I invested in one of LifewithPets dividers.)

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Discussion Starter #2
I completed three water changes today. Despite not having a picture, I am temporarily caring for my parent's fish. I got a bit sidetracked since it was time to switch out the carbon filters for my own tanks. Along the way, I picked up a Fluval ammonia remover bag for Salem's filter. His tail biting only increased with travel and I want to minimize the chances of infection for him. I have also added a muted yellow background to his tank.

The baby is in his ten gallon for which I was finally able to set up a proper filter for him. Unlike Salem, he has started to accept food from my fingers when offered a small worm. His body is showing signs of teal scales that leads me to believe that he is not the red VT I thought he might end up being. The ends of his fins are white with new growth on the caudal and anal fins that leads me to believe he may be some sort of com tail.
 

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With filters it's actually not necessary to change out the media, just swish it around in old tank water once a month to remove solids but otherwise they're fine to keep until they physically start falling apart. Your beneficial bacteria lives on your filter (and other surfaces in the tank, but the filter is the primary spot). If you're just replacing the carbon that's fine ^^ though the carbon is actually not all that necessary either, it mainly just keeps the water itself more visibly clear and after about a week loses most effectiveness at that and just becomes more surface area for the BB.

When you REALLY need to replace the pad, put a new one in alongside the old one for 3-4 weeks (imo) to allow the old one to help colonize the new filter pad.

Just for future reference :) keep a close eye on your parameters for a little bit to make sure the cycle stays solid 👍
 

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If you can have the 10 it would be better to divide that one....unless Salem objects to the size. And leave the 2.5 up and running should he not do well with such a close neighbor. I have divided tanks so I am saying this from experience. BTW, you do not have to divide the 10 exactly in half. You could divide it so one end is 2.5 or thereabouts and the middle is 7.5. Then if you find another you like you can add a third divider.

RTST The Enabler :)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
That's good to know! I replaced them since I had to break out an old filter for the fry tank and I didn't want to use a filter that had been collecting other bacteria by sitting in a box for a month. The filter for my older fish is a three part filter so he kept the sponge and biobag that was already in there.

I would love to bring the 10 gallon back to school with me but I'm afraid my own divided room doesn't have the desk space or stand space to properly hook up the tank. If I ever were to divide the 10 I would probably do 7 gallons and 3 gallons since Salem didn't take to the 5.5 gallon by himself very well. I do plan on bringing with me a second tank in case anything happens.

(Thanks for flipping the pictures)
 

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I am as well!

Salem is currently fasting. Not much to say about it, his stomach is a bit too round for my liking. However, I am a bit worried about it stressing him too much, he is a tail biter ad I'm worried this might cause him to rip his tail more.

The baby is doing well. It's been two weeks now since I've got him. I'd guess he's around 8 weeks but my ruler has suddenly disappeared. I can see new growth on the edges of his fins which is good. He definitely eats like his fins are growing. I have noticed a black line around his fins. I believe it is from is fins growing out but I'm concerned it might be fin rot? His fins are not fraying yet and he gets a 50% water change every 2-3 days.

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Black edging is normal in most Betta and does not usually indicate fin rot. In actuality, fin rot rarely happens. In the time I have been on this forum, 5+ years, I have seen fewer than 10 cases.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
WELL,

I'm having a small crisis. In the two months I have had Fawkes, I have considered him to be a male after watching his color and tail type development. His behavior along with this have suggested that his most definitely a male. However, as I was turning off his light, I noticed a flash of white on his belly. An egg spot had appeared!!

I did some research and I know males can develop fake egg spots in the presence of a more dominant male. Due note that Fawkes and Salem share a tank but have a drilled divider. However, I am suddenly unsure if my little phoenix is male or female. I made a new post so I guess I'll have to wait but I'm worried about this being a potential issue as Fawkes continues to mature.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
The water in my building contains around 1.0 ppm Ammonia. I've been adding drops of Prime regularly to combat this. So far, my readings are coming back good with no concerning results but I am limited to the strip testers. I should be fine but I'm just worried about Salem's tail getting infected from his latest string of tail biting. It has begun to heal nicely but I'd rather not give any living creature in my care ammonia burns.

Otherwise, I might try to move to a planted tank for my boys once my check comes in. I have some leftover Flourish Tablets from the last time I tried to have a planted tank but they wilted right away. I just need some extra help with the removal of nitrates and what not since my building's water isn't the cleanest for fish. I was thinking some sort of anubis or swords along with a few more marino balls.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I ended up buying some stress coat + the other day to help Salem's fins heal as they don't seem to be getting better. Fawkes is doing fine so I'm not concerned about fin rot in the tank. I did some more research into planted aquariums but my main concern is moving over the summer and back again after the break.

However, desire weighted out in the end. I have an order for amazon frogbit and some water wisteria coming in. I also ordered some Flourish to aid in their care since they will both be floating (to a degree) in the water. Unfortunately, the shipment might be a bit later than I would hope. Regardless, I have a spare bucket I can use to quarantine the plants for a week to check for any stowaways. I just hope that a few days will be enough since I can't leave a bucket full of tank water just sitting in my dorm for my suitemates to enjoy while I'm gone.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
The amazon frogbit finally came in. Surprisingly, the plants look quite healthy with only a few lost roots. Since they were shipped in a baggy with a wet paper, I'm not too worried about pest snails and other stowaways. They are sitting in a heated bucket overnight before I add them. Just to make sure there are no immediate problems. Ideally, I'd let them sit for a week but my roommate isn't too keen on the idea. (I'm also worried I'm going to bump the bucket and spill it everywhere.) The reviews for the company I purchased them from didn't have any reports of pest snails and other complications after adding the frogbit to the tanks. I also received the Flourish and added a bit to the quarantine bucket as well as water conditioner. They will likely go in by Wednesday night since I can't leave them sitting around in the open. It's a shared room and the chances of damaging the plants accidentally are relatively high.
 

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I got my baby around the same time as yours, its so fun to watch them grow and how much they change over time! Mine was more red with a little blue and now it seems the red is becoming less and less pronounced (which I'm a little sad about...haha) I think mine is also a veiltail, so it will be fun to see how they both grow and what they turn into!

Mine also has a small white "egg spot" looking thing, but I'm pretty confident he's a boy. (usually females have shorter ventrails and shorter fins, so I think yours is a boy too!)

Good luck with the plants! I've specifically been buying tissue cultured plants to avoid mystery snails haha.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
He's very handsome, Blu!

My boys are good. Salem loves his new plants, he often chills underneath them when I am adding extra fertilizer or prime. The plants are doing well, I had a higher initial die off than expected due to water dripping from the lid. Otherwise, both bettas have built bubble nests around them.

Fawkes, I discovered, is only able to flare fully on his right side. Since I've had him, I've seen him flare but I don't think I've ever seen both. There is no swelling or obvious damage to the area. He is just as active and the water parameters are clean.
 

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My half moon betta is staying on one side of his tank and swimming back and forth. he'll also punch the glass with his nose. Whenever I put a mirror up to the tank (once every few days) He looks at it for a second then keeps swimming back and forth. when I come in the room he will swim to the surface and check me out, but he's mostly just in the corner.


Other than that he seems pretty happy. I got him on the 16th for my birthday... he is in a 5 gallon tank with a filter and that water temp is at 76 right now. He looks fine and his colors arent muted or anything like that


have any ideas?? thanks!!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Hi, this is a journal for me to track my personal progress. You can start your own journal as well otherwise general betta care questions go under the betta care forum.

However, he sounds fine to me. Some bettas just don't care for mirrors or are less aggressive/territorial than others. For example, Salem and Fawkes are quick to flare while my friend's bettas Norbert and Drogon don't care for their mirror time. I'd say just make sure that you keep the water cycled and the heater on.

Congrats on the new betta!
 

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Based on the finnage in the updated picture of Fawkes, I'd definitely say he's a male. None of the female bettas I've ever owned have had fins that long, especially the dorsal fin. It's most likely a fake egg spot. Others feel free to correct me if i'm wrong.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
That's what I've come to realize as his tail has only continued to grow.

Fawkes has begun to open his other side to flare so I'm assuming he's just a lazy little boy. Both of my bettas are enjoying their amazon frogbit from sleeping among the the roots or hiding their nests under the leaves. Salem's tail remains torn up but there's no sign of infection in his fins.

I finally saved enough to upgrade their filter to one for a 10 gallon quietflow. The 3 gallon was perfect for Salem alone in a 5 gallon but with two fish in a divided tank and one with a habit of bitting, I assumed it best to get a more powerful filter than risk the onset of infection.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Break is over and both boys survived the car rides to and from my family home. The plants stayed behind in the dorm without a filter or heater which was a bit worrisome since the location of my tank does not receive much sunlight. Thankfully, the die off was minimal if not non-existent. Lately, I've experienced a few issues which diatoms coating my silk plants but I just left them sitting out of the tank for the week as the bettas wouldn't be missing them. (They were well rinsed before being added back). I'm thinking about moving towards adding more live plants to my tank next semester since I will be in an apartment but we will have to see. I will lively leave the 5.5 gallon at home for breaks with the divider and bring my 10 gallon and 2.5 gallon to my apartment so they can have separate tanks. Perhaps, I'll get another divider for the 10 instead.

Salem's tail is continuing to heal but the car ride was obviously stressful for him. I wish there was a better way to transport bettas without shipping them. Next year might be better since I'll be out of the dorms but for right now both are stuck in the car with me. Fawkes is continuing to grow as well. His tail is done growing for the most part and looks a bit spikey? My guess is he's got a bit of crowntail in him since he shows no signs of bitting or fin rot.
 
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