Betta Fish Forum banner

1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Hey, as the title says, i'm new to the hobby. This is my first aquarium and looking for some advice on if i'm doing things well. My first idea was to make a sorority of bettas however a lot of research it's probably not a good idea for a beginner, and even if i did succeed they wouldn't last for very long due to stress.

For starters, I have a Hagen HG Fluval Flex Aquarium (15gal) It's more like a 10 gallon tall, 1 bag of ADA Aqua Soil Amazonia II Normal Type (3L) for substrate. I'm thinking about adding more as it's kind of thin in some areas as i've needed to move more to support the rock and plants as i've read most plants do good in about an inch or 2 of substrate (it's about a half a centimeter in the very lowest spot and an inch and around 2 for the highest. For the light i just use what came with the tank (is it fine or should i get a better one?)

Within the first week (i didn't think to wait for it to cycle longer, and ordered them with the water testing kit and fertilzer)
2 java ferns split into 5, 1 red flame sword, 1 amazon sword, 1 anubias nana petite, 1 anubias barteri, 1 anubias coffeefiola, 1 Cryptocoryne Wendtii - However this guy isn't doing too well, it fell into two parts as i was cleaning it and most of the leaves and stems melted away. I have a few of the (rhizomes/roots?) planted with 1 or 2 leaves or none, hoping they'll grow back like others have said they would. And a couple days later when i checked the water parameters (ph 7, ammonia 0-0.25 (i can't really tell the difference between the two colors), nirites 0 and nitrate was 10 after first water change i added 3 nerite snails - 1 zebra 1 tiger and 1 random one and they seem to be doing fine. Water levels have been consistent,
After a 3 weeks i wasn't feeling like it was planted enough as i read that bettas like heavily planted tanks, So i added 1 Bacopa Caroliniana, 1 red melon sword, and Cryptocoryne Lutea and added 2 catappa leaves.

So from here i'm just kind of wondering if i should/could add more plants. Or even start looking to buy fish. As i said before my focus is to buy a betta and build a good home for it with some friends. I'd like something to help with the poop on the bottom and on my pieces of wood, it's already a lot from the snails and if i'm adding fish it'll become even more. I thought about 6 panda cory's or pygmy cory's if i could find some but i think i've over planted the tank//not enough bottom space for them. Or shrimp to take their place (not sure how many or if the betta will attack/kill them). And a school of tetras (6-10, ideally 10) or something else.

TL:DR First aquarium, lots of plants, curious about what kind of fish i should get to go alongside a betta or if i should do a sorority. Sorry if it's a lot of info/poorly format. Any help/info is greatly appreciated.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,338 Posts
Hello and welcome to the forum. I hope you find it pleasant and informative.
As for some of your questions, You will want more substrate that is certain. Usually in a planted tank you would want at least 2* of substrate. It is more advantageous to rooted plants. Your tank looks very nice and well planted. Lots of hides and cover. You might want to consider some taller plants if you add a male betta. They love to hang out and rest in the plants. Also less stressful for them.

A sorority for the first tank would be a bit much. If this is your first tank and being new to Keeping There is a lot to learn about your charges. Female betta need more cover and hides, they can be very territorial with each other. and I've known even the experienced keeper to loose a few while trying to raise them. A male on the other hand although you could only have one in a tank Is easier to care for. (I think anyway) They still require work on your part but seem to be a little more resilient to changes.

From what you say in your post you have added snails? Until the tank is established and an algae growth you would need to supplement their diet . (Algae wafers, blanched green vegetables) and also a small bit of calcium for their shells. If you add shrimp to the tank a shoal of at least 6 would be recommended and only after the tank has matured at least a month after the cycle ends. The reason for this is enough food to sustain them. Almost any bottom feeders would need the tank to be established in order to survive. Another nice bottom feeder would be a shoal (at least 6) Cory cats. They make a nice touch to a tank.

Just don't over do the stocking of the tank. You have to think of the bio load and how it will affect the tank cycle and filtration.
You have a good start with your tank. The only thing I would say you need to do is regular water changes 2 times a week at 25% until the tank cycles, and then once a week there after of 25-50% depending on the parameters. Keeping the water in the tank pristine is a must to the tank health, not only to the fish but also to the plants. Your plants will require a food supplement also I recommend SeaChem Flourish once a week and done by direction on the bottle.

If there are any more questions we are here to help and advise. Please feel free to ask some one will always be willing to give you advice.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Usually in a planted tank you would want at least 2* of substrate. You might want to consider some taller plants if you add a male betta. How would i add more substrate? Just take all the the plants and hardscape/gravel out and then just put it back in after adding more? And yeah, i'm hoping once the plants start growing they'll be taller, main reason i got swords and bacopas.

From what you say in your post you have added snails? Until the tank is established and an algae growth you would need to supplement their diet. By the 2nd week there was a big outbreak of white fuzzy bacteria and that's mainly why i did get the snails, a lot of it's gone and not spreading anymore but there's still some remains on the wood. I haven't seen any other kind of algae or bacteria build up since then, Will look into the calcium and algae wafers, thanks for that.

If you add shrimp to the tank a shoal of at least 6 would be recommended. What are some cool shrimp species? I've only really heard of people doing ghost/amano shrimp w/ bettas.

Just don't over do the stocking of the tank. You have to think of the bio load and how it will affect the tank cycle and filtration. I haven't really seen anyone explaining how to know if i have too high//too low of a bio-load. I would assume a high bio-load would be causing a lot of algae, foggy water and the fish would get sick (do snails show that they're sick? They seem to be cruising along pretty well, a few naps here and there but they seem happy). And if it was too low i would assume my plants wouldn't grow as there's no ammonia/nitrites to absorb.

You have a good start with your tank. The only thing I would say you need to do is regular water changes 2 times a week at 25% until the tank cycles. The ammonia is close to 0 if it isn't, nitrites 0 and nitrates around 10, would this be considered cycled or close to the end?

Your plants will require a food supplement also I recommend SeaChem Flourish once a week and done by direction on the bottle. I've been doing 40/50% water changes weekly after the 2nd week and adding the seachem flourish after the water changes/anytime i get new plants. Is 50% too much every week?
Thanks for the info, i'm leaning towards 1 betta most likely a male as i like the longer fins but any that catches my eye will do, 6 shrimp/corys (more torwards shrimp) and the 3 snails.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
19,408 Posts
Welcome to the Forum!

From reports on this Forum, sororities are seldom successful, long-term. Meaning years instead of months. They are extremely stressful and often entire sororities are wiped out by disease. The only "successful" sororities I can name belong to people who have them in 40-gallon breeder tanks (36" x 18" x 16"). These tanks are so heavily planted it is difficult to spot the females at first glance.

To add tank mates or not depends on tank size. The reason species profiles go by habitat footprint instead of gallons is shoaling varieties need a longer footprint than tall. Most Nano varieties require a footprint of 60 x 30 cm or 24 x 12 inches because that is how they swim.

Shrimp, on the other hand, do not need such. However, as Old Dog 59 said, they need a tank at least four weeks past cycling (I prefer eight weeks). This is not only for a good biofilm build but also for the parameters to completely stabilize. Shrimp are especially sensitive to parameter shifts. While short-term .25ppm Ammonia will not harm a Betta it can kill inverts like shrimp.

Once it is mature enough and your add more plants, your tank will be perfect for shrimp. They need heavy cover so I would get something like Hornwort or Anacharis; weight them down in the corners and let flow over the top. This gives your Betta the shade it loves (they are not bright-light fish) and the perfect cover for shrimp. Make sure nothing you add (ferts, meds) has more than a bare trace of copper as that is a surefire way to kill shrimp. I've used and like the SeaChem line of ferts with my shrimp but have switched to one by NiLoc specifically formulated for shrimp. Although, I am thinking of going to their regular liquid fert which has trace copper.

Snails: The number one cause of death in Nerite snails is starvation. Unfortunately, it takes a long time for them to starve to death so people don't connect the two. I suggest people with new tanks cultivate algae by placing rocks in a bowl of water and placing in a sunny window. Add to tank and replace when clean.

My Betta are quite curious when I move things around. At least once a month I see something I need to change around, trim, etc. They follow my hand as I mess with their habitat and then might spend hours investigating their "new" home.

Whatever you decide, it bodes well for your success that you asked such good questions beforehand.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
564 Posts
Hi and welcome!

It is looking good. :)

I don’t want to repeat everything the others have said, but yes to all of their comments.
I have that exact same tank. It is the ‘57litre’ one in my sig. You may be interested to read my journal on setting it up. Just click the sig link.

I’m finding the light is fine for growth on anubias (which are doing fabulously), a couple of crypts, and some windelov. Also some Hornwort and riccia fluitans.

On the other hand, my dwarf water lily was NOT happy (now moved to barrel pond in garden), and the echinodorus and ordinary java ferns have slowly died back and no new growth. Am planning to switch to more crypts. I think the light is ‘OK’ for undemanding plants, but not up to anything that wants to grow fast.

In your tank, don’t worry about the crypts dying back. They sometimes do that, and then a couple of weeks of sulking, and they get used to the tank, and start sprouting again. Try waiting it out. And don’t stress about the wilty stump. Just wait and see.

I am finding that thick planting, like yours, gives shrimp plenty of cover. But my bettas have never gone shrimp hunting. They are all different. So yours might like some shrimp nibbles.

And my tank will only support 1 nerite (with algae) and that is with the tank being sideways onto, and 6 feet from a S facing window. So you may want to supplement the snails’ food a lot. I should probably be supplementing for just 1. He isn’t growing v fast.

Looking forward to seeing how yours develops.

If your tank is anything like mine, it is bound to go through a really manky stage, a few months in. Different algaes, browning plants, etc. etc.
But don’t worry. Let it settle, let the plants recover, and the snails do their job, and you will get your lovely tank back, just as you imagined it at the beginning.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
@bluesamphire i didn't even realize you could add a timer to it lol. I never saw any ports or anything like that (i didn't look super hard as i don't have one yet). But that's nice knowing now.

As a slight update, this morning i noticed these white dots. I assume they're snail eggs? But i'm not sure... from most people that i've seen the eggs were always in tighter clumps surrounded by a jelly type "bubble". If they are snail eggs is it fine to leave in there? or should i siphon them out.. I know they won't fertlize as it's just a freshwater tank.
My plants are growing pretty well, no new leaves this week. But they're getting taller and thicker. My bacopas leaves have started to melt and one of the roots started melting about halfway. I just ripped them off, hopefully it does well.

I'm also looking to add more substrate. Is it fine to just add new substrate on top of the older substate/gravel. Or do i need to remove it all and then add it back in. I'm using ada ADA Aqua Soil Amazonia II Normal Type, and spectrastone gravel currently.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,338 Posts
no difference in the care they need. You care for each with the best you can give them and all the love you have for them and they will reward you with all their love and beauty.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
@bluesamphire see i totally didn't even think wireless ones were an option lol. I might buy one for my next tank that's gonna be for the living room since i rarely go down there.

Was wondering how i could make this into a journal or something? I figure this is a pretty good place to keep a sort of diary.

Update: (Will post pictures when i get back home) On Wednesday or Thursday (can't remember the day) i ended up getting a male twin tail halfmoon betta, and 4 neon tetras. I would've gone for 6 but the worker at the store didn't seem like they were going to sell me all of the fish at once so i just went with 4. Sadly i work overnights and went to sleep. Woke up to one of them having a hard time staying upright and was just all over the place and couldn't balance well. I needed to got to work and didn't have the time to figure out what was happening. Came back and after 2 hours of looking and trying to feed them only 3 were to be found and no 4th body... I have a cover and even the feeding hole covered w/ plastic so he didn't jump out. Checked the filters and everything. Tried doing a water change and clean the soil but still no luck... Hopefully it isn't too bad if it's left in there? I'm worried that it'd mess w/ the ammonia levels and everything else though... And all morning the 1 bigger tetra just keeps bullying the other two constantly and not sure if i should remove him or let them be?

For good news, Donavin (not sure how i want to spell it yet) is doing really well. I build a little hiding spot with the bacopas and a cattapa leaf on top, started building a bubble nest but i accidentally messed it up. I've been feeding them all small pieces of blood shrimp. I've tried soaked pellets but they seem too big for the tetras and donavin isn't interested.

So far my water parameters are the same, thinking about getting more tetras soon, hoping the so few numbers is what's causing the aggression. Also is it normal for the tetras to peck at the glass? I figure it's their reflection, but even if i put a black shirt over they still do it.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
19,408 Posts
The more Neons you have the more they will keep the nipping behavior within the shoal. Make sure to give you Betta a place he can retreat if the activity of the Neons gets to be too much.

There is a "Journal" section where you can start one. If you start one I am more than happy to copy whichever of the posts here you want included. Just give me the numbers or "entire thread."
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Update, Donivan has been chillin in the tank for a few days now. He's got a pretty big bubble nest going and loves the bacopa. I added leaves infront of the water intake part at the top as he kept swimming too close and got stuck. I can't tell if he actually liked it or not, he went over by it a lot and built his bubble nest next to it. It wasn't strong enough to pull his fins in but i'm worried that it would and rip them. Still can't find the 4th tetras body... I don't want to move the hardscape/plants and cause the fish to get stressed out.

As a question, is there any way to preserve his bubble nest during water changes? He's worked so hard to make it and i feel bad for destroying it.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,338 Posts
Really there is no way to avoid disturbing the bubble nest. If he is not being bread than he will continue to build a nest so when making water changes even though you are careful the nest will break up.

Now you say there may be a dead and decaying Tetra in the tank? Is there a cleaning crew in the tank? (shrimp, cory cats) If you have a cleaning crew then I wouldn't worry as much. However if you don't have a cleaning crew to get rid of the dead bodies and waste I would be looking and cleaning the tank so the dead body won't fowl the water. Filters can only do so much in water purification.

The more you put your hands in the tank or clean the glass with a sponge or plant a plant, the more your fish will get use to it and won't be stressed. Now that being said most betta do not like changes to their tanks It's the reason they patrol their tanks, just to make sure nothing has changed. And if you have changed anything be prepared to be told about it. I know for a fact when I make a change in one of my tanks the boys go bonkers for a coupe of days and they do tell me they are not happy. Even if it's for their comfort.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
I've just got snails, I haven't been able to get otos from petsmart, going to look at our LFS sometime this week. Been busy setting up a 55g in the living room and haven't had a lot of extra money to expand my own tank..

I noticed small little white worms this morning, I researched asap and seem to be detritus worms, which come from over feeding and lots of waste. I definitely overfed the first couple of days. Thinking about just taking everything out and cleaning the substrate completely. I noticed the fish at the neck out of them so I haven't fed them today.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
So I noticed these little red blemishes on donavins body, there's a few on the other side but I can't tell what they're from. They have been starting to heal.

I also decided to take everything out and look for the dead fish. Vaccume cleaned the gravel, no fish. It isn't smelling and ita been a week now. So I assume he got eaten by someone. I rescaped everything and really like it now. I bunched up a ton of the java fern, maybe too much. And scattered the crypts around the rocks. Hoping they'll branch out and cover the mid section.

The fish seem to be fine, exploring their new home makeover. I made sure do leave the upper left hand side the same and even made a cover with bacopa and a new IAL as donivan liked that side the most. Will feed them before bed. Leaving lights off until tomorrow's feeding.

I'm looking to get some otos probably 6 and maybe some shrimp. I'm thinking about leaving the 3 neons and transfering them to the 55 once its cycled and set up, they're really spastic and aggressive towards each other and I don't think donivan likes them...

Any opinions on the fish stocking side? I feel like 6 otos, 3 snails and shrimp are a lot. If anyone has any ideas to go alongside what I have already feel free to let me know.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
@Old Dog 59 I've been using AqAdvisor since i saw someone else talk about it in a forum post. I still like to ask for peoples opinions//expertise as it's still just an algorithm (it's great imo, i still just mess around with different stocking ideas with it).

Update: Noticed more red spots appearing, i can't tell if they're rips in his scales or hemorrhages. I do have a large rock with holes and a few sharp edges but he's not big enough to get close to it (i've seem him try). At first i thought he was just getting too closed to the out filter and getting stuck. But now i have no idea. I haven't seen the neons attack him at all, they just swim away when he gets too close. During the day when i watch him he tends to just swim against the glass or chill under his bacopa leaves/IAL cover. I'm saving up to buy a 5 or 10 gallon tank to make into a quarantine if i need to.
 

Attachments

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
19,408 Posts
Oto would not be my first choice for a new tank. They are extremely sensitive and unless a tank is two or three months beyond a finished cycle they will most likely die. They also require specific feeding if you don't have algae. I like blanched vegetables, seaweed sheets and Sally's Emerald Entree (frozen).

Your Neon are being aggressive toward each other because they have an insufficient shoal. If you put them in the 55, have at least 20. In a 15 I would opt for a minimum of 10. Remember, with Nano fish you can stock more than if you had livebearers like Mollies or Swords.

The red you see is usually normal but I would keep an eye on him. If he is eating and active he is most likely okay.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
3ish Month Update & AqAdvisor
Stocking: Added 3 cherry shrimp, lost 1 immediately and never saw again, idk if he's still alive or sucked in the filter or what. And i only really see the 1 big one, medium one is iffy. And 5 more neon tetras 1-2 weeks ago they had torn fins and sunken in bellies. One was super lathargic, wasn't eating and kinda swimming "randomly" his fins weren't torn, I believe he was one of the original 3. Ended up dying the other day :crying: immediately checked the water parameters and they were normal. I can't tell if the fins are healing, they are white on the ends and some look to be getting bigger i'd imagine it'd take a while. Their aggression is near minimum now, i only notice it when they're super spread out. Which i'm happy about, thanks ShihTzu.
- A few days later I added an algae wafer for my snails and they ate the heck out of it so some of their stomachs were bulging, thought they'd explode... stopped doing algae wafers since the snails/shrimp weren't even able to get to it. Curious if i'm over feeding, I've been doing 2 day tetra color flakes (crunched up small pinch 2 times a day), 1 day freeze dried blood worms, very few flakes or a fasting day, 1 day betta pellets and the next new life spectrum.

New Plants: Bought some scarlet temple, Monte carol, and water sprite. Scarlet temples leaves started melting (near all of them, scared me) and some of the roots started melting. Cut the bad parts off and replanted. Floating some of the Monte Carlo and planted the rest, however Donivan likes getting into it and unplanted it...

Last week i bought some excel and been adding 1/2 the dosage every 3 days alongside iron and flourish.

Old Plants: Amazon flame sword (front left one) looks to be doing pretty badly. Most of the leaves are turning yellow, though i noticed a new leaf today so idk. My anubias and java ferns have finally started growing as well, seeing lots of little new leafs forming and the rhizomes seem to be getting bigger. Crypts are taking over found like 6 new off shoots with 1-2 leaves growing already >:). Moved amazon sword to my friends tank, it wasn't doing the greatest in mine and figured it'd help theirs. Red Melon sword is doing fantastic. A new leaf every week and 2 or so inches on the old ones. I've got lots of deteriorating IALs, hope the shrimp will start feasting on them, i'm too lazy to pick them up 1 by 1 and can't vac them up w/o uprooting my plants.

Seeing lots of little "snails" in my tank but none that's gotten more than a millimeter big, not sure if they're being eaten by the fish or dying. Mainly notice after nighttime when i turn the tank lights on, they seem to go back into the substrate. White algae/bacteria growth on the wood again, been leaving the lights on full strength on normal white mode w/ red and then the lowest magenta at night. I'd like to grow green algae but i think the snails are doing too good of a job.

Concern: Oxygen, i put a prefilter above the output and the flow is suuper low, it looks like the food is just floating there sometimes which i know bettas like. But is it too low? I also noticed Donivan going up for air a lot, i know i have a lot of plants and they're growing which produce oxygen. But is there a way to know if i have enough//too little?
- Also seeing lots of little "snails?" in my tank but none that's gotten more than a millimeter big, not sure if they're being eaten by the fish or dying. Mainly notice after nighttime when i turn the lights on, they seem to go back into the substrate//disappear.

Future: Thinking about adding more shrimp most likely amano. Maybe a trapdoor snail and ramshorn snail, i think i'll wait on more plants, see how these grow out.
I'm also moving in about 2 months. Anyone have any tips for that? I know for the fish i can get a bucket, an air stone and heater and they should be fine. But what about the plants, substrate and the actual tank itself?
 

Attachments

1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top