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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Welcome to my journal!

I had always wanted to keep fish, but my parents have always been "Dog & Cat People" and were against me taking on another responsibility with my busy schedule. About a year ago I started doing research on everything I would need to know about maintaining an aquarium and then finally asked my parents. They were still against the idea, but let me buy a 2.5 gallon tank kit and heater. It took a few more weeks before I could convince them to let me buy a fish, but they broke down and let me bring a betta home.

Everything from my original tank is gone with the exception of my betta who has been re-homed to my current tank and this brings me to my current setup.

Tank:
Top Fin 5.5 Gallon
This was a glass starter kit package, but I am only using the tank.
Filter:
2 CAF-10 Internal Sponge Filters
One in both back corners of the tank.
Heater:
Tetra HT10 Submersible for 2-10 Gallon

My tank is a split home for two male bettas that I will post more about later. I hope you enjoy my journal!​
 

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Lovely tank and fish! Glad your parents allowed you to get your bettas. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Lovely tank and fish! Glad your parents allowed you to get your bettas. :)
Thank you! They knew if they didn't let me now I would just get them when I moved into my dorm next school year! :lol:
 

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Well keep up with your journal, I'd love to keep up with your little guys. :)

Thank you! They knew if they didn't let me now I would just get them when I moved into my dorm next school year! :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Meet My Fish

Pluto
Pluto was my first betta, I've owned him for just under a year now. He was a rescue from my local Petsmart. He is either blind in one eye or his vision is very poor from that side. The first divider I had in my tank started to shred his fins so it was recently replaced. Hoping his fins will grow back out soon!
Older Picture:

Today:



Apollo
This is my second boy, I brought him home Nov. 15, 2015. He was also a rescue from a different Petsmart, but he wasn't in as bad of condition as Pluto. His fins were also torn by my divider so hopefully they will grow back out quickly!
Older Picture:

Today:

 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Divider

My original divider for this tank was a tinted piece of Plexiglas I cut to size and drilled holes in for water circulation. Even though it was tinted my fish could still see each other. The holes I drilled in eventually started to unravel. With my fish swimming against the divider to check each other out the ravels tore fins and had to be replaced.

I now have a DIY divider that only cost my $3 to make and is much easier to move to clean around. I double divided to hide my heater and so there was less a chance of one fish getting into the others area. I used the excess trimmings of the plastic mesh in the middle of the divider to make sure the fish can no longer see each other. I have attached an image of my current divider, in which you can see both of my fat fishies doing their feed me dances.​
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Update​

I woke up this morning (at 5, because going to school sucks D:) and got ready to go. I went to feed my fish after and there was water all over my desk and water spots on my tank. I couldn't figure out how the water got everywhere and was wondering if my filter somehow shot water through the tiny hole in my hood. That was when I remembered waking up last night and seeing the kitten (Earl Grey - Earl/Knuckles for short) sitting on my desk. At the time he was just sitting there, but I'm positive he's the one responsible. I wiped up all the water and quickly scub some of the spots off, fed the fish and was on my way.

Earl never seemed interested in the fish before so I hope that his fishing trip was a one time thing. Both of the fish are fine, the hole in the hood is small so I'm sure he only got a paw in the tank. I'm more worried about him moving my divider and the fish getting at each other.

Both fish are okay from the incident and are doing well. I'm still looking for signs of fin repair/growth, but nothing yet. The boys are going to hate me tonight because they have to skip dinner today. Hopefully I made up for it by cracking the window shades open for them. To bad I'll have to scrub allege next water change from the extra sunlight!

I will attach an picture of Earl later. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Update

Earl woke me up again last night with his paws in the tank so at night I'm going to keep a towel over the top of it. I'm hoping that will keep him out, but that's not really what this update is for.

I fed the fish this morning and they were both fine. I got home, fed them and noticed that Pluto was acting very strange. He never flares at me when I open the tank or put pellets in, but he did it the entire time I was looking at him. He is normally very active, but now that I've backed up he's floating lazily.

I looked over at Apollo closer and noticed he is very bloated. I'm attaching two pictures at the bottom (sorry for the glass smudge), but I'm a little worried. This bloating happened after I left this morning and looks pretty bad to me. Plus I fed him dinner before I noticed it. D: He is also very lazily floating around. I won't be feeding him for a while and I might need to use the pea trick as well because I'm concerned about how quickly it happened. There's nothing in the tank he could have eaten so I have no clue what caused it.

Since both fish have had changes since I left them this morning I'm wondering if the cat gets in my tank even during the day when he can free roam the whole house. Maybe something was in his paws and dropped into the water so Apollo ate it? It could be any other number of things, but I wish I could figure it out to prevent it from happening again.

I'm kind of stressed about this so hopefully both of my boys get back to normal soon.​
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Earl the Kitten

Here's the picture of Earl I said I was going to put up earlier.​
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Update

Apollo has become a lot less swollen over the last couple of days so tomorrow I'm going to feed him one pellet in the morning and one at night and follow that until he's completely back to normal. After that I'll feed him normally again. The weird thing is I still have no idea what caused the bloating so hopefully it doesn't happen again.

I did a big water change today. I had a lot of algae to clean off my plants and glass from cracking the blinds the other day. I probably won't do that again any time soon because it wasn't much fun to clean up. Oh well. I also used a little aquarium salt when I added water today.

 

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Both Pluto and Apollo are cute little guys. I can't decide which one I like more, both very beautiful!
Your tank is looking good. Are those live plants in your tank?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Both Pluto and Apollo are cute little guys. I can't decide which one I like more, both very beautiful!
Your tank is looking good. Are those live plants in your tank?
Aww, thank you! Yes, all of them are live plants. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Ghost Shrimp

The boys got a water change yesterday and were both looking good. I am starting to see regrowth on their fins so that's good news.

The pet store I always go to was selling ghost shrimp for 20 cents each today so I picked some up. I've read other users have been able to keep bettas with them so I'll give them a try. They're not much to look at, but I guess they're cute lol. Anyway, I bought four of them, two for each side of my tank. One is large, one medium sized and then two tiny ones.

I let them float in the bag in my tank for 30 minutes, then slowly added tank water for a while. My boys were very interested so before I put the shrimp in I cupped the bettas. I gave the shrimp a little while to get use to the set up then let the boys back loose. I always thought Pluto was the more aggressive of my two fish.. He's always flaring at his reflection and me, but he didn't seem too interested in the shrimp. Maybe he just can't see them? I know I have a hard time finding them, lol. He did chase them around a little bit, but other than that he swims around like normal and they climb around on my plants. Apollo on the other hand has been a huge bully. I always thought he was such a sweet boy! As soon as he was free of the 'evil' cup he went straight to hunting down the shrimp. He chased them around and harassed them for a while before they found out he couldn't get around my sponge filter. That's where both of them are hiding out for now. I'm a little worried they won't make it on his side if he's always stressing them out. I guess I'll just have to find out if he ever gets use to them.

I will try to get a picture of one of the ghost shrimp before my next post, but no guarantees because I have had the worst time finding them so far!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Update

Well, the biggest shrimp died yesterday. I've read they have high die-off rates so maybe the move was just to stressful for him. My fish are also a lot more aggressive than I anticipated so that could have stressed him to death too.
I've also removed a molted skin already, for a little bit I thought I had lost another shrimp, lol. Pluto has ignored the shrimp completely since my last post, but Apollo has been pretty ruthless. Any time the shrimp leave from their hiding spot behind the filter or from the tangle of plants they get chased.

I'm starting to see regrowth on both of the boys fins so I'm excited for their fins to get back to normal! Apollos fins have nearly healed, but Pluto has a lot to go still.

The random bloating of Apollo has happened again. I got home yesterday and went to feed the fish when I noticed he was blown up like a balloon and acting strange. This is the second time its happened. He had to skip dinner and this morning he looks much better, he skipped breakfast too and I think he will be back to normal by the end of today. Pluto has never gotten bloated like Apollo has and I only feed 2 pellets twice a day. I have no clue what is causing this, any ideas guys? As I said Apollo has improved and I'm sure he will be fine, but I don't want this to keep happening. Other than the strange bloating Apollo has been good and Pluto is doing well as always.​
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
Update

Well I lost another shrimp on the other side of my tank. Looks like the shrimp are going to be a failed experiment in my tank. Only two are left so far.

The boys are doing well, I've managed to keep up with water changes even though I've been pretty busy. Apollos bloating keeps happening. It'll go away and a few days later he's bloated again. I have no clue what's going on. Both of their fins are getting a lot better! Plutos have grown back quite a bit, but it's still patchy and has a lot to go. Apollos fins are basically back to normal, still a few little cuts, but I'm happy with them now.

I got to visit an actual fish store today and it was so much better than my little pet store chains. Their bettas had clean water running through cups that were much bigger than I've ever seen before. The bettas were awesome and I saw some huge females that were gorgeous. I'm actually interested in starting a sorority now, I've never seen girls like that before. The visit to that store got me really pumped. I'll definitely go back for plants/ realist decor/ new fish. I'm super pumped now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Update

Ahhh, well I spoke to soon about Apollos fins. I woke up this morning to new tatters at the top of his fin. They look a little like fin biting and there is nothing in the tank to tear fins up so that's not good news. I'm pretty sad, his fins were almost perfect again, but now he's got more work to do.

The two shrimp that are left seem to be doing well. They come out and explore, hang out on the divider, and crawl through my live plants. The fish are starting to leave them alone and they seem more lively now.

The tank is due for a water change today so I'll do that and add a little AQ salt to keep the new tears clean. I'll try to catch some flare pictures of both the boys to post later today!​
 
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