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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've had my planted tank running since October, it's a 15g with soil capped by sand. I had originally planned to not add anything till I got a test kit (which is apparently impossible. It's not available anywhere locally and amazon still doesn't have it in stock after almost 2 months of me waiting.). I had also planned to stock my other inhabitants before adding a betta, but again.. lack of test kit + parameter sensitive species = No.

But silly me came home with another betta, which brings my total to 4. Tomorrow - snow depth permitting - I should be picking up a 15 and 20g from someone. I plan to divide that 15g for two fish, set up my 3rd betta in the 10g, and probably the new guy in the 5g. But that leaves me with no room for the 5g unless I put it on the shelf where the 1g QT tank the 3rd betta is in, not 100% if it can hold 50 pounds (the shelf below is home to the 15g planted tank, but I braced the shelf with more wood).

The reason I'm hesitant about adding a betta for now is that I'm still fighting with methane bubbles (got a bit behind on poking for a while). I try to poke it every other day, but I know this can cause ammonia to spike and I don't want a betta to suffer with that.

My question is can I put one of the bettas into the tank? If I do, should I remove them and change some of the water out of the tank while releasing any bubbles? How much should I change and how often? OR should I just not do it and wait till I can get my hands on a test kit once and for all. It might be another month or two till I can find one, I had all intentions of getting it but kept getting the "We'll go to the city next week" excuse for the last 3 months. I've tried twice to get it from amazon, both times have been waiting over a month and nothing has been done. Other places I look want way too much for it and the shipping throws another $20 or so onto it.

Sorry for my rambling and possibly dumb question.
 

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If you are running a filter with seasoned media, you should be okay to put fish in on day one. I've been successful at this in the past with new set-ups. I'm not sure if this still applies because your filter has been running for quite some time without any bioload from having livestock
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
From what I've read, the soil leeches ammonia as it changes to the aquatic environment, so it gives a kick start. I threw food in there now and then, but I don't know if it was enough to support them. I guess I'm just very paranoid about it.
 

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Its better to be paranoid than just willy-nilly and opps dead fish because I don't know where the cycle is at (if its done or how high levels of ammonia and nitrite are). If shipping wouldn't cost so much I'd offer to buy and mail you a test kit (just pay for item ans shipping) but it would probably be as much is not more for shipping cost than companies who mass ship and get discounts from shipping services can offer you :/
I know you run into the same problem of not getting out to town, but have you considered Malaysian trumpet snails to help with the air pockets in the substrate?

Did you only put soil down where you pan to have plants that will be growing roots in the substrate? If you plan to have say an open foreground (no plants in the front) than its best to not have soil there. As the plants grow their roots will help with the gas pocket issue too, both by putting oxygen in the soil, and absorbing the decomposition causing the gas pockets.

If you want to put him in the soil tank just do it when you can keep an eye on his for a few hours (look for ques of ammonia burns or nitrite poisoning (will be labored breathing/gasping and at the surface constantly as nitrite constricts oxygen in the blood)). I you're still getting (and removing) gas pockets.. I'd be paranoid enough to cup the betta out, deal with gas pocket, water change, then put him back in.. fish won't like in-and-out but its safe for him.
As for the shelving concern.. do you know if the shelf is made of real wood or particle board? Is it mounted to a wall or part of a bookshelf (wooden or particle board stand)? Do you know where it was bought from or what brand it is (IKEA for example)?..If so you can look up their weight limits online.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yea, that's my point exactly.

Haha thanks anyways for the offer. I had considered MTS, and I know a place I can buy them but they'd have to ship and winter has set in and our postal service sucks. Even 1 day express took two days. A lot of people keep talking me out of them as well.

Nope, it is angled somewhat so there is more soil/plants on one side, the other side has under half an inch (set up got switched around and was too late to fix it). It's a mess, if it wasn't so hard to separate the sand and soil I'd totally redo it with the knowledge I have now. I was hoping to get foreground plants but ran into extremely limited stock around here, coupled with too high shipping prices for online (tax is the main problem).

I'm here all the time, so I can watch him, that's not a problem. I just worried about putting any of them in that situation. Yea, I'd cup and water change, just safer.

The stand is something I picked up free at someone's curb xD
It has a bracer built in running length wise, and we added supports under it. So far it's not even resting on the supports. It's obviously the particle board crap, so I'm planning to switch it to a hand built wood stand (once we dig it out of the basement). Might push to move the other stand in sooner rather than later.

Due to an odd turn of events, that 15g I was getting is actually a 20g long. I'll divide it 3 ways and take down my 10g. Then have the new guy in the 5g on my desk. Might move my female into the planted cause I worry about her getting eggy around my boys. I had a bird die from being egg bound years ago.
 
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