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Discussion Starter #1
So I thought I would throw something together while work is slow, basically a very brief outline of Kojin and his timeline since adoption. I have shamelessly stolen the below layout from @Lunatic because it looks pretty decent.


Kojin
Adoption: 8/11/18 Paws For Thought
Type: Crowntail
Gender: Male


So Kojin is currently my only Betta, he is still quiet small but has one hell of a Character.
I actually went into the store to find some Malaysian Trumpet Snails, Shrimp and some more Aquascaping plants so the tank could become more mature (I intended to pick up my first fish after Christmas so I could ensure correct feeding and lighting, but he was so pretty those find and his tail... I couldn't leave him behind)


12/11/2018 Update

So since Kojin is my desk buddy at work, I came in after spending most of the weekend worrying (first fist & first time leaving him alone) about Kojin, I walked into the office this morning to see all of my Cabomba has perished over the weekend and the water was thick with parts of the Cabomba as well as a kind of thin film coating everything, so into a Gallon Jug (temporary home) and complete water change and little tidy up. He also lost a couple of his Shrimp mates but the Snails are doing well.


I plan on popping into a different store this lunch time and see if I can get some Hair Grass/ Moss or even another Anubias to go into the tank to replace the Cabomba, Kojin seems relatively happy but to be honest I don't feel that there is enough cover for him as I can see from one side to the other fairly clearly.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hmmm seems the Internet Goblins ate my last post, oh well time for a double update.

16th November 2018
So I purchased a new Tank for Kojin and the Clean up Crew (1st Picture), another Ciano Product (these are cheap and include everything required for a quick set up - minus a heater) the Nexus 25 LED. The additional bonus is that I am less worried about clumsy colleagues knocking this tank.

I have planted the tank with Anubias Barteri, Microsorum Pteropus (not sure but this was the labelled name) and Salvinia Auriculata, River Sand and a capping layer of small slate rock/shingle. Also included is Mopani wood. I also have the ability to exchange in either a Floating Rock or a Large-ish piece of Marble that I core drilled through a couple of times to add variation and height to the tank.

24th November 2018
It is now approximately three weeks before the Office shuts for the Christmas and New Years break so I decided to set up Kojin’s Holiday home, currently this is also being used to try and Propagate some freshwater plants that I brought home as I felt the Office Tank was becoming far too over crowed.

Currently in the tank I have the substrate as a mixture of Slate, River Sand and Aquarium Gravel. This has been used to try and encourage root growth; currently in this tank I have the following;
• Anubias Barteri
• Cryptocoryne Wendtii
• Java Fern
• Microsorum Pteropus (again not sure as could have been mislabelled)
• Salvinia Auriculata

(2nd and 3rd pictures)

My plan is to cycle the tank until the week commencing 17th December 2018 when I will bring Kojin and the Clean Up Crew home for the holidays. He shall be returning to the office on the week commencing 7th January 2019.

After this I will be looking at picking up another two Betta Fish, one for the 2nd smaller Office tank and another one for my Home Tank/ Propagation Station. I still really want a Sorority Tank but deep down I know that my current set ups are not large enough for that!

Also will be trying to get a nice Picture of Kojin, if he ever stays still long enough without sleeping and looking like he's dead!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
30th November 2018 Update

Well it seems that today Kojin has discovered how to flare, previously he only partially extended his fins but today I saw full Flaring with his Mouth, Gills and Fins all fully extended. Here is the list of items that he has Flared at so far today;

His Reflection (I assume - can't see what else it could be apart from a white wall)
My Finger - Usually he follows this, now he flares up and down
My Coffee Cup placed next to his tank - now moved
His Pot of Food placed next to tank - now in drawers out of sight
The Moss Ball - Not a lot I can do about this, he has charged it a couple of times
His Drilled Rock - He floats near the Holes and Flares
The Gravel has received it's fair share of Flares so far this afternoon.
He has Flared at his food before and after eating it (both Pellets and Bloodworms)
He Flared when he heard my phone ring
He has also been flaring at the Sagittaria that's planted on tank bottom

I hope that this means that he is developing his personality and maturing and not the fact that he has decided that today he is ultra stressed. Interestingly he has not flared at either the Snails or the Cory's in the same tank. I will monitor this behaviour and also looking at bringing something into the middle "tier" of the tank as it maybe a little bare after the latest reshuffle.

The typically Blurry Photo uploaded
 

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Discussion Starter #5
3rd December 2018 Update

So today i have started work on the Aquascape that I will place Kojin and the Clean up Crew in after Christmas and New Year, the office will be shut for 3 weeks so i have set up light timers to give the new plants the best chance while I am away from this. So I have started building the structure of the tank this morning, I have added Decorative Black Gravel as a base over some complete Substrate for plants, then I have positioned some Large Slab pieces and filled gaps with smaller slate pieces.

The intention here is to plant into these gaps between the large Slate pieces and have a complete Hardscape and Vegetation outcropping. I also intend to position one final slate slab on top which I will use to grow Emergent plants which I will be picking up today at lunchtime and planting after work.

The Large Slate rocks have been soaking in a bleach solution for approximately a week, they were then very harshly scrubbed in prepared water (age treated) before a final soak over the weekend (again age soaked treated water) and scrubbed this morning. Hopefully this should stop me getting extremely cloudy water as well as removing any undesirable bacteria and critters.

I plan on adding the below plants to this tank; as you will notice I have chosen a limited type and style of plant. I plan on having the foreground bare

Anubias (Various)
Cryptocoryne Beckettii 'Petchii'
Echinodorus 'Bleherae'
Echinodorus 'Reni'
Echinodorus 'Rose'
Hygrophila 'Siamensis 53B'

Pictures of current set up and "Inspiration"
 

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Discussion Starter #6
3rd December 2018 Update - Continued

So I have rapidly set up the tank and started the cycle, I want to be able to leave some invertebrates in these tanks so that when I return in the new year I can add my fish almost immediately into their permanent home. The planting is a little rough and I did not manage to get all of the plants that I wanted so will keep an eye out in case I spot any of these on my travels.

Purchased Plants
• Anubias Barteri Angustfolia x 2
• Anubias Barteri Nana
• Cryptocoryne Wendtii x2
• Echinodorus “Bleherae”
• Echinodorus “Reni”x2

So this is what I did with the individual plants; once all had been lightly bleached and soaked in pre treated water for roughly an hour, I do this so that the root fibre relaxes and I can get the plant out easier.

Anubias Barteri Angustfolia
I have placed this on the left side of the tank in between the middle and top pieces of slate, I have don this so that the plant does not float away and has been positioned so that the plant and rocks act as a natural baffle for the Betta fish that I eventually place within the tank.

I am hoping that this plant starts to emerge from the tank as it has been planted at a high level within the Aquarium

Anubias Barteri Nana
This has been placed on the right side of the tank, mainly to try and soften the Hardscape and to give some symmetry to the tank without it appearing mirrored due to the size difference between the Anubias Strains,

Cryptocoryne Wendtii
I got so many Individual stems of Crypts once I took them out of the potting root fibre, I patiently spend 30-40 minutes separating and placing these at low and medium levels within the tank, I had so much left over that I have also added some into Kojin’s existing smaller tank.

Echinodorus Bleherae
Thankfully when I opened the packet and removed the root fibre I saw that I had two separate plants, one was already very tall and had produced a flower stem, this has been planted at the rear of the tank with the stem emerging from the water. The second plant was re introduced into its pot once I had replaced the root fibre with aquarium gravel and slate pieces. This has been placed on the top slate to encourage emergent growth and hopefully train the roots to “fall down” the face of the slate.

Echinodorus Reni
I have not used this plant but love the deep red, almost brown colouration of the leaves. As a result I have placed these two plants in the Central line of the Slate Structure to break up the leaf pattern of the Crypts and to add a splash of colour.

Couple of hurried shots before my boss arrived, I will be fiddling with this layout until I add the livestock
 

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your tanks are so pretty! I'm jealous!

I definitely regret not using black sand or something dark for my substrate on my 5 gal. I still like it, but it's not nearly as pretty :(

for sure tho, going for a nice scape when I set up a shrimp tank...

Can't wait to see them grow in :)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks, I've only just lately got into Aquatics but have cared for plants for years. It seems pretty natural to set up planted tanks now, just like a Terrarium with water. I just need something to fill them with and get the New Year out the way so that I do not need to disturb them again for a while.

It's funny with the black sand, everyone seems to like it except me! But it was free (as is all my hard scape) as I work next to a Slate Quarry I can pretty much help myself to what I want (within reason) if given a choice I would likely go with a light tan or white sand
 

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Discussion Starter #9
8th December 2018

Had a shuffle around in the propagation station today. Replaced a lot of the slate with some Mopani and tried "The Island" style scape.

I do want to try and hide the heater and filter, any ideas for a plant that will work here? Tank dimensions (to water level) L40x W20x H25

Still a couple of weeks off moving in Kojin for the holidays. But do also need to pick up lights, maybe a small back light?
 

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you might try some vallisneria spiralis, it's a pretty bright green, and though it can be a pain in the butt to plant, if you put it in clumps around your heater/filter it should create a pretty reed-look wall. Mine is doing great in a medium light set up, there might be a small amount of melt, but it's a pretty hardy plant
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks, went on a search for it today but seems all shops near me are sold out. Will have a look online but I do like to hold what I buy
 

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13/12/2018 Update

So as I was looking for some Vallisneria Spiralis I wondered into and out of several Aquatic Shops and Pet Centres. I was in one in particular (they get regular bad press regarding Fish Health) I saw a “temporary housing” of roughly 15 female Betta in a small 5 gallon space. So I want to pull out some of the worst of these poor fish. I also saw a very poorly looking Crown Tail that was housed in a tiny Hexagonal thing (less than 1 US Gallon) So this got me thinking about what I can do to help out these fish.

Popped into an Aquatic Centre near me looking for some food for Kojin when I spotted this guy again, he was being kept in a tiny Hexagonal Tank (has been for at least a month), along with some Corydoras (didn't notice what type but same size as him 5cmish), snails and shrimp, one moss ball, lights, filter, heater.... the entire thing was roughly the size of a 15cm cube. Also tested his water as he was very very erratic (rushing in his bag, doing "crocodile rolls" and found that the water parameters were terrible (Ammonia at 4.4PPM). I added Tank Water (room temperature) to his bag, took out 50% and repeated until I tested the water at 0.4PPM so have added some stress coat and Capatta to my 8G, he is currently now sat floating in the tank within the bag. He is still very frantic within the bag but is calming down and I am looking forwards to releasing him in little over an hour.

So onto the name, Ouro this is clearly a short form of Ouroborus (the snake that eats his own tail) once I can take some decent photographs of Ouro I will show his initial state as best I can. Damage I noticed was to the following

• Dorsal Fin - Looks as though most is missing, if not then small Dorsal Fin with lots of tears/bites

• Ventral Fins - Both sides look very tattered like it's been caught in a filter.

• Anal Fin - Very Tatty, along length is tears and bites

• Caudal Fin - Again a right mess, the webbing is very uneven but also looks as though each "tendril" has been at least nibbled with a few look stripped of fins in total.


Other than that he is a very fine looking Tri Colour Crown Tail, a couple of pictures of him floating in his transfer bag.

Final shot shows state of his fins
 

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Oh wow, poor dude, he'll love all those plants though I'm sure! Once he perks up the damage will be more clear, though honestly I don't think he looks too bad off. From what I can tell he doesn't have any rot issues going on so looks like you got him at a good time :)

I want to rescue the really sad ones sometimes too but just don't have the space
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Oh wow, poor dude, he'll love all those plants though I'm sure! Once he perks up the damage will be more clear, though honestly I don't think he looks too bad off. From what I can tell he doesn't have any rot issues going on so looks like you got him at a good time :)

I want to rescue the really sad ones sometimes too but just don't have the space
Thanks, well he made it through his first night. Not a lot of movement from him, he kinda crawls around the bottom of the tank using his Ventral/Pectoral fins. However he has eaten this morning (sinking pre-soaked tablet) and he has also flared against a small mirror that I placed outside the tank (trying to get better pictures - failed but my is he feisty!)

His colour is darkening which is nice but this makes the damage stand out more.

I have reduced the flow in here as far as I can with my current filter, I will be gradually increasing the strength of the flow as he regains his strength, slowly but surely we'll get there.

Thank you, there were others there but this guy looked the worse, the tank and water he was in..... urgh
 

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glad he made it through the night.
Obviously a fighter!
Hopefully each day will see an improvement. :smile2:
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks, managed to get him halfway to the top of the tank using the mirror and his feisty demeanour. I have turned up the air stone as much as possible (it's behind the slate mountain in the centre) so that the water is as aerated as possible for him and also drawn down the tank as far as possible but so the heater and filter still work with natural evaporation over night/weekend
 

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I'm currently cycling a 5g (UK gallons) cube on my desk - and I have been astonished at how quickly the water level drops from evaporation, so that is a very useful tip. Smallest tank I have ever played with.

I am going to use the filter spray bar as a handy water level gauge, and top right up before I go away for more than a day or two.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I'm currently cycling a 5g (UK gallons) cube on my desk - and I have been astonished at how quickly the water level drops from evaporation, so that is a very useful tip. Smallest tank I have ever played with.

I am going to use the filter spray bar as a handy water level gauge, and top right up before I go away for more than a day or two.
That's a good idea, I left on the masking tape from where I marked out "The Golden Ratio" on my tank when planting/scaping on the blind side of the tank (Find it useful for trimming) the lowest tape is my panic mark for water levels, if i see space there I know i need to refill my 5g treatment bucket (I keep 5g treated all times minimum - worst case scenario I need a cheap heater and can keep a fish here)

I build in multiple contingency plans
 

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Do you keep the bucket open, or part covered?
At various times I have had a bucket with a tilted lid (cuts down on the gas exchange though) or thrown a cloth over the open bucket, to keep out dust.
Don't think I have ever treated the water before adding it to the tank though - that is a great idea.

My latest technique with the 16g tank is to have one of the 5litre bottled water bottles ready, at room temperature.
The declared nitrate content is supposedly 11mg/l which is significantly less than our our tap water!

How does your work feel about your tank on the desk?
I think it is a great idea, but my employer would never allow it because we are all supposed to be 'mobile' and don't have designated desks.
I am so 'mobile' that I work from home nearly full time, so I can do whatever I like with my home desk.
Haha!
But in the office, all I get is a plain desk to plug my laptop in, and an extension screen and hub thingy.
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
I keep the bucket covered, got it from a cheap hardware store with lid for about £3. The lid is split and I can fit an air hose in the gap so gases can also escape. That's not a bad idea, I keep asking about the "expired" water that we have in the office, so far they haven't let me have one lol

Work are fine with it, however I never asked I just bought it all in one day! I actually have 2.

I spend a lot of time on the phone (and most of that on hold) so having something calming to watch has really helped. The Office are fairly relaxed about pets, we have site managers and engineers that bring their dogs to work. We work next to a vet as well so if anyone has a vet appointment the pet stays in the office until home time. Also the fact that I am Bi Polar and suffer from Depression my attendance, and other people's has improved greatly.

I love it, I know that I HAVE to get up and get in to check on my fish. Almost at a point now where I might have to set up a feeding schedule for other people in the office, so many are interested in my latest rescue Ouro. He might actually have a permanent home with another employee when he gets strong enough and most of his issues are repaired.

Here is a shot of my Desk, you can see the 8G in the Corner (Currently occupied by Ouro) and I also have a 2.5g behind the trays that I am planting up for the new year. They're not a massive distraction and they're placed in very low traffic area's (you have to pass my seat to view the tank) so i can control the environmental stresses a little better, unless a Cat is in the office in which case Ouro loves watching them and they love watching him.
 

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