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Discussion Starter #1
My betta is a very inquisitive boy, very busy, and easily bored. I have made him a mobile "playground" out of a heavy 1.5 gallon glass container that I can carry around with me during the day. I added some plastic pearls and curly polyester ribbon because he loves to tunnel and burrow, and was pretty much crucified for it in another group. Polyester is plastic, yes? And that's what silk plants are made of? I was told plastic must be "food grade", or made specifically for aquariums. My little guy is going to be devastated when I take away all his toys. My question is, can I make these things safe for him in some way? It looks like I could spray the pearls with Krylon Fusion spray paint. Is there a thin flexible clear silicone coating I could put over the ribbon? I'm at a loss.

(As far as other safety measures in the playground, he gets water tested and up to 50% water change daily, he's got 3 marimo balls and floating plants, plus 3 freshwater clams in there. We're in Southern AZ and the house is betta friendly in temperature.)
 

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So you carry your fish and some clams around with you in a big glass bottle? That sounds like a recipe for disaster. I would not try to spray paint or coat any of the ornaments you mentioned. Spray paint is very toxic and would only make the things more poisonous. I think the pearls and ribbon are as inherently safe as they are going to get.

Back in the disco days there was a fad of "fish shoes" where people would put goldfish into hollow platform shoes to be "unique" the fish obviously didn't last long.

When you say you carry him around throughout the day, do you just mean move him from the kitchen to the living room? Or are you taking him around town on errands?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
No, he just moves from room to room. He likes a lot of human attention and eye contact, and sulks despondently when left alone in his larger tank in the living room.

Krylon Fusion is a "paint" that makes sort of a plastic shell....widely recommended for sealing aquarium decor, and reputedly aquarium safe. I've seen it suggested for people who want to use legos, for instance, in their aquarium.
 

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Welcome to the Forum! :wave:

I hope you will find our Forum non-judgmental as that is how we try to keep it. Sadly, that's not the case with many other Forums and FB groups I've encountered.

I use Krylon Fusion to spray paint dividers (black) and to coat a Betta log (clear). No issues.

Not sure what you mean by polyester ribbon? Is this fabric ribbon? My only concern would be if it had been treated fire retardant, mildew retardant, etc.

Instead of the pearls, you could try marbles. You can float a ping pong ball or plastic bottle cap for him to push around but you do need to remove when not there. And take out when he's still having fun so he doesn't become bored.
 

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My problem with the pearls is that they are often coated with some type of paint that will eventually begin to flake off. I suppose that you could coat them with Krylon to make them safer, but a better option my be to but a few moss balls and pull them apart then roll the individual pieces into new, small, balls. You can also buy some nano ones that are 0.5 to 1" and simply break them in half.

Whether the ribbon is safe or not would depend on if it's color fast. I'd soak it in a bit of water for a week or two and see if any color leaches out of it.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
The first ribbon was cream with a gold"metallic" stripe. I was told the metal was dangerous (although probably plastic) so I removed it and put in ribbon with no stripe. I take it out to rinse and dry every other water change or so...about 2x per week. No color bleeding, no deterioration of any kind that I can see thus far. I will boil and/or soak anything that goes on for the future.

I have tried to chip the pearl beads and they look to be the same stuff all the way through. He likes to burrow under his marimo balls, and an inch of pearls underneath means he doesn't scratch himself on the gravel. He's a goofy little dude.

I change his stuff out a lot. Because Ferdinand the Magnificent will not stand for boredom.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Aaaaand...I was wrong about the pearls, too. A nail file and a moderate amount of force revealed that under the layer of pearly plastic, there is a core of less hard, less dense plastic. I don't think there's much chance of the outer layer just degrading and sloughing off, but I need to have a think about that softer inside. Not sure how a pearl could get chipped in my fishy playground, but if it did.....hm. I don't feel so good about that.
 

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Welcome to the Forum! :wave:

I hope you will find our Forum non-judgmental as that is how we try to keep it. Sadly, that's not the case with many other Forums and FB groups I've encountered.

I use Krylon Fusion to spray paint dividers (black) and to coat a Betta log (clear). No issues.

Not sure what you mean by polyester ribbon? Is this fabric ribbon? My only concern would be if it had been treated fire retardant, mildew retardant, etc.

Instead of the pearls, you could try marbles. You can float a ping pong ball or plastic bottle cap for him to push around but you do need to remove when not there. And take out when he's still having fun so he doesn't become bored.
A bit off topic but I've bought some white Krylon Fusion to paint a few decor items, how long do you usually allow yours to dry or cure before placing them in the tank? Also do you soak them in water for a while?
 

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Hi


Clams? Are they alive? My biggest worry would be, Temperature fluctuations, Dropping the jar and water parameters.


Other than that, way to go.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Yes, the clams are alive, and they must be doing something because my daily water change rarely needs to be 50%. Temperature shifts aren't really an issue...we're only going from room to room in our Arizona home that is heated to the mid 70s in winter and cooled to the low 80s in summer. Dropping the vessel....yes. That could happen, in theory. My son says I should fashion some sort of carrier, with handles....macramae? I dunno. I ordered some spirulina powder to feed the clams so they don't starve.
 

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Personally I wouldn't bother with clams, they are to hard to feed because they need some current, they are filter feeders and they contribute to bio load in the tank.
 
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