Betta Fish Forum banner

1 - 20 of 35 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
108 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Warning, this is going to be a long story.

Hi, my name is Jacky and I'm totally new to the world of fish ownership. I work in a restaurant and we recently catered a wedding reception. When the groom showed up with the decorations, he gave us a shopping bag full of bettas to use as centerpieces. (He even gave us sand from the BEACH to put in the bowls with them. Thankfully my coworkers and I aren't that stupid.) Somehow the bride and groom thought enough of their guests would want the them that they wouldn't have to worry about the future of these 20 or so fish. Wrong! Many of their guests flew into town and couldn't take the fish even if they wanted to. So the waitstaff was left with a choice, adopt them or take the chance that they would be flushed. We were able to find them all homes, although I can't speak for the quality of those homes.

I named mine Tesla (after Nikola Tesla) and I was bound and determined to give this guy the best life possible. This is made a bit more difficult by the fact that the only pet store within a reasonable distance from my house is Petsmart. Naturally, I was told things like, "Oh, bettas love small tanks. Here, this half gallon tank over here is perfect for bettas! You don't need a heater, they're very low maintenance. Cycling? No, you don't have to worry about that!" But I knew better.

I got Tesla a 5.5 gallon tank. (Top Fin starter kit from Petsmart.) The current from the included filter is WAY too strong, so at first I just didn't use it at all and got 2 live plants from Petsmart in hopes that would help. After a few days I realized the plants seemed to be falling apart and possible dying so I took them out today. He has a heater and according to the stick-on thermometer the tank came with the water is around 79-80 degrees. (I think it's lying so I ordered a real tank thermometer.) Obviously a fishless cycle was impossible in my predicament so I'm currently (as of today) trying a fish-in cycle and testing my parameters daily. Despite 2 50% water changes in two days, I'm still getting .5 ppm for ammonia. (Before the first change it was 1 ppm, then immediately it went down to .5 after the first change but didn't go down further after the second change.) Is there something I can do about this or is poor Tesla a slave to the cycle? Or was it because of the dying plants and now that they're out it will lower? I just rigged my filter today so he can handle the current while I wait for the Azoo Palm filter I ordered.

Tesla himself is INCREDIBLY active. I adore him. He seems to have fin rot but it's just on the very edges so I'm assuming the best course of action is TLC and doing the best I can with water parameters until things are stable unless he takes a sudden turn for the worse?

My major question is, am I doing anything wrong? Is there something I should be doing that I'm not aware of?

Recap on his tank:
5.5 gallon
filtered with a rigged top fin 10 filter (just turned on today)
heated (possibly to 79-80 degrees but I doubt it's really that high)
had 2 live plants (I think they were amazon swords?) but they were decaying so I took them out. Now he just has one piece of bamboo.
Testing water with API freshwater master kit
Ammonia: Stuck at .5 ppm even after 50% water change
Nitrites: 0
Nitrates: 0
PH: 8.0-8.2, comes straight out of my faucet like that
Food: TetraBetta pellets to tide him over until I can order better quality pellets
Conditioning with Tetra Bettasafe

Any advice you have for me and Tesla is greatly appreciated by both of us :thumbsup:

Here's a picture of his current tank setup.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
104 Posts
I'm not one to give the best advice on water testing, but good on you for doing it right and giving Tesla a proper home. I'm a new Betta owner too. I know live plants make a big difference for ammonia, so I would check Petsmart and look for hornwort and water wisteria, those are both plants that don't truly need to be 'rooted' (you can stick them into the gravel, just make sure you strip off the lower leaves on the hornwort, it sheds) and will help with the ammonia levels. I have the same tank and made a baffle using a water bottle, it works like a charm. Instructions are here: http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=30139
I have two thermometers, the stick-on and a glass one mounted inside the tank, and the stick-on one is surprisingly accurate, actually. You probably are close to 80.
Keep up the good work! Others will be better to help you with your water levels. :) BTW I love the name Tesla, I would totally steal that for a Betta. ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
108 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Oh thank you for the tutorial for the baffle! I tried to make one myself with no guidance and while it gets the job done it looks terrible cause I just sorta squished it in there. And I'll have to check into those plants. Do you think the bamboo I have will survive or is it incompatible with my tank environment? I know nothing about plants.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
104 Posts
I think with the bamboo...as long as the top is out of the water you will be ok? It cannot be fully submerged. Oh, and getting a proper light in there, a CFL would be better than the incandescent that set-up comes with. Petsmart has lights that are for helping the plants grow. I fertilize once a week with water changes. API Leaf Zone is working well for me. I put it in with the water conditioner. Nothing has died yet, in fact one stem of hornwort has grown about 4 inches.;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
195 Posts
First, good on you for wanting to give the betta a good home. :)

Second, I love the Asian garden theme of your tank a LOT.

Third, for the bamboo, as long as there are no leaves in the water, you'll be just fine. Based on the other info provided, everything else looks great. Welcome to the world of bettas. Be careful...often you can't have just one. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,114 Posts
If you replace the lights in the hood with compact flourescent lights from Wal-Mart, Lowes, Home Depot or the pet store rated 6500/6700K then you will be able to grow just about any live plants you want.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,653 Posts
It's been covered, but I'm so glad that he's safe with you, and cute set up! :)

I'm the jungle-tank maven, so the only thing I'd suggest is putting more plants in there, especially some that are near the surface, but that's just a small thing. :)

And I love his name!! :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
733 Posts
Sounds like Tesla is lucky to have found you!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
108 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
As far as plants go, I really don't want to put soil in the tank right now because I'm going to be moving soon and fully planting the tank doesn't seem very transport-friendly. Are there any plants that definitely don't need soil? And the bamboo actually didn't fit in the tank with the leaves in there so I already had it sticking out. How convenient!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
108 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
And thanks for all the positive reinforcement :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
453 Posts
Have you tested the ammonia level of your water straight out of the tap? The water where I live is treated with chloramine so I get a .5 ammonia reading right out of the tap.
My ten gallon is almost finished cycling which has brought the ammonia down to zero for the first time.
Indian Almond Leaves will lower the pH of your water which will convert the ammonia into ammonium which is safer for your fish. You can also use something like Amquel or Prime or Ammo-Lock. :)
That fish is lucky to have you. I don't know why people think live animals=center pieces.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
104 Posts
The plants I listed: hornwort, water wisteria, even a cute Marimo, none of them need soil. Just stick them in the gravel. Except the Marimo, you just let him roll. ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
108 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Have you tested the ammonia level of your water straight out of the tap? The water where I live is treated with chloramine so I get a .5 ammonia reading right out of the tap.
My ten gallon is almost finished cycling which has brought the ammonia down to zero for the first time.
Indian Almond Leaves will lower the pH of your water which will convert the ammonia into ammonium which is safer for your fish. You can also use something like Amquel or Prime or Ammo-Lock. :)
That fish is lucky to have you. I don't know why people think live animals=center pieces.
I did test it straight out of the tap and it was a little darker than the 0 ppm on the chart, but lighter than the color for 0.25 ppm. I'll stop by Petsmart tomorrow to see if they have any of the products you suggested. Thank you!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
108 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
The plants I listed: hornwort, water wisteria, even a cute Marimo, none of them need soil. Just stick them in the gravel. Except the Marimo, you just let him roll. ;)
Cool, thanks! I'm gonna see if I can find a pet store nearby besides Petsmart to get some of these plants cause all of their plants look really bad.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
104 Posts
Cool, thanks! I'm gonna see if I can find a pet store nearby besides Petsmart to get some of these plants cause all of their plants look really bad.
The plants perk up quite a bit once you get them in nice clean water and proper light. As long as they aren't obviously rotting, of course!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
74 Posts
Why not get the weighted plants instead of potted since your moving soon, you can use these temporarily, you only need 1-2 and there cheap then once you house him properly U can think about adding plants, alternatively you could get a plant pot add soil and plant the plant in there, and if at a later date you want to move it to the substrate you can
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,109 Posts
Get Prime water conditioner, people saying that its convert ammonia to ammonium for 24 hrs, which is less dangerous. So you just need to do a few water changes to keep it down
This is fishin cycle instructions and water changes . Just make sure you know that you need to rinse/swish the filter media in the tank water weekly for the tank size that you have.The filter can gather a lot of gunk so you need to rinse it too. And just want to let you know that its true, filters are not necessity for bettas. I don't have filters in my tanks :)
http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=107771
http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=115758
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
251 Posts
Everyone else gave really great advice already, so I don't really have anything to add there, except for check out some of the betta care stickies on this site. But I will say that this is not the first time I've heard of a wedding doing this! A friend of mine went to a wedding where they had bettas in little bowls on the table as decorations, and I never did find out what happened to the fish after the wedding, I shudder to think. I don't know where people are getting the idea, if its just from seeing or hearing about other weddings doing this, or if they saw it in some bridal/ wedding website or magazine, but people really need to take into account that most of your guests do not want to go home from your wedding accompanied by a scaled slimy creature they didn't ask for and now have to take care of and buy food, a tank and other things for.
 

·
Reference Team
Joined
·
7,703 Posts
Good plant advice on this thread. More in the Planted tank section. ANHEL gave the most important advice: Use Seachem Prime as your water conditioner. You're dealing with high ammonia. Prime detoxifies ammonia for a day. You need that help, especially with your high pH. Live plants will make your cycle safer, but Prime is really important right now.

Always keep your ammonia below 0.25ppm. Same for your nitrite when you get it. Don't worry about nitrate right now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,109 Posts
i have a betta at work. Well someone just came to my work and said how beautiful he is. When i ask how he knows about betta, he told me the story how he was on the wading and someone left all gifts , and of course left the betta . It was winter time and betta freeze to death.
Very sad, i just wish that people who don't care about fish at least will respect live creatures or i would say afraid the god to do something like that.
 
1 - 20 of 35 Posts
Top