Betta Fish Forum banner

1 - 20 of 20 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hey, as the title says, i'm new to the hobby. This is my first aquarium and looking for some advice on if i'm doing things well. My first idea was to make a sorority of bettas however a lot of research it's probably not a good idea for a beginner, and even if i did succeed they wouldn't last for very long due to stress.

For starters, I have a Hagen HG Fluval Flex Aquarium (15gal) It's more like a 10 gallon tall, 1 bag of ADA Aqua Soil Amazonia II Normal Type (3L) for substrate. I'm thinking about adding more as it's kind of thin in some areas as i've needed to move more to support the rock and plants as i've read most plants do good in about an inch or 2 of substrate (it's about a half a centimeter in the very lowest spot and an inch and around 2 for the highest. For the light i just use what came with the tank (is it fine or should i get a better one?)

Within the first week (i didn't think to wait for it to cycle longer, and ordered them with the water testing kit and fertilzer)
2 java ferns split into 5, 1 red flame sword, 1 amazon sword, 1 anubias nana petite, 1 anubias barteri, 1 anubias coffeefiola, 1 Cryptocoryne Wendtii - However this guy isn't doing too well, it fell into two parts as i was cleaning it and most of the leaves and stems melted away. I have a few of the (rhizomes/roots?) planted with 1 or 2 leaves or none, hoping they'll grow back like others have said they would. And a couple days later when i checked the water parameters (ph 7, ammonia 0-0.25 (i can't really tell the difference between the two colors), nirites 0 and nitrate was 10 after first water change i added 3 nerite snails - 1 zebra 1 tiger and 1 random one and they seem to be doing fine. Water levels have been consistent,
After a 3 weeks i wasn't feeling like it was planted enough as i read that bettas like heavily planted tanks, So i added 1 Bacopa Caroliniana, 1 red melon sword, and Cryptocoryne Lutea and added 2 catappa leaves.

So from here i'm just kind of wondering if i should/could add more plants. Or even start looking to buy fish. As i said before my focus is to buy a betta and build a good home for it with some friends. I'd like something to help with the poop on the bottom and on my pieces of wood, it's already a lot from the snails and if i'm adding fish it'll become even more. I thought about 6 panda cory's or pygmy cory's if i could find some but i think i've over planted the tank//not enough bottom space for them. Or shrimp to take their place (not sure how many or if the betta will attack/kill them). And a school of tetras (6-10, ideally 10) or something else.

TL:DR First aquarium, lots of plants, curious about what kind of fish i should get to go alongside a betta or if i should do a sorority. Sorry if it's a lot of info/poorly format. Any help/info is greatly appreciated.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,336 Posts
Hello and welcome to the forum. I hope you find it pleasant and informative.
As for some of your questions, You will want more substrate that is certain. Usually in a planted tank you would want at least 2* of substrate. It is more advantageous to rooted plants. Your tank looks very nice and well planted. Lots of hides and cover. You might want to consider some taller plants if you add a male betta. They love to hang out and rest in the plants. Also less stressful for them.

A sorority for the first tank would be a bit much. If this is your first tank and being new to Keeping There is a lot to learn about your charges. Female betta need more cover and hides, they can be very territorial with each other. and I've known even the experienced keeper to loose a few while trying to raise them. A male on the other hand although you could only have one in a tank Is easier to care for. (I think anyway) They still require work on your part but seem to be a little more resilient to changes.

From what you say in your post you have added snails? Until the tank is established and an algae growth you would need to supplement their diet . (Algae wafers, blanched green vegetables) and also a small bit of calcium for their shells. If you add shrimp to the tank a shoal of at least 6 would be recommended and only after the tank has matured at least a month after the cycle ends. The reason for this is enough food to sustain them. Almost any bottom feeders would need the tank to be established in order to survive. Another nice bottom feeder would be a shoal (at least 6) Cory cats. They make a nice touch to a tank.

Just don't over do the stocking of the tank. You have to think of the bio load and how it will affect the tank cycle and filtration.
You have a good start with your tank. The only thing I would say you need to do is regular water changes 2 times a week at 25% until the tank cycles, and then once a week there after of 25-50% depending on the parameters. Keeping the water in the tank pristine is a must to the tank health, not only to the fish but also to the plants. Your plants will require a food supplement also I recommend SeaChem Flourish once a week and done by direction on the bottle.

If there are any more questions we are here to help and advise. Please feel free to ask some one will always be willing to give you advice.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Usually in a planted tank you would want at least 2* of substrate. You might want to consider some taller plants if you add a male betta. How would i add more substrate? Just take all the the plants and hardscape/gravel out and then just put it back in after adding more? And yeah, i'm hoping once the plants start growing they'll be taller, main reason i got swords and bacopas.

From what you say in your post you have added snails? Until the tank is established and an algae growth you would need to supplement their diet. By the 2nd week there was a big outbreak of white fuzzy bacteria and that's mainly why i did get the snails, a lot of it's gone and not spreading anymore but there's still some remains on the wood. I haven't seen any other kind of algae or bacteria build up since then, Will look into the calcium and algae wafers, thanks for that.

If you add shrimp to the tank a shoal of at least 6 would be recommended. What are some cool shrimp species? I've only really heard of people doing ghost/amano shrimp w/ bettas.

Just don't over do the stocking of the tank. You have to think of the bio load and how it will affect the tank cycle and filtration. I haven't really seen anyone explaining how to know if i have too high//too low of a bio-load. I would assume a high bio-load would be causing a lot of algae, foggy water and the fish would get sick (do snails show that they're sick? They seem to be cruising along pretty well, a few naps here and there but they seem happy). And if it was too low i would assume my plants wouldn't grow as there's no ammonia/nitrites to absorb.

You have a good start with your tank. The only thing I would say you need to do is regular water changes 2 times a week at 25% until the tank cycles. The ammonia is close to 0 if it isn't, nitrites 0 and nitrates around 10, would this be considered cycled or close to the end?

Your plants will require a food supplement also I recommend SeaChem Flourish once a week and done by direction on the bottle. I've been doing 40/50% water changes weekly after the 2nd week and adding the seachem flourish after the water changes/anytime i get new plants. Is 50% too much every week?
Thanks for the info, i'm leaning towards 1 betta most likely a male as i like the longer fins but any that catches my eye will do, 6 shrimp/corys (more torwards shrimp) and the 3 snails.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
22 Posts
Lol it's funny how easily a new Betta/tank/plant owner, including myself (See all my posts), can type up a storm.


Im not a Plant guy. But I know that Betta's like Consistency. They will love you for making their world awesome.
But you cant rock it every day, which when I had a tank with that many plants, I felt i was doing.
I was adding chemicals for the plants, so not to hurt my Betta, and vice versa.


If your versed in doing it, and confident about your water qualities, I say go ahead.



But the risk is there of stressing him out, if your doing the whole tank for the one guy that is.
If it's for a bunch of fish, then I guess you prioritise.


Anyway it sounds like you know what your doing. Getting the tank ready first proves this.

Nice Tank Btw. Flex is my second fav after the edge


Good Luck
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Thanks be77a! I don't think i ever saw the edge while i was looking for tanks. I didn't do a whole lot of research before choosing a tank other than asking a knowledgeable friend on some cool tanks.
Thinking about getting one of those to sit in the living room for the opposite sex.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
18,373 Posts
Welcome to the Forum!

From reports on this Forum, sororities are seldom successful, long-term. Meaning years instead of months. They are extremely stressful and often entire sororities are wiped out by disease. The only "successful" sororities I can name belong to people who have them in 40-gallon breeder tanks (36" x 18" x 16"). These tanks are so heavily planted it is difficult to spot the females at first glance.

To add tank mates or not depends on tank size. The reason species profiles go by habitat footprint instead of gallons is shoaling varieties need a longer footprint than tall. Most Nano varieties require a footprint of 60 x 30 cm or 24 x 12 inches because that is how they swim.

Shrimp, on the other hand, do not need such. However, as Old Dog 59 said, they need a tank at least four weeks past cycling (I prefer eight weeks). This is not only for a good biofilm build but also for the parameters to completely stabilize. Shrimp are especially sensitive to parameter shifts. While short-term .25ppm Ammonia will not harm a Betta it can kill inverts like shrimp.

Once it is mature enough and your add more plants, your tank will be perfect for shrimp. They need heavy cover so I would get something like Hornwort or Anacharis; weight them down in the corners and let flow over the top. This gives your Betta the shade it loves (they are not bright-light fish) and the perfect cover for shrimp. Make sure nothing you add (ferts, meds) has more than a bare trace of copper as that is a surefire way to kill shrimp. I've used and like the SeaChem line of ferts with my shrimp but have switched to one by NiLoc specifically formulated for shrimp. Although, I am thinking of going to their regular liquid fert which has trace copper.

Snails: The number one cause of death in Nerite snails is starvation. Unfortunately, it takes a long time for them to starve to death so people don't connect the two. I suggest people with new tanks cultivate algae by placing rocks in a bowl of water and placing in a sunny window. Add to tank and replace when clean.

My Betta are quite curious when I move things around. At least once a month I see something I need to change around, trim, etc. They follow my hand as I mess with their habitat and then might spend hours investigating their "new" home.

Whatever you decide, it bodes well for your success that you asked such good questions beforehand.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
564 Posts
Hi and welcome!

It is looking good. :)

I don’t want to repeat everything the others have said, but yes to all of their comments.
I have that exact same tank. It is the ‘57litre’ one in my sig. You may be interested to read my journal on setting it up. Just click the sig link.

I’m finding the light is fine for growth on anubias (which are doing fabulously), a couple of crypts, and some windelov. Also some Hornwort and riccia fluitans.

On the other hand, my dwarf water lily was NOT happy (now moved to barrel pond in garden), and the echinodorus and ordinary java ferns have slowly died back and no new growth. Am planning to switch to more crypts. I think the light is ‘OK’ for undemanding plants, but not up to anything that wants to grow fast.

In your tank, don’t worry about the crypts dying back. They sometimes do that, and then a couple of weeks of sulking, and they get used to the tank, and start sprouting again. Try waiting it out. And don’t stress about the wilty stump. Just wait and see.

I am finding that thick planting, like yours, gives shrimp plenty of cover. But my bettas have never gone shrimp hunting. They are all different. So yours might like some shrimp nibbles.

And my tank will only support 1 nerite (with algae) and that is with the tank being sideways onto, and 6 feet from a S facing window. So you may want to supplement the snails’ food a lot. I should probably be supplementing for just 1. He isn’t growing v fast.

Looking forward to seeing how yours develops.

If your tank is anything like mine, it is bound to go through a really manky stage, a few months in. Different algaes, browning plants, etc. etc.
But don’t worry. Let it settle, let the plants recover, and the snails do their job, and you will get your lovely tank back, just as you imagined it at the beginning.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
I have that exact same tank. It is the ‘57litre’ one in my sig. You may be interested to read my journal on setting it up. Just click the sig link. Love your tank! The first tiem
i planted my tank it looked near identical with yours, Though i only had a huge rock w/ holes for hardscape at the time.

I’m finding the light is fine for growth on anubias (which are doing fabulously), a couple of crypts, and some windelov. Also some Hornwort and riccia fluitans. Do you just use the white on full power or do you have it to a light orange/purple color? I know the IAL dye the color but can't tell if the light is white.

On the other hand, my dwarf water lily was NOT happy (now moved to barrel pond in garden), and the echinodorus and ordinary java ferns have slowly died back and no new growth. I can't tell if my java ferns are doing okay or not. I haven't seen any new leaves and i can't tell if there's runners. There's a lot of little leaves growing with orange fuzzy roots. I haven't been able to find if this is good or bad other than 1 person saying it's the plant trying to propagate due to stress. Though there's no melting of the plants at all, just a few holes from when i purchased them.

In your tank, don’t worry about the crypts dying back. They sometimes do that, and then a couple of weeks of sulking, and they get used to the tank, and start sprouting again. Try waiting it out. And don’t stress about the wilty stump. Just wait and see. The ones with leaves are growing new leaves really quickly, excited to see it in a few months.
Thanks! It's really cool seeing another tank that's very similar to mine. I haven't seen my anubias growing very much, if at all. And seeing your Anubias getting so big makes me excited to see how mine looks in 6 months. Looking forward to seeing how yours develops as well.

Once it is mature enough and your add more plants, your tank will be perfect for shrimp. They need heavy cover so I would get something like Hornwort or Anacharis; weight them down in the corners and let flow over the top. I bought the bacopas to hopefully fulfill the role of a "surface" dwelling plant once it starts to grow more if it's possible, normally see bacopa planted vertically. I'm not a huge fan of hornwort/Anacharis. I thought about getting frogbit but my tank has a black lid that's above my eye level and not sure how i'd like the look from underneath. Still trying to find something that i like because i want to have the top portion to have plants.

Snails: The number one cause of death in Nerite snails is starvation. Unfortunately, it takes a long time for them to starve to death so people don't connect the two. I suggest people with new tanks cultivate algae by placing rocks in a bowl of water and placing in a sunny window. Add to tank and replace when clean. I bought some gravel and Dragon stone that i never used in the tank, would that work with a jar sat outside & covered w/ saran wrap? Also, seen someone say Tums or eggshells are a good source of calcium for snails/shrimp. What are your thoughts?

Whatever you decide, it bodes well for your success that you asked such good questions beforehand. Thanks for the help and info! I would assume it's a bad idea to get snails+shrimp or even corys as it's a lot of competition for food, especially so early on.
I think i'm gonna stay with the 3 snails, 1 betta. I'm hesitant on shoaling fish just because of how planted the tank is and lack of width. Anyone have recommendations for other tank mates, if any at all.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
564 Posts
Hi @Theod123

You asked about the light on the Fluval flex.

I have it on a timer, so that it turns on for 8 hrs, and off for 16.
This means I don't get to have a snazzy preset or anything, so I just have it on the max white light, or off.

If the light ever dies, I intend to replace it with the Fluval light tile thingy I have in the 22 litre. Amazing light, and definitely better than the flex's light.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
@bluesamphire i didn't even realize you could add a timer to it lol. I never saw any ports or anything like that (i didn't look super hard as i don't have one yet). But that's nice knowing now.

As a slight update, this morning i noticed these white dots. I assume they're snail eggs? But i'm not sure... from most people that i've seen the eggs were always in tighter clumps surrounded by a jelly type "bubble". If they are snail eggs is it fine to leave in there? or should i siphon them out.. I know they won't fertlize as it's just a freshwater tank.
My plants are growing pretty well, no new leaves this week. But they're getting taller and thicker. My bacopas leaves have started to melt and one of the roots started melting about halfway. I just ripped them off, hopefully it does well.

I'm also looking to add more substrate. Is it fine to just add new substrate on top of the older substate/gravel. Or do i need to remove it all and then add it back in. I'm using ada ADA Aqua Soil Amazonia II Normal Type, and spectrastone gravel currently.
 

Attachments

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
18,373 Posts
Nerite Snail eggs. They never bothered me but you can scrape them off or let dissolve on their own. Now you know you can give one of them a female name. ;-)

Are you floating the Bacopa or did you plant them? Try snipping off the bottoms and let them float; or, you can weight them and let them self-root.

Yes, you can add new substrate on top of the existing. How you do so depends on whether it's gravel or the AquaSoil.

With AquaSoil, fill a drink bottle; put thumb over opening; lift thumb slightly to allow water to enter. When bottle is full, put thumb over opening and turn upside down. Direct bottle to where you want the soil.

With gravel, I used to rinse in a fine net or colander and use the same method as with the AquaSoil. But do rinse first.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
564 Posts
@Theod123

There aren't any ports on the tank for a timer.
I just use plug in socket timers on all my tanks. Saves having to go round turning lights on and off.
There are lots of different types of timer to choose from, from manual ones with little switches to set the time, right up to wifi enabled ones that you can control from a smartphone.
Some of the more expensive light systems (Finnex, Fluval) have timers built in, and either remote controls or smart apps.

The one I use on the Flex Tank is one of these:
https://www.hivehome.com/products/hive-active-plug
Although since I spent a fortune on that one, I havediscovered much less expensive non-hive wifi timer plugs at a quarter of the price (from Amazon)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,383 Posts
@Old Dog 59 When you said Male betta are easier to care for and more resilient to changes, did you mean in general as opposed to a single female as well as a sorority, or a sorority specifically?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,336 Posts
Well put it this way, When you change anything in a betta tank whether it be decor or adding plants or just moving things around in cleaning the tank. All betta react to those changes. A sorority takes longer to accept those changes because of the pecking order. A male may show signs of discontent for a day but settles down to the change. The females seem to take longer because there is more than one to claim the new territory.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,383 Posts
Well put it this way, When you change anything in a betta tank whether it be decor or adding plants or just moving things around in cleaning the tank. All betta react to those changes. A sorority takes longer to accept those changes because of the pecking order. A male may show signs of discontent for a day but settles down to the change. The females seem to take longer because there is more than one to claim the new territory.
Oh I see, makes sense. So a single female in her own tank should react about the same as a single male? And are females (singluar) less hardy or harder to care for than the males?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,336 Posts
no difference in the care they need. You care for each with the best you can give them and all the love you have for them and they will reward you with all their love and beauty.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,383 Posts
no difference in the care they need. You care for each with the best you can give them and all the love you have for them and they will reward you with all their love and beauty.
This made me smile, thanks 😊
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
@bluesamphire see i totally didn't even think wireless ones were an option lol. I might buy one for my next tank that's gonna be for the living room since i rarely go down there.

Was wondering how i could make this into a journal or something? I figure this is a pretty good place to keep a sort of diary.

Update: (Will post pictures when i get back home) On Wednesday or Thursday (can't remember the day) i ended up getting a male twin tail halfmoon betta, and 4 neon tetras. I would've gone for 6 but the worker at the store didn't seem like they were going to sell me all of the fish at once so i just went with 4. Sadly i work overnights and went to sleep. Woke up to one of them having a hard time staying upright and was just all over the place and couldn't balance well. I needed to got to work and didn't have the time to figure out what was happening. Came back and after 2 hours of looking and trying to feed them only 3 were to be found and no 4th body... I have a cover and even the feeding hole covered w/ plastic so he didn't jump out. Checked the filters and everything. Tried doing a water change and clean the soil but still no luck... Hopefully it isn't too bad if it's left in there? I'm worried that it'd mess w/ the ammonia levels and everything else though... And all morning the 1 bigger tetra just keeps bullying the other two constantly and not sure if i should remove him or let them be?

For good news, Donavin (not sure how i want to spell it yet) is doing really well. I build a little hiding spot with the bacopas and a cattapa leaf on top, started building a bubble nest but i accidentally messed it up. I've been feeding them all small pieces of blood shrimp. I've tried soaked pellets but they seem too big for the tetras and donavin isn't interested.

So far my water parameters are the same, thinking about getting more tetras soon, hoping the so few numbers is what's causing the aggression. Also is it normal for the tetras to peck at the glass? I figure it's their reflection, but even if i put a black shirt over they still do it.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
18,373 Posts
The more Neons you have the more they will keep the nipping behavior within the shoal. Make sure to give you Betta a place he can retreat if the activity of the Neons gets to be too much.

There is a "Journal" section where you can start one. If you start one I am more than happy to copy whichever of the posts here you want included. Just give me the numbers or "entire thread."
 
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
Top