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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello fellow fishkeepers. Welcome to The Bar, where I'll be giving you an insight into my own adventures in the Betta keeping hobby.

To start off my inaugural journal, I suppose I'll give you my current tank setup as a start.

Hardware(Bartop)
-Tetra 10 Gallon Aquarium
-Tetra Whisper PF10 Filter
-Hydor 50W adjustable Aquarium Heater (Set to 80)
-Fusion Smart Temp Aquarium Thermometer
-Generic Suction Cup Thermometer
-Marineland 20" Recessed Full Hood, w/ Flourescent Lighting

Software(Glassware)
-Seachem Prime
-Seachem Flourish
-Seachem Neutral Regulator (Use is monitored carefully)

Hardscape(Ice/Garnish)
-Seachem Flourite Aquarium Substrate
-Stoney River Aquarium Sand, Black and White
-Malaysian Driftwood, 11"
-Small Ceramic Rock Cave, with Large Entrance Hole

Flora(Mixers)
-7 Small Sprigs of Cryptocoryne wendtii
-1 Java Fern (Microsorum pteropus, attached to driftwood)
-1 Bunch Mondo Grass (Ophiopogon japonicus,sold to me as an aquarium plant, not actually aquarium plant. Will be removed if/when degradation begins to occur)

Fauna(Hard Drinks)
-1 Ivory Mystery Snail (Pomacea diffusa), female(?), Bailey('s Irish Cream)
-1 Tiger Nerite Snail (eritina natalensis), sex unknown, Tuaca (Italian Orange-Vanilla Liquer)
-1 Black/Red Butterfly Halfmoon Plakat Betta (Betta splendens), male, Angostura (Aromatic Bitters)


Pictures will be soon to follow, once Angostura has had a chance to settle in. He just arrived today, and needs a couple days of relaxation before photographs. As most of you have guessed, I'm doing a Bar theme for the names of my critters.


So far, Angostura is very lively, despite his long day in shipping. He's eaten a few pellets, and is currently floating in the tank, with more water being added to his floating container to slowly acclimate him to the new digs. I sincerely hope he enjoys his new home, as I sincerely hope you enjoy your stay, here in The Bar.
 

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This already sounds interesting. I look forward to reading additional entries.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Angostura is now in the tank properly, swimming about and exploring his new home. So far, he seems very interested in his reflection in the glass on the sides of the tank. I might have to do something about this.

The filter outflow might be just a little bit strong for him, but so far I don't see any issues unless he is directly underneath it. I'll need to build a baffle eventually, but he seems smart enough to go around the spots with a heavy current.

He initially took an interest in Bailey, my Ivory Mystery Snail. He's nipped at her once, and flared at her a couple of times, but it seems he's gotten bored of her in the last hour or so. Bailey seems fairly nonplussed about the whole thing, hardly even noticing her new room-mate during her laps around the tank.

Tuaca, as he is wont to do, has been lazing about in his corner of the tank for the better part of the day. He's such a lazy snail, though I've heard that Nerites have fairly low levels of activity.

This already sounds interesting. I look forward to reading additional entries.
Thanks! I'm glad you're intrigued. I'll do my best to make this an interesting read.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I don't expect too many brawls, but a little bit of tipsy romance could potentially be seen in the future. :3

Angostura seems to have developed a fondness for the clump of mondo grass, of all things. I might move the driftwood and some more plants to that side of the tank, just in case I have to remove that one.

He seems to have lost interest in Bailey, other than occasionally giving her a glance now and again.

Haha! I like the bar theme! I'll have a Captain and Coke with Lime... Have you ever seen the martinis with swedish (red) fish in them?

I'm glad you've started a journal and look forward to hearing about the bar room adventures. Hopefully no brawls!
Morgan was actually one of the names I was debating on giving him. I wanted to give him a Dark Rum name at first, so I was thinking of (Sailor) Jerry, (Captain) Morgan (Black Rum), or Bacardi/Oakheart... but I decided to go on the bits of red he has, and decided that it was close to the Angostura Bitters I dash into my ginger ales.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
It seems I've already had to break up a Bar fight this morning, my dear patrons. This morning, I noticed my devilish lad Angostura nipping at Bailey once again. I had told myself last night when I first saw the nipping, that if it were to continue, one of them was getting moved.

Bailey's colors will pop out better on the black, sandy floor of the 5.5g, and the new resident should be a bit more docile than her neighbor.

I'm fairly certain Angostura hasn't even noticed that Tuaca is alive, due to how little activity the Nerite Snail exhibits.

This, of course, leaves a bit of room in the 10g, and makes me want to get Angostura some Bar-mates to keep him company and to keep the walls clean, since Tuaca is kind of a slacker, in my opinion. I was thinking of getting a few Otos, but I'm open to suggestions. I always like learning a new drink recipe.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I would love some Pygmy Cories, but my LFS doesn't stock them, sadly. At least not the one that's within bicycling distance, as we're still without a car at the house. But no, I would adore some Pygmy Cories to put in the tank.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Ladies and Gentlemen, dear patrons of The Bar, we have a new arrival!

So, because our regular postman had the day off today, we had a different postal worker deliver our mail. Unfortunately, this different postal worker must not have understood how to operate a doorbell, because when I went out to go to the LFS to pick up some frozen bloodworms and various other things, I saw a peach-colored slip of paper in the mailbox.

"Sorry we missed you!", it said. Missed me? But I was home all morning, good piece of paper.

So, I had to change my plans and direction, head down to the post office(which thankfully is only a few blocks from my house) and wait for the better part of an hour to rectify the issue and get my package.

Again, I reiterate: I would have answered the door, if it had been rung. I heard no doorbell. There were three of us at home this morning, two of us awake, and the third a light sleeper. We would have heard the doorbell.

Anyway, that's not important. What is important is that we have a new resident in a new tank! The lovely lady Smirnoff has arrived. Here are her tank specs.

Hardware
-Tetra 5.5 Gallon Aquarium
-Tetra Whisper 10i Filter
-Hydor 50W adjustable Aquarium Heater (Set to 80)
-Fusion Smart Temp Aquarium Thermometer

Software
-Seachem Prime
-Seachem Flourish
-Seachem Neutral Regulator (Use is monitored carefully)

Hardscape
-Seachem Flourite Aquarium Substrate
-Stoney River Aquarium Sand, Black
-Large Ceramic 'Mud Hut', with Large Entrance Hole

Fauna(Hard Drinks)
-1 Ivory Mystery Snail (Pomacea diffusa), female(?), Bailey('s Irish Cream)
-1 Cambodian CT(Combtail, possibly?) Betta (Betta splendens), female, Smirnoff (Recipe No.21, Vodka)

No plants yet in the Lady Smirnoff's home, but I'm thinking I might transfer a couple springs of the Wendt Crypt over.

She's currently relaxing and acclimating. I should be able to post pictures tomorrow or Thursday, when everyone is settled and happy. Hopefully she treats Bailey a little better than her future mate does. Thankfully, vodka pairs nicely with everything. I should have known better than to mix Bailey's and Bitters. Blech~
 

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Discussion Starter #12
After a successful restocking trip, I've come home with frozen bloodworms and frozen brine shrimp. These tasty snacks will be fed to my beloved Bettas, along with their floating betta pellets and krill-and-spirulina-based sinking food pellets. With this tasty variety of foods, and a fasting-day every four days, I should be able to make them full and strong, perfect ingredients for a delicious spawning cocktail.

In addition, I got each of them a nice plastic leaf-hammock to rest on while they sleep. Smirnoff was able to find hers, after I left a bit of food on it... and I assume that Angostura found his when I was at the pharmacy, because the food that was on it is mostly gone now.

I also got some filter floss to slow the outflow in both tanks, as well as a turkey-baster, a more appropriate fluorescent bulb for growing plants, and some more bacteria-in-a-bottle, just to help the cycle maintain.



I love how you've set everything up in bar terms. :3
What's the point of having a themed tank and journal if I'm not going to use bar lingo?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Good patrons, it seems we have a picky eater.

I decided to be nice to the new arrivals, and gave then a nice, yummy breakfast of thawed, frozen bloodworms. After a bit of hesitance, Smirnoff found them to her liking, and promptly gobbled them up all I gave to her. Angostura, on the other hand, wouldn't touch them. He would nip at one or two, but promptly swim away from the rest, not wanting any.

That's fine. I gave him a couple of pellets, which he ate promptly, and things are fine now... Ungrateful little boy... I'll update if he does manage to eat a few.

Anyway. Bailey seems not to mind which tank she's in at all, so long as she has plenty of space to zoom about on the walls and floor. It also seems like Smirnoff and Bailey get along very well together. I just need to get a Black Mystery Snail (named Kahlua, perhaps?), and I'll have a White Russian going in that tank, won't I?

Tuaca is still alive, and still doing his thing. He's moved a few inches since last night. My only worry is that he's eating enough, since there's no algae in the tank yet... but I suppose that if he's practically immobile most of the time, he doesn't expend a lot of energy, and thus doesn't need to eat a lot. Oh well. I should have expected this, getting a Nerite snail.

Smirnoff slept on her Betta hammock last night... at least for part of the night. Angostura seems to favor the space in front of his little rock-cave. He's my strange, strange little Bitters boy. Good gosh, I love them both. <3
 

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So you know, the little dears don't need a "dinner break" while you're preparing them for their hot date. In fact, while they are enjoying meals of live or frozen food, they are unlikely to experience the digestive issues that a constant diet of dry pellets may cause. After talking to other breeders, I no longer fast my fish unless preparing for shipping. The local IBC chapter chairwoman had expressed shock that one would do such a thing.

A guest should never remain hungry!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
So you know, the little dears don't need a "dinner break" while you're preparing them for their hot date. In fact, while they are enjoying meals of live or frozen food, they are unlikely to experience the digestive issues that a constant diet of dry pellets may cause. After talking to other breeders, I no longer fast my fish unless preparing for shipping. The local IBC chapter chairwoman had expressed shock that one would do such a thing.

A guest should never remain hungry!
Huh, good to know. I tried again, just a little while ago, and Angostura was more than happy to eat a few bloodworms. I guess he just wasn't hungry earlier. Strange boy, but happy that he likes them.

I'll probably fast them on the day after their pellets only day, just so that they're extra hungry for brine shrimp or bloodworms the next day. I'm thinking of a schedule along the lines of;

Frozen/Frozen/Pellet/Fast/Frozen/Frozen/Pellet/Fast.

Just so they have a day to let everything move through their system.

Upon closer inspection of my new little girl, I've found that she only has one-and-a-half ventral fins. I didn't notice it in the display photo, but upon looking at her and doting upon her, it was easier to see. I'm wondering if it was nibbled on by an aggressive sibling before shipping, or if it just didn't develop properly.

Bailey has definitely grown a fair bit in the two-and-a-half weeks that I've had her. I'd been feeding her and Tuaca very well during the cycling of the 10 gallon, so that they'd produce plenty of food for the growing bacterial colonies. My guess is that she's undergone maybe a 20% increase in size? She's bigger than Tuaca now, and when I purchased them, they were the same size.

I took out the Mondo Grass this morning, and I think that Angostura is missing it. He's swum by the spot where it was, and looked around curiously for a few moments, before retreating to the curve of the driftwood. I hope he's not mad at me.

I can't wait for Umar to send me some new plants. Smirnoff's tank is a little bare, and while she enjoys her little ceramic mud-hut, I can tell she's a little bored with all that space. She does like to hide under the IAL at the bottom of her tank, though, and underneath the filter. Silly girl.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Oh! I have pictures, too! They're fairly massive in size, so I'm not gonna post them in the thread and distort the page.

http://i.imgur.com/tBkXStW.jpg This is Bailey last week, before I moved her over to Smirnoff's Tank, and before Angostura got here. She loved to sit on the underside of that IAL, and move around on it. She loved the driftwood, too. I'll have to get some for Smirnoff's tank for her.

http://i.imgur.com/MoGAJm8.jpg This is Bailey last night, peeking out at the light on my phone. I noticed this morning, though you can't see it in the picture, that Angostura must've trimmed one of her antennae before I moved her, as one is shorter than the other now. Hopefully it wasn't Smirnoff's doing, but she's seemed to leave Bailey alone.

http://i.imgur.com/4W37fLr.jpg Smirnoff getting ready for bed last night.

http://i.imgur.com/zJN9n5G.jpg Smirnoff again, this time looking at the camera. Didn't mean to disturb your rest, dear.

http://i.imgur.com/ZR3vB8w.jpg Angostura, holding still for once. No flash on this photo, since I didn't want him to get laser-eyes. You can see the small amount of irid in his caudal and dorsal fins, but he has none in his body, thankfully. He's my handsome boy.

http://i.imgur.com/7xsNqpS.jpg Smirnoff again, this morning, with flash. You can see the slight green irid in her caudal, and at the front root of her dorsal.

http://i.imgur.com/bO3BSEN.jpg Bailey standing on her foot, and Smirnoff watching.

http://i.imgur.com/kwer4gG.jpg A photo of Angostura that shows his colors a little better, particularly his red. He's a little bit narcissistic, looking at himself in the reflection... or he's looking at the reflection of the heating element in the heater. Either way, he's not fully flared.

Those are all the pictures I have for now. I'll get one of Tuaca later today... if I can catch him doing something other than his imitation of a pebble.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Oh geez, do I ache.
Last night's New-Year's-Eve party went very well at the club. I made out very well in terms of both sales and tips, and I'm very happy with my performance. I was stuck at the club helping clean up until like 6:30, because everyone was popping the balloons and such, and it was much more of a mess than usual. I'd heard that our club was the busiest spot in the city that night, so that makes me happy. I know I finished off quite a few bottles(not myself, serving for others) so I think I did pretty well.

As for The Bar here? Not a lot has changed. I woke up rather late today (about an hour ago), so the kids are about to get their breakfast. Thawed brine shrimp is on the menu, and lets hope they like it.

Bailey and Smirnoff are getting along very nicely in the 5.5g, as usual. I think Smirnoff is slowly getting used to seeing my fingers in the water whenever I feed her, so I think she's becoming accustomed to my presence. When I got home last night, I couldn't see her, so I'm assuming she slept in her ceramic mud-hut.

Angostura and Tuaca are doing alright, as well. Tuaca moved from the front of the tank, to the back glass behind the driftwood, so when I checked on them this morning, I couldn't see him immediately, and did a little bit of a look-around. As for Angostura? Well, he's continuing his usual routine of hanging around the driftwood, then every now and again going over to do a couple of laps near the glass. I'm wondering if I should be worried about that, but he seems perfectly healthy, otherwise.

How was your New Year's, folks?
 

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We had about fifteen friends over for drinks and company. I dusted off the old Rock Band equipment that had been stored in the garage, sang until I got hoarse, and then passed the mic to the next victim. Others spectated and played MTG. This time no one spilled any vodka on any cards. Much fun was had by all, and no hangover despite a few too many Jell-O shots.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
We dropped balloons in my section of the club at midnight, and for the rest of the night, people would stomp on them and pop them all through the night, even until 4am when we close. It was so annoying, and I wanted to yell at them to stop.

I know... I shouldn't hold people's drunk behavior against them. They're drunk, they can't help it.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Good morning, dear patrons.

Today is just a light meal for the pair, only a couple of pellets each, so that they're hungry for their bloodworms tomorrow.

I awoke this morning to find something wonderful on the surface of the water. Angostura had built a small bubble-nest, and I snapped a picture of it before it could be washed away by the outflow of the filter. It may have even been bigger earlier, but I wasn't awake to see it. Tuaca has once again switched sides of the tank, and is stuck to the front of the glass, about an inch from the substrate. He must be properly nocturnal, since I never see him moving.

Smirnoff is quite an expert at hide-and-seek. I constantly have to look around the whole of her 5.5g tank to find her, and oft-times she'll be hiding under the filter, under/behind her IAL, or in her little mud-hut cave. She's a teeny little thing, so I'm not surprised. Bailey seems to like the IAL as well, since she's often zooming around on the edges of it, cleaning the detritus off of its surface. I've taken to putting Bailey's meals on the flat-laying one on the far end of the tank opposite the filter. The sinking-pellets I give to Bailey are too big for Smirnoff to eat, so she tends to leave them alone, only giving them a nibble if they've soaked up enough water that she can have a nip at them.

I'll post pictures again, perhaps tomorrow. For now, I'm gonna go watch Bailey eat her breakfast. It's amusing, because she'll use part of her foot as a hand to bring it closer to her mouth. Really fun to watch.
 
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