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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys, I'm new to all this journal stuffs but I thought it would be fun! Especially to track the growth of my baby betta :)
I think I've settled on naming him Caspian. :)

So, Caspian here is in a Fluval Spec III 2.5 gallon tank, which has been running with just plants and nerite snails for several months before adding Caspian. Its on my desk at work, which is a call center. :p So, its fully cycled, readings are generally...
0-.5 ppm of Ammonia
7.4 PH
0 ppm Nitrite
10-20 ppm of Nitrate

He has a filter and heater in his aquarium, and water stays between 78-82 degrees :)
I do around a 30-40% water change every friday and he is currently fed a tiny pinch of Omega One Betta Buffet Flakes twice a day, though I will bring him down to once a day when he reaches adult size. Also freeze dried bloodworms as an occasional treat.

Its currently planted with..
anubia bateri "round leaf"
telanthera carolinalis "alternanthera reineckiii"
staurogyne repens
cryptocoryne beckettii
and a marimo moss ball. :)

I've also recently dropped some mini catappa leaves to help with the PH as Caspian has had some slight fin curling.

Caspian is a baby boy betta I got from petco. I chose a baby mainly because I feel like when I buy the adults from petco, they already are sick or have massive fin damage. My previous betta got dropsy and "pineconed" only like a week or two after I got him and passed away. When I looked up dropsy they say that its a sign that something's been wrong for quite a while...not something that comes on super fast.
Either way, Caspian has grown tons of new fin length ever since coming home with me, though he hasn't grown much in size.
I'm assuming this is due to the fact that I don't change his water every day, and I have heard that they release a hormone that can stunt their growth when they are babies. I don't really mind though if he stays small, as long as he's healthy. :)

Here are some pics of his growth over time! I'm pretty sure he's a veiltail, and pretty sure he's a boy too based on the fin length, bubble nests, and flaring :) He started out a beautiful red and blue color, but he's recently changed to an almost straight blue.
(which I'm not gonna lie, I'm kinda sad about since I loved the red, but he's still pretty regardless. :) ) Here is his growth since I got him on December 18th! :)
 

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He’s v handsome.
And the tank looks lovely.
Can we have a pic of the whole tank?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks!
And of course! Its still got lots of growing to do and is almost a bit overstocked right now haha, but Caspian seems to enjoy swimming through and around all the plants. :) My repens recently went through a little melt, so its still recovering haha.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Today we're all fresh and clean from a water change and I finally got around to gluing the anubias bateri actually onto the rock. :) some of them fit nicely in the holes in the rock, but the other two needed to be anchored down until the roots can grow around and take hold. :) Everything seems good now, but we'll see how long they hold haha.
Caspian loves darting in and out of the little hole in the rock and is constantly on patrol. :) He loves to try to weasel his way in between all the plants and sometimes down to the root as well haha.

I've had fish before, but I love bettas so much just because of their personality and intelligence! You can literally see the wheels turning in Caspian's head when he is patrolling and jumping up to grab food from my hand. I've never had a fish that is so...smart! haha. I'm sure you can all relate. I'm definitely a betta fan for life now.

Caspian is quite aggressive compared to my other betta, any time my finger or hand goes in the water he immediately bites it haha. Silly Caspian, fingers and friends, not food. Thankfully, it doesn't hurt, but does anyone else have an aggressive betta? :)

Another question, does anyone else here have nerite snails? I have a couple in my betta tank and a couple in my shrimp tank. I picked them because they can only pro-create in brackish water, so that way I don't get a ton of baby snails in the betta tank!
The only trouble is, when I want them to breed, they won't! I have three in my shrimp tank, which is a brackish water tank with plenty of algae, so by all means they should be laying eggs. Temps are around 80 in that tank too, so any idea why they won't lay eggs? Anyone else ever breed nerite snails? haha.
There's so much information online on how to stop them from breeding but nothing about how to get them too xD

Either way, here's some pics from today of the tanks. :) Caspian doing a hide, some nerite snails cleanin away, one of the shrimp from my shrimp tank, and the tanks on my desk at work. (excuse the mess, I'm in the middle of painting right now. :p ) Anywho, enjoy!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Came in today to find that Caspian has created a nice bubble nest for himself! He seems quite proud. He's been working on it on and off throughout the day today, but every time I look over he stops and gives me the stink eye :p Its like he's saying, "Moommm, don't watch me!" haha. Its so fun watching him create the bubble nest, I'm glad he's comfortable enough to do so!

In other news, I found a fluval spec V today on the classifieds for $30 bucks, a steal! I Love the fluval spec series of tanks <3 I'm going to go pick that one up after work today and set it up at home. Once its cycled and I've got some nice plant growth I'm going to see if I can get another baby betta to put in there, maybe some tank mates this time if the betta can handle it!

I'll keep you updated. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hello again! Its been a little bit, but I left for a week long vacation to Disneyland. (thankfully, my supervisor was able to take care of my fish while I was gone, and he seems to be fine!)

Caspian's fins have grown some more while I was gone, and they seem to be growing more wavy. I'm sure this is a product of him being a veiltail, but I'm still a little sad that they aren't as pristine as they used to be. Veiltails are my least favorite tail types of betta fish, but when you buy a baby you never quite know what you're gonna get! haha. That said, I still love him anyways!

He did manage to scare the crap out of me today. I was trying to soak two bloodworms (I have the freeze dried ones) on my finger, and while I was soaking them he managed to sneak up and nab both of them at the same time! D:
He's still relatively small, so even one of those bloodworms is a bit big and if I do feed two I feed like 10-20 minutes apart! I think he started choking because he instantly started doing corkscrews and was listing a bit to his side. He also started breathing really rapidly!
He did it for about 20 seconds, then spit out a little bit and stopped. He's swimming normal again and when I held up his mirror he was flaring. He's back to patrolling again like nothing happened haha.
Needless to say, he's not getting bloodworms again for a while haha. He doesn't have any bloating, but I'm gonna keep an eye on him. Geeze man, I'd never seen anything like it. He doesn't have swim bladder or anything, so it was such a weird thing to see! Poor boy.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Back to bubble nests today, when I got out my camera he instantly flared and started patrolling haha. He definitely doesn't like me taking pictures of his bubble nests :p

As for an update on the tank at home, I was able to swing by and pick up a fluval spec V for like $30 bucks! Totally a steal. The filter and light seem to work fine, though the heater they provided doesn't seem to work, so I'll have to buy a new one. Either way, I put some water in from my established tank at work as well as added a plant, so I'm just waiting for my tank to cycle before I add in a betta :) Its currently at like 4.0 ppm ammonia, 20 ppm nitrate, and 0 ppm nitrite, so its still got a while to go haha. I'm doing water changes every 3 days or so though to slowly establish that nitrogen cycle. I'll get some pictures tonight and post tomorrow.

I think when that tank cycles I will get another baby betta, but this time I wanna be a bit more choosy! Don't get me wrong, I love Caspian but he's not the kind of betta I would have bought as an adult off the shelf. I think I've learned enough about figuring out tail types that I could pick something like a halfmoon, delta, or whatever else from the babies. I'm going to wait until I can find the perfect one. :) I still have to put in a ton more plants and let them grow in before I add anything anyways!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Alright~ So Caspian is still just puttering along today at work. I think that he's finally getting a little bigger body wise, not just fin wise! I got him back in December from Petco, based on his finnage and size he was about a little over 2 months old. Now he's about 5 months old!
He still seems quite small to me, especially compared to the full grown betta I had before, and he may have stunted himself. I wasn't aware that you had to change water frequently since baby bettas release a hormone that stunts growth, and I'd also read that it only applied towards the really young babies, so I only changed the water once or twice a week. *shrug* but unless I see any developmental problems, I don't really mind having a small betta. I'll reserve my judgement on whether or not he's stunted though once he's a year old, since thats generally when they reach adult size. (you can clearly see how much smaller he is compared to haku in the same tank.)

On that note though, I thought I'd share some pictures of my old betta, Haku! Poor Haku... I have had a tank at my desk for quite some time now, and previously it was just the snails in there. I wanted to really grow out the plants before I committed to a pet, so I slowly bought plants and worked out any algae issues long before Haku was in there. My tank was cycled, water was stable, and he had plenty of plant cover, so I figured I was good to go.

Well, after only two or so weeks, I noticed some issues arise. He started to look a bit bloated, and had the thing where his poop was still attached to him. (which when I looked online was a sign of bloating). I was feeding him twice a day a couple ground up flakes at a time (Omega One flakes) and so I fasted him for a couple days and fed him a small bit of pea. Most of the bloating went away, so we continued on. Haku was labeled as a "dragonscale betta" and was a beautiful red and white color. His finnage was quite large, and after a week or so I noticed that parts of his tail would split or get more ragged. When I first bought him, i figured it was just his design, but looking at it now I think that he may have been tail biting. (I don't think it was ever fin rot though.) One day, his scales looked more outlined than usual, and when I looked at him from above, he had the pineconing that is a sure sign of dropsy. (I'd only had him about 2-3 weeks at this point). He didn't have any bloating anymore and was eating and active and happy, so he seemed fine. I looked up dropsy and realized its pretty much a death sentence. Haku was still happy and active all the way up to the end, but he passed about a week later. Knowing how dropsy worked, I would assume he got it from the petstore or breeder before, as it takes longer than a week or two for it to show up. Its from a history of bad water and all throughout the time I had him I never had any ammonia, nitrates stayed around 10-20 ppm, and 0 nitrites. I'm confident it wasn't because of my tank. After that experience, I decided I would get a baby next time, that way I could confidently raise them knowing that they are in good health.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
In other news though, I am slowly but surely setting up the 5 gallon Fluval Spec V at home! I bought some spiderwood and a few plants (Asian water fern, amazon sword, and more anubias bateri-round leaf), and I'm currently trying to get the driftwood to sink haha. (its propped up against the light a bit.) I set up the basic hardscape, and I think I'm liking it so far but only time will tell, what do you think?
Now that I've got more plants in here, I think the light that was provided should work great for growing plants! It seems quite bright. :) I think I'll put a carpeting plant in there, but I'm not sure which one yet. Any suggestions?

The tank still has a TON of ammonia in it, so I'll be bringing home the seachem Prime I have here at work so I can get a handle on the ammonia and cycle the tank properly haha. Still a long way to go before a new betta friend can go in there, but i'm looking forward to it!
I almost got a betta for the tank from a coworker, because they brought their betta in for my friend to take care of while they were at work. Guys, this poor betta. They won it as a prize 2 years ago, and I'm surprised he's lasted this long. He's currently in a glass bowl, but its one where the opening is angled in the front, so they can only really put an inch or two of water in it. The betta looks to be a king betta, he's huge! The amount of water in there is so small, he can't even spread out his fins fully. They obviously don't have a filter or a heater, and the only decorations are a small little stone arch house thing and a fake plant. All this betta does is hide in that house, and when you take that away he swims a little then rests on the bottom (since he doesn't really have room to swim anyways).
I immediately offered to take the betta from him as my friend mentioned offhand that he doesn't really care much for the betta. She asked him and he said he would ask his wife. He came over to my desk and I showed him my betta and talked about the care he would needed, and he asked how much it would cost for a tank like mine. (my fluval spec iii is a bit expensive, since it has everything pretty much housed in the back). I did do some research though, and found a tank for him that would be 3 gallons, had a heater, filter, ect. for $30! Quite a steal. I showed it to him and he said "hmm...maybe I'll buy it, we'll see."
......
he took his betta home and he said later that when he talked to his wife she preferred the bowl he's in now because she likes the shape. I said I would be happy to take him, but she said no, she wanted to keep him.
I tried to impart on him the importance of having heated water, a bowl big enough to swim, and at least cleaning the gravel and water often (since they don't really want to spend money on a test kit, and I'm sure the parameters aren't good.) but I don't think he's going to change much. (he basically said, well, he's survived this long, so he should be fine!) He seemed to have really bad fin rot and was overall very lethargic. Poor dude. I know bettas can survive in conditions like that (that's why they are neglected so often) but it makes me sad. Especially with him being a king betta, he should get 5 gallons at minimum!
 

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Well! Its been a minute haha. I've been so busy with art commissions and setting up my new tank at home that I haven't had much time to update. (I don't have a good picture of it right now, but I will post one tomorrow with an update on the 5 gallon tank!)

Caspian is still doing great, just as inquisitive as ever! In one of my previous posts, I talked about how his fins seem to be curling and changing direction. I've been doing a lot of research online to find something similar to his case, but I haven't found anything. There are some pictures of bettas that have curling on the ends of their tails, but it seems to just be in select spots and its not very common in veiltails. (more in rosetails and halfmoons). His case is so odd because, like someone else on the forum pointed out, it seems that all of his fins are changing directions. Its just the new growth growing in that way too, its not like its nice fins curling over time.

I've checked all my parameters and they seem fine, so I'm not sure what's going on. Caspian still acts like a normal betta and I haven't noticed any change in behavior. Odd.
In other news, he seems to be growing bigger in his body! His fin growth seems to have slowed down, but I was worried he would be a stunted betta since he's so much smaller than my old betta. That seems to be changing though. :) Lately he's been flaring a lot at his snail. He's so silly haha. I had initially thought about putting some shrimp in there for him, but I'm pretty sure he wouldn't appreciate any other tank mates since he is so territorial haha. Ah well.

Now, onto the shrimp! The Opae Ula are doing great, I recently got more so I can hopefully get some breeding! I only had two before, and now I've got around 13 :) They've all started turning more red, so it seems like they are settling in. (Opae Ula shrimp turn clear when they get stressed or scared, then turn back red when they relax.) Everything seems to be in order in their tank, so hopefully its only a matter of time. My little 3 gallon tank can easily hold 50 or more, and I would love to see the babies! Here's some pictures of the nerite snails and one special colored shrimp, which is yellow!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
So, here is the new 5 gallon tank at home! Its definitely still a work in progress, I've got to get more plants and let the ones I have grow in! I'm thinkin some more java fern would be good :)

This tank is still cycling, it currently seems to be stuck in the nitrite part of the cycle. It had some really high ammonia to start out with, and I think its mostly because of the wood I stuck in there. I boiled it and that seemed to help with the ammonia. It had a lot of that gross white fungus growing on it for a while, but its cleared up now it seems, the snails are now making short work of it. I'm not sure why its stuck in the nitrite part of the cycle, the nitrites have been at 5.0 ppm for about two weeks now. Ammonia has now lessened to 0-.25 ppm and nitrates are around 20-30 ppm. I guess I'll just have to be patient, I'm just dying to get some fish in here!

Speaking of, is there anything I could successfully put in with a betta in this 5 gallon tank besides nerite snails? (once I get more plants, that is) I'm gonna get some more ground carpeting plants, so I was thinking I might be able to try some cherry red shrimp. If worse comes to worse, they could just be an expensive snack for the betta haha, but who knows. Any suggestions?

I would love to get a baby betta again this time, but we'll see if an adult strikes my fancy when I'm at the pet store. I still probably have a month or so before this tank will be ready, but I'm so excited to get a new friend! I'm wary of getting an adult again because I can't guarantee it won't be sick from the terrible conditions at the petstore. But, I also want something other than a veiltail this time and with the babies you never quite know what you're gonna get haha. Maybe that's the fun of it though!
 

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Time for an update! As shown in my other thread, I finally found my new betta! The 5 gallon tank finally cycled, its crazy how you can have super high nitrites and then when it finally cycles it just plummets to 0 haha. I waited a couple days to make sure, but the ammonia is at 0ppm, nitrites at 0ppm, and nitrates around 20-30 ppm (I'm doing water changes several times a week to combat this, I assume its because of the new bioload from the betta. :) )
My husband has dubbed him Steve, but I'm not a fan of the name, so I'm gonna think of something else :p Any ideas?
I wanted to get a baby again, but I couldn't find any, so I opted for a small adult. He was listed as an orchid betta, but I liked him because he was almost a cross between an orchid and a butterfly with those white ends. He also has some mahachai like coloring on his top fin which I loved. <3 He's got dark blue coloring up front which turns into a greenish turquoise at the base of his tail. :)
He wasn't listed as a dragonscale, but I think he might be. He's scales look suuuper thick, especially on his gills. He might have some on his eye, so we'll keep an eye on that as I've heard that dragonscales can get scales that grow over their eyes.

He's suuuper hard to get pictures of, he's much faster than my other betta and since he's in a 5 gallon he's got a lot more room to dart around haha. When Caspian flares, he slowly moves back and forth, but when this new betta flares he swims fast back and forth.

He's still adjusting to his 5 gallon tank. I had put a piece of black paper as a backing for the aquarium because it helped it look better, but for some reason that just increased the reflection. The poor betta wouldn't stop flaring at himself so I had to take the paper off, and that seems to have helped. He still flares a little at the side wall, but I put a piece of white paper backing on that side, and that seems to have helped.
Its odd, because they usually recommend you put some black or other background on the glass to stop reflections, not the other way around! haha. I'm sad because I liked that dark look on the back. *shrug*. I'm waiting for my check to buy some new plants and I'll get some more to cover up that back wall and that should hopefully help. Plants are expensive man! Stocking a 5 gallon requires much more than my 2.5 gallon haha. So far I'm liking the layout though, but I think more java ferns are in order. I originally bought a pretty purple leaved plant from petco called a "purple waffle plant" (in the back left corner) which was submersed, but turns out is more of a riparium type of plant as its meant to grow immersed. So I've just stuck it with its roots in the tank, and a pothos that I'm trying to root as well. I might do this across the whole back side as it gives the betta something to swim through and looks cool. I'm not a huge fan of the look of floating plants like hornwort. :)

Thankfully, this new betta is much more chill than Caspian haha. He has a salt and pepper dwarf cory friend who he gets along great with! You know your betta is chill when they can share a piece of food together haha. The new betta seems to enjoy picking at the food meant for the cory, though he seems to spit it all out. He's quite a silly betta because he doesn't like to eat his food from the surface. He usually waits for it to sink before he swims after it. I tried him on flakes as Caspain loves his Omega One betta flakes, but this new betta responded a lot better to the Omega One Betta Pellets, so pellets it is. I'm going to try some bloodworms today when I get home from work. :) Here are some pics to enjoy! Sorry they are a little blurry, like I said, he's fast!
 

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very beautiful tanks and fish! keep up the great work! =D
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Just a small update on the new betta :) I've yet to decide on a name, any ideas? :) He's officially been in his tank for a month now and is slowly but surely acclimating. He used to just go back and forth across the front of the tank, but after I added a couple plants to break up the front view he doesn't seem to do it as often. *shrug* I think I'll still rearrange the plants a little for my artistic brain haha, but I'm glad the betta likes it. :) I recently got a new light since the fluval spec V I have is one of the older ones, and the lighting was pretty minimal. Hopefully the new lights helps the plants to grow! I just love the colors on this betta <3 I guess I'm just partial to blues haha.

On a second note...another fluval spec iii went on sale (this one is a little bigger than my current one for Caspian) and I couldn't help myself and bought it....haha. So who knows, I might buy another betta, but I'm thinking I'll set it up and cycle it anywho as a quarantine tank in case I get more.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Update time!

We'll start with Caspian first! I recently moved to work from home, so I had to bring Caspian and the shrimpies back home! It was a bit traumatic for everyone to say the least haha. Since I had to take everything in the car, I decided to lower the water on each tank about halfway, so that meant I had to put Caspian in a different cup for the ride home. Figured it would be less stressful....turns out not haha. At least the shrimpies fared fine!

Caspian has never been caught in a net since I've had him since he was a baby haha, so he was not having it. And the way my tank is setup, its hard to maneuver a little net around. While trying to catch him, I ended up accidentially pinning his tail against the glass and cause a little bit of an injury. When I got him home I realized he had split a little hole in his tail along the rays, and he also had a line across his tail from where he got pinned.
Thankfully, bettas are pretty miraculous tail healers and once I got his tank setup back and home and left him alone with his new fresh water, he unclamped that morning and the hole in his tail had closed back up! He still has a little bit of the line leftover, but he's just as happy as he was before. :)

As for the shrimpies, I've got babies! They are just getting big enough now that they can swim on their own, and last I counted, I had between 10-15. Considering I only have 13 adults in there now, population is gonna be booming soon! So excited. :)

And last but not least, Juniper!(I think I finally settled on a name.:) ) Well he seemed to stop glass surfing as soon as I added some more plants to break up the front of the glass, but my artistic brain just didn't like the look of the scape that way haha. So, I bought EVEN MORE plants haha. (I just can't help myself lol) But now, I think I'm liking this setup the best, and I think its finally done. I just have to let it grow in now. Juniper seems to enjoy it though, and loves to swim in and out of all the leaves. :) He's also found his favorite sleeping spots amongst the roots of the pothos up top. What a change a few weeks and a lot of tweaking can make, am I right? haha.
 

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