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Josie

Starting new Betta tank

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I just finished putting the plants in...whew!  It was a lot of work, but I think it looks good.  One problem I had was I tried to bury 2 of the flourish tabs but they kept coming back up.  I think I got them down for good now, but will it hurt anything if they do somehow make it back to the surface?

 

The water is clearing up surprisingly fast, so once it gets clear enough for pictures I will definitely post some! :)

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So this morning I added some dwarf hairgrass to my tank, I thinks its looking good.  Also the marineland LEDs were driving me crazy!  They are shorter than the tank, and also do not have anything to mount them or raise them up off the glass cover so that the light can reach all corners of the tank.  I ended up going to petco and picking up an aqueon T8 fluorescent light fixture that is 14W.  It still doesn't look very bright to me, but maybe that is because the water is still cloudy.  Anyway, here are some pics.  The first one is from last night, before the hairgrass and when I had the LEDs on it.  The other two are from today with the new light.  Let me know what you guys think!

 

HYLNlaH.jpgPaIRCgk.jpguTaurC5.jpg

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I just finished putting the plants in...whew!  It was a lot of work, but I think it looks good.  One problem I had was I tried to bury 2 of the flourish tabs but they kept coming back up.  I think I got them down for good now, but will it hurt anything if they do somehow make it back to the surface?

 

The water is clearing up surprisingly fast, so once it gets clear enough for pictures I will definitely post some! :)

Did they come back up to the surface of your tank?  I've never used the tabs before.   Let us know how you like them after awhile.

 

**

Your photo's of your tank above are Awesome.  I love, love, your tank setup.  It's beautiful.  The hairgrass looks really nice where you placed it.  I really like that big flat stone and your driftwood.  The only thing I'm not sure of is if your betta's long fins might get torn up from some of those branches.  If there is any sharp edges/points you might want to consider filing it down.   Your betta is gorgeous also.  Love his navy color with black face.

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Thanks!  It is good to hear you like it, I have been staring at it for so long now and it is good to hear someone else's opinion!  I really liked your thread, I read through most of it.  I liked how it went for so long, and you could follow the progress of the tank for over a year.  I plan to keep my thread going like that.  I will post more pics as the water clears up and things start to grow (hopefully).

 

About the root tabs-I just couldn't keep them buried, and I had trouble keeping some of the plants down too.  I think I got them all in there now.  I will probably switch to flourish and excel like you did.

 

And the driftwood-I was really worried about it being sharp too, or maybe taking up too much space.  He seems to be doing fine with it, and I am surprised at how small he can make himself to fit through all the little spaces.  Having a betta is nothing like having a goldfish!  I will be watching him/his fins closely everyday, and if it becomes a problem I have some more nice rocks I can replace it with.  Also the guy at the store said a lot of people will tie moss to the branches which could be a cool idea.

 

My betta keeps attacking my snail!  The snail really has not moved much at all, but the betta keeps flipping him and then attacking!  What can I do?

 

Now just some plant questions.  Will the hairgrass sort of spread out to fill in the spaces, or is that something I will have to do?  Also, which of my other plants can be trimmed/replanted to make new plants?  I can't wait to see how everything grows, I am so impatient!  The only thing I want to add is a reddish dwarf lily plant in the back left corner to cover the filter/heater.  I think the red color will look really cool with my blue fish.  None of the local stores had that plant, but as I get more confident I may end up ordering from planted aquariums central, I just did not want to spend so much on shipping since I am a newbie and could possibly kill all my plants by accident LOL!

Edited by Josie

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This tank is gorgeous! I would just let everything get settled and do its thing. Everything looks great! Some RCS would look great in there and contrast lovingly with the black sand.

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Yup, that's what I thought too, red shrimp would really jazz it up :)  Like you said, once everything gets settled and I can tell if plants are growing/dying etc I think I will add some.  Do they try to crawl out of the tank though?  Maybe that is a weird question, but I would really not like it if they could climb out of the open space around my filter.

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No, they're not like snails. xD They turn limp and stick to themselves when out of the water. Be careful transferring them to the tank or to another tank. They flick themselves to jump and I had one get stuck to the wall. O.o I was able to save it, it was just frustrating because it was a completely transparent male, so it was impossible to see. xD As long as you cover the net with one hand then you can avoid them jumping.

 

RCS also love to crawl on you and eat the dead skin off your hands.

 

The uncaring-ness of shrimp. This is a male on my finger. My CT, Daeva, was a sickly rescue. This is the only time he tried to eat the RCS in his tank.

 

http://vid1267.photobucket.com/albums/jj558/bk_1125/480AECCD-9DAA-4B29-A552-7ACAA29E5A86-772-00000118CB5B1FF2.mp4

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So this morning I noticed some fuzzy black things attached to one leaf.  They were definitely not there when I planted it.  Anyone know what it is?  The water is still a little cloudy, so the pictures are not great.

 

JeM674C.jpgQutrPos.jpg

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That's black brush/bush/beard algae. Hard to get rid of. The only thing that gets rid of it for me is physically scraping it off (which it still hard) without trying to damage the leaves or to get something that will eat BBA. I don't thing nerites will eat it - mine never touched it. I have a Siamese Algae Eater for my 55g that eats all the BBA, but I wouldn't recommend them in anything smaller than a 40g - mine is the full 6" and he's an active bugger. Mine is single, but I hear they love groups. Mine is happy on his own and eats allt he algae in the tank,along with various types of food I provide him with.

 

SAEs make quick work of algae - this is from two SAEs into a 40g just after 3 months (not my tank):

before.jpg

after.jpg

 

 

You can also try dipping your plants in hydrogen peroxide. Rinse them off extremely well then put them back in the tank. The recipe for the H2O2 dip is 3:1 water to peroxide dip for 6 min. You want to go for a lower solution such as 3% for the dip.

 

Another thing you can try that's decorative is get marimo moss balls. They grow slowly and you have to rotate them every so often so they don't rot, but they have a secret. Marimo balls aren't actually moss, they're algae. Since they're actually algae, they absorb nutrients that other types of algae use, therefore out-competing the other types of algae. Since you want specifically the marimo other types of algae will not grow. I've never heard of marimo balls zapping nutrients from plants, just other species of algae.

Edited by Kiara

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OMG I can't believe I already have algae!  For now I will try to remove the effected leaf since there is only one.  I do have two marimo moss balls in there, they are kind of small and deformed so I got them for 50% off haha.  I am hoping I can get them to grow more round, but I might grab one more nicer big round one to add in if you think it might help my little algae problem :)

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I can't believe I missed them! xD Still, my fiance melted over your tank and betta boy. They're both gorgeous! I love the piece of driftwood. I would want to duplicate that tank and turn it into a RCS tank for me. :D

 

Cutting off the leaf will work. It will spread quickly if you don't. Best of luck with everything!

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OMG I can't believe I already have algae!  For now I will try to remove the effected leaf since there is only one.  I do have two marimo moss balls in there, they are kind of small and deformed so I got them for 50% off haha.  I am hoping I can get them to grow more round, but I might grab one more nicer big round one to add in if you think it might help my little algae problem :)

Roll the marimo balls in your hands like you are making a meatball. I have to do that with my smaller m balls. ;)

Your tank is AWESOME!  :hi5 I hope everything grows well for you!fingerscrossed.gif

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BIG NEWS!  I woke up this morning and my water was TOTALLY CLEAR!  I am so happy.  Also my snail is finally acting like a snail and crawling along the glass :)  ALSO my water parameters are awesome: Ammonia=0, Nitrite=0, Nitrate=0 which is a big deal to me, since my tap water has 1 ppm ammonia.

 

So...what do you guys think as far as a water change schedule?  I was thinking of doing 50% once a week, and keeping an eye on the parameters throughout the week in the beginning.  Another thing, my tap has a KH of 60, and for my GF tank I add baking soda.  Should I do that for my betta too or does it not matter?

 

I did clip off that one leaf that had algae on it, and I added a larger moss ball to help prevent new algae from forming.  I have also started feeding frozen bloodworms to my betta, and he LOVES it!  He hides in the little hairgrass and pretends like he is hunting :)  I started having a weird white glow around the driftwood, but I have heard that is normal and I am hoping it will clear up on its own.  Now, for some pictures!

 

First, here is a pic of the whole tank now that it has cleared up:

B6aCA7r.jpg

 

And here is a picture of what looks like a new little baby leaf already, and my new moss ball next to it:

LpDRzTE.jpg

 

Now for a picture of my betta, you can see he has a little bit or red on his pectoral fins.   I think I will name him "Babe" like the blue ox (since I am from MN and all LOL):

lfA8iva.jpg

 

Finally, one more pic of Babe slurping up a bloodworm, YUMMY!!!

DZazj1G.jpg

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I just have to add one more picture because I really like it!

 

TBaqHng.jpg

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I really have high hopes for your tank! :whisper

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Everything is gorgeous! I can't wait to see the plants grow! It's going to look amazing!

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Really pretty betta boy. :D

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Wow, i am just tuning in, but this tank is amazing! Fish is very pretty too. :D you've done a great job!

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Woah, gorgeous tank!! :o:thumb:

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Update:  My snail died :(  But on a positive note, I made a few small rearrangements to my tank.  I got rid of the crypt wendtii that was in the back left corner because it was kind of an ugly brown color and it reminded me of a weed.  I replaced it with some Argentine sword and also a plant called reinecki roseafolia, which I love!  It is hard to tell in the pics, but it is a bright pink color.  I really hope it grows.  I also put some of it in the back right corner in front of my vesuvius spiral sword, which I trimmed down a little today.  I originally had a big rock tied to the driftwood to weigh it down, but it also made the driftwood sit at a funny angle.  Today I removed the rock, and I think it looks much better!  I also took out the bigger flat rock, because I wanted to have more space to spread out the dwarf hairgrass to create a lawn for my fish.  I think my tank is looking a lot better, and with the hairgrass spread out like that, it should fill in really nicely.  I am getting seachem flourish and excel in the mail tomorrow and next week I am going back to my LFS to get a new snail and also some RCS!

 

A pic of the changes:

kE7frMC.jpg

 

And a slightly different angle:

QuGZqZj.jpg

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Just get the shrimp. The shrimp will eat the algae and they also eat fish food and things like algae wafers. Nerite snails need specifically fresh algae, preferably brown diatoms. Your tank is so new that it won't a sufficient quantity of algae for quite some time. Just stick with the shrimp - they'll control any algae that pops up. How many are you getting? Sometimes it's easier to get them online because you can get 25 for $10-$15. I paid $20 for 4 RCS (which one died right off the bat) at my LFS. Never again. lol

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Oh, ok good idea. I didnt know that about the snails. Not sure how many to get, I thought I might start with 10. Is that too many? I will check out the price at my LFS, I have no idea how much they charge for RCS, but I'm sure you are right that they are cheaper online.

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You can never have too many RCS in a tank. The general rule is that you can have 10 shrimp per gallon, but if you go over 10 per gallon then you won't be overstocking because they have such a small bioload. You can easily fit 50 RCS in your tank along with your betta. Look online, you'll find a bunch of great deals.

 

Here they have RCS $0.50 a piece.

 

http://breedinusa.com/shop/en/shrimps/15-red-cherry-shrimp.html

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Wow you are definitely right!  I called my LFS today (which usually has fair prices) and they charge $19.99 for only 3 RCS!  I will be ordering online for sure.

Edited by Josie

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Wow you are definitely right!  I called my LFS today (which usually has fair prices) and they charge $19.99 for only 3 RCS!  I will be ordering online for sure.

 

Prices have gone up, so if you can't order the RCS from the site that I posted then you can easily get them off of eBay or AquaBid for roughly $30 for 25 RCS.

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