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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-25-2015, 12:37 AM Thread Starter
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Question Setting up a tank for a Betta.

Hello all!

Boy, I haven't been in this site for about two whole years. But I'm glad to be back! Let's get to talking.

Sunday, 20th of December.
I bought a 5 gallon fish tank and supplies to set up the fish tank.
Currently it is in the middle of cycling. I know I am not nearly finished with the process yet. I bought a test kit for the water parameters, but unfortunately it doesn't have a test for Ammonia. BUT it does have tests for Nitrite and Nitrate. I have a heater, a filter some Fluorite, an amazon sword and some Java moss.

Obviously the water was cloudy from the fluorite when I set it up, but thankfully it has cleared up to near perfection. I thought I had cleaned the fluorite well enough but I was clearly mistaken. It's ok though, it still looks good. I added some ghost shrimp on Tuesday in hopes to help a little with the cycling. They're small, really cheap and I've actually had great success before in keeping them before. So far only one casualty, but the shrimp was already whiteish from inside the bag when I got it. Hope they survive.

I obtained the Java moss on Wednesday from my LFS. They didn't have any for sale, yet the store manager was kind enough to give me some from one of their show tanks. I was speechless. It was such a great gesture from him. I "paid" him nonetheless.
Having said that, I am hoping the Java moss already has some beneficial bacteria on it and will help with the cycling of the tank.

As of now, the Java moss seems to be doing fairly well, but the Amazon sword looks like it's turning transparent-y. I know I put the plants in a little too early in the cycling period but it was an impulse buy... which I know wasn't too smart of me. HOWEVER, I have yet to put fish in the tank. Which I'm happy about. Haha. I started with the cycling by putting some food in it, kicking in the ammonia levels.


Enough of the cycling. Now come the questions.
I want to make this tank a bettaautolinker.com autolinking image compatible tank. I've been doing some research and would like to ask some questions to keep the bettaautolinker.com autolinking image as comfortable as it can be.

So here are my questions/ concerns:
-What is the proper pH parameter for a Betta?
-How beneficial are Almond Leaves? (Should I even buy any?)
-I have a small piece of drift wood. I boiled it for about 6 hrs and got the tannins out. Will this piece lower the water's pH? (I do have a pH tester, it's just attached to the rest of the test strips.)
-Along with making this a Betta tank, I want to add some nice plants to it, hence the Amazon Swords, and the Java moss. I'm also going to buy some marsilea minuta in hopes to get a decent carpet. Are there any small lights good enough to satisfy the light needs for these plants? I know they're not high light needing lights, but I still want to get them nice and green.
-I'm also thinking of maybe getting some CO2 up and running in the tank. Something small and DIY.

If this tank is too much for a betta to handle, then I might just make it a shrimp tank of some sort.

Water temperature is currently sitting at a solid 79-81 degrees. It's an automatic heater, "made for bettas" so I can't really change the temperature it's on as it is "always on". It seems to keep a constant temperature though, just as long as the room temp doesn't drop or elevate too much.

So, thoughts? Tips? Concerns?

"For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ..." - Romans 1:16
Tanks: 5 gallon
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-25-2015, 01:00 AM
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Re: Setting up a tank for a Betta.

hi!! So, lucky for you we have some really knowledgable bettaautolinker.com autolinking image folks on this board. I will do my best to answer your questions, and I"m sure that the others will chime in when they are able.

So here are my questions/ concerns:
-What is the proper pH parameter for a bettaautolinker.com autolinking image?


Doesnt matter. use the drip acclimation methods and your fish will adjust to whatever your water type is. I keep bettas in very high Ph hard water, while others keep them in low Ph soft water. As long as you acclimate them slowly they will do just fine.

-How beneficial are Almond Leaves? (Should I even buy any?)
Bettas DO love them, but you do not need to buy them for them to be happy.

-I have a small piece of drift wood. I boiled it for about 6 hrs and got the tannins out. Will this piece lower the water's pH? (I do have a pH tester, it's just attached to the rest of the test strips.)


It may lower the ph but not enough to matter, as I said before, acclimate the fish and the Ph doesnt matter. On another note, bettas LOVE tannins.


-Along with making this a Betta tank, I want to add some nice plants to it, hence the Amazon Swords, and the Java moss. I'm also going to buy some marsilea minuta in hopes to get a decent carpet. Are there any small lights good enough to satisfy the light needs for these plants? I know they're not high light needing lights, but I still want to get them nice and green.

Everyone has been raving about LED lights. I recently used LED flood lights purchased on amazon, which they also sell a small version in a 10 watt. If you are sticking to low light plants, any light will do if it is in the 10K range. The hard part will be finding a light to fit your tank, as its small.

-I'm also thinking of maybe getting some CO2 up and running in the tank. Something small and DIY.

Good plan. This will help your plants do really well.


As I said prior, lots of betta folks around here, and you sound like you are well on your way and taking great care of your future fish. Pop in chat sometime if you see myself, Majerah1, or chipmunk in there. We are ALL about bettas.

70 gallon- Betta Enisae pair, betta Ocellata pair, female Betta Pugnax

29 Gallon- Betta Pallifina and Betta Patoti

20 Gallon- Betta Gladiator

5 Gallon- Betta Channoides

And numerous Betta Splendens

Coming soon: Betta Macrostoma :D
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-25-2015, 11:26 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Setting up a tank for a Betta.

Awesome! Thanks for the reply!

I've been looking around everywhere in hopes to find a good light but none really that fir the 5 gallon. It is indeed a very small tank. Any other ideas as to a light fixture that I may be able to use? I'm looking to get maybe 2 watts per gallon. LEDs sound cool but I'm not limited to them. I will check out the flood lights.

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Tanks: 5 gallon
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-25-2015, 01:08 PM
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Re: Setting up a tank for a Betta.

AquaVibrant

The 16 inch should fit your tank if its a standard five gallon. Otherwise, measure the length. I have this light over a 15 gallon column and couldnt be more pleased with the plant growth.

Keep in mind amazon swords will outgrow your tank rather swiftly.

The driftwood will possibly keep releasing tannins, which is not a bad thing. The ph may still drop some but it will be slow and minimal. These things will not effect the health of the fish, and is something that naturally occurs anyhow.

The almond leaves will bring out the colors of the fish but so will just about any other type of tannins, and it is not necessary, just if you want to go that route

One thing I cannot stress enough with bettas is to keep them warm and clean and a lid over the top at all times. They can and will develop wings and slowly drying out is a horrible way to die. They can breathe air and usually last out of water longer than most other species because of this. Also lids keep their air moist and warm, allowing them to breathe better!

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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-15-2016, 10:02 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Setting up a tank for a Betta.

Alright peeps!! Time for an update!

It's been almost a whole month since I set up the fish tank. The tank is cycled and is starting to come together. Will be posting some pictures of the progress in a bit.
I had bought a beautiful bettaautolinker.com autolinking image at my LFS but unfortunately, there was a miscomunication and they ended up selling it. I was so sad. :\ I felt like I bonded with that fish. It was love at first sight. Haha

But yeah. Pics to come soon. SO EXCITED!

"For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ..." - Romans 1:16
Tanks: 5 gallon
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-15-2016, 11:26 PM Thread Starter
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Arrow Re: Setting up a tank for a Betta.

Here it goes.
12-21-2015
I set up the tank two days prior to this picture. This is me just showing how foggy it was, I guess I didn't fully clean the fluorite in there correctly. Heater is for bettaautolinker.com autolinking image fish and is always on (apparently) so my tank is always ranging from 78-80 F.


01-02-2016
One week prior to this picture I added some driftwood and an Amazon sword along with some Java moss. I have some previous experience with amazon swords, so I decided to add one to my tank, not remembering that they tend to grow quite large. It is currently almost to the top of the tank thanks to some elevated scaping. The Java moss was given to me by my LFS because I wanted to speed up the cycle and they didn't have any in stock. BUT, fortunately they had some in one of their show tanks and the guy gave it to me just for free!! I paid him nonetheless. :D
Also added 10 ghost shrimp to the set up. They were cheap but hardy. They have all survived.

'

01-09-2016
Added a layer of Fluval Stratum on top of the fluorite. I love the look of fluorite but I think my shrimp like the Stratum a lot better, the first day I put it in they were all just munching away at all the beneficial stuff in it. Moved the driftwood around as well. Amazon Sword is still thriving. also found a very tiny plant that came along with the Java Moss. It's right in the middle attached to some Fluorite. Tank still has not cycled.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 20151221_210743.jpg (3.48 MB, 4 views)

"For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ..." - Romans 1:16
Tanks: 5 gallon

Last edited by ImBrovvn; 01-16-2016 at 01:09 PM. Reason: Added pictures through the forum.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-16-2016, 05:55 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Setting up a tank for a Betta.

I was looking to keep this tank low tech. Don't want to go into the CO2 business. Specially since I've been reading a ton of mixed reviews and different Pros and Cons. Wanted to get a carpeting plant that won't need much nutrients or CO2 and I found marsilea minuta. I am willing to dose Excel and it is what I have began doing.
01-12-2015
I bought some Marsilea Minuta. This plant is so buoyant! It just wants to go up and up and up! It was extremely difficult to make it stay down. Specially since I feel like Fluval Stratum is extremely light. I know M. Minuta will spread extremely slow, but I'm hoping it's a healthy growth. We will see how it goes.


01-14-2016
New light was delivered. I decided to go with the Finnex StingRAY LED Cliplight. The colors are so vibrant now! My phone's camera does it no justice. I kidna wish I had a DSLR or at least a good camera.
M. Minuta is still floating in the water, got to fixing that in the next pic.


01-15-2016
Finally got to placing all of the M. Minuta in the substrate. It looks nice and clean now. Love it. I had to clean the inside of the integrated filter since it had so much debris from the Fluorite. Came home one day and everything was covered in a brown film. Cleaned it and it's infinitely cleaner now. Love it.


01-16-2016
This was an unexpected change. I had ordered some Anubias Mini from Amazon, quite a risky buy but I think it was definitely worth it.
I ordered them the 14th and received them the 16th... Quite the shipping speed.




An hour after I placed the anubias, I saw this happening. 6 of the 10 shrimp that I have were all gathered here. It was such a strange sight. It was nice to see though.


I think these are all of the plants that I will be adding this tank. I might do some Java Fern but I will have to think that through. As majerah1 said, the Amazon will outgrow my tank. For the time being, I'm gonna keep the plant in there until it grows too big or if it just starts growing emersed from the tank.

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Tanks: 5 gallon
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Re: Setting up a tank for a Betta.

lloks great!!

70 gallon- Betta Enisae pair, betta Ocellata pair, female Betta Pugnax

29 Gallon- Betta Pallifina and Betta Patoti

20 Gallon- Betta Gladiator

5 Gallon- Betta Channoides

And numerous Betta Splendens

Coming soon: Betta Macrostoma :D
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-18-2016, 01:41 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Setting up a tank for a Betta.

I lost a shrimp yesterday. It was a female. I dont know why it died though. I tested the water, the only thing "out of normal" range was the Nitrate at 40-50ppm. I had also dosed some Excel the day before that and I was thinking I may have overdosed but the amount of carbon in my tank was fairly low.

I have a question for you shrimp folks out there.
I have 9 shrimp (now). I believe I have 5 male and 4 female. Two of the females are massive. They are extremely big and definitely mature. Ever since I got them, I have yet to notice a single berried one. None of them have gotten prego since I got them. They were not berried at the store and they have yet to be. So, why is this? I remember having another 5 gal tank and that tank was not in the greatest condition yet I had several berried shrimp. So what gives? Are all of a sudden ALL of my shrimp sterile? Or do the males just not know what theyre doing? I would like them to reproduce. Specially since I have yet to get a bettaautolinker.com autolinking image.

Obviously once I get a bettaautolinker.com autolinking image going, I won't mind them not having little babies, but until then... why is this happening, or not happening.

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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-19-2016, 09:11 AM
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Re: Setting up a tank for a Betta.

Beautiful setup! Light looks amazing.

"I've macrostoma tastes on a veiltail budget. "

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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-20-2016, 01:51 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Setting up a tank for a Betta.

Well, the day has come! I finally brought home my little friend! After so many little setbacks.

I went out the 18th and was determined to bring a bettaautolinker.com autolinking image home. Went to my LFS, since they had promised me that they would have some Bettas in stock. It turns out they lied and apparently it will be next week. I decided to just go to PetSmart to see their Bettas. I carefully looked through every single one of their Bettas but none of them caught my eye. There were some nice ones but I had my heart set out on a red and black bettaautolinker.com autolinking image, or a completely red betta.

I didnt find a Betta of my liking and I decided to look to see for some cherry shrimp, just to see. They didn't have those either. Lastly I decided to look for some Ludwigia Repens. I wasn't going to add this plant, but the fact that the plants start turning red really caught my attention. I like red, just in case you hadn't noticed. I didnt find that plant there either so I left pretty bummed out. I remembered that there is a PetCo a little farther down the road and I went there to see if I would have any luck finding anything.

Got to PetCo and immediately went for the Bettas, saw two that I liked, both completely red but one was a little big for my liking. So I got the smaller one. Then I proceeded to walk to their show tanks, and saw some cherry shrimp. There were plenty of them so I also snagged some of those! I brought home 3 since I dont have a ton of room for them since I still had the Ghost Shrimp in that tank. The CRS were also pretty small, two about half an inch, and one was still juvenile. Peobablu about a quarter of an inch long. Very small.
Went to go look for the Ludwigia, but sadly I didn't find any in their shelves. By the way, my local LFS didnt have CRS or Ludwigia either.
Then I remembered that they have a whole water column thing where they keep a ton of different stem plants and bamboo. So I headed there and I found the very last Ludwigia plant!!! It was awesome. Needless to say I went home a happy camper.

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Tanks: 5 gallon
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Re: Setting up a tank for a Betta.

I acclimated the bettaautolinker.com autolinking image and the 3 CRS for an hour or so and I let them loose. Right away I realized 12 shrimp is a little too much for the fish tank. I decided to get rid of the Ghost Shrimp by putting them up on Craigslist for free and theyr were gone within the hour. That was great.

So now Im left with one beautiful male bettaautolinker.com autolinking image, and three curiously red CRS. They are very vibrant, it looks like they might have some quality in them after all.

.

Yesterday I had a little scare. I could no find the super small shrimp and seriously thought the Betta ate it!!! I was a bit mad but not surprised since the shrimp are so small! Thankfully I found the little one today in the morning chilling out under my Java Moss. Theres a picture of the Betta. He looks pretty healthy. I like it. Right away, as soon as I llaced him into the fish tank his fins just grew and he spread them out. It was a beautiful sight.

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Re: Setting up a tank for a Betta.

I've been dosing a tiny bit of Excel into the tank. I came home today to find out that my fishtank has what I believe to be some sort of hair algae. Looks like BBA. I'm really hoping it isn't though. It looks like I have some in my JAva Moss and some on my Amazon sword. I don't like it. I read online and I read I can get rid of it by dosing Excel. I've been doing that but I'm not too constant. I might buy a dripper so I can be more constant when I add Excel to the aquarium. I tested my water today and the test says I don't have any carbon in my fishtank which I find odd. I'm going to definitely dose more and possibly every day. I also changed up my light schedule. I have the lights on for 3 hrs then off for 4 and on again for another 3 until they turn off. I figured it would help me get rid of some of the algae by disrupting the lighting and stuff. I will be leaving this schedule like this for a week and hope to still see some plant growth while dosing Excel.

I read in a website online that a "mature" aquarium should have a kH of around 30. That's the amount of CO2 in the tank correct? Tell me if I am mistaken. Maybe I've misunderstood.

All shrimp are still alive and well. I think the shrimp are being bullied by the bettaautolinker.com autolinking image and will only come out when the lights are off which is very smart from their part. My Java Moss was melting for a while. I think it was all the random fluctuations in the water parameters and the tank cycling. I've been seeing a lot of new growth and I'm glad. I really do hope the Moss takes off enough to make some more shelter for the shrimp.

bettaautolinker.com autolinking image still looks beautiful. I fed him some floating mini pellets but it took him a while to eat them. I'm glad he ate though.

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Tanks: 5 gallon
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Re: Setting up a tank for a Betta.

Back again with another update. So I had planted some Ludwigia Repens. It was decently red, and I really like it. I planted it directly into the substrate and it began blooming some new shoots. Here's a picture of about a week after I planted the Ludwigia.


I still have all of my shrimp. They seem to be doing pretty well. Two of them are always hiding, but I assume it is because the bettaautolinker.com autolinking image intimidates them and they're too small. One of them however is always out and doesn't seem to mind having the bettaautolinker.com autolinking image around.



The fish tank is coming around pretty well. I was having some trouble with some algae but it seems to be dwindling down. I think it is due to the change of light schedule and the dosing of Excel Flourish. I have also gone ahead and purchased a Master Test Kit and a gH and kH test.
As of 01/27/2016 my parameters are as follows:
pH: 6.4
gH: 40-50 ppm
kH: 0 ppm
Ammonia: 0 ppm
Nitrite: 0 ppm
Nitrate: 10-20 ppm
Temperature stays between 76-80F

I would like to increase the kH and I did some research. Apparently the water I am using, which is prettymuch bottled water, is RO water. Meaning it has absolutely no minerals or anything like that. So, having said that I ordered some Seachem Equilibrium, Seachem Flourish, Seachem Potassium and Seachem Phosphorus. The fishtank isn't doing bad necessarily but I'm tinking more in the long run to help aid the growth of the plants and have a healthy ecosystem.

I trimmed the Ludwigia today and planted only the parts that have grown straight rather than all wobbly and stuff. I also found out that my little ball of Java Moss is not composed of only Java Moss but also what seems to be either Christmas Moss or Flame Moss. I tried to separate them as best as I could but I'm sure I missed a bit of the other moss. I'll get it when it grows some more.

Also, the M Minuta seems to be growing pretty well. Already got several new sprouts in the stems and they look healthy. They are a bit lighter than the rest of the plant but I'm hoping with the ferts coming soon that will be fixed.

So this is the aquarium 40 days after set up.
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Re: Setting up a tank for a Betta.

I am of course still getting a tiny bit of algae here and there. I am getting some brownish algae on my glass but I'm only cleaning the front glass and the side glass. The back glass I am not scrubbing to maybe allow some food for the shrimp to grow. If it gets too out of hand I'll just scrub it with my handy dandy toothbrush (it's new). It's not a whole lot so it's not a bad thing to look at. Plants will cover it soon I believe.



If you look closely into the picture below, you can see some brown spots on the plastic of the filter compartment in the fishtank. It is a lot bigger now but it is not completely unsightly. It is honestly, I think, better than the gray that the filter is made out of.
This picture is prior to the Ludwigia being trimmed.
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Re: Setting up a tank for a Betta.

Nice tank. Everything looks great. What tank is that? Looks like one I was looking at for a bettaautolinker.com autolinking image that I'm gonna set up in my son's room once it gets painted.
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Re: Setting up a tank for a Betta.

Here's the updated look at the algae "wall" I have growing on the filter wall. It's just a tad bit more grown out. The reason it has stopped growin about half way is because I usually change my water out that much everytime. It was just while the tank matured and cycled. Back to making 15% water changes now.


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Originally Posted by Chillwill007 View Post
Nice tank. Everything looks great. What tank is that? Looks like one I was looking at for a bettaautolinker.com autolinking image that I'm gonna set up in my son's room once it gets painted.
Thanks. Been working on it every day. :D

It's a Top Fin 5 Gallon Glass Aquarium from PetSmart. It's about $40 and I added a different light since the old one wasn't really helping much.

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Question Re: Setting up a tank for a Betta.

Your tank looks great! I have the same one. If you don't mind me asking, where do you get replacement filters for it? I'm having a hard time finding any online and making a 20 mile run to the pet store isn't the most ideal option.
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