Aquarium advice

AshleyNicoleMay 9, 2005

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    Bookmark   May 9, 2005 at 5:03PM
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just saying its an awesome aquariumadvice website, everyone actually knows what they're talking about.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2005 at 5:25PM
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everyone actually knows what they're talking about.

That is a huge statement if that was the case why bother going there as there would no problems, no questions asked as they all know it all.

I have never heard of this site and I can asure it is not in the top ratings.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2005 at 4:41AM
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just happens to be ranked in the top three right now
usually within the top 5, sometimes number one or two. When i asked for advice here, i always get controversial answers... on, i get rock solid answers with research to back it up.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2005 at 7:04AM
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drygulch(z9 AZ)

Ashley, is a nice site, and you can possibly get more consistently accurate (or at least more in-depth) advice there than on this forum.

Having said that, I reviewed a few of the threads there, and found, as I do here, instances of conflicting, confusing and just plain bad advice, as well.

You should always take free advice from any source with a grain or two of salt.

I do think that this is a good forum for folks that aren't necessarily long-term, dedicated aquarists. Like anywhere else, you kind of have to sift through the chaff to find the wheat at times, but it's probably worth the effort.

In any case, folks that respond to questions on any forum are doing so to be helpful, out of the goodness of their hearts, with no possibility of personal gain for their efforts. In my opinion, any such effort is laudible and should not be criticized. It's fine to disagree with specifics, but keep in mind the spirit in which advice is offered.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2005 at 1:29PM
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oceanbubbles(Newport Bch CA)

Well said Drygulch

    Bookmark   May 17, 2005 at 4:31PM
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Glow_AZ(8 AZ)

Hi....I have just acquired my first Betta..and boy am I dumb about him.
I will truly appreciate all advice.
have no idea if is a male or female...he is blue but not very vibrant color...and red lttle fin things in the front. He came in a bowl with the plant at top with roots growing in to the bowl. Since we know nothing..we need help. We got him ...I think its a small two gallon tank with a light and a filter. One of those Octagon shapes. I do have the stuff to put in his water to combat the bad stuff. I dont really know whats is best to feed him. I have a food right now...that is shrimp ..I think and smells. :)
After reading the posts...I'm not sure what to willing to get a bigger tank and etc. Need advice. Am willing to get the cory cats to put in with him.
I am an animal lover....but hate not knowing what to do with him. Do not want to harm him. He also came from a gift. :(
I don't even know how often I should clean the tank with the filter....the other bowl type I was cleaning at least every third day. If someone has the patience to set me up well with him...I will obey your command. :) I think they are a beautiful fish.
Please excuse me if I do this wrong...this is my first post. Not sure I can even find my way back.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2005 at 8:39PM
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james_ny(z7 NY)

Common sense has to be applied to most answers. Many people think its OK to keep bettas in a cup, and in truth it can be done. But whats the sense of keeping any animal in a cage so small it can hardly turn around? Do people keep their children in a closet? What hurts Bettas is their so adaptable to substandard living conditions people think its OK. Much confusion often results from incomplete data supplied with the question [usually why are my fish dieing?]. Unless you state the ph, ammo, nitrate, etc how can anyone make a informed decision? Sorry if i'm ranting. Also people often try to help when they don't have much experience with the subject. Hard to blame someone for wanting to help.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2005 at 9:07PM
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woeisme(z7b NC)

If you have a 2 gal aquarium that should be OK.(5 gal or mor is better) The only chemical additive you should need for the moment is something that removes chlorine.(If you have city water or your well water is treated with chlorine for some reason) Do you have a filter built in to the hood or an under gravel filter(UGF)? The UGF has a 1" clear tube atatched to a grate that is under the gravel and usually is powered by an airstone with tubing and a small pump. You should get a small heater for the tank as well as a themometer. (I prefer the glass type with a suction cup) Temp should be between 73-86 degrees F. If the set up you have has an incadesant type light. It should be replaced with a compact flourescent type.(They are sold in Walmart also) Try to get one that is no more than 5 watts and the ones that are marked as "daylight"if possible this will bring out the colors more. The incadescent lights can heat up a small tank rather quickly while flourescent burns much cooler. Do a partial water change at least every 2 weeks (25% of the water should be replaced) Only feed as much as he can eat in 2 min. NEVER over feed. It is better to actually under feed until you get used to his habits especially in an unestablished tank. If you can get a test set that measures ammonia,nirtite,and ph. Hope this helps. Oh yeah if you bought him in a bowl he is mostlikely a male. They must be kept seperated (males) or they will fight to the death.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2005 at 9:31PM
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Glow_AZ(8 AZ)

I have a UGF...but don't think I can turn it down which I would like this one is causing too much movement on the top, I think.
I have two diff. types of feed, one is the shrimp flakes, the other the little round betta food..I try that one..but he seems to go after it and spits it right back out so not sure if he doesn't like it or it is too big.
I will get a test set.
I didn't purchase him..was given as a gift in a one gallon bowl with the plant ..I think a Calla Lilly growing out the top with roots in the bottom. I have no plans of putting another Betta with him. If anything may try the tiny cory cats.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2005 at 10:03PM
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james_ny(z7 NY)

If your keeping other fish with the betta you have to be a little more careful about the water conditions. Bettas breath air so water parameters aren't too important. A 10 gal with a small hang on filter and florescent hood would be perfect. A piece of driftwood to ensure a few still areas of water. No sharp decorations, gravel is optional. Make the tank look good. You could do with less, but you'll get more enjoyment from a good looking setup and your betta will show his best colors and be more active.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2005 at 7:57PM
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woeisme(z7b NC)

You can purchase a valve for you airline that can regulate airflow. Cost about $2-$3. Also a check valve isn't a bad idea. This will help backflow of water to your pump in case of a power outage. The water will damage the air pump if this happens. I personally would go with a 10 gal. also and maybe use the hex for a hospital or isolation tank. I disagree with James on the water parameter issue. Your waters pH is a concern for an unestablished aquarium. If pH is high in an unestablished tank nitrite becomes more . lethal than in lower pH.This can result in death or major stress causeing finrot or other disease/sickness. I also would reccomend a gravel because it hosts a great deal of beneficial bacteria as the tank establishes. Enjoy the calla lilly in the garden instead of your tank. Only use true aquatic plants in your aquarium. Bettas do well with a good diet of flakes (veggies) as well as a shrimp or other "meat" foods. Corys are very active when kept in groups of 5 or more. A rule of thumb is an inch of fish per gal of water. If you are keeping the hex you are at your limit with just the betta.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2005 at 9:34PM
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Glow_AZ(8 AZ)

Thanks a lot here I come. :)
Les see...Driftwood, aquatic plants, veggie flakes, some corys.....and most of all a bigger tank. But you guys...this gets worse all the I need a check valve? Like I know what that is. Sounds like I can never leave the house because of one fish? Phewwwwww
I will try to find a test kit for the PH...sure hope it has directions on what the water should be. Think I will keep the Hex tho for special things....Now what do I do with the snails?

    Bookmark   May 19, 2005 at 8:01PM
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woeisme(z7b NC)

Hold off on corys for the moment. Wait until you have established your new tank. The snails will be fine with the betta as long as they are large enough. If you use real driftwood make sure it is meant for aquariums. Better yet buy a piece that is allready in the dealers aquarium. The longer its been there the better. Driftwood not meant for aquarium use can leech harmful chemicals into your water until it "cures" . You don't "need" drift wood but it is a nice "ornamant". As far as the check valve, some valves are also check valves this will save you the cost of an airpump replacement. If you are going with the bigger set up dont worry about the valve unless you are planning to use an airpump. The reason for the test set for Ammonia and Nitrite is that new set ups go through a break in period. At first everything is somewhat sterile, new tank ,water,fish etc. After a few days the ammonia level will rise this is lethal to any fish.This is also the begining of a beneficial bacteria growth. The ammonia is from fish waste and left over decaying food. Soon the ammonia spikes way high. This produces Nitrite,also lethal. The nitrite also spikes thats when the pH comes into play. The higher the pH when nitrite is present the more lethal it is. If your water is slightly acidic(slightly below 7.0 ppm) this is actually better. After the nitrite spikes it usually disapates and turns into Nitrate which in small quanities is harmless to fish. This is called the nitrogen cycle. After the tank grows enough beneficial bacteria ammonia and nitrie should disappear completely(or at unmeasureable levels). The nitrate is removed from your partial weekly/biweekly water changes. In nature its called rain. Most fish can handle pH from 6.0-8.0 (some prefer low and some need high). Also some tap water actually contains nitrite as well as nitrate. A good starter plant is Java fern or Java moss. They grow in just about all conditions. Anacharis is good to. Be careful of plants that need high lighting (usually red ones) The lighting that comes with a kit is usually not adequate for anything that requires moderate to high light. Keep it simple. Some gravels can buffer pH high. That is ok if your tap water is low pH but if it is a higher pH that can only worsen things. Good luck. Maybe start a new topic if you have any more questions.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2005 at 9:52PM
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james_ny(z7 NY)

A check valve is necessary if the air pump is below the water level. It keeps water from siphoning back into the pump and shorting it out. If the pump is elevated water can't flow back into it. Either way the valve is only a couple of bucks. Also be careful with the snails. They reproduce so rapidly you'll have no room for water.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2005 at 10:46PM
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unless you have loaches which do nicely to keep snail populations in check!

    Bookmark   May 20, 2005 at 6:55AM
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isis_nebthet(8b/11suns SoCA)

The air pumps you buy at Wal-Mart come with the check valve.


    Bookmark   May 20, 2005 at 9:57AM
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