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Old 03-21-2013, 06:45 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by EAL0044 View Post
The Betta Boy has 2 friends, golden molly and orange platty (think both are girls) and they get along great!!!
This could be a source of some of your water quality issues. A 2.5 gallon tank is waaaay too small for mollies and platys. The only fish truly suitable for such a small tank is a betta, by itself, and some people feel it is on the small side for even the betta. The platy and molly put out way too much waste for a small tank, and they are pretty active and can grow to be a few inches long (mollies at least) so they need more swimming space. They need at least a 10 gallon tank, maybe a 20.
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Old 03-22-2013, 12:36 AM   #12
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This could be a source of some of your water quality issues. A 2.5 gallon tank is waaaay too small for mollies and platys. The only fish truly suitable for such a small tank is a betta, by itself, and some people feel it is on the small side for even the betta. The platy and molly put out way too much waste for a small tank, and they are pretty active and can grow to be a few inches long (mollies at least) so they need more swimming space. They need at least a 10 gallon tank, maybe a 20.
I know that now! This acquisition of betta friends was the ill advise of petco guy I was talking about. I am an expert in a thing... or two... but knew nothing about fish when got that little betta with his pitiful bowl kit. Already got the 5 gal tank just have not had a chance to set it up yet. Been busy then sick... The Trio seems ok. Devour food they get (just discovered frozen brine shrimp.... Mamma Mia!!! They go crazy for it! So down to earth... The 5 gal will be the new home for The Trio. But this getting water ready (cycling) will take weeks. Had tank water tested just yesterday, have to look up readings but now the only problem is ammonia 0.5 (or was it 0.05?) in any case the Petsmart Gal seemed pretty with it and said looking at other reading it was still w/in range (is it tho???, thought it was always supposed to be zero). She also told me not to go crazy with water changes as not to strip it of BB (I was going to do every other day 25%) I thought I was getting pretty good sense of what I was doing but now completely lost that confidence. Gardening is so much easier bcs the price of mistakes is lost plant and yes I may have cried over lost plant once or twice (lost MANY MORE) here my mistake may cost I little creatures lives, or pain and suffering. Is there an easy "bulletproof" way to break in a novice as to minimize (eliminate) the losses?
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Old 03-22-2013, 12:45 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by EAL0044 View Post

I know that now! This acquisition of betta friends was the ill advise of petco guy I was talking about. I am an expert in a thing... or two... but knew nothing about fish when got that little betta with his pitiful bowl kit. Already got the 5 gal tank just have not had a chance to set it up yet. Been busy then sick... The Trio seems ok. Devour food they get (just discovered frozen brine shrimp.... Mamma Mia!!! They go crazy for it! So down to earth... The 5 gal will be the new home for The Trio. But this getting water ready (cycling) will take weeks. Had tank water tested just yesterday, have to look up readings but now the only problem is ammonia 0.5 (or was it 0.05?) in any case the Petsmart Gal seemed pretty with it and said looking at other reading it was still w/in range (is it tho???, thought it was always supposed to be zero). She also told me not to go crazy with water changes as not to strip it of BB (I was going to do every other day 25%) I thought I was getting pretty good sense of what I was doing but now completely lost that confidence. Gardening is so much easier bcs the price of mistakes is lost plant and yes I may have cried over lost plant once or twice (lost MANY MORE) here my mistake may cost I little creatures lives, or pain and suffering. Is there an easy "bulletproof" way to break in a novice as to minimize (eliminate) the losses?
I would go ahead and do a fish in cycle for the 5 gallon with the fish you have, and use the filter media from the tank they are in now to "seed" the new filter. Just pop it in the filter next to the new cartridge for a while. That way the cycle will go faster and the fish will already be in more water. The more water you have, the more dilute their waste will be. With the levels in their current tank, it looks like that tank is still cycling anyway, or the filter can't quite handle the bioload. Just do water changes whenever levels get into dangerous levels. Also, don't worry about water changes stripping BB. The vast majority of your bacteria live in the filter and the substrate. Pretty much none of it is in the water itself. If you have to, daily water changes are fine, as are changes of over 50%. And I forgot to mention, go you for getting them a bigger tank! And repeat after me, "I will not take advice from pet store (especially big chain stores) employees without researching first!" Most of the time, these employees don't know much about the animals they are selling. Some do, but for most people it is "just a job" and the stores don't really educate their employees on the ins and outs of fish care. They are there to sell fish and products. So take information and advice from stores with a grain (or a whole shaker, lol) of salt. Especially if they claim some product on their shelves will magically fix your problems.

Also, get your own test kit. That way you don't have to trust that the store is doing it right or reading your results right. Most stores use the test strips, too, which are pretty unreliable. Get the API master test kit, it will run you $18-30. It's cheapest online at amazon. A kit will last you a long time, and with fish in cycling you need to be able to test water daily to make sure your levels are safe for the fish and to determine how large of a water change you may need.
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Old 03-25-2013, 10:14 PM   #14
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Ok! Please help!!! Advise needed badly! All had to be put on hold as there has been a "sickhouse" over here past 6-7 days (and I really mean SICK!) All better now, poor fish got no attention other then food and did tiny WC yesterday, had water checked today, zero ammonia, nitrites "little up, but not bad" "everything else ok" per petsmart lady. Wanted to get the API test kit, it's like 35-36$ think I'll just go to Amazon. Today's emergency is about one of my "trio" (saphire blue betta boy, golden molly and orange platty both I think are girls) the little platty, I do not believe either one of them are fully grown yet. They have been doing great, living in perfect harmony in their tank full of plants and places to explore. Well just this evening noticed that the platty's belly looking really distended. She ate very well this am, didn't notice any bloating then, but... I'd never seen bloated fish bfr.
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Old 03-25-2013, 10:24 PM   #15
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"Sent" instead of "spell check"! Sorry! Anyway, the platty's behavior seems within her baseline, I held the evening meal (usually twice a day small feeding with treat/snack midday at times) noticed couple of stif pieces of poo coming out of her, so guess probable diagnosis is constipation. But I'm not sure why. Everything is this same as has been, diet, water treatment chemical, plants... Orrrr...... Would it be frozen brine shrimp I recently bought and gave them as treat only twice so far, and very little? I have read about frozen peas, none in my freezer, will get some tomorrow and meanwhile pray she is ok. I just wish I know what has caused this as to avoid it in a future. Also read somewhere someone was putting bloated fish in "isolation tank"? I don't have one! I just got this "trio home". I pray I don't have some terrible disease in there.
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Old 03-25-2013, 10:47 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by EAL0044 View Post
"Sent" instead of "spell check"! Sorry! Anyway, the platty's behavior seems within her baseline, I held the evening meal (usually twice a day small feeding with treat/snack midday at times) noticed couple of stif pieces of poo coming out of her, so guess probable diagnosis is constipation. But I'm not sure why. Everything is this same as has been, diet, water treatment chemical, plants... Orrrr...... Would it be frozen brine shrimp I recently bought and gave them as treat only twice so far, and very little? I have read about frozen peas, none in my freezer, will get some tomorrow and meanwhile pray she is ok. I just wish I know what has caused this as to avoid it in a future. Also read somewhere someone was putting bloated fish in "isolation tank"? I don't have one! I just got this "trio home". I pray I don't have some terrible disease in there.
Frozen brine shrimp actually also act as a mild laxative. So I doubt those have anything to do with it. Can you get a picture? If she is eating and pooping and acting normally, and it's just her belly looking big she is probably pregnant. Livebearers can store sperm for months, and if she was in a tank with males in the store she has probably been impregnated. I know you say she looks young, but livebearers can breed at only a month or two old.

And I'm glad you're feeling better!
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Old 03-25-2013, 10:54 PM   #17
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Sorry for the accidental double post. Oops!
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Old 03-26-2013, 10:23 AM   #18
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Thank you sooooo much for your prompt reply! The little orange girl is better!!!! Flat tummy, and was starved this am! Going out now to get substrate for the new tank. Then as soon as some expert tells me how to properly clean it (don't know what previous owner used it for, who know could have had sick fish in there!!) I'll set it up, already got few plant (live, but local stores don't seem to have best selection). What kind of substrate would be best for the betta/platty/molly? I'm keeping them together, they get along great, so why upset the apple cart? I'll probably get another betta for the 2.5 gal and at some point will have to start taking pics! So what do you Guys think? Sand or gravel?
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Old 03-26-2013, 10:39 AM   #19
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Thank you sooooo much for your prompt reply! The little orange girl is better!!!! Flat tummy, and was starved this am! Going out now to get substrate for the new tank. Then as soon as some expert tells me how to properly clean it (don't know what previous owner used it for, who know could have had sick fish in there!!) I'll set it up, already got few plant (live, but local stores don't seem to have best selection). What kind of substrate would be best for the betta/platty/molly? I'm keeping them together, they get along great, so why upset the apple cart? I'll probably get another betta for the 2.5 gal and at some point will have to start taking pics! So what do you Guys think? Sand or gravel?
With those fish it is totally personal preference. Are you using a used substrate or getting new? Used gravel can be a bit difficult to clean unless it is natural gravel, which can be baked in the oven to kill bacteria at about 350-400 for a couple hours, then you just let it cool, rinse well, and use it. For sand you can usually do the same or let it soak in some boiling water, then cool and rinse. Colored gravel usually has a coating on it that might melt, so it can be tricky, and you can't use bleach because it might soak into the gravel and not end up neutralized. I would go with new to be safe. If you had bottom dwellers I would recommend sand, but because you only have top and mid level swimmers it doesn't matter and you can go with whatever you choose. I prefer sand in my tanks, personally. I find it looks more natural and is easier to clean because food and waste don't fall between it to rot, but instead sits on top of it. You can just hover the gravel vac over the top of it and suck the stuff off of it. If you do go with sand, though, be sure to rinse it til nothing is coming out of it then rinse it some more! Put it in a bucket and stick a hose in there or put it under a faucet and stir it around in the water, then pour off the dirty water and fill it back up. You will probably have to repeat this a few times, but a 5 gallon doesn't need much sand so it shouldn't take more than half a bucket of sand. I used half of a two gallon bucket for sand and it filled my 10 gallon nicely. Gravel also needs to be rinsed, but there is usually a lot less dust and small particles in it to be rinsed away. Sand is also a little easier to grow plants in.
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Old 03-26-2013, 10:58 PM   #20
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Thank you! Made trip to Lfs in a hurry this am, literally. Was so rushed got speeding ticket on my way there! 3rd one in 5 months! Never had any tickets! But anyway, ended up getting sand for the new "used tank" and no, would not take chances with used substrate. Got sand and some stones to anchor plants down. Ran out of time tonight, can't wait to set it up. Thank you for your expertly advice. Very much appreciated
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