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Old 03-15-2013, 12:27 PM   #1
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Amateur but hate to be ignorant

Good morning! I joined in couple of days ago and just not had the time to introduce myself. Apologies I never planned on having any fish, have always been cat/dog person. I do love fish and all the living creatures. I love and respect nature. Looking at aquarium fish has always brought peace to my soul. On travels always makes sure to visit the local aquarium.... But having one at home.... was never in my plans. Well.... I have become a Fish-parent by the grace of good friends and sweet birthday gift... Got beautiful Sapphire blue Betta boy (pictures will be posted soon). He came in a "betta kit" with little bowl (think it's 1L), little plastic plant. gravel, little pouch of food and water conditioner... Shock... Was an understatement! But he is lovely! And I used to have one years ago when they became popular in those "betta vases" with peace lilly plant. I got one from a friend as my office accessory. Carefully read the instructions that came with him and did everything to the "t", keeping him in that vase (it was about 1.5 gal but rather tall then wide...) changed water every week with bottled reverse osmosis water as instructed. Rudy (the fish) seemed happy in there (how would I know otherwise?) lasted for about 2 yrs. He was beautiful blue veil tail (the one now is either double tail at least that's what the label said). I was very sad after Rudy died but people who supposedly knew about fish said 2 yrs was good for betta, so ingnorant me- got another veil tail, this time red, he was also gorgeous. He also lasted about 2 yrs. Then I quit that job and didn't have that office anymore so fish was the last thing on my mind. Had my hands full with my garden and 3 cats (no dogs any more, tho this I hope will change in next couple of yrs). ....so... Fish! Now, that I have him, I will not be ignorant and will do right by the little guy. Very next day went to petco and got 2.5 gal Betta Bow tank with divider which I took out (it gave vert little room to swim, was narrow and deep, just opposite to what I've already read the bettas like) got few live plants (one of them is anubia I think, rest didn't have labels I'll have to research those as we go. The substrate is gravel, couple of soft plastic plants for color, one taller silk plant, one moss ball (do they do anything??? I got it bcs it said was good for betta), and stacked broken barrel ornament for hiding and play. Also got that floating betta log (he loved it!!!) but this tank is so small the log was obstructing the light and it became very dark in there so I took it out till have little bigger tank. Yes!!!! Already got 5 gal long and shallow (only 11in hight) so should be perfect for betta! Just need to set it up and cycle water! Which I never did with this 2.5 gal! Petco guy never said anything and internet has such overwhelming volumes of info, where do you even begin when you are as "fish stupid" as I am? That same petco guy when asked what other fish I could get for betta as companion eagerly sold me pretty golden molly and orange platty (think both are girls). Well, it's a good thing my work is in a business of caring which makes me sensitive to the needs of other living things (other then my own) and my gut told me to keep close eye on that tank. The Betta started flaring and going after the platty (bright orange, so maybe it was the color) never nipped but after seeing him "nodge" the platty's back with his head couple of times I quickly prepared the old betta bowl with water and took betta to "time out". Went to petco next day, same guy working! just shrugging his shoulders, thank God for the internet!!!!!! got couple of tall plants with broad leaves put those in the tank and then tried to reintroduce betta. Guess what???!!! Everybody is fine now!!!! Very peaceful, no flaring at all. I did read that this tank is probably overstock with those 3 fish so I'm thinking once I get the 5 gal going I'll move them to the bigger one and get another pretty betta for this one. I guess I got HOOKED! they are so fascinating tho and researching them is fun. Thank God my little guy survived the new tank shock and the three have become friends. But now I just took water sample for testing last night, so my water is hard (yes our softener has been busted for months!), ph "slightly elevated", ammonia was ok and nitrates or nitrites? Now I can recall what the guy said but those were "little up" too. This was another petco location and I'm happy to report that this petco guy was much more "with it" and told me to use the solution I bought for 3 days and that this would be ok. I know hard water will make ph go up, but why are my the nitrates (or nitrites) elevated? Am I overfeeding them? I give them just a tiny pinch twice a day and midday snack of dry bloodworms, or mysis, or daphnia. Those get eat up in a split sec. The betta food is the Tetra Floating betta mini pellets, and the other 2 get Tetra Color Tropical flakes. I also bought frozen blood warm cubes, will try those as soon as I have the time to read about how to do it, and then also read about frozen peas, that sounds like great idea, I will try that. Oh, and also read about garlic will have to dig into that one some more. So Guys, whoever reads this looong thing please do not be too critical of the things I post. I joined in attempt to arm myself in more education and information on the topic so that I can do the right thing. If anyone has any suggestions/tips for me please keep shooting! I'm open to any feedback. Forgot to mention the 2.5 gal has built-in filter and lighthood with 15watt incandescent bulb, which I have no idea what that means for the plants I have. So far they seem ok but it has been only 3 wks. The 5 gal I'll be setting up is also equipped with filter and lighthood. Oh! One more thing I was washing the filter cartridge out in running water with each 25% water change which I did twice a week. Petco guy said the cartridge should not be washed out but rather changed every month which I would anyway. Any thoughts? See how ignorant???!!!! I know literally NOTHING !! And trying to keep alive (and happy!) 3 little critters. For those of you who only like short telegraphic types of posts, my apologies. Always had difficulty putting "things in a nut shell" especially when topic is so broad. Good day to every Fishlover out there🐠
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Old 03-15-2013, 01:03 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EAL0044 View Post
Good morning! I joined in couple of days ago and just not had the time to introduce myself. Apologies I never planned on having any fish, have always been cat/dog person. I do love fish and all the living creatures. I love and respect nature. Looking at aquarium fish has always brought peace to my soul. On travels always makes sure to visit the local aquarium.... But having one at home.... was never in my plans. Well.... I have become a Fish-parent by the grace of good friends and sweet birthday gift... Got beautiful Sapphire blue Betta boy (pictures will be posted soon). He came in a "betta kit" with little bowl (think it's 1L), little plastic plant. gravel, little pouch of food and water conditioner... Shock... Was an understatement! But he is lovely! And I used to have one years ago when they became popular in those "betta vases" with peace lilly plant. I got one from a friend as my office accessory. Carefully read the instructions that came with him and did everything to the "t", keeping him in that vase (it was about 1.5 gal but rather tall then wide...) changed water every week with bottled reverse osmosis water as instructed. Rudy (the fish) seemed happy in there (how would I know otherwise?) lasted for about 2 yrs. He was beautiful blue veil tail (the one now is either double tail at least that's what the label said). I was very sad after Rudy died but people who supposedly knew about fish said 2 yrs was good for betta, so ingnorant me- got another veil tail, this time red, he was also gorgeous. He also lasted about 2 yrs. Then I quit that job and didn't have that office anymore so fish was the last thing on my mind. Had my hands full with my garden and 3 cats (no dogs any more, tho this I hope will change in next couple of yrs). ....so... Fish! Now, that I have him, I will not be ignorant and will do right by the little guy. Very next day went to petco and got 2.5 gal Betta Bow tank with divider which I took out (it gave vert little room to swim, was narrow and deep, just opposite to what I've already read the bettas like) got few live plants (one of them is anubia I think, rest didn't have labels I'll have to research those as we go. The substrate is gravel, couple of soft plastic plants for color, one taller silk plant, one moss ball (do they do anything??? I got it bcs it said was good for betta), and stacked broken barrel ornament for hiding and play. Also got that floating betta log (he loved it!!!) but this tank is so small the log was obstructing the light and it became very dark in there so I took it out till have little bigger tank. Yes!!!! Already got 5 gal long and shallow (only 11in hight) so should be perfect for betta! Just need to set it up and cycle water! Which I never did with this 2.5 gal! Petco guy never said anything and internet has such overwhelming volumes of info, where do you even begin when you are as "fish stupid" as I am? That same petco guy when asked what other fish I could get for betta as companion eagerly sold me pretty golden molly and orange platty (think both are girls). Well, it's a good thing my work is in a business of caring which makes me sensitive to the needs of other living things (other then my own) and my gut told me to keep close eye on that tank. The Betta started flaring and going after the platty (bright orange, so maybe it was the color) never nipped but after seeing him "nodge" the platty's back with his head couple of times I quickly prepared the old betta bowl with water and took betta to "time out". Went to petco next day, same guy working! just shrugging his shoulders, thank God for the internet!!!!!! got couple of tall plants with broad leaves put those in the tank and then tried to reintroduce betta. Guess what???!!! Everybody is fine now!!!! Very peaceful, no flaring at all. I did read that this tank is probably overstock with those 3 fish so I'm thinking once I get the 5 gal going I'll move them to the bigger one and get another pretty betta for this one. I guess I got HOOKED! they are so fascinating tho and researching them is fun. Thank God my little guy survived the new tank shock and the three have become friends. But now I just took water sample for testing last night, so my water is hard (yes our softener has been busted for months!), ph "slightly elevated", ammonia was ok and nitrates or nitrites? Now I can recall what the guy said but those were "little up" too. This was another petco location and I'm happy to report that this petco guy was much more "with it" and told me to use the solution I bought for 3 days and that this would be ok. I know hard water will make ph go up, but why are my the nitrates (or nitrites) elevated? Am I overfeeding them? I give them just a tiny pinch twice a day and midday snack of dry bloodworms, or mysis, or daphnia. Those get eat up in a split sec. The betta food is the Tetra Floating betta mini pellets, and the other 2 get Tetra Color Tropical flakes. I also bought frozen blood warm cubes, will try those as soon as I have the time to read about how to do it, and then also read about frozen peas, that sounds like great idea, I will try that. Oh, and also read about garlic will have to dig into that one some more. So Guys, whoever reads this looong thing please do not be too critical of the things I post. I joined in attempt to arm myself in more education and information on the topic so that I can do the right thing. If anyone has any suggestions/tips for me please keep shooting! I'm open to any feedback. Forgot to mention the 2.5 gal has built-in filter and lighthood with 15watt incandescent bulb, which I have no idea what that means for the plants I have. So far they seem ok but it has been only 3 wks. The 5 gal I'll be setting up is also equipped with filter and lighthood. Oh! One more thing I was washing the filter cartridge out in running water with each 25% water change which I did twice a week. Petco guy said the cartridge should not be washed out but rather changed every month which I would anyway. Any thoughts? See how ignorant???!!!! I know literally NOTHING !! And trying to keep alive (and happy!) 3 little critters. For those of you who only like short telegraphic types of posts, my apologies. Always had difficulty putting "things in a nut shell" especially when topic is so broad. Good day to every Fishlover out there��
Hi and welcome to AA. Don't worry about getting blasted about past mistakes, most of us have made them. We don't do that here, we offer each other help/advice and opinions. You will get as much help here as you want/need....
That's a hell of a first post. I'll have to read that again!!!. Don't worry, you'll have plenty of advice/help very soon. One of the biggest things i noticed in your post was, washing the filter cartridge under running water. This is the biggest mistake you can make. Your Beneficial Bacteria(BB) is housed in/on your filter media. Washing in tap water will kill all the BB and will be disaster to your tank. ALWAYS wash your filter cartridge in old tank water... It would be worth you will reading some of the excellent articles on here by very experienced and knowledgeable people.... This will give you a bit of knowledge and then you can ask questions if you don't understand anything in them. It's better than getting info from every direction and not understanding any of it!!!
I'm sure you'll be very busy for the next while....happy reading!!!!!
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Old 03-15-2013, 01:05 PM   #3
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Sorry all, i didn't mean to quote!!!
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Old 03-15-2013, 01:28 PM   #4
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I hope this is how I reply, see??? I don't even know how to use this site! Thank you for your reply. I got new filter cartridges and will replace the washed one. Will be fooling with this today and this w/e. The fish seem ok, but noticed some algae build up on the tank walls. Will do my homework on the articles you suggested. Thanks again
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Old 03-15-2013, 01:52 PM   #5
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Give this a read. Great start up guide.....
Guide to Starting a Freshwater Aquarium - Aquarium Advice
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Old 03-15-2013, 02:07 PM   #6
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Thanks, will have great time reading it tonight in bed (the only time I get to read
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Old 03-15-2013, 04:35 PM   #7
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Welcome to our site, enjoy!
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Please don't forget about the toxins in some corals (like zoas and palythoas)
180 gallon reef announcement!:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sMgmb124jrs&t=35s
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Old 03-15-2013, 06:47 PM   #8
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Thank you, Redsea🐠
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Old 03-15-2013, 08:43 PM   #9
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Smile

Oh and side note, I always or at least ever since receiving ill advice from the "petco guy" on the tank companion for my betta, try to get dig as deep as possible if not sure of something. After all, these are living creators who's wellbeing is in our hands. That's a responsibility
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Old 03-15-2013, 09:46 PM   #10
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Oh and side note, I always or at least ever since receiving ill advice from the "petco guy" on the tank companion for my betta, try to get dig as deep as possible if not sure of something. After all, these are living creators who's wellbeing is in our hands. That's a responsibility
Absolutely, it's our responsibility to educate ourselves also. You'll soon learn not to be so trusting to lfs, especially the 'large' retail ones. Smaller independent stores, i find, tend to more helpful and responsible in their care of fish. They tend to be owned/managed by people who share our passion for fish. Try not to impulse buy, especially fish. Research what you want and make sure it's suitable for your tank. Try not to buy fish because you feel sorry for them or want to rescue them. This is probably the biggest mistake newcomers make and the most likely way to introduce disease's to your tank. Remember lfs job is to sell, sell, sell. Try and find a good independent and build a relation with them....
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