So this Saturday I was looking around the LFS
just for fun, and decided that I'd get a betta, and probably just keep it in the bowl. BUT as my parents came over (they were at the grocery store just one over) they said why don't we get a tank, and so I'm like sure what the heck, but then we learned they were having a massive sale that day and so we decided we'd come back later and get the (this is where the cringing really starts :S) betta, a ten gallon tank (with a filter/heater/top/light with 8 white LEDS and 2 blue ones for 60 bucks in total), 10 feeder goldies, water conditioner, live bacteria liquid stuff, and some other waste decomposing liquid as well as food and gravel (just the usual starting stuff).
So, I knew enough that I had to let the tank cycle a bit and let the bacteria grow so I didn't put the fish right in, but me, knowing the small amount, thought a few hours was enough time and then I put the goldies as well as the betta in later that night (also turns out they gave me 11 goldies instead of 10). Everything seemed fine for a while and I added 2 rocks, a magnifying glass piece, and some odd amethyst looking rock (they were all boiled prior to insertion). So the fish were happy and the first day was fine.
Sunday morning was when the real trouble hit, first the food slipped when I was feeding them and instead of 10 flakes they got a load of about 100, and trying to get them with a net didn't really do much good. About half an hour after that, my filter stopped working so I took it apart and after a lot of fiddling and trial and error I got it to work, then I had to leave for the day (this was all at about 9 am).
I came back at about 6 that night and seeing as the water got cloudy I went to the closer pet store (not even a fish store just a small corner thing) and got some pleco's (at least I think that's what they are? catfish that eat the leftovers and waste?) cause I figured they would help in getting rid of a lot of the leftover flakes that I couldn't get out.
That night I ended up doing a lot of research and found this site, and then i learned all the tragic mistakes I had made.
So I woke up this morning and one of my goldies was dead (it was small and was stuck to the filter intake when I first saw it) but I freaked out and thought it was definitely some sort of poisoning instead of the intake just being too strong for it to resist. I also read that apparently the API testing kit is really great so I looked for one at the LFS
but they only had a different company, and I didn't have much to spend so I wanted to only get the ammonia, nitrite, and a gravel vac, but didn't have enough money for even that so the guy at the counter said I could come back some other time for the gravel vac as it isn't as important (but he got cut off by the lady at the cash who seemed much more knowledgeable and she recommended getting only nitrite as if nitrite is high ammonia is as well, and so I could get the gravel vac)
I went home, tested the nitrite (showed 8 ppm
) so I did a partial water change (but forgot to unplug my heater/filter, how bad is this? :S) but nothing terrible happened.
So now I'm here, and that was about an hour ago, everything looks fine, but I feel like I've made too many mistakes for my fish to survive more than a week so I need advice,
Thanks, and apologies for my "noob-iness".