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Old 05-28-2019, 10:16 PM   #1
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Jack's 10G Betta Build

Hello, everyone!

It's been a year since I started my first 20G and it's still going great. I've decided that it's time to add a second tank. A small 10 gallon betta tank, this time.

It will just be a single male and a couple of nerites for housekeeping. It will be moderately to heavily planted. Substrate is top soil capped with pea pebbles.

I plan to fully detail what I'm using and where I got it from, including the prices. This is so that anyone starting out can see what goes in to a simple setup and how to make it affordable. So far, all that I haven't bought is the plants and the fish.

Here we go!

The basics:
10G Aqueon tank from PetsMart - $16
.75 cubic feet topsoil from Tractor Supply - $2.50
.5 cubic feet pea pebbles from Home Depot - $3.50
Nicrew LED Full-spec planted tank light - $25
Surge Protector with timer - $22
Aqueon glass lid, very important for bettas! - $25
Marina HOB Filter 15G - $15
Silicone to modify the filter, more on that later - $6.50
.5 cubic feet Lava rock for biofilter, Tractor Supply (actually bought for another project, but have leftovers) - $5.50

Hardscape:
Two pieces of wood that I scavenged and have been seasoning for a year - Free
2 lbs of petrified wood from in-state seller who is hand picking me pieces - $22

Plants:
Java fern cultivated from my current tank - Free
Echinodorus Parviflorus x3 - $16
Anacharis - $7
Pennywort - $8
I've bought from plantsfactory before and was very happy with my purchase.

Livestock:
Likely buying in-state from Space City. I like halfmoons the most. After that, nemos, galaxies, and grizzles. For colors I like the lavenders, blues and mustard gas. The price range for what I like tends to be between 25 and 40.
Nerite snail x2, Petsmart - $5

Total: ~$200

I'll keep you all updated as I go!
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Old 05-29-2019, 01:52 PM   #2
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Something I forgot to mention; I'm using a JW aquarium thermometer that I already happened to have. It was my original thermometer for my 20, but I upgraded to a digital probe.

I'll be taking some shots of the setup so far later on today when some of my supplies come in. Tune in then!
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Old 05-30-2019, 12:39 PM   #3
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Update to the build! All of my equipment is in except for the lid. Unfortunately, I hit a bit of a snag a few days ago.

I was taking pics of some hard scaping like so:



And I noticed something....



Is that a crack??



Goddangit, that's a crack.

I don't know if it's always been there or if it's a new development. This is the tank I used for quarantines in the past. I ended up having to go out and get another one, but I had already included that in my calculations for the first post, so this doesn't affect my budget.

Kinda funny how this started as something to do with the 10 gallon and I ended up having to replace the tank itself.

Moving on, I got in my filter and sized a mesh bag for lava rocks for mechanical and biological filtration. In hind sight, I will never do this again. Hand sewing tule is a nightmare. I already had the tule from another project, so it's not in the budget.

I went ahead and floated it in my main tank so that it can start getting some of that yummy bacteria.



Anyone have any insight into how long it'd take in an established tank to start building bacteria?
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Old 05-31-2019, 05:59 PM   #4
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I'm still waiting on the petrified wood and it seems like it'll be another week, unfortunately. Until then, I can't top off the soil, can't get plants and can't flood the tank.

In the meantime, I set up all of my equipment. This includes a nice backdrop to block the view to the mirror behind the tank.

Since I'm a graphic artist and photographer, I went ahead and did up a diffused image of lily pads on a pond and had it custom printed for my tank.
It turned out great!


Here it is in place
With plants and decor in the tank, it'll look awesome. It also hides the filter and cables after I get everything done.

I also cut out a portion of the back of the lid for the filter. And since I was concerned about potential splashing on the light, I just used the cut out as a splash guard.


Looking forward to being able to finish the hard scape!
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Old 06-15-2019, 05:57 PM   #5
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Many things to update!

My plants came in and all but the pennywort arrived in pristine condition. The anacharis and dwarf amazon sword I got from Plants Factory and have always been happy with them. The pennywort came from someone else and had a rough time of it. I twas delayed three days during shipping, which wasn't the seller's fault, but arrived half dead as a result. He was really great about it and said he'd replace it at no charge if it died, but thankfully there is a lot of new and healthy growth on it, so I'm not worried.

The pale piece of driftwood I actually got from my own tree last year. I soaked it for a couple of months and then seasoned it outside for about half a year. Then boiled it again and shoved it in the tank. Obviously, it still has some seasoning to go because it's grown quite a thick carpet of white, gummy fungus. I'm not concerned about it.
Just part of the process.

BUT I noticed an interloper today. Not sure if it came in on the wood or one of the new plants, but it looks like a midge larva. It's unfortunately munching on the baby java fern I put in that already wasn't doing well in my other tank (wasn't getting enough light there). Too bad their life cycle is relatively quick. A betta fish would enjoy slurping up midge larvae!

Otherwise, we're just in the cycling stage. My ammonia is cycling to zero now after dosing, but my nitrites are still off the chart.

Here is the build so far
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