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Old 01-08-2009, 12:11 AM   #1
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Eclipse Hex 5 & Bettas

Hello there, folks!

What a great and informative community you've got here; I'm glad to have found it!

I'm an aquarium newbie and, drawn in by the gestalt that they are pretty, mostly idiot-proof and low maintenance, I recently purchased two betta fish (Rho and Wade). Got them home and started doing research on them (backwards, I know), and learned that while they can live somewhere, doesn't mean they're going to be happy critters there. Being an animal lover, I can't have unhappy fish, so...

Back to the store I went and picked up an Eclipse Hex 5 tank, a divider, a heater and all the fixin's for a new tank (gravel, silk plants, water conditioner, etc.). Set it up, let it sit for a few days and then put my boys in there. They seem quite happy: zipping around, [mostly] ignoring each other, building bubble nests, etc.

My question for y'all: from the bit I've described here, does this sound like a good - if very simple - set-up for my boys? I have no problem buying another tank and separating them, if having 5 gallons each would make them happier lil dudes. I don't want to add any more critters to the tank (perhaps a snail on each side to clean up, but that's a big 'perhaps')

Also, now that I think of it: the way the divider (one of those perforated plastic sheets with hard plastic stays on each side, the top and bottom) is set up, the filter's intake is on one side and the outflow is on the other. There seems to be quite a lot of surface current on the side with the outflow, while there seems to be very little on the side with the intake. I'm concerned that the plastic stay at the top may be blocking the water's movement, and may be reducing the filter's effectiveness. (I'm 99% sure I can remove the stay and still keep the boys apart.) Thoughts?

My apologies for such a long post, and my thanks in advance for any advice y'all can offer!
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Old 01-08-2009, 04:23 AM   #2
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First off, Welcome to AA...this is a great community full of informative and caring people that are so willing to help! I thought I would chime in since I have a little experience here. I have to male bettas in my household (living in separate rooms) and they are both in their own 5g tank. I think it might be wise to separate them, if anything, just for the extra room they would have. Now...have you read anything on this forum about cycling your tank? There are many useful articles on the topic. Since you already have your fish, and unless you are willing to take them back to the store while you do a fishless cycle, then you will be cycling your tank with them in it. So, you will need to be doing pretty regular water changes (with dechlorinator added to water) on your tank/tanks. I would water changes of 30% daily or every other day until your tanks are cycled would be good. And, you will need a liquid test kit (I use API Master Test Kit) to test your water for ammonia, nitrites, nitrates, pH so you will know how your cycling is going. Cycling a tank usually takes 4-6 weeks. It is basically the building up of beneficial bacteria in your tank that helps keep the ammonia that the fish produce in check so it doesn't kill them. Hope I have helped some, as this community has helped me greatly!! Enjoy your bettas and post pics when you can!!
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Old 01-08-2009, 05:06 AM   #3
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Yes, definitely read the stickys and articles on cycling as soon as possible. If you don't manage your cycle properly, your Bettas are at risk. The cycle starts from the moment you add something to your tank that will result in the production of ammonia. In your case, the waste products created by Rho and Wade.

I echo Dotty's suggestion. Buy the liquid test kits she mentions and conduct these tests at the same time daily until your cycle is finished.

Perform enough water changes to keep ammonia and nitrITE levels under 0.50ppm (but really 0.25ppm is your target). You can do it with the Bettas in the tank/s but test every day and if your levels are high, do a partial water change ('PWC')

If you're willing and able, giving them a 5G tank each is ideal. This would also have the added benefit of making the cycle process a little easier to manage, as the waste of one fish in a 5G is not going to produce as much ammonia as 2 fish in a 5G.

Good luck, and please post questions as you need to. Also we love pictures!
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Old 01-08-2009, 10:54 PM   #4
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Thank you both for your insights. I really appreciate your taking the time to write such thorough and helpful replies. I have to admit, I was REALLY hoping you all would say "That sounds like a great set-up! Good on ya!" - at which point I'd've run out, gotten another Hex and two more fish. Both my cats and I think they are sooo addicting to watch!

But, as it is, I did go and get the 2nd Hex 5. (In a week I've gone from "hrm, maybe I want a fish" to having 3 aquariums. Please tell me this is normal and that I'm not crazy-nuts!) I plan on setting it up tomorrow and then letting it sit until Sunday when I clean the first one, at which point I'll separate my boys.

I also purchased the API Freshwater Master Test Kit, and tested my water for pH and the various ions. 2 fish, 5 gallons, almost 5 days, and the values were as follows:

Nitrite: 0 ppm
Ammonia: 0 - .25 ppm, probably about halfway between, judging by the hue
Nitrate: 0 ppm
pH: 8.2 (Yikes! I'll get that fixed tomorrow.)

Given these numbers - and assuming they stay this way between now and Sunday (pH excepted, naturally) - I'm disinclined to change out the water before then. Does this sound like a good plan?

Whomever wrote that cycling sticky is a very good writer... clear, yet humorous, at the same time. Thumbs up there.

Again, thank you for your help!
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Old 01-09-2009, 12:31 AM   #5
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Don't worry too much about pH... it will fluctuate back and forth as the tank cycles, and messing with it is worse for (most) fish.

Do a PWC if that ammonia (or nitrite) bumps over .5ppm. At .25ppm you're in the 'safe' range but doing a PWC wouldn't hurt by any means. If in doubt, do a PWC.

What other fishies did you get?
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Old 01-09-2009, 05:24 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shalihe74 View Post
Nitrite: 0 ppm
Ammonia: 0 - .25 ppm, probably about halfway between, judging by the hue
Nitrate: 0 ppm
pH: 8.2 (Yikes! I'll get that fixed tomorrow.)
Repeat after me.
I will not chemically alter my pH.
I will not chemically alter my pH.
I will not chemically alter my pH.

The reason is that "pH Up" or "pH down" dosen't solve your problems, they only make the tank parameters fluctuate widly and that just causes stress to fish. Contrary to popular belief, most fish will acclimate to any pH.

Your levels are fine at the moment. Test again tomorrow or the following day. You are likely to see ammonia go a little higher and it may require a partial water change as Bluerose suggested.

And good for you for buying that other tank! Although I fear you have developed a case of MTS (multiple tank syndrome) quite quickly, you have also found the sure. Another tank! hahahaha
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Old 01-09-2009, 10:47 AM   #7
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I will not chemically alter my pH.
I will not chemically alter my pH.
I will not chemically alter my pH.

Yes, ma'am! Saves me a trip to the pet store (aka 'the danger zone'), where I'd probably walk out with more than just chemicals.

I'll definitely check the levels again this evening, and change out the H20 if necessary.

Thank you both.

bluerose: I haven't gotten any other fish, yet; just these two bettas. I do have a BabyBiOrb (in addition to the two Hex tanks) that I haven't populated yet, so I may have some coldwater fish in my future. (Or I may just buy a heater and put another betta in there.) I'm all about low maintenance, so...

Pictures forthcoming when I get them all set up.
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Old 01-12-2009, 11:28 PM   #8
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Photos, as promised!

First shot is of the two tanks. I, um... didn't like how the two hex tanks looked on the table, so... um, I... well, ... Iboughtanothertwotanks. These are Eclipse Corner 5s and I like them sooooo much more than the hex tanks. They have a hinged lid that makes it really easy to get in there to feed, clean, etc. And they look great!!





Okay, on to the fish... first fellow is Rho. He was feeling spunky and wouldn't sit still, so it's not the best shot. He's actually more purple-y/pink-y than he appears in the photo.





Second fellow is his former divided-cell roomie, Wade. He was being a ham and posing like a super-model.





Now, I couldn't let my hex tanks sit empty. But I could only think of a place for one of them, so I set it up and brought home Max (as in Betta Max... oh, I slay me. Man, I hope I'm not the only person old enough to remember those...)




And then, finally, one half of the non-marine menagerie: Cora Munro, using kitty mind power to try and convince Wade he wants to be dinner. Fortunately, her kitty mind power is a very weak force; even more fortunately, the smart cat (Little Annie, not shown) hasn't shown any interest in the fish.



Ammonia levels were high (.5) in Rho's and Wade's tanks this evening, so I've got water prepping and they'll both get 20% PWCs tomorrow.

Thanks again for all your assistance!
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Old 01-13-2009, 04:55 AM   #9
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They look great and pretty bettas!! My only suggestion would be....as soon as you notice the ammonia levels at .5 do a water change right then...and a pretty big one too. I would do a 50% water change.
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Old 01-13-2009, 06:38 AM   #10
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Have to agree with Dotti. 0.5ppm is your upper limit and they need an urgent PWC. Just add the dechlor and the water should be ready pretty much straight away.

PS. You have lovely setup there. Your cat is beautful. I had one that looked almost identical when I was younger. Where'd the name come from?
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