HANdS 5G Planted Betta Tank
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Old 09-15-2012, 12:20 AM   #1
l8nite
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HANdS 5G Planted Betta Tank


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Specifications
5G Marineland Eclipse Hex 5
Dimensions: ~ 14" x 12.5" x 16.8"
Substrate: Eco-Complete Black
Lighting: 13W Daylight CFL from Home Depot
CO2: None
Fertilizers: API Leaf Zone
Flora: Taxiphyllum Barbieri (Java Moss), Bacopa Monnieri (Moneywort)
Fauna: 1 King Crowntail Betta, 2 Nerites (Zebra/Spotted)


The Acquisition Story
This was a present for my 2 year old daughter Aria when her baby brother's due date was approaching. It's currently housing a Teal/Purple King Crowntail Betta named "Alpha".

This is our first fish-tank, ever. I wanted to plant it, so it also became my first experience with needing to keep something green alive too.

I fishless-cycled the tank using janitorial ammonia. It has eco-complete substrate and two clefted rocks for hardscape. The first plants I put in it were a selection of small java ferns and anubias from Petsmart. They were doomed. I was still learning how to measure water parameters, dose ammonia, etc... at some point I must have had easily 20ppm of ammonia in that tank, and the plants did not survive.

Thankfully, I reset the water and the tank cycled uneventfully after that. It now houses a healthy portion of Java Moss and a bunch of Moneywort courtesy of tpt member aweeby. They've only been in there a week, so I can't say for certain how they're doing, but they look healthy

Last edited by l8nite; 09-24-2012 at 05:33 AM.. Reason: Journal update
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Old 09-15-2012, 12:20 AM   #2
l8nite
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I originally had one "post" for each tank, but I started a new thread for each of them because it is easier to manage that way.
Here is the 29G community tank thread.

Last edited by l8nite; 09-17-2012 at 04:17 AM.. Reason: Journal update.
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Old 09-15-2012, 12:21 AM   #3
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Here is the Fluval Spec 2G tank thread.

Last edited by l8nite; 09-17-2012 at 04:26 AM.. Reason: Journal update
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Old 09-17-2012, 03:41 AM   #4
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This is Aria's Betta tank before I got the moneywort/moss from a tpt member (thanks again, aweeby!). I originally had this piece of fauxpani resin decoration in there, which now that I look back at, is ugly as hell. The plants in there all died from ammonia poisoning, unfortunately


Here is one of two Nerites in the Betta tank. The other one was camera shy.

Last edited by l8nite; 09-17-2012 at 04:27 AM.. Reason: Journal update
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Old 09-17-2012, 02:55 PM   #5
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Try throwing 2 or 3 Red cherry-shrimp in the to clean out the moss my betta loved to watch them.
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Old 09-17-2012, 08:16 PM   #6
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Thanks for the tip! I'm probably going to do that, though I read that they might become lunch? Will ghost shrimp do the job?

I guess I'll just have to try.
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Old 09-17-2012, 08:47 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by l8nite View Post
Thanks for the tip! I'm probably going to do that, though I read that they might become lunch? Will ghost shrimp do the job?

I guess I'll just have to try.
Some bettas are peace makers.

Against all genetic programming.

I might try with my turquoise girl QiBaby. My RoyalBlue PranaMama would shred those puppies in minutes.
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Old 09-18-2012, 02:54 AM   #8
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Glad to see that it arrived well. And sorry for sending you that messy moss. I didn't realize it was so full of clado. The stuff that's in there won't harm anything or spread very much, but shrimp and snails rarely eat it. I wouldn't risk shrimp with a betta. Algae killers should handle it if you are bothered by it, but take out the nerites to be safe unless you know you have one that won't kill inverts. I treated it (and washed it) before I sent it, so it should be on the tail end of life.

Ammonia is a form of nitrogen that plants will consume... so ammonia poisoning doesn't sound likely. But whatever it was, the problem seems to have gone away.
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Old 09-18-2012, 03:15 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aweeby View Post
Glad to see that it arrived well. And sorry for sending you that messy moss. I didn't realize it was so full of clado. The stuff that's in there won't harm anything or spread very much, but shrimp and snails rarely eat it. I wouldn't risk shrimp with a betta. Algae killers should handle it if you are bothered by it, but take out the nerites to be safe unless you know you have one that won't kill inverts. I treated it (and washed it) before I sent it, so it should be on the tail end of life.
Thanks, no problem! It really doesn't bother me at all -- makes it feel "lived in" :P Ghost shrimp are cheap, and I wanted some for my 29G tank anyway, so I picked up 8 from Petsmart today... we'll see how Alpha does with one or two of them in there.

Quote:
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Ammonia is a form of nitrogen that plants will consume... so ammonia poisoning doesn't sound likely. But whatever it was, the problem seems to have gone away.
Most of the plants just melted away -- could have been transitioning to the new tank, could have been poor handling by me, I'm not sure. Definitely a learning experience

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Old 09-19-2012, 07:44 PM   #10
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So, I think I want to pull some of that moss out and put it in my 29G, but now I'm afraid of the algae

I'm probably going to take it all out and put it in a quarantine tank to treat with algaefix. How much time do I need to wait after treating it before I put it back in the tank (so it's safe for the nerites/shrimp)?

Also, I was only able to spot 1 of the original 3 ghost shrimp in there, but there are a lot of hiding places under the moss / between plants / etc. When I first introduced them, Alpha was curious, but didn't attack any of them, so I guess that's encouraging.
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Old 09-21-2012, 10:57 AM   #11
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So after a bunch of reading, it seems like algaefix is pretty harsh stuff. Instead, I spent about 2 hours sifting through the moss and cleaned it pretty nicely if I do say so myself

It remains to be seen if the algae will return, but at least it looks nice for the time being. I split it into two portions and put one half in the 29G (which I made some small scape changes to (pics tmrw)).
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Old 09-21-2012, 01:04 PM   #12
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My betta chased them at first then kind of started watching them then just chilled and let them do what they do.
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Old 09-21-2012, 09:12 PM   #13
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My betta chased them at first then kind of started watching them then just chilled and let them do what they do.
Haha, yea I think he ate the juvenile, because I couldn't find it while I was cleaning the moss, though it's possible it was just hiding well in the moneywort plants somewhere. He has left the adults alone after staring at them for a few minutes when I first introduced them.
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Old 09-24-2012, 04:51 AM   #14
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Haha, yea I think he ate the juvenile, because I couldn't find it while I was cleaning the moss, though it's possible it was just hiding well in the moneywort plants somewhere. He has left the adults alone after staring at them for a few minutes when I first introduced them.
Pretty sure about this. I can find the other two without too much trouble, but I've looked up and down the tank and can't see the little one.

Alpha and his tankmates are all doing great now. I'm glad I was patient with the fishless cycling on this one, it seems like everything in the tank is doing well, and my daughter loves saying good morning to him, helping feed him, giving his tank kisses, etc.
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Old 09-25-2012, 06:15 AM   #15
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Alpha is happy - I am still letting my daughter feed him (with some gentle guidance and reminders about how much to put in), but I think he's being overfed.

I didn't feed him on Sunday per some reading I did about Bettas and over-feeding. Today he got some freeze-dried bloodworms, which he will eat straight from your fingertips.


The Bacopa Monnieri and Java Moss I got from aweeby are starting to grow! I noticed that some of the stems are at least an inch taller than when I planted them.

My two nerites were hanging out together on one of the stones in the tank this morning, maybe it's love?
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