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post #1 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-14-2005, 11:24 PM Thread Starter
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dawn's 2g betta hex journal

Here is my journal for my 2g hex betta tank. I am never happy with my set ups and I'm always changing them so I expect this will be updated often.

Background on me. I have had tanks for the better part of the last ten years. I have had a few breaks which were related to moving (twice) or having a baby (once.) My tanks have been down for a little over a year now (due to a move where the tanks themselves did not survive the long tri-state journey. I was sorely disappointed but decided I would wait until I painted my LR to set them back up (read: purchase new tanks.) Well, here it is a year and a hlf later and still no paint in the LR. I am getting antsy and went out and got me a betta and a 2g hex. Several friends have offered me tanks, but I still have to get stands (and my LR painted!) So here I am. I got my little betta set up (he came from Petco and has suffered some major fin damage.) I found a LFS soon after (had been looking on and off to no avail but really started searching and found it two weeks ago.) I wish I had waited until I found the LFS bc I doubt his fins will ever recover.

August 3
Went to Petco (Mistake #1)with my son to look at fish and kill some time until we picked up his brother. They had just gotten a shipment of bettas in and I looked at a few. Saw a beautiful red with metallic blue edging on his fins and scales. My fish-keeping heart started pounding wildly and I knew I was getting bitten by the bug again. So, I quickly bought the betta (Mistake #2,) some flake food (the only food they had available for bettas) and a travel box to put him in until I could get the 2g hex set up. Called DH mid afternoon and asked him to pick up a 2g hex on his way home as mine were no where to be found. Set it up. There was no gravel in the kit so he spent a few days without gravel. The kids named him Bob (after Bob the Tomato from Veggie Tales.)

August 5
Picked up some white gravel from WM (mistake #3) and some melafix for the damaged finnage. Started dosing with melafix.

August 6
Found fish store.

August 8
Back to the fish store to find bloodworms. He really doesn't like the flake food (surprise, surprise.) Bought betta pellets at the recommendation of the store employees. Still dosing melafix. Got an oto and a few plants (anancharis and java moss.)

August 11
Oto died, probably due to lack of cycling. (Man, I hate feeling like a newbie. I think I am starting from scratch again with knowing what to do. It's slowly coming back to me. But I won't be buying any more fishies for a while.) Bob does not like the pellets but is eating them when really hungry.

August 13
Back to the fish store for the bloodworms I pondered on the previous trip. Also got anubas and some petriefied wood for the tank. Bob's fins still look bad but he looks pretty healthy otherwise. He loves the bloodworms.

http://www.chandlerfamilywebhome.com/aquaria

Last edited by cookfromscratch; 08-15-2005 at 05:47 AM.
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post #2 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-15-2005, 03:28 PM
eds
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Nice looking betta.

I'd love to hear more about your setup, as I'm in the process of setting up a 3 gal hex at my office. In fact, this a.m. I added flourite, hung on a Red Sea nano filter, and dosed excel. Also added 5 endler's and 5 ghost shrimp. Need to work on the lighting. Would love to hear what you do with your tank.

What are the dimensions of the 2 gal? This 3 is tall and narrow - a pain when I reach my arm in as it displaces so much water!
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post #3 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-15-2005, 10:07 PM Thread Starter
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hi eds

I think I really lucked out on my lighting. I don't know what the 3g comes with, but I had a 15 watt incandescent with my 2g. I actually found lighting at WM (where I got the 2g hex.) It was with the fish stuff. It is a Lights of America Mini Fluorescent Bulb - 10 watts, 6500K daylight. When I added it, I was amazed at the difference. I reallt need to take some more pictures (I will try tonight.) It is Model 2110 AQ. The website is www.lightsofamerica.com. I hope it does the trick.

Gotta rn ... my kids are killing each other ......
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post #4 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-16-2005, 01:30 PM
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That line of CFs looks like it could really do the trick.
I'm trying to stick with low light plants, and the junky "hood" fixture is rated for only 7-9w bulbs w/ a narrow "candelabra" base. But I put foil inside it, and was planning on a trip to check out bulbs. I guess WM will be my first stop. Thanks!
When you gonna get some tank pics up?
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post #5 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-17-2005, 01:55 AM Thread Starter
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OK I posted a few pictures and my aquaria pages now stand at four on my website. Feel free to take a look and give me your take on Bob the Betta's Fin Problem. I am actually working on my tank tonight and getting the white gravel out. Found some natural gravel. Can't find Sea Chem in my area. Any suggestions?
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post #6 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-17-2005, 01:30 PM
eds
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My knowledge of bettas and fin problems is essentially nonexistent, even tho I bred the darn things 3 decades ago! Bob really doesn't look all that bad to my eyes. You think he won't shape up after a couple more weeks/months of your love and attention?

Tank looks nice. Why do you keep the water level a little low? With a small tank and evaporation, I usually pay a little more attention to keeping water levels up.

Also, this is just my opinion, but I think the final photo - with the sveral larger rocks and two larger pieces of petrified wood - looks a little busy for my taste.
-I think the one piece of wood furthest on the right is a little too large - overpowering.
-And the number of large rocks pretty much eliminates the possibility of growing any foreground plants.
-I often find driftwood branches interesting in such tanks - adds curves and angles otherwise absent, creates tunnels and arches, while taking up little swimming room.
-Anarcharis is not one of my favorite plants - especially as a specimen in a small tank with only a few plant species. You may have a hard time maintaining it in a manner that complements the tank. May either get spindly, or overgrow the tank.

Hope this doesn't sound too negative. It really is a lovely tank. But with such small tanks, the smallest details can make a difference. And again, this is all just my opinion. (And, admittedly, the opinion of one who hasn't posted any photos of his own efforts!)
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post #7 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-17-2005, 02:40 PM Thread Starter
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eds, i totally agree with everything you said, lol! i do kinda like the larger piece of wood, but it is more because I don't have anything else to put in there right now. Freshwater planting is scarce in this area. A few potted plants and java moss is about all I can easily get. My LFS may be able to order stuff for me but I'll probably ahve to do the mail order thing for most of what I want.

I put the large rocks in there over the weekend bc I started out with the white gravel and decided I hated it. Haven't had time to redo the tank yet. It is on today's "list." I think I said before I can't find fluorite so I am stuff with gravel or sand at the moment.

The water level is low bc I was filling to the "fill line" on the tank. I'm not sure why there is a fill line. I don't like it that low. Any reason y'all see for keeping it low? I was thinking maybe it had something to do with the incandescent light that came with the tank. SInce I have the fluro light in there now, heat is not a problem (my tops have warped in the past before I understood the effects of lighting.

So I am gonna work on the tank today. Suggestions for low growing foreground plants anyone?
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post #8 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-17-2005, 02:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mississippimorning,Today, 10:40 PM
Suggestions for low growing foreground plants anyone?
You could use your java moss... Attach them to a small square of stainless steel mesh(enough to cover an area in the foreground) with some cotton thread, that will keep them looking less "funny".

Excuse the look... It's an older pic and things hadn't grown out yet... To the right of the pic you can see what I mean about tying the mosses down.... You'll need to trim them pretty often in the beginning to get them to look more compact though...
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post #9 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-17-2005, 04:03 PM
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I'm new to the nano world - and am no pro at planting in general, so I don't know much about specific plants to recommend. I'm giving dwarf sag a shot in my 3-gal, but will have to see how that goes.

I don't know of any reason to keep the water below the rim.

juan's photo is a good example of the use of wood I was trying to suggest.

You could probably address both your plant AND substrate issues over in the swap forum. IIRC, there is no weight limit for priority mail envelopes, and I brought enough flourite/gravel for my 3 gal to work in a baggie. (You can use a 50/50 mix.) You might be able to get someone to send you some clippings, and for a couple of extra bucks they could include a couple of handfuls of flourite. I could send you the flourite, but I don't think I have any plants you'd want or need. And you might as well try to get away with paying shipping only once.

Of course, if you are going to be setting up the 55, you may want to just bite the bullet and order a couple of bags from Big Al's (the cheapest on-line I found recently including shipping.)

BTW - I was just given a 55 gal, including the stand. I'll be acquiring the gear and setting it up over the next couple of months. Looks like you and I are living parallel planted lives!
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post #10 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-17-2005, 05:09 PM
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With my 2.5 gallon Mini Bow nano, the internal Whisper filter requires that you fill to just below the lip of the filter and, no matter how I adjust the filter in the tank, I can't seem to get that lip high enough that I can fill the tank all the way up -- iif I adjust the filter higher than it is right now, it bumps into the hood of the tank. (If anyone has suggestions, aside from replacing the filter, which is in the plans, please let me know...)

Anyway, just thought I'd throw out that possible reason for the fill line -- would filling above the line prevent good water flow from the filter or something? Or is the incandescent bulb exposed? (In the Mini-Bow, the bulb is covered with a clear plastic shield, so you don't have to worry about water splashing on a hot bulb.)

Good luck with the hex -- I look forward to seeing the tank evolve. Bob certainly is a beautiful Betta!
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post #11 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-17-2005, 05:45 PM Thread Starter
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Hi Kathy. I don't currently have a filter on the tank. I can't find a mini anything in my area except disposie sponge filters. I am probably going to have to order online. I upgraded the incandescent to a fluro but it is covered with a piece of plexiglass (or clear plastic) and the hood sits on top of that.

I did redo the gravel and rocks this morning. I'll post a picture later today (after the kids are napping!)
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post #12 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-17-2005, 05:51 PM
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At the recommendation of some folks here I got the Red Sea nano from Big Al's. Nice little unit. The Azoo from Foster/Smith was another option. Both around $10. Of course, when you toss in some flourite, excel, fert, shipping ... These cheap little tanks can end up costing you a couple of bucks!

(But I love the dosing ratios. For example, Excel says 1 capful for every 50 gallons. So what's that - 3/50 of a capful for my 3 gal? )
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post #13 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-17-2005, 06:01 PM
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You could drop by any pharmacy and look for small plastic syringes. I'm using a 3ml one with 0.1ml measurements for my 7 gallon. They really help with dosing for nanos...
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post #14 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-17-2005, 06:10 PM
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I'm planning to get that Red Sea nano filter for my 2.5 gallon Mini Bow, too -- looks like it'll work great, and free up some tank space. (That internal filter takes up a lot of room!) I think Big Al's has them for about eight bucks. I'm just waiting to place an order to get Excel and a few other staples, which I hope to do in the next couple of weeks.

But yeah, eds is right -- the little stuff does add up, even in a nano! Still it's so much fun to create a tiny underwater world!
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post #15 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-18-2005, 05:33 PM Thread Starter
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Well, I am going to temporarily be using a sponge filter that I already had with new medium in it. I just can't make up my mind about a "good filter." I got a pair of White Clouds to go in there today and now Bob (the betta) is mad. He is sulking behind a piece of wood and will not acknowledge me when I come to the tank. May have to remove them and put them in their own tank. I offically don't like the hex tanks anymore bc they are hard to photograph! LOL

Took a picture of the new set up last night. Let me know what y'all think.

Last edited by cookfromscratch; 09-09-2005 at 11:12 PM.
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