Betta Newb (sort Of)

FergusDaFish

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Hey all,

I recently got a crowntail betta named Fergus and am getting back into the fish-keeping hobby after about 10 years off. I had a turquoise VT named Algernon in college that, looking back on it, I apparently badly mistreated, but he seemed happy at the time and was a good fish. I know that I'm already doing some things "wrong" with Ferg (fish-in cyling his tank) but what can you do when you fall in love?

Ferg has a 5-gallon Fluval Spec tank with black gravel, a resin driftwood log, and a whole bunch of live plants (the first time I'm keeping live plants in an aquarium). He's got two Anubis, some java fern, two Amazon swords, and some crypt parva all under water lettuce at the top. Have I gone crazy?

Here he is with his (mostly) set up tank - some plants still needed to go in.

I'm 100% certain that my tank now has snails (there was one on the crypt parva when I set up the tank) but I'm only 30% certain I know what they are: either pond snails or acute bladder snails, I can't tell the difference. I saw a clutch of eggs on a crypt parva leaf this morning but couldn't get it off before I had to leave for work. In any case, I know one hitch hiked on the parva and I (accidentally but not regrettfully) killed one in an effort to catch it to see if I could examine it more closely. In my defense t was teeny tiny and I had to get at it with tweezers and smooshed it trying to get it out. Also, from what I read, these snails are bad? So maybe I don't want them anyway.

When I did a water test this morning I noticed Nitrites for the first time in the tank (about 1.0ppm) so I'm going to do a water change when I get home this evening to keep levels low and other than that I think... things are... going well? Ferg seems happy with all his plants and seems to enjoy his betta hammock and likes to zoom around his tank swimming under and around things...

Anyhoo, hello there!

-FDF
 

ValerieAdams

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Hey there, welcome to Fishlore!

They're probably pond/bladder snails. I didn't even know there was a difference between the two. Either way, they're not necessarily "bad", I absolutely hate them but only because I think they're ugly and they showed up unexpectedly.

They won't eat your plants or anything, they just reproduce like crazy.
 

jacob thompson

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I would try to get rid of them, they will reproduce like crazy and quickly increase you tanks bioload which would stress out your betta.
 
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FergusDaFish

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They won't eat your plants or anything, they just reproduce like crazy.
That's what I'm worried about. Some sites that talk about them say they will eat your plants, others say they won't so I'm torn on what to do about them.

I would try to get rid of them, they will reproduce like crazy and quickly increase you tanks bioload which would stress out your betta.
Tearing Fergus's tank down/rebuilding now means less chance the snails are in my filter already, but I'd have to start over from square one on cycling. Which would stress him less?
 

ValerieAdams

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I have like 50+ and my plants are untouched. They will eat dead/rotting plants. I've never read anywhere that said they will eat plants.

Even if you completely tear down your tank, it's not likely you will get them all. I believe either @Zoomo or @Smalltownfishfriend tore their tank down twice with bleach and still had them appear.

That being said, you won't have to restart cycling as long as you keep the filter in some old tank water. I doubt they'd be in the filter but more so on the plants.
 
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FergusDaFish

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The snails destroying my plants are what I'm most concerned about so if they don't/won't then... I'll... not worry about them...
:emoji_snail:
 

Jellibeen

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If you don't overfeed and pick out any eggs you see, you should be able to keep them under control.
 

Zoomo

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I have like 50+ and my plants are untouched. They will eat dead/rotting plants. I've never read anywhere that said they will eat plants.

Even if you completely tear down your tank, it's not likely you will get them all. I believe either @Zoomo or @Smalltownfishfriend tore their tank down twice with bleach and still had them appear.

That being said, you won't have to restart cycling as long as you keep the filter in some old tank water. I doubt they'd be in the filter but more so on the plants.
Three times now @ValerieAdams. It works for about 2 weeks, about long enough for babies to grow up and new ones to hatch. The filters become nests too for them, and my canister I do not clean that often, so they breed in there I am sure. They have been very manageable for me lately, I just pull them out if I can grab them w/o them doing the death drop or squish them if I think I cannot grab them, depending on where they are. Still have not seen an Assassin snail touch them.

As far as them eating plants, I do not know. I tore out any and every plant in the 40G because of how they leave eggs under the leaves.

I also use nothing that has ever touched the 40G or the puffer tanks, i.e., nets, etc., well I do use the python as I only have one, but the bettas tanks are too small for the python so use another suction contraption to change water with them, but I do not want even one in my betta tanks. I have plants in them, but I soaked the last plants I got for 24-48 hours in Alum, recommended by @Mcasella. Luckily, have not seen a single on in the betta tanks. The puffer tank, do not care if they mate and what not in there, more food for the puffers and they keep the population to next to zero, eating everything I put in there and any stragglers so far.

If you don't overfeed and pick out any eggs you see, you should be able to keep them under control.
I do not know how one picks out the eggs. They are like jelly and are under everything. Bleach soak seems to kill the eggs instantly though. IMO
 
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FergusDaFish

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Hmm... after thinking about it, I think I'm going to redo Fergus's tank and put in the piece of driftwood that I got last week and have been curing and boiling. This will give me a chance to better bury the roots of some of the plants that I did a bad job on.

And I guess I won't stress too much over the snails if they end up transferring.
 
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