Learning As I Go.

TParr0824
  • #1
I'm posting this to give you guys my experience and to maybe get some advise on how I could have done things a little better.

As background, I'm semi-retired ( work 3 days a week and on social security) and I'm at home a lot. My wife suggested I get a hobby to occupy my time and to relieve stress. I guess she figured I'd play golf or take classes at the local gym but nope I bought a fish tank. Needless to say my wife was surprised and not all that impressed with my choice.

Now this isn't the first time we've had an aquarium in our house. When my daughters were in elementary school we had a 10 gallon tank for them. My wife's nephew bred and raised angel fish. He gave us a few angels for the tank and gave us some advise on how to take care of them and off we went. Now I can't remember if we cycled the tank first or what but I do remember we went through several angels in a short time.

This experience lasted about a year and the novelty started to wear off and as the last of the fish died we put the tank in storage and finally sold it at a garage sale. That was about 25 years ago.

I was at my Dr's office a couple of months ago and was fascinated with the tank they had in their lobby. I started to research online and watched videos and went on forums to help me get started.

I had originally thought I would get a 20 gallon tank and do a cichlid tank because I wanted fish with a personality and would at least acknowledge your presence.

Then I started looking into Bettas. This intrigued me. I learned they were very personable and interactive with their owners. So I decided to go down to my local PetSmart and buy a 10 gallon kit and then get a Betta to put in it. And I thought while i'm at it I'll get some rasboras and peppered Corys and go that route instead.

I had every intention to do a fishless cycle and take it slow. I was going to do my best to do this right this time. Read up on the nitrogen cycle and Bought some Seachem Prime and Stability and started my cycle by putting food in the tank to create ammonia.

Did I mention I'm not a very patient person? Well after about 4 days I went to another fish store. This one was a local store in another town. I was telling him what I was doing and he said that since I was using prime and stability that I really didn't need to wait to put fish in as those products are supposed to protect the fish during the cycling process.

Well that was all the prodding I needed. I came home with 8 Harlequin Rasboras and aclimated them to the tank.

I was going to at least wait until the tank cycled to add my corys and Betta. One rasbora became sick almost over night. He lasted 2 days. But the rest seemed to be doing fairly well. After 2 weeks I added the Corys to help clean the substrate. They were very hardy and active but in the meantime I lost another rasbora to a tank that still has a touch of nitrites in it.

After another week I took my water to be tested and found that my Ammonia and Nitrites were at 0 and my nitrates were at 40. Cool!! A water change and some live plants should take care of the nitrates and my tank should be perfect for my new Betta.

Enter The Flash

I had my eye on this beautiful Half moon double tail Betta for a couple of weeks. I went back to the store and purchased him to be the center piece of the tank. I was slightly concerned how he would react to having 11 other fish in the tank. I was hoping that he wouldn't be so aggressive that he overly stressed himself or the other fish.

He flaired at his reflection in the glass for the rest of the day. "Glass Surfing" seemed very agitated but he never became aggressive with the other fish. He soon learned when it was time to eat and now anytime i'm at my desk hes always over on that side of the tank watching me while I'm at my computer. He even comes over to brush against my hand when i'm rearranging the plants or doing a water change. His name is Flash after the super hero because hes a deep red and when he comes over he will spread his fins and give you a super hero like pose with a sideways glance.

The Corys

These guys are the bulldozers of the tank. They are constantly working and moving. They don't care what or who is in the way they are going to forage every inch of the tank. This will sometimes irritate Flash as he will find a resting spot and as soon as he stops they will root him out. They are funny to watch.

The Rasboras.

They are the troopers of the tank. They have been through a lot because they were the original members to the tank. They put up with the cycling process and became a little skittish. The 6 that were left always seemed to hover on one side of the tank even at feeding time and I was worried that they were not going to make it. They would dart from one side of the tank to the other but never seemed comfortable no matter where they were. I went to a Fish store about an hour away because someone said they were very knowledgeable and could help me figure out what was going on. Also I took a sample of my water to make sure my readings were consistant with theirs.

They told me at the store that even though 6 was a good number for a school that they still see the Betta as a threat. I looked at the Rasboras that they had and noticed that they were much larger than the ones I had. I had a nice school but they were all pretty young. I had him check my water and he said my water was darn near perfect 0 ammonia and nitrites and 5 ppm nitrates. (Thank you live plants). So I purchased 3 more Rasboras and put the into the tank.

WHAT A DIFFERENCE!! After only one day they are swimming all around the tank and eating like pigs. Their color has deepened tremendously and are now a rich orange instead of the almost white look before. The addition of the more mature Rasboras helped create a hierarchy among the school and gave them the confidence they needed to overcome their fears.


I'm now concerned about over crowding the tank. I don't want to stress my betta by having so many tank mates. I know over time that the plants will grow and take up some room so I know I will have make some decisions down the road. (got my eye on that 55 gal at Petsmart) Dont tell the wife.

Sorry if this is too long but I wanted to share my experience in the 2 months since I bought the tank. I'm looking forward to growing and learning. Like they say, "you're never to old to learn something new."
 

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r5n8xaw00
  • #2
Welcome to Fish Lore.
You sound like me old man...j/k lol

I to am retired and have gotten back into the fish hobby. Every persons experience with fish mainly of the type you have can be different. I too have a Betta named Clint, and three Pepper Corys. This is in a 29 gallon. Didn't catch what species of Cory you have, but the Peppers, I have found out are not temperature compatible with a Betta. The range of temperature, the lowest for the Betta, and the highest for the Peppers do over lap at around 76° F. That is where I have been keeping the temp for the past month or so. But I do want to get a different species that are Betta temp compatible.

As for as figuring out over stocking here is the link to a good website that will calculate and give you a percentage load for any given setup.

AqAdvisor...Click >
 

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TParr0824
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
Welcome to Fish Lore.
You sound like me old man...j/k lol

I to am retired and have gotten back into the fish hobby. Every persons experience with fish mainly of the type you have can be different. I too have a Betta named Clint, and three Pepper Corys. This is in a 29 gallon. Didn't catch what species of Cory you have, but the Peppers, I have found out are not temperature compatible with a Betta. The range of temperature, the lowest for the Betta, and the highest for the Peppers do over lap at around 76° F. That is where I have been keeping the temp for the past month or so. But I do want to get a different species that are Betta temp compatible.

As for as figuring out over stocking here is the link to a good website that will calculate and give you a percentage load for any given setup.

AqAdvisor...Click >

I have Corydoras habrosus if you can believe what Petsmart says. In my research it says they can adapt to temps in the high 70's. They seem to be doing really well at the moment. My temp stays around 77.8 to 78.2. I got a Marineland Penguin 75 with the tank but added a small sponge filter with air pump to help with oxygenating the tank.

I used AQAdvisor. It says I'm overstocked. But right now things seem to be going well. I know I will have to address the overstocking at some point. I might just get a 20 Gal soon just as a precaution. (That will make my wife SOOOO happy)
 
r5n8xaw00
  • #4
I looked up your species of Cory, sounds like your good with the temp. range for a Betta.

Link
 
TParr0824
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
I looked up your species of Cory, sounds like your good with the temp. range for a Betta.

Link

Yeah they are so much fun to watch. Especially after water changes they go into hyper spawning mode. They are all over each other. Haven't seen any eggs though.
 

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