LinasPlantLife is now LinasFishLife! (10 gallon)

LinasPlantLife

Hello! Some of you may or may not have seen the post I made concerning the cycling process using bloodworms. I went with mattgirl’s advice and decided against using them. Instead, I bought Dr. Tim’s ammonium chloride, and my cycle is well under way! I’m on day 14. Ammonia has been clearing up pretty quick, in like 1-2 days but Nitrite is being stubborn and is stuck on 2-5ppm. But, if I’m lucky, my tank will hopefully be cycled soon!

So, I have a 10 gallon (the one that’s cycling) and a 5 gallon. I hadn’t intended on picking up the 5 gallon but Petsmart was having a sale. (Isn’t this a warning sign of the beginning of a tank addiction?) I’ll share what I’m planning for the 5 but for now it’s all about my 10 gallon! It’s my first fish tank.

Stocking ideas: One male betta, two African dwarf frogs, and a mystery snail. The tank has been sitting on the floor since I didn’t have any free space during the holidays (I decorate quite a bit), but once my tank cycles and I’ve removed most of the water, I will be setting it up on a shelf in my room. I’m going to play a bit of catch up here so I can show you what I’ve done to the tank so far. I’m actually kind of nervous, but I don’t know any fish people offline and I want to talk about my tanks with people who find this stuff exciting.

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And here it is! It’s been foggy from the bacteria bloom, I guess. The filter is in back on the right side, just a little hidden in this picture. The two decorations are ones that I’ve used for lizards years ago, and that I’ve rinsed well. I’m concerned about that hole in the aztec decoration. I don’t want anyone getting stuck so I’m going to stick a chunk of java moss in it. There’s two larger entrance ways on the sides so it can still be used as a hide. I really want to see the mystery snail crawling over the eastern island head’s face. You know, I didn’t really care for snails before I started seeing them in videos, plummeting down from the top of the glass like an alien creature, and learning more about them. But now I like them! The larger ones, though. The small ones still creep me out. I come from the houseplant community (hence my username LinasPlantLife) and I don’t like seeing snail shells in my plants. Anyways, I digress. I had some extra mini terra-cotta pots so I dug them into the sand to cover up the tiny hole at the bottom. I’m going for a “lost treasure” underwater scene. I’m using play sand as a substrate. It’s mostly 2 inches everywhere except on the corners where it’s 3 inches. Eventually, I’m going to attach a grow light to the hood, since this will be a planted tank. They will be low light plants that feed mostly from the water column, including java moss. I want it growing on the decorations in the tank.

Also, PSA: Make sure if you have any decorations with a hole in the bottom that you place it in the tank after you’ve filled it up with water. If you don’t, you may get a floating head in your tank like I did. Mr. Island Head got a pretty big bonk on the noggin.

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That’s enough for now. I ordered a plant on Amazon. I’ll update when it arrives and how I’m going to clean it in case of hitchhikers. I’m taking a bit of a risk since the weather here in Texas is in the high 30s at night, but it’s not sold anywhere near me.

Thank you for reading!
 

V1K

Should look cool once planted. How strange that you can't find plants to buy on local facebook groups or add pages (or haven't you checked those?). I can scavenge pretty much anything unless it's really exotic, haven't bought a single plant full price . BTW, is Linas your name? Sounds like a Lithuanian name (means "flax", as in plant that produces linen).
 

LinasPlantLife

Should look cool once planted. How strange that you can't find plants to buy on local facebook groups or add pages (or haven't you checked those?). I can scavenge pretty much anything unless it's really exotic, haven't bought a single plant full price . BTW, is Linas your name? Sounds like a Lithuanian name (means "flax", as in plant that produces linen).
I really can’t wait until the plants arrive. I can buy Anubias at my local pet store, but the other plants I’m searching for were at pet stores too far away from my home. I haven’t searched on Facebook or ad pages. Thanks for the tip I’m going to order from the Aquarium Co-Op website in about a week and a half. I’m going to buy their fertilizer anyway, so I thought I’d try out their plants. Lina is my nickname. It’s just short for Angelina I tried to put an apostrophe between a and s but the site didn’t allow it. That’s really interesting. I like to cross stitch so if Linas was my name, it would have been fitting haha.
 

AggressiveAquatics

I usually don’t buy fish from petco but a few days ago I got a haul of plants from them. At my petco and another not to far away they had a really nice variety. I would check those out.
 

LinasPlantLife

I usually don’t buy fish from petco but a few days ago I got a haul of plants from them. At my petco and another not to far away they had a really nice variety. I would check those out.
I’ll see what petco has then. Thanks
 

V1K

Lina is my nickname. It’s just short for Angelina I tried to put an apostrophe between a and s but the site didn’t allow it. That’s really interesting. I like to cross stitch so if Linas was my name, it would have been fitting haha.
Linas is a guy's name, but we also have a female name Lina, which is derived from it (pronounced as 'Lih-nah' not 'Lie-nah').
 

StarGirl

It will let you use apostrophe's. I know of members that have them in their user names.
 

LinasPlantLife

Linas is a guy's name, but we also have a female name Lina, which is derived from it (pronounced as 'Lih-nah' not 'Lie-nah').
Interesting Both pronunciations sound nice.
It will let you use apostrophe's. I know of members that have them in their user names.
Oh, something must have went wrong on my keyboard or my laptop slowed down or something. If it’s possible, I’ll edit my username later.
 

LinasPlantLife

So I thought it would be a couple more days until my next update but a lot happened today!

First off: rocks.

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What's this? It's not Halloween anymore, but I did get a bag of rocks and not candy, and my name is not Charlie Brown! But it was fun sorting through them all to pick the best ones. I sorted by color, size, shape and pattern. I made a pile of the rocks I for sure did not want. I sorted multiple times until, by process of elimination, chose my set of rocks and arranged them. Plant position plays a big role in this. Since the plants that I want should not be buried, I will use the rocks to attach them to.

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I'll wash the rocks tonight and think about placing them in. But maybe I should wait since I will have to carry this tank onto a stand after the water has been drained. I think maybe you can see that the water's cleared up a lot, but the tank doesn't actually look like this anymore, and I'll explain why.

Today my grow light came in the mail. My plan was to attach it to the aquarium lid using the magnets it came with. Reviews said that the adhesive to hold the second pair of magnets didn't hold, but that was going to be okay since I was going to use my own magnets with the first pair. It didn't work. They either didn't match well together or they simply couldn't hold through the lid (even though my magnets are the rare earth kind, so I don't know). I ended up attaching the grow light to the hood LEDs using two zip ties. There's a wire that you can see a little of in the picture below. I looped the zip ties under it, and used another one where the wires exit the lid.

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The light strip stays in place, it’s very light weight, and all is good. Except, I'm not sure if I like the color. I guess I should have known that the color was going to be warm because it's the color "sun glow". But this is very warm. It kind of looks like there are tannins in the tank.

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In a way, I like it, but I'm really set on getting a betta with white coloration. I think this lighting would make parts of him look too yellow. So, I turned on both the grow light and hood LEDs.

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The grow light is positioned in a way that it blocks part of the hood LEDs light, so the hood LEDs are only lighting the front of the tank, and the grow light makes a "shadow" in the back. I kind of like the depth created, but the color difference at the top of Mr. Island Head is a little bothersome.

So, just to give you an idea of what is happening, here is a photo of only the hood LEDs on:

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At the beginning of all this, I considered replacing the aquarium lid with glass and an aquarium grow light that sits on top. And I may end up doing that eventually, but the reason why I didn't go with it for now was because I'd have to customize it for the filter and heater, and I don't have the tools. It was simpler for me this way, and cheaper.

I don't know. The look of both the grow light and hood LEDs may grow on me. If I go with it, I'll eventually buy a timer for the hood LEDs. Or, I'll just replace the grow light for a white color one.

Anyways, there was one thing that went according to plan: My new algae scraper Algae has appeared in the tank. As soon as I can drain the water, I'm going to wipe off these trouble spots.

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This was a long update! Next time my first plant orders will have finally arrived in the mail.
 

SamEvans

Really cool post. I love following people’s build and borrowing some of their ideas ;-) You’re gong to have a lovely setup, I look forward to seeing more
 

Kribensis27

It will let you use apostrophe's. I know of members that have them in their user names.
Betta'sAnonymous , you’re being unofficially talked about
 

BigManAquatics

Betta'sAnonymous , you’re being unofficially talked about
I.....KNOW....NOTHING!!
 

LinasPlantLife

Really cool post. I love following people’s build and borrowing some of their ideas ;-) You’re gong to have a lovely setup, I look forward to seeing more
Thank you very much! Sometimes it feels like I don't know what I'm doing when things go unplanned like this. But I'm happy I might have had an idea that someone liked
 

LinasPlantLife

Plants have arrived!

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First up is an elodea and 3 bunches of java moss. There's some browning here and there of the java moss but I think it still looks nice. I want to make sure there aren't any snails and/or snail eggs, so I'm placing these plants in an alum dip for three days under a grow light on my plant shelf. I will rinse them thoroughly before transferring them to the tank.

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More plants incoming. One last online order. Not going to say what plants they are but they’re beginner friendly.

In other news, my thermostat arrived. I don't entirely trust my heater not skyrocketing in temperature one day. It's been working very well, but I'd like more peace of mind.

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I said last time that I would be rinsing off the rocks. I haven't done so yet. I decided to wait to arrange them in the tank after the cycle is complete. I don't want the extra weight when lifting the tank onto the stand. As for the lighting situation, I changed my mind on the coloration. I like the half warm, half white lighting. It’s different. I may just stick with the sun glow if the betta looks close to it's original coloring. We'll see.
 

LinasPlantLife

Hi, everyone. I've had some bad luck since my last post, but let's start with the good news. I added the rocks to the tank. By now I thought my tank would have finished cycling but it hasn't, and my elodea was finished soaking in the alum dip, so I went ahead putting the rocks in to hold it in place. The arrangement is nice, even though I had to alter it slightly to fit the rocks around the decor. I'm just getting anxious to see plants in here.

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The elodea has not been doing well for me. It's extremely fragile and snapped multiple times when I was trying to fit it into place despite being gentle. Now I only have one long stem and several half its size. I made a thread about this, and I was told that for an elodea to break that easily, it is probably dying. Maybe it wasn't strong enough to remain in the alum dip, or I could have been sent a weak plant. Anyways, I went with a recommendation to float it, and it looks kind of neat. I'll still include a picture of how the elodea looked wedged between the rocks. I still want a plant there.

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The background you see in the picture is no longer there. Man, I'm terrible at applying backgrounds! This particular one is a sticker. No matter how hard I tried, I still got bubbles and could not smooth all of them out. Eventually I started seeing that the top of the background was peeling away, so I tried to adjust it and ended up peeling the image off of the sticker. Even laying the image back down could not get it to show again from the front of the tank. The background was ruined, so I had to toss it. This sucks, and I'm embarrassed but I guess I should be sharing both the ups and downs. I'm getting another background soon, and this time I hope I am successful.

Finally, one last stroke of bad luck. My last online order of plants arrived. The Anubias Barteri and Windelov Java Fern look great, but I am not happy with the moss balls and banana plant. These moss balls are tiny! For the price of $10, I could have gotten a large one at Petsmart. The "bananas" on the banana plant don't look like bananas since most of them are missing, and I was upset to find a batch of snail eggs on them. The company claims to check these plants before shipping, and it was obvious there were eggs on this plant. I'm yet again using alum to disinfect everything in this order. Sigh.

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This picture creeps me out...

I'm looking forward to ordering a few more items off of Amazon, and I'd like to buy an Anubias and a moss ball at Petsmart. And of course I'd use alum again. Instead of receiving pest snails, why can't I get mystery snails for free? That would be cool.
 

LinasPlantLife

I hope I'm not updating too much on here, but I'm excited to share with you something I made today!

I've been facing a small dilemma. I've heard that most bettas love to rest near the surface and that many have had great luck with floating "betta logs" or "aquarium logs", specifically the ones from Zoo Med. I'm on the look out for enrichment ideas, so I did some research. Unfortunately, there were multiple bad reviews that cautioned about the material being toxic, leaching out into the tank, and killing their fish. Here is the link: https://www.amazon.com/Zoo-Med-Floa...ld=1&keywords=betta+log&qid=1610575196&sr=8-6 I've also read a few threads on this forum about betta logs, and many seemed cautious. But I still wanted something for my betta to explore at the surface and to hide in. Eventually, I discovered hollow cholla wood. I think after a time it sinks, but some reviews mentioned attaching a suction cup to make a "floating" log. Perfect! My worry, though, was about the larger holes. But what if I used java moss to fill them in?

And that's what I did. You'll see in one of the photos that the super glue gel holding the suction cup was very noticeable. This was a simple fix. Just add java moss! I'm glad to have been given the tip from a YouTube video that super glue gel bonds immediately once in contact with water. It was taking forever for the suction cup to stick to the wood, but once submerging it, it stuck. It's too bad that super glue doesn't need any help sticking to fingers. Oh well.

I'm excited to see the cholla hide in the tank! And for my betta - maybe even the frogs and snail - to enjoy it. For now, I've put the cholla in a jug just in case it darkens the water with tannins. My tank is already pretty warm in color. Also, I've just gotten my PH where it should be again, so I don't want the log to affect it right now. Maybe by next update my tank will be cycled. Wish me luck!

P.S: Thank you, Jmaldo for the likes on my previous posts. And to Fisch, mattgirl, EllsAquarium, and Basil on my main post.
 

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Kribensis27

That’s a cool idea! I’m sure the betta will love it!
 

LinasPlantLife

That’s a cool idea! It m sure the betta will love it!
Thank you! Fingers crossed it works out well
 

jmaldo

Creative!
Hope the Betta likes it. When I first started, I had one. I tried the Betta leaf bed. He hated it first, but... eventually used it. Never could get a good pic, every time I approached the tank he had to come and "Greet" me. Actually just begging for food. LOL

Good Luck!
 

LinasPlantLife

Creative!
Hope the Betta likes it. When I first started, I had one. I tried the Betta leaf bed. He hated it first, but... eventually used it. Never could get a good pic, every time I approached the tank he had to come and "Greet" me. Actually just begging for food. LOL

Good Luck!
Thank you Where I want the log, it was going to look kind of empty until the plant grows in there. I'm trying to play around with height in the tank, while still giving the betta available space to explore in that area. Aww haha that's cute. What was your betta's name? I've thought about trying the leaf bed as well.
 

LinasPlantLife

Hello again!

A lot has happened since last time. The tank isn't finished cycling, unfortunately. It's in a bit of a time out since we're stumped on what's been going on with it. It's really weird. Link here: Fishless cycling using bloodworms? And needing confirmation | Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle Forum | 481391 if you want any updates on that.

Well, the silver lining to this is that it gives me more time to complete the tank design so it looks exactly how I want it before fish day. I took the plants from my online order out of the alum dip, superglued them to rocks, and placed them along with the cholla hide in the tank. I'm very happy! I've decided to hold off on showing any photos. There's a few final touches that need to be made.

I was going to add a piece of driftwood that was taken from a lake but I decided against it. I think it would take up too much room at this point, and I was concerned about the effects it would have being in the tank. From fungus to creepy crawlies. I was thinking of just being really thorough cleaning it (spraying with a vinegar and hydrogen peroxide solution) and boiling it. I thought this was the norm but it turns out that some people think this is silly to do. But if you're not too concerned about what's on the driftwood being transferred to the tank, then of course the method of "cleaning" will be a lot less thorough. Personally, I really, really don't like the idea of invading pest snails or anything similar. I just don't like the look of them, especially if they're overrunning the tank. That's why I use alum. But it's not just that. I'm afraid of them, just like I'm very afraid of tiny bugs. It's like telling a person with arachnophobia that spiders are beneficial and that they should welcome them into their house.

But maybe this is hard to understand since I guess in the aquarium hobby there aren't very many people who have a fear of bugs and the like...? Like maybe this is the norm. Maybe they go fishing and enjoy camping where there's tons of bugs. I'm not an outdoor person, so I'm not used to bugs, though I'm working on it here at the new house where we finally have a backyard. I am preparing myself to see little creatures in the tank, because maybe some of that is unavoidable, and I'll deal with that, but if I can prevent any of it from happening, then that's what I lean towards. It will make it easier for me in the long run if I'm prepared that way. Hope that makes sense.

About the beneficial aspects of snails, I’m not too concerned about algae and the things they might clear up. If anything does happen, I don’t mind doing that on my own. I’m not an agency, I don’t need workers for the easy stuff lol. Unless I was facing a serious problem, then I’d consider shrimp or something I actually liked looking at to help me out. I just don’t want to trade one problem for another. Mystery snails are different to me since they’re larger, even if you have a male and a female it’s easier to keep the population under control, and they feel more to me like a pet. They’re kind of my first step to feeling a little better about snails in general.

Back to the update. Here's something I can show. This small haul.

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I bought food for the mystery snail, cuttlebone for his/her's calcium, staple pellets for the betta, and a GH and KH API test kit.

The results
Tap: KH: 7 GH: 9
Tank: KH: 6 GH: 16

I don't know what this means yet, exactly. There's a big difference there with the GH, but I'll look into this more.

Also a part of the haul, I brought home another marmimo moss ball. This time it's a good size. Today I'm going back to the pet store to pick up a plant and maybe another moss ball. I would have gotten them last night but they didn't have any of the taller plants that I was looking for to fill that empty left side of the tank. I've come up with another plan, so now I can go with something different at the store.

Update on the banana plant. I'll go ahead and show just this one. The plant arrived with all three leaves in bad shape. Two disintegrated just from me washing the plant down. Now it's grown one back! And it looks like another is on the way. That old leaf doesn't seem to be recovering all that well, so I'll probably remove it after that second leaf comes in. But look at how well it's doing! I can't wait to see it shoot up to the waterline.

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And that's the end of the update! I shared more of my thoughts on this one, but I wanted to change things up. Maybe it makes things more interesting, I don't know.
 

LinasPlantLife

So, the big tank move happened and I've got to say... It was a disaster!

Well, maybe not a complete disaster. The tank didn't crack open (or at least I hope not. No more bad luck, please!), but I lost the windelov fern and my banana plant is dealing with transparency in its three leaves because during all the chaos, I hadn't thought to keep the plants in water. Pure amateur move. I left them out for two hours. A stupid mistake, and I'm kicking myself for it.

What happened is this: I drained the tank and took out all the plants, rocks, and decor onto an old shirt (You'll see below that I've made another cholla log hide). I then scooped out the sand into a bucket, and moved the tank onto my manga shelf. The names of my animals will be Asian even though they will be living somewhere in between North and South America. So it fits!

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I wasn't able to completely remove all the water from the tank, so some murky water was put back into the tank. I tried my best to get rid of most of it, and to mold the sand close to the way I had it before. I think because I wasn't able to get it exactly is the reason why the decorations didn't sit the correct way at first, and that meant that the rocks - the rock cave in particular - around them didn't fit right. I spent so much time trying to get that cave to stand up on it's own. Time that could have been for the aquatic (and I stress: aquatic) plants to be in water!

But enough about the plants. I finally got the cave in place, and it was around this time that I was informed that I should keep everything wet. Somehow I was worried more about the bacteria drying up on the decor than the plants, so I hurriedly filled up the bucket with water, dechlorinated it, and dunked the water into the tank with a cup. But the water was slightly cloudy even though I was using a plastic bag to pour over, and the water got even more cloudy when I dug the terra-cotta plants into the sand. I couldn't even see anything at the bottom of the tank! I don't even know if my filter would have been able to clean all that up, so I removed the water again. I could have used the syphon but I thought I could get rid of the water quicker by scooping it out. I forget if I had to do this process again, but by now I'm really stressed out, and I've still got some miscellaneous stuff to do.

I think this is when I finally realized that I should have put the plants in water because I pick up my windelov fern and it's as papery as dried mint. I put it in the bucket water, but once I put it into the clearer tank water, I can see that it's mostly black and it's too late. Now I've got to buy a replacement, and that means I can't get my animals the next day like I had planned because I don't want them in a tank with either a dead plant in the middle or a giant blank space.

The thing is, my tank isn't completely cycled anyway. It's taking two days for it to clear ammonia and nitrite. It's almost there, to the point I was suggested to go ahead and add the animals, but now with all this mess, I may as well see this through. I mean, the tank should be cycled by Wednesday. On Sunday I expect to receive my windelov ferns, and I'll leave them in the dip for only a few hours. On a positive note, my previous windelov fern had gotten some black spots for being in the dip for three days, so now at least I'll have healthier looking plants.

My banana plant is in recovery. It's growing a new leaf. I'm lucky that anubias is apparently the golden pothos/Devil's ivy of the aquarium world because I don't see any deterioration on it at all. The anubias Barteri and the new Anubias gold coin are looking great in the tank. When all the plants are in place, I'll finally show the completed project. I put the new background on! And I have more marimo moss balls now. I set up the thermostat. You can see the new basket in the same picture holding all of the fish food and supplies I'll be using on a weekly basis. I love to organize.

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I can't go out to the pet stores until Wednesday. I'll update that night with all the details. This whole moving process took like six hours. It was very stressful for me, but I think it will be worth it once I see the animals enjoying the tank. Here's hoping!
 

LinasPlantLife

Good morning, everyone! I've gotten the go-ahead to add my fish so I'm bringing them home tonight! Woohoo! Cycling the tank was not easy, and in the end, mine didn't entirely make sense, but I hope everything goes smoothly. I'll be monitoring it everyday for a week to make sure nitrates don't get too high too soon. I'm also worried about the pH fluctuating. Hopefully that doesn't continue, but I should be able to solve that with some crushed oyster shells.

And here's the finished tank! I'm sorry about the fogginess in some of the photos. I just did a large water change. I'm happy to have the background on again. I didn't try to apply it this time; I just taped it down. It appears darker this way, but I think it's kind of cool. It creates depth. Speaking of depth, remember that lighting "issue" I had at the beginning? I chose to only have the grow light on, and the lights got adjusted so now there's no shadow in the back.

So, onto the live plants!

Anubias gold coin
Banana plant
2 Windelov java ferns
Anubias barteri
5 mini marimo moss balls & 2 large marimo moss balls
Java moss
superglued to cholla wood and decor

I'm glad I purchased two windelov java ferns as it's more filled out in the center. I think it will make a good place for everyone to swim in and out of. I glued the ferns and anubias barteri to rocks. The banana plant and the Anubias gold coin are just tucked in-between rocks. I've since removed two of the leaves from the banana plant that were melting. The large leaf you see in the photo had some damage at the top, but it just melted off and the rest looks great. No transparency, and it's larger than any of the others were! On a weird note, I spotted white... fungus, is it?, inside the long cholla log. I'll leave it alone for now. It has depleted some after the water changes I did. Any further maintenance I'm doing before adding the animals are wiping down the glass and wrapping a sponge around the filter intake. I don't want anyone getting sucked up against it.

I'll update tonight when the betta and frogs are safe and sound in their new tank. See you then!
 

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LinasPlantLife

Thank you, Kribensis27 and Josie12012 for the support on my last post!

As planned, I went to the pet store and now there are finally living things in the tank! You know, aside from plants and algae. And whatever it is growing inside one of the cholla logs.

I didn't realize the store I wanted to pick up my betta from closed early, so no betta yet, but I'm going out again tomorrow. For now, it's African dwarf frog time!

I almost didn't get any ADFs. The employee there asked me if there were any fish in my 10 gallon yet, and when I said no, he said something about there needing to be for algae, and the ADFs eat algae, so if I wanted any fish instead. I had to say that I'd been running the tank for over a month and that I had already seen algae in there. He might not have believed me about that since he mentioned purchasing algae wafers (I said I had the algae wafers (for the snail)), but he went ahead and bagged the ADFs for me.

Whew. Now with that out of the way, the ADFs just needed to be brought home safely. I had set out with a cooler, a blanket, and a beanie to give some extra warmth around the bag. The cooler was brought since I thought I would be going a ways to pick up the betta, so in the end it wasn't needed that much. Still, the ADFs were comfy!

Once home, I floated the bag in the tank for 30 minutes to match temperature. Then I poured out the water over a net into a bucket. And the frogs are free! I'm not sure if they're male or female yet, but I've given them unisex names. I was originally going to give them manga names, but I like their silly nicknames. The smaller, darker one is called Little Butt, because that's what I called them when trying to get them out of the net lol. I think I might call the bigger one Marimo since they've been hiding a lot under the big marimo moss ball behind Mr. Easter Island Head haha. Marimo was the first one out of the net, and quickly made themselves at home by shedding. That's Marimo below next to the shed before Little Butt came along and ate part of it.

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More shots of Marimo:

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Lol I love that face. Marimo was eating something in the sand, but I don't know what.

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I looked everywhere in the tank before suddenly coming face to face with them hovering by the filter. Soon after, Marimo sort of side-swimmed (haha) behind it, took a breath, and quickly swam down under his or her favorite moss ball. Look for the shiny silver eyes.

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And there's Little Butt who I thought at first was drowning because they wouldn't come out of the Aztec hide. Luckily, they eventually swam out and explored the rest of the tank.

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Little Butt is shyer than Marimo, I think. Marimo just stares at me haha.
Here's some photos of them together. First photo, LB is in the pot and Marimo is in the Aztec hide. Next photo it's reversed.

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Annnnnnd frog butt! I forgot whose it is. Maybe Marimo's lol.

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I hope these photos were enjoyable to look at. I'll be adding them to an album on my profile.

See you next time for the betta addition!
 

LinasPlantLife

Thanks so much, RJJones, Kribensis27, jkkgron2 and jmaldo for the support on my last post!

Here we go: betta time!

I've been changing my mind a lot lately. Since I decided to name my ADFs something entirely different than Asian-oriented, I thought why not go with a different name for my betta. If he would have been a platinum black dragon, I would have named him Junji (short for Junji Ito, my favorite horror manga artist) because it would have matched the pages of a black and white horror manga. They didn't have this color type at the store, however. I could have ordered him online but I wanted to test the betta's temperament in person by seeing how they reacted to my hand moving a little in front of the cup.

The store had bettas displayed in various areas throughout the aisles. Some cups I almost thought were empty because the betta was lower on the shelf and hovering at the lid. My little betta was one of these, and he was an instant surprise since he was the only black and white betta there. Well, on his body. His fins are a light yellow color that almost looks white in the tank. I felt this kind of instant attachment, and once I grabbed him off the shelf there was no going back, even after I saw more of the very colorful bettas. I know this is usually the first choice. I love the extremely colorful bettas, but I liked the idea of going with something "out of the ordinary" in a way this time. And I wanted something less "loud" for this particular tank.

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After leaving the register, we walked back to the car and I covered the cup with a beanie. I had him lifted up the whole trip back because otherwise the water splashed quite a bit. It still splashed some during some rough patches on the road, and I was relieved to get him home. I acclimated him for 20 minutes and tried to transfer him using my hands. He wasn't having that, though, so I had to use the net. In he went! And he was very happy to as he had been poking at the cup the entire time.

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I had noticed a transparency at the end of his fins, which I was informed to be new growth after possibly fin rot or fin biting. I made a thread to make sure he was swimming okay and that the current wasn't too fast for him. Everything appears to be fine! Aside from all that, I was pretty nervous about how he would react to the frogs. The video below is his first interaction with Marimo.


A similar thing happened to Little Butt. The betta cornered him in one of the terra-cotta pots. Got really close to his face, like almost touching noses, and they stared each other down before the betta left lol. After that, the betta has been mostly minding his own business. When he happens across the frogs, he notices them but does his own thing. The only aggression I've seen from him is towards his reflection. Turning the lamp on next to the tank seems to solve this, since apparently it counteracts the mirroring issue. Hopefully in time I won't always need to have it on if the little guy gets bored of his reflection. Concerning the frogs, though, the most notable interaction they've had besides the two that I mentioned, was when Marimo (the most active swimmer) was swimming all over the front of the tank. Poor little betta was completely oblivious wandering over by the cave when Marimo pushed right into him lol. Little betta freaked out and swam away amongst floating sand particles haha.

As far as his behaviors, he likes swimming up and down by the filter for some reason. And he bumps against the thermometer multiple times and then quickly darts away from it like it's cold or something haha. He's already explored the two cholla hides, and he's eaten bloodworms and some left over frog pellets on the sand. Marimo and LB have eaten, too, by the way. I've been tong feeding them. LB kind of stared at the tongs like, "What am I supposed to do with this?" then a minute later he ate the worms. Marimo was quicker, and ate his in half the time. I'm thinking the two are male based on some help I've gotten in another thread. I heard Little Butt sing, too. P.S: I'm realizing how silly some of these sentences sound with Little Butt's name. Yesterday I was adding photos of the ADFs to an album, and I titled one of the pictures: "Hungry Little Butt" LOL. I'm still giggling at that one.

So, what is the little betta's name? As I was about to step back into the house, it hit me. Indiana Jones. The theme of my tank is buried treasures, after all. Indiana Jones likes to be called Indy or Jonesy, for short. I'm happy it turned out this way and I brought home Indy. I think he's having fun exploring his new surroundings.

Speaking of buried treasures, this tank needs at least one gold coin, but that will have to wait since my idea of a gold coin is currently out of stock.

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V1K

Nice to see the frogs interacting with the hardscape, having a lot of spaces to explore . The colour of the betta wouldn't have been my choice, as I prefer bold colours (my dream betta would be green goblin), but I must admit that it suits your tank. With the frogs, sand, sculptures and other hardscape, your tank is various shades of brown-grey and the betta is the brightest shade of these, completing the composition. The name suits him too, as Indiana Jones often wears shirts very similar in colour to this betta .

If I were you I'd try attaching some moss to the betta logs, I think it would look nice...
 

LinasPlantLife

Nice to see the frogs interacting with the hardscape, having a lot of spaces to explore . The colour of the betta wouldn't have been my choice, as I prefer bold colours (my dream betta would be green goblin), but I must admit that it suits your tank. With the frogs, sand, sculptures and other hardscape, your tank is various shades of brown-grey and the betta is the brightest shade of these, completing the composition. The name suits him too, as Indiana Jones often wears shirts very similar in colour to this betta .

If I were you I'd try attaching some moss to the betta logs, I think it would look nice...
Thank you very much! The frogs seem to enjoy the pots. Haha I hadn't thought about the shirts comparison. I did attach some java moss to the logs, though I guess it's difficult to tell in the photos. I used the moss to cover some of the holes since I didn't want anyone getting stuck.
 

V1K

Thank you very much! The frogs seem to enjoy the pots. Haha I hadn't thought about the shirts comparison. I did attach some java moss to the logs, though I guess it's difficult to tell in the photos. I used the moss to cover some of the holes since I didn't want anyone getting stuck.
Ah, I see them now. I didn't notice at first as they seem completely browned. Hopefully they grow back.
 

LinasPlantLife

Ah, I see them now. I didn't notice at first as they seem completely browned. Hopefully they grow back.
They were browning when I bought them from an online seller, but there’s still some green to them. I don’t mind.
 

Kribensis27

Awww, he’s adorable! He looks super happy to be out of that cup.
 

LinasPlantLife

Awww, he’s adorable! He looks super happy to be out of that cup.
Thank you so much, Kribensis27! I think he's adorable, too. It's nice to see him exploring the tank and finding his favorite spots. He's really into the pot at the front at the moment. I fed LB there the other day, and Indy wants to make sure he eats all the leftovers haha. Notice how he looks at Marimo at the end, too. Like, "Did he see? Okay, I'm good." lol.
 

mattgirl

Thank you for linking me back over to this thread. I am so very proud of you. Proud of the patience you took in getting this tank cycled and proud of the beautiful job you have done to provide your water pets a wonderful home.
 

LinasPlantLife

Thank you for linking me back over to this thread. I am so very proud of you. Proud of the patience you took in getting this tank cycled and proud of the beautiful job you have done to provide your water pets a wonderful home.
Hi, mattgirl. Thank you so much for the very kind comments. It means so much to me. We cycled this tank together, and I’m very happy! It really was worth the wait, and it was fun conversing on the other thread. I always felt like I had someone in my corner.
 

LinasPlantLife

It's been one week since bringing Indy and Marimo and Little Butt home. How have they been doing? Well, they've been getting along great! Indy and Marimo sometimes swim together at the front of the tank, and LB floats at the water line in the mornings. Just yesterday I saw Indy investigating him and then actually push at LB's legs so that he turned in the water haha. LB didn't seem to mind, and just moved slightly before swimming back down.

Indy is so active. I don't think I've ever seen him sleep or even rest for that long. It only took him a few days before he realized I was the bringer of food. Now, he immediately swims to the front and sides of the tank whenever I'm there. I've drummed my fingers at the bottom of the tank while laying down on my bed, and he'll swim there, making fishy faces. When I first brought him home, it was 50/50 whether he would investigate when he saw me. A lot of the time he would just turn his head at me and continue investigating something else. He may have even flared at me a few times. He only flares now when he sees his reflection (lamp always has to be on now when the aquarium light is, otherwise he gets really angry and starts biting at the glass) or when I'm taking photos. It's not my phone that he doesn't like; it's my phone case! I wonder if he can see his reflection in it since it's pure black. I figured this out by taking the case off, and he won't flare then. I'm going to need a new case! Here's an intimidating clip of Indy before I started removing it:


Indy doesn't seem to have one favorite spot in the tank, since he's all over the place - even at the bottom of the tank and in the terra-cotta pots when there's left overs in there - but I've seen that he likes to swim back and forth in the long cholla hide in the mornings. He'll even hover in it for a bit, like maybe he's taking a tiny nap before on the move again. His other new behaviors include swimming around the tongs when I'm feeding the frogs and swimming around the syphon. I expected this with Indy, but it turns out everyone was curious about the syphon! Marimo tried biting at it (thought it or the particles inside were food, I guess) and LB darted at it a few times. They're all very lovely animals.

I've added the photos below to my aquarium photo albums, but just in case you haven't seen them (and I like having them here, anyways)...

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I may be seeing this blue shine to Indy's fins only in the photos, but it could still really be there as I've noticed a difference in coloration - like a darker hue - in person. It's difficult to tell what color it really is because of the lamp being on. He's so beautiful!

The photos below are of Indy and Marimo swimming together.

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And one of Marimo who lifted up from under the moss ball after his first feeding:

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More Marimo

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Little Butt is still the shy one, but he wants his turn, too.

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Thank you to everyone who has been reading this thread and leaving likes and reactions. Leilio, Basil, jmaldo, mattgirl, FlyFisha, Kribensis27, Snailnewbie2020, ilovefrogs, RJJones, jkkgron2, jmaldo, Josie12012. Thank you! More animals are incoming! I've ordered them online but I'm not sure when they will get here since the seller hasn't shipped them out yet. Stay tuned! I'll leave you with a nice family photo. I'm sure there's more to come.

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Little Butt (front) and Marimo (back)
 

V1K

Nice to see Marimo and Indie getting along, they even look a bit alike .

What animals did you order?
 

LinasPlantLife

Nice to see Marimo and Indie getting along, they even look a bit alike .

What animals did you order?
Yes, I was thinking when I got Indy that he and the frogs would look nice together. That's a bit of a surprise here if anyone's forgotten, but I've mentioned it before at the beginning
 

mattgirl

I may be seeing this blue shine to Indy's fins only in the photos, but it could still really be there as I've noticed a difference in coloration - like a darker hue - in person. It's difficult to tell what color it really is because of the lamp being on. He's so beautiful!
I love all the photos. Thank you for sharing them with all of us.

Indy may end up a totally different color than he is right now. I have seen photos of some Bettas that I would almost swear they were of two different fish but were in fact the same one. It just took him a while to come into his true colors.
 

AggressiveAquatics

I usually don’t like tanks with artificial decor in it but I have to say this looks awesome
 

LinasPlantLife

I love all the photos. Thank you for sharing them with all of us.

Indy may end up a totally different color than he is right now. I have seen photos of some Bettas that I would almost swear they were of two different fish but were in fact the same one. It just took him a while to come into his true colors.
Aww thank you so much, mattgirl! That would be exciting to see Indy transform into different colors. I did get another closer look at him and for sure he has blue on his fins. I’m wondering if the whole new transparent growth will turn blue eventually.
I usually don’t like tanks with artificial decor in it but I have to say this looks awesome
That’s great that you like the tank, AggressiveAquatics! I’m happy you do. Thank you
 

Kribensis27

I once bought a completely white female betta. She was absolutely beautiful, and super cute. Out of nowhere, she started developing little bold patches of black and blue all around her body, and became even more beautiful!

Her pattern was never the same. Every morning, her colors and patterns had shifted. It was really fun to see her look entirely different every day. You never know how they'll eventually turn out. Indy is looking great!
 

LinasPlantLife

I once bought a completely white female betta. She was absolutely beautiful, and super cute. Out of nowhere, she started developing little bold patches of black and blue all around her body, and became even more beautiful!

Her pattern was never the same. Every morning, her colors and patterns had shifted. It was really fun to see her look entirely different every day. You never know how they'll eventually turn out. Indy is looking great!
Wow, what an amazing thing to see! She sounds wonderful. Thank you very much I adore him and my little frogs a lot!
 

mrsP

You have stunning tank! Specially adding live plants is great, just add ferts if needed. I loved those clips, they are super cute. Well done you!
 

LinasPlantLife

You have stunning tank! Specially adding live plants is great, just add ferts if needed. I loved those clips, they are super cute. Well done you!
Thank you very much! I just added my first dose of fertilizer a few days ago. I would have done it sooner, but I was waiting to do a water change so I could see what parameters normally are without ferts. Aww I’m glad you enjoyed them
 

RelaxingBettas

Nice Start!
You mentioned, tough to find plants and the weather in Texas.
Turns out a member here is in Texas selling "Plants". JettsPapa
Assorted Plants Want To Sell - | Buy, Sell, Trade, Free Forum | 472435
Received a shipment 2 weeks ago, Very Nice.
Highly Recommend.

Good Luck!
Yes, I keep meaning to come back to that thread, that and the shrimps, but I keep getting crazy tank ideas and ending up using a planned shrimp tank for breeding laser corys, lol (or trying). I am pretty sure the laws of physics are going to put a halt to my MTS soon (at least until tubbing season). But I really need plants, even if I can't come up with immediate housing for a gazillion shrimps!
 

LinasPlantLife

Hello! It's been a while! Well, a little over two weeks. But I've been waiting for my gold coins to arrive. For those that don't know, Texas was very unprepared for the cold weather and snow. Many people went without electricity for about a week. Luckily, we didn't lose electricity but went without water for a day. We also received an unsafe water warning, and I was unable to do a water change on the tank. I waited a while to do one even after we were given notice that the water was supposedly back to normal. Nitrates never went above 30ppm. It's been a few days since I changed the water and fortunately everything is going smoothly.

So, after the weather warmed up, my package was shipped two weeks later from when I ordered. It was shipped 2 day priority mail, but it still took four days to get here. Still, the animals were packed warmly, which is great. The only thing is is that I would have preferred they sent them in a container instead of a bag since supposedly this stresses them out more...?

So, without further ado, meet the four gold coins/mystery snails known as "The Doubloons!"

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Here they are in the tank, the currency which has fallen with the other buried treasures. Little Butt is just chilling with them lol.

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In the top picture above, you can see I put one of the snails in the windelov. There must have been some air trapped in the shell because he or she kept floating to the top, but the leaves kept them in place.

More photos...

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It didn't take that long for the snails to get on the move. I actually expected Indy to notice them much sooner. He looked at them when I first placed them in the tank, but quickly ignored them when he saw they weren't food. He didn't realize they were moving around until spotting the one on the windelov who had crawled to the top of the plant, and Indy gave it a briefer look than he had the frogs when he first met them. It wouldn't be until after feeding time when he became really, really curious.

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Who did notice the snail(s) right away was Marimo. That was a surprise. I was going to wait a day until feeding the snails, but I thought they must be very hungry if the seller hadn't fed them a few days before shipping, and they were in transit for four days, so I plopped in two algae wafers. They were a success! One snail found a wafer and was happily munching away when Marimo swam in. They say that African dwarf frogs don't eat algae wafers, but Marimo proved otherwise. I'm guessing the snail was leaving particles of the algae wafer along the sand and that's what Marimo was feasting on. And when my frogs, especially Marimo, get eating, they get pretty hyped up. I've seen Marimo and Little Butt bite each other's arms around feeding time, even if I had fed them away from each other. They're just stuck in feeding mode for a little while afterwards. So, Marimo is eating, sees the snail moving in front of his face, even though it's just the back end where the antennae aren't, and he keeps biting at the shell, knocking the poor thing around inside the terra-cotta pot like a beach ball! I end up having to move the snail out of the pot so he can escape.

Meanwhile, Indy is still unaware that the gold things in the tank are living animals. All he sees while trying to steal the other algae wafer is Marimo going nuts in the pot. Later, Indy will have gotten bloated from nibbling at the wafer (he's since thinned down). Little Butt arrives late to the party. That's him in the bottom picture looking curiously up at the snail, but doesn't bother him or her. Good boy!

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So now I'm realizing that this algae wafer thing isn't going to work. Marimo is beating up snails like a boxer beating a punching bag and Indy is blowing up like a frog balloon from Shrek. That night I blanch some carrots to see how the snails like them. One heads over to munch on it, but the carrots don't seem to be a big hit. I'll try tossing in some apple slices and blanching other veggies, but this still doesn't solve my algae wafer problem. And what about the shrimp pellets I bought for the snails? My frogs and Indy will surely try to eat those, too if they're trying to eat wafers quadruple the size of shrimp pellets. But I have an idea. On Tuesday, I'm getting a breeder box in the mail. I'm going to line it up right at the water line so Indy and the frogs can't get to the wafers inside, and all the snails have to do is climb in and out. I think this could work. In the meantime, I've put the algae wafers in a plastic cup which I'm holding at the back of the tank at the waterline with twine. We'll see if the snails can find them.

I need to buy more suction cups, not only for things like this but one of the suction cups needs to be replaced on the long cholla log. It's not suctioning correctly and holding the weight on one end, so the log tore off the other suction cup. It needs to be repaired securely. I also need more super glue gel. The one I have is just spewing out watery glue.

Back to the snails. What does Indy think of them? To be honest, his attitude towards them is troublesome. If you want to read what he's been up to with them, I made a thread: Betta isn't sure about new mystery snails | Betta Fish Forum | 490200 But I'll summarize here. Eventually, Indy does notice the snails. At first, he just glances at them, and he still does just glance at them sometimes, but he's made a habit of biting at them. Most of the time he just bites the back of their shell or at their bottom. I've only seen him bite twice at the face, one time with their antennae out. I don't think it got bitten off, but this is worrisome to me. To be honest, I don't know if anyone else's antennae has been bitten off. I think if Indy were to get used to seeing the snails, he wouldn't be curious enough to get so close to notice their antennae, but right now he'll get really, really close, then either swim off or bite. And he doesn't even see any antennae when he does it, except for that one time, and he doesn't flare, so I don't think he's necessarily being aggressive. Either way, it's frustrating to watch. I'm going to see if this behavior fades out within the week (he shows signs of eventually becoming bored with them. Again, detailed in the linked thread), but if he keeps biting at the snails, I'm going to seriously think about moving them to the 5 gallon. It's all I have right now. The filter is enough to clean a 10 gallon, but I'd imagine I'd have to be pretty frequent with water changes until I could get a bigger tank.

Some good news: The snails get along with Marimo and Little Butt, as far as I know. These are photos of when the snails were first added to the tank. I think they've since learned to keep their antennae tucked in because of Indy.

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They're still on the move. Yesterday, I saw one of the snails climb onto the floating cuttlebone upside down.

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All the photos here have been added to a new album on my profile, and I've added updated pics of Indy and my ADFs to their albums. I want The Doubloons to be comfortable in their new home. I think it's okay if they've learned to keep their antennae tucked in, as long as they aren't constantly stressed out. I'll update when the breeder box has arrived and the snails have had a chance to try it out (crossed fingers). By then I should know if Indy is going to get along with the snails. If not, at least we'll get a new build out of it.
 

V1K

If your mystery snails are anything like mine, they will soon learn to keep their antennae tucked in to avoid nipping. All 4 of mine went through this learning process - first when I got them, they were going around the tank with their antennae extended almost to the length of their body and sticking far out, but after a few days with my rosy barbs they were all keeping them close to the body and not fully extended. It's a bit pity, because fully extended antennae look really epic, but it keeps them safe .
 

LinasPlantLife

If your mystery snails are anything like mine, they will soon learn to keep their antennae tucked in to avoid nipping. All 4 of mine went through this learning process - first when I got them, they were going around the tank with their antennae extended almost to the length of their body and sticking far out, but after a few days with my rosy barbs they were all keeping them close to the body and not fully extended. It's a bit pity, because fully extended antennae look really epic, but it keeps them safe .
Yes, it is a shame! But, I agree. As long as they are safe, everything is fine. One day I'm sure I'll have a tank where they can extend their antennae without worry. Does their antennae look like stubs when they're tucked in? All the snails look like they have stubby antennae right now, and I was worried that somehow they all managed to get them bit off.
 

V1K

Does their antennae look like stubs when they're tucked in? All the snails look like they have stubby antennae right now, and I was worried that somehow they all managed to get them bit off.
It looks like this.
 

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