Make My Dad Quit Bosing Me Around?

Frailty

About my tank! He thinks because he's had an aquarium before, and had it cycled, he thinks he knows it all! Like, he wants to make my ten gallon tank up by himself, not asking me how I want it done. He did not buy it. It was given to me. He wants to get tank mates for my Betta fish, and this is what he said, and I quote "We should just get some catfish or something and put them together, see how it goes"... Wait, what? Excuse me? You want to endanger fish? My bttas gonna eat everyone! Well, kill them. Then, he said that I should that I should just keep my betta in my two and a half gallon, because betta are dirty fish, and they don't need a big tank... He's drving me crazy. When I try to tell him otherwise, he's says that I shouldn't believe everything everyone says on the internet...
He's drving me insane! He's gonna end up killing Steev!
p.s, sorry for typos. My phone is not real friendly to this site!
 

Shahbazin

"Dad, I appreciate your experience & I'll be sure to ask you if I have any questions - I just really want to set up this tank myself."
 

the planted guy

You can put dwarf blue crayfish in there with the beta, I have seen that all small shrimp ( especcially transluecnt or transparent ones) seem to do very well betta fish. Also your dad is correct that you should put cories, cories are bottom dwellers and betas a re top dwellers. May I suggest three amano shrimp and pygmy cories. Or a vampire shrims and some ghost shrimp. or a dwarf orange/blue crayfish. I have more suggestions but these should do for now.

Adding one of these suggestions will add more color and life to your tank.

P.S. don't mix the options together
 

alink

There have been many reports of successfully keeping a Betta with tankmates. Although, there has been just as many reports of it not working because the Betta kills other fish, or other fish nip at, stress out the betta, leading to disease and death.

Bettas are a wildcard for sure and you never know how your Betta will be until you put it in that situation. I am like you though, I would not risk it because the cons outweigh the pros in my opinion.

I just wanted to tell you that it is probably why your dad said to put a catfish in there and try it out to see what happens. They wouldnt bother the Betta (in most cases). However, I am not recommending to try it, and I would never put any fish with a Betta unless I had a Betta sorority.

Also, a 2.5g is acceptable for a Betta, but yes, a 10 gallon is better.
 

Aquaphobia

All I can suggest is that you get him to visit the forum or join an aquarium club or get a book that's fairly new and sit down and read it with you and discuss it, adult to adult!

As for Steev killing everyone, he might not. However he might harrass his tank mates until they get sick. On the other hand, he may be the one stressed out by others in what he considers his territory and could himself suffer from stress-related illnesses. It depends on the Betta. And if you do try it, your best course of action will be to prepare some media for a second tank so you can split them up immediately if you see signs of trouble.

Catfish (what kind?) almost certainly won't work in your 10 gallon. Bettas aren't very messy fish but some kinds of fish are poop machines that will quickly foul the water if your BB can't cope, plus add heavily to the bioload which could lead to an algae problem.
 

Frailty

I know that cories are one of the few fish that can go with bettas. He didn't know that. He put no prior research into that suggestion. He just wants to put more fish in the tank...

Also, I would say that... But he would probably get angry, saying that he knows best, so why shouldn't he do it? Getting a tank was such a bad idea....
 

Bijou88

Tell your dad that you'd like sole responsibility of the tank (stock, decor, maintenence), that way you can also learn about fishkeeping and take pride in what you've accomplished, all on your own, when the tank is successful,

I don't think a 10 gallon is big enough for cories personally, but shrimp and snails would work

 

Frailty

Shrimp and snails would be okay, I think... I'm just worried about their reproduction rates! Plus, he said absolutely no snails. I would wake up and they would be covering the tank
 

Aquaphobia

It wasn't a bad idea at all! It just can be hard for some parents to let go, especially when their children take up something they've done before and they want to hold your hand, figuratively speaking, and do it for you.
 

Frailty

Yeah see... The thing is its been really hard for me to get a job, and he would be paying for stuff... But yes, I am an adult now! I just turned 18 a few days ago, lol. Totally grown up! (heavy sarcasm there, can ya tell?)
 

AndreDecasa

"Back off dad."

I'm joking! You should just confront him and straight up say that you can do it by yourself without any help. Maybe also suggest him to get himself one and lets see what that experience has to say.

Not all snails are like that it all depends on how you keep them, Mystery snails for example needs a partner.
 

Frailty

He wants one. There just to expensive for him to get one. But yeah, there's no way. I have a tiny sister, she 1 and a half... In a bit, she's gonna wanna be "petting" the fishies XD
 

alink

Shrimp and snails would be okay, I think... I'm just worried about their reproduction rates! Plus, he said absolutely no snails. I would wake up and they would be covering the tank

Nerite snails do not reproduce in fresh water. They may lay eggs, but the eggs will NOT hatch unless the water is brackish or salt water. So those would be an option for you. You could have a few in a 10 gallon without increasing the bioload much. They would take care of algae and are too big to be eaten by a betta.
 

Frailty

Would some kind of sucker fish be out of the question?
Nerite snails do not reproduce in fresh water. They may lay eggs, but the eggs will NOT hatch unless the water is brackish or salt water. So those would be an option for you. You could have a few in a 10 gallon without increasing the bioload much. They would take care of algae and are too big to be eaten by a betta.
 

AndreDecasa

Would some kind of sucker fish be out of the question?

Your tank is too small for any other fish. All we can get is inverts and It will also be limited.
 

the planted guy

Inverts are just fine
 

Frailty

Hmm, kk! I'll have to tell him that. He said he had like, 5 schools of fish in his 10 gallon tank at one time... I knew that was to much!
 

AndreDecasa

Hmm, kk! I'll have to tell him that. He said he had like, 5 schools of fish in his 10 gallon tank at one time... I knew that was to much!

Nitrogen cycle isn't what you call true "experience".
 

Bithimala

Maybe just tell him that you want to focus on the care for the betta for now so that you are giving it the proper care and attention it deserves?
 

Frailty

I'll tell him that. Its just he don't think fish are all that important. He scoffs at me when I said bettas can have personalities. Its like talking to a brick wall. A hard one. That doesn't move for squat
 

BornThisWayBettas

Well, I didn't read through all the posts, but here are a few things:

First off, some fish have a better chance of being able to peacefully coexist with bettas than others. Cory catfish are one of the most popular choice for tankmates, and they got along just fine with my betta. But, your tank is simply not large enough for a proper school (6) of cories.

Secondly, just explain to your dad that you're doing the research and that you're doing the best you can, and that it's your tank and that if he wants to help, he can help do research ONLINE and then you can compare information that you've gathered.

Also, a betta will do fine in a 2.5g, it's just the minimum.

Being a teenager myself, I know that parents are often very difficult people.
 

LiterallyHydro

I find it ironic how a lot of older folk will dismiss all information on the internet as being factually inaccurate, but they'll trust anything someone tells them face-to-face without fact-checking the information. All sources can provide false information.

In your situation I would just try to respectfully tell him that you will consider his advice, but you want to take care of this tank by yourself. You would want to handle the stocking and maintaining of the tank and you can write it off as being a good learning experience for you.
 

NinjaTetra


ImageUploadedByFish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum1448816986.332178.jpg
This is my ten gallon. I made that tank splitter in the middle for like 6 bucks and it only took me around an hour. Something like that would allow you to get another betta.
I know what you mean about people thinking because they've had fish they can live forever. My family is full of people who would swear bettas are fine in bowls because out of the tons of bettas that died quickly, one or two stayed alive almost a year. What bugs me the most is that my uncle puts random native fish into their 60 gallon. First it was a carp- two months later it ate everything except for the pleco. Now its a six inch channel catfish, and I'm sure the same thing will happen. But since "fish grow to the size of their tank", they aren't really worried about how channel catfish can get multiple feet long.
I hate myths like that. Some fish might have stunted growth- but they're organs won't have room to grow and they're life spans will be halved.


~ <-----that's one of those cool squiggly lines you do before a signature.
 

Bithimala

Also, fish information has changed a lot over the years. Maybe you could try explaining that as well. Just as technology and science have changed, so has fish keeping, because we have a lot more information about what is good for the fish.

My parents have been out of the hobby for years, and they were completely surprised by some of the things that have changed. They did both salt water and fresh water tanks.

Examples of some of the info they had from when they were keeping fish that I was able to correct over thanksgiving:
Bettas are ok in bowls and prefer them
Only saltwater tanks need to be cycled
Snails don't need anything other than whatever drops
Differences between shoaling and schooling
We have gravel vacuums that work and don't have to suck an air tube to start syphoning the water
 

Tolak

Sometimes us dad types have a hard time coming to terms with the fact that our kids will surpass us in certain areas. Some of us know this will happen, sometimes surprised it happens so soon, but take it as a sign that we raised our kids right, and they're headed towards being happy & successful members of society.

Others go into OMG mode, oh no, no kid can know anything more than I, this means I'll be second fiddle in some areas, can't have that ever. They fail to realize they're getting into a more enjoyable part of being a parent, edging towards more of a peer relationship rather than being a dictator. Go with the flow dads; it's enjoyable, and makes life easier. Let the kids do the work, and bring the knowledge back to you.
 

Redshark1

I'm a dad and I really feel for you.

You need to find the words to express that whilst you love your dad this is your tank and you would like to do this your way.

You couldn't get better advice than here on Fishlore. You can test any assumptions or opinions out and people will tell you what they think.
 

Frailty

Tolka, I LOVE your avatar! So true!
and sorry for not replying guys, I wasn't getting notifications? I'll try it... But he's really scary and on edge here of late... It would be so cool if I could split my tank! Two bettas!

Also, he will NOT let me do water changes! He said by me doing changes, I'm temp shocking the fish. I should only do it when the tank looks dirty, and smells... I should not have gotten a fish till I moved out...
 

Shahbazin

Hmmn... to me, a similar analogy would be, "would you wait to brush your teeth until they 'look dirty & smell', or would you do preventative, regular hygiene?" As long as you're the one doing the work, I don't see why he'd have issues - if you can't do weekly big changes without other household members interfering, maybe you can do small daily changes? Or do changes after other people are asleep, or before they wake up, so they aren't confronted with it? I hope things work out OK for you & your betta.
 

Frailty

... I'm only supposed to do weekly big changes? I was under the impression that until I cycled my tank I have to do 50% change every other day?
 

Shahbazin

Long term, you're looking at weekly; when cycling, if the combined ammonia & nitrite are under 1.0 that day, you can just dose total gallons with Prime or equivalent conditioner that protects against ammonia/nitrites. (I check the water chemistry daily in a newly stocked or cycling tank). Perhaps someone with more experience with cycling with 1 small fish like a betta might have some suggestions here?
 

BlueMint

Adding to the conversation, will you be buying bacteria (in a bottle) to add to your tank to speed up the cycling? I bought a small bottle of bacteria and in 3 to 4 days, my 60 gallon was cycled using a school of 6 or 8 zebra danios. No fatalities and the fish didnt act weird once. And I didnt have to do a water change at all (during the cycling).
 

Frailty

I don't have a test kit yet, and I'm going to get one after Christmas. Same for the bottle of bacteria. We are just broke right now, because its a holiday season. Plus, he don't want to spend a whole bunch on a fish. Just one fish he says
 

happygolucky

Huh, I also have a tank issue with my parents. Over Christmas I hope to get a large goldfish tank, and so far I have had to beg, plead, and argue for every single gallon (so far at around 40, gonna keep going). Parents can be annoyingly rigid!

You're getting good advice, but just show him evidence that you need to water change, and don't be snarky! Ask him to read an article or something else that will give him no other option but to believe you.
 

Tolak

Also, he will NOT let me do water changes! He said by me doing changes, I'm temp shocking the fish. I should only do it when the tank looks dirty, and smells... I should not have gotten a fish till I moved out...

Cooler water changes are a known way to induce many species to spawn;

"Change in water temperature
Water temperature is often lowered due to cloudiness and the cold rainwater. In high terrain temperature differences are often greater than down in the lowlands (10ºC compared to a few degrees)."

"First rainfall:

Day 21. Put the floating plants back in. Add more plants of the type the fish like for spawning. Add clean, as soft as possible, water (preferable RO), about 20% of the tank volume. The water's temperature should be about 3 degrees lower than that of the tank. Put in the filter and run it at half speed if possible. One could try to turn off the light for a couple of hours in the middle of the day to simulate thick clouds. Lower the heater temperature by 2 degrees. Feed a little with mosquito larvae and newly hatched brine shrimp. Add infusoria so that the water gets a slight cloudiness.

Day 22. Add the equivalent of 20% of the tank volume, with water about 5 degrees lower in temperature than the tank. Run the filter at full speed and make it "splash" in the surface. Lower the heater temperature by 2 degrees. Feed a lot and often. Add infusoria so that the water gets a slight cloudiness. Add a vitamin product and plant fertiliser according to instructions for your product.

Day 23. Add the equivalent of 20% of the tank volume. The water temperature should be about 5 degrees lower than that of the tank. Add aeration at a low level. Lower the heater temperature by 2 degrees. Feed a lot. Add infusoria so that the water gets a slight cloudiness.

Day 24. Turn off the heater if the fish can take such low temperatures. Aeration at half speed. Fill the tank. The water temperature should be about 5 degrees lower than that of the tank. If you can, open a window during the night to lower the temp. further. Feed a lot. Add infusoria so that the water gets a slight cloudiness."

With many species I've worked with I've done 10% daily water changes with straight cold tap water. I've had fish intentionally swim through water being hosed in that's 30F cooler than their tank water. From the beginning results from a quality test kit will be your guide for water changes.

Dad seems to come from the era of old water is good water, plenty of misconceptions about that. Old water is harder, has more total dissolved solids, and is most likely lower in pH due to the accumulation of fish waste. Change too much water, hardness drops, pH rises, and the fishkeeper senses that new water is bad for fish, reluctant to do water changes very often at all. Now that we know the science behind it, hardness is the big one, pH & temperature fall far behind.
 

gadgetgirl01

As a control freak and a parent I completely see both sides of this. Be patient with him, it's hard to see our kids as being grown up. He is living vicariously through you and since he wishes he could have a tank himself and paying for everything you are stuck until you move out. Try to gently steer him by saying, "what about this kind". I wish you luck. May be best to keep your betta separate until the tank is cycled.

Sent from my Nexus 4 using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum mobile app
 

Frailty

Okay guys, so Steeve scared the heck out of me this morning... I woke up, and of course I checked on him as usual... BUT HE WAS BROWN? He's usually black, but his scales had a very prominent brown color to them. When I got back from school, he was back to normal... What happened?

Plus, I haven't been able to do a water change in awhile, cuzz I haven't been able to fine the bowl I usually use... I think he hid it from me?
 

Danjamesdixon

I believe it is very common for Bettas to change color for no apparent reason.

I highly doubt he hid it from you. Why do you need that specific bowl? If you're Cycling, you should be conducting water changes every day.
 

Frailty

Its the only thing big enough to hold half the water... I don't have a bucket or anything. So that's what I have to use.
I believe it is very common for Bettas to change color for no apparent reason.

I highly doubt he hid it from you. Why do you need that specific bowl? If you're Cycling, you should be conducting water changes every day.
 

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