Shimmeryluna's 5.2gal Betta Tank Journey 5 Gallon Tank

Discussion in 'Members Fish Tanks' started by ShimmeryLuna, Aug 11, 2019.

  1. ShimmeryLuna

    ShimmeryLunaValued MemberMember

    (Alternatively titled: ShimmeryLuna messes up everything spectacularly but still manages to keep a fish alive.)

    Hello! Since I'm almost a year on from when I got my Betta tank, I figured I'd look back and see how far I've come! (Also, I only just realised today this board existed. Oops!)

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    Phase One: Pre-Aquarium .。.:*☆
    It's July 2018, and my friend is gushing to me about his two Betta fish, a fish I've never heard of before. He says that he thinks I'd love one, so I decide to start researching. Queue my instant infatuation with the species and a month of asking my dad "Can I get a Betta?" "No." (Repeat times a million).

    Eventually he caved and we went tank shopping. Originally, I was going to get a 2.1gal tank advertised as a Betta tank, but upon checking with my friend he was like "No. Oh my goodness no!". Luckily for me a 20L (5.2gal) tank went on sale at my LPS and we purchased that. (It came with a filter, heater and an inbuilt LED too!).

    Phase Two: Setting Up/Cycles, and ShimmeryLuna Has 3 Brain Cells (- Part One) .。.:*☆
    So now I have the tank, yay! Since I had no understanding of aquascaping (and don't get me wrong, I still don't), I decided to go with bright pink and purple gravel for the bottom of the tank. In terms of caves however, I was a little lost. All the caves at my LPS had sharp lips, and if it hurt my fingers, it would surely hurt a fish, right? In the end, my dad, being the genius DIY master he is, scored and sanded down a Bundaberg bottle for the cave.

    I got some silk plants and set the tank up. Now for cycling. I dosed Seachem Stability and began the process of testing the water (I'm sure you can see where this is going). After two weeks and all my parameters being zero, I just couldn't figure out what I was doing wrong. Queue more research. Turns out, you need to add an ammonia source to start the cycle! Who would've thought! Not this biology major, that's for sure.

    By December, I determined the tank was cycled, and it was time to get a Betta.

    At this point, my tank was looking spectacularly terrible:

    Phase Three: Strawberry Ziegler, Fin Biting, and ShimmeryLuna Has 3 Brain Cells (- Part Two) .。.:*☆
    Ever since the start, I'd been dead set on getting a pale halfmoon. Oh, how plans do change when a fish speaks to you.

    By now it's January 11th 2019, and I'm at the LPS on the day the new arrivals come in. I meet this beautiful vanda veiltail, advertised as a super delta. He was like nothing I'd ever seen. I didn't even know orange was a colour Betta fish could come in! I had already decided he was the one.

    Baby's first picture:

    After acclimating him, he was very scared and stressed. He would constantly flare at everything and anything, and didn't want to eat for the first few days. He had terrible fin clamping, too. But, after about a week his colours began to come in, and to my delight I discovered he was pink! (kind of)

    Now for the part where I have 3 braincells. I left the tank light on 24/7. This lack of a day/night cycle meant he was stressed. He ended up having fin blowouts in both his caudal and analfins. They grew back of course, and now he has this cool stripe in his analfin.

    So, it turns out Strawberry likes to nibble on himself. Because of this, his caudal fin is about half the length it should be. Most vanda veiltails I've seen on google seem to have shorter-than-normal fins, so I'm starting to wonder if maybe their breed is genetically predisposed to it, or something.

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    ‧͙⁺˚*・༓☾ Tank Evolution ☽༓・*˚⁺‧͙

    Now for the tank build part of the thread.

    After my initial tank decor, I learned about aquascaping some more. Queue a complete redecoration! (The following photo is pre-fish)

    I then wanted to make the cave the centerpiece of the tank, after I got Strawberry. I took the mossy rock out because I thought it might have been hurting him.
    In this, the filter intake wasn't covered, so I'm pretty sure my little dude got sucked into it a bit one time, which initially caused his fins to be shredded. It's covered now.

    After this build, I decided I wanted to go for a more balanced theme. I don't actually have a picture of the tank build, so we'll skip to the next one.

    A few days ago, I got two new decorations that weren't just plants! Upon putting these in, I realised what my tank reminded me of! A magical fairyland, with all it's bright colours! (Yes, childish, but I do what I want).

    I'm very happy with how it looks currently. (๑꧆◡꧆๑)

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    And that's my journey so far! Strawberry Ziegler is doing well, I think.
    I will continue to update here when I change my tank, or when something significant happens!

    Thank you for reading this long post! (≡^∇^≡)
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2019
  2. Crispii

    CrispiiWell Known MemberMember

    Awesome story! Can't wait to hear your next big adventure with Strawberry Ziegler. :)