What To Pair With My Betta Sorority??? Asian Fish Suggestions Only

Süßwasserfisch

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This is my custom 20g Asian focused aquarium. The first picture was my first attempt with great stuff, black 100% silicone and 100% latex based acrylic paint. I jumped into this project with minimal research and learned my lesson the hard way. ALWAYS BE THOROUGH!!! The paint I used which i Iover looked took an insanely long time to dry and on top of that I used too much silicone so the under layer wasn't completely dry when I filled it with water to test it. The next day my tank had so much white and gray floating in it you couldn't see the back of the tank. I ripped that out cleaned the tank like new and started over.
The next attempt I used great stuff pond and stone (carved into caves pots for plants), a thin layer of clear100% silicone, thoroughly rinsed white untreated play sand, seachem clay chips and aragonite. (To maintin healthy levels of gh and kh for my plants). I also used aged sycamore from the woods down the road. Needles to say I took my time with this attempt and clearly it shows. I let the great stuff sit for 3 days before carving, the silicone along with the sand etc., applied conservatively, sat for 4 weeks before I was satisfied. I advise everyone to try this as I'm very pleased with the result.
The substrate consists of 1"-1.5" home Depot topsoil as Lowe's is full of debris. I still had to sift to remove organic matter but not as much as with Lowe's product. In the soil I put seachem root tabs and plan on using seachem advance to continue healthy root growth and inhibit algea. On top of the soil I put 1"-1.5-well cleaned river sand that I got from a river north of here and have had it cycling with snails for some time with no issues.
I'm using an old penguin 150 HOB modified with my own pre cycled biosponge and enough zeolite to combat any ammonia spikes should any arise. With that I have a small airpump and stone that doesn't push much water but truly I only wanted it for aeration and surface agitation.
For heat I'm using a heater from an old friend that's preset to 78°f although my thermometer says 78.7°f.
Lighting consists of two 10" LED strips I fastened to the lid with silicone. 3 blue lights run along with 12 white ×2. The hood is an old marineland hood that had a light fixture inside but broke with old age. Recently I found the replacement light and plan on getting it tomorrow to give my plants the light they deserve.
My plants consist of:
Rotala Rotundifolia
Hygrophila Corymbosa
Hygrophila Difformis
Cryptocoryne Wendtii
Cryptocoryne Pontederiifolia
Microsorum Pteropus
Vesicularia Dubyana
I will be fertilizing them with seachem flourish, advance, and I still have 2 bottles of co2 booster from API but once those are gone I'll be switching to seachem Excel.
For chemical treatment I used seachem prime daily the first week to combat any nitrite or ammonia blooms. To promote bacterial growth early I used api quick start along with 17 gallons of cycled aquarium water from one of my well established tanks along with sponges with living active bacteria already present from another tank. I've used imaginarium zeolite on multiple tanks to clear up issues in the past and it has worked wonderfully. I have measured out enough to treat 20 gallons and placed it in the filter where it will stay for the next two or three weeks until I can be sure things are where I'd like them to be. I used seachem clarity to clear the all cloudiness but have not used it since as id like for some color in my water. I've read with this method and the proper lighting i dont even need a filter or even water changes but I definitely want to keep the filter on for my own peace ofi mind. Does anyone have any idea about the water changes? Or is it just a rumor spread online?
After 3 weeks of running and testing getting stuck on this tank when I'd walk by I decided it was time for my Bettas to move in. The parameters came out on week 4 as follows:
NO2- 0ppm
NO3- roughly15ppm
pH- 7.2
KH- 120ppm 7dKH
GH- 120ppm 7 dHK
After a week of being in this tank I've seen my Betta act drastically different compared to their old 20 long that had plants but also lots of room for my corys.
They swim much more gracefully and appear to almost "walk" along the background I made. Their colors have also become much more vibrant.
My fish and invertebrates include:
2 female Plakat Betta
1 female assorted Betta
1 female Koi Betta
6 Ramshorn Snails (I'm sure soon to be more)
4 Assassin Snails
I'd like to add some freshwater clams. And now for my questions. I looked up several Asian species of fish that stay small in the past few weeks. I found a Scarlet Gem Badis. I like this fish the colors and from what I've read I'd like it's behavior. The only downfall for me is you could only keep one male and the famales aren't as striking. If they did breed it would be a nightmare to remove them amongst all the plants and decor. The males are highly territorial when in tight spaces. So that would leave me with one male. They're colors also don't become as vibrant unless a female is present. I also found the dwarf pea puffer. I've seen these randomly in aquascape videos and have skimmed some Info on them. I understand they can be in brackish or freshwater with many do just as well in both. I have an endless amount of snails for them to eat and thought they looked really cool the way they seem to float about the tank. The one downfall I've been able to find on this fish is they tend to nip. Imo Betta are tough fish. When I didn't know much better I had a male with 2 of our females. Once I read and observed
I noticed he would chase every so often. But even when he made contact I never noticed or saw any wounds. I've read online the pea puffer is nippy but generally doesn't hurt the other fish it nips at?? Is this true?? If so should I go with Badis or puffers???? Will the Badis even breed? Let me know what you guys think and any suggestions!!!!! My lfs has pea puffers on sale buy 2 get one free. He says they don't sell fast enough to keep so I'd like to get them if it's a good idea
 
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Vaughn

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I can't help with most of this but you'll definitely need water changes. Even just a tiny one every few weeks. They replace minerals and get rid of extra fertilizers and dissolved solids. Also I've never kept any kind of puffer but from my own research I remember reading something about they need at least 40 gallons if you'll have more than one and should be kept in species only tanks. I could be wrong though. If I were you I would wait for someone who's owned them before to chime in to make your decision but if it were me I wouldn't risk it. Your tank looks really cool though!
 
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Süßwasserfisch

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Thank you!!! I followed the walstad method aside from the filter and heater because my house gets pretty cold in the winter and i used fertilizer instead of clay. Other than that I followed the method step for step on here and several other forums had guides on how to do it. Except the background that was YouTube mostly serpa design. Several of the people stated they've only had to do 3 water changes a year in these types of tanks because the high quantity of plants and soil help to mimic nature as close as possible. I test my tanks regularly and plan on keeping a regular water change schedule until I'm assured its established then plan on slowly cutting back on fertilizer and water changes down to nothing. I've been keeping fish and plants for 7 years probably 6 taking it seriously. And I always wondered about trying this if it works I'll slowly switch all my tanks to this method as they all enjoy a heavily planted aquarium. I've read larger ones definitely need to be housed alone I saw 14 in an awesome fluval spec show tank at a store a few hours from me it was awesome when the lights shut off they all found a little spot and "layed down" basically. It was pretty sweeet other info I've read online states they can go in community tanks as long as the proper set up is provided but again I don't really know much but what the internet has offered or I've seen myself on the two occasions I've seen them. I've read theydon't get more than 1/2 -3/4 inch

I'm not against more Bettas but my options locally are extremely limited and I'm not familiar enough with buying live fish online
 
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Logan.t.Foster

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Thank you!!! I followed the walstad method aside from the filter and heater because my house gets pretty cold in the winter and i used fertilizer instead of clay. Other than that I followed the method step for step on here and several other forums had guides on how to do it. Except the background that was YouTube mostly serpa design. Several of the people stated they've only had to do 3 water changes a year in these types of tanks because the high quantity of plants and soil help to mimic nature as close as possible. I test my tanks regularly and plan on keeping a regular water change schedule until I'm assured its established then plan on slowly cutting back on fertilizer and water changes down to nothing. I've been keeping fish and plants for 7 years probably 6 taking it seriously. And I always wondered about trying this if it works I'll slowly switch all my tanks to this method as they all enjoy a heavily planted aquarium. I've read larger ones definitely need to be housed alone I saw 14 in an awesome fluval spec show tank at a store a few hours from me it was awesome when the lights shut off they all found a little spot and "layed down" basically. It was pretty sweeet other info I've read online states they can go in community tanks as long as the proper set up is provided but again I don't really know much but what the internet has offered or I've seen myself on the two occasions I've seen them. I've read theydon't get more than 1/2 -3/4 inch
Thanks
what ferts are you using?

Im guessing its s 20 gal tall (like mine!!)
where did you get the background decor?
 
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Süßwasserfisch

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I got the driftwood from some sycamore by our river the sand from the same area. The soil from home Depot. The large rock with red veins of quartz and something else, I'm no geologist, that came from the rivers in the blue ridge. I have tons of quartz I've found on various trips I even have an 80 lb. Rose quartz Boulder but no tank large enough to support or fit it. YET!! The sand on the walls is white untreated play sand I figured if algea could grow in it it would be fine. The rocks and chips are clay chips and aragonite from seachem. I advise taking your time it ensures everything is dry and set and cycled while giving you time to buy materials without breaking your pocket and really create what you want to achieve. The walls of the tank should be thouroughly cleaned with alcohol to ensure your great stuff sticks to the glass. And seriously use a thin thin layer of silicone I found with the type of sand I was using ,mixed with the other substrate, would fill in any gaps left by the rocks and the pond and stone great stuff cuts better and creates an aesthetically pleasing cave effect when you have overhangs because of it's black coloration. The entire set up aside from the plants cost me a bag of dirt $3.99 a bag of sand $2.39, 4 cans of pond and stone $23, and 3 tubes of silicone $14. I used the seachem substrate leftover from an old breeding tank and everything else aside from .plants I repurposed. Most of the plants in fact were in my 75 but that has been converted into a SA only tank.

Im guessing its s 20 gal tall (like mine!!)
where did you get the background decor?
I built the background the description is under the picture

Thanks
what ferts are you using?
Seachem root tabs API co2 booster but I'll be switching to seachem Excel after these bottles are gone seachem flourish and seachem advance for algea control and root health I also put root tabs in
 
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Süßwasserfisch

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Its at the top of their temp range but how about something like this?
Thank you I'll do some research

I like them but looking for something a little smaller

Did tons of reading. Best not to house the pea puffers with anyone in a small aquarium a few sources even said they handle themselves against suprisingly larger fish
I can't help with most of this but you'll definitely need water changes. Even just a tiny one every few weeks. They replace minerals and get rid of extra fertilizers and dissolved solids. Also I've never kept any kind of puffer but from my own research I remember reading something about they need at least 40 gallons if you'll have more than one and should be kept in species only tanks. I could be wrong though. If I were you I would wait for someone who's owned them before to chime in to make your decision but if it were me I wouldn't risk it. Your tank looks really cool though!
 
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Süßwasserfisch

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Just wanted to say that the assassin snails will probably eliminate the ramshorn snails if you put them together.
I know I got them to reduce their population in the first place. And they've done a great job I have a bunch in my quarantine tank. Last year we moved and I had a 55 left in our old basement in a dark corner half full of water sand substrate and no heat or lights or plants nor food. And they multiplied like crazy. I was so impressed I threw some in my quarantine a few in my 75 and a few with the Betta. After moving these Betta I only spot feed the corys and the Ramshorn population reduces greatly as long as I remove any I see as I see them. So now their tank is almost rid of them although I know if I fed indiscriminately they multiy again. If they survive that's cool if they're snail food I'll just add some more.

Awesome thank you
 
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VSA

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You could look at neon green rasboras. They are suitable in terms of size and temp and look good in tanks with driftwood
 
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Süßwasserfisch

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So I was thinking maybe a group of 8-12 micro tiger rasbora's or 2 bumblebee goby everywhere online has said house a khuli loach with them which I don't get because I always thought those were fast swimming highly active fish esp for a 20
 
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Süßwasserfisch

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Can anyone tell my what this clear coating is? Just saw it this morning it's only in one spot on one branch. I baked these branches at 250 for almost 1 1/2 hours to rid of parasites and organisms I also ensured they were thoroughly aged but not rotten. I've never seen this film before and I know it's not the silicone because it legitimately in one spot and nowhere else I can clean it right off with my hand. But if it's natural for dried I could let it takes it's course. If not I'll remove it immediately. The species is sycamore no doubt about it just never used my own driftwood so don't know what to expect
 

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Smalltownfishfriend

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I would not go with scarlet badis. They are best kept as species only, and can be very finicky eaters. They often require live food too. I would be a bit nervous about keeping bumblebee gobies with bettas too...they are pretty bright and might get beat up on.
 

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I always advise boiling driftwood. It's rocks that you want to bake at a low temp for awhile because they can explode and kill someone if you boil them. I would take the wood back out and boil it the best you can. If it's too big to fit in a pot just keep turning it until you've boiled all of it.
 
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Süßwasserfisch

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LOL that wood doesn't come out I've been watching my fish today and they don't seem to be acting any differently
 
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Süßwasserfisch

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From what I've read this isn't uncommon. My Betta have pecked at it. Im 100% sure it's not sap because I'm 100% sure of the species.from what I've read it is a bacterial bloom and sometime in the next few days I'll get a small microscope to see what it is exactly. I'm reading all over it's natural and won't harm the fish of course if it spreads I'll reduce it but my fish seem perfectly fine with it and after reading through tons of forums I'm not as concerned
 
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