So about that betta from my last post – he survived the trip back to South Carolina, and he’s perty:
And here’s his home, complete with waterlogged spider wood:
I decided to try FloraMax substrate since it came in reasonable amounts and was relatively inexpensive while claiming to be good for plants.
Let me just say I hate the stuff.
It might be good for plants if it could actually hold them down and keep them planted. Planting anything is this substrate is a nightmare since the individual grains are so big and also so lightweight. Eventually I’ll probably get so frustrated with it that I trade it out for some black diamond blasting sand like what I’ve got in the 125g, but for right now I’ll leave it be. I’m also not 100% happy with my scape, but I don’t even want to move anything for fear I won’t get it to stay down again.
I’ve not used a hang-on-back (HOB) filter for a betta tank before, as generally I think they create too much current, but I wanted this little guy to have a cycled tank and a good filter, so I went ahead and used the AquaClear that came with the Ebi. I did feel like the little dude was getting blown around quite a bit, so I diy’d a baffle from a Vitamin Water bottle, and I’m really quite proud of it:
The water’s not stagnant, little dude has good filtration, but he’s not getting blown around everywhere. I did good.
As to the 125g, while I was in Tennessee my ludwigia forest took off. I had to do some pruning when I got back; three of the stalks were so big that they were starting to lean to stay submerged. Here you can see me holding one up to its full height:
So I trimmed them and planted one stalk in the little betta tank, and the other two I’ve tried to plant in the 125g, but the cory cats keep digging them up (along with my water wisteria). I may just let them float until they grow bigger roots and then try again.
Speaking of cory cats, they might dig up my plants, but their weird behavior makes for some cute photo ops:
I also picked up four angelfish while I was in Nashville, and after a two-week quarantine period they have now been added to the 125g. I think they were a good addition; their very unique body shape adds variety and visual interest to the tank, and so far they have been very peaceful. They’re all so young still that they pretty much stick together. I’ll be interested to see how they pair off as they sexually mature.
The two middle ones are Clamps and Nori. Clamps is named for the crazy robot in the robot mafia from Futurama since he/she has a really spazzy, obnoxious personality, and Nori was named my my good friend Alesia who was in Nashville with me. Lisa, another good friend, was also in Nashville with us and has naming rights over the mostly black angel on the left, but as of yet hasn’t given him/her a name. He/she is the most demure and calm of the bunch.
Pictured above also is my littlest apistogramma, who’s doing very well.
In some sad news, I have two sick Bolivian Rams. I had watched one of them very closely, and I think I had posted prior that one of them seemed much more shy than the other two. He/she never seemed acutely ill, though, and occasionally would come out and swim around with the others, so I really chalked it up to personality. But when one of my other rams, who had previously been very outgoing, started exhibiting the same behavior, I decided it was time to yank them out and put them in quarantine. So they are both there for now being treated with API General Cure, which has metronidazole and praziquantel, since I suspect wasting disease which is likely being caused by an intestinal parasite or bacteria. I’m hoping they make a full recovery, but it’s so hard to know with fish.
It probably didn’t help that my nitrates got a little high. I had checked them before I went to Tennessee, and while they hadn’t been that high (I think 20 maybe) I had done a water change (WC) anyway just so they would stay down while I was away. Well, I tested the water a couple days ago, and here were my results:
So my nitrates didn’t quite hit 40, but I’d say they were around 30. So for the past two days I’ve done a 15% water change each day to help bring that down. I’ll have to be more on top of that now that my bioload is higher, and also since I’m fertilizing with nitrogen.
I’ve been glad to see that pH has remained stable. I was concerned how the pH would do once the tank was cycled since the water here is so soft, but it looks like it was just particularly unstable during the nitrogen cycle. I attempted to cycle the quarantine tank the angelfish were in with filter media from the 125g, but unfortunately that tank did the exact same thing the 125g did after I initially set it up, and had a pH crash followed by a cycle crash. I’m honestly pretty lucky the angelfish survived it.
I also cycled the Fluval Ebi with media from the 125g, and that seems to have done better. Here’s the Ebi’s parameters:
One little betta can’t quite produce enough waste to generate much nitrate, especially in a heavily planted tank. I’m aware nitrite is not quite perfectly 0 in this picture, so I’m watching this tank very closely to make sure it completes this mini-cycle without becoming dangerous for the betta. Since I do think this tank needs a little more bio-load, I may add some shrimp later on (assuming the betta doesn’t try to eat them, which is entirely possible).
Speaking of the betta, he has no name! I have no idea what to name the little guy. I’ve been giving it a lot of thought and just can’t settle on anything. Hopefully it’ll come to me soon. He’s such a gorgeous betta, I feel like he needs a dignified name. But I’m not completely opposed to something cutesy, either.
To wrap up, a FTS of the 125g from two days ago after pruning: