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Good trankmates for Betta

Discussion in 'Fish & Aquaria' started by smarch, May 24, 2014.

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  1. smarch

    smarch Well-Known Member 5 Year Member Today is my birthday!

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    I REALLY like that sand where did you get it? Since it doesn't look like the fake "aquarium sand" at my pet stores that is colored and doesn't look natural. Also how do you clean it? I mean I obviously couldn't gravel vac it.
  2. smarch

    smarch Well-Known Member 5 Year Member Today is my birthday!

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    I looked up and now better understand the nitrogen cycle but am a little alarmed that with my tests today I have very elaveted ammonia and no nitrates or nitrites. Its an established aquarium I've had up for a while now. So I put ammonia detoxifying mix in and added some bioenzyme. I read I'm an article aquariums don't actually need activated carbon filters just bio filters, is this true? I mean I always thought the carbon was most important, in fact my original filter didn't even have a bio part. Right now my carbon is out just the bio (untouched so whatever bacteria is there stays) I read that if you leave the carbon one in too long it raises ammonia because left overs break down on it and back in the water. And when I took out it my filter it was Orange! I mean I had to have missed a replacement at one point because it's NEVER done that!
  3. Team Gomberg

    Team Gomberg IXOYE 5 Year Member

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    I used regular kids play sand sod at Home Depot. I have it as the substrate in 2- 125gallon tanks, too.
    I've always used gravel vacuums to siphon the sand. It works just fine. Debris goes up, sand falls down.
    I only clean the sand initially. Put it in a bucket and run the hose in there until the water runs clear. Then it's ready for use.

    Knowing the nitrogen cycle is a must for fish keepers ;) glad you read up on it.

    Also, I like to use all 3 forms of filtration. Mechanical, chemical and biological.
    StarSapphire22 likes this.
  4. smarch

    smarch Well-Known Member 5 Year Member Today is my birthday!

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    I'll go this weekend and look into it, because I love the sand and its naturalness and feel it would play a much better substrate to the plant than acrylic coated gravel, although I have to look that up to be sure.
    I still have only a small understanding of the nitrogen cycle, but the concept I understand. If it doesn't start changing to Nitrates (they're the first ones right? the one letter difference throws me off) should I clean the bio filter and start over? Also I have a Tetra Whisper 20 gal filter, the bio filter is just a plastic spikey insert with little circles that can move but nothing moves them so I don't understand that part, but is this an effective bio-filter? The ammonia test was VERY green, and the detoxifier is only a small solution. I tried to find a good aquarium forum on the talpatalk app but all were mostly marine (or didn't want to load on my kindle) but I already feel a part of this community and am glad this section of forum exists for this purpose, (I did find one for the planted tank aspect so that'll be good, because I still feel clueless on that!).
    Ok so what I read meant aquariums can survive with just bio filters? But if you're running the chemical (carbon?) filters in well established tanks I'll put a new one back in, from what I read it was like the caused more problems with stopping food and waste particles and left there they break down to ammonia, but maybe that's just if really left there for a while, although in the tanks credit in the past I haven't been great about remembering to change filters on time, and by the look of the filter I took out I estimate I probably missed 2 changes (I had a life crisis in early april and looking back don't know if I changed it then or this month!! No excuse for poor care though!) I have my planner though and am going to mark the crap out of when I need to do things because this is too important to have lapses like this. I wont be getting my fish any time soon with these problems needing working out (so no need to tell me that i'm very well aware, for "just fish" they are just as much a pet as Franklin, just slightly less durable)
    The one thing in the thing I read was vague on was Mechanical filtration? Because carbon inserts are chemical and the bio-filter is bio. What works as manual filtration? All I picture is going in with a net and scooping out particles I see, but that doesn't seem like its what it actually is.
  5. Team Gomberg

    Team Gomberg IXOYE 5 Year Member

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    Mechanical filtration is very basic. It physically traps the debris (food, waste, etc) as it passes through the filter. Usually comes in the form as foam or cloth pads.

    Biological filtration, or your spikey bio balls, don't need to move. It houses the different bacterias that aid in the nitrogen cycle. To rinse them or replace them gets rid of all the good bacteria...not what you want to do.

    Chemical filtration changes the chemical composition of the water. Activated carbon for example absorbs dissolved organics. So, like a sponge, it can only hold so much before it's "full". That's why you need to change it out within a certain time frame.
  6. smarch

    smarch Well-Known Member 5 Year Member Today is my birthday!

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    I've ordered a filter sponge, it doesn't go to my filter (since my filter doesn't have a space for a sponge!) But that way I can trim it so it can fit (its for aquaclear 30) and I can cram the extra at the bottom of my filter intake instead of the slotted cover because I found out its very common for shrimp to get sucked stuck to it to their demise... so i'll have to definitely make sure that cant happen. Also switched to play sand and ordered driftwood and shrimp tubes hopefully small enough to keep the betta out.
    Cant wait to add pictures when I get the whole community set up!! Currently the PH spiked though when I added the sand, did you know reverse osmosis filters (we have it for our drinking water due to arsenic in the well) takes out too much? no more buffering properties or KH, so I got special conditioner (previously never used any due to the purity of the water) that will add back buffering abilities, and before adding invertebrates ill have to get the KH kit and definitely crushed coral to help that!
  7. Jenny & Tort

    Jenny & Tort Active Member

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    I had a snail in my beta tank for a while but he used to try to fight the poor snail! I
  8. ILoveTorts&Gerbils

    ILoveTorts&Gerbils Active Member

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    Sorry if someone's already said this. It's a bit jumbled on my screen. Anyway, neon tetras do quite nicely with nearly anything. But Betas (or Siamese fighter fish as we tend to call them here in the UK!) are naturally quite aggressive and can sometimes be happier alone. Obviously another male Beta is out of the question; male guppies would also be a no-no, due to their similar appearance, which can cause aggression.
    Prairie Mom likes this.
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