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Need Help With My Boys Tanks...


Peta
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Okay guys - girls...

I'm trying take care of my little fishie mates as best I can...

So I started out this little hobbie a little bit on the backfoot by not knowing very much and jumping in a little to crazyily (what can I say I fell in love with my fishies!!)

Currently the set up for the girls tank is going fine after our few hic-ups at the start. I have a 22L tank for them that has a aqua one 30 sponge filter (added in carbon in the base today - hope thats where it goes as the stupid sponge filter came with no instructions!) ... They don't have a heater anymore as it kind of umm broke (the glass part - opps my bad) .. but the weather is so warm up here now that they don't need a replacement - Have been checking the temp each day and it stays nice and warm (starting to think I might be able to get away with taking out the boys heaters as well)

ANYWYS. That tank isn't an issue (although one day hope to get a much bigger one to add in more girls :)

The thing that is driving me up the wall right now is the boys tanks.

I currently have two 30x17x20H - by Aquafx. that house two boys each (so the tank is divided in half) - While it might not sound like much room I think compared to some tanks I have seen they have a good space to swim and be silly...

They both have heaters in one side. but no filters.

The sponge filter I have for the girls (aqua one 30) would be way to big to go in this current set up. I did purchase two corner filters - got them home and found that again - would be to big for the thanks in question....

I would really like to not have to worry so much about water quality with these guys.... as 1. I'd like to keep them healthy 2. I'd like to kepe them less stressed by having to do water changes so often (I do 100% changes each weekend) ... and 3. I'd like to try to use less water given the current water restrictions going on! (even though I am using tank water)

So my question is this....

what could I do to reduce the above and filter the boys tanks....

I did find this on gumtree...

http://brisbane.gumtree.com.au/c-Community...QQAdIdZ81863661

but not sure it it would be okay to use?

... I am starting to think that I may need to invest in a bigger/better tank for the boys down the trak... BUT WHAT?! :lol:

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OK so what are we talking here?? Bettas? If so then bettas dont really need filters because they have a special breathing apparatus called the labrynth which allows them to breathe oxygen from the top of the tank. They aren't to picky with water condition either, in the wild they live in stagnant water so regular water changes arent a necessity. If you ARE doing regular water changes try not to do 100% changes just siphon of the junk out of the bottom of the tank and do say 50% changes once a week or so. Also try and buy a betta conditioning liquid to condition the water when you change it, that way it alters the water to exactly what the betta needs. Good luck with everything and let me no if you need help with anything else. Aleisha :lol:

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Thanks Aleisha. Yes definately for Betta's :lol:

The filter is more for improved water quality vs airating the water (ie putting oxgen in there for them to breath). As you still want to keep the water quality 'good' other wise you get diseases etc setting in. It's more the amiona side of things.

I have a vac 'thingo' but to me it never seems to work... pretty good at getting rid of water but the 'gunk' still seems to sit there... ever since I got the girls their filter, I haven't needed to do 100% changes on their tank... I just do a smaller (50 - 20%) water change on the weekends.

I got a betta conditioner for the water when I got my first boy - the lovely girl at the store told me that was all I need (other then the pellets) - a day later - a REAL tank was brought for him as to was a heater... as I got him a decorative 'vase' as a tank - and it was winter so my poor boy was stressed to the max siting at the bottom of his vase not moving... I had to bite my tounge the other day at the LFS when I heard a women say to her friend "No don't buy a fighting fish they are so boring they just sit at the bottom of their tanks all day" .... I wanted to turn around and say "Well if you actually took care of them, they are actually very active and enjoyable"..... (but I didn't)

sorry ranting. HAHA.

I just want to make sure my boys are kept in the best of health - after one sickness I certainly don't want that stress again! :) And I dread the day I ever lose one. I'll be heartbroken... and wose if it was my fault....

I know the 100% water changes are getting to be a bit much - stressful on both the fish and myself (I was sick this weekend and had a hard time getting just one of the boys tanks done) ... change overs mean getting water out of the tanks - heating that water - putting the boys in betta cubes - while I drain and clean their tank - put tank back together - add newly warmed water into tank.... let sit for awhile... then transfer boys back into their tank. I know enough from reading comments/possts (mainly Lisa's HAHA) that this isn't the best optoin - as the boys do get moved around a bit and a 100% water change gets rid of the good stuff as well.... but for now it's been the only option to keeping the boys 'clean' ...

So yeah, thought I would post to get some advice as I really want to stop also wasteing money on stuff that actually isn't going to 'work' (ie the corner filters that I now have that aren't going to fit ... .. and the tanks in the first place - If I had of known better then I wouldn't have spend $60 on tanks that I may just have to replace! In setting up the girls tank I purchased two filters that where 'wrong' for their tank (to strong currents - watching my girls do the wirpool around the tank was - while funny - not good for them!) ... :D

- I better stop typing....

So yes. Anyone else who has some tips on what I can do for the boys tanks??? I'd like to try to avoid spending more money on things that aren't going to work :D

I even put a snail in there once - but he got sick or something - his shell rotted!! (and Eric wasn't to keen on him)

Edited by Peta(&Eric)
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Ok so what type of tank do you have the boys in atm? Another option is you could grab like a largish bucket in which you could age the water for doing waterchanges in. You could put a heater in and cure it for a while that way ur water is ready for whenever you are doing you water changes. Try using like a syringe or a turkey baster to suck the junk out of the bottom of the tank before you do a half water change, this works well.

As for filters your best bet is probably just ur average sponge filter with carbon. That way you dont have the whilrpool effect lol, and it does remove ammonia only problem is you have to clean them out a fair bit too. Mind you its easier cleaning out a sponge filter than doing 100% water changes every few days. Also the carbon should be replaced evry week or so too, carbon is cheap to buy tho so thats no such a great hassle. That picture of the sponge filter you were thinking of buying is a great idea or you could just go visit ur lfs and see what they have in the way of sponge filters.

Hope all is going well give me a yell if theres anything else you want to add or ask, Aleisha

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any suggestions on where abouts? I have been keeping an eye out and so far have only come across the one I posted - and the aqua one version. (in my lfs, and on ebay lol)

will try to get a photo some time today if I don't end up going to work :lol:

Edited by Peta(&Eric)
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I don't know where you can get them online I've only bought them at LFSs. Different LFS stock different ones. When I was looking for sponge filters I think I went to about 10 different shops over several weekends. Hang on to the corner box filters. They'll come in very handy one day. Probably quite soon at the rate your hobby is growing. :lol: Anyway, do an LFS crawl. It's fun. More fun with a few people but fun enough on your own. It's a good way to really get to know the fish shops around town.

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Hey, I just have to jump in here to correct a few things that have been said. It looks like Peta is on top of this issue already :lol: but a lot of newbies read this forum, so I need to clarify.

bettas can breathe atmospheric air through their labyrinth organ, so they do not need a lot of dissolved O2 in the water. That is NOT the same thing as having little or no water quality requirements.

Secondly, they do NOT live in stagnant puddles, footprints, etc etc etc etc (not sure if that is what was meant by the comment that they live in stagnant water). They live in large tracts of still water - like Australian billabongs. There is plenty of room for them to move, and their individual ammonia production is infinitesimal in a body of water that large.

ALL fish excrete ammonia. Filters operate to biologically remove ammonia as it is produced, by changing it to nitrIte, then ultimately to nirtrAte. NitrAte is relatively harmless. Ammonia and nitrIte are highly toxic and will KILL YOUR FISH or at least make them suffer unnecessarily. That is why you need to do water changes if you don't have a filter - not so he can breathe, but so he is not living in the equivalent of a toilet full of his own wee. There are articles on the AAQ homepage about the nitrogen cycle, and about betta keeping, that I highly recommend. They correct a lot of misconceptions about bettas.

So the upshot is : You can either keep doing water changes OR cycle the tank (see the articles) but if you just stop managing the water quality your fish will get ammonia burns, his fins will rot, his eyes will cloud, he'll suffer irreversible gill damage and you'll stunt his growth. Then when ammonia becomes nitrIte, he will develop severe anaemia as nitrIte stops the blood cells being able to attach to O2 (the labyrinth organ won't help him out there).

I am sorry if any of this sounds abrupt or critical - I am at work and pressed for time.

Peta, re the snail, Eric might have pecked at him til he died - bettas can be awful with doing that!

I personally am a huge fan of sponge filters and the one you've linked to is ok. if you can find one the right size, your absolute best bet is to put it in an established tank with a filter that's been running for months, which should 'seed' the filter sponge with the bacterial colony you need to get the tank under control. alternatively you can do a fishless cycle but that takes a fair whack of time and is probably the last thing you need when you're already stretched.

I am hopeless at maths - what is the tank volume of the boys' tanks? Also, if you have some healthy live plants in there it makes a huge difference - eg something easy like java fern, or even duckweed (messy but a great nitrAte sponge).

I am so pleased that you are taking such great care of the guys :)

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... change overs mean getting water out of the tanks - heating that water - putting the boys in betta cubes -

... I just re-read that and wanted to clarify. Getting water out of the tanks - actually refers to gettng water out of one of the three water tanks we have here :) (but yeah - want to cut down on useing them as the landlord is a bit weird about me useing water from there :lol: ... add to that she only knows about one fish hehe - not that I have since gotten more :D )

Thanks for the reply's ... Lisa, yeah I thought that to about Eric being mean to the snail .. so I ended up putting him in the very first vase I brought for eric, on his own with water etc... and still the shell was breaking off/rotting. I felt bad for the poor snail (who was dubed Sammie the Snail at one stage LOL)

Edited by Peta(&Eric)
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"Secondly, they do NOT live in stagnant puddles, footprints, etc etc etc etc (not sure if that is what was meant by the comment that they live in stagnant water). They live in large tracts of still water - like Australian billabongs. There is plenty of room for them to move, and their individual ammonia production is infinitesimal in a body of water that large"

When i said "stangnat" i didn't mean rotting or muddy water or whatever impression you got, i meant STILL as you said.

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No worries Aleisha, its just very easy for newbies to read things quickly and get the wrong idea. :lol:

Peta, what about a UGF? OK, so it isn't so easy to clean, but i absolutely adore them for small aquaria because they use the maximum available space for the biofilter and most times what you are really aiming for is a stable environment rather than tip top solid waste removal (also good, but less important than stability IMO) The common problems people have with UGFs, like Old Tank Syndrome and inability to thoroughly clean the substrate, aren't a problem in small tanks because it is a very easy task to just strip the tank back and give it a good clean every 6-8 months. Using a UGF system would also give you the maximum amount of horizontal swimming space too, which is a bonus in a small tank AND because the current is spread over such a large area you very rarely have issues with a whirlpool effect or swimming troubles.

I *think* Hagen does 15x30cm plates, but you could probably even get away with one designed for a bowl. Because your gravel wouldn't need to be so deep, the problem of dead spots wouldn't really be an issue :)

Additionally, growing some sort of bog plant (half in/half out) would probably suck up a lot of your nitrogenous waste before it even needed processing.

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I just want to add though that the word 'stagnant' when used to describe water, means that the water is foul. Stagnant water doesn't mean the same thing as still water. Still water could be clean or foul. However stagnant water can only be foul. It's important not to confuse the two.

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/stagnant

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it's ok Aleisha, I know you were just trying to help! :lol:

As I said, I am at work so can be a bit abrupt in my posts cos I am in a rush. I just wanted to clarify in case someone read it wrong.

Thanks for posting - as you can see, we get a bit passionate about "Bettas Rights" here!

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The only other trouble I tend to have is that I'm a dead set plant killer :dance: - I have gone plastic/decorative as I was spending (wasteing) way to much money on killing plants ...

My room is quite crap honestly. Doesn't get very much light, due to shutters on the verhanda outside my bedroom door - and having only one window that is right up against my computer table - and is also never open because it is at 'ground' level ....

I seriously can not WAIT to move (waiting to finish probation period at my new job before looking at moving/renting my own place) ... for the mean time me and the kids are stuck sharing my room :D

I would get lights and such - but seriously don't want to run the risk of my landlady finding out - I'm pushing it with the heaters/filters as it is... she's also a bit 'nuts' about the electricty useage - ie you can't even have heaters in dead cold of winter (she litterally broke into one girls room and stole her heater at one point!! ) Did I mention I can't wait to move?? :lol:

Edited by Peta(&Eric)
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Hi Peta, not sure if this will be of any help but I use Oxy blocks for the small individual tanks that I cant fit a filter system in and they work really well, at keeping the water clean. If you are still coming over this weekend you'll see what I mean.

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For the first time in a long time, I just had to delete a post that was antagonistic/flaming. It was also unnecessary and inaccurate. The person to whom the rudeness was directed is extraordinarily helpful to members here, as those that have been around for any length of time will be well aware.

We can't tolerate that sort of posting here, I'm sorry. Reasoned debate is fine, outright rudeness isn't.

I won't embarrass the person who made the post, but you'll know if it's you that your post is missing.

Please be nice people. AAQ is a happy place.

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Teela - definately still coming. Will go pm you now :dance:

and UGF might be worth looking into also...

here is some pretty crappy photos for you...

the two tanks siting on my dresser (from Ikea hehe) ... you can see the corner filter between the two tanks - definately not going to be small enough! :D - and a few bits of 'crap' ie food, and their hand towel LOL (as I was for ever spilling water over the top of the dresser and needing something to clean it up with!) ... ohh and the top draw of the dresser has all their 'stuff' in it - med's - cubes when pakced away, water testers.. etc etc)

IMG_3733.jpg

and ... one of the tanks more close up (Gus and Frankie are fighting up the back ... as I 'uncarded' them to take the photos)

IMG_3729.jpg

Edited by Peta(&Eric)
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Hmm, ok. Yeah, the corner filter is almost a tank in and of itself!

You could do DIY box filters in whatever size you like, but I'd still probably try for the UGF. The only drama with that is that your central dividers won't fit anymore, beause of the 1/2" or so that the plate will take up.

Another option, because the dividers don't seal, is to just filter one side and swap which side that is at every WC. It should pull the water through the gaps betwen the tank and the divider

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Hmm, ok. Yeah, the corner filter is almost a tank in and of itself!

You could do DIY box filters in whatever size you like, but I'd still probably try for the UGF. The only drama with that is that your central dividers won't fit anymore, beause of the 1/2" or so that the plate will take up.

Another option, because the dividers don't seal, is to just filter one side and swap which side that is at every WC. It should pull the water through the gaps betwen the tank and the divider

I think the UGF is looking like the best way to go - the dividers are moveable - and I think there is currently space at the top for them to sit up a bit more

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