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Water testing, how often?
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paisley
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Joined: 24 Feb 2012

PostPosted: 2012.03.04(Sun)22:47    Post subject: Water testing, how often? Reply with quote

So I have a 10gallon with some live plants, heater and filter. I have a male betta that has been in there since 2/27 and the parameters have been fine. I just added 2 neon glofish---I think they are a type of Tetra right?--and 2 salt and pepper corys. They are all getting along just fine Smile I am wondering how often I should test the water parameters after an addition of 4 small fish to the tank?? Also, the pH is at 7.8 which I know is high and I am not going to mess with it at this point though. I am wondering if when I do water changes in the future with my well tap water (pH of 6.6-6.8 right out of the tap, very LOW for well water) that has the lower pH if that will automatically lower the pH in the tank? Or will it eventually just go right back up?
Thanks,
Paisley
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diademhill
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PostPosted: 2012.03.05(Mon)4:09    Post subject: Reply with quote

Three problems.

Glofish are zebra danios, niot tetras and need to be in a group of at lest 5. You can mix them with normal, non genetically modified, zebras but they can bnip a Bettas fins especially when in too small a tank as your's are.
Peppered corys are also shoaling fish, can reach 3" and prefer low 70F so are also a poor choice in a 10g with a Betta which prefers higher temps.
Plus adding four fish at once is a big strain on the filter and you may see a spike... daily 10% water changes for a week.

Test if you see any fish breathing hard or surface sucking and do an immediately 25% water change. You will need to add a pinch of bicarb per 2 gallons to new water. Otherwise forget the pH.
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paisley
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PostPosted: 2012.03.05(Mon)14:52    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay~
Trying not to stress after reading you reply! Confused I just tested my tank and here are the results:
Ammonia: 0ppm
Nitrite: 0ppm
Nitrate: 10-20ppm ( my husband says it looks like 10ppm I think it looks more like 20ppm so somewhere in between.)
pH: 7.4-7.8

I do my testing with the API Master (liquid) freshwater kit. So when I was at the LFS buying these fish the guy said that the glo-fish would prefer a group of 2 or more, not 5! Now I feel bad for them. I don't want any fish in my tank to stress out and was trying to educate myself on types of fish to buy before buying. I was under the impression that the pepper corys would be a good choice after reading about them staying on the bottom and not getting in the bettas space etc. I asked the LFS guy about this and he said that they are tropical fish that would do fine with the betta in temp and pH etc. So the tank is set at 79* right now. What do you suggest diade? Should I take any or all of them back? I did do a drip acclimation for them when adding them. I thought that after cycling the tank w. pure ammonia it would be able to handle a bioload increase of the 4, since they are small. I sure hope I don't ruin anything. Embarassed
Should I do the 10% w/c even though the parameters are normal? I will test the parameters in the morning and at night to be safe. Also does the bicarb lower the pH? Or what is the purpose of adding it to the w/c water?
Thank you for your reply,
P
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nikelodeon79
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PostPosted: 2012.03.05(Mon)17:12    Post subject: Reply with quote

Personally I would recommend bringing back the fish and getting something more suitable to be with the betta.

Corydoras and bettas are my two favorite fish and I've tried keeping them together but it simply isn't a good idea. The main issue is water temperature... as diademhill mentioned most cories do better in the low 70s and bettas do best around 80*F. Particularly since your betta is still feeling under the weather, you will want to keep the temp at 80*F and the cories will really suffer with that.

Additionally, cories are very shy and slow eaters, and bettas are pigs. Laughing They will literally eat themselves to death. Corydoras need some kind of meat based sinking pellet and they take quite awhile to eat it. The betta will quickly swoop down and eat the whole thing: and since a lot of shrimp pellets swell when they are put in water, this is BAD news for the betta. He could get bloat/constipation.

Corydoras do best in numbers of at least six and I am of the opinion that they need a sand substrate with smooth, small grains. They are also EXTREMELY sensitive to water quality and new tanks are not good for them. The worst water is always found at the bottom. Plus, there are not many species of corydoras I would put in a 10g tank (they need a lot of room to roam about on the bottom) and quite honestly, I feel the minimum tank size for the little guys is a 20g long tank. I have habrosus (teeny tiny!) cories in a 20g long and they use every bit of it. Your corydoras are much larger than habrosus.

Regarding the glofish: I would not put zebra danios in anything under a 3 foot long tank. Really, four foot is ideal. I had glowlight danios (not glofish, an actual naturally occurring species of danio) in a four foot, 55g tank and again, they zipped about using the entire length of the tank.

If your betta isn't on the aggressive side of the spectrum there's no reason why you couldn't put a smaller bodied tetra in there with him... and that's exactly what I'd do if I were you. I would either return the danios and corydoras (or exchange them for a more suitable fish) or do what most of us do when confronted with stocking issues: get another, larger tank. Laughing
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paisley
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PostPosted: 2012.03.05(Mon)18:43    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Corydoras and bettas are my two favorite fish and I've tried keeping them together but it simply isn't a good idea. The main issue is water temperature... as diademhill mentioned most cories do better in the low 70s and bettas do best around 80*F.

Out of curiosity, does the warmer water temp change the cory's behavior?? I do plan on taking them back:*( which will be tough to explain to my son, since he chose the "worker fish". He calls them this b/c he thinks that since they clean the tank, we won't have too.lol Anyway, I am sure he will understand if I let him know that they will be happier with a different tank and suitable water temp.

Quote:
Additionally, cories are very shy

I have read this before, what exactly does 'shy' mean for a fish? It seems like the 2 cory's that are in the tank are all over the bottom and occasionally swim to the surface for a second. I wasn't thinking that they would be such busy bodies!!

Quote:
If your betta isn't on the aggressive side of the spectrum there's no reason why you couldn't put a smaller bodied tetra in there with him... and that's exactly what I'd do if I were you.

Are there specific types of tetras that are 'small' bodied? I figure that I may as well ask you guys these questions, since it seems I will get a more experienced answer from you all...I wish I would have asked all of this here instead of to the guy at the store! Would a neon tetra work? Or are there striped one's that are on the smaller side? Also, just so I know while researching, what is the 'small' side for tetras?

Quote:
I would either return the danios and corydoras (or exchange them for a more suitable fish) or do what most of us do when confronted with stocking issues: get another, larger tank. Laughing

I like this response!! I personally would LOVE another and larger tank but I think my husband would have a heart attack Laughing Maybe if our tiny (900 sq ft) house sells then he will go for it. Our family hardly fits in here anymore, 3 kids, 70lb dog and now 10g fish tank. Not a lot of moving room Confused Anyway, I will return/exchange the fish tomorrow. Are there any other fish that are bottom feeders that will work with the betta?? He is not aggressive so that is good.
Thank you!!!
Paisley
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nikelodeon79
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PostPosted: 2012.03.05(Mon)21:41    Post subject: Reply with quote

Neon tetras should be fine, and you could put 7-8 in there if you keep up on waterchanges. I've found that black neons are great because they're more brave when it comes to feeding time. They're larger than register neons so I wouldn't get more than 6 if you go that route.

I've recently discovered microrasboras (boraras species) and they're great, but so small that if the Betta is remotely aggressive they'll get eaten.

Shrimp might work as bottom feeders and kids usually think they're cool but again, some bettas think they're great snacks. Your son might also enjoy tiger nerite snails. They are great algae eaters, stay relatively small, and cannot reproduce in freshwater. I've kept them with bettas and though the bettas will flare at them at first and attempt to eat them, they eventually give up.

Regarding cories being shy: they will almost always back down from any confrontation.. if a non cory tries to steal food they'll just swim away. They are easily intimidated by larger, more assertive fish.

Cories have trouble getting enough oxygen at higher temps and can become lethargic. Their lifespan can also be shortened.
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paisley
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PostPosted: 2012.03.08(Thu)16:27    Post subject: Reply with quote

I took the glofish back and got 5 small rasboras (sp?) that are doing great. I have yet to return the cory's. I didn't want to put all of them in the same bag and I only had one Confused I talked with the LFS fish guy and he said that the cory's should be fine if the tank is at 78*. Is that correct? They are super active in there and they also seem to go after the betta some.?lol They will kind of swim right over by him while cleaning the plants and he will move away from them. I am glad that they aren't sitting in a corner or hiding. I am still considering taking them back tomorrow though just b/c of the tank temp. The new fish are doing well and they stay out of the way of the betta. I have noticed that out of the 5, 4 will school together and then one will be of by itself following the cory's around?? He seems fine though.
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nikelodeon79
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PostPosted: 2012.03.08(Thu)17:08    Post subject: Reply with quote

The cories will likely be okay. Watch the betta, though... he might not like 78*F and might do much better at 80*F (which would be too warm for the cories).

I've noticed that same thing with my rasboras... five hung out together and the sixth sort of went off on his own.
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