Are you interested in Beta Sorority Tanks?
If you are, then read my first post about my 5 Lessons Learned about Fish Keeping then come back here. I’ll wait.
It has been a month and some change since we’ve last brought up my fish tank. You'll be brought up to speed in this post. As a bonus, I'll share the lessons I've learned along the way.
5 Lessons Learned about Keeping a Sorority Betta Tank
Lesson #1: Ich will DESTROY a Freshwater Fish Tank
In September my fish started to show signs of distress. Being a new fish parent meant I had no clue as to why. Clamped fins, abnormal movement patterns, etc. I'm told by my boyfriend that I fuss too much about the fish, but being a new parent does that.
The notorious white spots associated with Ich began to show shortly after the first fish death. While my boyfriend did the research and got the medicine… We didn’t act fast enough. Several of our fish became ill with Ich.
The worst part is that it was highly contagious and took about 2 weeks for the tank to be 'clean' again. Not only that, but the medicine required to kill the Ich also killed off our plant-life.
Lesson #2: Do NOT Introduce Foreign Water into your Fish Tank
Whenever my boyfriend and I purchased new fish, we did our best to acclimate them. We would take their containers or bags and 'float' them. This process would help our new fish could get used to the temperature of their new home without stress.
Sometimes we'd use the 'drip' method and gradually add water from our tank into their container. This has the same effect of introducing the water that our fish will live in, to the water that they are used to. After all, change is difficult for anyone, including fish.
Regardless of which acclimating method we used, the end result was the same.
We would either open the bag or container and pour the water into our tank. This we learned was a big no-no. Now we use a net to fish our fish from the storage container to our tank. This way the chances of contaminating our tank are drastically reduced.
Lesson #3: Use Real Plants in your Fish Tank
In my previous entry, I mentioned how my tank struggled with ammonia. Plants are a great counter-measure to take against this problem. Ever since we included a variety of real living plants into our fish tank, we have found that our water quality has improved.
While not all your plants need to be real, I'd highly recommend that 75% of your plant decor consist of real plants. This could include bamboo, java moss, anubias, and the amazon sword. Currently, my boyfriend and I are on the hunt for java moss which we realized is an uncommon plant to find in pet stores.
Lesson #4: Guppies love love love nibbling on plants
Ever since the Ich disaster, we added a handful of guppies into our fish tank. These guppies add color to our tank and they are a delight to watch. However, I've found that there are two downsides to owning guppies in a betta sorority tank.
One is that they are huuuuge gluttons. They love to stay towards the top of the tank and they'll eat almost anything you put in there. This makes it difficult for my baby girls to compete for food.
Secondly, the guppies enjoy chomping, pulling, and tugging onto the leaves of our various plant-life. This has resulted in several of our plants getting uprooted. While technically we've been told that the plant still is 'alive' despite it being pulled away from the substrate, it's not ideal.
Lesson #5: Do your gardening BEFORE including fish into your tank
Since our fish like nipping on the plants in our tank, we have decided to use this knowledge to apply it into the future. Any future fish tanks that we create will have our plant-life added to the aquarium before including fish.
By doing this, our plants will be able to firmly fix their roots into the substrate and sand. This will make uprooting them much more difficult, if not, impossible. It will also help cycle our tank even quicker.
Do you have any fish tips or lessons to share?
I'll continue to keep you updated on our fish parent adventure. However, if you want to save either one of us some heartache, please feel free to share some of your tips with us here or on Twitter.
This 'fish parent' adventure has been an interesting experience. There are days that are stressful with multiple trips to the local pet shops while others are relaxing.
I'll look forward to hearing from you guys soon.