After my nephew's fish all died my sister asked me to take to my place and set it up for him because she just didn't have time to take care of it for him. I tested the water and she was right. I asked when the last water change was done and she said it had been over a month. I tested the water and the nitrate levels were as high as the chart would go. Everything else was a little crazy too. She previously had 2 comet goldfish 2 corydoras and a common pleco in the 10 gallon tank. They survived for about 9 months then all suddenly died within a month. I took the tank home and started over.
I assumed the tank had already had good bacteria in the gravel substrate and I have cycled many tanks successfully with fish in I decided to add a betta. After a couple weeks everything leveled off and didn't get too crazy, but my nephew lost interest in the little betta. So I added 5 neon tetras and a kuhli loach and the activity level increased a lot in the tank. This is the first tank I've ever had a betta with other fish and so far it has been a success. Since adding the new fish there has been a slight ammonia/nitrite spike as I expected, but it's barely even showing on tests. This is my first 3 species tank. I also had a beat up java fern that came from the previous fish. I think the goldfish may have tried eating it, but It was propagating so I decided to add it even though it looks pitiful. I also picked up a cryptocoryne at the lfs. The guy said it would probably do well with my set up, but I've never dealt with anything other than java fern and dwarf lilies in the past. Also found a small snail in the crypt when I got home. Not sure what kind it is and couldn't get a good picture.
I've got a few questions.
1. what type of crypt is this? and do I need to change substrate since it is a root feeder? fertilizer?
2. Should I look into another filter system? The flow seems to be a little strong for the betta and for the meantime I made a little current break from a plastic lid. He seems to like hanging out near the intake and doesn't seem stressed or getting hurt my it even though I've seen his fins get sucked it he can still swim away easily and just seems like he just like to chill there. Right now I've got a Tetra whisper 5-10.
3. Feeding time is a challenge so far. The betta seems to chase the neons to eat their tropical flake. He won't touch his pellets and the pellets are too big for the neons. I feed the loach a bottom feeder pellet every other night no problems there. But the only aggression I see from the betta is when I feed the flakes. Any suggestons on what to feed or how to feed them so they all get something?
4. I seem to have a loner neon. It is the biggest one and he seems to hide 50% of the time by himself. He seems fine and still fairly active. Just seems like he likes to have a moment alone sometimes. I don't think he's stressed or sick, but I've never kept neons so I don't know if this is normal.
Sorry the pics are upside down and sideways. I'm not sure how to flip them.