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15g planted community tank journal


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I’ve had a zebra danio and albino corydora community in a 15 gallon long for a year and a half now, and I decided to risk bringing in a centrepiece fish. Decided to pop into a local shop to check out their selection, and came home with this wee fella after watching him for nearly an hour. He’d jumped from his single tank to a community tank during feeding one day and was chilling with the female bettas, gouramis, and some other species. He seems to be getting along well with the danios and corycats, and is happily feeding with them all - although he doesn’t approve of the snails. 
 

His fins look kinda ripped, but they’re actually just clear along the edges and I’m hoping they’ll colour up as he grows. There’s some red and purple appearing too. Edit: now know that the clear edges are a sign of finrot but I automatically medicate every fish I get so I seemed to have caught it early and he’s on the mend. 
 

I’ve named him Sir Charlie. 

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Edited by Bobbie
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On 7/3/2021 at 12:28 PM, Colu said:

Beautiful Betta I would keep an eye on his fin clear fin are usually when they are growing back from from  rot

Oh I didn’t know that, thanks for telling me! I’ve been giving him meds to prevent fin rot and stuff anyway, but I’ll make sure to watch for growth in the next few weeks. 

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Gonna turn this into a wee journal for myself because why not, y’know? 
 

The good news is that the clear areas on Charlie’s fins are starting to turn opaque and I can actually see the nice smooth edges properly, so fingers crossed that means the finrot is completely gone and he’s healing. I couldn’t get any photos this morning, but I’ll try in the next few days - because I still am very out of my depth when it comes to finrot (that’s a good thing right? over a year & a half in the hobby and I’ve never had finrot, and I didn’t have to deal with it years ago either on my old fish) so having more experienced folk give advice is very much appreciated. 
 

The tank is looking very pretty with the new plants I put in the other day. It still looks like the beginnings of a miniature jungle and the java fern will have to go, but the fish love all the hiding spaces it gives them. 

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On 7/3/2021 at 4:44 AM, Bobbie said:

Oh I didn’t know that, thanks for telling me! I’ve been giving him meds to prevent fin rot and stuff anyway, but I’ll make sure to watch for growth in the next few weeks. 

I'd second @Colu on the opinion that Charlie's on the mend from fin rot.  My experience has been that the vast majority of cases of fin rot start with bad water chemistry.  Keeping his water parameters all well balanced and in the safe zones as well as having a regular gravel cleaning routine are probably most effective tools to prevent a reoccurrence.

Edit- Just reread the original post and saw the"jumped in to the community tank with gouramis"  Probably just as good a chance that Charlie's fins  got repeatedly nipped by those gangsters.  Regardless, the fin healing treatment for being "rot or rolled" is the same.

One additional thing I will call out- A lot of male Betta's seem to have the same "I wonder if I can fit in this incredibly tight space?" gene that cats do.  If you haven't done so yet,  I would take a very critical look at your heater (and your filter intake) and make sure that aren't any gaps where Charlie might be able to squeeze in and get stuck.

Good luck to you and Charlie!

Edited by NanoNano
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On 7/5/2021 at 2:07 AM, NanoNano said:

A lot of male Betta's seem to have the same "I wonder if I can fit in this incredibly tight space?" gene that cats do.  If you haven't done so yet,  I would take a very critical look at your heater (and your filter intake) and make sure that aren't any gaps where Charlie might be able to squeeze in and get stuck.

Thanks for the advice! I’ve noticed him squeezing into nooks and crannies in the tank, but I automatically do a headcount of the fish in the mornings & evenings (my male corycat loves to shove himself into tiny crevices) so if he gets stuck anywhere I’ll quickly notice. 
 

And yeah, I suspected that the gouramis had a part in the fin injuries - there were something like 10 males in the tank, and the only hiding place was a small piece of driftwood with sharp corners. 
 

I’ve finished treating him with meds, but if his fins aren’t visibly healed by the end of the week I’ll stick some aquarium salt in just to help him along. 

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On 7/5/2021 at 2:31 PM, Bobbie said:

Thanks for the advice! I’ve noticed him squeezing into nooks and crannies in the tank, but I automatically do a headcount of the fish in the mornings & evenings (my male corycat loves to shove himself into tiny crevices) so if he gets stuck anywhere I’ll quickly notice. 

Bettas are a combination of surface and gill breathers.  My experience has been that they can drown if denied access to the surface for too long,  so my advice would be to use something like coarse filter foam (you want it to be prickly and not feel good to rub against) and plug any gaps that it looks like he could get stuck in.  

FWIW- I had a round hollow Fluval prefilter sponge over a filter output to dampen the flow and it ended up floating loose in the tank.   I found one of my idiot Bettas completely inside of it and unable to back out one morning not too long ago.  Luckily he was unharmed,  but had I found him any later,  things might not have ended up as well.

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So, bad news, Charlie was looking good & on the mend yesterday and today but about an hour ago I noticed his dorsal fin looks kinda torn and isn’t being raised properly/is flopping over constantly. 
 

It’s rather late here, so I’ll do a large water change/filter clean tomorrow and give him another dosage of the finrot cure. Unfortunately I’ll be leaving the city on Saturday and don’t have anyone who I trust to treat him, so I’m just gonna cross my fingers and pray that nothing goes wrong while I’m away. As soon as I get back I’ll be doing another water change and treating him with aquarium salt. 

I’m still trying to decide if I should keep him in the 15g where he has loads of space & plenty of hiding areas, or put him in the 6g quarantine tank where he’s only got 2 wee fake plants & a single small cave. I don’t want to stress him out just as he’s settled into the community tank, y’know? 

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Today was Charlie’s first time eating flake foods since he joined the community (he’d only had frozen & live foods this past week) and he seemed to enjoy them - he enjoyed the corydora food even more lol, but I was expecting that since the danios also love to eat it & the corycats don’t mind sharing. 
 

It’s weird, and maybe I just got lucky, but I’ve always heard that bettas and zebra danios don’t mix well yet mine all get along swimmingly. 

No update on Charlie’s fins, but here’s a quick photo from dinner time. 

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Oh, and while I remember here’s some photos showing the progress of my tank - I started it in December 2019, but only have photos from August 2020 onwards due to lost files (the tank was basically the same up until that point anyway). 

August 2020 - I’d recently had most of my danios die off and was shielding, so kinda lost interest in the tank for a while

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December 2020 - new heater & filter, because the original ones broke within a few hours of each other one night in November

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May/June 2021 - I spent the winter/spring buying new pebbles and plants, and had fallen back in love with fishkeeping. This was the day I added Sir Charlie to the community tank, and it was looking rather nice in my opinion. 

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July 2021 - even more plants, have decided to try my hand at floating plants and am liking them a lot

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  • 2 weeks later...

Got home from holiday and all the fish were still alive. The new quarantine tank is cycling well, although I strongly hope I won’t have to use it for a long time. 
Tank filter stopped working temporarily until I was told to try cleaning the impeller, which worked (yay!). I’ve ordered a sponge filter to replace the current internal fluval filter - I’ve never used a sponge filter before but everyone seems to like them so I’m hoping to have far less filter problems once I’ve switched to it. 
 

Had my camera out for stuff today so here’s Sir Charlie, and also a random corycat. Still not sure what’s going on with his fins (they’re very red but the camera wasn’t picking it up well so I’ve added a quick photo I took with my phone) but he doesn’t seem to be losing any tissue. 

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Edited by Bobbie
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