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Yes, they wiggle above substrate. See photo. They probably caused some of the initial cloudiness and green water algae. Very common and wonderful live food for fish! Our aquarium club pays a bundle to buy and import blackworms from California. Please do not consider killing them with chemicals as they will die in substrate and create a real toxic mess.
 

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Discussion Starter · #102 ·
Yes, they wiggle above substrate. See photo. They probably caused some of the initial cloudiness and green water algae. Very common and wonderful live food for fish! Our aquarium club pays a bundle to buy and import blackworms from California. Please do not consider killing them with chemicals as they will die in substrate and create a real toxic mess.
I will be buying betta fish so hopefully that'll help. Trimmed the guppy grass...so much of it! My planting skills are "awful" so mid and background plants are mixed and i don't think it looks the best it could. I like it, but i wish it was more aesthetic.



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That Classic LED light fixture looks good for that size tank. It looks like it will give you around 50 PAR at the substrate, which is as much light as you should use when you aren't going to use CO2. If it was me doing that I would start both tanks at once, unless the cost of the plants was too high. I would also use 3 or more small Corys, just because they are so entertaining.
3 corydoryas is too few
 

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Sounds like quite a haul and that you will have fun planting.

I would just gently rinse the plants.

You don't need to quarantine them. Planaria won't grow if conditions aren't right for their growth. Dirty, stopped up filter media and overfeeding cause planaria.
+1 planarian aren’t bad either most fish just eat them
 

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Discussion Starter · #107 ·
I will be adding fish today! A betta sorority that a local breeder has.

Values today:
pH - 7.4-7.8
Ammonia - 0-0.25ppm
Nitrite - 0ppm
Nitrate - 0ppm
TDS - 173ppm
KH - 200-250ppm
GH - 150-200ppm

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Concerning placement and aesthetic’s of the plants... I feel you 100%!

I’m an artist/designer and am so particular at times. My newest tank wasn’t growing in as I expected and was causing stresssss. But the more I have let it go wild and do their own thing, the more I’ve found great beauty in the natural process.

The “messy” (unorganized planting) areas are actually where my fish, shrimp, and snails can often be found. And the more manicured and carefully placed sections actually look worse than the wild areas.

All this to say, I feel your struggle! But also, there’s great mystery and beauty in just letting our hair down and going with the flow!
 

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Discussion Starter · #109 ·
Concerning placement and aesthetic’s of the plants... I feel you 100%!

I’m an artist/designer and am so particular at times. My newest tank wasn’t growing in as I expected and was causing stresssss. But the more I have let it go wild and do their own thing, the more I’ve found great beauty in the natural process.

The “messy” (unorganized planting) areas are actually where my fish, shrimp, and snails can often be found. And the more manicured and carefully placed sections actually look worse than the wild areas.

All this to say, I feel your struggle! But also, there’s great mystery and beauty in just letting our hair down and going with the flow!
Thanks for this! I've started to enjoy the natural look. My main issue right now is no carpet. Monte carlo Is not dying but also not growing as much. So there's no carpet...nonetheless, like you mentioned, the bettas enjoy the little jungle and "mess" on the background.

These bettas were eating everything. Tried to eat all the small apple snails in the tank. Ate almost all the little "bugs" that were roaming around the tank, and are closely roaming the soil near the Montecarlo, where the worms peek out at night. They are probably gonna kill my 2 shrimps since these ladies are hunting in groups...the Amano almost jumped out of the water, and the blue dream has been hiding around the tank.



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I usually hate bettas but these ones look cool. They aren’t the random disgusting koi Nemo copper giant king platinum goldfish ones they are just basic ones and they are from a breeder and are female
 

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If I were you I’d get like alder cones to acidify the water for the walstad method and bettas (inhibiting bacteria) and for microfauna for the fish
 

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Discussion Starter · #113 ·
Hello! A few updates,

Some of the plants have grown and continue to grow fine. The Montecarlo died so in trying with another (DHG). The parameters are stable and I've not had any issues there. Algae or bacteria bloom doesn't seem to go away without UV light.

Also, bettas have been dying of dropsy. I separated them and treated them with oxytetracycline (all of them). So far, most have died. I don't know what to do. Breeders in my country have no idea what creates dropsy, and none tries to cure it (not even early on). Most don't know what to tell me since I have a dirt tank.

Any ideas?

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There are many diseases that cause dropsy like bacterial infections like fish tuberculosis. Usually, it's fatal, terminal. Sadly a dirt tank is not the best environment to treat diseases. I treat it by culling sick fish and clean any organic matter like mulm in the tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #115 ·
There are many diseases that cause dropsy like bacterial infections like fish tuberculosis. Usually, it's fatal, terminal. Sadly a dirt tank is not the best environment to treat diseases. I treat it by culling sick fish and clean any organic matter like mulm in the tank.
I'll be cleaning all mulch today. I've removed all bettas left and treating them with oxytetracycline for a few days.

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Sorry to hear about your Bettas dying. Mycobacteriosis (MB or "Fish TB") seems to be common in Bettas. MB is a chronic, slow-developing disease that often takes months before the fish develop symptoms. Your fish may have been infected when you bought them. I would not blame it on the soil or the dirt. Ironically, the mycobacteria that cause MB thrive best in ultra-clean environments. There is no cure for MB. If the tetracyline works, then it is not MB and you will be home free. If it doesn't work, chances are it is MB. I have an in-depth article about how I successfully stopped an MB outbreak without tearing the tanks down. The disease is fairly common in aquarium fish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #117 ·
Sorry to hear about your Bettas dying. Mycobacteriosis (MB or "Fish TB") seems to be common in Bettas. MB is a chronic, slow-developing disease that often takes months before the fish develop symptoms. Your fish may have been infected when you bought them. I would not blame it on the soil or the dirt. Ironically, the mycobacteria that cause MB thrive best in ultra-clean environments. There is no cure for MB. If the tetracyline works, then it is not MB and you will be home free. If it doesn't work, chances are it is MB. I have an in-depth article about how I successfully stopped an MB outbreak without tearing the tanks down. The disease is fairly common in aquarium fish.
Thank you for the article. It's very thorough and clear.

As an update: I had dipped them in water with oxytetracycline in a small quarantine tank. One of the 3 bettas left had scales starting to pinecone. The other 2 were fine. I put the UV light inside a filter I had stored and put it in the tank. Water has started to clear up, and today I put the last 2 bettas in the tank again.

Some of the local breeders told me that the conditions in which they breed aren't as clean/pristine as the condition my tank had. All my parameters were fine and i had used the UV light before introducing the bettas. But i believe between transport, and the stress of getting used to each other in a sorority decreased their immune system.



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Thank you for the article. It's very thorough and clear.

As an update: I had dipped them in water with oxytetracycline in a small quarantine tank. One of the 3 bettas left had scales starting to pinecone. The other 2 were fine. I put the UV light inside a filter I had stored and put it in the tank. Water has started to clear up, and today I put the last 2 bettas in the tank again.

Some of the local breeders told me that the conditions in which they breed aren't as clean/pristine as the condition my tank had. All my parameters were fine and i had used the UV light before introducing the bettas. But i believe between transport, and the stress of getting used to each other in a sorority decreased their immune system.



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It could also be that your fish simply lacked immunity--genetically speaking. Many fish breeders breed only young fish. They toss out their breeding stock after a few batches and start over with a new generation. Over several generations, you get genetically weak fish. And it's a perfect setup for MB. Fish sold are infected, but because the disease is chronic and the fish--despite their being immunologically weak-- are young. They look good for a very brief lifespan. I've not had MB problems in my guppies, but I have had a related problem. They were all dying of one thing or the other at 5-6 months. Disease susceptibility, lower fitness, and early death are all related and the inevitable result of using only young breeders over multiple generations Attached is my article on guppy longevity and how I gradually improved the fitness and disease resistance of my guppies. I strongly suspect that the mass commercial practices used in breeding guppies also apply to Bettas. It's just something to think about.
 

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Thank you for the article. It's very thorough and clear.

As an update: I had dipped them in water with oxytetracycline in a small quarantine tank. One of the 3 bettas left had scales starting to pinecone. The other 2 were fine. I put the UV light inside a filter I had stored and put it in the tank. Water has started to clear up, and today I put the last 2 bettas in the tank again.

Some of the local breeders told me that the conditions in which they breed aren't as clean/pristine as the condition my tank had. All my parameters were fine and i had used the UV light before introducing the bettas. But i believe between transport, and the stress of getting used to each other in a sorority decreased their immune system.



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Hello! A few updates,

Some of the plants have grown and continue to grow fine. The Montecarlo died so in trying with another (DHG). The parameters are stable and I've not had any issues there. Algae or bacteria bloom doesn't seem to go away without UV light.

Also, bettas have been dying of dropsy. I separated them and treated them with oxytetracycline (all of them). So far, most have died. I don't know what to do. Breeders in my country have no idea what creates dropsy, and none tries to cure it (not even early on). Most don't know what to tell me since I have a dirt tank.

Any ideas?

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I would cap your gravel with an additional layer of sand. About an inch or so. You're having too many nutrients leak through the gravel into the water column. I have 5 Walstad tanks and whenever I had green water or algae blooms, I would add some sand and it stopped the problem immediately and the plants did better and the fish began to thrive. Gravel (especially if not deep enough to cover the soil) lets too many nutrients seep through too quickly whereas sand slows down the process enough so the bacteria can break it down. Too much nitrogen and phosphates from the soil feeds the algae. So add a sand cap and you'll be amazed.
 
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