So I have a home nearly ready for a betta...

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On_a_dishy

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Tank is still cycling (34L Fluval Flex), water is too hard (almond leaf is in), and the moss balls, plants, rounded pebbles and hidey-holes are all awaiting.
I have noticed some lovely galaxy plakats at my local fish store, one of which I have my eye on.
What other type should I consider? I don't want the long-finned splendens as I have found their droopiness quite depressing in the past (although I successfully bred from one and wow, when they flare!) I'm quite liking the freckly, dappled look, too.
Please advise!
 

AdoraBelle Dearheart

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Can't recommend any others really, sorry, but I agree that the long fin bettas often look pretty depressed and depressing when they hang their fins and as the fish ages. Plakets don't have that issue, and they're incredibly pretty with a lot of variety.

Are you really tempted to get the one you have your eye on in the store?
 
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On_a_dishy

On_a_dishy

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Can't recommend any others really, sorry, but I agree that the long fin bettas often look pretty depressed and depressing when they hang their fins and as the fish ages. Plakets don't have that issue, and they're incredibly pretty with a lot of variety.

Are you really tempted to get the one you have your eye on in the store?
No - I would be happy to shop around. I am leaning towards plakets and the store has some pretty galaxy koi ones in at the moment. But I'm like a kid in a sweetshop at the moment - there are online stores with pictures of lovely plakets and I've mentally spent about £200 already...
 

AdoraBelle Dearheart

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I use softening pillows. My little man always makes me a bubble nest when I put one in his tank. Baby boy likes his softer water.
May I ask what brand you use, please? I haven't really checked out softening pillows
 

biofish

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May I ask what brand you use, please? I haven't really checked out softening pillows
5583EDAA-6C1E-4480-9AAF-2E7C425BD114.png

API! Been using these for probably almost a year now? One pouch is good for up to 20 gallons, and it can be recharged by giving the pillow an aquarium salt bath. So that is the downside; the pillows technically replace the hardness with sodium, or I think that’s what someone told me, but I’ve never had any issue with them. But they work fantastically, only thing that give me results (tried natural things first but my hardness didn’t budge). I put 3 in my 55g filter after a water change and it gradually lowers the hardness. They only last a couple days before needing recharged, so if the water needs additional softening you can either recharge the pillows or stick a few more in, just know the more pillows at once the faster the change which could upset the fish.

I put 1 bag in my 5g, 10g, and my 20g. Never had any issue though with the softening being “too fast”. And my betta in the 5g is the one who blows bubbles for me when I give him one.
 

AdoraBelle Dearheart

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View attachment 313558
API! Been using these for probably almost a year now? One pouch is good for up to 20 gallons, and it can be recharged by giving the pillow an aquarium salt bath. So that is the downside; the pillows technically replace the hardness with sodium, or I think that’s what someone told me, but I’ve never had any issue with them. But they work fantastically, only thing that give me results (tried natural things first but my hardness didn’t budge). I put 3 in my 55g filter after a water change and it gradually lowers the hardness. They only last a couple days before needing recharged, so if the water needs additional softening you can either recharge the pillows or stick a few more in, just know the more pillows at once the faster the change which could upset the fish.

I put 1 bag in my 5g, 10g, and my 20g. Never had any issue though with the softening being “too fast”. And my betta in the 5g is the one who blows bubbles for me when I give him one.

Thank you so much! I'm in a hard water area, but do have one smaller soft water tank, but I never looked into softening pillows. Having to recharge them all every few days seems like a lot of hassle though? I'm not good at understanding the chemistry stuff, have relied on advice from @Essjay for this sort of thing! I bombarded her with questions when I wanted to soften the water in my 15g for the otos.
 

biofish

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Thank you so much! I'm in a hard water area, but do have one smaller soft water tank, but I never looked into softening pillows. Having to recharge them all every few days seems like a lot of hassle though? I'm not good at understanding the chemistry stuff, have relied on advice from @Essjay for this sort of thing! I bombarded her with questions when I wanted to soften the water in my 15g for the otos.
Only a hassle come water change time LOL. once you get the water to a good spot you can stop using the pillows until, ofc, your next water change. I used mine most heavily when I was getting the water to the parameters I wanted initially, and now I typically use them once after I’m done changing water and it’s perfectly fine since only the newly added water needs changed. and then just toss them in aquarium salt water bath the night before a planned water change. And let them dry in the sun to store them.
 
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On_a_dishy

On_a_dishy

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I’ve just discovered RO (reverse osmosis) water. I’m in the UK and my LFS sells it very cheaply (around £2 for a plastic Jerry can full). I’m working up to using it for 50% of my betta’s water - the PH has gone down but the GH is still quite high despite this. It’s a bit of a faff having to dechlorinate warm tap water then add the RO water (cold from the Jerry can) but I like the thought that it’s more Betta friendly than my madly hard tap water.
I’m struggling a bit with nitrite since starting to use it - I think there’s a link between ph and nitrite - so I need to keep a close eye on this.
Bettas forever!
 

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