So, I have a few fish updates. I am going to try to do a fully fishless cycle on my fish tank before I get my next betta fish. This way Squirt the Second should hopefully experience as little stress as possible.
I have read that fishless cycles don't always work and you might need the fish to finish the cycle, but I got some better bacteria (it is the exact specific kind of bacteria that turns ammonia into less toxic nitrogen compounds). So I will try to completely cycle the tank before I get my next betta, just to be on the safe side.
So I am putting off getting Squirt the second for a little while. I don't know how long because cycling the tank with fishless cycling could take as little as a couple of days or it may never actually fully cycle in which case I would have to have a fish to get the cycle to complete.
Basically I am going to wait till I see a spike in the ammonia levels, followed by a spike in nitrite, followed by a spike in nitrate, at which time the ammonia and nitrite levels should be going down to safe amounts. So eventually I want to end up with no ammonia or nitrite, but I want to have a little nitrate. (cycling a tank can be confusing and information on the internet often fails to tell you that you need to see the spikes and then have some nitrate to know that the tank was cycled) (I thought that you just had to wait for it all to be at zero, so I thought that Squirt the firsts tank was fully cycled but it was not. )
My other fish update is that I am getting a different cave. This one I have is very nice except that the paint is peeling off inside. The paint should be non-toxic to the fish, but it is going to look nasty and make a mess. Not to mention a piece broke off of it and I have no idea how, because all I have done with it is set in a fish tank and rinse it in some water, which is hardly rough. So I am going to get a new cave, possibly a slightly smaller one and one that I can see into better.
Since I had some more fish stuff I needed to get now, I went shopping at Petco today. (I usually prefer Petsmart, but Petsmart doesn't have the good bacteria that I want for the tank). I ended up getting the bacteria, and I also got some aquarium salt. The kind I got is meant to be added in very small amounts to freshwater aquariums when the fish need a health boost. This way if Squirt the second gets too stressed out when I get him I will have some of the health-boosting, stress-reducing salt ready to go. (the salt adds electrolytes to the tank which the fish need for proper health and gill function).
I also got a background for my tank, but it didn't come with anything to attach it to the tank with and no directions so I have to figure that out. I also got another silk plant.
While I was at Petco I was looking at their bettas. Around here I definitely like the conditions of the Petsmart bettas better than Petco. Which kind of stinks, because Petco has some really cool varieties of bettas. I even saw a hard to find variety of plakat tailed bettas it looked something looked really cool, but I couldn't really find a good picture of one. So I can't show you. but it was GORGEOUS!!!
But that was pretty much the only healthy looking one. I saw a beautiful aqua blue and white halfmoon betta which looks like this:
Except its fins did not look very healthy at all.
I also saw two dead bettas and one that had a fungus infection. (it basically had fluffy white fungus growing on it) And the rest had fairly dull coloration which means they were definitely stressed and unhealthy.
Generally the Petsmart bettas I see (in my Petsmart) all have bright colors with healthy looking fins. They all seem fairly disease-free. Their worst problem is being lethargic (which generally comes with living in a cup) Of course, obviously Squirt had some kind of issue, but I think it was mostly just stress.
So my tip for you all today, is that when you see a pet store that has dead bettas, unhealthy bettas, and bettas growing fungus, you might not want to purchase from them. (the best source of a pet betta would be a betta breeder that keeps their bettas in tanks not cups, however I don't know of any around here : ( )
So I wish that Petsmart would get some of the really cool varieties of bettas, or that Petco would take better care of their bettas. I think the reason is that Petsmart actually uses better water that has stuff to remove ammonia and nitrites in it, and they either don't sell bettas with obvious diseases (like fluffy stuff growing on the betta) or they treat them.
I think the veiltails and crown tails sold at Petsmart are really pretty too, but some of the varieties Petco stocks are really gorgeous and somewhat hard to find. So I wish the Petco near me would take better care of them. If they did, I would go there for a fish.
Oh, and on the note of where to find bettas, avoid Walmart bettas. Walmart generally takes horrible care of their fish. The cups aren't even full of water usually, and most of the bettas that are there are usually dead, and if they aren't they are probably pretty close to dead.