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"Beginner" for goldfish care.
01-12-2017, 05:47 PM, (This post was last modified: 01-12-2017, 05:50 PM by Soapstone.)
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"Beginner" for goldfish care.
I had a goldfish a few years ago, it lived a good age of 6 years in a fishbowl before it finally died, I thought it was a decent lifespan, only to find out when considering getting a fish again in Feb. that that was a VERY short life.

I do not have much money so i am thinking i am gonna have to purchase the required supplies slowly, but I would like to get about a 2.5 gal tank, I saw on petsmart.com they have one with a canopy for $15 (have a cat) but they also had a 10 gal tank for the same price, I do not have much space, so i would prefer to go with the smaller size, and only plan on having 1-2 goldfish.

I figured i would start the process with setting up the tank with fish as goldfish are only 10 cents or so, and I figure it would be faster and easier to start that way. My budget is such that I get about $25 a month for my pet budget which is pretty decent for having a cat. I assume that after the initial cost of filters and heating and aeration, that the care will go cheaper to just buying fish food and the water conditioner when needed. since I am starting on a smaller scale right now, what should i be looking at that will be decent equipment and affordable? do I want to go for live or fake plants? what kind of plants should i get if they are live for a 2.5 gal aquarium? or should I just go for the 10 gal. aquarium and be set for a longer while?

I would rather go with a cold water fish as I do not want to spend money on things I don't really need like a heater, but since I am new, I figure asking will help me. so, what do I want to buy first?
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01-13-2017, 12:38 AM, (This post was last modified: 01-13-2017, 12:39 AM by Soapstone.)
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RE: "Beginner" for goldfish care.
I just saw that petco has a sale on fish tanks right now: $1 = 1G, and it looks like you have to buy at least a 10G tank, so I assume that means the tank will be $10. Is this a good buy?
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01-14-2017, 04:59 AM,
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RE: "Beginner" for goldfish care.
Hi soapstone, welcome to the forum!   Welcome


It is true that goldfish can live for decades if it is well taken care of.   The world record for goldfish lifespan was 47 years old (I remember saw that on TV a while ago).    A six-year-old goldfish is still a kid.    

A 2.5 gallon tank is too small for goldfish.  In fact, it is too small for any kind of fish.  

As the matter of fact, we recommend a minimal 5 gallon fish tank for even the smallest species of fish since it is the bare minimum to hold stable water conditions.   To keep fish, stable water conditions such as water temperature, PH, hardness, etc. are extremely important.  Fish can easily get into shock and die from sudden large swing in these water conditions.    The more water you have, the more stable you can keep your water conditions at.    So 5 gallon is the generally accepted bare minimal.    I remember 5~6 years ago I bought my 5 gallon tank for $12.  And 10 gallon tanks for $14 each.     They are not expensive.    




Quote:    I just saw that petco has a sale on fish tanks right now: $1 = 1G, and it looks like you have to buy at least a 10G tank, so I assume that means the tank will be $10. Is this a good buy?





If you can get a 10 gallon fish tank for $10, it is a good deal.  

However, a 10 gallon fish tank is way too small for even just one goldfish.  You need minimal 20 gallon for one fancy goldfish, and 30 gallon for two of them.    For common goldfish which will grow much larger, you will need minimal 40 gallon for just one, and 55 gallon for two of them.     Goldfish are known as messy fish.  They eat a lot, poop a lot, and produce a lot of ammonia which is toxic to themselves.  It is why you need larger fish tanks and better filtration for them compare to having a lot of other fish.  

With a 10 gallon tank, you should get some small tropical fish instead.   

The very important thing is that you need to set everything up first with all the necessary gears including filter, heater, thermometer, etc.  
And an aquarium nitrogen cycle is highly recommended before you bring fish home.  


Since you have mentioned you are on a low budget.  I suggest you to save it up first for (everything) before you get started at all.   


If you can live with having only one fish, I recommend get a single betta (Siamese fighting fish).   You will still need a minimal 5 gallon tank, along with canopy, filter, heater, thermometer, water conditioner, and fish food).    
Some rough estimation for the cost is around $60 minimum for everything save for the canopy which you can use perhaps a piece of foam instead if your budget does not allow.   (I did use a piece of foam for my 5 gallon hospital tank).    

Hope it helps. Smile
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01-16-2017, 01:27 AM, (This post was last modified: 01-16-2017, 01:41 AM by Soapstone.)
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RE: "Beginner" for goldfish care.
Would a Marineland Penguin 100 BIO-Wheel Power Filter be good? it is $20 on the petco site. I see that it is good for up to 20G tanks and I assume a $10 is definitely workable? I asked a pet shop guy and he said with that filter I wouldn't need to get an air pump. he also said 1-2 comet goldfish should be fine for a 10G tank.

Is a comet goldfish one of the common goldfish types or is it different?

I am probably gonna get the $10 10G tank this month before the sale is over.

For doing the cycling of the tank what fish is recommended? Would a 10 cent comet goldfish not work since they produce a lot of poop and ammonia as you mentioned? Is there any other fish that are that cheap that i could use instead? for cycling the tank?

Is there any good bottom feeder I should get to help keep the tank clean of left over food/poop to reduce the need for siphoning gravel? If it is possible, I want a self sustaining environment for the fish with minimal work needed past changing the water, filter and cleaning the glass on occasion.

If I recall correctly, you can only have 1 betta fish per environment, correct? If you have more than 1 betta they will fight and kill each other? How does breeding work? could I have 1 male and 1 female in the same tank it was big enough?
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01-16-2017, 07:40 AM,
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RE: "Beginner" for goldfish care.
If you are really low on budget, the cheapest filter system available is sponge filter.  You can get them for around $10 from Amazon.   I recommend Hydro Sponge filters.     The downside is they take space inside the fish tank, and they are not that good looking lol.   Nothing ugly, just not that good looking.   

If you want to get a power filter, I'd recommend AquaClear filters.    


It is true that you can skip air pump if you use a power filter in many cases.  Since the purpose for air pump is to create bubbles and when the bubbles are busted at the surface, they create surface movement which will promote gas exchange between the water and the atmosphere.   The waterfall from the power filters do the same thing - create surface movement.   


However, if you go for a sponge filter, you will need either an air pump or a water pump.    

A 10 gallon fish tank is not enough for one goldfish, let alone two.   Comet are only slightly smaller than common goldfish.   You will have a hard time to keep the ammonia at 0ppm with a 10 gallon tank.    

For cycling the fish tank, it is quicker if you use pure ammonia for fishless cycling (without fish).   It is the fastest if you use live bacteria products to seed the filter media.   I recommend Tetra SafeStart.  



No bottom feeder will eat fish poop.   However, bottom feeders will eat leftover fish food at the bottom of the fish tank.   If you get goldfish, which are not tropical, your choice of bottom feeders are limited.   If you go tropical, a lot more options are available.  From corydoras catfish, to red cherry shrimps and snails.    Fish poop has to be removed by water change.  Filter does not do that job (even if it does suck in all the debris, it only removed them from your sight, but the rotting debris are still in the water system producing toxic ammonia).  

Once the tank is fully cycled, and fully stocked (not overstocked), all you need is daily feeding (no more than what the fish can finish within a minute), and weekly partial water change of 30~50%.   Filter maintenance is purely circumstantial.  If you think there is too much debris sucked into the filter, or if the water flow has been slowed, then go for it, but be careful not to damage the bacteria colony in the filter media.  

 
Only one betta fish per fish tank.   Betta will fight each other to death.    Also you must not to mix betta with other fish (except) bottom feeders.
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01-16-2017, 08:12 PM,
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RE: "Beginner" for goldfish care.
i was reading that you can have as many female bettas as you want, but males you have to keep alone, this makes me wonder how anyone does betta breeding, i saw some videos on youtube, looks complicated.
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01-17-2017, 09:56 AM,
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RE: "Beginner" for goldfish care.
(01-16-2017, 08:12 PM)Soapstone Wrote: i was reading that you can have as many female bettas as you want, but males you have to keep alone, this makes me wonder how anyone does betta breeding, i saw some videos on youtube, looks complicated.

Both male and female betta must be kept alone.   Yes, in some cases female betta might seem to be peaceful to each other and to other fish, but in some cases they even killed the male betta.   Lets not to take any chance.  All it takes is one incident for it to go wrong.  

I am not familiar with betta breeding since I haven't tried it myself, but their close relative Gourami are bred in such way that the female and male are only put in the same tank during the breeding, and must be separated soon after the eggs are laid.   I would think the betta breeding is similar.
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01-17-2017, 04:42 PM,
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RE: "Beginner" for goldfish care.
ya, it seemed that way, you had to have a separator put in the tank so that the fish would be on separate sides and look at each other, then when the female starts making the bubble nest, you can let them together, breed, and then separate them again. apparently the female can kill the offspring. i think i heard that rats are similar somewhat, i have to wonder how any breeding gets done in the animal kingdom when the parents  can kill the children.
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01-17-2017, 10:56 PM,
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RE: "Beginner" for goldfish care.
I agree with Thor on the Aquaclear filter, it is the best common HOB (hang on back) filter for that price on the market.  There are a few that might be better, but cost more. like the Fluval C Series.  The Marineland/Biowheel filters are good, I've used them.  Generally, you have to constantly change the cartridges (which is what they want you to do (how they make money), and you loose bacteria every time you do this.  I just got my first Aquaclear on a new tank I am setting up now.  I love it.  The pluses to it are you have more options to setting it up.  It operates the same way a canister filter does, only smaller.  Which is really a huge plus.  The minuses are, even though when set up properly you won't have to do as much maintenance, when you do it will usually be more than just replacing a cartridge.  The other is if you take full advantage of the flexibility to set it up in a way best suited for you, you will have to learn a bit more about how a filter operates (which again is actually a plus to me, but it isn't quite "plug & play").  

The other thing I wanted to add, you can keep some fish in less water than the "recommendations" safely.  Like a small/fancy goldfish in a 10gal.  But it requires better/more filtration, and usually more work maintaining it.  Lastly, if you want to understand how filtration makes the water non toxic to fish, it would be best to read up on what the nitrogen cycle actually is, as that is what turns the toxic ammonia (which the fish produce) into less toxic compounds.  I'm sure Thor has an article here somewhere or a link to such info. 

And lastly, the Petco "$1 a gallon" sale is good.  But remember you are getting nothing but the tank.  You don't get a hood/canopy, light, or anything else, so you will need to purchase all the separately.  It may be cheaper to look into one of the kits, once you add all the costs up.
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01-18-2017, 05:56 AM, (This post was last modified: 01-18-2017, 05:58 AM by Soapstone.)
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RE: "Beginner" for goldfish care.
thanks for the advice fishbone! it sounds like that always seems to be how it is, better filter for more money which you have to change often for this reason or that reason, or cheaper filter that is better for this or that reason but has this something as a minus.

one of the things i am struggling with is that it seems like a headache to know what to get, and it seems like a lot of work to get it set up.
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01-18-2017, 12:09 PM,
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RE: "Beginner" for goldfish care.
It is true that most of the work should be done before you even get started.  You need to do your research well to make sure you get all the right stuff before you buy anything at all.    Only after everything is set up, you can do aquarium nitrogen cycle.   The fish should not be brought home until your aquarium filter is cycled.  


While it is possible to have your fish in a smaller than minimal recommended tank, there is no way you can use a filter that is rated below the minimum requirements.   You can certainly use a filter designed for 40+ gallon tank on a 10 gallon tank, then the current will be too strong for the fish in that little 10 gallon fish tank.
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01-25-2017, 03:21 PM,
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RE: "Beginner" for goldfish care.
(01-18-2017, 05:56 AM)Soapstone Wrote: thanks for the advice fishbone! it sounds like that always seems to be how it is, better filter for more money which you have to change often for this reason or that reason, or cheaper filter that is better for this or that reason but has this something as a minus.

Well, my point was, if you overstock the tank, you basically need to overfilter the water.  Some hard core fish keepers will have 2-4 different filters on one tank.  I met a guy that has a tank amazingly overstocked with discus of all things.  He makes it work, fish look happy and healthy, etc.  He also has probably more money in the filtration system than in the fish, and discus cost from $30 to over $200 a fish, and he has some great colorful fish.  He's got an insane setup, not worth it to me, but the point is, if you really want to get the right equipment and maintain it properly, you can make it work.  
Quote:one of the things i am struggling with is that it seems like a headache to know what to get, and it seems like a lot of work to get it set up.

This is really what it all comes down to.  So here is how I would go at it personally. 

1.  Pick a tank size that fits where you want it to go.  I wouldn't go below a 10gal.  In all actuality, anything smaller than that will actually be more work, and cost you more to keep the fish healthy.  Find a combo deal if you ant lights and hood, it'll almost always cost you more to buy them separately.  E.g. $10 for a 10gal tank at the petco sale (which just so you know, they run constantly, at least 4-7 times a year for the past 5 years at least), them they try to sell you lights and canopies for $30-$100 (depending on the lights).  You can usually get the same for far less as a kit.  On the Same note, be wary of kits that also include a filter.  Make sure it comes with a filter you want.  If it does, you will save money.  If it doesn't, you'll waste money. 

2.  Filtration.  Want you want to look at is how many gallons per hour (GPH) the filter processes.  NOT the size tank the manufacturer recommends it for.  Most people say to get a filter that moves at least 4x the GPH of the volume of your tank.  The other thing to think about is that rating of the filter is based on an empty filter.  The more you put in it, the less water it will move.  So overshoot this number at least a little bit. 

3.  Fish.  What fits, what will get along, etc.  This gets more complicated, But should be pretty simple in your situation.  What you really need to focus on is, what you really want.  Then any additional fish choices can be made to accommodate the principal inhabitant(s). 


As for fish in a small aquarium, here's an idea for a small tank.  Get a nice looking beta.  Get a few tetras.  Neons are pretty and small, but there are a lot of colors and they range from tiny to smallish.    There are other varieties, how many you could get depends on the exact size of the tank and the type of tetra and how big they get.   Then get 2 or 3 cory cats.  Put a few decorations/caves/etc in there and you're all set.  A few plants even better.  If you can get one of the peices of driftwood with some annubias already planted in it that all the petcos seem to sell now would be a great idea.  It'll be nice to watch.
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01-29-2017, 03:55 AM,
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RE: "Beginner" for goldfish care.
i decided to go for a 5.5gal starter kit, comes with tank, hood, light, and filter as well as a stick-on thermometer, it was $10 at petsmart, so it cost me $30. now all i gotta do is wait til i get more money and get me the gravel and decorations, and then save up again and get me a betta.
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01-30-2017, 08:46 AM,
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RE: "Beginner" for goldfish care.
Hi Soapstone,
If you plan to get a betta, you will need a heater. Betta fish is tropical, and it will become inactive if the water is too cold. In longer term, its immune system will be weakened which makes it easy to catch diseases and parasites. A full submersible and adjustable heater is preferred.
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01-31-2017, 01:32 AM, (This post was last modified: 01-31-2017, 01:33 AM by Soapstone.)
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RE: "Beginner" for goldfish care.
i will get one, i have spent about $50ish so far on the supplies, the tank came with a filter, hood, led light and net. the filter tank has been running for a couple days. i got gravel and some silk plants as well as a small day of the dead skull with a hole in its head for a hideaway. i still need to get the siphon and heater though.

*meant to say the tank set was $10 off in my last post.
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01-31-2017, 09:11 AM,
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RE: "Beginner" for goldfish care.
Have you bought aquarium water conditioner and fish food?

Seachem Prime is a good one for new aquariums. It can detoxify ammonia for up to 48 hours.

If you plan to get betta, I would recommend pellets over flakes. The best pellets in term of nutrition value is New Life Spectrum. Betta has a small mouth. So pick the "Small Fish Formula" from New Life Spectrum is a good idea. Those pellets are 0.5mm.

By the way, if you do not plan to do a fishless cycling, I'd recommend you to get a bottle of bacteria seeding product such as Tetra SafeStart. Use the whole bottle 24 hours before you get the fish can help the aquarium nitrogen cycle (with the filter running the whole time of course).
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02-05-2017, 05:01 AM,
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RE: "Beginner" for goldfish care.
yup, i got the pellets and conditioner water is a toasty 80 F according to the thermometer.

the betta is actually pretty active. it is a young one too so the fins arent as developed yet. i had heard they are supposed to be lazy but he swims around a lot.
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02-05-2017, 04:48 PM,
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RE: "Beginner" for goldfish care.
I agree with almost everything Thor said. Except, as you've already kinda pointed out, maybe the heater. You need a heater if the tank is too cold. I live in FL, I don't have a heater. My house is rarely ever below 74, usually well over that. So, it is relative to where you have the tank. If it is going to be in a room that usually 68F, get a heater. Etc etc.

The "Bettas are lazy" idea also usually comes from people who keep them in a cup, lol. the Betta I have is actually quite active and interesting. And amazingly compatible in this tank.

I know you are trying to save money here, but I would recommend a test kit to at least test for ammonia, nitrite, & nitrate. pH would be a plus. Most of those API tests will last for years if maintained properly. And it will enable you to track the nitrogen cycle as it goes along. Until it completes (by this I mean 0ppm levels of the two most toxic compounds, ammonia and nitrite), add Prime to the water every 48 hours. This will detoxify the water as Thor said. But it only lasts a short while. Once those levels are at zero, you can then stop this process, and start regular water changes, only using the prime when adding new water. But again, if you have no idea where this process is at, you are just guessing, and risking the health of your fish.

FWIW, I just cycled a new tank up, with a decent number of "moderately sensitive" fish, using this process, with 0 deaths. Almost two months now. Knowing the nitrogen levels and using Prime accordingly, is rather amazing. I actually stocked more in the tank than I wanted, assuming something would perish. Now I have a well established cycled tank, and am moving fish around, lol! Unless you are only going to add highly sensitive fish, the fishless cycling is almost pointless provided you can monitor the levels and have Prime on hand. But in order to do a proper fishless cycle, you need to monitor the levels sooo... there is no real advantage.

I should also add, this is dependent on a filter with adequate biological media, and can vary with the species of fish. Bettas are famous for being able to adapt to water conditions that would kill almost anything else, even goldfish, hence why they are sold as they are in tiny cups.
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02-07-2017, 10:13 AM,
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RE: "Beginner" for goldfish care.
ok, i am noticing some tiny little foam like bubbles gathering on the surface of the water near the corners of the glass, are they anything i should be worried about?

i have a marimo ball in the tank, is that causing it?
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02-08-2017, 02:47 PM,
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RE: "Beginner" for goldfish care.
Sorry for the delayed reply.

"Marimo ball" is one of the little moss balls they sell everywhere now? I doubt that has much to do with it, unless it is aleady dying off quickly. Here are the main reasons, though I would guess you are dealing with a combo of the first three...

The base cause is protein build up. That causes the bubbles to stick. There are quite a few reasons for this, plant and fish decay can be one of them.

Agitation of the water causes bubbles. Possibly from the filter, depending on the strength, and how far and hard it falls on top of the water. Add this to the above protein on the surface of the water, and they increase each other.

And, Male betas are known to blow "bubble nests". Add this to both of the above, and I would bet some combination of the three are the culprit.

Then the scary one. Improperly rinsed soap. This would be bad, and you will know relatively quickly if this is a possible cause unfortunately. Needless to say (hopefully), if you've washed anything with a soap product, rinse it until you are sure it is all gone and then rinse it for five more minutes.
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02-08-2017, 05:03 PM,
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RE: "Beginner" for goldfish care.
nope, not soap, used tap and distilled water. i am using an aloe vera based water conditioner, could it be that?
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02-09-2017, 05:44 PM,
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RE: "Beginner" for goldfish care.
Sure, you do not need a heater if you live in hot places like Florida. (Might not be that "hot", but hey I am in Michigan lol).

Betta are in fact playful fish.
The reasons for them being inactive could be
1. There is not enough room swimming room.
2. The water temperature is too cold.

If they have an at least 5-gallon tank with ideal water temperature and everything else, they will be very active. Haven't you heard? Betta fish are dogs in a fish's body? Tongue

I wouldn't worry too much about the bubbles. I see them all the time on the same day after I have done a partial water change. Sure, there can be a lot of reasons for the forming of bubbles inside the fish tank. As long as the fish act normal, and all the readings are fine, then there is nothing to be worried about.

Would you mind share some photos of your betta tank? Smile
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02-10-2017, 04:24 PM, (This post was last modified: 02-10-2017, 05:15 PM by Soapstone.)
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RE:
I do not understand how i upload, it doesn't seem i can attacha picture from my harddrive, and i have no idea if the image is uploading properly, it just looks like a square photo icon to me when i select the link to the image. i am very confused. let me know if it works or not.


[Image: RZHZkF]
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02-12-2017, 08:40 AM,
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RE:
(02-10-2017, 04:24 PM)Soapstone Wrote: I do not understand how i upload, it doesn't seem i can attacha picture from my harddrive, and i have no idea if the image is uploading properly, it just looks like a square photo icon to me when i select the link to the image. i am very confused. let me know if it works or not.


[Image: RZHZkF]

You can't upload pictures from your hard drive directly.  You need to upload it to an image hosting site.  There are plenty of them out there for free.   Then hot link the image back here in your post in the form of

[img]direct image address[/img]

Then we will see the picture in your post.
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02-12-2017, 02:41 PM, (This post was last modified: 02-12-2017, 02:42 PM by Soapstone.)
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RE:
I couldn't make it work so i took a video instead and posted it to my youtube channel. can anyone tell what kind of Betta the little guy is? It only said "Baby Boy" on the cup i got him in.



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