So, like many (I presume) new fish owners, it all started with a visit to Petsmart. My girlfriend and I have talked about getting a good sized fish tank when we are in a place with more room, but both wanted to get our feet wet. So we each opted for a Betta. Her's lived quite contently in an approximately 1 1/2 gal container for about a month. She recently upgrade to a 3 gallon tank for him.
I however had no such luck. I purchased what at the time I though was a huge tank for a Betta, considering all the tiny little things that people like to shove them in, and got a 2.5 gal tank. I killed off my first little girl betta with cold water, and the second we both believe was sick from the start.
Not wanting to become a death-bringer to all fish, I finally started reading up on aquariums like we should have from the start.
Now to the good bits:
I decided to get an Apple Snail instead of a fish to help cycle my little tank. I have had him for going on a month now. It's been an interesting adventure from day one, I never even realized how entertaining a snail could be. About a week ago I finally started seeing nitrites arrive. My ammonia was still on the higher side and the nitrites were between .5 and .7 As of this morning, the nitrites have broken down all the nitrates and my ammonia dropped to .25, which is about the lowest I have seen it not following a water change.
As for my 2 questions:
I have been working a lot the last week and haven't spent much time really observing Cadan (the snail), just been doing water ammonia checks and water changes. I noticed today that there is near an inch of shell that has a totally different color than the rest of his shell. I can't really tell if it is just paler, or more translucent/thinner than the rest of his shell.
(The picture does not quite do it justice as the color difference is more striking in person, but between the reflections you can get a feel for how it changes right in the center of his shell)
I am endlessly hopeful that this is new shell growth that, while faster than I would expect, is completely normal.
If it is *not* healthy shell growth please ignore the following question as would then be far more concerned with Cadan's well being:
*IF* my little tank stays stable for the next few weeks, is it large enough to sustain a small fish in addition to Cadan? If so, what? I was hoping that perhaps a small Guppy would not add too much waste additional waste to the tank. I really want to do this right, and learn to keep appropriate chemical levels, water changes and such so that when we get a large tank, the investment and little fish lives will not be wasted.
This all turned out much longer than I originally anticipated, so any feedback, advice, chastising will be greatly appreciated.