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View Full Version : Small starter betta tank - how much maintenance?



Fraoch
02-28-2009, 08:32 PM
We'd like to get a betta starter tank for my girlfriend's brother.

We saw them in the aquarium store today. Just little tiny tanks, looked like half a gallon, with a little decor piece included in the centre.

We think it would be a nice distraction for him (he's going through a difficult time now and having a living creature dependent on him would be good for him I think) but he probably is not up for much maintenance.

So - how much maintenance are those small kits? Do you need a filter, do you need a heater? Water changes? Cleaning? Are they really big enough for a betta, is it humane to put them in so tight a space?

And I was amazed at how bettas are sold in PetSmart. They have a shelf full of what looks like beer mugs with live bettas in them. No filtration, no circulation, no aeration. Can they really tolerate such conditions? They look barely alive.

Guess I don't know much about bettas.:ssmile:

Rue
02-28-2009, 08:39 PM
Those small containers are holding tanks. Males fight. They have to be kept separate.

We generally recommend a 5g, heated, filtered tank for a male betta. Planted is a nice bonus.

Those small containers are not recommended. In fact I think they constitute abuse. Sadly, the PTB still aren't overly concerned about fish welfare.

While a betta generally survives 2-3 years in sub-optimal conditions, I believe 9 years have been reported.

Keeping a betta in a 1/2 g container is akin to keeping a man living in a bathroom or an elevator.

cocoa_pleco
02-28-2009, 09:39 PM
ive seen those tanks at PJ's, theyre small acrylic tanks with a centerpiece.

really, i would say the best betta home is a 5g with a sponge filter, 50w heater, and a few java ferns and some java moss

Chicklet
02-28-2009, 09:51 PM
Those small betta bowls should be outlawed!
I really do think that’s going a bit to ridiculous!
However some male betta’s are happier in a 1 gallon tank,
I have a few, however every day water changes are a definite chore needed, No exceptions! They should have a filter and a heater if your temp is prone to fluctuations. a 2.5 tank is considered the lowest size accepted for betta’s, 5 gallons are ideal, Each betta has its own personality, and will tell you what makes them happy if you listen to them.,

C
can they really tolerate such conditions? They look barely alive. Obviously they have no choice but to tolerate those circumstances, But enjoying and thriving in such conditions is another matter.

Fraoch
05-04-2009, 06:25 PM
I got a good look at them again yesterday and I still don't understand it. There they are, sitting in what looked like a glass of water.

Some of them move a little, but there were a few that definitely looked dead.

Are they in a dormant state? Do they require food? What about air, how does that get in? Won't ammonia accumulate until it kills them?

How long are they expected to last on the shelf in such conditions? A week? A month? A year? The shelf was 4-5 betta glasses thick, the ones at the back have been there quite a while I'd bet.

It seems very cruel to me. How many survive this torture?

I got a nice 5 gallon tank yesterday that I'm using as a hospital tank right now and a quarantine tank in the future. It'd be nice to kit this out as a proper-sized betta tank - but then I'd have to get another hospital/QT tank. MTS sneaks up on you!:hmm3grin2orange:

rich311k
05-04-2009, 06:35 PM
Get a ten gallon. Mine are more active than I ever thought a betta could be. They love all that exploration space. It takes 20 minutes to change 50% of the water.

thrakuarium
05-04-2009, 07:10 PM
I dont intend to get in a debate over this so let me clarify beforehand. I ALWAYS recommend as large a tank as possible for anyone who buys a betta where I work. I recommend filtration and heat as well. It is healther for the betta and brings out their personality. Having said that, bettas are kept in those small containers at the store level until they are sold. The goal is to have them sold in a few weeks at the most. Where I work they receive proper water changes,including clean cups, and proper feeding. Those lids are vented to allow for airflow. the casualty rate on these fish is no worse than in any tank in the store, be it guppies, tetras, loaches, goldfish etc. The main problem a betta faces is the experience level of the person buying the betta. We have care sheets on hand and I offer them to any inexperienced customer. A betta's combative nature presents a unique problem in making them available to the consumer. The large demand for bettas also adds to that. Any pet's life is greatly enhanced once they find a true home, whether they come from a shelter or off a shelf. Any truly caring person does their best for their own pet or for someone elses future pet.

Fraoch
05-04-2009, 07:38 PM
Having said that, bettas are kept in those small containers at the store level until they are sold. The goal is to have them sold in a few weeks at the most. Where I work they receive proper water changes,including clean cups, and proper feeding. Those lids are vented to allow for airflow. the casualty rate on these fish is no worse than in any tank in the store, be it guppies, tetras, loaches, goldfish etc.

Excellent, that answers a lot of the questions I had! It's good to see that they get some care in those small cups.

Thank you.