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  1. #1

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    Question Total newb, help me out with my set up?


    0 Not allowed!
    Hi all!

    So my best friend is totally new to fish, and she just got a crowntail betta. Right now, the betta is in a big fish bowl, but her birthday is in a week, so I want to get her a 5 gallon tank for the betta.

    I have a few questions! Actually, a lot of questions...

    Firstly, is a 5 gallon tank a good size? She absolutely can't have anything bigger, and anything smaller just seems cruel to me. Also, what can she put in the tank with the betta? Are there other fish that are compatible that can go in a 5 gallon without overcrowding, or is she better off leaving the betta alone?

    I'll be buying her a 5 gallon starter tank, so it comes with a light, hood and filter. I'm also going to give her my old decor, which is a small hollow sunken ship half and some fake plants (real plants are a little beyond her experience, and she's already noticed that the betta has a habit of up-rooting things lol)

    Thanks so much, and anything else you can tell me would be fantastic!!
    Last edited by Lolita; 09-15-2009 at 04:48 PM.

  2. #2

    Join Date
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    0 Not allowed!
    It is my understanding that Bettas like smaller spaces, so the 5 gallon should be absolutely golden!

    It is also my understanding that Bettas don't like other fish very much - the males can be quite aggressive. If she wants other fish, I think some female Bettas would probably be the best option.

    Of course, this is all hearsay to me - I've personally never kept Bettas...

    What do the older*, more reputable members have to say?


    *as in "been on the forum longer" not "been on the Earth longer"
    x^2=x


    "The question is not how to continue to do what we have been doing
    but how best to achieve our objectives under new circumstances."
    -David Friedman, Future Imperfect

  3. #3

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    I wouldnt put anything else in a 5g personally.
    30g - Planted - need to do some serious rethinking
    20g - planning
    MS-II

  4. #4

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    0 Not allowed!
    I was thinking nothing else, too--but she really wanted to give him tank mates, so I figured I'd ask. I thought Neon Tetra were compatible so I was going to tell her to get a few of those...but then I read that they weren't actually compatible, so I said nothing.

  5. #5

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    0 Not allowed!
    I would tell her not to get anything. Neons tetras need to be in groups of 6+ at the minimum and a 5g is too small for them.

    A 5g is only suitable for a betta OR shrimp IMO

    Do your best to not let her get any more fish. Also, fish don't get "lonely" - some work better in schools (like tetras, corys, rasboras) but bettas are not really one of them
    30g - Planted - need to do some serious rethinking
    20g - planning
    MS-II

  6. #6

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    0 Not allowed!
    A betta byu himself in that tank would be a very happy camper. They like to rule their own little kingdoms.

  7. #7

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    Agree to only put the betta in the 5 gallon with nothing else. Does your starter tank include a heater?

  8. #8

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    0 Not allowed!
    Okay, thank you! I'll tell her that.

    How about cycling? Is it true she'd be okay not cycling the tank with a betta? Of course I'll tell her to use water conditioner, etc.. but I know lots of people keep their betta in bowls and they're just fine.

  9. #9

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    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by fins_n_fur
    Agree to only put the betta in the 5 gallon with nothing else. Does your starter tank include a heater?
    No, but I have one from my old tank that I'm going to give to her. This is what it comes with:

    Tank size: 5 gallons
    Glass tank
    Hood with light
    Powerfilter
    Starter samples of food
    Instructions on water care
    Free enrollment in TetraCare program

    She asked if the light would be harmful for the betta. Would she be better off with a tank and a glass top, rather than a lighted hood?

  10. #10

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    0 Not allowed!
    I have a betta in a 5-gallon tank and he's very happy with that amount of space. He also seems perfectly content to be alone! I wouldn't try to add anything to the tank. He really uses all of the space -- swims at all levels and enjoys exploring.

    I opted to do a fish-in cycle with my betta, and didn't have any problems with it. I did do daily water changes until the cycle was complete. If you still have fish you could give her some of your filter media to seed her cycle. Or, if you're concerned she won't do water changes during cycling, I've had success with Seachem Stability -- cycled my tank in a week, and the bottle only cost about $8.

    The light shouldn't be harmful, I don't think. I have 15 watts on my 5-gallon tank. If she's not doing live plants, I *think* a light is optional, but it makes it easier to see your fish!

    As far as the fake plants and decor, check carefully for any sharp edges that may snag fins. I've heard that a good test is to drag a piece of panyhose across anything you're worried about. Generally I think silk plants are preferable to plastic for that reason.
    30-gallon hex -- 5 corydoras trilineatus 9 cardinal tetras 1 Bolivian Ram 5 marbled hatchetfish 4 otocinclus
    5-gallon standard -- 1 male betta

    "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose." -- Jim Elliot

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