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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    Question Help needed on setting up a Betta tank


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    I was recently given a new little Betta by a friend. He came in a little cup, and I moved him to a slightly larger fish bowl that I had sitting around. I have food for him and some water conditioner. I haven't kept a fish since I was a small child and could really use some pointers on what my new friend, his name is Eugene, needs as far as a healthy environment goes. I don't have very much space, he will need to sit on my desk. Does he need anything to keep the water clean besides just changing the water every 2-3 days? The room I keep him in is normally between 73-75 F, is that okay? does he need any gravel? a plant? would he like one of those cute pirate ship decorations i see? How big of a tank does he absolutely need? How big would make him happy? How much will all of this cost me? I feel kinda bad for having him in such a small bowl, it is only around 1/2 gallon or so and doesn't have any gravel or plants or anything. Why does he blow bubbles at the top of the bowl? Is that good or bad? should I get rid of them? One good thing is he is much more active in his new bowl than he was in the tiny cup. He follows me around and watches everything I do :) I already love him. If someone could answer some or all of my questions, it would be greatly appreciated. I want him to be healthy and happy and live a nice long life. Please note that I am also on a tight budget, so if anyone can help me by telling me the cheapest, but best things I could buy for him I would be very grateful :) thank you all in advance! If anyone would like to see Eugene, I will gladly post some pictures

  2. #2

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    Well, if you're looking for a cheap option then I would go to walmart and pick up one of the 5g kits. It comes with the tank, a filter, a hood with light bulb, a small bit of conditioner, and a small bit a food. You'll need to additionally get some food and some kind of substrate. This are the bare necessities. All together that will probably run you about 40-50$ US. Beyond that if you have the money to spend I would get a fake plant decoration, preferably silk so as not to damage the fins of your betta but at the same time to give him something to partially hide himself behind.
    16g-planted1 Powder Blue Dwarf Gourami, 4 Cherry Barbs (more to come)

  3. #3

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    Congradulations on your new companion! =D

    Decor isn't only used to be pleasing to the human eye. It provides the fish a place to hide. You should have some gravel in the bowl, and if possible either a small plant (silk, not plastic, as plastic damages fins) or a small decoration for him to hide.

    Bettas are bubble nest buliders. When bettas mate, the male will place the eggs in his bubble nest and look after them until they hatch. After setting up a territory, almost all males will blow a bubble nest. It is perfectly normal.

    Bettas are able to live in small "betta bowls", but it isn't an ideal set up for them. They live longer if they are placed in a larger enclosure with items suh as a filter (which would also cut down on your cleaning time). They are also more active if they have a heater to warm the water. But as you are on a tight budget, you can decide what you feel you wish to provide for him.

  4. #4

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    Yes, yes. A heater is also a necessity. Good on you, Tango, for pointing that out as I stupidly forgot. Some kits come with the heater but likely you'll have to spend anywhere from $15 or so for a heater for the tank
    16g-planted1 Powder Blue Dwarf Gourami, 4 Cherry Barbs (more to come)

  5. #5

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    Thank you both so much for the replies :) Both very helpful. A few more questions, what is "substrate"? Is colored gravel (like the bright multicolored neon kind) okay to use? And how much do filters cost by themselves? I've been talking to some friends and they might have an old tank they will let me have. That would open up some more money for decorations. Oh, and how much does gravel cost? and how thick of a layer should I use? and how much are silk plants each?
    Last edited by AnnTheBettaFish; 06-09-2010 at 09:26 PM.

  6. #6

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    if you have time try yard sales or the newspaper for some cheaper tank set ups. You can probably get a good 10 gallon setup alot cheaper than a 5 gallon this way + at yard sales they are almost giving 10's away.
    1--29 gallon tank: 1 small angelfish, pygmy cory, and 4 baby albino bristlenose.
    2--55 gallon tank: 1 adult angelfish, 7 black skirt tetras, 5 yo yo loaches, 1 synodontis catfish and 1 spotted raphael.
    3--3 gallon tank with female betta.

  7. #7

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    Thank you Kazenouta.

    A substrate is any kind of material used for the bottom (sand, gravel, rocks, etc.). I believe you are supposed to use 2 inches of gravel, but I am not sure if that is exactly correct.

    My Elite spinge filter was only $6.99. I find sponge filters to work the best, and they aren't too expensive.
    Last edited by Tango; 06-09-2010 at 09:39 PM.

  8. #8

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    It is generally recommended that a pound of gravel per gallon minimum. Some go more. If you get a five gallon tank then a five pound bag of gravel will cost you 4 or 5 dollars at your typical petstore. I would definately recommend you get a tank with a filter because then your tank will cycle which will basically build up a bacteria and take care of the fish waste, so that means less water changes, less stress for the fish and a much healthier fish you will have. There are many articles under the cycling threads that can help you cycle a tank with a fish in it. A five gallon tank is really good for a betta, a ten is even better, but a five would definatly suffice and keep him happy. Definatly put some fake plants in there as well as a decoration he could hide in and make sure you rinse your gravel before you put it in your tank same with the decorations.

  9. #9

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    0 Not allowed!
    Again, Thank you all so much for the help. By a happy accident a friend of mine had an extra 5 gallon tank he was willing to give me :) and I also got a new plant for Eugene. I should rinse it off without soap first right? And will it be okay to transfer him to the larger tank before I can get the heater and filter? I should have the tank by tomorrow, but the rest may take up to a week to get.

  10. #10

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    0 Not allowed!
    That was lucky Ann!! You are right, do not use soap on anything that will be going in your tank. Rinse it in tank water during a water change.

    You can move him to give him more space, if the conditions are the same as in the tank he is in just now, you are doing him no harm, in fact you are giving him more room to swim in. Once you get the heater, they like the temp at about 78-80. Just make sure to keep him safe while cyclling the fliter. Daily water changes will keep the ammonia down and allow the filter to build up bacteria. It will take longer to cycle with a fish as you are having to remove ammonia to keep him safe!

    Good luck!

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