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Star
12-19-2004, 09:07 PM
A few weeks ago I got a fish tank from a friend. She had bought it, but never used it. The problem is, it's very small, only 10 liters (that's about 2,5-3 gallons).

Can I still use it for keeping fish, or maybe some other animal? What about those yellow snails? (I don't know their name but I've seen them in pet stores in small tanks.)

I'm a beginner, so I can't handle any "tricky" fishes. (But I guess they would need more space anyway.)

ladyjai
12-20-2004, 01:38 AM
how about a single betta? you will still need a filter an heater.

You could do one of those snails, provided you had the filter, and if your house is colder than 74, then a heater as well. be prepared for many water changes :wink:

a different option would be 3 african dwarf frogs (not clawed).

Star
12-22-2004, 11:51 PM
What's a betta?

Star
12-22-2004, 11:53 PM
Oh, one more thing, how many water changes is "many"? Twice a week? More often? For ever, or just to get started?

Komar
12-26-2004, 04:17 AM
I've got a single Betta (Siamese Fighting Fish) in a 2.5-3 gallon tank. This small tank is probably my favourite, and it's extremely simple to maintain.

I added an air pump attachment filter, but this is optional; I wanted to prevent the water from getting scummy at the surface. Bettas, so I'm told, prefer still, unaerated water and smaller aquariums. (Not smaller than about a gallon, though.)

Bettas can also handle cooler temperatures, so I don't have a heater. Room temperature should be fine. My tank is usually around 22 C / 72 F, but it's dipped down to maybe 20 C / 68 F. In the summer, it might go up to 28 C / 82 F; this is not good for any of my fish, but I haven't had any casualties from the fluctuation so far... (I live in Winnipeg, Canada, so drastic seasonal temperature fluctuation is routine.)

There's a few small snails in the tank to take care of the algae. I recommend them; they don't require a heater, either.

I used to add one to three Ghost Shrimp to the tank, but my Betta is aggressive, and eats the shrimp. Add shrimp at your own discretion...

You'll need about a quarter-inch of gravel in your tank for the beneficial bacteria to grow. I've got about three inches of gravel, as I've got a fairly bizarre set-up and some live plants. (See my website for more details.)

Let the water and gravel sit for three days to get rid of the chlorine and to grow the bacteria. After three days, toss in a Betta and it should be good to go.

I change 20 percent of the water once a week. This is pretty standard for most tanks, but I think you can let it slide a bit with Bettas, as they have rudimentary lungs and can breathe from the surface. They also produce very little waste.

Finally, feed them sparingly. A container of Betta food will last for a very, very long time. Both my Bettas eat four tiny Betta pellets daily. Some people say only feed half this much, but if my Betta is still willing to eat a full-grown Ghost Shrimp, he's probably still hungry :wink:

I've also heard that a Betta can go two weeks without food, so this is plenty of leeway for weekend trips and holidays.

I know some of this info is contradictory to Ladyjai's post, but this is how I've dealt with my two Bettas (I have one in another tank), and they've been doing very well.

I've heard that aquatic frogs are tougher to keep, and are far messier. I'm thinking about getting some, but I have no experience with them to date. I highly recommend getting a Betta. They are really nice fish, and are super easy to care for. They're pretty cheap and widely available, too.

Hope this helps.

Star
12-27-2004, 01:38 AM
Yes, it helps a lot.
I've never had any frogs, so I think I'll stick to your Betta suggestions. Does the Betta require hiding places?

Komar
12-27-2004, 02:24 AM
You know, I never thought of that...

I haven't read any literature about it, but my Bettas like to hide in small rocky caves and in the live plants. I'd wager that it isn't crucial, but they sure appreciate it.

Sometimes, at night, when the Bettas cram themselves into little hiding spots, I think they're dead. Heads up if you plan to add some :wink:

ladyjai
12-27-2004, 04:13 AM
i've found keeping bettas in temperatures under 76 is death for long term. (you will also find most of the literature and breeders support me :) )

heaters are really a necessity, even in a small container.

betta love filtered water, or heavily planted tanks or both. but they do like low/no currents. If you have no filtration, then you must have live plants, or be prepared to do 100% water changes every 3-5 days.

I would advise doing a google and seeing what the breeders recommend. I have only been keeping bettas for 6 years, so... *shrug*

Komar
12-27-2004, 06:59 AM
As with all fish, plant, and aquarium information, there's plenty of contradiction out there. A quick online research indicated to me that websites quoting unheated water for Bettas yield a lifespan of two or three years, but this doubled for sites that dictated warmer water requirements. There you have it.

I rescind my statement about the low temperatures. Ladyjai is correct, which means that Bettas are often kept in water much cooler than they would prefer. (Now I gotta go buy a teenie tiny heater...)

However, Bettas are generally sold as adults and produce little waste, as they eat very little. There's not much chance that a Betta tank or bowl would get dirty enough to need cleaning more than 20% once a week, with or without plants or a filter, in my opinion. (This doesn't include the potential scrubbing of algae.)

100% water changes all at once are not a good idea (for any fish or tank), since this will upset the beneficial bacteria and other water conditions. I don't usually even treat my water when changing 20% or less, but more than 20% needs to be at least dechlorinated. (If you wanted to be extremely vigilant, you could use purified bottled water instead of tap water.)

So, a Betta in your tank with a thin layer of gravel, some hiding spots (even plastic plants work), and a heater of some sort should do fine with 20% weekly water changes. This is a *reasonable* accomodation, and is above and beyond what most people are willing to do.

I do recommend live plants, but make sure you know how to take care of them before you put them in. Decaying vegetation won't help your fish much...

I also do recommend a filter, though the only thing suitable for a tank this small is an air pump attachment, and these don't do much actual filtering, unfortunately. (I think the active carbon is really the only part of the filter doing any work.) A bigger filter will certainly clean the small amount of water very well, but your poor fish will be living in a veritable whirlpool.

The logistics of a small tank are sometimes a bit tougher to work around (due to the lack of tiny or efficient heaters and filters, namely), but it isn't that hard to get a suitable tank for a Betta set up. (Nothing says you can't perfect the set-up as you learn more about it. :wink: )

On the bright side, even an unfiltered, unheated, unplanted 3 gallon tank with water changes maybe every other week is probably still significantly better than what the Bettas face at the pet shop.

ladyjai
12-27-2004, 01:11 PM
hehe, well...

using bottled water isn't very good for bettas, unless you get something like RO right, or some other additive which will add the things back into the water the fish need. pure water isn't very good for fish, as it is lacking mineral content which is necessary for proper metabolism, which is why it is advised to use either tap or some combo of tap and RO/bottled water.
then using a simple declorinator to remove the chlorine.

those who have great sucess with unheated aquariums, how many had them placed in positions in the house where the temperature never fell too low? I know that in my bedroom, it rarely gets below 73 in the evenings, and in the day its up at 76/78, simply because of my computers and all the lights on the fishtanks.
if you can find an undrafty place, where the temperature doesn't drop below 74 too often it should be ok.

as to the bacteria in the aquarium. bacteria only lives in the gravel if you have a UGF with some form of airpump. so having a deep substrate is actually impractical and dangerous. a thin one will have the same benefit. bacteria in an unfiltered aquarium will live on the water and on the sides of the aquarium and on the decorations. in that sense, if you choose to not do many large water changes, you will find that you better NOT clean the sides and everything in there. pick one side to clean algae off, and leave the rest, as algae is a powerful ammonia eater.
of course, the fact that if you follow the recommended feeding, it shouldn't be an issue, but (if you look at my sig).

as to doing 100% water changes, it is not going to destroy the bacteria unless you clean out the tank or let it dry out, or have the water not the same temperature. with bettas, it is better to have the water aged a day before adding (will also illiminate chlorines, but not chloramines). however, you fill find that for the fish it isn't as big of an issue. have you ever heard of the ancient chinese method for keeping goldfish, which involved 7 tanks? they moved the fish every day. most fish in the wild do have water that moved at high rates. even bettas have access to huge gallons of water. at least the splendids that most people keep.

for anything in a filtered aquarium, i perform 50-70% water changes at least once a week. for a year i was doing it two times a week, without fish loss. however, i have slacked back from that because of time constraints. (and the fact it takes me a couple hours to do all my tanks). this works quite nicely. however, if you never do any significant amount of water changes and suddenly do a big one or a 100%, then it is bad for the fish, as they are not accustomed to it. this is why people think it is bad, but when fish are accustomed to having their water changed several to hundreds of times a day.... a weekly 50% is a pitiful offering. as long as you do it regularly. doing a 50% every 2 months is BAD. Chris, in your tanks, do a test for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate. If your readings are 0, 0, and <20, then you are doing enough water changes, if they are not, then you are not. I'd still do 50% weekly, as freshwater fish love freshwater. Actually, even for planted tanks, 50% weekly is advised, have you heard of Tom Barr? the guy who has his PhD in the aquatic plant field? the guru of it all, lol. he recommends 50% weekly for planted tanks to remove excess nutrients.

so, do those tests. to be honest, nitrates are more harmful than people let on, i prefer to have them less than 5, and even at 0. (of course, for planted tanks, there are other issues, but with a fish focus, this is good)

if you keep your nitates in the above fields, (you will find some fish require under 5 nitrates, bettas, i've seen a requirement for under 10, as over usually leads to frayed fins.) but if they are there, then you are doing the minimum tank maintenance.

gotta love pythons, lol.


So, a Betta in your tank with a thin layer of gravel, some hiding spots (even plastic plants work), and a heater of some sort should do fine with 20% weekly water changes. This is a *reasonable* accomodation, and is above and beyond what most people are willing to do.

very true. but because most people keep them in sub conditions, does that mean we should recommend it? Star, you can do either method, many fish survive in the quoted tank conditions. They will not thrive. It comes down to you and your wishes with fish. I would assume, since you are asking, you are looking for the proper keeping, not the easier :wink:. true, keeping them in that is giving them infinitely more than 90% of bettas will ever have.

and live plants, while they may seem more of a hassle, they actually make things easier in the long run. they eat the wastes the fish produce, if you feed your fish properly, you don't have to go high tech, get a decent light, put it on a timer, cover the top with duckweed and the bottom with java moss, and your little fishie will be safe and sound, and then, should something happen and you forget to do a weekly water change, then your fish will still be just fine. There are actually those who can keep bettas, etc alive for years with no water changes, just top-offs, but the live plants are a MUST for this :). I still recommend 50% weekly water changes.


william, you may want to sticky this with a name change to betta care, as chris and i have had a good discussion and (likely still have a few more, lol) which will be good for other readers :).

btw, walmart sells heaters which will heat 2-5 gallons to 78 evenly. it costs about $6 US

Anonymous
12-27-2004, 09:52 PM
using bottled water isn't very good for bettas.. pure water isn't very good for fish, as it is lacking mineral content...


Fair enough, though I've heard otherwise from self-proclaimed "experienced" breeders. I don't use bottled water; it has always struck me as a waste of money, regardless of the application. :wink:

Bottled water would definitely be bad for live plants, anyway.

Here's a link about Bettas:

http://www.aquariumfish.net/catalog_pages/bettas/bettas_males_more.htm#top2

Here's a link about Betta bowls, which is comparable to a small 3 gallon tank:

http://www.aquariumfish.net/catalog_pages/bettas/fish_bowl_kit.htm#top2



bacteria only lives in the gravel if you have a UGF with some form of airpump. so having a deep substrate is actually impractical and dangerous.


UGFs (undergravel filters) are bad. They don't mechanically remove waste, so it builds up. They also suck all the nutrients into the gravel so that plants can't make use of them. UGFs have somewhat recently fallen out of favour with aquarium hobbyists:

http://www.bestfish.com/ug.html

A deep substrate is also potentially bad, I agree, and it must be vacuumed frequently. However, I doubt many live plants could root properly in less than 2 inches of gravel. Some plants also need nutrients from the substrate. This is one of those contradictions I was talking about...



algae is a powerful ammonia eater.


True, but it will also compete with live plants for other nutrients. This can be a complicated ecological power struggle.



as to doing 100% water changes, it is not going to destroy the bacteria


That's probably true, though my concern would be more about upsetting the fish. I've never found any information anywhere advocating this much water change. I think it's a bit too risky, and might stress out the fish.



with bettas, it is better to have the water aged a day before adding (will also illiminate chlorines, but not chloramines).


True, though I've heard three days is safer. My water kept evaporating, so I gave up on this practice. I don't age or treat any water I add when changing less than 20%, and all of my fish in all of my tanks have been fine.



for anything in a filtered aquarium, i perform 50-70% water changes at least once a week. for a year i was doing it two times a week, without fish loss


A water change of 20%-30% once a week is sufficient, in my experience. Twice a week is better, but my tanks are heavily planted, so they suck up lots of the pollutants and consequently grow quickly. (I vacuum the gravel everytime I clean my tanks, too.)

A guy at my LFS even told me to do fewer water changes, but I didn't take his advice.



however, if you never do any significant amount of water changes and suddenly do a big one or a 100%, then it is bad for the fish, as they are not accustomed to it ...but when fish are accustomed to having their water changed several to hundreds of times a day a weekly 50% is a pitiful offering.


I suspect the fish adapt well enough that they get used to their keeper's routine. Bettas are accustomed to fewer water changes at time of purchase, I'd wager, so darn near anything would be an improvement until its new owner figures out a routine that works. This, apparently, is quite variable. :wink:

Also, since Bettas aren't wild caught they aren't used to such big water changes in the first place.



Chris, in your tanks, do a test for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate. ... have you heard of Tom Barr? ... he recommends 50% weekly for planted tanks to remove excess nutrients.


I've been meaning to pick up a test kit, though I get the water tested at the LFS from time to time. The water is always good to go.

Large water changes to remove excess nutrients is done to eliminate algae, I would imagine. I have plenty of algae eaters, so this would just starve my cute little Otos, methinks.

How to care for live plants is an even more thorough debate among aquarium hobbyists, and all sorts of contradictory methods and theories seem to work. I've seen a nice planted tank using only natural lighting (next to a window) and no filter. Go figure...



but because most people keep [fish] in sub conditions, does that mean we should recommend it? Star, you can do either method, many fish survive in the quoted tank conditions. They will not thrive.


Ha ha. What a dig. :wink:

My methods are definitely not the bare minimum, nor are they sub conditions. My fish are all kept in clean, stable, planted, and well-maintained tanks. (Well, I have one unplanted 20 gallon tank.)

My Betta had his fins nipped off by a shrimp recently. The fins are about halfway repaired (it's only been a couple of weeks), he still has his appetite, and he's still quite active. After a stressful attack, followed by a long recovery period, I would guess that poor living conditions would be apparent. They are not.



and live plants, while they may seem more of a hassle, they actually make things easier in the long run.


I agree, but keeping plants takes a lot of know-how. Small tanks don't generally come with the proper lighting, Bettas don't produce much waste so nutrients will have to be added, java moss can overrun a tank, some plants will outgrow a small tank, etc, etc.

I wholly advocate plants, but research them beforehand. Here's more links:

http://www.tropica.com/default.asp
http://www.qsl.net/w2wdx/aquaria/diyco2.html
http://www.thekrib.com/



btw, walmart sells heaters which will heat 2-5 gallons to 78 evenly. it costs about $6 US


Three things:

1. I don't shop at WalMart. :twisted:
2. What is the brand-name?
3. Cheap heaters are just that, in my experience. I'd rather invest in a good heater than constantly adjust a bad one and worry about the fluctuating temperatures. I've had bad experiences... I would also need a very small submersible heater for my tank.

My Betta tank is enclosed in an old computer shell, so I think I'll toss an old reptile heater in the case to see if that warms up the water enough to avoid adding a heater directly into the water.

So, there's obviously no single way to keep fish healthy and active. I strongly recommend taking in as much info as possible and figuring out what works best for you. I'm pretty sure that there's a large roomy gap between overkill and underkill in caring for fish that will be just fine for a Betta in your tank, Star.

William
12-27-2004, 11:46 PM
Good idea. Loachqueen.

Was and still are considering making an article from your little discussion.

I actually said to admin Lena that you two might be better suited to write articles then forum post :wink:

Your forum posts sure has the quality to be articles in them self.

It nice to se such good discussion on the board i must say.

William
12-27-2004, 11:49 PM
And i might add.

The tropica plants database can now be found on this site by clicking plant species/ tropica plant database (http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/encyclopedia3-list-7.html)

Star
12-28-2004, 10:19 PM
Wow! This is a lot of information... Thank's for all your time and effort! I'll try not to be to discurraged. :wink:

/Star

Komar
12-29-2004, 01:43 AM
Holy crimony, I finally found a suitable small aquarium heater for a Betta tank:

Canada/US:

http://www.mops.ca/cgi-bin/SoftCart.exe/skus/he/HEMT-10975.asp?L+scstore+zpnz0164ffde88de+1104286885

US:

http://www.petdiscounters.biz/customer/product.php?productid=1081001&cat=346&page=1

I've never found anything like this at the LFS or other pet supply stores/departments. Hopefully it actually works okay...

This is a relief, as my heating rock idea fell flat last night: I cracked open an old reptile heater and took out the element, hooked it to the power cord, and tried stuffing it into an old plastic prescription bottle (the only suitably-sized container I could find).

My trial runs led to a pretty quick conclusion before I even had a chance to seal it up and put it in water:

FIRE HAZARD

:oops: :roll:

Star
12-29-2004, 08:53 PM
Oops, you better be careful with your experiments. I'm not a fish expert, but I've heard that very few species likes to be boild.

BTW, I burned a pillow the other day. That was a little bit scary too. (But it wasn't an aquarium related accident, no fishes were hurt.)

Komar
12-31-2004, 01:00 AM
As luck would have it, I was at the LFS today and found a tiny submersible filter rated up to 3 gallons, for $12 CDN. It's called the Elite Mini (Art. #A-130), but the Hagen website has no information on it.

This little filter is cheaper (even without the filter attachment) and quieter than an air pump. It comes with a power setting to control the flow output. You'd have to keep it set to the lowest flow to keep the water as still as possible for the Betta. It's probably still too powerful for a Betta tank under 3 gallons, but at least it actually filters the water (as opposed to the air pump attachments).

I aimed the nozzle towards one side of the tank where I have a bunch of rocks. This will hopefully dissuade the Betta from poking around in there, making a safehaven for my Ghost Shrimp. (I ended up putting a shrimp back in the tank to eat snail eggs and newly-hatched snails.)

There's also an air tube attachment, and I plugged my CO2 hose into it. This should help the CO2 dissolve into the water; CO2 is extremely helpful in this small, poorly-lit tank.

I just added a small bunch of Limnophila sessiliflora to my Betta tank, too. With my new tiny heater on its way in the mail, all I have to worry about now is finding a 4" fluorescent bulb and fixture that I can cram into the tiny open space in the computer shell.

I sometimes think that smaller and uniquely constructed tanks, once well decorated, are far more interesting than really big tanks. Check this one out:

http://homepage.mac.com/patrickng/macquarium/construction_version1.html

It's definitely the best MacQuarium I've ever seen using a less adequate Mac for aquarium purposes. My first MacQuarium is the same type of computer as this one; mine looks like crap, so I made a new one with a different computer.

ladyjai
12-31-2004, 02:18 AM
UGFs (undergravel filters) are bad.

Not at all.
however, if you just toss it in there and expect it to take care of itself it is. However, I have maintaned UGF, and my father has several that have been running for over a decade with no issues. The trick is knowing how to take proper care of them, have the right flow and to vacuum it thoroughly weekly. Used properly, a UGF can be superior to most HOB and canisters.

substrate for plants is good, I missed that part, i thought you were having it deep for bacteria to grow :wink:


True, but it will also compete with live plants for other nutrients. This

well, yes. lol. if you have live plants it is a different game :D. however, if you don't have live plants, it would be good to encourage algae growth on the non-viewing sides :wink:


A guy at my LFS even told me to do fewer water changes, but I didn't take his advice.

smart guy :D (you)



I get the water tested at the LFS from time to time. The water is always good to go.

ask them next time for actual readings, than 'good to go'. you will find they often allow readings which are not really 'good to go'.


Large water changes to remove excess nutrients is done to eliminate algae, I would imagine.

yup.


Ha ha. What a dig

was not meaning it to be. and honestly, i dont' think you do keep your fish in sub conditions. the fact that you have live plants means you are most likely in the clear even for my rankings. however, i was not refering to your keeping practices. but when you tell a newbie stuff, they likely will do less than you recommend, and may not even keep their plants alive, which means they add to the problem. please don't take offense. it is merely about what we recommend and then defending it with: it's better than the stores and better than the majority of others.

consider this little story:

in this hypothetical world, people keep basethounds in small pens, perhaps 5ft x5 ft. they are basets, and thus not the most active, but most people do it. So you get one and keep it in a home with daily extercise, and proper care. but then you are talking to someone else. you know they know everyone keeps basets in 5x5's. You know they don't want to have to worry about hair (hypothetical, remember) so they really don't want to give them the best. so you tell them that they can keep them in a 10x10 and take them on a walk once every once in a while. and then its OK because it's better than most of the others who get bassets get.

If you were suggesting that our friends do exactly what you do, it wouldn't be bad, i'd still have a few comments, because i'm opinionated, but you were allowing for that don't want to clean up the hair, or rather, don't want to mess with live plants.

do you kinda get what i'm saying?


java moss can overrun a tank

not necessarily a bad thing :D. then you can trade it into the lfs, or toss it. but at least you know you don't have to worry about any negative levels. :)


I strongly recommend taking in as much info as possible and figuring out what works best for you. I'm pretty sure that there's a large roomy gap between overkill and underkill in caring for fish that will be just fine for a Betta in your tank, Star.

yup, just presenting both sides. but its good to hear the overkill, after all, if you are new to fish and plants, you will need to understand why your first group of fish are dying. simply going to the store for replacements... well, i am assuming you are not that kind of person, star :lol:

(i already know chris isn't. just don't forget the learning curve 8-) )

Komar
12-31-2004, 03:39 AM
Hmmm. The problem with UGFs might be that they are trickier to use and tougher to maintain. Perhaps the debate about their validity is based on a lack of understanding of how they work, and a lack of desire to find out, which has probably lead to a lot of dead fish. (Yes, we live in a world of immediate gratification without discipline.) I've never used one, but my brother did when we were kids. Cripes, he went through sooo many fish...

I strongly suspect that my city's water quality has had a positive effect on my ability to keep fish. This might be a pretty big factor I've taken for granted, living in Canada. :wink:

I've only tested the pH on my own, and it's never been above 8.0. I have a water multi-test kit in the mail that I ordered online, so I'll be able to get accurate readings within the next two weeks; I'll keep you posted. I'm quite curious to see what the exact numbers are, and what I can do in each tank to increase plant growth, etc. Truth be known, I'm completely in the dark when it comes to most of the readings. This will be remedied soon.

The kit I ordered tests for pH, High Range pH, Ammonia, Nitrite,
GH and KH. Besides iron and chelated iron, am I missing anything to test for?

I see your point about the basset hounds, though my thoughts are that a newcomer to fish-keeping might get scared off before even walking into the pet shop. With a hardy fish like a Betta, that seems ridiculous. This fish in particular is tough enough to hang in there while its owner bypasses some "newbie" foibles. Hey, look at me, I finally started heating my two Betta tanks. (Well, I've got a heater in the mail for my smaller tank, so this too will be remedied soon...)

I kept goldfish, minnows, and guppies (all cool water "feeder" fish) for months before jumping into more expensive tropical fish. Well, I gave up on tropical fish for awhile because only a goldfish and a pleco survived of my first few fish (I lost a bunch of platys right off the hop - $3 each!). I think my lack of experience and knowledge at the time was a problem, as was a cheap aquarium heater (ergo the cool water tanks for so long).

Case in point about experience and knowledge: I kept a goldfish in a heated tank, then kept a pleco in an unheated tank when I got fed up with the stupid cheap heater. Same deal with plants initially: no heat, poor lighting, no CO2, no fertilizer, poor gravel...

A Betta will definitely hang in there until its owner gets sorted out. Then again, it doesn't belly-up too quickly to let the owner know something is wrong, either. :wink:

Komar
01-22-2005, 08:59 AM
ask them next time for actual readings, than 'good to go'. you will find they often allow readings which are not really 'good to go'.


I tested all three of my running tanks recently (I have two empty tanks right now). The order is 45 G, 20 G, and 2.5 G Betta tank:

pH was 7.6, 7.2, and 8.2.
Ammonia was 0 for all.
Nitrite was 0 for all.
Nitrate was 10, 10, and 5.

I tossed in a small piece of driftwood to lower the pH in my Betta tank. Otherwise, I'm "good to go." :wink:

Check out this ammonia alarm:

http://mops.ca/cgi-bin/SoftCart.exe/skus/te/TESE-00100.asp?L+scstore+sxgt4167ffa8dba8+1106386745

It's only 2.5" / 6 cm tall. I thought it would be bigger, but I'm glad it isn't...



EDIT:

Okay, I've discovered a few things over the last few months.

1. Bettas are usually housed in small unheated tanks or bowls. I think we've determined that these are okay for size, but are bad for controlling water temperature. I've noticed that my Betta is definitely more active in warmer water, and needs more food (a LOT more) than is usually recommended. Consequently, he produces more waste. Consequently, more water must be changed at a time to eliminate the leftover waste. So, more than 20% weekly water changes are required for a Betta in warm water, and warm water is required for a Betta. I rescind my statement: DON'T let it slide...

(I think the false information that Bettas live okay in cooler water links directly to Bettas being underfed, as they are less active in cooler water, thus leading to reduced water changes. A Betta in cooler water would indeed require less maintenance, but would be short-lived. A Betta in warm water with poor maintenance would also be short-lived. Either way, these fish really are quite tough.)

2. Bettas like plants to hide in; their natural habitat is shallow rice paddies.

(Limnophila sessiliflora grows extremely well under incandescent lighting, and requires no special care to grow. Java moss has similar minimal requirements, but it grows differently. Either of these would do nicely in a Betta tank or bowl with minimal lighting.)

3. Ladyjai was correct:

3a. The beneficial bacteria doesn't grow so much in the gravel. It is most active in a filter. It also won't be disturbed by a large water change.

3b. Purified water = bad for fish. I got some lousy advice online to the contrary of this (but never followed it, fortunately).

3c. Nitrate is indeed bad for fish. In an unplanted tank, it is an indicator of TDS (total disolved solids) or DOC (dissolved organic compounds) - I can't remember which. These are tough to measure on their own, but get cleared up with a good water change. Live plants eat nitrate, so its correlation with TDS or DOC gets thrown off.

4. I'm still not sold on 100% water changes, though 50-80% seems reasonable. My main concern is that I'm not able to match the water quality when I do a water change. This is a logistical problem on my end. Otherwise, fish can indeed handle 100% water changes.

(I've recently gone from 20% to about 50% water changes in all my tanks, but only once a week. I tried 30-40% twice a week, but it just takes too much time. I also keep a closer eye on the water chemistry to ensure everything is going okay.)

5. African Dwarf Frogs need between 1 and 3 gallons each due to their messy nature. I've noticed that mine nip at each other a fair bit, so they might also be territorial. This would be very evident in a cramped environment.

6. The small heaters I bought keep the water at about 29 C / 84 F in a 2 or 3 gallon tank, and at 25 C / 77 F in a 5.5 gallon tank.

dj_pee_zee
06-15-2006, 09:09 PM
I've got a 15 litre tank housing my betta, im using a hang-on filter and no heater, Is this setup ok?

here are some pics:

http://members.iinet.net.au/~athlonxp/fish/betta1.jpg

http://members.iinet.net.au/~athlonxp/fish/betta2.jpg

http://members.iinet.net.au/~athlonxp/fish/betta3.jpg

rollie
06-15-2006, 09:24 PM
nice pictures.

15 litre is about 3 gallon.

that is alot of room for him.

as long as the heat is 72f and above he will be fine.

William
06-16-2006, 03:09 PM
Nice pics indeed.

I edited your post to show your pictures. hope you don't mind.

betta mom
10-18-2006, 08:49 AM
they only bad thing is you have him by a window . you will have a major problem with algae . plus betta's don't like bright sunlight . :22:

Faith_at_Large
03-04-2007, 06:09 PM
If you haven't seen one before, you are in for a treat. Bettas have lots of personality and often respond/interact with their owners. However, as you may have gathered from other threads on Bettas, only one male per tank. Betta splendens are also known as Siamese Fighting Fish and will fight with other males. In Thailand and elsewhere, these fish have been used in gambling events much like cock-fighting - they are put together deliberately to battle each other and it can get very messy. Not a nice thing to do.

Also males and females should not be put together except when they are ready to breed - be very familiar with how to do this before you try it.

The gold or yellow snails you see in the pet stores, if they are sort of round like a marble, they are Golden Mystery Snails. Mystery snails and Apple snails are very similar and a nice addition to your tank. Note that these snails are easy to control as they lay eggs above water, which can then be fished out and tossed away (or you can try to hatch them). They can also be found in a variety of colours, though it is usually the yellow or brown versions that are sold at the lps. Mystery snails prefer cooler temperatures than Bettas, but they can survive together in a happy medium - heated tanks are preferred. I live in Edmonton, Alberta and I have kept both in an unheated tank, and I have seen others do this as well. But, Bettas come from a much warmer climate and would be happier and healthier in a warmer tank.

Yesterday, I purchased a green male Veil Tale Betta from the lps. I named him Archimedes. I will be keeping him in a divided 10 gallon tank. The divider is positioned so that it blocks the flow from the filter to his section. The tank is also heated. Currently, he is in an unheated temporary tank, but only very short term. I wanted to see if there were any obvious diseases or defects before I put him into my main tank. It is hard to tell when they keep him in a small cup with methylene blue. Normally a quaranteen should last about two weeks, but my quaranteen tank is only an unheated 1/2 gallon Betta tank and not suitable for long term care in this region.

Rue
03-04-2007, 06:38 PM
Bettas are currently the most abused animal for sale. I'd really like to see recommendations change to include keeping them in 5 g heated, planted tanks...as a min.

Just because an organism can survive in sub-optimal conditions, doesn't mean that we should advocate or condone it...

cocoa_pleco
03-04-2007, 06:54 PM
think mine will be happy in the 20g?

Rue
03-04-2007, 07:15 PM
Yup...it'll be as happy as a pig in a poke...

cocoa_pleco
03-04-2007, 07:24 PM
i have one happy betta!

Rue
03-04-2007, 07:29 PM
Woohoo!!! Way to go!

doan
05-23-2007, 02:46 AM
Hello, I have a question above Betta. How do you treat Betta for rotten tail and what's causing it? it look like the slime the protect the scale and skin are rotten away and the tail slowly change it color. thanks.

cocoa_pleco
05-23-2007, 02:49 AM
fin rot is caused by bad water conditions. The best thing to do if its mild is keep the water SPARKLING clean. If its bad, use meds like melafix and pimafix combined. If you have the betta in a bowl, i suggest getting a 5g with a filter and heater to prevent this from happening again and to help keep the water clean.

Wallyfish
07-03-2007, 05:36 AM
One thing that I think has not been mentioned is that it is beneficial to add a small amount of aquarium salt to betta tanks. This helps to prevent fungus and finrot.

Drumachine09
07-03-2007, 05:45 AM
Used properly, a UGF can be superior to most HOB and canisters.



Ok, ok. I know. This thread is old, but to avoid misleading other users, the above statment is totally false.

cocoa_pleco
07-03-2007, 06:12 AM
UGF's alone cannot do anything. they just catch a big wad of crap and store it. if you use a UGF and a canister filter or HOB, then you have a fairly good combo

Drumachine09
07-03-2007, 06:18 AM
UGF's alone cannot do anything. they just catch a big wad of crap and store it. if you use a UGF and a canister filter or HOB, then you have a fairly good combo


However, with the HOB or canny add on, you still will catch the aerobic (or is it anaerobic) bacteria under the plates.


I wouldnt use one if you had the chance for a HOB or canny.

cocoa_pleco
07-03-2007, 06:23 AM
true. still, HOB's alone are adequate, or even better canisters. UGF's are pretty rare now and are close to being obsolete.

gm72
07-03-2007, 08:54 PM
Ok, ok. I know. This thread is old, but to avoid misleading other users, the above statment is totally false.

Totally false indeed. Old thread, from maybe the early 90's? :hmm3grin2orange: UGFs, I think, are generally a bad idea.

Blue Guppy
11-20-2007, 08:01 PM
Hi to all! I am new to this forum. I do have a situation that some of you experienced aquarists may be able to answer.

I have a pair of bettas. Blue male and red female. I have tried spawning them (I have conditioned them by feeding live adult brine shrimps and tubifex worms for a week) twice but had to remove the female time and again after she had been badly beaten up by the male. The male had already built a considerable sized bubble nest and continually coaxing the female but she is just very stubborn. I have tried introducing the female into the breeding tank first (getting her adjusted in the tank for a few days before putting in the male) but no success. Is there something wrong with the way I am spawning these fishes or is it time to buy another female?

Thanks.

Siamese Fighter 1
11-20-2007, 09:35 PM
Hi to all! I am new to this forum. I do have a situation that some of you experienced aquarists may be able to answer.

I have a pair of bettas. Blue male and red female. I have tried spawning them (I have conditioned them by feeding live adult brine shrimps and tubifex worms for a week) twice but had to remove the female time and again after she had been badly beaten up by the male. The male had already built a considerable sized bubble nest and continually coaxing the female but she is just very stubborn. I have tried introducing the female into the breeding tank first (getting her adjusted in the tank for a few days before putting in the male) but no success. Is there something wrong with the way I am spawning these fishes or is it time to buy another female?

Thanks.



is your female full of eggs n showing her bars "markings" if not dat might be the problem . and have you tried turning the temperature up to 28 deegres betta breed better in water 78 to 80 faranhiete"its that how u spell it lol"
good luck

Blue Guppy
11-20-2007, 11:30 PM
Saimese Fighter,

Yes the female is egg laden and has the usual stripes along her body. But I think you do have a point there where the temp may play a factor. Because once I separate them from the community tank from which they come from (and not from individual jars or small tanks) I transfer them to a breeding tank that does not have a heater. The breeding tank is about 3 gal., bare but with small pots for the female to hide. I am situated here in California and in the middle of fall so the water temp hovers around 60-65 w/o heater.

I will try your suggestion by buying a small size heater for this purpose and see how it goes. Thanks for the tip.

Oh, here's the correct spelling: Fahrenheit. Hope this helps.

:thumb:

Siamese Fighter 1
12-09-2007, 09:29 PM
well thanks for the spelling correction hope it goes well with your bettas