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Tails
04-13-2007, 01:56 PM
Ok, so I got struck pretty hard last night with the idea to keep a Betta fish (love the deep red ones!)! I've been reading up (your Betta care thread is excellent, thanks!) quite a bit and am getting quite excited at the prospect of owning one of these stunning fish!

But of course, with a beginner, come questions!

Tank size: I have a 10 or 15l/ 2-3 US gallon tank (not 100% sure on the size, but its around there so you get the idea) - is this big/small enough?

Lighting: what do Bettas like? I've read they like dim light as opposed to bright lights, but the plants (listed a little below) I want all like bright lights lol - what does one do in this case? I was thinking of a 15watt light?

Filter: Do i need one? I dont want UGF so please dont suggest it :P I was liking the idea of a submersible (sp?) filter, but dont want the current to be too strong for my lil Betta. (keep in mind I also dont have time to do more than 1 water change a week unfortunately)

Heater: Will I need a heater for these guys? Even if only to keep my water temp a regular cool (if thats possible - im not too clued up on heaters). We're going into winter here pretty soon, so its gonna get a little chilly...

What algae eaters are compatible with Bettas (if any)? I'm not too keen on snails, but also dont want algae growing out of control?

Decor: What would one recommend, a tank more on the bare side, or on the nicely decorated side (by that i'm thinking a nice full background of plants, black gravel, and maybe a nice store-bought "showpiece" like a fake log or a roman arch, etc or a nice rock or two instead). Oh, and would a bubble curtain (yes, I love these haha) stir the water too much?

The plants i was thinking of are (and pls excuse any incorrect spellings): vallisnera, elodea, possibly some water wisteria if I can find some here in SA, bacopa of some sorts, and hygrophila corymbosa of some sorts ("Siamensis" seems to be the closest match to what my dad has in his tank). Of course when planning my plants, I need easy to grow ones haha!

Hmm I think thats about it. Sorry I'm placing all my questions in one spot, but I honestly have been reading up so to minimise my meanderings. I would appreciate any advice or suggestions anyone can give :)

Thanks in advance!!

Edited to add heater question!

Chrona
04-13-2007, 03:52 PM
Ok, so I got struck pretty hard last night with the idea to keep a Betta fish (love the deep red ones!)! I've been reading up (your Betta care thread is excellent, thanks!) quite a bit and am getting quite excited at the prospect of owning one of these stunning fish!

But of course, with a beginner, come questions!

Tank size: I have a 10 or 15l/ 2-3 US gallon tank (not 100% sure on the size, but its around there so you get the idea) - is this big/small enough?

Bigger is always better, but yes, that will suffice

Lighting: what do Bettas like? I've read they like dim light as opposed to bright lights, but the plants (listed a little below) I want all like bright lights lol - what does one do in this case? I was thinking of a 15watt light?

Most fish don't like overly bright lights. If that light is 15 watts Fluorescent, then no, get a smaller light. 15 watts over 3 gallons will cause you a lot of algae unless you add a DIY CO2 rig and dose fertilizers

Filter: Do i need one? I dont want UGF so please dont suggest it :P I was liking the idea of a submersible (sp?) filter, but dont want the current to be too strong for my lil Betta. (keep in mind I also dont have time to do more than 1 water change a week unfortunately)

Hang on back power filter with adjustable flow. Submersible filters take up too much room in a tank that is small to begin with.

Heater: Will I need a heater for these guys? Even if only to keep my water temp a regular cool (if thats possible - im not too clued up on heaters). We're going into winter here pretty soon, so its gonna get a little chilly...

Yes you need a heater, regardless of ambient temperature, as it keeps the temps steady. Bettas are tropical fish, and so need water at about 76ish degrees F.

What algae eaters are compatible with Bettas (if any)? I'm not too keen on snails, but also dont want algae growing out of control?

Otos have been used with bettas before, but it's kinda hit or miss. You could also try Amano shrimp, which bettas can't eat.

Decor: What would one recommend, a tank more on the bare side, or on the nicely decorated side (by that i'm thinking a nice full background of plants, black gravel, and maybe a nice store-bought "showpiece" like a fake log or a roman arch, etc or a nice rock or two instead). Oh, and would a bubble curtain (yes, I love these haha) stir the water too much?

Unless it is a small air pump, I would imagine it would cause too much turbulence. You don't want one if you are using live plants anways. I prefer a black background, with the plants and the fish catching your eye

The plants i was thinking of are (and pls excuse any incorrect spellings): vallisnera, elodea, possibly some water wisteria if I can find some here in SA, bacopa of some sorts, and hygrophila corymbosa of some sorts ("Siamensis" seems to be the closest match to what my dad has in his tank). Of course when planning my plants, I need easy to grow ones haha!

Most of those get way too big for a 3g tank. I would suggest some easy, small, low light plants like anubias nana (or anubias nana petite), marsilea minuta, some narrow leaf java fern as a background

Hmm I think thats about it. Sorry I'm placing all my questions in one spot, but I honestly have been reading up so to minimise my meanderings. I would appreciate any advice or suggestions anyone can give :)

Thanks in advance!!

Edited to add heater question!

Hope that helps

bettaboy691
04-13-2007, 04:18 PM
Tank size: I have a 10 or 15l/ 2-3 US gallon tank (not 100% sure on the size, but its around there so you get the idea) - is this big/small enough?

-personally i think its to small, 5 gallons or more is a good size tank, easier to look after too.

Lighting: what do Bettas like? I've read they like dim light as opposed to bright lights, but the plants (listed a little below) I want all like bright lights lol - what does one do in this case? I was thinking of a 15watt light?

-bettas ive found dont bother with the lights if floating plants are provided, but the dimmer the better, but in all my betta tanks, i have bright light, to help the plants, and they show no bad effects.

Filter: Do i need one? I dont want UGF so please dont suggest it :P I was liking the idea of a submersible (sp?) filter, but dont want the current to be too strong for my lil Betta. (keep in mind I also dont have time to do more than 1 water change a week unfortunately)

-filters are nessary, even more so if your only wanting to do one water change per week. you can buy some weak filters that do the job, and wont bother your betta, or a sponge filter will work.

Heater: Will I need a heater for these guys? Even if only to keep my water temp a regular cool (if thats possible - im not too clued up on heaters). We're going into winter here pretty soon, so its gonna get a little chilly...

-heaters are nessary too, bettas are tropical fish that need warm waters, a heater is the only way the water can be kept at a stable temperature.small heaters are avaible, and will do small tanks nicely.

What algae eaters are compatible with Bettas (if any)? I'm not too keen on snails, but also dont want algae growing out of control?

-ottos are the number one choice, but they need mature water and good water quality. not the first fish to add to a tank.some snails can be nice to have, but the fancier ones tend to grow big and messy, needing a bigger tank. amano shrimps are good a choice too.

Decor: What would one recommend, a tank more on the bare side, or on the nicely decorated side (by that i'm thinking a nice full background of plants, black gravel, and maybe a nice store-bought "showpiece" like a fake log or a roman arch, etc or a nice rock or two instead). Oh, and would a bubble curtain (yes, I love these haha) stir the water too much?

-i wouldnt recomend a buble curtain. not what the betta likes. black gravel is fine, but i would use sand, for the simple reason i prefer it. be its up to you.plenty of plants are great, helps the water and keeps the betta stimulated. any decoration will usally do, pick one you like, just make sure it hasnt got any sharp edges that a bettas fins can get torn on.caves are nice. something a betta can swin though is better then a stone that takes up room in the tank and isnt really useful apart from looking nice.

The plants i was thinking of are (and pls excuse any incorrect spellings): vallisnera, elodea, possibly some water wisteria if I can find some here in SA, bacopa of some sorts, and hygrophila corymbosa of some sorts ("Siamensis" seems to be the closest match to what my dad has in his tank). Of course when planning my plants, I need easy to grow ones haha!

-all seem fine. read up about plants in the section of this forum, lots of tips are helpful, mosses are easy, java moss,christmas moss, moss balls etc are all good.

just remember, bettas can cycle tanks, it needs to be cycled another way. many people will say bettas are aggressive to other fish,. but ive found they are usally the one to be nipped and are generally fine with other fish, if you chose the right tank mates.

just my opinion of things, hope i helped a little.

Rue
04-13-2007, 04:34 PM
A 10+ gallon planted tank would be beautiful for a betta!

Try some otocinclus (oto cats) for algae eaters...they won't interfere with the betta at all...4 would be good number for a 10g (they school)...

...and I still think the 'trick' is to have a floating plant too..

Tails
04-14-2007, 10:50 AM
Thanks guys!! My response:

Tank: Probably will be getting a larger one, as my old one is a little scratched from use and I want this tank to sparkle lol!

Lighting: If someone can recommend a fluorescent thats a better wattage (*cringe* I know wattage prob isnt the right word haha!) then I'll keep an eye out for that!

Filter: I liked the idea of a submersible because its easy and quiet. The hang on ones I'm not too fond of cos they have a lot of work what with the fluff and charcoal and stuff. Would a submersible really be that bad? Lol sorry to be so stubborn :P

Heater: Great, everyone confirmed what I thought :) Heater is on the To Buy list :P

Algae-eaters: Hmm we're having a shortage of Oto's at the moment, but are waiting for a rather far away LFS to call us when they have stock....I've read they do well in groups of about 3-5....?

Decor: Point noted about the cave/swim through thing as opposed to a rock :) Will probably still go with gravel as opposed to sand, but mainly cos I havent seen black sand in our shops - only more natural colours.

Plants: Chrona: unfortunately I havent seen any of those plants you listed in any of our aquarium stores, so I was thinking of trimming down the ones I did get if they got too big. Obv I wasnt planning on sticking ALL those plants in the tank haha! I was favouring the hygrophila corymbosa esp (and my dad's ones have been growing for ages and arent tooooo big), the bacopa (read somewhere that this takes ages to grow), and as I said, the water wisteria only if I can find it around here. I honestly havent seen any of the mosses (wow, SA is sounding rather pathetic compared to your areas hahaha!) but also didnt really like the look of javamoss....*blush*

With regards to cycling....what would you guys suggest (feel free to point me in the direction of a thread/something, if you dont wish to type it all out again in here hehe)? I read somewhere (was it your Betta Care thread?) that you can leave the tank after its been set up for about 3-4 days before putting in your Betta, and all should be well?? *gulp* Help! LOL

Shew thanks guys!! Sorry this is turning out to be quite an essay of a post haha!

kimmers318
04-14-2007, 12:03 PM
You wouldn't have read in our betta care section I doubt that you can let the tank sit for 3-4 days and it should be fine for a betta.....most of us are pretty keen on the fishless cycling or (as I usually do) cloning of tanks from one to another. You need to have some beneficial bacteria in the tank to eat up all of the waste from the betta or he will be subjected to high amounts of ammonia and nitrite, esp. in that little tank.
I wouldn't recommend getting your otos any time soon as mentioned, they need a well established tank or you will just see them dying on you.
What type of submersible filter are you looking at since you seem concerned with messing with carbon and such with a HOB (hang on the back) filter. Most filters should have some sort of filter media in it and with a submersible one you then have to pull part of the filter out of the water to get to the media to clean it. With a HOB you can just reach into it from the back to get to your filter media. Much easier.
Good luck, bettas are beautiful fish that love people.

Rue
04-14-2007, 01:53 PM
Yes! I love the HOBs...so much easier to maintain, IMO...mostly because of ready access!

I'm not as fussy with cycling the tank for bettas as I am for other fish...why?

Not that the bettas deserve less...because they certainly don't...but they seem to tolerate 'new' water very well...if they didn't, they wouldn't be surviving in bowls so well...where the water is changed completely once a week...

...if they're lucky...

bettaboy691
04-14-2007, 09:06 PM
submersible filters are fine aslong as the output isnt too strogn and move the water too much, turning its power down and having tall plants in the way of the out put helps slow the current. ottos do best in groups of 3+. like kimmers said dont add them yet as they need a well established tank with good water quality. gravel or sand, its doesnt really matter for bettas or ottos. its your choice, but remember, the fish poop and waste will fall though the gravel gaps, so a gravel vacumm is needed.
in regaurds of cycling, either leave a week or so, adding flakes or other fish food to "rot" immatating ammonia. or by pure ammonia and follow the instructions on the bottle, but this way tends to be expensive. cloning is where you use filter media from other tanks and use in a new tank, if you have another tank set-up and mature, this way of cycling is the easy one. there is fish cycling, of course i dont mean buying a cheap fish and chucking it in the tank leaving it to die, no way. but buying a hardy fish, and watching the water quality is also a good way i find. again this can be expensive as you will need to buy other extra fish and some fish arent suitable for the small tanks.
but whatever, the water needs to be cycled in a tank of about 5gallons or more, small tansk are cycled as most people dont bother, and added new water everyweek puts the betta by. having a cycled tank is much better, on the fish and on you. having cycled water means only half or less of the water has to be changed, and the fish is usally longer lived. dont forget to add water treatment to combat the cloride that will kill fish.

hungryhound
04-14-2007, 09:44 PM
It seems that you've settled on some of the plant things, but thought I would share what's in our 5g betta tank. We currently have a java leaf fern, which we're trying to attach to a piece of drift wood, a plant o nubias nana and a moss ball. Thus far everything is doing well, other than the snails that came along for the ride on the moss ball!

Tails
04-15-2007, 09:14 AM
You wouldn't have read in our betta care section I doubt that you can let the tank sit for 3-4 days and it should be fine for a betta.....most of us are pretty keen on the fishless cycling or (as I usually do) cloning of tanks from one to another. You need to have some beneficial bacteria in the tank to eat up all of the waste from the betta or he will be subjected to high amounts of ammonia and nitrite, esp. in that little tank.
I wouldn't recommend getting your otos any time soon as mentioned, they need a well established tank or you will just see them dying on you.
What type of submersible filter are you looking at since you seem concerned with messing with carbon and such with a HOB (hang on the back) filter. Most filters should have some sort of filter media in it and with a submersible one you then have to pull part of the filter out of the water to get to the media to clean it. With a HOB you can just reach into it from the back to get to your filter media. Much easier.
Good luck, bettas are beautiful fish that love people.

Aha! It in fact was in your Betta Care thread (http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/aquariumforum/showthread.php?t=48) (post #5, Komar said "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.")

Anyway, not sure of the submersible filter, but a low power one that doesnt generate too much current - can I come back to this after having a look at our LFS and what they have in stock? :)

Dad has a gravel vacuum, so gravel should be ok :) Hmm actually, just to clarify, if I get sand instead of gravel, I wont have to clean the bottom with a gravel vacuum? I was wondering about gravel cleaning if I'm going for a heavily planted tank...so sand may the answer?

Thanks SO much guys for all your patience!! It is REALLY helping me and I appreciate it a lot! My dad has an existing tank which has been going for a month or two but his nitrate/nitrite thing still isnt where it should be...will this affect my Betta?

Hungryhound, I spoke to my cousin who maintains and builds and/or setup tanks for a living, and he said he may be able to get me some of those plants previously mentioned....the java moss he said grows like a beast, and to get some, he'll have to poach some from his soon-to-be-ex-wife lol so I may or may not get some lol

Tails
04-16-2007, 12:07 PM
*poke*

Anyone? *sheepish grin*

Chrona
04-16-2007, 03:25 PM
That post by Komar is bad advice. All tanks need to be cycled, unless you have a lot of fast growing plants, and the conditions required for fast growth (ie CO2, light, fertilizer as required) Bacteria does not grow itself. It needs a food source.

I don't vacuum my gravel ever now. I can't, because of the ground cover. As long as you don't overfeed and get a few bottom feeders, detritus will be at a minimum. Try to vacuum the spots you can get to though, but for the most part, go around the plants.

A 9 watt fluorescent light bulb mounted in a lamp over the tank should work fine.

Tails
04-17-2007, 07:48 AM
Thanks!!

Ooooo I'm so excited!!! And I'm going to do this right, from the get-go!! Thanks everyone!! You guys are awesome! :D