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Old 07-27-2009, 08:29 AM   #1
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Thinking of a small betta tank

Ive been thinking about creating a Betta tank out of one of those 5 gallon tanks they sell at petco. Is this enough space? I dont have the room for a 10 gallon, my apartment is full. But i do not want to mistreat the animal either.


Also, is it true you use no filters or powerheads in these tanks? I understand the betta's build bubblenests but i have no plans to breed them. I guess im old school, i feel all tanks need filters.

whats your opinion?
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Old 07-27-2009, 10:04 AM   #2
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I have kept several bettas in 5 gallon tanks. I used a sponge filter attached to a gang valve (to lessen the water movement) and a 25-watt heater. The bettas were happy and healthy.
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Old 07-27-2009, 12:24 PM   #3
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thank you for your first hand experience. If i do go for a betta, i will follow your suggestion.
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Old 07-27-2009, 01:18 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by An t-iasg View Post
I have kept several bettas in 5 gallon tanks. I used a sponge filter attached to a gang valve (to lessen the water movement) and a 25-watt heater. The bettas were happy and healthy.
I use that EXACT setup and my betta loves it! I bought a 15w Hagen Life-Glo CFL to replace the incandescent that came with it and added lots of low-light plants for shelter from the light (it's pretty bright!).

I'd say the bottom line for betta accomodation is a tank of at least 2.5 gallons (5 gallons makes for a more active, interesting pet), a heater and some shelter, eg a terra-cotta pot cave and some plants (live is best).

Make sure you so the snag test on ALL decorations: if it will cause a run in a nylon stocking, it will do equal damage to your betta's fin. Also, make sure you plug the drainage hole in the pot, and seal or block any holes in decor that your betta could get stuck in (mine is recovering from a scratch after getting stuck the drainage hole of my pot).

Here are your betta bibles:

Betta Fish Care - General Betta Fish Care, Information and Help for your Sick Betta Fish

UltimateBettas -> Frequently Asked Questions

Good to see you are doing your homework before you purchase... Make sure you cross-reference a couple of sites- forums are great for this. Everyone has their own opinion on how to keep a betta, but not all are completely right... I was lead to believe for months that a betta would be happy in a 1g bowl- BIG mistake! He is loving his new pad, however


Best of Luck!

Kelly
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Old 07-27-2009, 08:39 PM   #5
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Excellent post, Kelly!

I would like to add that I recommend a cover over the tank too. I used an All-Glass brand hinged glass lid: Aquarium Hoods & Canopies: All-Glass Versa-Tops The betta (and the labyrinth organ) will do best with a layer of warm, humid air above the water. The lid prevents air currents from creating a chill at the water surface where the betta comes up for air.

I used the 18-watt version of this light: Compact Fluorescent Aquarium Lighting: Single Satellite Compact Fluorescent Fixtures
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Old 07-28-2009, 01:18 AM   #6
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Excellent post, Kelly!

I would like to add that I recommend a cover over the tank too. I used an All-Glass brand hinged glass lid: Aquarium Hoods & Canopies: All-Glass Versa-Tops The betta (and the labyrinth organ) will do best with a layer of warm, humid air above the water. The lid prevents air currents from creating a chill at the water surface where the betta comes up for air.

I used the 18-watt version of this light: Compact Fluorescent Aquarium Lighting: Single Satellite Compact Fluorescent Fixtures

Good call, good call. Forgot ALL about that.
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Old 08-02-2009, 03:07 PM   #7
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Do Betta's generate enough ammonia to cycle the tank?

some write ups suggest 100% water changes per week, but i do not like that option and instead wish to cycle it.
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Old 08-02-2009, 03:56 PM   #8
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I have a bettas in a 2.5 all the way up to a 10 gallon and all were cycled. The smaller ones are more likely to have a mini cycle so you will have to keep an eye out for that.
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Old 08-02-2009, 04:41 PM   #9
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i painted the other back glass black to match the gravel. I am searching for a small bag of sand, i would love black but i dont need 30 lbs of it.. the local petco didnt have any freshwater sand at all.

Should i replace the gravel with sand or just leave it alone? Im wanting to do right by my new family member.
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Old 08-02-2009, 05:19 PM   #10
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a quick look around the internet says no small packages of black sand, so im going to buy a small siphon hose and keep it clean the old fashion way.

Do i need any additives for java ferns and Anubis nana?
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Old 08-03-2009, 04:48 AM   #11
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With that much light, probably not for a community tank... It's a high watts per gallon but relatively low wattage. The fish poop would be enough nourishment.

I'm not as sure about a 1 fish tank though...
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Old 08-03-2009, 09:15 AM   #12
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yeah thats what i was thinking, only one fish that doesnt eat too much. but i will have to wait and see, 5 gallons isnt enough to add more fish.
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Old 08-03-2009, 12:29 PM   #13
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The gravel is a good substrate. I used a small siphon hose in my 5 gallon tanks and it worked well.

A 5-gallon tank will cycle; after it does, do a water change of about one gallon a week. A small tank is more difficult to cycle than a larger tank - it took a while. Even in weeks 3 and 4 I saw some nitrite spikes. I didn't see any high ammonia or nitrite spikes but levels of .25 - .50 that lingered for awhile. Those levels are dangerous, though, so be prepared to do lots of water changes for a longer time. If you know someone with a cycled tank, squeeze some of their filter media in a plastic baggie and then squeeze your sponge filter through that water. You could also look for Bio-Spira, a packaged biological starter. I used that a few times. It's not an instant cycle (still takes a few days) but it works if it has been refrigerated properly by the store and during shipping.

Anubias and java ferns don't have roots that need to be planted. Leave the rhizomes above the gravel. You can use cotton thread to tie them to rocks or driftwod, or use a plant weight to rest them on top of the gravel. I tied my java fern to a rock and used a weight with the anubias and it just rested on the gravel. You shouldn't need to add any fertilzers with those plants but if you see small pinholes in the leaves, you'll need to add a bit of potassium (K). Seachem makes a good premixed potassium product.
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Old 08-03-2009, 12:34 PM   #14
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I have a tacky fake looking log in the tank for a hiding spot. I think i will tie the ferns and Anubis to it and lessen its ugliness. haha
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Old 08-03-2009, 12:46 PM   #15
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That will work Those plants are not root-feeders so they'll be fine.
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Old 08-03-2009, 12:55 PM   #16
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anyone have any feeding tips? My poor beta spits out the pellets and i tried a single myss shrimp (frozen). Should i go get some blood worms?
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Old 08-03-2009, 01:11 PM   #17
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ohh try the freeze-dried bloodworms! they love those! it might take a day or two, but they catch on very quickly! my betta loves them to death and goes crazy when I add them to the tank!
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Old 08-03-2009, 01:21 PM   #18
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I wouldn't worry about it that much. My little guy spat pellets out too at first, but I just removed the sunken ones and tried again later. He was eating after a few days. One thing you can do is pre-soak them and feed them when they are good and waterlogged.

Other convenient foods include freeze-dried bloodworms, but these again should be soaked for a few minutes in a bottle cap full of tank water to prevent them from swelling in the betta's stomach (causes constipation).

Personally, I find pellets great for Lou Reed's breakfast. They fit in great with the morning rush. When I get home from work he has frozen dinner. The nippy fish blog has a good article on feeding frozen food the easy way... you should check it out!
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Old 08-03-2009, 01:55 PM   #19
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thank you very much everyone for the wealth of information you have freely given me.
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