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Old 05-01-2009, 04:34 AM   #1
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Question Much Guidance Needed...

Ok, I've never had a fish before and two weeks ago I decided to make the leap! I purchased a male Betta (now 'Teleuse') from Petsmart and set him up in a larger than normal vase w/ small flat-faced marbles and a java fern. Temporarily.

Today I acquired a ten gallon tank from a friend who used to keep snakes in it. I cleaned it out (no soap or chemicals, just LOTS of hot water *whew*). I cleaned off the marbles and dropped them to the bottom of the tank. Needless to say, they do not cover the full width and breadth of the tank. Is that necessary?

I grabbed an old glass jar from the cupboard, cleaned it, dropped it into the middle of the new tank, and put the java fern inside. Teleuse can find his way in and out as he pleases (I discovered this with much relief) and the java roots hide him pretty well.

I filled up the tank 3/4 with tap water, mixing in enough water conditioner for a 15gal just in case.

I let Teleuse chill in a little plastic cup, pinned to the side, butt end in the tank water for maybe 5 minutes. Then let him go.

He seems to be adapting well, every 20 minutes or so he poofs out for a few seconds and then chills. I'm pretty sure still acclamating to his new surroundings. He doesn't look stressed. I gave him a chunk of frozen blood worms to make him feel better, too.

I know I need a filter and heater/lamp, I have no pH tester for the moment, and have just ghetto-rigged my betta a tank... For this I am sorry.

Can anyone please tell me what conditions are proper for him in this big new tank, and what I should be looking for. Anything! Any and all suggestions would rock my world!

Thanks<33
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Old 05-01-2009, 05:26 AM   #2
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With picture...

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Old 05-01-2009, 09:30 AM   #3
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78-82 degrees plants are nice throughout the tank feed them very small portions of betta food like 3 pellets a meal and witha ten gallon tank you might want to consider a small scavenger such as a african dwarf frog or snail to clean up the bottom of the tank from excess food. other than that if the plants are live you need some sort of light. good luck
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Old 05-02-2009, 12:04 AM   #4
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There's no need to to have the bottom of the tank completely covered unless you like the look of it better that way. I wouldn't stress too much about the pH tester, but you need to test for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate while you're getting started. Read the article on Fishless Cycling that's stickied in the Freshwater - Getting Started forum. You won't be doing exactly what it says since you already have a fish, but you need to understand what's going to happen with your water chemistry here.

With a fish in the tank, you need to be testing ammonia and nitrite daily at the start, and change water as needed to maintain ammonia less than 1 ppm and nitrite less than 0.5 ppm before the water change if you want the fish to survive (ie if the fish is producing 0.25 ppm nitrite daily, you need to change water until the level is less than 0.25 so that it doesn't exceed 0.5 before you come back to test again).

Initially expect to see ammonia rising steadily and nitrite reading consistently zero. After a period of time, usually several weeks, you'll see a sudden rapid rise in nitrite and soon after (1-3 days) ammonia will go to zero. Once you see nitrite you need to start testing nitrate as well. A week or so later, nitrite will drop to zero and you'll see a rise in nitrate. Once ammonia and nitrite are consistently zero your tank is established and you can stop testing ammonia and nitrite unless you have reason to suspect a problem. Continue testing nitrate about weekly. Nitrate is safe for fish up to at least 40 ppm, and isn't critically toxic at somewhat higher levels. It can only be removed by water changes or live plants.

All the above assumes you have a filter. You MUST have a filter. Bettas don't like current much, so if you can get a sponge filter or something without a lot of directional flow that would be best. Without the filter your fish is virtually guaranteed to die of ammonia poisoning at some point.

Never replace or wash filter pads in anything but tank water.
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Old 05-04-2009, 05:23 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Torpid_BeachBum View Post
Ok, I've never had a fish before and two weeks ago I decided to make the leap! I purchased a male Betta (now 'Teleuse') from Petsmart and set him up in a larger than normal vase w/ small flat-faced marbles and a java fern. Temporarily.

Today I acquired a ten gallon tank from a friend who used to keep snakes in it. I cleaned it out (no soap or chemicals, just LOTS of hot water *whew*). I cleaned off the marbles and dropped them to the bottom of the tank. Needless to say, they do not cover the full width and breadth of the tank. Is that necessary?

I grabbed an old glass jar from the cupboard, cleaned it, dropped it into the middle of the new tank, and put the java fern inside. Teleuse can find his way in and out as he pleases (I discovered this with much relief) and the java roots hide him pretty well.

I filled up the tank 3/4 with tap water, mixing in enough water conditioner for a 15gal just in case.

I let Teleuse chill in a little plastic cup, pinned to the side, butt end in the tank water for maybe 5 minutes. Then let him go.

He seems to be adapting well, every 20 minutes or so he poofs out for a few seconds and then chills. I'm pretty sure still acclamating to his new surroundings. He doesn't look stressed. I gave him a chunk of frozen blood worms to make him feel better, too.

I know I need a filter and heater/lamp, I have no pH tester for the moment, and have just ghetto-rigged my betta a tank... For this I am sorry.

Can anyone please tell me what conditions are proper for him in this big new tank, and what I should be looking for. Anything! Any and all suggestions would rock my world!

Thanks<33
Hello there,

Bettas are the among the toughest freshwater fish out there ranking among kois and gold fish. In my experience with Bettas (I have 34 years experience of keeping and breeding bettas), you do not have to wait for the cycle to be completed before you introduce the betta. But you need to change at least 10% of water a week until the cycle is established to prevent ammonia build up. Do NOT use tap water (even conditioned) but use drinking water in the bottle. Bettas do not like elaborate artificial decorations but nice bushy plants where they can spend hours laying underneath. A hang-on back filter is sufficient. They live in rice paddies under bushy plants so you do not need strong light. Once VERY important thing you need to do to keep your Betta healthy is DAILY exercise! That means placing a mirror outside the glass so they can stretch their fins (natural aggressive display behavior) a few hours a day. Without this, they tend to decline and not in their best form. That's why bettas in community aquarium do poorly. If you get a pregnant female, I will show you how to breed them. Sooner or later you will have more bettas than you know what to do with them. DP
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Old 05-04-2009, 06:06 PM   #6
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DP

He could just put him in a larger tank and add some serpea's to it. Thats more then enough exercise for BIG RED, he is always chasing those buggers out of his spot.

I have kept bettas since I was a kid, took a break for about 10 years to explore terrariums and reptiles, I came back to fish and since then oh about 6 years now Ive kept bettas in my community tanks. If you get active fish your betta will be a spectacular creature, Also bettas need atleast 10g to thrive, rice paddies are actually pond size bodies of water and with the help of the monsoons they are able to swim about all over the place.
Im not contridicting what YOU said just the fact that bettas live the longest and are the healthiest in larger heated filtered active communities not a very small body of water.

They will breed in a community tank as well.
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