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Old 02-23-2004, 11:04 PM   #1
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Getting a betta tank...

After reading about and seeing pictures of male bettafish here, I am considering getting one.

I would like to get either a 2 1/2 gallon tank for one betta or a 5 gallon tank for one betta and a trio of corys. The tank would be placed in a bright, sunlit bathroom.

My apartment is HOT - at least 78o F in the winter, but I would get a 25W heater just in case. As for filtration, I would get a small corner filter.


I've done a bit of reading on the topic, but I still have a few questions.


Is one betta and three corys in a 5 gal overcrowded?

Would a 10% partial water change weekly be enough for this setup?

Do I really need a light for the fishes' health? I don't like the incandescent fixtures that they supply with the little betta tanks - wouldn't they cook the fish? If I really need a light, I can rig up a small fluorescent on a timer.

Tank decorations: I've read that you should test decorations by rubbing them against piece of nylon stocking. If the nylon snags, so can a betta's fin. Any suggestions as far as what to avoid?

Substrate - smooth gravel or marbles - which is better?

Where to buy? I detest the idea of buying anything living from the corporate pet stores. I feel that it somehow encourages them to continue selling half dead pregnant mice with respiratory diseases and bettas-in-a-shotglass. My lfs keeeps their bettas in pint-sized jars, but they never look heathy. Are there any reputable breeders in the New York City area?

There have been alot of good posts on keeping bettas recently, otherwise my list of questions would have been much longer!

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Old 02-23-2004, 11:10 PM   #2
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No, I don't think 1 betta and 3 cory's would be overcrowded.

10% should be fine. Along with a regular gravel vac, which you probably already know.

I would personally rig up the small flourescent on a timer.

You can use plastic plants, just avoid anything with sharp edges.

Smooth Gravel for substrate. Make sure it's small enough that it won't hurt the barbells on your cory's.

Well, I get all my betta's from wally world.

HTH & Good Luck,
Tiff
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Old 02-23-2004, 11:37 PM   #3
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Hi there, I have a male betta and 3 albino cory's in a 5 gallon tank. I have a 25 watt heater and the tank is at 78, gravel substrate and plastic plants w/out the jagged edges along with a small resin cave hidey hole thingie. I use a small Whisper 5-15 HOB filter turned down so the flow isn't much and the betta "paisley" loves hanging out around it. I do approx. 20% change every week to 10 days They love it in there, and are very happy. They are under a window with a glass hinged top so they don't have lighting, but I'm wanting a small flourescent someday, mainly for me to see them better in the evnening etc. So I think your plans are definitely workable. Go for it! Bettas are great little fish full of personallity!
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Old 02-23-2004, 11:39 PM   #4
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You can look online and get a fancy betta from a breeder or you can get a retail betta that looks vital and alert with a color that pleases you and just QT it for a while. Look for a closest located breeder if you go for fancy. You can get them on aquabid. Stay away from whites and other highly inbred delicate health colors , though of course you have kept fish before..so you CAn then look through the whole menu... :P Smaller breeder and non-"names" are cheaper. Dont look at the online breeders if you are not sure about shipping (20-40 bucks). Once you SEE them.. retail bettas will pale in comparison.
As you are aware of, retail betttas are all floating in blue medicine cocktails and sitting on cold metal shelves in dirty water in a cold store temperature. So you have to warm him up and test for ich before putting him with other fish..you KNOW the drill.... . If you must go the retail route ..see which one keeps the SAME bettas alive longer.
And when the shipment comes in. That way you have a better chance and get one that is alone, not exposed to who knows what in the tanks.
Use SILK plants. Plastic will snag Mr. bettas lovely fins. If you are not sure, see if it snags nylon.
That's about the best pre-selection advice I can think of other than try to start a fishless cycle on the tank before your residents are added. But you know THAT too
Bettas are especially lovely and vital in tropical fish temperatures above 76. over 80 and you'll need a protein skimmer to rid the surface of bubble nests..

Personally I think 5 gallons is a bit small for 4 full grown fish (are not the smallest available cories, betta sized? that will be what? 6+ inches of fish for the 5 gallon? Assuming the betta is small and the cories 1.5 in each?). But you know how much maintainence ya have time fer..... It also depends on how dirty cories are.....
I'd get a 10 gallon and then have the choice of maybe some better decorating and possibly 2-3 more peaceful 1 incher companions (I can't suggest what, since I don't know many non-labyrinth fish well and none are small); which though stretches it in numbers is buffered better to allow for it (and 10 gallons are dirt cheap)
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Old 02-23-2004, 11:57 PM   #5
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PS.
This is where one of the seven culmination points of betta beauty comes to a mere fork in the road.
Warning this is a slow loading page of beautiuful images don't click if you don't hve good self control....

http://www.bettatalk.com/stock_for_sale.htm

My daughter has several of her fish to found her lines with.
Her bettas are in the top dollar dept.

This also is one of the top show breeders. And her pics are not of parents..they ARE the fish for sale..but she is on a personal hiatus for another month. The page loads quick.

http://www.bettasrus.com/stock/halfmoonpage2.htm

warning..*SPOILERS* you will never look at a retail betta the same again......^_^

There are less expensive breeders out there that are "almost" show.Heh!
Theses fancy tails were actually first trieed for betta health. The veil mutation fish are weak swimmers and are shorter lived because of working so hard to stay afloat. The most fancy are so heavy with drapery they are going backwards. Breeders originally wanted a stiffer tail shape and better fin rays on a decorative betta to improve their swimming ability...... There are also now GIANT decorative bettas as well as the giant plakats go figger!
Except for tail design which was what my grandfatehr was working on; the rest of this info is courtesy my daughter.... :P
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Old 02-24-2004, 12:28 AM   #6
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WOW! those crowntail bettas are absolutely stunning and the red-white-blue one is one-of-a-kind. Thanks for sharing that link. However, those fish are pricey - worth it, but pricey nonetheless. I guess I'll be visiting my lfs on Wednesday when he gets his new stock. Hopefully I'll find a happy, healthy looking betta.

Hmmm...getting a 10 gal is tempting because it would also allow me to throw in a small school of guppies. Trouble is, the spot for the tank is located on a cupboard that I built and I fear that a 10 gal would be a bit too big for it. I have to recheck the measurements.

I see what you are saying about the corys tho. I think that for now, I'll just get a betta and give his tankmates some more thought. Maybe some FW shrimp or an apple snail? They're interesting and I don't think they contribute much at all to bioload.

I've also been looking at the Marineland Eclipse tanks. They have fluorescent lighting and biowheel filtration. Have to check my measurements to see if the 12 would fit - otherwise, I'll go with the six.
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Old 02-24-2004, 12:31 AM   #7
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watch that the biowheel doesn't make a betta unfriendly current force you to have too high a water level for a labyrinth fish. Bettas have gills but they are not very effecient. Usually they force air from the labyrinth organ through them instead of filtering water directly. In this case, bad habits became a species trait ^_^

Look for reptile 10 gallons too..they may have a better footprint...

edit: bleh dyslexic typos or too much beer..... needed fixin!
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Old 02-24-2004, 01:57 AM   #8
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Holy :censor: !!! Christmasfish, I have seen the posts mentioning breeding show bettas, but I had no idea! I will never look at a store betta the same
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Old 02-24-2004, 06:16 AM   #9
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Do keep you eyes open at lfs tho; the one near me had a entire stock of crowntails 2 months ago. If I didn't already have a betta I'd have grabbed one; they were georgeous!
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Old 02-24-2004, 07:52 AM   #10
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We bought one of our bettas (Bill) at Walmart and the other (Jake) at Petsmart. I felt like I was rescuing them from a certain blue tinged death by letting them escape from the puny little cups they were living in there.

I have some pics of Bill in my gallery but haven't posted Jake's yet. I would have to say, they are two of my favorite fish. They have tons of personality. They actually dance at the glass when we walk up to them, and I swear, they seem to smile when we talk to them. They both actually seem to know their names.

We have them in a 10 gallon tank that is separated by a divider. Both of them have plants on each side of the divider. I tried to place the plants so they couldn't see each other, but it didn't work...they "argue" off and on all day, but not as much as when they first were put in there.

Bill has a resin squid in his side of the tank, but I haven't been able to find anything smooth enough for Jake's side yet. They both have two pet catfish on each side of the divider (Jake lives with Salt and Pepper; Bill lives with Sugar and Spice). I have very little gravel in that tank.

The only issue we have with the divided tank is that the filter is not quite strong enough to circulate both sides of the divider well, so our next investment will be a stronger filter for that tank.
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Old 02-24-2004, 02:09 PM   #11
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Hmmm...getting a 10 gal is tempting because it would also allow me to throw in a small school of guppies.
I wouldn't suggest fancy guppies or they'll be trouble
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Old 02-24-2004, 02:49 PM   #12
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Kwenbee-
To hear you talk about Bill and Jake makes me want a betta again. I had a bad experience in the past (correction: the betta had many bad experiences, he was a soldier though). My male betta could not live with the community fish, so he was being treated in a vase (I know very bad; fry were in the QT tank). I had put a nylon over the vase and the next morning, the vase was knocked over, the nylon was half off and I couldn't find betta! I thought he had succumbed to the cats. It turns out he was in the nylon, which was wet and he was fine! I bought him a cheesy 2 gal bubble gum tank, but it was hard to see him and he just didn't seem happy. The whole time, his fins always looked like they were rotting. I won't even go into the time I introduced him to a “nice” girl . With the money spent on that betta's care, I could have funded a 10 gal divided tank!
I am s-l-o-w-l-y getting up the nerve to bring home another betta, but even with all the research I've done, I just don't know if a betta should live here .
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Old 02-24-2004, 03:13 PM   #13
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I have a male betta from Wal-Mart. He is in a 5 gal with live plants now though I had him with plastic plants. I have one of those incandescent lights - doesn't seem to get really hot. In fact, I had to buy a 25 watt heater for it. I like my 3 gal Eclipse system - it has a flourescent bulb on it. (my plants do better in that one) So I may change him over to that once I get my larger tetra tank established and move my glowlights over.

I can't say for the substrate, but I heard black substrate looks nice against the bright colors of the betta. I have brightly colored aquarium gravel in mine. I was told three cory cats and a betta would be fine in a 5 gal, so I say go for it!

As for gravel vac and water changes, I do 30% approx weekly, but I have live plants. My betta likes to sleep down at the bottom of the live plants. I created a little bedroom for him sort of with plants for walls. LOL
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Old 02-24-2004, 03:24 PM   #14
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Kweenbee..
an inexpensive and easy out of the filtration prob of divivers...my daughter and her tank maker designed it..
You put a uplift tup through the divider with an air stone. So the filter pulls through the divider and pushes through the tube.....simple..ingenious...why didn't somebody already start selling dividers like that? Works great in my one tank set that way. 8)
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Old 02-24-2004, 04:40 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sati
I wouldn't suggest fancy guppies or they'll be trouble
How come? Would the bettas pick on the guppies or vice-versa?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Christmasfish
Kweenbee..
an inexpensive and easy out of the filtration prob of divivers...my daughter and her tank maker designed it..
You put a uplift tup through the divider with an air stone. So the filter pulls through the divider and pushes through the tube.....simple..ingenious...why didn't somebody already start selling dividers like that? Works great in my one tank set that way. 8)
Sounds neat - could you post a pic of it?



And good news - I probably have enough room for a 10 gal!
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Old 02-24-2004, 05:49 PM   #16
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Heh..we know how well my current camera shoots detailed things.....hahah. I am getting critiques they are so bad..
Soon as I have my 35mm back.
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Old 02-24-2004, 10:37 PM   #17
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Oh, well, a standard 10 gal won't fit - about 1.5 inches short on the end and 1/2 inch short front-to-back. All-Glass has a nice 7 gal bowfront that will just fit in the spot I have planned. It comes with a Whisper filter and a fluorescent light. I could always pop in a Penguin mini if I don't like the Whisper.

I'll get a 25W heater despite this advice given to me at the lps, "Oh, you don't need a heater for a betta and three corys. The temperatures vary in the rice paddies and they sometimes dip into the 60's." Like I said, my apartment is hot as hell, but this tank is going in the bathroom with two exterior walls and I don't want to have to deal with ich. Besides, since when did corys live in rice paddies and develop the ability to live at room temperature? I'm buying a 25W heater.

BTW, Christmasfish, I need your daughter to berate my lps people!
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Old 02-25-2004, 02:54 AM   #18
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Heh! She is rough to keep quiet! I fear to tread into petsmart or walmart.
She is highly opinionated and impatient with adult sghe thinks should know as much as she learned...Hahah!
I pity the foo who becomes her first boyfriend.
prolly be some weepy boy name Skye....
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Old 02-25-2004, 03:46 AM   #19
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When I initially only had a 10Gallon tank with 3 cories they seemed to act as if they didn't have enough swimming room as they would constantly swim against the glass (headfirst) at about midlevel. They would also swim laps at about midlevel in it.

In the 29Gallon with 5 cories I no longer witness that behavior. They swim throughout the tank near the bottom (except when the tiger is going on a rampage and then they run to wherever they can to escape it).
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Old 02-25-2004, 08:01 AM   #20
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Christmasfish...I only have a cheesy Petsmart divider that I really don't like. There isn't really a way to put a hose through it except over the top or under the bottom. If I put it under the bottom, I'm afraid Bill and/or Jake will find that little space and wiggle through it during one of their "across the fence disagreements". As it is, the divider keeps the tank lid from fitting correctly.

I am going to go on a mission for a different divider and a stronger filter today. I did learn yesterday that my filter was TERRIBLY clogged. Hardly any water was coming out of it. When I pulled off the little intake valve, tons of gunk flowed out of it into the tank. I removed the old filter floss that I had left in there to keep the tank cycled.

I think today I am going filter shopping online for a sponge filter for this tank and look at different dividers that may work better with the top of this tank. Bill's side of the tank is looking rather gunky on the surface, I think because it's not circulating properly.

I thought about an airstone, but was afraid the water movement would be a little too much for Bill. Jake has issues with the flow from the filter sometimes.
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