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Old 10-15-2004, 02:36 PM   #1
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New Betta in 2 Gal tank...filter? Silk or bulbs?

I had an old 2 gallon hex tank sitting around doing nothing and decided to put it to use. I now have a male betta in there and he seems relatively happy so far, though its only been 2 days. My question is if I should use the undergravel filter that the tank came with or is this going to be too disturbing to the fish?

I've been using it with the bubbler and so far he doesn't seem to care if it's going or not, however he hasn't eaten yet. I am planning on trying some other food, as I hear bettas are really picky and sometimes new ones need to adjust (the BettaMin flakes I got are definately not up his ally, so far).

Also with a filtered tank like this one, any opinions on whether to go with live vs. silk plants? I really prefer live plants and thought about some betta bulbs for it, which I'm guessing will also help with nitrate levels, but silk seems easy enough.

Thanks!

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Old 10-15-2004, 02:45 PM   #2
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Bettas usually don't accept flakes until they're near starvation. Try pellets or brine shrimp. You should use live plants- they benefit the tank by adding oxygen, and the fish won't be harmed if he brushes against the plants or gets caught in them.
You don't need the filter, but can use it if you like. Bettas don't need airation or filtration, but it is a plus.
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Old 10-15-2004, 03:00 PM   #3
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Bettas usually don't accept flakes until they're near starvation.
Learn something new everyday. Now I kinda of feel bad about only feeding my Betta flakes until he got the point...
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Old 10-15-2004, 03:48 PM   #4
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[center:1d4ab251f4] Welcome to AA, noahphex! [/center:1d4ab251f4]
I disagree with the following statements:
Quote:
Bettas usually don't accept flakes until they're near starvation.
Quote:
You don't need the filter, but can use it if you like. Bettas don't need airation or filtration, but it is a plus.
Soem bettas will accept flakes (especially if that is what they have been fed at the LFS) right in the beginning. I have never owned a betta that turned down a meal. The best thing for a betta (and all fish) is to give it variety. Pellets and brine shrimp are okay, but you should also add a blanched pea, blood worms, mystis shrimp.... Keep in mind that brine shrimp are like candy bars for fish--unless you are feeding newly hatched brine shrimp, there is little nutritional value.

You should use the filter. All fish like filtration. Once your tank gets established, the ammonia and nitrite should be undectable and the nitrates should stay under 40ppm. If you opt not to use the filter, you will need to do frequent water changes to eliminate the ammonia from the water, which is stressful on the betta.
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Old 10-15-2004, 04:08 PM   #5
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yup, when I moved my male betta into a 10 gal with danios, he switched from those little pellets to flakes without any problem. I guess he saw the other fish eating them and decided they'd be good for him as well.

Also, I would suggest using the underground filter in this case (I normally don't like them) because you only have 1 betta in there and a HOB filter might cause too much current in such a little tank. However, you will need to clean underneath the UGF at least once a month to make sure there isn't a build up of poop. It is simple enough, just scoop out your betta in a cup (I use the clear plastic cups mine were sold in at Walmart) so you can get under the UGF without freaking out your betta. Also, make sure the cup is covered with something because I've heard of bettas jumping out.
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Old 10-15-2004, 07:23 PM   #6
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Thanks for all the advice! I'm going to go get some pellets and the plants for him this evening.
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Old 10-15-2004, 08:29 PM   #7
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I agree with Menagerie and rubysoho. Bettas will eat flakes, and they also like bloodworms, pellets, and daphnia. I think Tetra makes a nice betta flake. I like Hikari freeze-dried daphnia and bloodworms for my bettas. I think my pellets are Hikari too -- I took them out of the original container and put them in a little film container. I don't feed my bettas brine shrimp. The adult brine shrimp have no nutritional value, and it's hard to find the baby brine shrimp unless you hatch them yourself. Also, most of the lfs stores that I've seen the brine shrimp in -- that water looked so filthy that I decided not to buy any.

Bettas need filtration as much as any other fish. I would use the UGF -- it's not the best filter, but in a 2 gallon, I think you'd be ok. Bettas don't like strong current anyway, and putting a HOB filter, even a small one, on this tank may be too much current for the betta. Clean the UGF filter as rubysoho suggests, and then you can get a feel for how often you need to take it out and clean it well. A lot of waste can collect under them that you'll have to clean out, but also remember that you're disturbing some of the good bacteria when you do this. Check the ammonia level at this time and do some extra water changes if you do get a small ammonia spike.

I don't have betta bulbs in my tank, or any type of bulbs, but I've read here that they grow well in low light. They will keep nitrates low or 0. One member said that his plants that grew from bulbs had sharp-edged leaves and tore his betta's fins. As the plants grow, just be aware of that and remove some if necessary.

Even with the filter, in such a small tank, I would check ammonia levels frequently. The good bacteria will take a while to establish, so be prepared to do water changes at least twice a week.

Don't worry about the betta not eating yet. Bettas often don't eat when you first get them. They need to become accustomed to their new home first. My bettas didn't eat for a week when I got them! They also have to get used to the food you are giving them if it's different than what they had. Just keep offering the food that you want them to eat and they will learn that it's food! My bettas were fed live black worms, so that could be why they didn't eat for so long -- they had never seen a pellet before!

Remember also to keep this tank in a warm area. The most stressful thing for a betta, IME, is a fluctuating temperature. Good luck!
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Old 10-15-2004, 10:41 PM   #8
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I went and got some Hikari Betta Bio-Gold and some freedried bloodworms for him as well. That way I can mix it up. He gobbled up the 3 pellets of Bio-Gold, though so thats great. I also put a little clay pot from Walmart in there and some Aponogeton bulbs I picked up, so I hope they grow. I'll keep an eye on the edges. Looking good so far!

Thanks for the advice!
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Old 10-15-2004, 11:10 PM   #9
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I have a betta in a 2 gallon hex. I use the UGF and I have a medium sword plant in there as well.

I don't know if it is a good Idea to have the plant in there or not, He has had alot of problems since I switched tanks.
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Old 10-15-2004, 11:50 PM   #10
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Three pellets of the Bio-Gold (that's what I have too) sound good. I'm glad he liked them, and he'll like the little hiding place in the clay pot too. I looked back through some previous posts, and unfortunately the aponogeton bulbs are what the other memeber said hurt his betta's fins. So, I would watch extra closely to make sure that doesn't happen to your betta. The aponogeton bulbs may grow too big for that tank too, so you may have to take them out anyway.
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Old 10-16-2004, 03:19 PM   #11
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i bought a tiny azoo palm filter for about $6 from drsfostersmith.com. it looks nice and it really helps keep the water clean.

i use bio-gold pellets too. bettas like it, and it doesn't cloud the water. treats of frozen bloodworm are important too IMO.

i didnt know brine shrimp were useless nutritionally. thanks everyone.
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