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Old 05-13-2006, 03:22 PM   #1
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Thinking about a betta

I have a 5 gallon Hex aquarium which now is home to a few sw crabs and a shrimp. They will be going into a larger tank in a few weeks and I'm thinking I'd like a betta. What all do I need to keep him happy? What kind of gravel/plants/food etc.? The tank has a filter and a light. Any info would be greatly appreciated as I want him to be happy. Thanks.
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Old 05-13-2006, 04:08 PM   #2
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Ya, you could do a betta in a 5 gallon. They're really good lookin, easy to care for fish for one, and over time they reallize who you are and kinda beg you for food. Only, dont feed it every time it does this, cause they'll do it even when they're not hungry in my experience.

As far as gravel, thats completely whatever you like the look of. If you're going for plants tho, i'd get sand. They make special sand for aquarium plants, but i've always had good luck with just play sand. You just need to make sure you rinse it in a bucket till all the dust comes out. You could also use pool filter sand for live plants if you wanted.

If you dont want live plants, you could get aquarium gravel if you want, but play sand is by far the cheapest thing you can buy. Its like 3 bucks for a 50 pound bag at home depot, but you'd only need about 5-8 pounds i think, but hey, more left over if you wanna start another tank!

As far as what plants to get, i'm not sure, but mine never ate any of mine, and i had too many to list.

for food, they'll eat anything besides flake in my experience. Brine shrimp, blood worms, are good, and they make special betta "pellets" i guess you could call them.

Depending if you want to grow live plants, you might need to upgrade your lighting. If its just the regular incandescent fixture that comes with most setups, then i'd buy one of those mini compact fluorescent bulbs that screw in. I think they make them in like, 10 and 20 watt ones, but i'd get the 20 for plants...

Also, what kind of filter do you have on there? I think that if you grow plants, you dont want too much flow, and besides, for bettas you shouldnt have a strong flow anyway. Also, i've seen where people will do an "all natural" filtration so to speak. They just let the live plants take care of amonia and all that, and just use the filter for a light flow. Not sure how it works, so i'm hoping someone else will pitch in on that one.

well, i'll end the novel here, but if you have more questions about them, just ask.


oh, and dont forget to cycle the tank first, but if you use live plants you might not ever see it cycle cause they take care of that by them selves.

hope this helps
mike
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Old 05-13-2006, 08:56 PM   #3
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Wow Mike! That's great information. The tank is an Eclipse 5 gal hex with a biofilter as well as one of those carbon filled blue pad thingies. LOL I probably don't need all of that. Hope that's ok though but I can remove either of the above.
Also, what kind of plants does a betta prefer? I tend to spoil my critters rotten and that includes fish. LOL
Thanks again.

Gina
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Old 05-13-2006, 08:57 PM   #4
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A betta is about as easy to care for as most other tropical fishes. Regular gravel is best, or sand. Avoid the large marble/glass rocks. With plants, either go with live (low light for this tank) plants or silk. Regular plastic plants have been known to rip at betta fins. As for food, I feed mine Hikari betta food.

If it's one thing I've learned about bettas, it is that they are very temperature sensitive. So keep that in mind. Your tank will need a heater if it doesn't have one already.

HTH
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Old 05-13-2006, 09:09 PM   #5
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no problem...i've been sitting at home all day with nothin to do lol.

and the heater, you shoul just get one of those small ones i think, that should be good enough.

as for the filters...are you saying that you have 2 different filters? one being a biowheel and the other with just the blue, carbon filled cartrage? id go with the bio wheel, mainly because for the ones with the cartrage, you get the tank cycled and everything, but when you have to change the cartrage, its basically starting the cycle over kinda, i think. I know for sure you would lose a whole lot of bacteria at the least, granted it IS all over the tank, not just the filter....

The biowheel filters do tend to create nitrates, so just stay on top of your water changes. Just change 1 gallon or so a week, and every now and then/whenever necessary, vacuum the gravel/sand. And i really do recommend sand. for one it looks WAY nicer (IMO) and food and waste and stuff cant get down in between the rocks and get stuck.

And if you are doing live plants, pool filter sand might be better than play sand, but i've never had a problem w/play, and i think it might be cheaper. both are like nothing compared to the price of aquarium sand, which is rediculously priced, and which i'm never going to buy again.
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Old 05-13-2006, 09:26 PM   #6
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Can you buy pool filter sand in small quantities? Yeah...aquarium sand is ridiculously priced. I'm asking all these questions far in advance so I'm set to go when I move the sw critters to the larger tank.
Also, I will be doing a fishless cycle. The tank has one of those mini-heaters. The filter is an all in one thing that is part of the top. The light is separate and it's a Coralife 50-50 actinic blue. Do betta jump or would it be better to leave the top off for him? I need to get a book on bettas.
Thanks again.
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Old 05-14-2006, 01:54 AM   #7
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Ohhhhhh yeah Betta will jump. They can jump pretty high too. It is best to keep his tank covered. He will also need accsess to air so about a 1 to 2 inch airway at the top of the tank would be a good idea. They have a labyrinth organ which enables them to use air like we do. They also get oxygen from the water. They take both airs so I guess you could call'em mermaids. LOL As far as food goes I give mine freeze dried brine shrimp and blood worms. I'm not too big on frozen foods though because you can get disease or parasites from it on occasion. Also when buying play sand for your substrate make sure your bag has no evidence of being wet before and also make sure it does not smell funny or have an orange tint to it. Some of my hermit crab keeping friends have found bags of sand like this on occasion and they said not to use it just take it back and the store will refund your money or exchange it for a bag of clean uncontaminated sand. Just be sure to check new bag before you leave and don't make 3 trips like somebody else i know (cough) LOL
You might also want to keep a bottle of bettafix remedy onhand for mending their delicate fins. Even with no percievable rough edges in the tank Mr. Betta will still ocassionally rip his fins doing who knows what. The rascal. Also good to have would be pimafix. It is an antibacterial and will help with secondary infection from ripped fins.

Well i'm gettin tired so I guess I will take a catnap. Bestof luck to you and happy betta pickin.
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Old 05-14-2006, 12:19 PM   #8
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Thank you all for your wonderful advice. Now I can't wait til I can get my new friend. Do you keep anything else with them such as an algae eater of some kind or other small fish or are they best alone? I only have 5 gallons but I don't want him to be lonely either. Also, where is the best place to get a healthy betta?
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