Tank Arrangement for College - Betta Fish and Betta Fish Care
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post #1 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-02-2013, 06:21 PM Thread Starter
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Tank Arrangement for College

So this fall, I'll be going off to college. The college I'm going to allows fish, from what my friend has told me. I'll be sending them an email to find out how big the tanks are allowed to be.

If they allow it, I'll be buying a 10 gallon and divide it. Petsmart has a 10 gallon kit for $20 right now, and they also have mesh dividers I could use to separate my two bettas.

What I plan to do is put the divider in the middle to give both Tiny Tina and Patriot 5 gallons. Patriot is already in a 5 gallon, so he'll just be relocating, really. Tiny Tina is in a 2.65, so it'll be an upgrade for her. However, she isn't too fond of the filter. Patriot doesn't mind it and just swims through his filter current without a care in the world. Tiny Tina on the other hand gets shoved all over the place as she's so tiny. I'm planning on putting Tina on the opposite side of the tank, away from the filter, and I'll put Patriot on the side with the filter. I'll also put Patriot's 25 watt adjustable heater on his side, under the filter, so it'll circulate through the water more. I'll put two thermometers in the tank, one on each bettas' side of the tank to make sure they're both the same temperatures. If not, I'll likely buy another heater for Tiny Tina's side of the tank.

I'm thinking about going with live plants this time around, to keep water changes to a minimum. I may or may not get a few ghost shrimp again, as the last two died. One became a meal and the other simply died. Not sure how it died, but it did.

Does this sound like a good idea?

Tiny Tina is female and Patriot is a male. I've heard that females give off something that could potentially stress the male, so I'm concerned. Will they be okay?

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post #2 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-02-2013, 06:40 PM
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That sound like a good plan! I wouldn't recommend Ghost Shrimp,simply because the ones that I have had mess with my bettas.

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post #3 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-02-2013, 07:49 PM
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Both of my divided tanks have a male and female on each side- they will FREAK OUT for a week or so, but they soon get used to each other, so don't panic at first.

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post #4 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-02-2013, 08:08 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by bryanacute View Post
That sound like a good plan! I wouldn't recommend Ghost Shrimp,simply because the ones that I have had mess with my bettas.
Awesome! The two ghost shrimp I had last generally left my bettas alone. Tiny Tina was chasing her shrimp around and eventually had him as a snack though. He would just run away and hide, but she always found him. I never saw the shrimp trying to bully them.

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Both of my divided tanks have a male and female on each side- they will FREAK OUT for a week or so, but they soon get used to each other, so don't panic at first.
Okay, good. Just wanted to make sure! I only want what's best for my bettas, and if I couldn't do that, I don't know what I'd do. I can't leave them here when I go to college because no one will take care of them, and all my friends are going away too. My only other option would be to bring them back to the fish store. :( And I don't want to do that, ever. They both seem very happy and healthy here with me. I just want to make sure they'll be happy and healthy after I go to college too. I'm hoping they'll not mind each other and be okay.

What do you recommend me to do or add to the tank?

I'm not sure if I should get new decorations or keep the ones they have. The only hiding spots they both have is a terracotta pot and the floating betta log (Patriot) and a sunken ship (Tiny Tina). I'm going to get Tina her own log, as I'm sure she'll love it as much as Patriot does. But I don't know if I should just get completely new decorations for both of them or what. Patriot doesn't really hide in the pot very much. The only times I ever see him in it is after I clean the tank and he explores to check everything out again. Tina uses her ship to hide in when she wants to rest, but I know these little decorations won't be enough in a 10 gallon.

I just don't want upgrading to be so much money, because I will be on my own in college. I know the tank and dividers will be about $25-ish, plus medications (counting on $15-ish) and conditioners ($5 for big bottle?), filter cartridges ($10-ish), test kits ($15?), light bulbs for the plants ($5?), and possibly a second heater ($15). Then I need to get new substrate, since the gravel I have for them is two different colors and I'd rather stick with something more natural for both of them. Would sand be a good idea? I know sand isn't really that expensive, but I need something that the plants can grow in. What would you guys recommend I get as a substrate?

It's already going to be about $100 for the tank and everything I need for it. Are plants expensive? Are there any cheap and easy to care for plants you guys would recommend? I haven't had plants before. :(

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post #5 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-02-2013, 08:26 PM
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My plants were expensive, but then again I was stocking a 20 gal for a sorority. They're alive, and I'm not much of a plant grower so I hope that explains something about care. I just use gravel and a liquid growth additive called Envy.


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post #6 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-02-2013, 11:58 PM
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For plants there are a couple of different ones that are easy to grow.

Tall plants: elodea (also called anacharis), red ludwigia, wisteria, hornwort, cabomba and ambulia
Mid-plants: java fern, anubias
Ground plant: java moss, dwarf hairgrass
Floaters: duckweed, frogbit

With the exception of the hairgrass, all of these plants take their nutrients primarily from the water rather than the substrate, so what you plant them in won't really matter. I'll attach a photo of my tank so you can see the riotous growth I get with these plants just from plain old water, gravel and sand.
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post #7 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-03-2013, 07:56 AM
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not sure why, but my red ludwigia kept dying. I have read somewhere that you're supposed to have enough iron in your water to keep it alive. Is this true Bomba?


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post #8 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-03-2013, 03:42 PM
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I did use iron supplements at first, but after a while I stopped and it stayed red and healthy. It looks awful in there because I haven't trimmed it in months, but the leaves are still red. :)

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post #9 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-03-2013, 03:43 PM
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Huh. Well, maybe I'm just not meant to have it then. :P


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post #10 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-03-2013, 03:59 PM
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Might I suggest that you get an extra 25watt adjustable heater anyways... A ten gallon should have at least 50 watts. A 25watt might work, but it will overwork your heater and it may not heat as consistently.

Otherwise, as long as water can easily pass through your divider, I don't see any issues with having the filter on one side. And fast growing live plants will do wonders for your water quality.

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