More than just a Betta... - Betta Fish and Betta Fish Care
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-23-2011, 11:16 AM Thread Starter
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More than just a Betta...

So just some background information from me (I am new to the forums). I have a Marina Half-Moon almost wanna-be 1 gallon tank with light for my Betta for (who only lasted 3-4 months). I went away on vacation for the weekend (a Fri/Sat/Sun) and had my sister feeding him, but she said he wouldn't eat/stayed the bottom of the tank...and died before I got back (sigh).

Anyways, I have actually been doing research (reading a lot of stuff on these forums) and didn't realize how wrong I had been doing everything. When you go to pet stores they make you think the small bowls with no filters or heaters are fine. Man I was wrong!

I was thinking about purchasing this 3 gallon tank from Petsmart.

I like the way it looks, plus it isn't HUGE (I have limited room) but it is a lot larger than my previous tank..and comes with a filter (and will have enough room to put a heater in there).

I wanted to put maybe more than a Betta in there though? Maybe a Ghost Shrimp or maybe a Snail? Are there any small fish I could put in there that wouldn't mind that size tank?

Also, could anyone tell me what the heck a moss ball is / the purpose. I had seen them next to the Bettas in Petsmart and they looked like something that would just dirty up your tank faster (but I am not sure).

Just trying to get answers and make a plan before I just start buying stuff. Really don't want to lose anther Betta. :(
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-23-2011, 11:56 AM
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Thats a good sized tank for a betta, but its not enough room for ANY more fish
a ghost shrimp would do well in it with a betta but you have to remember some bettas prefer to eat a shrimp rather than have a friend

Moss balls actually help keep your tank clean, reduce likelyhood of algea growth AND provide extra oxygen to the tank.
Plus, if you get ghost shrimp they love to trim the moss balls and crawl on them :)
Good luck!
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-23-2011, 03:07 PM
Join Date: Mar 2010
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Welcome to the forum and to the wonderful world of Betta keeping.....

As you are finding out- I am all the reading and research the water quality is a big issue in keeping a happy, healthy Betta.....

Regardless of tank size-without proper water changes and nutrition the Betta may not do well for long or you fight disease, rot and other issues that go along with poor husbandry......

IMO/E-you can successfully keep a Betta long term in 1gal unfiltered containers...provided that proper water changes are made....that being.....twice weekly...1-50% and 1-100%-the Betta not overfed and uneaten food removed within a reasonable time....should maintain water quality and fin health......

In a 3gal filtered tank-water changes of twice weekly 50%....1-50% water only and 1-50% to include the substrate by vacuum or stir and dip method should maintain water quality......

Filter media needs a swish/rinse in old tank water with a water change a couple of times a month to maintain water flow....

Although smaller filtered tanks can establish the nitrogen cycle-due to the limited surface area the cycle is not as stable as in larger tanks 5gal and larger
The nitrogen cycle will happen naturally in filtered tanks....

With water changes its important that you try and keep the water temp between new and old water within a couple of degrees to prevent temp shock problems
Always use dechlorinator with any water added to the tank
Dose the dechlorinator for the full volume of the tank even with partial water changes as a general rule.....

Nutrition is really important too....a good quality varied diet fed in small frequent meals

Water temp-you may or may not need a heater, but its a good idea to have one on hand....your goal is to maintain a somewhat stable water temp in the 76-80F range

You do need a thermometer-to check both the water temp in the tank and for the water used for water changes

Live plants are great to keep in with the Betta....often most failures in keeping live plants is due to wrong lights

Tank mates in aquariums under 10gal are limited to shrimp and/or snail....due to limited space to meet needs, water quality issues and in small tanks due to the limited space increases the odds of other species and the Betta itself to be injured and/or killed.
As posted-even shrimp and/or snail can sometimes be injured and/or killed based on the Bettas tolerance....each Betta is different and this can change in a split a back-up plan is a good idea....

The number one medication IMO/ fresh/dechlorinated like temp water from water changes.....water change can be the best first line defense when the Betta has any changes in behavior or appears to be ill.....once the water has been ruled out as the cause-it can make diagnosis and treatment easier

Proper acclimation to both water temp and chemistry is important-by adding small amount of the dechlorinated tank water to the holding container with the new Betta over 20-30 min and sometimes longer based on the Bettas tolerance
Never add any of the pet shop water to the tank-

Look forward to hearing about your new Betta and see pic...

Last edited by Oldfishlady; 07-23-2011 at 03:11 PM.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-23-2011, 06:07 PM
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Location: British Columbia, Canada
Posts: 303
Welcome to the forums! Your thread title caught my eye. I like your philosophy :)

I'm a reformed fish owner, too. My mom thought she knew what she was doing (thanks to the local fish store) and I learned through her. Many failed attempts later, I realized that maybe I wasn't cut out for fish keeping. Fast forward to today, I have my own daughter and have come to realize just how uninformed I was. I'm about to undertake fishkeeping again, this time with knowledge!

Anyways, just had to share that you're not alone in having done the wrong things. The fact that we're here to try and make it better is a great step!

If you can go a bit bigger than a 3 gallon, the Hex 5 gallon is really good:

The size is vertical versus horizontal so it may fit your size constraints.
Because it's bigger, there's room for a buddy in the tank for your betta (as OFL says, only a shrimp and/or snail qualify). Lastly, it's also only $5 more than the 3 gallon. Win!

Whatever you choose, just make sure you get a quality heater.

Good luck!

Flambé (crowntail), Gleep and Bubba (Moss Ball Army)
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