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Old 05-03-2012, 09:11 PM   #21 
Join Date: May 2012
Another dumb noob question:

Given that there is limited amounts of space in a 1 gallon tank I've been assuming that having as many cubic inches available for swimming is the best route. However, that means there isn't much at all in the tank. I've thought about plants but that's a loss of cubic inches too.

Is it important for a betta to have plants and the like to interact with, or is it more important to have free space to swim?
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Old 05-03-2012, 09:12 PM   #22 
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Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Virginia
You're very welcome. As I mentioned earlier, good luck and keep us updated as well.

I would say that is a tricky question to answer. Bettas need both coverage and free swimming space and a 1 gallon does limit the ability to have both. I will not say anything negative towards 1 gallon tanks, as it is possible to keep a healthy betta in one with correct maintenance (also, don't get rid of it if you decide to go bigger, can make an excellent hospital tank).

I personally opted to have my boys in slightly larger tanks. They each have a 3.5 gallon, which provides room for plants (I'm using silk plants at the moment), decor, and plenty of free swimming space. You can find smaller tanks that run 2 to 2.5 gallons if 3.5 seems a little large considering water changes.

I hope this helps provide you with somewhat of an answer. I may have been a little vague with my answers, but hopefully you get a general concept of what I am trying to imply.

Last edited by Rosso1011; 05-03-2012 at 09:22 PM. Reason: Adding info to post
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Old 05-03-2012, 09:24 PM   #23 
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Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Virginia
Btw, I don't consider questions to be dumb. We all started out as beginners at some point and have to learn how to properly maintain and care for our aquariums and fish. Same concept applies for learning most everything. Without questions, it would be difficult to learn.
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Old 05-04-2012, 12:18 AM   #24 
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: Shangdong, China
This was probably already answered but:
Question: if the small tanks can't support the bacteria required for a nitrogen cycle, what's the point of having the filters? Do they just extend the time required between water changes? Are the really beneficial for the bettas in small tanks?
There are 3 types of filteration - mechanical, chemical and biological.
Even if the bacteria can't grow in a small tank a filter can still take care of the mechanical part which is getting debris out of the water and im not sure what the chemical part is. Plus a current will eliminate that annoying but harmless film that forms on top of the water.

I don't bother with them, alot of times they take up too much space and the output of water flow from the filter is too strong.

iven that there is limited amounts of space in a 1 gallon tank I've been assuming that having as many cubic inches available for swimming is the best route. However, that means there isn't much at all in the tank. I've thought about plants but that's a loss of cubic inches too.

Is it important for a betta to have plants and the like to interact with, or is it more important to have free space to swim?
Since bettas are from rice paddies that are full of plants, most seem to like having less empty space and more stuff. The more plants they have the more secure they feel.

I have that 1 gallon tank too. I got it a while back for my first rescue or whatever you want to call it. I wasn't sure he was gonna live so i didn't want to spend more then $10 on a tank. I removed the bubbler/filter thing cause its useless. I currently have a tiny female in it with one of those ugly neon caves they sell at walmart and 2 silk plants. I like to have at least one tall plant that reaches the surface so they can rest on it. I took out the gravel to allow for more room to swim.

Alot of people will give you a hard time about it being only 1 gallon but as long as water changes are done every week and you get a heater - the betta will be fine. You can always upgrade down the road if you feel up to it.
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Old 05-04-2012, 12:19 PM   #25 
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Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: England
Originally Posted by CaseyA View Post
Hi SpookyTooth!

I'm sorry you have to deal with it as well, SpookyTooth, but it's nice knowing there are others out there who understand.

That old hamster tank I mentioned earlier? It's sitting there tempting me! "Oh it isn't that big, you could get the kids' help, so what if it takes all morning to move five gallons of water out of the tank?" LOL I'm sure you've heard that voice too. ;) Gotta resist!
These things are sent to try us - while frustrating they also make those little victories all the more sweet! :)

Oh I do so know what you mean! I can't begin to tell you how often I've wondered about upgrading. I did try it at one stage (I have a 54 litre... errr about 13.5 gallons? aquarium) but found the tank was placed too high and had to move Kaze, my first betta, back into his smaller tank.

I am trying with that tank again though! My bedroom has had a few things moved around so I have some space at the end of my bed that isn't too high up for me to reach properly. My father has agreed to make a little table for the tank to sit on so I don't need to stand up and I don't need to kneel over to reach it! Going to divide it into two and plant it out.

Part of the process of upgrading is down to confidence. I have days where I'm bedbound so I also seriously need to consider my health - this is actually why I've decided to go for a larger tank. The first two months are the hardest but once they are out of the way you'll have many years of peace and joy from your little fellow, all things willing :) I'm sure a 1 gallon will be splendid for Jack but as your confidence grows you may find you wish to get something a little bigger, if you do it is always worth asking family for help.

Just don't push yourself too far! It can take a long while to decide what size tank you'd like, but it really is worth considering every "what if" - both positives and negatives, especially when you have physical limitations to work with. The biggest selling point for me with regards to a larger tank was ... to be honest ... seeing how quickly Kaze's current tank grew out once the plants started going! I've been having to trim them back every week which is exhausting and I have no where to put the extra plants! I do also love the thought of fewer water changes though I am a bit nervous about them during those first few weeks.

Though, now I'm also quite confident that I can maintain the larger aquarium with the new space I have in my room. Another thing to consider with aquariums is where you want to put them; somewhere at or below arms level can really help if you have localized pain or fatigue in your arm muscles/joints, for example.

One other thing that is an utter Godsend is an aquarium siphon! If you can find one that has a very easy to use pump you'll have absolutely no problem emptying and refilling the tank. It may take a little trial and error but aquarium siphons remove the need for heavy lifting (unless you stick to smaller tanks) and can save so much time and energy!

Dancing? Really? Oh wow, that'll be cool! So far all Jack has done is flare at my hands like I'm coming to get him.
Echo used to do that to me. Whenever I put my fingers near his tank he'd back away and flare but whenever he saw my face he'd dance. The dancing is reminiscent of an overly excited dog - it may take time but I hope he starts dancing for you soon!

Thank you. I thought it was very sweet too, even when I was a bit ambivalent. She and I had some problems after she turned 18, and just recently she's decided I might not be so bad after all. ;) Jack is sort of a peace offering I think, or something along those lines. She's a sweet kid, no question, but you know how the 18-21 years are.
Aww I'm sorry to hear of your problems but I am glad things are smoothing out. It's never easy having issues floating around especially when medical ones compile with emotional.

I've actually found that my fish have brought myself and my dad a little closer. We've never been particularly distant but we lack patience for eachother due to various reasons. I think he's just glad I've taken an interest in something other than carnivorous plants - which I think I could drive anyone batty with when talking about!

She called a little while ago to see how the fish is doing. Given how lethargic he was when she brought him to me last night I think she was worried he wouldn't make it. She got him at Walmart, she said they must've had a new shipment and he looked good at the store, but even she knows Walmart isn't a good source for animals.

I can't let him die. Other than I really like the little guy, his death would surely bring an unneeded angst in our newly resumed relationship.
We don't have stores like Walmart over here - we have Pets At Home. Our local Pets At Home recently lost me as a customer (though I don't get out much) due to their fish care slipping dramatically. I can understand the worry with regards to having fish from a store with ill repute but I'm sure you'll do fine. You're taking care of Jack's entire world and clearly care a great deal about it! The rest is down to him :)

I hope it isn't out of line to say this but I think your daughter would appreciate the amount of effort you're putting into keeping Jack alive and healthy.

Don't fear--if I have a question or concern about Jack I'll be posting posthaste!
You and me both! Haha. I'm still quite new to this, I bought my first betta in December '11 and still sometimes get bitten by NTBS (New To Bettas Syndrome). There's absolutely nothing wrong with asking questions, helps us learn and grow as human beings!

Can I find that plant at a place like Petsmart? Or would I need to find an aquarium store?
We don't have Petsmarts over here in England but I have read of members in the USA being able to find some kinds of plants in Petsmart, Petco and the like. It's all down to where you're able to look, really. You can buy them online (which is usually better) but from what I've read many Petsmarts have basic, easy-to-grow plants such as anubias, java moss and marimo moss balls.

Marimo moss balls look like green tribbles - they seem to be a favourite on the forums and I completely understand why! They're brilliant! Some bettas like to swim in circles around them, they feel like velvet. I wonder if the fish have a similar sense of touch to us underwater...

Thanks again SpookyTooth, for the welcome, understanding and the advice.
That's my pleasure! I hope I've been of some help - and if not the others here certainly will be!
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Old 05-04-2012, 12:22 PM   #26 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: USA
For plants-either will work fine-water wisteria may be easier to find. I haven't been in one of the box type pet shops in a long time so I am not sure what they carry-but I am sure that would vary anyway from state to state....If you do get plants in the tubes-remember most of them are not true aquatic plants and will rot and die when underwater for long periods. I have read on here that several of our members have found water wisteria at these pet shops sold in tube.

Aquarium salt (sodium chloride) is a great product to use short term for treatments when used for the right reason, duration and dosage-best to limit it use to 10-14 days max.

Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) this is a great product to use for treatment and it can be used long term as well as plant safe-(I am sure you use it with your orchids....)
Personally, I wouldn't use it long term unless the Betta needed it and it doesn't sound like he does-unless he is having some buoyancy issue.

Edit-just wanted to add......for us physically limited folks.....due to my illness/injury that caused my limitation and at time being bed bound, stuck in a hospital bed for weeks, fine motor skills that are shot and house bound......I had to end my hobby for awhile until I found the natural planted tank method and now I am back and running with over 20 tanks, not counting the small it not been for that method I wouldn't have been able to enjoy the hobby I love and give me something to do since I am house body is broken but my mind still I gotta keep it busy or I will go

What I am getting at-is that there are methods for us physically limited folks with any size tank....big or small....its all about the method......the natural planted are as close to a natural ecosystem that can be created in a closed system and once mature they need very little care.
Here is a bit more info-plus in my album I have more info and pic of smaller NPT's

Last edited by Oldfishlady; 05-04-2012 at 12:39 PM.
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