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Old 05-23-2012, 12:01 AM   #1 
sisko66002
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Question Fixing My Newbie Mistakes

Just shy of two weeks ago, stupidly and with no research, I bought a female betta splendens who I named Yomiko. It wasn't very long thereafter, after a bit of research on the internet, that I learned that the supplies I purchased for my betta were woefully inadequate. The half-gallon tank is much too small, the heater just plain didn't work at all, and the filter needed a deeper tank to work. Water changes are currently being done on an every other day basis to make my small supply of water conditioner last until Thursday (5/24) and are 100% because of how small the tank is.

Also, so far, she has eaten very little. Only two of the tetra pellets or bettas I purchased for her.

On Thursday, which is my payday, I am planning on doing some major upgrading and wanted some help in making sure I will be getting everything that I need.

Planning on buying:

1. 5-gallon tank with gentle filter (or larger depending on prices)
2. tank heater suitable for the tank with ability to set temp
3. water conditioner
4. Water testing kit for – Amonia, Nitrates, Nitrites
5. Betta food (2 varieties, at least one for picky eaters)
6. Fish tank thermometer
7. Tetra Safe Start
8. Gravel vacuum
9. 1 or 2 decorations depending on what I can afford

Is this everything that I need? And if my money won't stretch to everything which should I prioritize and which could be made to wait another two weeks for my next paycheck or even the one after that?

Also I plan on cycling the larger tank, currently doing the research on it, and want to know, based upon my betta's current living conditions and my status as a complete fish newbie, would it be better for her if she waits till I've done a fish-less cycle on the new and much larger tank, or if I should try to cycle with her in the new tank?
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Old 05-23-2012, 12:44 AM   #2 
Thomasdog
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looks good, as far as I can tell!
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Old 05-23-2012, 03:06 AM   #3 
deso
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You can skip the gravel vac if you have a turkey baster at home and are on a restricted budget. The turkey baster functions in the same way, basically. Just reduce the water level before gravel cleanings and use it to suck up the waste.

For the thermometer, the old-fashioned glass tube ones are the most accurate, and typically less expensive than the digital ones.

Do NOT skimp on the heater. Go for the best one you can afford, and don't get the Marineland Stealth (Pro). They recently had a product recall because their heaters were exploding, which gives you an idea of what can happen with a poor quality heater. Hydor Theo 25w should work for you and is adjustable. Eheim Jäger heaters are of brilliant quality, but you'll have to find the 50w version.
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Old 05-23-2012, 03:11 AM   #4 
Hallyx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sisko66002 View Post
... which should I prioritize....
Conditioner is first priority. Get some now! (Many members like Prime. It's the best value.) Heater and thermometer (to keep your heater honest), soonest. Anything else can wait.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sisko66002 View Post
Also I plan on cycling the larger tank, ... would it be better for her if she waits till I've done a fish-less cycle on the new and much larger tank, or if I should try to cycle with her in the new tank?
Opinions differ but I, personally, would never cycle with a fish in the tank. Properly done, you can cycle a tank in less than two weeks. When you're ready, come back here for asvice and encouragement.

Good luck. Welcome to the forum.
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Old 05-23-2012, 04:30 AM   #5 
Sheldon31
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All looks great! You might want a PH testing kit too and make sure your test kits are the liquid drip tests rather than the strips. Strips I'm sure are ok temporarily or if it really is the best you can afford right now but their accuracy is questioned :)
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Old 05-23-2012, 04:55 AM   #6 
Bombalurina
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sisko66002 View Post
Just shy of two weeks ago, stupidly and with no research, I bought a female betta splendens who I named Yomiko. It wasn't very long thereafter, after a bit of research on the internet, that I learned that the supplies I purchased for my betta were woefully inadequate. The half-gallon tank is much too small, the heater just plain didn't work at all, and the filter needed a deeper tank to work. Water changes are currently being done on an every other day basis to make my small supply of water conditioner last until Thursday (5/24) and are 100% because of how small the tank is.

Also, so far, she has eaten very little. Only two of the tetra pellets or bettas I purchased for her.

On Thursday, which is my payday, I am planning on doing some major upgrading and wanted some help in making sure I will be getting everything that I need.

Planning on buying:

1. 5-gallon tank with gentle filter (or larger depending on prices)
Sounds excellent. :)
2. tank heater suitable for the tank with ability to set temp
As has been said, definitely spend out on this. :) 25-50watt is what you need. :)
3. water conditioner
Prime by Seachem is definitely my recommendation. They also do one called Betta Basics, but Prime is much better value for money. API StressCoat is also great.
4. Water testing kit for – Amonia, Nitrates, Nitrites
An excellent plan. It may also be handy to find your water hardness and pH - you can google your local water authority if you don't want to buy test kits for this just yet. :)
5. Betta food (2 varieties, at least one for picky eaters)
Go for a good quality brand like Hikari or New Life Spectrum. I'd suggest replacing one of the brands with bloodworms or brine shrimp for a treat twice a week. :)
6. Fish tank thermometer
Go for a glass one inside the tank, not a sticky strip. :)
7. Tetra Safe Start
I wouldn't bother with this. There's a great deal of scepticism as to whether it works or not.
8. Gravel vacuum
9. 1 or 2 decorations depending on what I can afford

Is this everything that I need? And if my money won't stretch to everything which should I prioritize and which could be made to wait another two weeks for my next paycheck or even the one after that?
I would get things in this order: water conditioner, larger tank, heater, thermometer, filter, foods, test kit, other stuff.

Also I plan on cycling the larger tank, currently doing the research on it, and want to know, based upon my betta's current living conditions and my status as a complete fish newbie, would it be better for her if she waits till I've done a fish-less cycle on the new and much larger tank, or if I should try to cycle with her in the new tank?
I believe that a warm, cycling five gallon is infinitely better than a cold, uncycled half gallon. :) A fish-in cycle can be perfectly safe when done correctly and in this situation is certainly the better option. :)
Good luck with everything! :) You are going to be a great betta parent. :)
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Old 05-23-2012, 06:54 AM   #7 
Olympia
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I like Aquaclear for my heater. :D
I'd get a liquid test kit.. I know where I am it's $20 for 25 test strips or $40 for over 100 tests in everything you'll need so it ends up better value.
Fish in cycle is fine as long as you're diligent and prepared to do water changes every 2 days (which I guess is what you're doing now, lol). It's important to test the water every other day with a fishie inside.
Hope to see some pics of your girl! :D
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Old 05-23-2012, 08:15 AM   #8 
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I think the best solution for cycling would be to do a fishless cycle on the 5 gallon, but float (or otherwise attach) the .5 gallon inside it for the time being. This way your betta gets heat but doesn't have to be exposed to harmful ammonia levels during cycling. I've done this once and it worked just fine for a short period of time ;)
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Old 05-23-2012, 09:19 AM   #9 
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For the decorations I would go to a local thrift store (if you have one near by) and look for those paper weights. Their glass and all the color (if there is color) is sealed inside. I have an orca whale I've been dying to throw in a tank, but I ran out of room :P They might even have gravel and other misc thing depending on the size of it.
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Old 05-23-2012, 10:23 AM   #10 
a123andpoof
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I don't know where you live but if you have a walmart I would suggest them for tanks. They have a 5 gallon that comes with the filter and hood http://www.walmart.com/ip/Tetra-Aqua...-Pets/12177653
I have it and I don't mind the filter, you may have to baffle it though. I also have the walmart heaters they are like $15 and aren't terrible. They are what I use for all my tanks. they are cheap and they do work.
They also have a few different decor things for under $3 and gravel for like $4 for 5lb. I would get the prime water conditioner and walmart does not sell that.
You can also get the thermometer for $2. This is all at my walmart so location prices may vary. But I have checked and its cheaper then petco or petsmart.
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