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Old 06-10-2012, 12:01 PM   #1 
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Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Southwest Florida
Advice please!

I had 2 goregous male crowtail bettas dumped on me a few days ago. They were left in a divided half gallon at my door while I was out in town. I have no idea who dumped them, but I made the decision to keep them.

I got an identical .5 gallon with the intention of both of them having their own bowl. Unfortunately, I didn't notice one of the Bettas was sick until it was too late to even try to treat.

I should mention that I do have experience in fish tanks. I had a 29 gallon, 20 gallon, three 10 gallons and a 2.5 gallon in high school. They were stable fresh water tanks and I had a pair of mating Angels, although I never bred them. 3 of those tanks had a male Betta in each, but I never had a betta in a bowl without a filter.

My question is, should I get some Java moss for him? Would it make the bowl water more stable? I'm a college student, so right now I can't really afford to get him a proper tank with a filter, and to be honest, I really don't want to have to deal with all that cleaning right now.

I can manage the water changes to keep the .5 gallons stable until I can afford a proper tank. I was just wondering if Java moss would help. I have absolutely no experience with live plants. All the Decor in my old tanks were fake.

I would love suggestions on what to get when I am able to afford to upgrade. It MUST have a lid. I have a 10 month old kitten, who thinks the fish are a new toy for her, as you can see:

Here is how the bowl was set up when it was left at my door:

The surviving betta is on the right. He's now alone in the .5 gallon, with a fake plant and a leaf hammock.

I'm also really considering buying another betta since I have the other .5 gallon that was supposed to be for the second betta.
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Old 06-10-2012, 12:13 PM   #2 
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: MD
1st of all, I think you should only have 1 Betta for now. It would be probably be best if you bought a Kritter Keeper for your current Betta's house. It comes with a Lid, Cheap, Sturdy, and get the Bigger Ones. For your 1st Live Plant, maybe you should get an Anubis Plant, or even a Marimo Moss Ball, or Hornwort. Get Java Fern if you still want to though. Just make sure that it's a Beginner Plant and it's FULLY AQUATIC. Some stores just, get the wrong idea.
Good Luck!!! :)
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Old 06-10-2012, 12:20 PM   #3 
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Location: Rapid City Sd
wow, thats a new one...I suggest a critter keeper. For about 10 bucks you can get a nice one over 1 gallon. Live plants do keep the water stable in some senses but I would personally get some IAL (indian almond leaf) in there. It'll boost the healing qualities of treated tap water with some tannins.
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Old 06-10-2012, 12:33 PM   #4 
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Location: Australia!
Java moss is wonderful and will grow happily without a lot of light. It's also great at keeping ammonia down in small tanks, not that it takes the place of frequent changes in something so small, but it helps for in-between, I find.. Floating wisteria is also great but I find it doesn't live long-term in small, unfiltered tanks. Great for a short-term hammocking plant if you don't mind picking out the soggy leaves regularly before they start to decompose.

Omg, that kitten is cute. xD
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Old 06-10-2012, 12:38 PM   #5 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: USA
Welcome to the forum....

Since you need to work with what you have until you can upgrade.....You can make this work, however, I agree that you should wait to get another Betta....

With the half gallon container-I would recommend that you make 3 weekly water changes.....2-50% water only and 1-100% to maintain water quality....

Maintaining temp may be an issue in the half gallon-they can be hard to safely heat, however, you may or may not need a heater-your goal is to maintain a somewhat stable temp in the 76-80F range.

You do need a thermometer to monitor the water temp and to monitor the temp of the replacement water used for water changes to try and keep the temps fairly close-it doesn't need to be exact-just close to avoid too extreme temp changes-especially with an already compromised Betta.

The only chemical additive you need is a good dechlorinator that covers chlorine and chloramines if you are on city water supply-Be sure and check the label for proper dosage if you have both-since some recommend double dose if you have chloramines in the water.....

Nutrition-good quality varied diet fed in small frequent meals is best-don't overfed and remove uneaten food within a reasonable time.

Live plants-as long as the plant is thriving it can help-but if its not....the plant can become part of the problem.
Java moss is a pretty easy plant with low light needs so it should be fine with a little diffused natural sunlight.

Beautiful kitty by the way....
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Old 06-10-2012, 12:52 PM   #6 
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Location: Southwest Florida
Thanks for the advice. I remember all the water quality and water changes stuff from when I had many tanks back in High school. I know that the live plants won't replace water changes, I was just wondering if it would help with the water quality between water changes.

I'm not worried about the temperature. I live in Florida. The "bowl" is placed in a cool area that doesn't have anything blowing on it. I've monitored the temperature. It doesn't drop below 78 and doesn't go over 80. It seems to stay between those temperatures.

I've treated the water before I added it. I remember that from working with my big tanks.

I remember the Betta care from when I had some males in my big tanks. I'm just unsure about a tank without a filter. I will upgrade as soon as I can.

As for the kitten, she knows she's adorable. She'll have to learn that fishies are for watching, not harassing :) The betta is moved to a place where she can't get it when I'm not home.

What size tank would be best for a filterless home for the betta. You've mentioned the Critter keeper, but not what size. I need something manageable. The gravel vacuum was a pain in the ass with my 5 gallon tank. I remember that so well haha
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Old 06-10-2012, 02:13 PM   #7 
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Location: Ontario
I like Critter Keepers and the like because they're small (I believe the biggest size is around 3.3 gallons?) but I have a few of the different brands and they very in size. My smallest are a gallon, I believe.

Anyway, they're very lightweight and, provided you're physically capable of doing so, you can often just take the whole tank to the bathroom and clean everything out there. That's what i do with mine anyway. Doesn't take too long either as they're pretty small.

I think anything around 2 or 3 gallons would be perfect for your betta.
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Old 06-10-2012, 04:49 PM   #8 
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I actually just remembered that I have either a 5 or a 10 gallon tank with a lid and light somewhere. But I have no filter or heater. I'd also want to divide it too.
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