Welcome to Betta Keeping! These little guys are such awesome fish to have, and they are hardy!
• Starting the tank:
- Because you have a new tank, I wouldn't recommend getting fish RIGHT away, to set up your tank you are going to need:
• A strainer
• Hot water.
Now, open your gravel package and pour the gravel into a strainer, start the water and make sure it's hot, and start washing it, move it around using your hands. Or just let the water run for 5 - 10 minutes on the gravel. Make sure all the dust is out of the gravel. If you have any decorations do that with the decorations as well but only for a minute or two.
Once all the dust was removed from the decorations and gravel, simply rinse out the small tank and then put the gravel in.
• A safe home.
- When getting a betta, and a fish you are going to want to know that you need to remove the chlorine and other things from tap water to make it safe. What you need:
• A conditioner to make the water safe, I recommend "Aqua-Plus" it has a stress coat forumla in it, and it treats the water to keep your fish safe, also it tells you in the back about "protecting scales/fins" and much more depending on the amount you add.
Add 5mL from the cup it comes with from the bottle [the bottle clear lid is a measuring cup.] and pour 5mL in it.
• Letting the filter run:
- After cleaning the gravel, treating the water, cleaning the decorations you are going to want to let the new filter it comes with run for 24 hours. Make sure you run it for 24 hours. What you need:
• A filter.
• Cycling A Tank:
- I am not good at explaining this so here are two articles on how to cycle:
• Article 1 - http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=99450
[Go to the cycling section]
• Article 2 - http://www.firsttankguide.net/cycle.php
Do not add any fish when your tank is cycling, unless you are doing a fish cycle. Do not add fish when your tank hasn't been cycled, I have a 3 gallon tank and I didn't bother to cycle my tank since it was under 5 gallons and members here told me not to bother. But to keep YOUR aquarium safer, you can cycle. If you don't cycle you will need to be changing 50% or so of the water for 3 - 6 weeks. Things you will need:
• Testing kit
• Betta food if you are not doing a fish cycle, but a fishless cycle.
• Adding your first fish to an aquarium:
- When adding a betta to an aquarium you have to make sure you have the correct levels using the testing kit, or high PH and other things can kill your fish! What you need:
• A zip-lock bag if your fish came in a cup.
• A net
• A bowl
• Testing Kit
To add your fish to an aquarium, if he came in a cup get a smaller zip-lock bag put the cup in the corner and then slowly pour him in the corner, lock the bag and let him float, if he's in the corner he will have enough water. Or float the cup, watch they are good jumpers! Allow your betta to float 10 minutes in the water in ether a cup, or bag. After 10 minutes get a cup and pour some of the tank water in the bag after 15 minutes get a bowl, then put the bag in the bowl, then net your fish out the bag, or pour the cup into a net so your fish falls in, quickly yet gently put your fish in the tank! MAKE SURE YOU HAVE NO TANK LIGHTS ON WHEN DOING THIS!
• After Adding Him To Your Aquarium
- After adding your betta to the aquarium you can now put the lights on after 5 minutes of swimming around with the lights off. Look at his tummy if it's big, and round and sticks out do NOT feed him if he has a big tummy sticking out, just wait a day then feed him. If he isn't bloated, feed him 2 pellets, or whatever type of food you have. Remember there stomach is the size of there eye. What you need:
• Betta food, I recommend using "Nutrafin Betta Food"
Do not overfed your betta, if your betta is bloated do NOT feed (s)he, bettas will always be hungry so if this ever comes up "My betta looks hungry" don't let (s)he win, they will eat everything!
• Starting a community tank
- If you ever do this, remember bettas are nice fish but they can be aggressive here is a list you do NOT want your betta to live with.
• Goldfish - They like cold water! Bettas are tropical, they like WARM water.
• African Claw Frog - Most mistaken as an African Dwarf Frog, they have long claws in the front, and African Dwarf Frogs have webbing's in the front!
• Guppies - They CAN sometimes live with bettas, but they wont survive bettas will think they are another betta because they have LONG-FLOWING fins, and bright colors.
• And there are others.
WHAT YOU CAN PUT BETTAS WITH:
• African Dwarf Frogs - 2 of them.
• Neon tetras 6 or MORE, they will fin-nip if you have less, they are schooling fish the more you have the better they ARE!
• Cories, they are catfish, Cory Catfish, 2 or more would be better.
• Apple Snails
• Ghost Shrimp
• Red Cherry Shrimp
• And much more, do not put bettas together if: You are breeding a male and female, DO THIS IF YOU HAVE EXPERIENCE. Only put females together if you have 4 or more, and doing a sorority tank! Do not put male bettas with other males! And do not put other fish if they can hurt your betta, not tropical, have bright colors and not long-flowing fins.
My little starter guide, hoped that helped you out :)
---OTHER STUFF YOU WILL NEED----
• A heater, maybe under 10 watts.
• A thermonter - to keep the correct temperature, I recommend digital.
• SILK plants, if you are not using real plants, do not BUY PLASTIC spikey plants, they will tear your bettas fins and hurt there body!
• At least one hiding spot, like a small broken smooth out edges pot, you can sometimes find these in Pet Stores.
• Betta food, pellets!, Sometimes flakes, and BLOODWORMS are ONLY for treats not everyday food.