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Old 09-15-2012, 09:45 PM   #1 
harleraven's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Illinois
Cost of care AFTER set up?

So we have our little community tank started up, and I am waiting on my betta tank to arrive. I fear I may already have gotten 'the bug', as I have been looking at Craigslist for betta sized tanks.

So my question is: After the expense of set-up, what is the expected monthly cost of care for a single betta? I know we are fine with one, but I have the feeling I am going to get the potato chip syndrome very quickly. I keep thinking, "You know, with a few more places to set them, the office has PLENTY of room for more tanks..." So including averages costs for any treatments that are likely to come up, food, etc., what can I expect per betta? I am talking about single male bettas, not sororities.

Just the little community tank we have has me staring at it all the time instead of studying or doing something I should be doing. I find myself far more relaxed since the addition of the tank, as well. My husband only works three days a week, so he can take care of water changes pretty easily.
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Old 09-15-2012, 09:48 PM   #2 
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Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Urbandale, IA
The added costs to keeping fish is the monthly cost of electricity for running filters and/or heaters and lights. Beyond that it is the constant care of the fish with bi-weekly water quality checks.

Food and the like are not a huge cost because medicine and food will last almost forever before you need to purchase more.
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Old 09-15-2012, 10:06 PM   #3 
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Yeah, I know that food and such is not a huge cost, but I wanted to make sure I was not missing anything before I decided to venture into more tanks. I want to set up the first tank. Then once that one is totally done, start cycling another. LOl.
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Old 09-16-2012, 01:07 AM   #4 
homegrown terror
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Location: Tennessee
don't forget conditioner! more tanks means more water changes, which means more conditioner! and eventually (my apartment is getting to this point) having to build wall shelves to house more tanks.
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Old 09-16-2012, 01:12 AM   #5 
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Location: Illinois
Oh, thank you! That is not TOO expensive, considering how little you use. Overall, my fishy friends are still way less expensive to care for than my three cats. LOL! More upfront costs, but after that, they are so much less expensive.
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Old 09-16-2012, 02:29 AM   #6 
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Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Coastal Georgia
Besides the things already mentioned, food, water conditioner..these are cheap and last a while...however, heaters, decor, added water bill lol..which is not much for one tank, but as you said, it is the, "I just want one more betta" thing that gets us. My water bill has gone up a bit since having 6 tanks lol. As with all pets, we want to get them all they need, but then we want to add the extras. And I agree...upfront set up can be expensive...upkeep is relatively cheap as long as the fish stay healthy. I just got a good deal on a new tank at Good Will, and two heaters at my local fish store...
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Old 09-16-2012, 04:37 AM   #7 
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: Shangdong, China
A container of food will last a long time. I have 15 and I only buy food like once every few months and a bottle of stress coat every month.

For one betta, It can't be very much at all.
However, I have live plants so I also get a bottle of API plant food, liquid CO2 and I like to have a bottle of Amquel plus and Krodon fish protector on hand. Amquel plus is similar to Prime conditioner and Krodon fish protector is similar to stress coat. I like to have a bottle of each in case I run out of Stress coat and am short on cash. Plus I use it for shipping fish. I also pick up frozen blood worms once every few months and I like to have something like Furan 2 on hand in cause of fast moving bacterial infections. I don't get filter cartridges every month though. I stuffed my filters with aquaclear filter foam which lasts alot longer then any of the cartridges and therefor do not need to be replaced monthly. Just swish them around in old tank water to get the debris out and then stick it back into the filter. This also keeps the good bacteria in the filter. You loose it when you toss out 'dirty" cartridges and replace with new ones. The only tank with a cartridge is the snail tank as their water reeks without the carbon filteration. My tanks 5 gallons and under do not have filters so no extra costs there.

I probably spend about $60/month on fish and this includes the occasional rescue but if you just go with food and conditioner - maybe $5 every month?
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Old 09-16-2012, 07:00 AM   #8 
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Join Date: Sep 2012
Originally Posted by ZergyMonster View Post
The added costs to keeping fish is the monthly cost of electricity for running filters and/or heaters and lights.
I wouldn't truly consider the cost of electricity a concern most small internal filters only use a few watts of power and even a 25w or 50w heater isn't necessarily using much energy because they're not constantly on, but even if they were, that's only as much as a light bulb. Compared to the rest of the things contributing to your power bill, a betta or small fish tank is really not going to have much of an impact at all.

I tend to feel like food goes stale before I use it all up.. I buy more every few months and usually toss the old stuff but I've never emptied a container of fish food. Omega One is $3.99, Hakari is slightly less (but less volume). I have 3 bettas and they don't make much of a dent in their food. I could be cheap and keep the food until it runs out, which would "save" money, but since my average expense for pellet food is maybe $12 a year I'm okay with wasting some :)

Frozen foods (blood worms, brine shrimp, etc) are about $5 a package, but they actually keep a very long time (mine have expiration dates a couple of years in the future) - I did the math for my ADF (frogs) and just ONE package of frozen food is probably a year's supply for them.. Splitting them into portions for the bettas too it's still easily 6 month's worth. Having multiple options means I have a stockpile of frozen fish/frog food for a long, long time :)

Water conditioner is an initial expense, but a 100ml bottle of prime ($5.49 now at Petsmart) will last an average betta keeper (with a tank 5g or less) at least several years at 2 drops per gallon of water.

What DOES get expensive, is if your fish needs medication for any reason. I just spent $18 on Maracyn and Maracyn plus, and while I will have some left over, odds are good if I had to treat a fish again I'd have to buy more to complete the course.
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