How to Make the Ideal Tank Setup
Buying a new Betta can be daunting. Setting up the tank for your new buddy can be even more stressful than deciding whether to choose the halfmoon or the plakat at the pet store. But now, you need not worry. This easy to read resource will lead you through the perfect steps to create a fantastic un-cycled or cycled aquarium for your bettas.
Betta Splendens, or Siamese Fighting Fish as they are more commonly known as are more complex to look after than what most believe. As common knowledge suggests, they do not in fact live in small dirty puddles. They live in long spans of water, although shallow as they are. They also are very territorial fish and will fight for their own space within these expanses of water. Although Betta Splendens are the most predominant type found in pet stores you can also find Strohi and Macramosta, which are wild betta breeds for sale as well.
All betta’s are different and prefer different setups. The longer tailed varieties may be slower and less agile than the shorter tail breeds, while female bettas and sororities are completely different again. So, where do you start? Depending on what sex, tail type and persona of your betta, everyone will need something different, although there are some basic rules you need to follow when setting up your tank.
Before selecting your betta, the best idea is to choose your tank first. This will allow you to buy everything you need to set it up and then choose your betta. So often people buy their fish and wander around the store aimlessly looking for the stuff they need, putting the poor fish in extreme stress. First of all, determine the size of your tank. At the least, your tank should be 1.5 Gallons for one male or female betta. For a sorority or community tank it should average on 10 gallons as the minimum. Remember to buy something you have the time and space for. There’s no point in buying a 20G and having it as dirty as the betta cups in Walmart. This will also allow you to choose suitable decor and plants for your fish’s home.
When deciding on your decor, remember that betta’s have delicate fins, which can tear very easily. Make sure that if you are going for the non-planted tank look to sand down sharp edges on decor and buy only silk plants. They may cost a bit more, but they won’t hurt your new buddy! If you are more interested in the planted tank side of things, make sure you buy a UV light and Co2 if your plants require it. Some really great low maintaince plants are the best bet in your tank. These plants can be Java moss and Java fern and they are always easy to find and look great!
So, you’ve got everything you need, time to set up! The next exciting part of bringing home your new fish is setting up his home! Betta’s love heaps of plants and caves, so that they can relax. Remember, that if you are setting up a sorority to have allot of plants, because each female will want to stake out their own territory. Now, make sure you wash out your tank, heater, filter and decor with boiling hot water first. This will prevent any nasties from entering your tank. Also wash out your gravel or sand thoroughly before placing it in the tank to prevent dirt from the water. Now place your decor and plants in. Don’t forget the water condition! You can easily figure out how much conditioner your tank needs by using the formula on the back of the bottle (Length x Width x water level height (in cm) divided by 1000). You can also add in some Stress Coat to keep your fish from losing to many electrolytes. Lastly, insert the heater into the tank, and place your fish in while he’s still in his plastic bag or cup. This allows him or her to acclimate to the temperature while heating up your tank. Keep him in there for around ten minutes before slowly realising him into the water.
Later that night, you notice your new little buddy swimming around happily. Weaving in and out of his decor and blowing a bubble nest in the corner, you will realise how rewarding and beautiful these little creatures can be given the right care. Although it can be a bit messy and take up some space, fish-keeping is one of the most peaceful and calming hobbies. I hope learning how to properly set up your tank and fish has been a helpful guide to you and your fish-keeping experience!