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Old 10-25-2012, 03:13 PM   #1 
LegalEagle2009
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New Betta Owner- Upgrade from bowl to tank

Hey, y'all!

Brand new Betta owner here. Brought Bilbo Baggins the Betta home on Saturday. I originally put him in a large bowl shaped vase I already had (1- 1/2 gallon sized). Added decorative marbles and a life peace lily. Submerged the roots of the peace lily. Leaves are sticking up out of the top. Have a decorative dragon that my bf's 12 y.o. picked out (he named fish, too).

I'm trying to be a good fish mommy. I did a 100% water change on Monday and just did a 50% water change today. Because I currently have a live plant in there, I didn't do the full 100% change today. Didn't want to mess with whatever the balances are in there (I haven't done any testing yet).

In addition, when Bilbo did not seem to be enjoying the flakes, I picked through the food to give him the non-flaky bits for a day or two. Yesterday, I bought him pellets for primary food and bloodworms as his treat.

Bilbo seems to be a happy betta. I was greeted yesterday morning with a bubble nest. He watches me from inside the bowl and typically swims to whatever side of the bowl I am standing on (the bowl is resting on the raised countertop between the kitchen and living/dining areas.

Of course, I found this website and started reading the messages and so am now thinking about upgrading his living quarters to some kind of tank. My issue is that I ONLY want Bilbo, not other fish. 10 gal tanks seem rather large for just him, so I am thinking that I want a tank in the 2-5 gal range. Is that going to be good for him?

I haven't purchased additional items for the current bowl he is in, because if I manage to get a tank at a discount, it frequently comes with lots of accessories.

I am finding myself a little overwhelmed with the different options here- live plants vs. silk faux plants; sand vs. gravel; filtration; etc.

I'm not looking to invest several hundred dollars into this. I wanted something really simple and it's already getting more complicated than I originally expected. I'm okay with some added complications and expense, but I don't want to go crazy with it, either.

Thanks!

Bilbo's new mom.
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Old 10-25-2012, 03:42 PM   #2 
Kytkattin
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I completely understand not wanting to spend too much time or money. In this case, you kind of have the option of either or. If you spend more money, you can have a more advanced set up that requires less time (and you mentioned a 2-5 gallon, that would be perfect). The opposite of course is to keep him in the smaller bowl and do water changes much more frequently. As you can tell, a peace lilly is not one of those plants that allows for easy water changes. Better options are anubias, or Marimo moss balls. The anubias would need to be grown on a decoration, but doing so would allow you to simply take the plant out when you needed to do your 100% changes.

If you aren't going to have a large selection of plants, gravel is the better option. Sand can get stagnant unless you have root systems. There are still quite a few plants that can easily be grown with gravel, and those plants will improve water quiality.

But basically, in my experience, a heater, plants, and 2+ gallons is all you really need. A filter just complicates things in a way you don't need.
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Old 10-25-2012, 03:56 PM   #3 
LegalEagle2009
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The original reason I bought the peace lily was to act as a barrier to protect Bilbo from my cat, if she showed any interest in his bowl (since it has no lid). She hasn't shown any interest. He hasn't started to jump much either and I have kept the water low enough from the top that he couldn't jump out.

The lily has been a little bit aggravating in that if your hand bumps it, it starts to float. Right now, I've somehow got it wedged just right so that Bilbo can hide out in the roots and swim around them, but the roots are not buried or floating in the water, either.

To do my water change I use a ladle to scoop out 50% of the water.

So, is your suggestion to stick with a few live plants vs. silk ones? Will that make a filtration system completely unnecessary?
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Old 10-25-2012, 05:48 PM   #4 
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I personally love live plants, so I will admit being a touch biased.

Unfortunately, unless have have a very large variety or number of plants in 2 or more gallons, you will need to still do fairly frequent water changes no matter what or how many plants you have. I still really recommend plants of course because they do help.

What I am basically saying though is that unless you get 5 gallons and want to do the whole cycle thing, don't get a filter. It won't do you any good and will just make things more complicated in a way you don't need or want.

I actually have had a 2 gallon, moderately planted with low light plants up for about a year now. It has a heater, and while it did start in a sunny window, when I moved I had to supplement with light. It only needs one water change a week, and the fish is wonderfully healthy. If you go to the last page you can see the most recent photo of it.

http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=84180
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Old 10-25-2012, 06:17 PM   #5 
ChoclateBetta
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LegalEagle2009 View Post
Hey, y'all!

Brand new Betta owner here. Brought Bilbo Baggins the Betta home on Saturday. I originally put him in a large bowl shaped vase I already had (1- 1/2 gallon sized). Added decorative marbles and a life peace lily. Submerged the roots of the peace lily. Leaves are sticking up out of the top. Have a decorative dragon that my bf's 12 y.o. picked out (he named fish, too).

I'm trying to be a good fish mommy. I did a 100% water change on Monday and just did a 50% water change today. Because I currently have a live plant in there, I didn't do the full 100% change today. Didn't want to mess with whatever the balances are in there (I haven't done any testing yet).

In addition, when Bilbo did not seem to be enjoying the flakes, I picked through the food to give him the non-flaky bits for a day or two. Yesterday, I bought him pellets for primary food and bloodworms as his treat.

Bilbo seems to be a happy betta. I was greeted yesterday morning with a bubble nest. He watches me from inside the bowl and typically swims to whatever side of the bowl I am standing on (the bowl is resting on the raised countertop between the kitchen and living/dining areas.

Of course, I found this website and started reading the messages and so am now thinking about upgrading his living quarters to some kind of tank. My issue is that I ONLY want Bilbo, not other fish. 10 gal tanks seem rather large for just him, so I am thinking that I want a tank in the 2-5 gal range. Is that going to be good for him?

I haven't purchased additional items for the current bowl he is in, because if I manage to get a tank at a discount, it frequently comes with lots of accessories.

I am finding myself a little overwhelmed with the different options here- live plants vs. silk faux plants; sand vs. gravel; filtration; etc.

I'm not looking to invest several hundred dollars into this. I wanted something really simple and it's already getting more complicated than I originally expected. I'm okay with some added complications and expense, but I don't want to go crazy with it, either.

Thanks!

Bilbo's new mom.
You could divide a 10 in half.
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Old 10-25-2012, 10:44 PM   #6 
Neight
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Exclamation

I would suggest moving that peace lily out if you have a cat! Peace Lilies are extremely poisonous to cats, and can kill them quickly if ingested! Another great alternative, as mentioned, would be Anubias.
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Old 10-25-2012, 11:08 PM   #7 
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I use pothos (devils ivy)
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Old 10-27-2012, 01:40 AM   #8 
LegalEagle2009
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So, today I bought Bilbo a new home. A 3 gal cube with LED light. It came with a filter but I'm going to try maintaining the tank without it. I bought a tetra heater for the tank, put it with him in his bowl to warm the water in that up first. Have the new tank water standing for the next day. I also bought the water testing supplies.

I'm going to ditch the peace lily now that I know it's toxic to cats.

If I'm starting out getting plants for first time how many should I get and what are good first time options?

Do I want snails in the plants? Will Bilbo eat some of them, such that overpopulation and growth of algae won't be a problem?
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Old 10-27-2012, 01:52 AM   #9 
ao
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I like snails :) personal preference really. I wrote an article for snail for the betta fish weekly, but it doesnt seem to have been published yet :(
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Old 10-27-2012, 10:04 AM   #10 
ChoclateBetta
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Assasin snails and keep the Peace lilies in the filter dont worry I keep pothos, lucky bamboo, and peace lilies and a dog.
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