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Old 11-06-2012, 09:31 PM   #1 
Hivona
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Smile 5 Gal set up

Hello! first time posting! There is so much information on this forum. It's kind of overwhelming!

I have had a few betta fish over the last few years but I've always kept them in a .5 gallon bowl. I know, I know they need a minimum of 5 gallons. I had gotten a 5 gal set up for one of my bettas a few years ago but honestly I was lazy with it & didn't clean it often enough. Also, in March, due to a storm my apartment lost power for about 5 days & it was really cold! So eventually the fish died & I resumed using the .5 gallon bowl because I seem to do water changes on it more & the fish seem to do well in it.

My current fish, Mr. Spectator, has been doing just great in the .5 bowl. But when I changed his water tonight it was soooo cold! I live in New York & my apartment does not get warm. Even I freeze. I feel really bad because I know these fish like it warm!

So I am digging out my 5 gallon tank. I dont have the carbon thing for the filter & I do not have a heater yet, although I intend to get one.

So my questions are:

- Does he HAVE to have a filter or can I just let the water be? If I have a filter how often & how much to change the water? If I don't have a filter how often & how much water to change?
-any recommendations on heater types/brands?
-what the heck is cycling & do I have to do it?

Thank you so much for reading & responding!
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Old 11-06-2012, 09:52 PM   #2 
shellieca
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Welcome. No you don't have to use a filter, you'd just have to do water changes more often to keep the water clean. A cycled tank means that the beneficial bacteria that builds up during the cycling process is established enough to process out ammonia & nitrites making the water safer for your fish & typically means weekly water changes with a good vacuuming to put it simply. As for a heater I have two different brands, Top Fin which came with the 10g aquarium kits I bought & an Aqueon, they're all adjustable which is what you want. I've had no problems with any of them so far.
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Old 11-06-2012, 10:00 PM   #3 
Hivona
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Thanks for the response! I will try to find a heater tomorrow! Can I put the fish in tonight? if I don't have a filter & don't cycle how often should I change the water? once a week without a filter is enough?

If I get a filter can I just plug it in & let the tank grow whatever bacteria it grows?

Is there some kind of water drops I can add to help with ammonia/nitrate buildup?
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Old 11-06-2012, 10:23 PM   #4 
shellieca
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Whether you have a filter or not you'll need a water conditioner, I use Prime, it'll detoxify pretty much anything in your tap water. Yes you can put him in there if the water is properly treated with a conditioner. If you go with a filter you're going to want to get a liquid water test kit so you can test the water daily & do water changes if ammonia or nitrItes are above .25 or nitrAtes go over 40 (some say 20). It can take 6-8 wks for a tank to cycle. If you go without the filter I think the recommendation is 2 50% water changes per week but I'd check the water change thread.my tanks are all filtered & the smallest I have is a 10g, I do 50% weekly water changes.
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Old 11-07-2012, 05:00 AM   #5 
Hivona
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Thank you! I definitely have the tap water conditioner! :)

I will look for the water change threads. I put him in last night & this morning he looks normal! :) and kind of small in there all alone! Would a ghost shrimp help with keeping the water clean? I guess they wouldn't be able to clear out ammonia. Might keep him company though! Not sure if he wants any.... lol again thanks!
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Old 11-07-2012, 06:26 AM   #6 
Laki
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As for the filter, cut out the carbon. I use a whisper10 filter (It has an adjustable flow) and the filter cartridges I just cut open and dumped out the carbon. Carbon will clean the water a bit but should never replace weekly water changes. Carbon will also absorb any medicines or fertilizers you add to the water and prevents the beneficial growth of things (Or at least slows it).
If you want to cycle your tank, refer here - http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=47838
and here- http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=111960

You can do a fish-in cycle. That's what I did with my two boys. Used their ammonia from their poop xD

First and foremost you want a heater :)
Good luck!
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Old 11-07-2012, 12:01 PM   #7 
shellieca
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hivona View Post
Thank you! I definitely have the tap water conditioner! :)

I will look for the water change threads. I put him in last night & this morning he looks normal! :) and kind of small in there all alone! Would a ghost shrimp help with keeping the water clean? I guess they wouldn't be able to clear out ammonia. Might keep him company though! Not sure if he wants any.... lol again thanks!
Glad to hear he seems to be doing good.
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