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Old 12-02-2012, 02:51 AM   #1 
IshyNbibbit
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Intro and newbie advice, please!

Hi!

I had a few Betta fish growing up and of course I thought that petsmart told me everything I needed to know. I had one Betta that lived close to 7 years, but from my recent research on this site I did everything wrong.

With all this new info that I'm reading, it seems like it might be quite a bit of work. It's been 10 years or so since I owned one. I was in middle school then and now I'm a wife and mom.

My ideal tank would be once a week care, but with possibility of doing every other week. We go on vacation 2x a year and other than someone feeding the fish (my dad), I would not feel comfortable with him changing the water.

I'm a little overwhelmed by all the info and I'm trying to narrow it down. Is the book that's linked to the top of this site very helpful, "Betta Fish Care Made Easy?" I would like a step by step guide for getting ready for our new family member.

So far this is what I understand and/or have questions about...



A 2.5 gallon or larger aquarium:

Looking at the Fluval Spec 5 gal tank. From a post a read below it seems like a good tank if I keep the filter on the low setting. How will I know if the low setting is too much for the fish?

A hood or glass cover:

comes with tank

A light:

comes with tank

A heater:

Will buy separately. Still researching brands, but I think I should be looking for a 50 watt with adjustable temp control. Is that correct?

A thermometer:

Will buy separately. Still researching brand/type.

A filter with low flow:

Fluval 5 gal has low flow setting

Ornaments and/or plants:

Will buy separately. Considering hardy live plants. Recommendations?

Water Conditioner:

Will buy separately. "Prime", is a good option?

A test kit:

API liquid or test strips

Betta pellet food:

Still researching diet and brand options. Reccomedations?

Aquarium salt for treating potential illnesses:

Still researching. Not a clue about this really.

Any extra accessories I should be getting? A gravel-vac? Other types of water additives?

The plan is to buy everything one weekend, set-up, cycle the tank(?), test the water and then add a fish the following weekend.

I know this was long and I have asked a lot of questions. I'm sure the answers can be found to each somewhere on here, a typical newbie mistake. I was just getting overwhelmed with all the reading and didn't want to get discouraged out of getting a betta. My 2 year old little girl really wants an "ishy", but of course it's my responsibly to make sure I'm doing everything right.

Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance
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Old 12-02-2012, 06:48 AM   #2 
shellieca
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Welcome! 1st keep in mind the smaller volume of water you have the more difficult to keep water stable & more frequent water changes will be required so going 2 weeks without one would probably not be healthy for the fish. 5g is a perfect size but IMO if you can go 10g even better. I do weekly 50% water changes on all of my tanks & i have let my 10g go 2 weeks without one once. after your tank is set up, cycled & has been running for a while you'll have a better sense of how quickly nitrates build up & you'll be able to determine if its safe to go 2 weeks without a water change. if you have your fish sitter feed less that'll help. Get the liquid water test kit, more accurate & lasts MUCH longer. Read about cycling, setting up the tank & letting it run for a week does not cycle it. The best way to cycle is fish LESS using pure ammonia but you can do a fish IN if you test the water daily & do appropriate water changes. Just keep in mind cycling can take, especially fish IN, 6-8 wks. Prime is the only water conditioner I use, some add other things like stress coat but I never have. Food should be varied but their staple diet should be pellets. I feed pellets 4-5 days a week, frozen foods 1-2 days a week instead of pellets & fast them one day. Brand wise I have switched to New Life Spectrum pellets & 1 of my males gets Omega One flakes. Keep in mind when you purchase a Betta you want to look for a healthy one so you'll hopefully have no problems for your 1st one. I found out recently that my local Petsmart gets their new stick on Tuesdays, you may want to find out when your local Pet or fish store gets their new stock so you'll have a better chance of getting a healthy one IMO. I think I covered your questions, ask more if need be. I know it sounds like a lot & initially it is but once everything is set up & running its all pretty routine. 10 months ago I had NONE now I have 5 tanks with a total of 12 Bettas, yeah it's an addiction.
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Old 12-02-2012, 07:42 AM   #3 
ChoclateBetta
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You only have to do a 50 percent in a ten gallon. Adding filters and live plants helps. If you set loose a lot of daphnia loose it might help with feeding.
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Old 12-02-2012, 08:04 AM   #4 
whiskandbowl
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IshyNbibbit View Post
Hi!

A 2.5 gallon or larger aquarium:

Looking at the Fluval Spec 5 gal tank. From a post a read below it seems like a good tank if I keep the filter on the low setting. How will I know if the low setting is too much for the fish?
You'll see him being pushed around by the current, or struggling to swim on that end of the tank.

Quote:
Heater: Still researching brands, but I think I should be looking for a 50 watt with adjustable temp control. Is that correct?
50 watt sounds kind of big for a 2.55 gal. I have a 50w in my 6.6gallons Petco Bookshelf tank (highly recommend this tank!)
I really like my Via Aqua heater and Hagen Elite 25w heater for small tanks

Quote:
Themometer
Will buy separately. Still researching brand/type.
I just buy the cheap suction cup ones from Petco

Quote:
Plants: Will buy separately. Considering hardy live plants.
Recommendations?
Marimo moss balls are apparently impossible to kill. Anubias, java fern, java moss are all easy

Quote:
Water Conditioner:
Will buy separately. "Prime", is a good option?
That's what I use. Beware, it's kind of stinky

Quote:
A test kit:API liquid or test strips
Get the liquid test kit. It's pretty cheap on Amazon

Quote:
Betta pellet food:
Still researching diet and brand options. Reccomedations?
I feed Aqueon pellets and Omega one. Once a week my guys get dried blood worms

Quote:
Any extra accessories I should be getting? A gravel-vac? Other types of water additives?
Def get a gravel vac. I also keep Aq Salt, Epsom Salt, and stress coat on hand.

Quote:
The plan is to buy everything one weekend, set-up, cycle the tank(?), test the water and then add a fish the following weekend.
See the sticky on Cycling. It takes longer than a week. My tank took about 8 weeks. I highly recommend using ammonia, I didn't and wish I had

Larger tanks are easier to cycle, a 2.5gal isn't really a good candidate because it will be hard to keep the parameters stable. If you want to cycle, go 5 gal or larger. If not cycled, you will have to do water changes: something around two 50% and one 100% change a week

I hope my answers aren't confusing! Good luck!
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Old 12-02-2012, 08:11 AM   #5 
ChoclateBetta
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Like I said if you want easy maintance 10Gs is good.
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Old 12-02-2012, 09:38 AM   #6 
AyalaCookiejar
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I have the 25watt Hydor Theo heater for my 5 gallon. A 25 watt is good for a 5 gallon, a 50watt is better for a 10 gallon. Make sure you get an adjustable heater. Aquarium salt is used to treat diseases, so it's best to have it on hand just in case you need it. Epsom salt also can come in handy at times, and gravel vacs are incredibly useful for cycled tanks, which is what you will want for low maintenance.
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Old 12-02-2012, 09:40 AM   #7 
ChoclateBetta
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New Life Spectrum and Omega One are great.
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Old 12-02-2012, 12:30 PM   #8 
IshyNbibbit
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Thank you for the info, everyone! I'm feeling a little more confident. I will probably be asking a few more questions here and there, but I'm going to go back and re-read all the stickys before I ask another laundry list of questions.
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Old 12-02-2012, 03:23 PM   #9 
AyalaCookiejar
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No problem. Sometimes it's easier just to post a new thread than to look at 20 different stickies.
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Old 12-02-2012, 06:21 PM   #10 
ChoclateBetta
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Live plants provide planty of stimulation.
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