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Old 12-28-2012, 08:33 PM   #1 
LuvMyBetta21
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Frustrated No More...

I decided to get a betta fish a few days ago. I've never had fish before and the girl at the pet store said they're a good starter fish. She said they don't need much and a heater is optional. Well I purchased my betta and a 1 gal. minibow. I also have guinea pigs and am a member of a guinea pig forum so when I brought Leonard (male betta) home I decided to see if there was a betta fish forum and I found THIS great site, thank goodness. I discovered that 1gal is a bit small and they need a heater. I live in the Poconos. My poor fish definitely needs a heater! what was that girl thinking! AYE! So 4 days after bringing home Leonard I went back to the pet store to buy a whole new set up. He's now happy in his 5.5 gal heated home w/filter. what a head ache but at least he's happy and healthy :)

Please tell me what you guys think of my setup. As I mentioned I am new to the fish world. Any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!

Before:


After:(Leonard's not in the tank yet)
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Old 12-28-2012, 08:41 PM   #2 
LadyVictorian
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That setup is looking good, I just got a ten gallon for my female and am so excited to get her in there. My first male has a five gallon and my second male is inheriting the 2.5 gallon so everyone will be getting upgrades....well aside from my first fish who gets to keep his home.
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Old 12-29-2012, 01:33 AM   #3 
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Pet stores are in it for the sales, not the pets, and more often than not, they hire people who know next to nothing about the pets that they carry. They usually don't hire people with a clue on animal care, because the general populace wouldn't buy pets if they knew how much care goes into them. And if your fish/hermit crab/lizard/hamster dies because of bad husbandry, most people go out and replace them right away. In the long run, this means more money for the chain stores.

I'm diggin' your set up on your five gallon, the pattern in the gravel is pretty cool! The only thing I have to point out, is to keep an eye on the plastic plant in the front corner, bettas like to snuggle into plants, and that one could tear his fins when he does. Aside from that one little thing, that looks like somewhere I'd like to live, if I were a betta, that is ;)
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Old 12-29-2012, 01:40 AM   #4 
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Good for you! I think his tank looks great. Just a couple things you might not know about..

I'm not sure but if you're using an hob filter (hangs on the back with a tube sticking into the water) I suggest adding a prefilter sponge to that intake tube, because sometimes bettas get sucked in by them and it's not pretty:http://www.amazon.com/Pre-Filter-Spo.../dp/B004K9A15G

Since you're using a filter, I assume you will be cyling your tank and not doing the 100% weekly water changes, which is great, however it will take some dedication on your part to do it safely. It's important any time you want to run a filter to cycle a tank (meaning not making weekly 100% water changes) that you invest in a drops test kit for ammonia, nitrite and nitrates and be monitoring actual levels daily. A lot of people use this kit: http://www.amazon.com/API-Freshwater...aster+test+kit Test daily for ammonia and nitrites. Any time you see ammonia or nitrites get to .25ppm you do a water change. In addition to this you do a weekly 50%+ water change. At first you will see an ammonia spike. After that ammonia will go to zero and you will see a nitrite spike. Eventually you will start seeing some nitrates and then eventually both ammonia and nitrites will be zero and you will be left with only nitrates. Those can be removed by weekly water changes. Cycling will take up to 2 months. http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=47838

Make sure anything in your tank passes the snag test.. panty hose won't be caught on anything. Silk plants are great. Sometimes plastic plants will snag, as will ornaments sometimes. I would just make it a habit of testing anything you want to put in there.

Here is how to do water changes without shocking fish (I wrote it as a 50% or 100% change which you won't be doing 100% but the general idea applies to all)

Quote:
This is how to do a large water change without shocking your fish:

Quote:
To do a water change, use a little cup like a plastic solo cup - this cup must be only for him and have never been used with soap or other chems. Scoop him up in this cup (keep him in the cup about 1/4 full of water - it doesn't need to be much because he won't be in it for long) and leave him in the cup while you change his water. To do the 50% use a turkey baster - dedicated only to him that has never seen soap or chems - and drag it through the gravel and try to suck as much of the poop out as possible, in addition to 50% of the water. Use a thermometer under the running tap to get it to be the same temp as the water that is normally in his tank. When the thermometer says the flowing tap is the right temp, fill back up his tank. At this point, add the conditioner (dose for how much water you change - if you change half the water you add half gallon worth of conditioner, If you do a 100% water change dose for the full gallon change). Float his plastic cup with him in it in the new water. Slowly add a couple tablespoons of the new water into his cup every 10 minutes for at least an hour. Finally, dump him in gently but try to get as little of the old cup water back into the tank as possible. When you do the weekly 100% you will do mostly the same thing except empty his tank fully and rinse everything in it very well under warm water but never use soaps or chemicals. Once it's fully cleaned/rinsed you can refill it and repeat the cup/acclimate phase.
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Old 12-29-2012, 01:53 AM   #5 
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I like it
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Old 12-29-2012, 10:15 AM   #6 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by callistra View Post
Good for you! I think his tank looks great. Just a couple things you might not know about..

I'm not sure but if you're using an hob filter (hangs on the back with a tube sticking into the water) I suggest adding a prefilter sponge to that intake tube, because sometimes bettas get sucked in by them and it's not pretty:http://www.amazon.com/Pre-Filter-Spo.../dp/B004K9A15G
Since you're using a filter, I assume you will be cyling your tank and not doing the 100% weekly water changes, which is great, however it will take some dedication on your part to do it safely. It's important any time you want to run a filter to cycle a tank (meaning not making weekly 100% water changes) that you invest in a drops test kit for ammonia, nitrite and nitrates and be monitoring actual levels daily. A lot of people use this kit: http://www.amazon.com/API-Freshwater...aster+test+kit Test daily for ammonia and nitrites. Any time you see ammonia or nitrites get to .25ppm you do a water change. In addition to this you do a weekly 50%+ water change. At first you will see an ammonia spike. After that ammonia will go to zero and you will see a nitrite spike. Eventually you will start seeing some nitrates and then eventually both ammonia and nitrites will be zero and you will be left with only nitrates. Those can be removed by weekly water changes. Cycling will take up to 2 months. http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=47838

Make sure anything in your tank passes the snag test.. panty hose won't be caught on anything. Silk plants are great. Sometimes plastic plants will snag, as will ornaments sometimes. I would just make it a habit of testing anything you want to put in there.

Here is how to do water changes without shocking fish (I wrote it as a 50% or 100% change which you won't be doing 100% but the general idea applies to all)
It is a hob filter. my husband to a piece of a plastic bag around the intake to make sure it didn't get stuck before we put him in. That part was good but I did have to put a filter sponge on the top part. It was creating too strong a current.

Thank you for breaking down the cycling. I was so confused. Next time I'm in the pet store. I am going to bring a water sample and pick up a water test kit.

I also added more silk plants to it. The plastic one came with his minibow but he doesn't bother with it much so I will probably be taking it out. He LOVES the silk plants.
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Old 12-29-2012, 10:18 AM   #7 
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I would give the plastic the Pantyhose test.
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Old 12-29-2012, 10:23 AM   #8 
LuvMyBetta21
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Originally Posted by Skyewillow View Post
Pet stores are in it for the sales, not the pets, and more often than not, they hire people who know next to nothing about the pets that they carry. They usually don't hire people with a clue on animal care, because the general populace wouldn't buy pets if they knew how much care goes into them. And if your fish/hermit crab/lizard/hamster dies because of bad husbandry, most people go out and replace them right away. In the long run, this means more money for the chain stores.

I'm diggin' your set up on your five gallon, the pattern in the gravel is pretty cool! The only thing I have to point out, is to keep an eye on the plastic plant in the front corner, bettas like to snuggle into plants, and that one could tear his fins when he does. Aside from that one little thing, that looks like somewhere I'd like to live, if I were a betta, that is ;)
What aggravates me most is I work there! Well I work in the grooming salon, so I went to one of the girls that I know in the fish department. Thinking she wouldn't steer me wrong. Ugh! Then when I went back to buy the new setup I talked to the manager in the live animal department asking questions about the heater and such. He said oh why don't you just get the 1gal and put a heater in there. Oh how frustrated I was. Luckily I already knew everything I needed. I spent practically the whole day before on this site researching, looking at ppls setups, etc. So once I got there the major decision was whether to get the 5.5 gal or the 10 gal lol.
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Old 12-29-2012, 10:30 AM   #9 
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The big thing my Petco does wrong is fiddlers in freswater. They think 22 generation is like some big evolutionary statement where salt tolerance can change. Big news practically nothing espically salt tolerance can change.
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Old 12-29-2012, 07:40 PM   #10 
callistra
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LuvMyBetta21 View Post
It is a hob filter. my husband to a piece of a plastic bag around the intake to make sure it didn't get stuck before we put him in. That part was good but I did have to put a filter sponge on the top part. It was creating too strong a current.

Thank you for breaking down the cycling. I was so confused. Next time I'm in the pet store. I am going to bring a water sample and pick up a water test kit.

I also added more silk plants to it. The plastic one came with his minibow but he doesn't bother with it much so I will probably be taking it out. He LOVES the silk plants.
The plastic bag might block too much flow... does it have holes in it or something or just solid plastic? That's how all the water gets into your filter.. You want something porous that the water can pass through but your betta can't. Putting a sponge over the outflow is fine.. I do that on mine too. Seems to work well.
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