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Old 02-27-2009, 01:04 PM   #1 
nonniecita
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A few questions (ph, plants, adding frogs)

Hi everyone,

I (on a whim-dumb I know) got a 5-gallon aquarium and male betta fish yesterday. The aquarium is really nice, it came with a filter which I used until he almost got sucked up in it last night. Now I know not to use a filter for Betta fish.

Okay, so here are my questions:

1. Is TetraBetta a good brand fish food? I got the floating mini pellets (this brand had the least additives, I was shocked to see one brand had added dyes and msg in it.

2. I added a Hydor mini heater (someone where I got the Betta told me I didn't need one, but after researching, it looks like he'd be happier in a heated environment) today and a couple of small fish plants, the water has not been as clear since. -Will the water clear up? -Are live plants advisable? -The heater was a good decision, right?

3. I got an API PH test kit, tested the ph and it was 7.6 (the highest reading). Should I be concerned?

4. I'd like to add 2 African Dwarf frogs to the tank. The person at the pet store said I could do this and not need a filter, that the tank would stay clean...is this true?

5. Is there a filter I could add with a slow flow and he wouldn't get sucked up in or is that completely not necessary?


Sorry for all the questions, my unpreparedness is showing, but I want to make sure our fish is taken care of.
He seems happy today, I think he forgave me for almost killing him.

Thanks so much for any advise,
Michelle

Last edited by nonniecita; 02-27-2009 at 01:14 PM.
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Old 02-27-2009, 02:17 PM   #2 
fishhead
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I have a male betta in a 5 gallon Marineland Eclipse hex. The filter on mine isn't strong at all. Seems odd that such a small tank would have a powerful filter.

The only issue (aside from suction apparently!) is bettas don't like a lot of current as they're not the strongest swimmers.

My ph is about 7.6/7.7 It's fine; they'll adjust. Having a naturally high ph is much better than attempting to alter it with chemicals as there's such a chance of the ph doing weird things, and *that* the fish won't like.

I'm investigating african dwarf frogs for my other tank; based on my reading 2 may be a little much for that tank. The frogs themselves aren't messy but their food is. Plus with bettas you never know if they'll be aggressive or not. I settled on my betta being a solo inhabitant of his tank. Good thing, considering the way he flares at me and at his food pellets before chomping on them. Bettas are solitary fish, so keeping one alone is fine, especially if the enviornment is interesting.

Heater is definitely a good idea; I keep my tank at 80 degrees F. Bettas love things to explore, in or out of the tank. There's plenty of room in a 5 gal to make an interesting enviornment, not a bad idea to rearrange it once in a while too to get him exploring again. Fake plants are fine as long as the edges aren't sharp as those long fins are delicate.

I use hgh betta bites and hikari gold betta pellets. 3-4 at a time, twice a day. Actually I drop one in, he chomps it, and repeat. At first he didn't get the concept, but now he's waiting for the food. I don't know about the tetra betta one way or the other...

hope this helps!
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Old 02-27-2009, 03:59 PM   #3 
Livelifelaughlove
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There is some filters that you can get that don't have too strong of a pull, or there are ways to buffer the filter ( i think you use a sponge or something?) and it will prevent sucking up your fish.

7.6 is a little high in my opinion. You can get some additive to bring your PH down, don't really know how it works though.


If the fish likes the pellets then it should be fine. you should try getting some bloodworms for a treat. they love them!

good luck
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Old 02-27-2009, 06:06 PM   #4 
dramaqueen
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Its best, from what I've been hearing on the forum, not to mess with ph. It's best to keep it stable, even if its a bit high. The ph fluctuating up and down is harmful to fish.
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Old 02-27-2009, 06:18 PM   #5 
Livelifelaughlove
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ah ok. then ignore my advice. i have perfect ph, so i don't have any real knowledge of that stuff.,..

and i wasn't really paying attention when i was typing, i was trying to carry on a convo with one of my friends at the same time didn't work out to well obviously
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Old 02-27-2009, 06:23 PM   #6 
dramaqueen
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Well, I don't really know about ph, either but that was just what I was reading. Emmnemms, I didn't mean to contradict what you said or anything. :)
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Old 02-28-2009, 08:40 AM   #7 
fishhead
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I've read from many sources that in *most cases* it's better to ensure the ph is stable rather than at a specific value. The aquatic critters will adjust. Obviously as with everything there are exceptions, but I don't believe bettas are the exception.

One thing I will say is high ph is often associated with hard water, and bettas like softer water. I've begun using blackwater extract (from Tetra) to naturally soften the water and make it more akin to what it is where bettas are from. There's an 'indian almond leaf'; I believe, I can't remember it exactly, but some folks put this leaf in the tank to soften the water. I haven't done that yet.
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Old 02-28-2009, 08:44 AM   #8 
dramaqueen
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Indian almond leaf is supposed to be very healthy for bettas. I believe some people who breed bettas use t in their breeding tanks.
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Old 02-28-2009, 09:39 AM   #9 
Kim
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nonniecita View Post
Hi everyone,

I (on a whim-dumb I know) got a 5-gallon aquarium and male betta fish yesterday. The aquarium is really nice, it came with a filter which I used until he almost got sucked up in it last night. Now I know not to use a filter for Betta fish.

Okay, so here are my questions:

1. Is TetraBetta a good brand fish food? I got the floating mini pellets (this brand had the least additives, I was shocked to see one brand had added dyes and msg in it.

I am not familiar with this brand. However, if the main ingredient is fish meal and it has no bad additives I think it should be fine. It is also recommended to supplement the diet with frozen foods such as bloodworms, brine shrimp, and daphnia.

2. I added a Hydor mini heater (someone where I got the Betta told me I didn't need one, but after researching, it looks like he'd be happier in a heated environment) today and a couple of small fish plants, the water has not been as clear since. -Will the water clear up? -Are live plants advisable? -The heater was a good decision, right?

The heater was a GREAT decision. Bettas do best in temps ranging from 78-82. I keep mine in the 79-80 range. What kind of plants are they? Live plants do remove ammonia and nitrate from the water as well as adding oxygen so they are generally good. However, if you got plants that are very demanding of light, CO2, and the like they will probably just rot and pollute the water.

3. I got an API PH test kit, tested the ph and it was 7.6 (the highest reading). Should I be concerned?

7.6 is fine for bettas. However, if you can get a high range pH test kit and retest that would be adviseable. You just want to make sure your pH isn't like 8.6 or something rediculously high. You don't want to use those chemicals that mess with your pH. Believe me, they don't work and mostly result in fluctuating pH levels as the pH bounces back over time.

4. I'd like to add 2 African Dwarf frogs to the tank. The person at the pet store said I could do this and not need a filter, that the tank would stay clean...is this true?

I don't keep other fish with my bettas (although I had a betta and some cories cohabitate fine once) just because all bettas are different. My betta was VERY unusually calm, so it worked but you can't guarantee that with all bettas. Bettas and ADF's seem to work from what I hear, but it will depend on if your tank is cycled if that will work in a 5 gallon.

5. Is there a filter I could add with a slow flow and he wouldn't get sucked up in or is that completely not necessary?

Do you know about cycling a tank? If not I highly recommend that you read up about the "aquarium cycle" or "nitrogen cycle". This is basically the biological cycle that breaks down toxins (ammonia and nitrite) in aquariums. If your tank is not cycled you don't really need a filter because you will need to do 100% water changes often (once per week for a 5 gal.) If you want to cycle your tank you will need the filter because it keep the water clean (you'll only do 20-25% weekly changes) and provides an area for benificial bacteria to colonize. You can build a baffle for the outflow of the filter (unless it's in the hood of your aquarium) as well as putting a hollowed out sponge over the intake. This will not only provide protection for your betta's fins, but also reduce the flow so that the filter produces less current. If the current is still too high for your betta, I personally love the little azoo palm filters. I turn them all the way down and use a bit of nylon over the intake and they are perfect for bettas.


Sorry for all the questions, my unpreparedness is showing, but I want to make sure our fish is taken care of.
He seems happy today, I think he forgave me for almost killing him.

Thanks so much for any advise,
Michelle
I hope this helps!
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