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Old 11-06-2009, 11:38 PM   #1 
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telphora's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Spokane, WA
New with Questions!

Hi guys, I've been poking around the forum like a creeper for a while and now I finally registered, but I have a few questions!

I haven't had a betta before, and the last time I had a fish it was a family goldfish. Anyway, I'm seventeen and my biggest problem is my parents don't think that I'm capable of taking care of a fish because with all of my previous fish (the last one was four years ago >>) I didn't take care of them... which is like, duh I was a little snot nosed kid. For some reason they also think that because I don't keep my room absolutely spotless every single moment of the day, I obviously can't take care of a fish.

I know an easy way out is to keep my room constantly clean but it's the principle of the thing. My room is clean. They simply have never seen another teenager's room. I could go on, but I won't. >>

So my biggest predicament is to come up with reasons why I should be allowed to get a fish.

Other than that I just have a few questions.

Sand vs. gravel.
I've noticed some people use sand, and it sounds cool, but I'm a little unsure of how to clean it? Also my parents are skeptical of this as well (ugh) and apparently need convincing on how it's so much better than gravel.

Should I test the water every time I clean the tank? Because I'm perfectly prepared to do so but I'm just wondering if once I've found a source of water that isn't totally messed up, should I be sketchy about this source or... heck I'm probably just sounding obnoxious to you guys but I got limited funds because of two certain skeptics that control my cash flow.

Other than that, I am totally excited to get my betta!
Which may be a while depending on how good I am at convincing my 'rents.
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Old 11-06-2009, 11:55 PM   #2 
CodeRed's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: USofA
Welcome to the forum! Watch it, or you'll become addicted ;3 Anyways, I have both gravel and sand, and I love the look of gravel :3 Others will say sand, but I love the variety of colors of the gravel comes in. Easy to clean, too. The sand I have goes well with some decorations, but doesn't look as well with others, so I don't really like that. Plus, I'm paranoid when cleaning it, since I think it's all going down the sink o-o
I can't really answer you about testing.... I've never done it myself, and I am ashamed. However, my fish are doing fine without it, so I don't feel like buying a whole new thing like that right now.
Good luck with the parents! I just got mine to get me a snake, so I know how hard it can be to convince them to get an animal they don't want.
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Old 11-07-2009, 12:16 AM   #3 
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Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Batavia, IL
Haha, welcome to the forum! And yes, be careful! Bettas are like Cheese puffs, you can't walk away with just one they can be tough. Mine were more willing because I paid for most of it myself.....but what also helped is the knowledge I gained with research through google, this forum, and a couple other forums. Impress them by researching bettas in-depth and then present what you've learned. That might show them that you have some initiative and really want to take care of your new betta.....just a thought

Personally, I like gravel over sand.... sand is too messy for me, and I'm far too lazy to mess with it to make it look pretty Though, if your going for an un-filtered tank, I think marbles would be better as you'll be doing frequent 100% water changes and marbles don't go down the drain as easily
However, if your looking to cycle and do weekly partial water changes, go with gravel

Testing also depends on if you want to cycle or not. If you plan to cycle this tank, then you will absolutely without a doubt need a liquid dropper test kit(API brand is good)and its recommended that you test before and after each PWC(after the tank is cycled with your fish of course)...However, I don't do it quite as frequently...but my cycled tanks are pretty well established anyway ^^;
If your not going to cycle, its not TOTALLY necessarily to get a kit...but I'd still highly recommend it. That way if anything DOES happen to your buddy, you can test the water and see if anything is out of whack.

Hope this helps some
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