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Old 08-30-2013, 02:51 PM   #1 
BatCakes's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Minnesota
Smile Dorm-Betta Excitement

As people who mirror my excitement for their lovely little pets, I had to share my experiences from yesterday. My fish, Ziggy Stardust, has been in a heated 1.5 gallon since I've had him, about 6 months (yes I religiously changed the water every 3 days so make sure he didn't get sick). Just yesterday I made a trip to Petsmart (it is indeed a trip, because there are no petstores near me), to "look" at tanks and fish supplies before I move into my dorm for my second year of college.

Well, I'm sure you all know, there is no such thing and "just looking" at Betta supplies, haha. By the time I left, I had a 5.5 gallon and CFL bulb for it, live plants, a filter (the tank came with one, but I bought the Tetra Whisper 10i because I had heard it would be better for bettas, and much quieter), and some aquarium salt. I think my enthusiasm rubbed off, because my mom bough a nice ornament for the new tank that I think my fish will love.

I had to combat the usual, however. Each person I asked about things for my fish (for example, looking for a sponge filter, etc) was slightly more knowledgeable than the last, but still left me shaking my head. I asked if my 25w heater would be enough for my 5gal tank, to be told "Well, Bettas don't need heaters so don't bother with it". Agh. Some other workers I asked actually gave me good advice that lined up with what I have read on here, but then would end on things like "Oh, and you can get 4 or 5 females to go in that 5 gallon as well with him"


I washed his plants really well (they were from separate small plastic containers, not from any fish tanks) and added them to Ziggy's current tank after I cleaned it, and he LOVES them. Exploring every inch and hiding behind some. It was so relaxing after a long day to see him enjoy his new things.

As I move from a house to a tiny dorm, my fish moves from his 1.5 gallon dorm to a 5.5 gallon studio apartment, haha.

I was thinking about getting one or two ghost shrimp for the new tank after it has cycled, and would like some input on that.

Also, does anyone know if my 25w Hydor Theo will be enough to keep my 5.5 gallon warm? I should be on the 5th floor of the dorm so I should be pretty warm year-round, but I just wanted to check.

Sorry for the long read, does anyone have any similar "splurge" experiences they want to share?
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Old 08-30-2013, 02:57 PM   #2 
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Join Date: Aug 2013
Congrats on the upgrade! I understand your frustration with the store workers! I had someone tell me I didn't need a heater either and betta fish can live sufficiently without it.

Anyway, I'm sure your 25w will heat your 5.5g nicely. :)
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Old 08-30-2013, 03:46 PM   #3 
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Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Minnesota
I'm glad the heater will do just fine. I'm so excited to set everything up! Too bad I don't move in until Sunday.
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Old 08-30-2013, 05:17 PM   #4 
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Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Oklahoma
Yes, it will. I used one for my 5.5 gallon tank.
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Old 08-30-2013, 05:18 PM   #5 
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Brooklyn, NY
I have a 25w Hydor in my 6.5long and it heats it perfectly where I've set it!
I also tried ghost shrimp in there, and my guy was bullying him. Most were dead by morning and all by the following night. At first I assumed Silas killed them, but I know think it's because my water prams aren't fully stabilized and shrimp are suuuuper sensitive. So wait some time until after your tank is fully established to try any shrimp. I learned my lesson. Thankfully they are cheap, but I still felt bad. :(
The snails he ignores though. And I think I will try shrimp once my cycle is worked out and see if he maybe didn't bully them to death.
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Old 08-30-2013, 05:24 PM   #6 
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Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Minnesota
Okay, thank you! I haven't been able to try Ziggy around anything else to really see how territorial he is, but he's never seemed very aggressive. My mom and I sometimes put things up to the tank to see if he'll flare (I know they need to sometimes for exercise) and he's never really cared, haha. I don't think he'd bother the shrimp, but I'll definitely wait until the tank is established before adding any.

How many weeks would you suggest? I've heard it generally takes 8 weeks to cycle a tank, so around then?
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Old 08-31-2013, 09:51 PM   #7 
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Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Midwest
It's so much fun to shop for new tank supplies!

If you have not read the NPT section stickies (natural planted tank section) you should read it. You can cycle your tank faster doing a dirt/sand tank with plants and you plants will be more successful. Make sure you soak test your tank ornament. Let it sit in water for a day or two and see if you can smell any paint smells coming from the ornament. This has been a problem lately with many ornament and it can be toxic to the fish. Also be sure to file any sharp edges that sometimes can be on some ornaments.
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