I just got a betta fish as a gift. I only have a tiny tank for now (less than 0.5 gallon) Anyways, I am filling it up for the first time. If I use water from an unopened jug of spring water (rather than tap water) , do I have to put some of the conditioner in it? If so, how much in such a tiny tank?
I'm about 90% sure no. If you wanted to play safe and put conditioner anyway, just measure it out, there are always measurements on the instructions. Like, if you got .25g out, then only put whats indicated. What are you using? And hopefully you DO upgrade soon!! You're going to have to change water every day so ammonia doesn't build up~ My personal absolute minimum is 2.5 gallons, but I always recommend 5 gallons. Are you in a money tight situation? If not, I'll fire away with suggestions :)
Also, is something wrong with your tap water? Usually the tap water contains all the minerals and stuff a betta needs (aside from chlorine, chloramines, heavy metals...). Or rather, tap water is probably best for them since spring water is more deprived. Oh, and never, EVER use distilled water for longterm! Only short-term and emergencies. It's very deprived of nearly everything. And unless your tap water is really really bad, I'd recommend using tap water. Good luck!
I'm not so sure about my tap water. It's not terrible, but not great. I plan to upgrade if I can soon. Suggestions are welcome. If it is too much for me then I can try to find someone that cares for betta to take him. It was an unexpected gift soo, I'm not sure. I don't have measurements for such a small tank on my bottle of conditioner. It is Aquasafe conditioner.
Like I said, suggestions are welcome either way. I might get a 5 gallon tank or something. I'll get a heater, filter, and some soft plants for the inside. Any other basics I need. If I am able to keep him, I definitely want to give him a really nice place to live, but keep it on a minimum type of budget too.
Tap water to PEOPLE may seem bad, but for fish, not so much. Why do you think it's so bad?
It's not going to actually say for 1/2 gallon, so you're going to have to use proportions. If it says 10mL for a 10 gallon, use .5mL for a .5gallon.
Alright, here I go, firin' away suggestions :) Sorry for a lengthy post, I don't want to sleep. Ha.
Well first, I don't recommend anything "small.' The temperature fluctuations will take a toll on their health. You can't keep it warm - bettas are tropical fish and should be kept warm. It's absolutely impossible to cycle. Ammonia builds up so fast, you're seeing yourself doing wwater changes TWICE a day, which gets annoying fast, if you care enough. If you see yourself doing it every couple days, or even a week, the ammonia will probably affect them in the long run if not immediately.
I have a 5 gallon (divided, and that's an option)
Check up: Walmart 5 gallon starter kit. It's absolutely great. Only $30, and for a tank and filter, that's a lovely price IMO. The filter DOES have a adjustable filter flow (bettas don't like heavy currents - plus, it will ruin their lovely tails they're known for). All you have to buy is a heater, which is a necessity with a betta, whether a house is warm or not (temperature fluctuations at night, although not at bad as a 1/2gal)
Bettas don't appreciate too much open space. Try to crowd it as much as money allows. I see myself buying another silk $5 plant every 2 weeks? Very manageable IMO. Plastic snags their tails, so avoid that too. Keep to silk and real plants!
I'm a bit distracted right now, so if I miss anything, sorry!
Since you're on budget, start out with
the $30 5 gallon starter and heater.
Heater = $13 at Walmart, about?
(Optional: Fluorescent light $4. The incandescent looks ugly, haha.)
Petco silk plants are about $5 each. I think they come with $3, $5, and $7 each. Buy as much as you want to, or can.
Gravel for a 5 gallon is about...$7? I think the suggested amount is 10LBS of gravel. But you can cut short if you want. Beware of the Petco silk plants if you go with them. The rocky-part at the bottom can damage a betta, too, so cover that as much as possible
Get "Seachem Prime" conditioner if you want. I VERY recommend it. Buy the smallest bottle - $4? It detoxifies ammonia and nitrates and such. And removes heavt metals, and of course, chlorine. Very nice.
For now I am going to put him in his small .5 gallon tank. It's the best I can do for now. Even though it might be a little cold, it is better than his small transport container for now. I will try to get a big tank by this week. I will try Petco for all the supplies. I was at Walmart earlier (where i got the conditioner) and they didn't have too much in the store. Maybe another one in the area might have more.
I will check out the nitrogen cycle also.
Thanks for all the good info. Anything else I'm missing feel free to chime in.
Gravel is actually very cheap at walmart, it was only $5.60 for a 10lb bag at mine.
The 5 gallon tank would be a great way to start!
If 5 gallons are too big for you go for the 2.5 gal aqueon, or the 3 gal eclipse, but both of those are $$.
If your on an extreme budget than you can go for the 2 gallon tank at petsmart for under $20 right now. (The $13 heater from walmart is perfect for this tank also.)
Other than the tank and the fish them selves, I'm finding Walmart to be a good place to get almost everything. I hate supporting big box stores, but grave, heater, plant, air pump and other parts at Walmart are so darn cheap compared to Petco.
They have silk plants at walmart?? I've never seen any here, so I always go to Petco for them. Haha, weird then. Usually the smaller tanks (2.5gal, 3 gal) are usually close to $30 or more expensive. I think starting at 2gallons they get worth it, but I just personally don't use anything smaller than 5 gallon. But just a personal opinion!
Not all bottled water is created equal, due to not being regulated some of the bottled water can just be water from a tap with all the stuff that is bad for fish, so use a dechlorinater, however, as xxabc stated if it is true spring or filtered water it will be missing the needed vitamins and minerals that the fish needs for best health and over all well being....I would use your tap water or at least half and half.
I am of the belief (not the belief of this forum and other members) that if the needed/required water changes are done the smallest tank size for this species is 1g, you can get heaters that will work in the 1g tanks, the 7.5-10w heater pre set at 76-78F will be fine in most cases.
One of the biggest problems I see in the smaller tanks is the build up of ammonia, in 1g this can build up in 3 day, sooner if uneaten food is not removed or you have more than a betta in the tank like snail and shrimp, active growing live plants can off set this, but IMO/E twice weekly 50% water changes are needed in order to maintain best health for the fish with a good vacuum of the substrate with one of the weekly water changes.
Freshwater fish need fresh water to thrive not just survive and there is a big difference IMHO.....
In half gallon tanks short term, I would make at least 50-80% daily to every other day water changes in order to promote best health and prevent health and fin issues.
Without an oxygen source, like a filter or airstone you will not get a true cycle as the NB need well oxygenated water to thrive and colonize, however, as long as you make frequent water changes you don't need to worry about the cycle IMO/E
Other things that are important with water changes is to use dechloraniter with any new water added to the tank and that the new water is within a couple of degree of the old water to prevent temp related shock.
Once you get started you will find that it is not as difficult and we make it sound and soon you will be enjoying your new wet pet and this awesome hobby......however, as far as tank size.... bigger is better and easier in the long run for both you and your wet pet.....