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Old 08-09-2010, 01:43 AM   #1 
Alex09
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So I plan on getting a Betta soon...

Hey guys,
So I was at Petco the other day buying stuff for my dogs when I saw some very pretty Betta fish. I REALLY wanted to just grab one and take it home with me but I decided it would be better do do my research first. Thats how I came across this site and it has been a great resource.

I used to have a Betta a few years ago when I was in my early teens .I'm now 19. Unfortunately I wasn't as educated as I am now. He was a blue and red walmart veiltail Betta that lived a little over a year in a half gallon bowl only to die in a cold winter (no heater and cleaned only once a week) :( I feel bad now, But I thought I was doing it right because thats what the employee told me to do. I now know to NEVER trust them lol.
I plan on being a better more dedicated owner this time and I have a few questions:

Is a 1.5 gallon tank okay? I know 2 gallons is ideal but I'm running tight on money (and space in my room) right now. I found a 1.5 gallon square glass container thing when I was digging through my basement the other day and it looks really nice. How often should I clean it? Would 50% water changes every other day be good? Would a small filter help or would it be better off unfiltered? I may end up upgrading the tank to a 2 or 3 gallon if I find myself with money to spare (college student here).

What should I use as substrate? Gravel or Pebbles? I think it would be much easier to clean if I used pebbles but gravel is supposed to be a better home for the beneficial bacterial colonies. I would also like an aquatic plant in there. From what I have found Java fern is a hardy low light low tech plant. Would the substrate really matter for this plant? As far as I know, this plant should NOT be buried in the substrate but attached to a rock or a piece of wood. Will it be able to cope with the water changes? Will it need special fertilizer or will the fish waste be enough?

Any comments will be appreciated. I will be getting him this Wednesday as I'm going to the shopping center that day and I want to get one of those fancy crowntails that Petco has. Will post pictures soon! :D
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Old 08-09-2010, 02:30 AM   #2 
VioletTrauma
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i know your pain~ im always money tight and i have a 1.5 gal tank(my smaller tank o.e) and my betta seems to be just fine in it and i used gravel but thats just me ^^;;; just make sure it looks healthy when you pick it!!!
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Old 08-09-2010, 03:15 AM   #3 
vilmarisv
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Kuddos for researchign before buying an impulse betta!
Since you're getting yourself informed first, you'll avoing buying unnecesary or innadecuate things.

Here's my two cents:
First of all YOU NEED A HEATER, no matter what tank size you end up with. It's a must.
You're betta will be just that, "okay" in a 1.5 gal. In that tank, you don't need a filter and you need to so 2-3 weekly water changes and I mean 100%. BUT this depends on how much and what type of food you feed your betta, if you remove uneaten food, etc.
It's useless to have a filter in this size tank because you wont be able to maintain a healthy bacterial colony that will keep your tank cycled. Therefore, the substrate you use doesn't really matter.
Gravel is obviously harder to clean, specially if you're going with the multiple water changes a week, plus is goes down your pipes if you're not careful.

Why not buy a bigger tank? Walmart has 2 very reasonable 5 gal tanks for $30. These come with pretty much everything you need but the heater and decorations. Check it out online!
You can cycle tanks that size, which will reduce your number of water changes by A LOT and they only occupy 1-1.5 square feet of space.
If you're cycling then you worry about what substrate to use and you'll keep your fish very happy with a more stable water quality.

Go to the Betta Fish Care section, there's lots of info there!

edit: Check out this post: http://www.bettafish.com/showthread....e=0#post441600

Last edited by vilmarisv; 08-09-2010 at 03:21 AM.
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Old 08-09-2010, 02:21 PM   #4 
Alex09
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vilmarisv View Post
Kuddos for researchign before buying an impulse betta!
Since you're getting yourself informed first, you'll avoing buying unnecesary or innadecuate things.

Here's my two cents:
First of all YOU NEED A HEATER, no matter what tank size you end up with. It's a must.
You're betta will be just that, "okay" in a 1.5 gal. In that tank, you don't need a filter and you need to so 2-3 weekly water changes and I mean 100%. BUT this depends on how much and what type of food you feed your betta, if you remove uneaten food, etc.
It's useless to have a filter in this size tank because you wont be able to maintain a healthy bacterial colony that will keep your tank cycled. Therefore, the substrate you use doesn't really matter.
Gravel is obviously harder to clean, specially if you're going with the multiple water changes a week, plus is goes down your pipes if you're not careful.

Why not buy a bigger tank? Walmart has 2 very reasonable 5 gal tanks for $30. These come with pretty much everything you need but the heater and decorations. Check it out online!
You can cycle tanks that size, which will reduce your number of water changes by A LOT and they only occupy 1-1.5 square feet of space.
If you're cycling then you worry about what substrate to use and you'll keep your fish very happy with a more stable water quality.

Go to the Betta Fish Care section, there's lots of info there!

edit: Check out this post: http://www.bettafish.com/showthread....e=0#post441600
Thanks. Yes I do plan om getting a heater. At first I thought I wouldn't need one as the temperature out here gets to the high 90's (*F). But then I found out that the temperature drops to the 60's at night and thats a pretty drastic change.
School starts in a few weeks. After I buy/rent all those darn expensive textbooks I will go shopping to my local walmart and see what tanks they have.
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Old 08-09-2010, 02:57 PM   #5 
Adastra
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Yes, you will definitely need a good adjustable heater to help you get through those cold nights. Shopping online will definitely save you a lot of money. Retail stores have a lot of overhead--they have to pay employees, utilities on all their locations, maintenance, the mortgage for their store--it adds up, so they jack up their prices so they can still make a profit underneath their pile of bills. Online stores have lot less overhead, so you can get a really good deal on each item and very reasonable flat rate shipping if you're just a little more patient. I shop here: http://www.fosterandsmithaquatics.com/

Some necessary items you might consider getting online are:
http://www.fosterandsmithaquatics.co...m?pcatid=11368
This 25 watt adjustable heater will run you about $25-$28 in a pet store, I use and recommend this heater for its accuracy.
http://www.fosterandsmithaquatics.co...fm?pcatid=4454
This kit will typically go for $30-$35 in a pet store. This is necessary for cycling a tank, and it's good to have to make sure your routine is totally effective in dealing with the ammonia in the tank.
http://www.fosterandsmithaquatics.co...578/20750/7393
Bettas' long flowing fins leave them vulnerable to tearing on plastic plants, but pet stores will charge you an arm and a leg for a packet of silk plants. You'll save a lot and have a wider selection to choose from online.

It's really better to save up and buy the right thing for your fish when you can than to do it on the cheap, and then upgrade later. You will end up spending less money if you're just a little patient. Even though you are strapped for cash, I would not recommend anything under two gallons because most heaters are designed to heat two gallon tanks. If you want your fish to live happily with you but don't care about looks, you can get a $3 rubbermaid/sterilite plastic storage bin from wal-mart/target/similar--these bins can be safely heated and they make great homes for fish. They're super cheap, light, and durable. I use 4 gallon bins quarantine and hospital tanks.

Last edited by Adastra; 08-09-2010 at 03:04 PM.
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