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Old 11-30-2010, 09:52 AM   #1 
Kitdae's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2010
Question Tank Question

Okay, so I've been browsing the forums since the other day, and according to most I'm not treating my fish right. :l
I have my betta in a 1.5 gal tank that was meant to be a split one. (one of those triangle ones from Petsmart) He's been in there for over a year now, and I recently did a complete water and gravel change before Thanksgiving. He's in the tank with nothing but the little cave decoration he came with, and seems pretty happy. I tend to change about half the water weekly, and I'm tempted to find a better replacement to the gravel.
Basically, I'm curious if I'm doing wrong.
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Old 11-30-2010, 10:33 AM   #2 
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Many people recommend 2.5 gallons for a betta, but there are plenty of people who keep them in 1 to 1.5 gallon containers. The problem with a smaller set up is the more frequent cleaning and water changing routine, and heating.

Ideally, you would be doing a 50% water change every couple of days and then a 100% water change weekly. This is because ammonia builds up from fish waste. Ammonia is damaging to fish gills and other organs, and must be removed from the water unless the tank is cycled (which is difficult to do in any tank under 5 gallons). This includes rinsing the gravel. If you don't do the 100% changes once a week, you'll never really get all of the ammonia out of the water because some stays with each partial water change.

The next thing is heating. Betta's are tropical fish and therefore should have a steady temperature of about 78 degrees. You can find small heaters or undergravel heaters online and at most pet stores. Everyone has their favorite, I would do some research and see which one best suits your set up.

If you aren't happy with the gravel, look into having a bare bottom tank (easiest to clean) or perhaps river stones. These are the larger stones that many people use as decorative. They are big enough to clean easily and remove with each water change.

I wouldn't get discouraged about your set up, but rather increase water changes and work on heating the environment. Also consider getting either a live or silk plant. This will help your betta feel a little more secure. Some super easy live plants are anubias, java fern, marimo balls, and java moss. They do well with low light, and are very hard to kill. They will also help with water quality.
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Old 11-30-2010, 12:04 PM   #3 
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I was thinking of maybe getting him a bigger tank but I'm afraid of scaring him/killing him. I heard that some tanks just kill fish and such.
Right now he's in my room back home (I'm at college) and its pretty warm in there.
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Old 11-30-2010, 01:00 PM   #4 
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Location: Washington, USA
some bettas do do well in smaller tanks, as long as you do the correct amount of water changes.
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Old 12-01-2010, 02:48 PM   #5 
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Location: NW Connecticut
Having a large tank shouldn't kill a fish.. my Nettle has a 10gal all to himself and he's in great health.

With a tank the size of 1.5 gallons, water changes every other day are probably optimal.. Moe is correct that the ammonia builds up much more quickly in smaller spaces. You could try going to Walmart or something and picking up a sterilite storage bin.. they come in many sizes and can be safely heated. I believe there are several users that use them either as hospital tanks or as actual homes for their fish.

Welcome to the forums.. it's good that you came to get some advice.
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fish, gravel, size, tank

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