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Old 12-17-2010, 07:06 PM   #1 
crezelda
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Red face I'm sure you get this kind of post all the time- (noob wanting a good start up)

So i've fallen in love with a blue and red crowntail and a little clam, but from research, my old betta bowl i had from when i was a kid just dosen't cut it. It's cold where i am and i'm not gonna get a heater for a teeny little bowl.

My goal is ether a 5gal or a 10 gal. If i get a 10 gal i wouldn't mind tetras, but i didn't see alot of people sudgesting those with thier bettas, i guess theyr'e too bright and get thier attention.

Anyways i also have a tight budget, and i don't want to get the wrong things. I'm also a blonde newbie and like bettas due to how hardy, yet pretty they are.

So with about $70, minus food and conditioner, what are my best options?
Also when i was reading about cycling, what if i added old tank water that has all the good ammonia in it to the new tank to let it ripen a bit? Also how much harder for me ( i mentioned im blonde, right?) would it be to add plants? I guess with my budget i won't add anything else for a month or two untill the betta and clam condition the water a bit (and i get some christmas money lol)
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Old 12-17-2010, 07:13 PM   #2 
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Walmart has a ten gallon tank setup (tank, hood, filter) for $40. You can get a heater for a 2-15 gallon tank there for $15. They also sell gravel and various types of decor.
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Old 12-17-2010, 07:17 PM   #3 
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Originally Posted by Sweeda88 View Post
Walmart has a ten gallon tank setup (tank, hood, filter) for $40. You can get a heater for a 2-15 gallon tank there for $15. They also sell gravel and various types of decor.

hmm...i kinda hate walmart lol. i should have mentioned that.
i was thinking of a more piece by piece setup, but i guess on a budget i'll have to settle with a kit.

Also i do claywork as a hobby on the side, foodsafe glazed clay should be fine for ornaments eh?
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Old 12-17-2010, 07:23 PM   #4 
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Welcome to the forum :D (thank you so, so, so much for doing research before buying :D)

With you're budget, go with a 5 gallon like this.... or this , they're realtively cheap.

A heater is going to be expensive, but a good brand like this will last a lifetime.

I reccommend Prime, it's relatively inexpensive, and with only two drops per gallon, you'll know it'll last a while.

For hiding spots and decor, you can use any food safe container or kid safe, like say a clean coffemug, or legos if you're short on money. The other stuff that looks good you can wait to get for when you have more money to spend.

Cycling is easy. all you need is a filter, a water bucket, a siphon, and willingness to do water changes, if you decide to do fish in. However, fish-less cycles are probably your best bet. They take a while the first go-around, but they literally require you to fill the tank with dechlorinated water, turn the filter on, dump in your piece of raw shrimp or fish, and wait. When it's done, you do a massive water change, and add fish, then you just have to do the proper once week water changes to keep it clean.

If you decide to go fish in cycles, you just have to do daily water changes to make sure ammonia doesn't get too bad, in which case, you'll want to invest in this (which either way you'd want to get eventually)

As for live plants, you can get low light ones that are easy to keep (java fern, java moss, anubias, marimo balls, etc). They don't require much, some don't even require being buried or fertilizers. If you want to go fancy-shmancy, you'll want to wait until you have money, so you can get either plant fertilizer or plant substrate to help your plants grow.

Yes, claywork is fine, but it's got to be able to be underwater for a while, so I would test that submerged in a bucket for a few days to check for any signs of bad before tossing it in the tank.

Last edited by JKfish; 12-17-2010 at 12:27 PM.
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Old 12-17-2010, 07:24 PM   #5 
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70 bucks is more than plenty to get you off and running. If you have a Petco or Petsmart nearby give em a call or stop in. They rarely advertise their in store sales on the web which is why the suggestion is to call regarding sales. I know last week Petco had a 15 gallon setup, Tank, Filter, Hood, Heater for 40 bucks. Petsmart had a 10 gallon setup, Tank, Filter & Hood with no heater for 20 bucks.
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Old 12-17-2010, 07:32 PM   #6 
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Go to petco or petsmart and buy a bare glass 5-10 gal tank (around $10-$15) OR a large critter keeper; look for a big one in the reptile section for around the same price. Then get some gravel ($10), silk/live plants ($5 each), a thermometer ($2) and a heater. A heater will probably be your most important investment. In a 5 gal or less you may get away by using one of those cheap preset tetra heaters. If its going to be bigger you will probably better off with an adjustable (more expensive but more reliable) heater. So it will cost approx $60 in total. You might as well buy an entire kit if you want a hood and light too though. Some even include heaters, and are sometimes cheaper than buying everything separately. Also make sure to check your local craigslist. You can sometimes find killer deals. I often see aquariums including all accessories and ornaments for real cheap there.
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Old 12-17-2010, 07:32 PM   #7 
crezelda
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JKfish View Post
Welcome to the forum :D (thank you so, so, so much for doing research before buying :D)

With you're budget, go with a 5 gallon like this.... or this , they're realtively cheap.

A heater is going to be expensive, but a good brand like this will last a lifetime.

I reccommend Prime, it's relatively inexpensive, and with only two drops per gallon, you'll know it'll last a while.

For hiding spots and decor, you can use any food safe container or kid safe, like say a clean coffemug, or legos if you're short on money. The other stuff that looks good you can wait to get for when you have more money to spend.

Cycling is easy. all you need is a filter, a water bucket, and willingness to do water changes, if you decide to do fish in. However, fish-less cycles are probably your best bet. They take a while the first go-around, but they literally require you to fill the tank with dechlorinated water, turn the filter on, dump in your piece of raw shrimp or fish, and wait. When it's done, you do a massive water change, and add fish.

If you decide to go fish in cycles, you just have to do daily water changes to make sure ammonia doesn't get too bad, in which case, you'll want to invest in this (which either way you'd want to get eventually)

As for live plants, you can get low light ones that are easy to keep (java fern, java moss, anubias, marimo balls, etc). They don't require much, some don't even require being buried or fertilizers. If you want to go fancy-shmancy, you'll want to wait until you have money, so you can get either plant fertilizer or plant substrate to help your plants grow.

Yes, claywork is fine, but it's got to be able to be underwater for a while, so I would test that submerged in a bucket for a few days to check for any signs of bad before tossing it in the tank.
great, thats what i was needing, what brands are good, and whatnot, as for petsmart, i can look at them and compare prices( still prefer to go to a real aquarium specialist, but hey budget comes first)
I just feel a little silly as i love fish, but ive had bad luck with everything exept bettas and ugly cheap goldfish lol.

about cycling.. what about a faux fish-in like i mentioned? aka while i keep my boy in his small tank, i put his "used" water in the new tank, thus introduceing all the ammonia. Perhaps i should put the clam into the new tank as well, as i bet hes got some nice good gunk on his shell. Would i look a little silly if i went to the aquarium store and asked for some ripe and used gravel? lol
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Old 12-17-2010, 07:35 PM   #8 
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That might work, though you'd have to make sure to do that pretty much daily- missing a day might kill your cycle. As for clam, I'm assuming freshwater?

You could go ask for gravel, the only possible down side is that if the petstore you go to has sick fish in the tanks, you might be bringing home parasites in the gravel... though if the cycle takes long enough, chances are the parasites would die (seeing as most can't go very long without a host) before the cycle is finished and your betta put in.

Don't feel silly about loving fish, and about bad luck, you're still learning (like me) about how to care for fish, and honestly betta fish are hardy little things able to take a lot from learning people, unlike more exotic fish for the more advanced fish keepers.

Also, how big is the tank you'll be keeping your betta in while the other tank cycles? I'm asking because If you can't find a way to seed the cycling tank, it can take a while, my first cycled tank took a bit over a month to complete. If it's a small tank, you'll either want to float it in the cycling tank so it'll stay warm, or skip fish-out cycling all together and just do fish in.

Last edited by JKfish; 12-17-2010 at 12:39 PM.
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Old 12-17-2010, 07:45 PM   #9 
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Originally Posted by JKfish View Post
That might work, though you'd have to make sure to do that pretty much daily- missing a day might kill your cycle. As for clam, I'm assuming freshwater?

You could go ask for gravel, the only possible down side is that if the petstore you go to has sick fish in the tanks, you might be bringing home parasites in the gravel... though if the cycle takes long enough, chances are the parasites would die (seeing as most can't go very long without a host) before the cycle is finished and your betta put in.

yeah hes a little 1.5 cm brown fresh water. He dosen't have dark bands like the pictures ive looked up on them, but that might be due to diet. ( i must confess, the clam wasn't planned like the betta, which i've been debateing on getting all fall, and then boom the store got a shipment of drop dead gorgeous crowntails >.>;;)
I might get a low light plant, as i might as well get a light if i need a hood ( made that mistake once with a betta, man that hurt when i realised he jumped on me )

a large kritter keeper might be good, but that would limit me to size, and they come with a lid already. I could then get a little bamboo shoot too! I was worried about microscopic scratches the gravel would make, but then i realised thats good for bacteria.
As for tank cleaning, how often should i clean substrate? I used to do a weekly clean of everything with my old 1g no filter setup, but now i know thats not cool. I'm worried about poops and such building up, and heard someone mention a turkey baster, i guess that might be better to spot clean. Aww poo i'm rambling again... Speaking of poop, is it normal for your guy's to not "wipe" and have a little string hanging off them? meh. men.
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Old 12-17-2010, 07:49 PM   #10 
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Cleaning depends on the tank. A cycled tank, you'd basically just want to do water changes (roughly about 50% a week), and every now and then a gravel vaccum to get the gunk out. I use a turkeybaster daily to get what I see, and because I have a planted tank, I can't use a gravel vaccum to get to the mulm and stuff, so I try to gently stir it up and siphon it out without stirring up the gravel.

In an uncyled tank, the ammounts and times per week changes, and you'll have to do one hundred precent water changes once a month or so (or week, once again size matters)

also, most kits do come with lights, I think, I don't know, but I think the 5 gallon hawkeye that walmart sells comes with decent lights you can use for plants.
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