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Old 08-20-2011, 03:16 AM   #1 
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Grlacey's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Boca Raton, FL
Total Newbie Looking For Advice!

Hi there, you can call me Lacey. I'll be turning twenty on September 10th, and I'd like to buy my first betta. I've read over a few threads, and studied up a bit and I've decided ( loosely.. ) on a few things. I'd really like your input! I also have a few questions.

I'd like to buy a three gallon tank - do you have any brand suggestions? What kind of heater wattage do I need? If the tank has a built in filter, is that usually sufficient? I'm a little experienced with fresh water plants, ( particularly philodendrons ) are there better species - or ones that I should avoid - for bettas? I usually see gravel 'flooring', is there something else I should use?

Also, about purchasing the actual fish... I tend to be a sucker for the sad looking little guys I see in local pet merchandise stores. Would I be avoiding illness/bad genetics by purchasing from a breeder or trader? Are online sales reputable?

And, though I'm sure some petsmart/wallmart/petco fish are just fine, ours all look pretty bad... some can't submerge completely, some are stuck floating on one side and some even look like they have some kind of algae ( that doesn't seem normal ) hanging off them. The few that don't seem to have these ailments are almost completely inactive and unresponsive. If they're just depressed, or these things are treatable I don't mind taking the time to do so... but is it a lost cause?

Thanks for taking the time to read this. I really do appreciate it. (:
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Old 08-20-2011, 06:23 AM   #2 
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: Shangdong, China

I use 25 watt heaters in my 5 gallon and smaller tanks. I think to heat 1 gallon of water, 5 watts are needed.

If you are you looking to buy online, try Ebay also has bettas and sometimes members here sell their spawn. I get all mine from Petco or Walmart, usually the ones that have "issues". Swim bladder disease (fish cant swim down) or missing/rotting fins are the most common issues I tend to heal. Fin rot is fairly fixable - daily water changes and aquarium salt work and the fins will grow back.

If you get one from a pet store look for one that is alert, no fungus growths, white spots or anything like that. I would say raggidy looking fins are almost normal for walmart and petco - just make sure the fish has no other visible issues. I get the ones that are still alert but have minor issues. Avoid ones with rapid gill movement or laying on their side. They "may" just need some clean water but it can also be something more serious...

I have several petco pet keepers. They are about 3 gallons and are $12 here. SOme have gravel and some I left bare bottom. I also have a 5 gallon marineland hex which has a built in filter, hood and nice lighting. However it was ON SALE for $65 . I hate alaska prices its on their website for $45 I think....

I dont use filters, so I cant help there and all my plants died except amazon swords
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Old 08-21-2011, 09:46 PM   #3 
Join Date: Jul 2011
For a single betta in a 3 gallon tank, the built in filter should be sufficient. Just make sure you get the water tested frequently at the beginning to make sure you're doing enough water changes. Luckily with a 3 gallon tank, it's very easy to change a large amount of water. At the beginning, I would change out about .5 gallon water daily (for the 2 weeks or so) and then once your tank is cycled and established, 1 gallon per week.

Most stores that sell fish will test your aquarium water for free, if you don't want to spend the money on a test kit for 1 fish in a small tank. You want ammonia and nitrites to be at 0ppm, and nitrates below 40pmm (a lot will say below 20 to be extra safe). When you get a nitrate reading, that means your tank is cycled and you can start easing up on the water changes.
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Old 08-21-2011, 10:15 PM   #4 
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Central Oregon
Hey there and welcome to the forums.
Here are the few things I can really help you with myself.
1 - you don't need gravel flooring, I actually like glass marble and such you can find them at petsmart and such for 99 cents a bag, other crafts stores or section like at walmart you can get them too. I find them easier to clean than gravel.

2 the fish. Aquabid is great to browse and go i want I want, but i find them too expensive myself. I buy from an LFS (local fish store) and walmart and such. I will pick up ones with finrot at walmart. I like ones that still have personality and will even flare at his neighbors.
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