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Old 05-28-2012, 06:31 PM   #1 
LittleWatty
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Soon to be Betta owner

So, some of you may have seen a thread I posted a few weeks ago with several questions pertaining to bettas and their care. I'm back with more! However, these questions and comments are more focused on the quality of the housing.

I am currently in possession of a 1 gallon bowl that my sister used for her fish several years ago (no idea exactly what kind) and a small cave that looks like a tree trunk to be used as a hiding place. However, that's ALL I have at the moment. On Friday I will be moving into my new apartment, and bringing the bowl with me. That same day I plan on getting a betta, a the PetCo 6.6 gallon bookshelf tank or a 5 gallon tank (a 10 if it fits, or smaller than a 5 if it doesn't fit anywhere), live low-light plants, some decor, a heater, some aquarium sponge (for a baffle if needed), a gravel siphon, some gravel (I have some, but I don't like it), water conditioner, Stress Coat (or similar), and probably some frozen blood worms, maybe some brine shrimp (possibly live).

That is my planned purchase, but... my plans never go according to plan. Ever. So, in terms of what I'd like to do with the betta is this: While I'm cycling my planted ~5 gallon tank (depending on what I actually end up with), my betta will be hanging out in the 1 gallon bowl. I would like to heat it, but I don't know how possible that would be. I don't want to keep him in his tiny cup and float him in the ~5 gallon while its cycling so he can stay warm. So, if I have any safe options at all for heating a 1 gallon bowl (at best it can hold maybe 1.25 gallons to the brim), I would love to hear them! The least expensive the better. I'm worried about him possibly being sick when I bring him home, which is why I'd rather have heated water than non.

Also... does anyone have any suggestions for Aquarium kits that Walmart or Petco might sell? Petsmart isn't much of an option, and I'd rather not have to order online from Amazon, Ebay, or Aquabid. If it fits in my tiny apartment, I was really hoping to get the 6.6 gallon bookshelf aquarium kit, as I stated. As for heaters and possible replacement filters (in case the one my kit comes with is too strong, even baffled), I haven't a clue what to look for.

I've read the Aquarium plants guide that's posted somewhere around here, and I was also wondering what kinds of easy to care for low-light plants people have found in PetCo or Walmart that would work well for my betta's tank. If I can find it, I was thinking some anubias, or anacharis. Maybe some stringy floating plants that won't explode like Duckweed. If they have more than just anubias at PetCo, awesome! I just don't know what they'd have, so I'm looking to fellow PetCo shoppers to give me their experiences with live plants.

I'm also unsure about water changes. I expect to be doing at least 50% changes on my 1gal every other day at least. I assume I'll have to take my betta out during such changes, and house him in his little cup, then reacclimate him to the water when its done and clean.

And one last question, that's just about my preference... how often do fellow PetCo shoppers come across a black crowntail male? Particularly a black orchid CT. I would very much like one, but I can stand living without one.

Um... that's all I can think of at the moment. I have never kept my own fish before, so I would very much like to learn all I can before diving in to that wonderful world! Apologies if this is a wee bit long. I want to make sure I cover everything! So, recap:
-Am I missing anything from my shopping list?
-Possible heating arrangements for a ~1 gal bowl?
-Tank suggestions?
-Heater and filter suggestions for my larger tank? (filter in case the one with the it is too strong w/ a baffle)
-Low-light aquatic plants available at PetCo?
-Water change tips?
-Commonality of Black (possibly orchid) CT males at Petco?
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Old 05-28-2012, 06:41 PM   #2 
lelei
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Hello, you have a great list there..in regards to what you are planning..sounds great:)
When I first got our "Sammy" we had him in his "Petco fish bowl" for about a week, wasn't sure what betta's needed..so I upgraded his bowl to a med size critter keeper, which works great for a holding place while cleaning the mansion..
and he was in the critter keeper, for about another week, without heater, or filter, or anything except for a lil gravel, and a fake plastic plant

Now he has a 3 gal tank, silk plants, heater, and air stone..and a spongebob hide a way..and a real Amazon Sword tall plant..so he is living like a king of his castle..lol..Hope it all works out for you..(invest in a med size critter keeper) it helps:)
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Old 05-28-2012, 09:27 PM   #3 
Bombalurina
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleWatty View Post
So, some of you may have seen a thread I posted a few weeks ago with several questions pertaining to bettas and their care. I'm back with more! However, these questions and comments are more focused on the quality of the housing.

I am currently in possession of a 1 gallon bowl that my sister used for her fish several years ago (no idea exactly what kind) and a small cave that looks like a tree trunk to be used as a hiding place. However, that's ALL I have at the moment. On Friday I will be moving into my new apartment, and bringing the bowl with me. That same day I plan on getting a betta, a the PetCo 6.6 gallon bookshelf tank or a 5 gallon tank (a 10 if it fits, or smaller than a 5 if it doesn't fit anywhere), live low-light plants, some decor, a heater, some aquarium sponge (for a baffle if needed), a gravel siphon, some gravel (I have some, but I don't like it), water conditioner, Stress Coat (or similar), and probably some frozen blood worms, maybe some brine shrimp (possibly live).
Your shopping list sounds great, but why get the betta that day? Just wait for the tank to cycle, then buy him. That way, you don't have to worry about keeping him warm/doing a fish in cycle, etc. :)

That is my planned purchase, but... my plans never go according to plan. Ever. So, in terms of what I'd like to do with the betta is this: While I'm cycling my planted ~5 gallon tank (depending on what I actually end up with), my betta will be hanging out in the 1 gallon bowl. I would like to heat it, but I don't know how possible that would be. I don't want to keep him in his tiny cup and float him in the ~5 gallon while its cycling so he can stay warm. So, if I have any safe options at all for heating a 1 gallon bowl (at best it can hold maybe 1.25 gallons to the brim), I would love to hear them! The least expensive the better. I'm worried about him possibly being sick when I bring him home, which is why I'd rather have heated water than non.
There are heaters for one gallon bowls (I think there is a 10w Marina heater around) but again, why not just wait to buy him?

Also... does anyone have any suggestions for Aquarium kits that Walmart or Petco might sell? Petsmart isn't much of an option, and I'd rather not have to order online from Amazon, Ebay, or Aquabid. If it fits in my tiny apartment, I was really hoping to get the 6.6 gallon bookshelf aquarium kit, as I stated. As for heaters and possible replacement filters (in case the one my kit comes with is too strong, even baffled), I haven't a clue what to look for.
If I could get that tank, I would. It looks amazing. Sorry I can't help on the other stuff - I'm not in the USA. :)

I've read the Aquarium plants guide that's posted somewhere around here, and I was also wondering what kinds of easy to care for low-light plants people have found in PetCo or Walmart that would work well for my betta's tank. If I can find it, I was thinking some anubias, or anacharis. Maybe some stringy floating plants that won't explode like Duckweed. If they have more than just anubias at PetCo, awesome! I just don't know what they'd have, so I'm looking to fellow PetCo shoppers to give me their experiences with live plants.
If they have them, look for java moss, java fern, marimo moss and wisteria. :) Don't let them sell you anything that you can't identify, in case it is only semi-aquatic.

I'm also unsure about water changes. I expect to be doing at least 50% changes on my 1gal every other day at least. I assume I'll have to take my betta out during such changes, and house him in his little cup, then reacclimate him to the water when its done and clean.
I believe OFL recommends one 50% change and one 100% change per week for a one gallon. :) Again, though, I strongly suggest waiting until everything is ready for him, rather than make him go through all that.
Sorry I can't help with the Petco questions. :)
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Old 05-28-2012, 09:52 PM   #4 
MyRainbowBettaFish
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Here is a great site to get you started:

http://www.Bettatalk.com
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Old 05-28-2012, 09:57 PM   #5 
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Why would you put the betta in the one gallon bowl?

First of all, if you put a betta in a one gallon bowl while cycling the five gallon tank, thats completely pointlless. The bowl will never be cycled because its so small and without a filter, meaning ammonia will be much more harsh and the fish is more likely to contract fin rot. You should always keep the betta in the five gallon. The fish will cycle the five gallon when it produces ammonia.

Second, its going to be very hard to get a heater in a bowl. Even if you can, try finding a five watt heater. You are most likely not going to be able to. That means you have to heat the bowl unsafely.

Also, I've lost all three of my betta fish to filters. I recommend a sponge filter. They are sold on Amazon or in some pet stores, all though I can never find them locally. The sponge filter is efficient and creates basically no suction. This is also ideal if you got some tank mates, like shrimp. In a five or six point six gallon, there is enough room for tank mates. Shrimp will get sucked up in a regular filter.

I would just keep the fish in a five gallon tank, with a twenty five watt heater, and a sponge filter. If you get the six point six gallon tank, its your choice between either a twenty-five watt or a fifty watt, but I would personally get the fifty-watt.

Last edited by Cargo; 05-28-2012 at 10:00 PM.
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Old 05-29-2012, 02:43 AM   #6 
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having a 1g tank on hand is nice as a hospital tank or something to quarantine plants in or if you plan on adding any tankmates.. But I would hold off on getting the betta until you cycle the planted tank or go with a fish-in cycle if you like...

Only thing you would need for the 1g if used as hospital tank is:
  • Maybe sponge filter for it
  • Heater (the one mentioned and zoomed makes a small heater pad like thing
  • and make sure it has a lid or cover

Look at Nutrafin Cycle - it's bacteria solution in a bottle that helps build your bacteria colony to help cycle a tank.. it says it's good within 48 hours, but from experience with it, took my tank at least 2 weeks using fishless cycle with the assistance of Nutrafin Cycle.

For the 1g - you might consider looking into a kritter keeper - they are inexpensive, acrylic, and good as hospital/quarantine tanks. Petco carries them for sure.

http://plantedtank.net/ is a great resource for learning about aquarium plants (truly aquatic) and the plant guide someone has stickied up there is nice as well. Anubias and java ferns are good - you can also look up low tech planted tanks to see what other options you may have. From experience, petco does not usually carry good plants (at least not mine).. sometimes I can find some good stuff, sometimes not. They do carry the tube of plants which are guaranteed snail free - I recommend that if you are not in the position of taking actions towards desnailing... be careful with those because a good portion are not aquatic plants, but terrarium plants and they are not labeled.. and don't expect the petco employees to know what's what.. from those tubes, I will buy swords, java fern, and they might have anubia, but they def have water wisteria.. stay away from ribbon plant, mondo grass... peacock ferns as they are not truly aquatic.
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Old 05-29-2012, 08:50 AM   #7 
teeneythebetta
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Walmart has quality kits for great prices. I got a 10 gallon starter kit with a filter & hood for $30. It is priced at $38 online so I guess it varies by store. I have had no problems with it and has been working great! http://www.walmart.com/ip/Aquacultur...-1-ct/10312734

There is also a 5 gallon kit for a few dollars more. http://www.walmart.com/ip/Tetra-Aqua...ndingMethod=rr
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Old 05-29-2012, 08:51 AM   #8 
LittleWatty
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Bombalurina: I plan on getting the betta that same day because my Petco is a bit of a drive away. I don't have anything really close, and I would much rather get everything I need that same day. Especially if I find my Black Orchid CT - there is no way I could pass him up. There is the chance that I won't find the kind of fish I'm looking for in terms of fish (I would really like a Black or blue CT), so I may not get the fish that day. I'm a wee bit picky XD

Cargo: I don't even know how to cycle a tank properly without any fish, let alone with a fish in it. I'm really wary of doing something wrong when cycling the tank that could kill the fish - like ammonia poisoning. Unless it is definitely better for the fish to be part of an in-fish cycle rather than a 1 gallon bowl/critter keeper, I'd rather keep him in the 1 gal while the ~5 is cycling. I really don't want to kill my fish. I don't plan on cycling the 1 gallon - its just temporary housing that would be better than a tiny cup.

MyRainbowBettaFish/N03113: Thanks for the links - I'll definitely be looking around
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Old 05-29-2012, 01:14 PM   #9 
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there are some stickies about cycling and understanding the nitrogen cycle... Your tank will not be able to just cycle with plants in it, or at least it would take a lot of time (more than 6 months)... You have to feed the tank.. to produce the ammonia to feed the bacteria. seeding the tank helps speed up that process (using old filter media or substrate from an existing tank for example).
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Old 05-29-2012, 02:03 PM   #10 
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I have read the stickies, which is one reason I would rather not do the in-fish cycle because I'm worried for my fish (I'll be working a lot, so I won't have time to do more than one water change a day, and even that is pushing it. Smaller scale changes every other day or so sounds better). It sounds too risky to me. I was planning on producing ammonia with fish food, as I've heard the bacteria supplements or boosters, whatever you'd want to call them, don't really work. But, with no actual fish experience, its just what I've heard.
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