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Old 08-01-2012, 02:43 PM   #1 
XizorGetspeed
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New Betta Owner - First time Aquarium

So here's how it started... I wanted to have something in my office in terms of taking a break and mind off of work and I though a small aquarium would be nice. Problem is I don't have a lot of space and wanted very little maintenance.

We used to have goldfish when I was younger and I remember my dad always complaining it's a lot of work.

I learned about Bettas and was told that they need zero maintenance, you can just drop them into a cup and voila I'll have an office buddy.

So I went to the local pet store and the lady there sold me a betta fish along with a 2L Marina Tank (like this one http://www.petsmart.com/product/inde...1-973C40873292)

Brought it home, set it up, dropped the fish in, and away we go...

Had him for about a week, water was crystal clean, and lots of bubble nests.

After the first week, I remembered the lady saying i need to change the water every week. So not knowing that I'm not supposed to change the water completely, I scooped up the betta back in the cup he came in, and proceeded to wash out the entire tank.

I lost about 30% of the gravel cause it was so small to handle, and I ended up replacing the gravel instead with glass beads that my wife had placed in a vase as decoration.

I then noticed the water getting very cloudy. I didn't know what caused it so I started searching online and came across this forum site.

After doing a lot of reading, I'm starting to realize that the tank I have is too small for the betta? Almost every site is stating to have atleast 2 gallons if not 5.

Is this really necessary? I went to the local petsmart store (figured it's more reputable) and the associate saying that I am fine with a smaller tank, I just have to do more water changes. But he's saying that the tank I have is fine and recommended I get a small log or something for the fish to hide in.

He also stated that I don't need to worry about getting a heater or filter or anything like. That that's what makes Bettas so great.

I mentioned that the way the tank is designed, the gravel is only in the middle so there is waste that collects around the gravel and can easily be seen. And how do I clean that if I'm not doing 100% water changes. He said that I should put 75% of the water and the fish in another container, and the completely clean the tank, and then put the old water and fish back along with 25% new water. He also remarked that the cloudiness is a result of a new nitrogen cycle being established and its normal. The ammonia levels will be high but never high enough that the betta can't handle it and after a week or so, when the good bacteria is created, the ammonia levels will then drop...

So that's where I'm at right now. I'm stuck between keeping the same tank because it's small enough to fit on my desk but I don't want to harm the fish. I also want the fish to be happy.

I don't like the idea of having to put water and fish in another container so I can clean out my tank. It seems like less maintenance that I get a bigger tank and just scoop out a couple cups of old water and add new water once a week.

But I guess my main question/concern is, is the tank sufficient? Why does every store say they are (i've been to about 4 different stores now) but the online community seems to wholeheartedly disagree.

I'm really trying to understand all of this and in the end I want to keep my fish happy, allow it to thrive, and have a long healthy life.

Thank you very much in advance for any guidance, help and explanations you can provide. And also being patient with me as I know I'm completely ignorant in this subject.

:)
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Old 08-01-2012, 03:12 PM   #2 
thekoimaiden
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Hi and welcome to the forum. I'm sorry, but you've fallen into one of the major traps of beginner fishkeeping: completely trusting the sales associates. Most of the time, they don't know what they are talking about. Don't worry. A lot of people make this mistake, myself included. What's most important is to learn something from them.

You have been mislead about the proper size for a fish tank (not just bettas all fish). No fish can safely live in a tank smaller than 1 gallon. This is mostly due to the wild temperature fluctuation that come with a tank of that size; these cause considerable stress to the fish. It is also difficult to heat tanks smaller than a gallon. Despite what many people will tell you, a betta can live comfortably in a 1 gal tank provided you do the proper water changes and have the right kind of heater. One of the most respected members here keeps some in 1 gal tanks. Because you have limited space, a 1 gal tank sounds like it is the largest you can do, and that's more than fine.

As for the heater, again, the sales associate was wrong. Betta evolved in a tropical climate and need tropical water temperatures. Cold water can cause lethargy, weakened immune systems, and constipation. Bettas do best at a steady temperature in between 76F and 82F. The Hydor THEO 25w heater is a great adjustable heater for your size tank.

The one thing the sales associate got right was that your size tank doesn't need a filter. The main purpose of a filter is water movement (which betta don't like) and to provide surface area for the cycle bacteria. Your tank won't have enough surface area to cycle, so you don't need a filter. It will just push your betta around his home.

To answer your question as to why the stores say those small tanks are okay and the online community say they aren't, just look at the price tags on those tanks. They significantly more than a basic bowl or even a 10 gal tank. The fish are cheap, but the stores make their money pushing the tiny designer tanks for the $4 fish.

Hope I was able to answer a few of your questions and welcome again to the wonderful world of bettas!!
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Old 08-01-2012, 03:20 PM   #3 
tpocicat
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^A+ Welcome to the forum. As long as the water is kept clean and warm a betta can live in 1/2 gallon temporily. You will need to clean the water more often. Bigger is better and easier in the long run.
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Old 08-01-2012, 03:48 PM   #4 
Perseusmom
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Welcome to the forum you picked the best place for the proper care of your Betta.
I have never heard of a tank that size having a cycle and without a filter I dont think even possible. It would be easier to upgrade to at least 2 gallons or more thats up to you, but my Betta loves to swim and explore his 5 gallon tank. Like you I didnt know about what size a Betta really needed till I started reading the posts here and my Betta was in a half gallon for a week waiting on his 5 gallon and heater I ordered on line.

Plus its harder to get the right size heater for a small tank like that and they need a temp of at least 78 to be happy and active as they should be. Those sell people are terrible to tell you he only needs clean water once a week cause in a tank that small I would and did change to clean conditioned water every other day and once a day I would take out half and replace it. I used a turkey baster to take out the old water with and that was a bit slow but worked. Also you dont really need to take out the gravel to clean it just try to take out any food he does not eat and any waste you see, a gravel cleaner works best to suck that all out and what I use now for my 5 gallon tank and they only a few dollars. Also I never took him out of the half gallon bowl he was in I would just leave enough water for him to be covered and add the new water.

I hope this helps and best wishes for you and your new little guy, Betta are awesome little fish which you cant really see in such a small tank. My Perseus is so awesome to watch swim and explore in his larger home he loves it and so do I !
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Old 08-01-2012, 05:14 PM   #5 
XizorGetspeed
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Thank you for your replies. I was afraid of this, but glad that I have it clear. Looks like I must get a larger tank. Space wise I'm not that limited. I could fit a 2 or even 3 gallon tank. What do you think of the following tanks:
http://www.petsmart.com/product/inde...ductId=2752385
http://www.petsmart.com/product/inde...uctId=11051817
http://www.petsmart.com/product/inde...ductId=3804454
http://www.petsmart.com/product/inde...uctId=11907004

I'm liking the first one the most because it's wider rather than taller and seems to have plenty of room. I can still fit this on hutch of my desk.

I do also like the 1.5 gallon Tetra cube tank. Simply because of its size. But...

I'm thinking if I'm going to do this, (and as I read more of this forum), I should do this right and have some fun and take pride. Thinking of nicely decorating it (without overcrowding it) and also perhaps getting a mystery snail in the tank. I'm reading it keeps the tank cleaner, and is a good buddy for the betta fish and also a blast to watch in and of itself.

And if I do do this than is 1.5 gallons going to be enough? What about the 3 gallon one?

Also, all these tanks come with filtration systems. Should I not install them?

Look forward to your replies.

:)
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Old 08-01-2012, 05:29 PM   #6 
tpocicat
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I personally like the look of the first one best. None of them have a heater, so you'll have to find a small one that will fit.
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Old 08-01-2012, 05:29 PM   #7 
Dellilah
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I have 2 of the marineland crescent 3's for my bettas (until my 20g is ready for them) and I like them. There's something about those black hoods that I really hate, so the detachable LED lights were perfect. The tank is easy to set up and the filter has an adjustable flow if you do plan on using it.

From what I've read longer is better than taller so I would not choose the hexagon shaped tank.
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Old 08-01-2012, 05:36 PM   #8 
mkayum
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I recommend http://www.petsmart.com/product/inde...ductId=2752385

This tank sounds like a great start for your little guy! Add some live plants like Java Fern.. and maybe a driftwood to make it look appealing for you and your guy too! Your betta fish will thank you for giving him the biggest space you can get for him! (: also i think you would have to change water less. I'm not sure. I hope someone would chime about this.

Don't get those 1.5 cube tanks. It's very poor made..cheap made.. I had a few of those and decided to got a fat refund for it and bought right supplies for my betta clan lol. You might have to change water more than normal because of that small tank.
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Old 08-01-2012, 05:36 PM   #9 
Perseusmom
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Hi...I like the first or second one the best. Yes you can use the filter it will help to keep the water cleaner. About the snail I think for a tank this size it might not be a good idea because they put out more bio-load which is waste, poop..lol Your Betta doesnt need a buddy he is fine all by himself and could attack the snail I hear some do, plus it would mean more water changes for you as the ammonia would build up quicker. I am sure others will have better advise about that as I dont have one myself. I think you should go with the 3 gallon and your Betta will have more room and you both will enjoy it better since he will be more less water changes and also he will more fun to watch as he swims around and explores his new happy home.
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Old 08-01-2012, 05:44 PM   #10 
Rubyjames
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thekoimaiden View Post
Hi and welcome to the forum. I'm sorry, but you've fallen into one of the major traps of beginner fishkeeping: completely trusting the sales associates. Most of the time, they don't know what they are talking about. Don't worry. A lot of people make this mistake, myself included. What's most important is to learn something from them.

You have been mislead about the proper size for a fish tank (not just bettas all fish). No fish can safely live in a tank smaller than 1 gallon. This is mostly due to the wild temperature fluctuation that come with a tank of that size; these cause considerable stress to the fish. It is also difficult to heat tanks smaller than a gallon. Despite what many people will tell you, a betta can live comfortably in a 1 gal tank provided you do the proper water changes and have the right kind of heater. One of the most respected members here keeps some in 1 gal tanks. Because you have limited space, a 1 gal tank sounds like it is the largest you can do, and that's more than fine.

As for the heater, again, the sales associate was wrong. Betta evolved in a tropical climate and need tropical water temperatures. Cold water can cause lethargy, weakened immune systems, and constipation. Bettas do best at a steady temperature in between 76F and 82F. The Hydor THEO 25w heater is a great adjustable heater for your size tank.

The one thing the sales associate got right was that your size tank doesn't need a filter. The main purpose of a filter is water movement (which betta don't like) and to provide surface area for the cycle bacteria. Your tank won't have enough surface area to cycle, so you don't need a filter. It will just push your betta around his home.

To answer your question as to why the stores say those small tanks are okay and the online community say they aren't, just look at the price tags on those tanks. They significantly more than a basic bowl or even a 10 gal tank. The fish are cheap, but the stores make their money pushing the tiny designer tanks for the $4 fish.

Hope I was able to answer a few of your questions and welcome again to the wonderful world of bettas!!
How is the Hydor heater powered? Do I need to plug it in? Batteries? Bulbs?
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