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Old 08-09-2012, 07:47 PM   #1 
Rapunzzel
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Red face Looking to buy betta soon- help?

I've been doing a bit of reading in the forum on certain things, but I kinda wanted to get all my questions into one thread. So here goes. I was previously a betta owner...and I failed. I know a few ways that I would like to improve, but I need your help.

1) Space is still an issue. I know it's not ideal, but I'm going to try to get a 1.5 gallon tank (compared to 1 gal before) and hopefully will upgrade eventually. Mixed reviews on the Tetra 1.5 gallon Water Wonders tank. What do you think/any suggestions on another decent brand? Pros/cons on the Tetra?

2) IF I did get the Tetra, I wouldn't be cycling or filtering the water....I'll be doing water changes frequently. As long as I'm using a water conditioner, this shouldn't be a problem, correct? I have Aqueon water conditioner from my last betta. How often should 1.5 gals be changed? Every week? More often?

3) I also have various decorative elements that probably need to be disinfected from the last fish :( Any ideas on how to do this/is it possible? Can I appropriately disinfect ceramic (?) bridges or fake plants? The old net I used with a sick fish?

4) Gravel vs. sand vs. decorative stones. Which is best and what are the pros and cons of these? What is the best way to clean these elements during water changes and how often should they be replaced?

5) Silk plants are better than plastic, correct? Any good suggestions on where to buy some?

6) If my tank doesn't already come with a light, can I get some sort of clip-on LED that will hang over?

7) When does a heater become imperative? If the room temp is generally between 78-80, is this sufficient?

Any other important info would be helpful. I want to do my best with limited resources to give my betta a happier and healthier life.
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Old 08-09-2012, 07:51 PM   #2 
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Oh! Also, do I need to have a thermometer in my bowl? How do you install this and can you buy any kind?
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Old 08-09-2012, 08:18 PM   #3 
LebronTheBetta
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Hello and welcome to the forum! :D My name is LTB, (Not really) And I'll be glad to help.
Unfortunately, I don't know this brand and don't know if it's good. :( It should be sufficient for long finned males so it should be fine. I'm stuck with a 3.5 gallon but Lebron has enough space.
Tap water with conditioner is the best water you can find. Cycling will be even harder for you to cycle but it's possible. In unfiltered tanks, you should always do 2 water changes per week. 1 100% and 1 50%. This will keep the water clean enough to let the Betta live.
You can clean it with bleach or vinegar. You have to rinse the tank in B/V and then rinse it with water a billion times, seriously. Then after that, you leave it out to sun dry so there will be no residue. This will work with decorations and nets too. If the illness was TB, (Tuberculosis) then you have to throw the tank away, it won't die from B/V so that's why. Sorry that happened to your fish.
I prefer gravel. Sand seems a bit hard to clean and I'm not sure about those decorative stones. When using gravel, you're going to need a gravel siphon since the food will be stuck underneath.
Yes, silk plants are better than plastic. Plastic can damage their fins. Silk won't so, yeah. Just find a decoration you like and see if pantyhose will rip because of it. If it will, then it can harm their fins as well.
Yes, you can. But make sure the tank has a lid. Bettas are known for jumping and in some cases, they die because of being dried up. >.<
If the temperature is warm and stable throughout the day and night, you won't need a heater. However, it's still recommended. In winter, it'll get cold and you'll need it. And if your fish is sick, you might need the temperature hotter than normal. If you will get a heater, I recommend the Hydor THEO heater. There have been good reviews and mine works to the perfect temperature. :)
Welcome again, and I hope I've helped you.
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Old 08-09-2012, 11:32 PM   #4 
Rapunzzel
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Thanks for the help, LTB. Upon further consideration, I think I'll do what I can to get a 2.5 gal tank :) Something I've never fully understood when researching- When I do a 50% water change, am I simply scooping it out from the top and then adding in new, pre-conditioned water?

I looked up gravel vacuums/siphons and it appears you can not only clean your gravel with that, but also remove some of the water? I didn't know if that was true or not.

Do I clean the gravel twice a week along with the water changes or more often than that?

I looked into the Hydor THEO. Wattages seem to vary between 25 and 50W. Does it matter which wattage I purchase?

Thank you for all your help. :)
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Old 08-09-2012, 11:44 PM   #5 
Rapunzzel
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Oops. Missed ONE question, so sorry (thanks for your patience, LTB). Is there any sort of ratio of bleach and vinegar that I should be using when disinfecting my old decorations? A certain tsp amount or anything?
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Old 08-10-2012, 12:59 AM   #6 
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A 50% water change is just taking out half of the water and slowly putting in dechlorinated water that's the same temperature as the tank water.
Yes, siphons clean out the gravel and also sucks out water by doing so. It helps A LOT. Trust me, they do work like this.
Use the gravel siphon when you do the 50%. For the 100%, you could just pour out all the water and refill it. REMEMBER WATER CONDITIONER!!
25 Watt is best for small tanks. :) I have that and it doesn't overheat.
I think it's 1 part B/V and 9 parts water. Remember to sun dry!
Your welcome, I'm glad to help. :P
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Old 08-10-2012, 02:12 AM   #7 
tanseattle
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I like to siphon out the water from the bottom and try to get as much waste out as possible.
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Old 08-10-2012, 06:14 AM   #8 
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I have the 1.5 Tetra Wonders, it's been fully cycled with a Red Sea Nano filter as of the other day, but I still haven't added any gravel/fish to it.

That tank comes with a little LED on top.

Hydor heaters range from 25W to I believe 300W

25W-50W is fine depending on which part of the US you're in.

Siphon once every 7-14 days. Whatever you feel is necessary.

I do every 10-14 days, but I use a filter.
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Old 08-10-2012, 06:43 AM   #9 
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@MSG: Just noticed your avatar pic, lol, nice one.

I also have the Tetra Wonders with the 25w Theo and everything is fine. Its cycled as well, had to baffle the filter output and adjusted the air intake, but other than that the little guy has been happy. Having some live plants is also great, but if you dont go that route, just be careful when you chose the fake stuff.. Like LTB said, use the pantyhose test. Regarding the siphon, get one with the manual pump. I originally bought one where you had to move the vacuum end up and down inside the tank to get the water flowing and it causes too much water movement. With the manual pump you just stick the vacuum in and then start pumping the bulbous end and out comes the water.

Good luck and remember to post pics!
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Old 08-10-2012, 07:13 AM   #10 
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That's why I just used the airtube minus the gravel attachment. But that didn't end well with one of the girls going for a ride through the tubing.

I need to practice using the siphons with the auto-starters.

DQ, it's my halfmoon Akoya. He ALWAYS doing these weird random poses in the tank, but it's only recently that I've started to notice. Another major bonus is he holds the pose for a few seconds too.

I still need to figure out what kind of gravel will compliment him the best.
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