New and Excited Betta Fish Owner!! -- Good Setup or No?
Hi all! I'm new here so forgive me if I make mistakes :)
I'm a new betta fish owner as of two weeks ago and have recently upgraded to a new and better tank so that my fishie is the happiest fishie ever.
So first, meet Earl ( chilling in the pet store cup while I was setting up his tank and letting him look at it -- he seems excited about it too, keeps trying to swim towards it! ), otherwise known as Earlie-whirlie, or sometimes The Cutest Earlieman on the Planet.
He is mostly white so its hard to tell ( and you guys obviously didn't see him when he first came in ) but his color has improved so much. :) I picked him out because from the get go he was definately the most lively little sucker there, a very fast and strong swimmer and I swear if he wanted to he could probably jump a full foot out of the water with the speed he can build up, but when I first got him the purpley coloration of his fins ( it looks reddish in the photo but alas I am a magically amazing photographer so expect magical distortions haha ) was grayed out and now its very vibrant and he's much shinier. :) He's even adopted some pinkish stripe along his side too, very pretty! And he's got the prettiest baby blue eyes!
As far as food is concerned, he eats between 3-5 beta pellets once in the morning and once in the night, amount depending on how hungry he is. I feed him two at a time and if he seems less interested in food after that then I won't give him more, but if he's still looking up at me like FEED ME he gets more.
He'll be moving very shortly to his new home, a 6-gallon Marineland Column after I buy a heater and such things for it. And more substrate because I THOUGHT I bought enough but my pebbles barely cover even the bottom of this much larger tank ( his old one was a 1 gallon that didn't even end up being *that* -- I had bought a gallon of water from store and by the time 3/4 of the water was in the tank, the tank was overflowing! So I knew he definately needed an upgrade ).
The PLANTS in here do not tug on his fins. I've tested them both -- the bonsai actually has very rounded leaves and even squeazing the 'fronds' as hard as I can it barely indents my hand, and the longer.. plantlike thing log whatever it is haha has been in with him before and even when Earl swims tight circles around the leaves or brushes up against them they've done him no harm!
Soon he will also be sharing the aquarium with buddies. I'm still deciding on what sort of tank mate I will be going for but I'm thinking tetras and maybe a snail or two. I'll have to be careful with this though because if he knows he is an almost solid white fish than practically everything not solid black or white will be more colorful than him! I'd REALLY like a black knife but I am aware this tank setup is far too small and it'd be dangerous to keep such a big fellow with my betta haha @.@
How's my setup! What kind of things would you reccomend? I will get my water tested today as well, just to make sure.
Shopping list today is a net, a wallscraper, a vaccuum if I can, POSSIBLY fish buddies ( but definately a snail because I love them haha ), MORE ROCKS, and if the pet store employee will suggest me anything else I need I will go for that too.
Though I'm terribly afraid of fin rot Earl doesn't seem to be showing any signs of it that I can see -- the edges of his fins are crisp and well formed and I don't see any tearing anywhere unless I'm not looking at him right.
I would say if you want to keep your betta with other fish you need at least a 10gallon tank otherwise ammonia buildup will happen pretty fast. What you can keep with him in the 6gallon though is one of the following three. African dwarf frog, snail, or shrimp. African dwarf frogs are really cute and I am toying with the idea of getting one myself. I am also getting two shrimp for sure once I find some. Otherwise with a heater it sounds good to me.
I had an African Dwarf frog when I was little and I loved her so much! So that is a good suggestion, I may end up doing that! I also researched the shrimp too, and they are tempting ( even if my mom would hate me for bringing 'bugs' into the house pffft ). Maybe I'll get both. I feel bad that he's all alone and especially in this tank where he seems so small ( and if it matters, he is a very small betta -- I'm not sure if he is a baby or just a runt but he was definately smaller than most the other bettas at the store ).
Hey there Olocitad, welcome to the forum and congrats on the upgrade! It looks fantastic, I absolutely adore the tree decoration. ;) And little Earlie there is such a handsome little boy! Sounds like a typical, healthy, spunky Plakat too, I bet he'll LOVE all the extra space in his new 6 gallon!
Hmm.....the only suggestion I have would be to look into cycling(an awesome Betta-specific cycling thread: http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=107771 )and maybe work on that before getting any sort of tankmates.
A snail or a few ghost/cherry shrimp would make fantastic little buddies if you want tankmates, but 6 gallons is a little too small for a betta and actual fish tankmates like tetras and whatnot.....you'd need a 10+ gallon for that I'm afraid.
Oh! Also, its completely up to you, but I've found a marble substrate can be a bit of a pain with the vacuum and partial water changes in a cycled tank. The marbles get all stuck in the vacuum and its hard to get down past them to get at the poo and such that falls down into the bottom. Gravel or sand is a little easier to keep clean in a cycled tank, but its all up to you.
Thats all I can really think of.....best of luck, and be sure to post LOTS of pictures! xD We love pictures here.
Shrimp are awesome, aside from betta I have been bitten by the shrimp bug xD And if your mom freaks say they are not bugs. Well...really they aren't and they are so cute. I love cherry shrimp a lot though ghost shrimp are cool too but cherry shrimp are colorful and stand out more.
Thank you very much Dragonfish, that page answered many of the questions I was preparing to ask :) I've decided on a pair of African Dwarf Frogs rather than other fish, especially since I have experience with them and the setup is already rather perfect for them because there's a little hovel for them to hide in and all.
The pebbles may be harder to clean.. but regardless, I like them better so I probably will not move to sand any time soon. x3 ( And plus, the frogs I have owned in the past, which obviously would be interacting with them more than the better, seem to prefer them as well 'cause they can dig around in them ). I may eventually get a shrimp or two later regardless of my mum. She probably won't interact much with the tank anyway.
Once Earl is in the tank I will supply more pictures. So far everything is good. I got the heater and thermostat, but it seems the water was already at a good temperature ( leveling about 75 ) buuut at night time I know it gets much cooler so that should help. The lighting on the tank should help as well, because it actually has a night time function so the water won't cool down as much as it may.
This is probably a stupid question but when I'm changing water do I leave the fish in or do I take them out?
Ahhh, ADFs can be such adorable little guys. xD I miss mine, I always used to have a pair in my larger community tank for my brother and my mom. They were my brothers favorite, and my mom liked to talk to them. xD
I've never personally had shrimp before, but I always see them and consider bringing a few home...I'm sure out of ten boys I could find ONE that wouldn't eat them. xD But I always end up getting something else instead. Maybe one day....
Hey, if the marbles are your thing and you don't mind the extra hassle, go for it. xD I love the look of them too, but they got to me in my cycled tanks, lol.
When you're cycling/when you've finished cycling your tank you leave your fish and his tankmates in when you preform a partial water change. ;)
Does the light really effect the temperature of the tank more then maybe a degree or two? Thats usually not a good thing, since it can cause stressful temp fluctuations....
Hmm....I'm not familiar with the modal of tank, but I'd be skeptical about using a night function on a light for non-nocturnal fish like a betta....I've never heard of anyone using something like that, so I'm not sure how it would effect the fish or not. Personally I'd just turn the light off all together at night so your guy can rest, but maybe someone more experienced in that area can comment on it.....maybe I'm just a little paranoid. xD
The night light is three dark dark blue LED lights, not very bright at all, if me or Earl end up not liking it at night I might switch it to the night time setting in the evenings ( to give them a setting that isn't "bright day" or "dark night", I'm pretty sure turning off the "sun" would be a bit spooky to them! ) and then turn the light all the way off at night. We'll see!
Ended up getting three african dwarf frogs, though one almost got away. Had to take them back out of the tank because I realized a flaw in the positioning of the bonzai tree and I only found two, the third was nowhere to be found! ...Except a half hour later where he was crawling around on my brother's bed. :l
So in addition to Earl, we now have Cletis, Bubba, and Sue, just to stick with the hillbilly-esque names haha. Cletis is the escape artist and is almost black, Bubba is regular AWD colored and spotted, and Sue is bright and with very faint spots. Here's some new pictures
Earl checking out the bonsai tree
Earl not cooperating for the cameraaaa
Mostly Sue being kind of trashy and showing us her butt but now that I look at it you can see Cletus hiding in the back there and Bubba's foot, and after I took this picture Bubba was like
WAIT MA YOU FERGOT 'BOUT ME and he like shoved Sue out of the way like a big ole bully haha xD He clearly is the most camera loving one!
And then my biggest fish of all, Pat, got jealous I've been photographing all the littler guys so I took a picture of him too. He's too big for a tank just yet, I think he'd need like an 800 gallon or higher to be happy but I'm not sure what kind of decorations. You guys got any suggestions? He's already got food and water and toys and stuff but gosh, the tank part is really giving me trouble!
And no, you're not hallucinating and my camera is not being magical again -- his nails really are red and blue xD
This is what happens when I press the GO GO NIGHTTIME MODE button ( and then a couple chinese ponies 'cause what else would decorate my fish table )
I need to clean up that tank a little bit, its got so much water residue on the outside 'cause I kept spilling it all over the place trying to get the filter to work properly ( the tank advertises as easy set up -- it LIES, the pictures shows dimensions of your parts that aren't true to life, claims that cords are color coded when they are not, says certain things are put together when they aren't, ect ) but I'm happy with it now, the cleaning I would do is purely aesthetic anyway!
I have an ADF that I put my girl betta in with initially. She kept stealing his food. It was kinda funny - the frog pellets are SO much larger than betta ones, but that didn't stop her from trying. I moved her to her own space after a few days. If my frog is typical, you can't just put some frog pellets in and assume the frog eats them! Especially if there's a piggy betta around too.