Ohai everyone. I'm a tad new to the forums as you can see and I'm not even sure if I'm posting in the right topic or not but I just wanted to check up here and make sure I have everything for my new betta I will be getting soon.
I purchased a 10 gallon aquarium from petco a few days ago, along with a whisper filter that works wonderfully. I have a heater but I plan on getting a new one since this one doesn't heat the water at the right temp for the fishies. I have a net of course and Tetra pellets, though the last time I had this brand my betta did not eat them so I'll probably have to look into buying a different brand. I have a 5-in-1 test kit along with Ammonia. The ammonia came back as 0, PH was at 6.8 and the hardness of the water was soft, the nitrate was 0 and so was nitrite. I also have Bowl Buddies water conditioner and I put five of these little tablets into the water and the tank has currently been cycling for 3 days but the water has become a bit cloudy ._. I plan on maybe getting a King or a double tail half moon because lately my Petco has been stepping up their game on Betta fish. This topic is just for advice and to make sure I have all I currently have for when I buy my fish. I also plan of course getting some more gravel, plants and hiding places as well as moss ball before anybody asks about that. So go ahead and just post your opinions on what I should get and maybe some advice would be awesome. Thank you c:
Well hey there, welcome to the forum and wonderful world of betta keeping! :)
Your setup itself sounds absolutely wonderful, I bet whatever betta you eventually decide to bring home is going to love all of that space! And glad to hear about the extra plants and hiding spots, that is really very helpful in a larger tank to help the betta feel more secure. ;)
It sounds like you're on the right track! So I just have a few tidbits of advice....
For diet, New Life Spectrum Betta Formula or Omega One Beta Buffet are the best pellet brands out there. I'd suggest picking one of those up, along with perhaps some frozen Bloodworms and/or Brine Shrimp as treats a couple of times a week to add a little variety. ;)
Instead of those little fizzy tabs, I'd suggest picking up a bottle of Prime water conditioner. Its concentrated so it'll last you for quite a while, very economical, and its really some of the best stuff....takes everything possibly harmful out of your water.
5-in-1 test kit....those are the strips correct? Test strips tend to be rather unreliable and inaccurate, its best to go with the Liquid Tests. You can purchase them separately, though I believe its a little cheaper to get the whole API Liquid Test Kit(which can be a little pricey still, but I hear Amazon has it for about...$17 I think it is now). A but of an investment, but its really something important, and very helpful, to have on hand for a variety of reasons.
Did you purchase a 10 gallon kit or just a 10 gallon and a filter? Do you have a hood?
You may, especially if you end up going with the longer-finned Doubletail, need to baffle your filter(intake and outflow). It depends on the betta, a King with their shorter fins in such a large tank may not be bothered by the flow, but in my experience DTs tend to have a lot of difficulty with even the slightest flow.
Of course you can wait and see what you decide to get and how they do, but just if you find that you need to you can baffle your filter with the foot of some pantyhose or a bit of filter sponge and secure it with a rubber band or non-colored hairband without metal. ;)
Now, though your tank has been set up for three days.....assuming you have no fish in there at all at the moment, your tank is not cycling or cycled. The Nitrogen Cycle is something that you will go though once you add fish to your tank(though this can be done without fish as well, provided you add a source of ammonia)and it is something you are going to want to look up and do a bit of research on.
Here is a great thread one of our very experienced members created about cycling: http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=107771 though it won't hurt to do a little more research and googling and reading on the subject. ;)
Oh! Also....if you don't have one yet, pick up a gravel vacuum. Great little things, make water changes SO much easier.
Hmm...I think thats about it. Best of luck, and feel free to ask any and all questions that may come to mind! :)
Of course. I forgot to mention I was going to buy some bloodworms as well next time I go out and I'll make sure to buy the Prime Water Conditioner. Is that sold at Petco? Because I didn't remember seeing that at walmart and plus, I don't really like walmart anymore since I bought the crappy heater there, I also heard my petco does the free tests so I'll be taking a sample of my water to them next time I go out as well. And it was just a ten gallon. I had to buy the filter and hood separate. And the filter flow doesn't really disturb the water all that much and I put my hand in there (limp) and the filter current isn't strong and nor could the betta or the fins get sucked up in there. The only thing about the filter is that it causes tiny little bubbles but I heard some betta's like to play with those so I don't see it as a big problem. And I figured it wasn't really doing anything. I guess I just wanted to see how well the stuff I bought worked and didn't really think about if it was truly cycling or not and how much do these vacuum's cost? I'm trying to keep the prices really low but with great quality items.
Petco should have Prime, along with both Omega One and NLS pellets. ;)
I'm going to guess you probably ended up with the Tetra present heater from Walmart....sadly those are really very unreliable, as you found out. Petco has a few different brands, though any of them so long as they are fully submersible and adjustable with a thermostat should work equally as well. 50 watts is a good size also for a 10 gallon.
When you take your water in to be tested, make sure they're using a liquid test kit and ask for actual numbers rather then just a 'Fine' or 'Good'. You can start to cycle your tank without a test kit(I do believe that is something covered in the thread I linked you)but I highly suggest saving up for one or, if its easier for you, slowly buying each piece of the kit separately. Its great, and SO much easier, to have testing equipment on hand, especially when cycling, so you don't always have to run out to your LPS if something ends up going wrong with your tank....the second you notice something you can test and determine whether or not its a water quality issue and go from there.
Here is the link to the one on Amazon, by he way: http://www.amazon.com/API-Freshwater...water+test+kit
Before you get your betta, you'll definitely want to get a secure hood....bettas are jumpers, and its really not a very good experience waking up to find your betta on the floor. 8/
See, the thing is its really difficult to gauge how your betta is going to react to the filter flow since they come from a naturally still-water environment and we've bred them to have those huge delicate fins that catch filter flow like tiny sails to boot. Trust me, I've had filters that I thought weren't that strong at all or wouldn't suck my fish into the intake.....only to find that I was very, very sadly mistaken. I even had a very recent mishap with a BAFFLED filter intake.
So, its just something thats good to be prepared for. Like I said, a PK in that size of a tank might not at all be bothered.....but something like a DT with the huge fins I know from experience tend to struggle with even the slightest flow, and their long fins can still get torn up by an un-baffled intake. You can certainly wait and see what you bring home and how they do with the filter, but it never hurts to be prepared, you know?
Your standard gravel vacuum will run about.....oh $7-$10? Fairly cheap for such a useful piece of equipment, if you ask me. You should be able to find them at Petco or Walmart, and they generally come with instructions though there are also Youtube tutorials if you find you need a little more help.
Yup. I plan on buying the plants, more gravel and so forth that I listed all in one day. Along with the fish. I also wanted to ask if you know if Petco sells some Java Moss? I was really interested in buying that live plant since I saw the thread on it and how easy and what it does to the aquarium, and I'll probably be looking into the fliter some more to see how it goes along, I always wanted a King but my Petco treats the ones with longer fins better then the females and shorter fins and I really don't want to bring home a fish, try and bring it back to life, and then fail. I've done that multiple times with veil tails and I've gone through a 1 gallon and a 7 gallon with a whole bunch of live plants that shortly after died. I'm really hoping to get a flourishing betta who can atleast live a few months in my tank since they truly are beautiful fish. And I'll buy the vacuum since its at such a low price. Plus, I want to make cleaning the tank really fast and easy ^_^
Hmm....I'm not sure about the Java Moss. I know Petsmart(or at least mine)doesn't carry it, though I don't go into my Petco much because its rather small and sparse. I would say probably not, but you may get lucky.....if not, you can poke around online and probably find a nice clump for not too much. I've been meaning to do that lately.
Also, there are several other very easy to care for live plants you can snag too....Moss Balls(though I find those are on the pricey side), Java fern, Anubias, Water Wisteria, Hornwart....if you're really interested in live plants, even if you're just looking to get a few hardy ones, take a look at our Planted Tank section if you haven't already....ALL kinds of great info over there. ;)
Ahh, it is really very sad how bettas are treated in pet stores isn't it? Stuck in those tiny cold cups without proper maintenance thanks to that HORRIBLE puddle myth, labeled as the 'cheap'(haha! SO not cheap...)and 'easy' pet, ugh....
And sadly because they're kept in such poor conditions, it can be difficult to tell how healthy they are as they're often cold and pale and lethargic......though I personally find most of the bettas I pick up to be in decent health and generally perk up nicely after a few days-a week in a nice, clean, warm environment. Often I've found though if you spent enough time starring and wiggling your finger at the bettas too, they'll start getting a little more active and responsive, which can be a little helpful in picking out a healthy guy or gal.
In proper conditions, you should be able to enjoy your lovely betta, even one bought from a pet store, for a good 3-7 years. ;)
Oh yes, Vacs are AMAZING little tools! I remember the first time I got mine....it was like a little miracle. xD The difference in how easy water changes were was astonishing.
And then I got a Pyhton and had that feeling all over again. But for a single 10 gallon, a regular Vac and a bucket should work just fine for ya. ;)
Yeah, I was looking into Hornwort or Java Fern as well since I'm going for a forest theme for my tank and want to make it look really natural and have the plants flourish in there. And I have already scanned over that thread, hence why I was so interested in the Java Moss. I also know of the Moss Balls. My Petco sells them and they don't seem all that expensive since the ones I have seen are quite large.
And I agree. I hate seeing people who don't do their research and smack the little fishies into vases and under 1 gallon tanks without any plants and just the fact ovf overstocking. I remember when I was young I saw a few teenagers fighting these babies in Walmart and I was disgusted over the fact they were laughing at it. And I would love to atleast give a sick betta a good home and keep him and see his fins truly become beautiful like they were meant to be ^-^ And my Petco is in that phase of where they mark baby betta's as females. Its sickening to see them sell babies from my opinion.
Haha, good luck with the plants! I'm terrible with any sort of plant, I even manage to kill bamboo. xP However, my Java Fern has so far survived the month, so I'm hoping to maybe slowly get a couple other hardy species and see if I can maybe manage to actually NOT kill aquatic plants.....xD
Really? Maybe I should look at the Petco moss balls then....the ones at Petsmart are really rather over-priced in my opinion.....
To be completely honest I don't really blame those people(...though those teenagers just sound absolutely horrible. 8/ that really is disgusting, I probably would have made a HUGE scene had I seen that). For several generations even there have been so many myths and misconceptions about Bettas and Betta keeping that its understandable that people THINK they already know what they're doing. It also doesn't help that the fish itself is small and generally not all that expensive, AND that they sell all sorts of itty bitty tiny containers marketed specifically for bettas, AND that employees at Petstores aren't properly trained at all(I mean, if you didn't know better, you would walk in and trust that the person working in a Pet store with these pets would know what they were talking about wouldn't you?)......its just an over-all buildup of horrible information and misunderstandings over the course of many, MANY years.
From the perspective of a former Pet Store employee however, I find that most people are generally very open and willing to learn. I really think a lot of problems could be solved with proper education of the employees Pet Stores hire.......sigh. Maybe one day they'll care enough....
I had encountered a beautiful white, blue, and red betta at my Walmart a few days ago while I was buying the food and heater and I really wanted to buy him since he was the only betta there who wasn't going crazy, rotting, or had fin rot in those tiny little cups. I decided to stop buying from Walmart because of those kids and just because all of my betta's I bought from there just died the next day. Walmart should just stop selling fish all together from my opinion.
And last time I had a moss ball, it was a bit smaller then the ones I pointed out and my betta loved to push it around his tank and mess his gravel all up ;P
Welcome to the forum. As you've seen, you can have all your betta questions answered here. Anubias and bamboo are the plants I can easily get at my Petco. I also buy live foods every now and again from Aquabid for my bettas. They really go for live foods like crazy.