Hello everyone...well i am VERY new to taking care of Betta fish and new to this site. Actually found it today after reading a thread about a rescued betta (Heartbreaker) on this site. I was blown away to say the least. I currently have a betta in a small unfiltered 1 gallon bowl that is now showing signs of fin rot. Because I am new to this whole process, I am wanting to upgrade and get a bigger filtered tank. But this process is just so confusing to me!! The number of tanks out there, kinds of filters, heaters...YIKES!! Plus trying to decide if to cycle the tank. I have been reading threads for about 2 hours now and just can't decide what kind of tank to get....2-5 gallon! But I guess I should address my main question at the moment.
I want to know how everyone does their water changes? I know with a 1 gallon bowl, it shouldn't be that hard. But do you dump everything out? Including the gravel? Also, do most of you vacuum your gravel if you have a larger 2-5 gallon tank? I have tried searching for a thread that discusses this, but can't seem to find anything. Any help would greatly appreciated as I have a huge headache from all the reading...lol. I just want to make sure I am doing things correctly and get the best equipment/tank when I upgrade. I know this little 1 gallon tank is probably what's hurting my fish as I honestly haven't been doing more than a 25% water change like every 2 days and 1 100% change weekly. Just started Periwinkle on Maracyn 2 today to try to get rid of this fin rot. I hope I know what I am doing....eeek!!!
But anyway, I am really excited I found this site and can't wait to learn how to do all things properly. I had no idea there was so much involved in taking care of a betta. Thank you kindly for any feedback :)
I think you should go with a 5 gallon just because it requires less maintenance with only one fish in it.
with a 1 gallon you are going to want to do 100% changes every 3-4 days, just cup your fish in either the cup he came in or a brand new plastic solo cup or something, dump everything out and rinse thoroughly. When you upgrade, depending on the size you'll want to buy a gravel vacuum too, theres really no other sufficient way to clean a tank larger than a couple of gallons without one since all sorts of food and waste can get wedged in it real easy.
As for cycling, I wouldnt bother trying to cycle anything under 4-5 gallons, but its definitely worth it with larger tanks because it'll reduce the maintenance required even more!
Goodluck with everything, and I'm very glad you found this site! Everyone is very helpful here!
Welcome to the club! Do you have a tank already in mind? Like aemaki09 said, if you can get a 5g, go for that to lessen the amount of work you'd be doing in the long run. Cycling your tank is pretty easy, there's a thread about the Nitrogen Cycle by OldFishLady in the tanks/accessories section... Worth a read as it will take out all the mystery with cycling.
Thank you so much Diique!! I actually do not have a particular tank in mind yet. I did go looking today and really liked the Marineland Eclipse hexagon 5 gallon tank. My main concern is the filter. I have no idea what kind of filter works best. I have seen info on here about sponge filters, but I have no idea how they work. I just want to get the best set up the first time. I think I have enough info to start cycling a tank. I am a little nervous to start using tap water with conditioner on my fish as I have been using Spring water for the 2 months I have had him. Is it ok to switch water at this point?
Thanks again for the information and I look forward to getting to know everyone :)
sponge filters would be the best, otherwise I'd look into getting one thats adjustable. I dont know much about filters but I have sponges in all my tanks 10 and under just because they have such low flow.
Do you already have a heater or do you still need to get one? My suggestion is to get a submersible one, and a hydor theo is what I'll always recommend to newbies, sometimes we forget to unplug when we do water changes, and most heaters will break, the hydor theo has something in it so it can be run without water just in case that happens.
You can go ahead and keep using spring water, but yes it'd be fine to switch him, just acclimate him slowly, fill his cup half way with old water in his current tank, then add a 1/2 tsp of water ever 15 minutes till the cup is full.
I was new to this about a month ago (a little more, actually) and was in the EXACT same situation. I had a betta in a one gallon and was looking to upgrade to a five gallon. Now I have 2 five gallons and two males, and am cycling a 4 gallon and a 10 gallon, ha!
These would be my suggestions:
I got my tank at Walmart in a kit. It was the aqua culture 5 starter kit with LED lights. The filter is perfect for my bettas as it has a low flow switch (and its quiet). However, the hood is kind of cheap and it would not work if you wanted to add live plants to your tank.
I have a 25 watt Hydor Theo heater in both tanks.
Get a thermometer (glass in-tank). No heater will be 100% accurate and keep the water at exactly what you set it to.
Silk or live plants! I just don't trust plastic plants, and any new decorations should not have holes that you can't fit your thumb into because your fish could get stuck.
Thank you everyone for the suggestions. I am so excited to get a new tank for my little guy! I know he will be so much happier and now that I know how to properly take care of one, I feel comfortable upgrading.
How do I post pictures to this site? I am so computer illiterate...lol