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Old 02-17-2013, 07:05 PM   #1 
Charley
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Filter?

Hey I am new to Betta Fish and fish in general and I was wondering do I really need a filter. I have a 5.5 gallon tank with a heater. It is not divided and I only have one Betta fish and that is all I plan on owning. I have had Sheldon for more than two months and he seems to be doing just fine but I was wondering should I get a filter. What are the perks of having one and will it make him happier? Also I have no problem with cleaning his tank, I actually think it's sort of fun. Thanks!
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Old 02-18-2013, 06:14 AM   #2 
Crowntails
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He needs a filter. It keeps the water clean and reduces the waste build up in your tank.
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Old 02-18-2013, 07:15 AM   #3 
shellieca
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A filter is not a necessity if your keeping the water clean through water changes &/or live plants.
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Old 02-18-2013, 03:53 PM   #4 
Charley
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Current Strength?

Alright so I got a filter, the Tetra Whisper 3i. I have just installed it and he seems to like the current, but I was wondering how strong should the current be? I have a dimmer that I used for his heater when he was in a smaller tank and I have the filter hooked up to it now. So basically I can control the speed of the current. So how fast should it be? Thanks again!
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Old 02-18-2013, 04:27 PM   #5 
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IMO/E-Filters are optional for this species-especially with the Long fin males since the water current can sometimes be the cause of fin damage and stress.
Not all Long fin males will have problems and since your tank is 5.5gal and you have the option of turning the flow down-he may not have any issues and like you posted...Some like the current and will play in it-that said, while he may like to play in the current-it can cause tattered fins-but that is only cosmetic and as long as you maintain water quality-he shouldn't end up with a secondary infection due to the opening in the tissue.

I would adjust the flow on low if you can.

Once the nitrogen cycle has established-water changes of 50% with vacuum in all places you can reach without moving anything or disruption of plant roots-should maintain water quality-provided that you don't overfeed and remove uneaten food within a reasonable time-unless you have live plants and/or shrimp/snails that will eat it.

Filter media needs a swish/rinse in the bucket of old tank water or fresh dechlorinated water a couple of times a month-Best to not do this until the nitrogen cycle has established unless the water flow is compromised.

It can take 3-6 weeks to establish the nitrogen cycle once you add the filter. If you have test products on hand-make a second 50% water only with readings of ammonia, nitrite 0.25ppm or greater until you start to see nitrate 5-10ppm without any ammonia, nitrite spikes.
Remembering that some additives can cause false or skewed results.

If you don't have testing products-make a 50% water only between your regular 50% with vacuum-to error on the side of caution for the next 6 weeks.

Look forward to seeing pics and hearing about your Betta adventures....
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Old 02-18-2013, 05:32 PM   #6 
Viva
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charley View Post
Alright so I got a filter, the Tetra Whisper 3i. I have just installed it and he seems to like the current, but I was wondering how strong should the current be? I have a dimmer that I used for his heater when he was in a smaller tank and I have the filter hooked up to it now. So basically I can control the speed of the current. So how fast should it be? Thanks again!
As long as he can swim and doesn't seem stressed it's fine. You can slow the current down by cutting a clear, plastic water bottle and taping it over the output.
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Old 02-18-2013, 06:47 PM   #7 
Charley
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Okay I'll keep it on low and see how he likes thanks for all the help! I will post pictures soon.
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