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Old 03-05-2013, 12:18 AM   #1 
Vyper007
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Newbie Betta Keeper Needs advice

Hi, I'm new to this forum and Betta fish keeping so I'm wondering if I could get a little help, I've recently bought a brand new Betta and I've placed him in a 2.5G aquarium with a heater and a filter, I've been doing a fair amount of reading on the subject of keeping Bettas and I seem to be reading lots of information that seems to contradict itself for instance.

Apparently in the wild bettas come from dimly lit stagnant waters, so I continued reading around and the following seems to be stated, that

- Live plants should definitely be in the aquarium as Bettas like to hide within them, then it goes onto say Bettas dont like bright lights and as such to keep the lights off in the tank unless you're turning them on to view the Betta, surely if the lights are off in the tank for most of the time then the plants will die ????, how are you supposed to keep the lights off but grow healthy plants ?

- Secondly as stated above apparently in the wild they are used to living in stagnant water, so why is it so important to filter the tank ?. Dont get me wrong I dont want an aquarium full of stagnant water and have no intentions of running without a filter, obviously nothing looks worse than a dirty aquarium but am I filtering for my benefit or the betta's ?

Please advice.
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Old 03-05-2013, 12:31 AM   #2 
xShainax
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I don't filter mine. You don't have to if you do regular water changes
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Old 03-05-2013, 12:37 AM   #3 
veggiegirl
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Hey there and welcome to the forum!!!

Bettas in nature do inhabit pretty still waters however because these bodies of water are usually large water quality is maintained. In a small aquarium however the bettas waste builds up quickly and turns the water toxic fast! This is why it is important to do regular water changes and filter the tank because both work towards maintaining water quality in the small space.

As to the aquarium light, if you wish to keep live aquatic plants that require lighting to survive then it is fine to have the light on your aquarium all throughout the day however a balance between night and day must be maintained to allow your betta to sleep so be sure to turn the light off at night. When bringing a new betta home they can become stressed and feel exposed if the are subject to bright lighting so it is always best to let them settle in for a week or so at first without having to deal with a light shining on them. Once they have adjusted to their new home you can start to put the light on for short periods during the day and gradually leave it on longer and longer as the betta becomes use to it.

I hope that was of some help
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Old 03-05-2013, 12:39 AM   #4 
Demysta
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1) Live plants are suggested because of the benefitial qualities they lend to the water. They really do improve water conditions in the tank and it is quite true that these fish do love them. However, plants require filtration and maintenance, so if you do want a planted tank, I would highly suggested reading up on cycling. Doing that in a 2.5 gallon would be quite the challenge though. If you want, silk plants are a great alternative. Just make sure to check online if it doesn't have metal in its base - bought some from Petsmart and they had metal inside. Made my fish sick and the water quality horrible.

2) A filter is not needed as long as you keep up water changes, as xXShainax explained. For a tank that size I would do 1 50% and 1 100% change a week to keep water parameters good. If you do want to go ahead with a filter, it is a great investment towards the health of your fish and its environment! As I said above, research a bit into cycling if you want to go down that road. :)
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Old 03-05-2013, 12:43 AM   #5 
veggiegirl
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In tanks 2.5 gallons and smaller a filter is not really required as long as water changes are performed regularly enough. Filtration is more important in tanks of 5 gallons and larger because they do not require cleaning quite as often as a smaller tank but the filter will help to maintain water quality between water changes, it will also help to prevent the water from going murky and assist the growth of good bacteria.
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Old 03-05-2013, 12:45 AM   #6 
valen1014
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First of all, congrats on your new betta! It is great to see that you've done research and have given your new betta a great start =]

Well just my 2 cents here but bettas, at least B. splendens, have been bred extensively and the bettas you and I buy at a store are very far removed from their wild ancestors. Therefore, connections/assumptions should be made lightly.

Yes, many people say bettas prefer low light. In my experience, this is somewhat true although I haven't seen any negative reaction to moderate-high lighting. If low light is what you want to do, there are many plants that can be grown this way including java ferns, java moss, or moss balls. A neat alternative is to use floater plants like duckweed to create shaded spots for your betta. In a 2.5 gallon you could easily cover half with duckweed and get that shade effect.

Bettas also prefer low/no currents mostly because high currents make swimming harder for the longer finned bettas. Filters are more important for cycling purposes as it can house large numbers of bacteria. I don't have filters in any of my 2.5 gallons.
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Old 03-05-2013, 12:52 AM   #7 
valen1014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Demysta View Post
1) Live plants are suggested because of the benefitial qualities they lend to the water. They really do improve water conditions in the tank and it is quite true that these fish do love them. However, plants require filtration and maintenance, so if you do want a planted tank, I would highly suggested reading up on cycling. Doing that in a 2.5 gallon would be quite the challenge though. If you want, silk plants are a great alternative. Just make sure to check online if it doesn't have metal in its base - bought some from Petsmart and they had metal inside. Made my fish sick and the water quality horrible.

2) A filter is not needed as long as you keep up water changes, as xXShainax explained. For a tank that size I would do 1 50% and 1 100% change a week to keep water parameters good. If you do want to go ahead with a filter, it is a great investment towards the health of your fish and its environment! As I said above, research a bit into cycling if you want to go down that road. :)
I might be wrong but I just have to say that I disagree with the planted tank part ^^; You don't need a cycled tank to grow plants. In fact, many people do the process of cycling their tanks having plants already in them. Filtration is a bit of a double-edge sword when it comes to plants. On one hand, it allows the even movement of nutrients in the water. On the other, it creates water movement which causes CO2 to leave the water.

I don't suggest to try to cycle a 2.5 gal as it is pretty difficult indeed. But there are plenty of beautiful non-cycled 2.5 gallon tanks out there. Just google it and you'll see! It's just a matter of picking the right plants for your set up
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Old 03-05-2013, 01:00 AM   #8 
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Yeah domesticated Betta splendens are nothing like their wild ancestors so you don't need to worry so much about what it is like in the wild.

As long as your betta has a period of time in which the light is off, they will adjust to having a bright light put over their tank. Heck, I have actual wild bettas and they get used to the light being on for 4-6 hours of the day.

If you are concerned about the brightness, you can always diffuse it by using tannins or putting in some floating plants at the surface.

Really, unless you plan on putting a 50 watt light over a bare 1 gallon tank, your betta should be able to adjust.

I use sponge filters in my tanks only to keep some circulation going. I have found that it keeps the water clearer, and you tend to get less of a build-up of slime and detritus in the tank if you have at least some form of filtration in there.

Otherwise unless you are interested in cycling your tank, a filter really serves no other purpose. Bettas breathe air and so don't require one for oxygenation.
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