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Old 03-06-2013, 04:38 PM   #1 
FeatherStone
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Question about current setup

Ok, here's the low-down....

1) Have a baby-betta,
I'm willing to guess he's about 7wks old based off of one of those charts online. He was showing signs of blue coloring when I got him, definitely a double-tail.


2) He's in a five gallon tank w/ top filter,
Doesn't seem to mind it. He'll actually go and swim though it since the current is pretty localized.


3) He's in a "small" community tank,
W/ 3 tiny neon tetras and a cory. Everything seems fine, I actually worry about the cory getting enough to eat since he's eating really well (and what he doesnt get the neons will). No nipping or agression.



Question Part

Was initially worried since he seemed to stick near the top in a corner for the first 2 days and seemed to have touble staying vertical (he seemed to float diagonally). Now he's looking extremely healthy, swimming well, and exploring all depths of the tank.

I have plastic plants in there, but I heard they can have chemicals in them, so most likely going to switch to live plants soon. Any suggestion for gradually replacing plastic ones with plants self grown from bulbs (they will grow pretty slowly), would be great.

I know he needs a heater, and I'm sure the tetras (being tropical fish) wouldnt mind a heater as well. Since its a five gallon, what wattage heater do I need?

Bought tropical fish flakes and betta food, but was only feeding flakes since the betta food wasnt getting eaten. Threw a small one in there a day ago and he went crazy... so will definitely start crushing them and feeding him those. Wanted to make sure that that's ok (will he go for the betta food in preference of the flakes, and are flakes not good for them? Read that, wasn't sure if it was true).

Also, is the five gallon too small for the community I have in there? Thought about upgrading to a 10 gallon, but I move in a couple months to a smaller apartment and not sure if it'll fit.

The filter is one of those "included" top filters that cause a medium downward current. If he seems strong enough to swim though it (and seems to do it on purpose sometimes), is this ok as long as it only effects a small portion of the tank?

I'm also a "beginner" fish keeper (had fish before but definitely wasn't doing it right). And I'm in college. Heard that the water needs to be changed atleast once a week. Is there anyway I could make the setup viable for a water change once a month? (aka. adding live plants/activated charcoal/etc.)?

MOST important question!

When I got him he wasnt showing any color except for very little on tips. Had him a week and he looks a lot healthier and showing more color on end of fins. HOWEVER, there still is almost no color on his body except for some faint black lines. Are these stress lines, or are they natural markings for young bettas until the color sets in and "covers it up"?

I can post pics if it helps!



PS.) I know about the whole "baby betta PETCO cruelty" thing NOW.... but at the time he looked a lot healthier than the adults they had in the store.
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Old 03-06-2013, 04:59 PM   #2 
waterdog
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Was initially worried since he seemed to stick near the top in a corner for the first 2 days and seemed to have touble staying vertical (he seemed to float diagonally). Now he's looking extremely healthy, swimming well, and exploring all depths of the tank.

I have plastic plants in there, but I heard they can have chemicals in them, so most likely going to switch to live plants soon. Any suggestion for gradually replacing plastic ones with plants self grown from bulbs (they will grow pretty slowly), would be great.
Plastic plants have edges that rip delicate fins on bettas. Has nothing to do with chemicals.

I know he needs a heater, and I'm sure the tetras (being tropical fish) wouldnt mind a heater as well. Since its a five gallon, what wattage heater do I need?
25 watt, and don't forget the thermometer.

Bought tropical fish flakes and betta food, but was only feeding flakes since the betta food wasnt getting eaten. Threw a small one in there a day ago and he went crazy... so will definitely start crushing them and feeding him those. Wanted to make sure that that's ok (will he go for the betta food in preference of the flakes, and are flakes not good for them? Read that, wasn't sure if it was true).
Pellets are best. Omega-One or New Life Spectrum

Also, is the five gallon too small for the community I have in there? Thought about upgrading to a 10 gallon, but I move in a couple months to a smaller apartment and not sure if it'll fit.
YES a five gallon is too small for a community.

The filter is one of those "included" top filters that cause a medium downward current. If he seems strong enough to swim though it (and seems to do it on purpose sometimes), is this ok as long as it only effects a small portion of the tank?
I assume your talking about the marineland 5? I use this myself and it is the best tank I own for bettas IMO

I'm also a "beginner" fish keeper (had fish before but definitely wasn't doing it right). And I'm in college. Heard that the water needs to be changed atleast once a week. Is there anyway I could make the setup viable for a water change once a month? (aka. adding live plants/activated charcoal/etc.)?
NO. There is no substitute for water changes once a week!
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Old 03-06-2013, 06:31 PM   #3 
FeatherStone
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What would be the maximum number of fish I could keep in my 5G? What about a 10G? How do I know how many fish are "too many"? If I relocated my current community to a 10G, would the # of fish I already have be acceptable?

I keep seeing the phrase "1G minimum for 1in of 'slim-bodied' fish"... I'm assuming this is wrong?

Thanks for your answers Waterdog! I really do love my fish. Trying to balance whats best for my betta + neons with what I have available in terms of space and money.
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Old 03-06-2013, 06:59 PM   #4 
Lotte
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FeatherStone View Post
What would be the maximum number of fish I could keep in my 5G? What about a 10G? How do I know how many fish are "too many"? If I relocated my current community to a 10G, would the # of fish I already have be acceptable?

I keep seeing the phrase "1G minimum for 1in of 'slim-bodied' fish"... I'm assuming this is wrong?

Thanks for your answers Waterdog! I really do love my fish. Trying to balance whats best for my betta + neons with what I have available in terms of space and money.
It really depends on if there is decent amount of space your critters can live happily in. You must however consider how territorial your bettaquarium critters are, good luck!^^
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Old 03-06-2013, 07:39 PM   #5 
Bombalurina
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[quote=FeatherStone;1457216]

3) He's in a "small" community tank,
W/ 3 tiny neon tetras and a cory. Everything seems fine, I actually worry about the cory getting enough to eat since he's eating really well (and what he doesnt get the neons will). No nipping or agression.
Are you feeding him separate cory food, or just hoping he will eat leftovers from everybody else? Cories really do need to be fed their own meat-based pellets. They cannot get enough food from scavenging long-term unless you are massively overfeeding.

Was initially worried since he seemed to stick near the top in a corner for the first 2 days and seemed to have touble staying vertical (he seemed to float diagonally). Now he's looking extremely healthy, swimming well, and exploring all depths of the tank.
That's great! :)

I have plastic plants in there, but I heard they can have chemicals in them, so most likely going to switch to live plants soon. Any suggestion for gradually replacing plastic ones with plants self grown from bulbs (they will grow pretty slowly), would be great.
Live plants are amazing. However, I wouldn't use bulbs. I've never used them (can't get them here) but they just sound like a risky, wierd way to do it. Personally, I'd prefer to buy actual aquatic plants and stick them right in there. I'd recommend fast-growing low-light plants such as anacharis, wisteria, lacefern, hornwort, ambulia or cabomba. They suck up ammonia and nitrates like nobody's business, which will help allievate some of the pressure on your very overstocked tank.

I know he needs a heater, and I'm sure the tetras (being tropical fish) wouldnt mind a heater as well. Since its a five gallon, what wattage heater do I need?
Yes, you definitely do need a heater. A 50watt adjustable is the way to go.

Bought tropical fish flakes and betta food, but was only feeding flakes since the betta food wasnt getting eaten. Threw a small one in there a day ago and he went crazy... so will definitely start crushing them and feeding him those. Wanted to make sure that that's ok (will he go for the betta food in preference of the flakes, and are flakes not good for them? Read that, wasn't sure if it was true).
Flakes generally just don't have the nutrition a pellet has. By all means keep feeding them for the tetras, but if you can, get hold of New Life Spectrum pellets. These are a fantastic, high-protein, meaty betta diet.

Also, is the five gallon too small for the community I have in there? Thought about upgrading to a 10 gallon, but I move in a couple months to a smaller apartment and not sure if it'll fit.
Yes yes and yes. Massively too small. Firstly, it doesn't give the betta the territorial room he will need as he grows. Secondly, tetras are pretty active and need more 'zoom-room' than a five gallon provides. Thirdly, the biological capacity (how much waste it can cope with) of the tank will be extremely strained.
You will even be overstocked in a ten gallon. Cories are schooling fish, like tetras, and should be in groups of at least 4, with more being better. Still, a 10 gallon is a whole lot better than a five gallon, especially if it is well filtered and planted.

The filter is one of those "included" top filters that cause a medium downward current. If he seems strong enough to swim though it (and seems to do it on purpose sometimes), is this ok as long as it only effects a small portion of the tank?
Yep, as long as he's ok. :)

I'm also a "beginner" fish keeper (had fish before but definitely wasn't doing it right). And I'm in college. Heard that the water needs to be changed atleast once a week. Is there anyway I could make the setup viable for a water change once a month? (aka. adding live plants/activated charcoal/etc.)?
Nope. Not in a tank this heavily stocked, anyway, in which you should be doing changes at least twice a week. Grab an API master test kit to keep a wary eye on ammonia, nitrites and nitrates. In a heavily planted and filtered ten gallon, you'd be ok to go down to once a week again.
It is possible for a tank to be so heavily planted e.t.c. that you don't have to do water changes nearly so often. Mine is at that stage - I only need to change the water once a month, if that. BUT mine is a 16 gallon with more plants than water and filtration for 45 gallons.
Don't bother with charcoal - you just have to keep changing the stuff. Other filter media lasts much longer.

When I got him he wasnt showing any color except for very little on tips. Had him a week and he looks a lot healthier and showing more color on end of fins. HOWEVER, there still is almost no color on his body except for some faint black lines. Are these stress lines, or are they natural markings for young bettas until the color sets in and "covers it up"?
Are you sure he's a male? It is possible, but those stress lines are a more female trait (when they hit maturity, anyway). Photos would definitely help. :)


Quote:
Originally Posted by FeatherStone View Post
What would be the maximum number of fish I could keep in my 5G? What about a 10G? How do I know how many fish are "too many"? If I relocated my current community to a 10G, would the # of fish I already have be acceptable?
The maximum number of fish in an ordinary 5 gallon? One betta. In a ten gallon, one betta and one school of small fish like tetras or cories. BUT you can get away with more in a ten gallon with some extra filtration or planting.

I keep seeing the phrase "1G minimum for 1in of 'slim-bodied' fish"... I'm assuming this is wrong?
Yes indeed. It can work in some cases (e.g. I would feel ok about putting 20 neons into a 20 gallon, if I had no other fish in there) but I wouldn't put 5 danios into a 10 gallon - they are too active, despite their slim bodies.
Good luck in your betta endeavours. :)
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