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Old 04-05-2013, 03:42 PM   #11 
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Join Date: Jan 2013
A heater and good food would be the first things to get and well I would suggest saving up and getting him this I have 2 of these divided the filter is adjustable and the led hood is nice but not really enough to grow anything but low light plants, I would just work with what you got for now but get the heater asap then some plants and so on while saving up for that tank,
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Old 04-05-2013, 04:40 PM   #12 
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Location: Mississauga, Ontario
well it sounds like you are doing alright for him at the moment :) he is lucky to have you!
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Old 04-05-2013, 06:17 PM   #13 
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Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Australia
Originally Posted by Gandalf View Post
I'm not planning on becoming a fish enthusiast but want my betta to be happy & healthy!
I guarantee you will look back at this statement in a year and laugh. :p Wanting your betta to be happy and healthy is the gateway to a crippling, permanent fish addiction. ;)
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Old 04-05-2013, 07:51 PM   #14 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: West Palm Beach, FL
Definitely go for the 5 gallon over a 2.5, if you have the space. My 3G and 2.5g are finally cycled, but I have to keep a very close eye on them. I am looking at upgrading the 2.5 to a 6.5 ASAP. It would have been easier to start with the 5g.
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Old 04-05-2013, 08:14 PM   #15 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Philadelphia
For one gall tank you need to do 2-50% and 1-100% water changes. When you make 100% water changes you need to make sure the new water is approximately the same temperature as his, so you don't shock him with drastic temperature difference.
So you need to acclimate your betta to the new water temperature. Btw if you don't have heater now what is his temperature? It will be about the same as in your room. Put him in the warmer place. One advice while you don't have a heater you can take one gall jug and use it for water changes. Put water conditioner and let water sit for about 12-24 hrs this way water will be about the same temp as his and you don't have to worry to shock him. There is a few way to acclimate betta. You can have him in his changing cup with about 15% of the water and keep adding small amount of the water about every 5 min for about 5 time this way he will get used to the new temperature.
Be aware that bettas are good jumpers so always cover changing cup or at least if you leave him along in that cup, i have betta that jumped out while i was taking him out of his tank for changing. I don't use a net because i just afraid to damage his fins , i lure him in the cup. But i think everybody find own way to couch them.

Also i want you to check this link out i think it also helpful. I put best recommended heater in that thread. You can find it for one gall jug.

I would recommend to buy aquarium salt and unscented Epsom salt in case you have emergency.. Betta just like we are can get sick. No matter how god you taking care of him. I have 10 tanks and i do the same for all of them and i have betta that is 5 years old and i had betta died at 2 years old...
Never buy bettafix or melafix , or any medicon with ''fix'' it has tea tree oil which is dangerous for the betta labyrinth organs .

Last edited by ANHEL123; 04-05-2013 at 08:20 PM.
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Old 04-05-2013, 09:27 PM   #16 
Blue Fish
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Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: East Tennessee
What everyone has already said is great information, but if you *really* want to do this on the cheap, these are your best options (in my opinion). :)
(I'm pathologically cheap. If I can find a way to do it cheaper, I'll find it, guaranteed. ;)

This has got your filter, your 5g tank (which is big enough to cycle) and your hood and light for $26.00:
If the walmart near you doesn't carry them, then you can have them order it via Site To Store, and you won't have to pay shipping, just pick it up at your local store. :)

Now, all you need is a heater. I like these:
Now, that having been said, these are *not* adjustable. But, they're also much, much cheaper than the adjustable ones. If your house stays about 68 or 70 deg, then this heater will work fine for you. If it's any colder, then you really do need to get an adjustable because this just won't get quite warm enough. I have these in all six of my tanks and have never had a problem with them. They keep my water right at 76 to 78, and my fish are bright, active, and happy. Also, they've got a 2 year warranty, so if something goes wrong, you get a free replacement. :)

There is debate about proper betta temp. Some people say that 76 is too cold, saying that they really need to be at 80. Others say 76 is perfectly fine for them. I tested my guys, and I found them to be healthier at 76 because I wasn't breeding opportunistic bacteria in the warm, warm water. Plus, I wasn't able to tell any difference in color or activity levels with the higher temps...just the increase in bacteria. :P So, since I bought some apparently awful brand of adjustable heaters and after they overheated my tanks TWICE, I got rid of them and went back to my old, trusted, standby's of presets. :) I'm not saying that I'm right and others are wrong, this is just what works for me. :)
Just make sure that before you spend good money on an adjustable, check around for reviews on'll be glad you did. :)

Oh, and you need a thermometer. They are also avail at walmart... ;) I spend far too much time there...obviously... ;)

As for plants, don't buy the plastic ones. Really. They're awful, and at the end of the day, you can get better fabric plants for cheaper. (fabric is much better for your fish) The very simple DIY for this is to make your own. ;) Go to the store, pick up some nice fabric greenery (like fake flowers, but in this case you're looking for fake ivy, banana leaves, variegated leaves, things like that), and take aquarium sealant (avail at all fish stores) and glue on some rocks to weight them down. Let them sit for 24-48 hours to really dry, and you're good to go. :)
This should run you less than $10 for sealant *and* plants.

Try to find plants that don't have wire in them, but if there is some wire in the stems, (not the leaves) that will most likely be okay. Just make sure that none of the wire is exposed to water, as it will rust and release nastiness into your tank. If you have a spot that *is* exposed, just dab with AQ sealant and that'll keep the water out. :)

Here's a link for examples:
Most of these are in pots, but in the store, they should have a section which has greenery and flower sprays for 94 cents. These are what you want. :)

Also, you'll need to baffle your filter. The best way to do this is to take a carwash sponge... (you guessed it, walmart it is...and it probably should be carwash. This is because most kitchen sponges will have antibacterial agents manufactured into them...which will make it impossible to cycle your tank. PLAIN sponges are the only safe bet.) cut it to size, and fit it to both the intake (the tube on the filter that sucks the water in), just stuff it in the tube or wrap it around the tube; and you'll need to put some more on the outflow of the filter. (Where the water comes back into the tank from the filter) Just cut another piece of the sponge, rubberband it around the filter so that the water hits the sponge before it goes into your tank, and then let the other part of the sponge hang down into the water. This will cut the filter's disturbance of your water down to 0, which will make for happy fishies. :)

And you're all set. :)

Oh, one more, do you know how to cycle a tank? I had no idea what this process entailed a year ago when I first came on here. I was like you...I'd kept bettas for years in little 1 gallon jars and didn't do NEAR enough water changes. Poor guys. Then I went to college and stopped keeping bettas...but last year I found a guy I really loved...and now, a year later, I'm up to 10 males and I've got six females in quarantine. You'd be shocked how quickly you come to increase your betta collection. ;)

Here's a link on cycling (if you need it):
and another on water changes for different sizes, etc.:

I hope that helps!! :)
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Old 04-08-2013, 01:16 PM   #17 
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Join Date: Apr 2013
Hi, everyone!
I'm back with a little update or maybe not so little! lol

First, I want to thank everyone who has posted your helpful advice! It is greatly appreciated!

Second, I printed out all the advice as soon as I got my computer/internet back up Friday evening. Saturday was the earliest I could get out to shop so I spent my Saturday getting everything I could to get Gandalf in a better setup. I set everything up Saturday evening late & let everything sit for over 24 hours to be sure it was okay.

Gandalf update:
He was staying at the top of the bowl I had for him. He had me worried & I hoped that the proper setup would help. So far if anything he seems worse with little movement unless disturbed. I'm so afraid I did too little too late. He is still alive but I feel so bad for him. Is there anything I can do besides let him be to rest & get better if possible? I hope he makes it but I am worried. Thanks again for all your help! Any further advice is appreciated. Will try to do whatever I can.
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Old 04-08-2013, 01:49 PM   #18 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Philadelphia
Sorry i got a little confused. Is he less active than before? Is he still eating? Did you use water conditioner? Does he has any other symptoms besides that that he is staying on the top. Is he staying on the top all the time? Did you acclimate him to the new water?
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Old 04-08-2013, 02:04 PM   #19 
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Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Baton Rouge Louisiana
One thing to check. The filter. Maybe it's too much water movement for him. Trying turning it off for a couple of hours and see if he perks up.
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Old 04-08-2013, 02:13 PM   #20 
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Location: Mississauga, Ontario
what is the temp of the water? did you put him in slowly?
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