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Old 06-26-2008, 09:26 AM   #1 
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New starter needs help!

Hey, I'm hoping to plunge into this hobby soon and I've been reading up on what I can about keeping bettas. Since I'm still in school, I can't really afford much, so I'm settling with a 3G Eclipse (comes with filter and lighting) thermometer, heater, master kit tester, water conditioner, betta food and a net. Am I missing something vital?

I plan on getting java fern (I heard they're very sturdy) on driftwood, some gravel and some decorations, but would this overcrowd the aquarium? Would it be too much for me to take care even the plant? (I'll get gravel once I'm ready for the plants.) Also, concerning the N cycle, should I plant the fern first and then start the cycle? or start the cycle and then put the plant in?

I was wondering about the background. I heard that if it's too bright the fish will get stressed and I heard about having a background might be a good idea. How would I do this, without spending a fortune? I've been working all summer and pretty much don't spend any of my money but I still need to pay for school and all, so a cost-effective solution is really needed!

Also, I have a question about betta food. I know that dry freeze food (?) is best but I heard it's quite costly. I heard that Hikari's Bio-gold is really good, but does anyone know how long the 20g (0.7 oz) will last? And how is Attison's Betta Pro?

All in all, is the 3G enough for one male betta? I guess I can afford a 6G, but I'm trying to keep all costs around 100 (130 at most; I'm already at 87 bucks) as for starting cost.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 06-26-2008, 11:14 AM   #2 
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welcome to the forum :D
and congradulations

it sounds like you have a good tank going. a 3 gallon is awsome for a betta. and it looks like you have everything you need exept (not really important but handy to have) a plain old turkey baster. these things come in handy bcuz you can suck junk out of your gavel with it a easy water changes, etc.
if you plan on getting a plant i would try java fern as well. i think it will do fine in a 3 gallon. just make sure it has a bit of natural light. and the cycle, when my 30 gallon got cycled, i put live plants in after, and it worked out just fine. and thats what im going to do with my cycling 5gallon. so ya put it in after it'll probly work. oh and you said you'll get gravel when you get the plant... you should get the gravel asap so you can cycle it in the tank as well.

backgrounds are a good idea. i also think that bright/unnatural colors will stress the fish so i would go with black or dark blue or even an underwater/plant backing. if you dont want to buy it you could use construction paper which works too.
feeding, i think would depend on the betta, pellets or flakes as a staple (feeding 5ish days per week) and some frozen bloodworms/brineshrimp is good too a couple times a week (bcuz bettas like variety too)
if he doesnt eat the pellet/flake food just keep feeding it to him for about a week. nothing else. he will eventually become hungry enough and eat it. they are just picky.

well i hope that answered your questions.
here is a link to a good betta care post. (it is the really long post written by Bettababy.) i dont know if the original thread has been updated yet.

good luck with your future betta :D
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Old 06-26-2008, 11:29 AM   #3 
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Welcome to the forum and good luck with your Betta. Try to post pictures if you can. We always love to see pictures!

By the way, BettaBaby is pretty much our resident Betta expert (among other things), so definitely check out the thread that Meatpuppet linked to.

Have fun with your new fishy friend. 8)
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Old 06-26-2008, 04:00 PM   #4 
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Sounds like you have everything planned out great. Just make sure to read up on cycling your tank and take the time to get it done properly (i.e. not with Cycle, or any of those other various things they sell). It will be a great deal less stressful for your chosen Betta if you can bring him home and put him straight into an established tank. Good luck!!!!
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Old 06-26-2008, 07:53 PM   #5 
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Originally Posted by Meatpuppet
oh and you said you'll get gravel when you get the plant... you should get the gravel asap so you can cycle it in the tank as well.
Thanks for all the good replies, guys!

That was one thing I was wondering about. I read NEVER put the water from the LFS into your tank because it might contain parasites and other things that may be bad to the fish. So is it ok to get gravel from the LFS when I purchase the fern? I know that there will be good bacteria but I'm scared it might have "bad" bacteria as well.

Anyone know how long the Bio-Gold will last though? I'm about to put in an order soon, and I kinda want to get 2 or more of it if it's not going to last long... thanks!

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Old 06-26-2008, 11:46 PM   #6 
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um..not really sure what you mean when you said that there might be parasites in the gravle. of course its a no-no to put fish store water in your tank but usally you buy gravle in bags and you rinse it off before putting it in your tank. same thing with the plant (with conditioned water). i always just cycle the gravel with the tank and throw in plant later.

and if im good at guessing weight, the 0.7oz betta food will last... uh not a clue. But i do have this food (perhaps 1.5 oz.s of food)
and i puchased it 8 months ago and its only half empty. it cost like 4 bucks too. im guessing it depends on how much your betta will eat. mine goes through a small pinch once a day.
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Old 06-27-2008, 02:11 AM   #7 
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I assume you're talking about buying gravel from a LFS from one of their established tanks in order to kickstart a cycle? I guess that all depends on your LFS. I've never seen any signs of disease or any dead fish in any of the tanks at my LFS and all of their tanks look pristine. I trust their gravel, in other words. Mine also only sells established gravel out of their show tanks, all of which have various colors and types of gravel for you to choose from. These are all planted tanks with permanent resident fish that aren't for sale. This reduces the chance that there's any sort of disease present in the tanks.

If your LFS offers something similar I don't see why you shouldn't take advantage of it. I also think that any sort of parasites present in the gravel would likely die without having host fish, which would be the case if you're doing a fishless cycle.
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Old 06-27-2008, 06:16 PM   #8 
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Interesting...I have never heard of LFS selling established gravel....but hey if it works...I'll sell you mine! I have a great tank and I could use a couple extra buck with 8 Betta mouths to feed..Lol
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Old 06-29-2008, 06:06 AM   #9 
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Thanks guys, I will definitely check with the LFS.

Another question I had was water changing. I know that around weekly 20% water changes with the filter should be ok, and I have read that removing water changes from the bottom of the tank is best since toxins and waste are most likely to accumulate. To do this, is a siphon required? A couple people I have talked to have mentioned a turkey baster to remove waste particles, and I would gladly do it, but I am not sure how to remove water from the bottom of the aquarium. I can't really afford a siphon though. How can I do this without buying a siphon?

Or do I have it all wrong? I've tried to read about water changes and most of the websites just give stats and just say dechlorinate it and yay! I know that some stores offers maintainence kits, but most of them are over 40 bucks, at least the ones I have seen.

Marinelands' Siphon Kleen mini costs around $4, but I haven't read any reviews of it. Has anyone used one or know any possible recommendations?

Thanks as usual guys!
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Old 07-01-2008, 05:24 AM   #10 
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