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Old 08-18-2008, 08:51 PM   #11 
iamntbatman
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I have to disagree about test kits being an "unnecessary cost." You can buy a good liquid kit for about $15 online which will provide you with a great tool for observing the quality of your water. I believe the cost is definitely worth it. Many of the most common problems the aquarist faces are due to water quality issues, so being able to monitor that is invaluable.

Judging from the general lack of knowledge and consideration for the animals they're selling shown by many pet store employees, I would always rather trust my own tests.
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Old 08-18-2008, 09:19 PM   #12 
Flashygrrl
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If I had to run to the pet store every time I needed water tested I'd never leave there, especially with getting my 10 gallon stocked (got cories in there)
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Old 08-20-2008, 11:19 PM   #13 
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Hmm...

Well I bought a 2.5 gallon aquarium at Walmart that came with a filter and a light. It also came with it's own pack of chemicals to use with tap water and the instructions said to let the filter run for 24 hours before adding the fish. I'm going to go get the fish tomorrow hopefully (going to an actual pet store for that, since Walmart's betta selection really sucks.) Could NOT find a heater, and both my mom and grandma were trying to talk me out of all these special things y'all have suggested, pointing out that my grandma maintained a "betta in a vase" for years. I had to argue quite a bit to convince them that I needed the 2.5 gallon aquarium instead of the little 1 gallon or even this uber tiny bowl with a light over it (that one didn't even had a lid, and I told mom bettas are jumpers).

All totaled, it was about $47 for aquarium set, gravel, and decorations. The aquarium itself was almost $30. I don't have a thermometer to monitor temperature, but if I put my hand on the aquarium it seems warm enough... I'll probably look into getting a thermometer at least. Here's something to think about though... nature changes all the time. I can guarantee you not all rice paddies stay a constant 78 degrees, so why must an aquarium?

Here's an interesting question for y'all... Do bettas get along with those little glow-in-the-dark fish? Or do I not have enough room to get a few tankmates for my betta?
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Old 08-20-2008, 11:48 PM   #14 
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By glow-in-the-dark fish, do you mean GloFish? Those are the genetically engineered ones that are really bright colors. Basically, those fish are zebra danios except a different color. Some people say danios can be nippy (which is very bad for a betta) but I've got a school of danios and they don't seem to nip anything. They chase each other around a lot, but that's about it. I think they'd probably be fine with your betta, but not in a 2.5 gallon tank. Danios are schoolers so it's best to have at least five of them, plus they like a lot of swimming room since they're fast-movers. If you ever upgraded to something like a ten gallon tank or larger it'd probably work though. In a 2.5 gallon tank, I wouldn't really attempt any tankmates except for shrimp. There are a couple different kinds of really cool shrimp (like cherry shrimp and bumblebee shrimp) but they can cost a few bucks a piece and there's a chance your betta might eat them, so you might want to test out his tendency to eat shrimp with some ghost shrimp, which are usually sold for feeders at about 10 cents a piece. Ghost shrimp are pretty cool, themselves.

Those kits that you describe usually come with some sort of undergravel filter, right? Those are great for bettas because they don't create much current, which can sometimes bug bettas.

Rice paddies are actually huge bodies of water, so their temperature is very resistant to change. They're in the tropics, so the air temperature is higher but the water temperature stays steady due to energy loss via evaporation. A perfect 78 degrees is not an unbreakable rule or anything, it's just a good temperature to aim for. 80 degrees would be just fine. You just don't want him to get too cool (a betta at room temperature has a compromised immune system) and you want to avoid big temperature swings that can cause stress.

I strongly suggest getting the thermometer. They're usually less than $2 for the floating glass type with the suction cup or the stick-on liquid crystal ones. Don't waste your money on the expensive digital ones.

Is the light on the tank an incandescent light bulb? These can put out a lot of heat, which can actually overheat your betta. I had one of those tanks get to about 94 degrees in an 80 degree room just from the light bulb. That's why a thermometer is so important.

Honestly, it's really difficult to manage the temperature on those small tanks. Just do what you can to make sure the temp stays steady. Once cooler weather rolls around, though, and room temp starts falling into the 60's, you're definitely going to need a heater.
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Old 08-21-2008, 12:08 AM   #15 
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The filter is not an undergravel filter, but the current it's generating doesn't seem to be that strong. The fake plants are just BARELY swaying. In my opinion it's running quite gently.

It gets really cold outside in the wintertime here where I go to school, but since I'm from a much warmer state, I ALWAYS make sure my room stays warm in the winter. I personally can't stand it being too cold in here. I'm hoping temperature doesn't become too much of a problem for the betta. And yes, I think the light bulb is incandescent.
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Old 08-21-2008, 12:09 AM   #16 
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im just going to say your instructions seem misguided and running a filter on water for 24 hours will do little to nothing until your tank CYCLES
if you dont know what that is, please read some threads on this website about fishless cycling or google.com type in fishless cycle
yes, this will take a few weeks and you cant add a fish right away (bummer) but in the long run of your fishes health, it will be happier, healthier and live a longer life. please consider a fishless cycle.
in my honest opinion, paying $47 for a 2.5 gallon fish tank is a rip-off.
if you check craigslist.com you can usually find complete tank setups that people are selling, (or even sometimes giving away free!) from about $10 and up and $50 could have gotten you a decent size tank. yes it would have been used, but i think personally that it would have been a better deal. ( if you took your time looking and kept your eyes open on craigslist)
i suggest a small heater and thermometer.
im pretty sure the bettas you buy dont come from the rice patties and are bred somewhere, so they know no better of fluctuating water conditions.(im unsure of that) could you get away with no heater, not cycling the tank, even putting a betta in one of those smaller bowls? im sure you can, but i highly doubt your fish will be happy, healthy and live a long life. its like shoving you in a refridgerator box and you cannot leave. you must breathe in there, sleep in there, pee in there, poop in there ( and your still breathing in there ) if you get my point...
a general rule of thumb for keeping freshwater fish is 1 inch of the max size the fish will grow per 1 gallon of water. ( ofcourse there are exceptions of some fish needing more .. )
as for glowlight fish they are brightly colored and may attract the attention of the betta, causing them to be killed, especially in an aquarium as small as 2.5 gallons, id recommend against it.
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Old 08-21-2008, 12:17 AM   #17 
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GloFish (i.e. genetically altered zebra danios) are incredibly fast moving fish. I don't think a betta could ever catch one, so even if he chases them I don't think there's any risk. But again, I think the 2.5g tank is too small for them.
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Old 08-21-2008, 12:18 AM   #18 
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yes your right a 2.5 is too small for them to have room, let alone the bio load that will cause for alot of water changing
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Old 08-21-2008, 05:10 AM   #19 
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Might just be me but since the little buggers are so crazy I wouldn't ever want to put them in anything less than a 20L.

I kind of have to agree with onefish that you got a bit ripped off. But it happens. The kit that I suspect you got (mini-bow?) is pretty good, however I've got to ask what kind of fake plants you have? Plastic or silk? As soon as you can afford it again you should get that heater.

Oh, and the betta in a vase? Considered cruel by most keepers, as they're usually kept by people that don't know enough to change the water three times a week and keep it warm. How the poor little things survive is beyond me, but they never display their full finnage. Betta barracks are usually a different story since there's usually a system to treat and change the water very easily and they keep the room warm.
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Old 08-21-2008, 08:31 AM   #20 
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Yeah, I think the aquarium's a mini-bow. Can't tell you exactly what it is since mom threw away the box last night. And considering someone here told me earlier that aquariums that size can be as little as $10 I do think I got a bit ripped off, but that was the ONLY aquarium of it's size at Walmart.

The plants are fabric with plastic stems. They're on a cool fake rock formation which is jagged but not that sharp. I've also got a heavy plastic whale in there holding a sign that says "Only COOL fish allowed."

I don't even know how I'll get a heater in there... there's only one gap in the lid and that's for the filter.

As for the instructions, all it said was you have to wait at least 24 hours before adding fish... I'm very excited about getting a fish. Waiting a full cycle's gonna be tough, especially since I had planned to get the fish today. How do I know when the tank has cycled?
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