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Old 05-22-2013, 11:54 AM   #1 
Kalari32
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Five Gallon Setup

I've had previous betta fish, but they never seemed to live very long with me. Perhaps because I wasn't feeding them very good food, or they were in direct sunlight on one half of the tank, or for other odd reasons. When I got a betta fish for my birthday, I bought a five gallon tank with a whisper filter, and a light. That betta fish died after just two weeks, so I bought another. That one died as well. My tank has been sitting empty with water sitting it in for about a month in a half. However, I needed another betta fish for a school project. (A floral design with a 1.5 litter vase, and a plant on top. I knew right away that the vase was not going to be big enough for my teal/blue half moon male betta, Plunger. And I knew he wouldn't be able to survive on the plant. So I decided to clean up my tank.

It has white rocks, a green silk plant, and a silk grass square that sits at the bottom. He seems quite content, as he is showing off his colors more, and he made a huge bubble nest. With all of that, I am determined to keep Plunger alive. He's very active and has a lot of personality unlike the other two I had before.

Is there anything else I should add to the tank?
Should he have a tank mate? Like tetras ect.
I do not believe he is too aggressive, because I put him up against another cup that had a male in it, and he didn't seem to give any attention to that male. (I did it to test how aggressive he is)
Should I add more hiding spots for him?
I want to make him the happiest he can be, so any other advice would be greatly appreciated (:

I have one type of pellets (omega one) brine shrimp, and bloodworms. I'm in the process of also getting NLS since a lot of you guys stand by it! And I will also be fasting him once a week.

I just want to give him the best life possible for him.

Also, I also have a 20 gallon tank that isn't in use. Would he be happier in a 20 gallon? Or in the five gallon?

Thank you in advance (:
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Old 05-22-2013, 12:05 PM   #2 
Seki
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We'd love to see a picture of your current tank and the tank you're setting up for him! It would probably elicit a few more opinions.

I have a bit of advice for you based on the information you've given and the questions you've asked.

-make sure you have a heater. Even in the summer, temps can fluctuate, so you want the tank to stay at a constant temp... preferably around 80 degrees.
-no tankmates in a five gallon. He'll be perfectly happy all by himself. Contrary to somewhat popular belief, bettas do NOT get lonely.
-if you only have one plant in a five gallon, he'll probably feel a bit exposed. I would definitely get him some more plants, and maybe a bridge or a little house or something. I'll attach a picture of my 5 gallon to give you an idea of what I did. And believe me, compared to some, my tank is sparse.
-I didn't see anything about it, but I'm sure you have it covered. Still, just have to make sure I mention: get a good water conditioner! Seachem Prime is by far the best.
-I'd recommend using the 5 gallon. I've never used my 20 gallon for just one fish, I use it as a community tank (when it's running... it's currently not set up). I've never put a single betta in anything that large, although it might work out well, I guess. Perhaps other members can weigh in on that issue.

Good luck and we'd love to see pics when it's finished!

PS: Here is my 5 gallon, just to show you how I have it set up~
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Old 05-22-2013, 12:11 PM   #3 
Kalari32
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That helped a lot (: I've seen some people put a small planting pot on its side inside the tank. Would that work also?

What is the difference in water conditioners?

And should I get live plants, or fake ones?

Also, I noticed with my betta fish before, that there was like a clear film on top of the water. I don't know what caused it before, but I bought an Airstone to try to make it not happen with my new betta fish. However, he doesn't seem to like the Airstone, and will hide until I turn it off. What could be the cause of this? I know when the Airstone is at the bottom of the tank it disturbs the surface too much, so I put the Airstone at the surface to help with that.

I will also get a picture later today!
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Old 05-22-2013, 12:20 PM   #4 
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Hello and welcome!

Yes you can add a small terracotta flower pot. Just make sure the hole in the bottom is smaller than a dime/penny. I saw too many fish get stuck and die in pots. The dollarstore here sells them with only a small pinprick of a hole, so look for that. The plastic ones are harder to keep down unless you put gravel and rocks in them, also their holes are usually the worst size for fish. And you don't want to modify the pot hole because you could leave the edges too rough.

Basically, water conditioners remove the harmful metals and chlorine from tap water. In terms of cheap conditioners, I use Nutrifin AquaPlus and this serves the needs for my bettas and shrimp. A lot of people here use Prime. I also tried Tetra conditioner in a yellow bottle but I didn't like how slippery and smelly it was, it was like putting vegetable oil in the water. It didn't kill my fish but I would never buy it again.

Live plants are always better. There are easy to keep plants like marimo moss balls, java fern, java moss and other low light, low maintenance plants. These still require lighting and some form of fertilizer (though, not necessarily. I haven't dosed my tank in over a month now) Live plants look better than fake and provide a natural "filter" of sorts since it consumes ammonia and nitrites. That said, live plants should not interfere with your cleaning schedule.

The film is most likely caused by the protein off the food. Since bettas are inectivores, their food contains a lot of protein and this sometimes creates a film on the surface of totally still water. You can remove it with a cup (by gently breaking the surface, it all slides into the cup) or a paper towel (be careful since you don't want paper fibres getting dropped in!)
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Old 05-22-2013, 12:20 PM   #5 
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Yes, little pots are common decorations. Just make sure they are safe to use in an aquarium and don't have any chemicals that could leech off or paint that could chip off.

Some water conditioners are a lot weaker. Prime is incredibly concentrated... the dosage is two drops per gallon of water. Also, some of them ONLY dechlorinate. You want one that does more, like detoxifying heavy metals, etc. Prime actually neutralizes ammonia as well.

It's entirely up to you what kind of plants you get. I prefer silk ones because I have a brown thumb and kill any plants I touch. If you were interested in live plants, though, a lot of members on here can offer good advice! Just make sure to avoid plastic plants!

Bettas don't need airstones, and the disruption in the water is something they don't like, as you've noticed. Bettas prefer calm water, and they don't need the extra oxygenating from the airstone because they breathe from the surface using their labyrinth organ. I would just remove the airstone if I were you. :)

Hope that helps!
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Old 05-22-2013, 12:27 PM   #6 
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I do have one plastic plant. Should I get rid of it?

I do not want to take our gravel and clean it just because I am too lazy, so is real plants the way to go?

Moss balls are 7 dollars at my pet store -.- is there an online site where I can get decorations and plants cheaper?

I have four differ water treaters because I used to have a tropical tank, and I used to have a koi pond.
I have top fin, and another brand (don't know what brand) that is for koi ponds (concentrated) that removes all toxins and helps annomina levels.

Also, my betta fish has a habit of taking his pellet into his mouth, and spitting it back out. Why is this?

Also, what live plants serve best for a betta fish?
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Old 05-22-2013, 12:40 PM   #7 
Laki
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Most plastic plants have rough edges from the plastic cutting machine they come from, basically, if it hitches on a piece of pantyhose it will tear a bettas fins. Since you have a HM I wouldn't risk it at all.

Live plants are a personal prefernce, I keep all low light low maintenance plants because I'm after killing mostly everyhing I ever bought. Live plants will definitely be the most expensive part of your hobby. I got a bunch of free plants off r/Newfoundland so you could try finding a sub reddit in your community or your online classifieds like kijiji/craigslist. Usually when people get over run they just want to get rid of their plants. I am so lucky to have gotten most of mine free.

Anubias, java ferns, java moss, water wisteria, cambomba (or whatever it's called), Asian ambulia (I think this one is illegal in the states), hornwort, floaters like frog bit or salvinia. These all don't require Co2 supplements or major fertilizers. They do fine in a warm tropical betta environment. Just try to get a light for your tank hood that is 6500 kelvins.

The topfin conditioner is fine :)

He's probably doing this because he is not hungry. I re-read your brands, you have good food for him but he's probably not hungry. Just don't feed him for the day and try again tomorrow with one piece. Here's my 5g:
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Old 05-22-2013, 03:21 PM   #8 
Kalari32
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I will take out the fake plants once I get some real ones (:
Also, I've noticed with all the betas I've had, they like to go behind the filter. Do they do this because there isn't enough hiding places in the tank?

Is there such thing as toys for betas? Or anything that would give him some simulate him, to make sure he isn't always bored. He is just so active. I love it. Should I put minnows (from Petsmart) in the take for him to hunt and feed to help simulate him? I know that minnows can carry diseases though, but would it be less of a risk if I buy them from Petsmart?

I know y'all recommended no tank mates, but would it be a good idea to get ghost shrimp to help clean gunk off the bottom?

Also, would it be a possibility to house an algae eater in the tank? (A Pleco) I know that they get big, and if it were to outgrow the tank, I can move it to a small pond in a cemetery where I have housed two koi at.

And I saw on another post that some people exercise their betta.. How would you do that?

And training. I would like to train my betta to know when I'm going to feed him. What actions can I take to train him to know when I'm about to give him food?
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Old 05-22-2013, 03:52 PM   #9 
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bettas will attack the minnow eat some of it and get extremely bloated.no bottom feeder will work in a 5 gallon. Also places get to be 24 inches if Im not mistaken and produce a lot of waste. as a toy you could try putting a ping pong ball for him to play with. I train my betta to know that he's being feed when I shake the bottle. also they recognize the color of it's cap which is yellow. Hope I helped. :)
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Old 05-22-2013, 03:52 PM   #10 
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*plecos
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