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Old 12-07-2008, 03:06 AM   #1 
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Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Michigan
Red face Starting a New Life With My Betta

Hello there! I am sure you have all answered this and many questions this this too many times, but I decided to try for it.

I bought a Betta, Amo, a few months ago at Meijer. I wanted to rescue him, since he looked so sick and sad . Well, happy to say he is thriving and very 'plump' now. :}

Well, we recently bought a new sad Betta from Meijer, yesterday actually. We bought one of those split tanks, did the water treatments as said, and put him inside with Amo. They were fine, but then we woke up to see that Navidad had passed away. He was staying towards the top of the tank all night and did not really touch his food. We thought he was just adjusting. After a very tearful time, I have decided not to give up on saving Fish from Meijer. I want to complain about how they treat them!

Well, I am planning on buying a new tank for Amo and his future fish friend. I have always said that Betta's should have more room than a tiny bowl, so Amo has a few gallon bowl at the moment, but nothing besides a plant and gravel. After seeing what others do to their tanks, I feel so mean and neglectful!

So to my question/s. I am planning on getting a 10 gallon, at least, tank. What should I do?
I live in Michigan, so winters can be brutal.
I just found out that Bettas like shrimp for treats, so we are buying some.
But what should I have in this tank?
I was thinking
-Silk Plants
-Few Coves to hide
-Heater (what kind?)
-Filter (what kind?)

Am I missing anything? I want to spoil both of them, not do the least amount as possible.

Also, can I put any other fish in the 10 gallon tank? I am only putting one betta in the tank, since they are fighters, but I was wondering about any other friends for him.

Well, thank you so much for reading this and helping me.
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Old 12-07-2008, 07:58 AM   #2 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Central Texas
What you have listed sounds about right. Someone else will have to tell you about cycling your tank though. I have a Meijer here in Kentucky where I live and they keep their bettas in horrible conditions, too. I sent the main office an e-mail, complaining about the conditions in which the bettas were kept and got a response. They thanked me for my concern and said they would look into it and they apologized. Nothing really changed, though.
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Old 12-07-2008, 08:39 AM   #3 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Sounds like you're off on the right track.

First of all, since you don't want to have to do 100% water changes on a 10 gallon tank, you will want to cycle the tank. This is the buildup of benificial bacteria which convert harmful ammonia and nitrite to their less toxic compound nitrate. Nitrates are removed during water changes, so that levels do not get too high. I suggest fishless cycling using pure ammonia. It is much nicer to the fish to not be subjected to water with relatively high toxin levels in it. I believe there is a sticky in the freshwater aquariums section that deals with cycling, or you can just google "fishless aquarium cycle" to find specific details. (It's just easier than me typing a long winded instruction paper for everyone who asks )

Heaters: I have a Visi-Therm heater, and I have heard many good comments about the Stealth models as well. What you want is a 50 watt (for a 10 gallon tank) heater with an adjustable dial and thermostat. This allows you to set the temperature at an ideal 78-80 degrees for bettas.

As for a filter, go low flow. Bettas do not like a lot of current, so a small filter (rated for no more than 10 gallons) will work fine. I would cover the intake with a bit of nylon to prevent his delicate fins from becoming caught in it.

Silk plants, hiding coves, and gravel sound fine.

As for tank mates, some cories or better yet pygmy cories (their small size would enable you to have more which they appreciate) would probably work fine so long as you don't have an overly aggressive betta. Shrimp, or a snail would work as well. If you have a calm betta, some non-nippy tetras could also work. Just make sure that the fish are not overly active, have large fins, or bright colors and you should be fine. Also, have a place to remove any troublemakers or injured fish should your betta turn out to be one of the aggressive ones.

The only other thing I have to say is that you should never put a new betta in a divided tank (unless the partition is completely solid and there is no way for cross contamination to occur) because many bettas from the store are sick and could infect your healthy betta if contamination occurs.

I am glad that you want to do what is best for your little guy . I'm sure he'll love his new home!
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Old 12-07-2008, 09:11 AM   #4 
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: London. England. UK.
hello and welcome.
how wonderful it is to give your Betta a bigger home. :)
cycle for you tank.
any questions please ask. :)
and please don't worry about asking questions,this would be a very
boring place to be if everyone just "searched" for everything
and no one interacted,we pride ourselves here on the "family atmosphere"
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Old 12-07-2008, 01:37 PM   #5 
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Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Michigan
Aw, Thank you everyone so much! I am looking into a hex aquarium, so I can get a bigger one with more room for my apartment.

I have read a lot about cycling, since I have read about the first 2 pages of articles here.

I could not sleep when I found Navidad had passed away, so I stayed up until 5:30 a.m. reading articles and searching for things for Amo.

This sounds great! Thank you so very much!

If you have any other advice, feel free to post it, as I can learn about anything. I cannot believe how much stuff you can actually do for a little fellow. I have a great fish store downtown, and they are great to their fish, but I still want to rescue one from Meijer, but they should have all the supplies.

Thank you again!
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Old 12-07-2008, 01:43 PM   #6 
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Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Michigan
Pure ammonia can be difficult to track down but I've heard it's sold at Ace Hardware. I've never used this method as I haven't been able to find the stuff near me. Plus, you have to keep dosing it. When you've got a lot of fish tanks, it can be hard to remember to do stuff like that. I've personally used uncooked shrimp to cycle a lot of my tanks. Just put one in a piece of pantyhose (or a filter media bag which should be available at Petsmart or any fish store and is probably cheaper than pantyhose) and throw it in your tank. As it rots, it will create a constant supply of ammonia. There's really nothing more to it other than to test your water to know how the cycle is progressing.

If I were setting up a new betta tank, this would be my shopping list:

-Test kit - $18 (this is extremely important. You need it to know how the cycle is progressing and is pretty much an essential tool for all fishkeepers. Don't get the paper test strips! They're inaccurate and actually more expensive. This test kit goes for about $30 or more in stores so it's better to buy online):
Freshwater Master Test Kit

-A plain ol' 10g glass tank from Petsmart for about $11 or $12 (5.5g tanks cost about the same, but the bigger the better, so why not a 10g?)

-A filter with an adjustable flow rate like this one ($13):
Whisper In-Tank Filter 10i - 90 gph

-A heater like this one ($17):
Visi-Therm Stealth Heater - 50W - 8 3/4 in. - up to 15 gallon

-Glass canopy ($10):
20" Glass Canopy (Perfecto)

-A strip fluorescent light from Home Depot (~$10)

-Gravel or sand (you can buy a 50lb bag of play sand at Home Depot for like $4 and it looks great...just rinse it really well before you add it to the tank)

-Silk plants (or live plants like java fern and java moss)

-A piece of driftwood or two

-Some pieces of slate from a landscaping store to make some caves (bettas love caves!)

-A net

-A gravel vaccum

-Water conditioner (Tetra Aquasafe or Prime are great)

-Fish food (Hikari Bio-Gold pellets as a staple diet, frozen bloodworms for twice weekly treats)


That's it, really. The initial setup is somewhat expensive but the long-term upkeep is really, really cheap. A 10g tank would allow you to keep your betta fish along with a shoal of six or so corydoras catfish, which make great tankmates and are really funny little fish. The 10g tank, canopy, filter and lights comes to $45, which is the same price the Eclipse 3 runs for. Plus, the Eclipse filter tends to be pretty strong which can bug bettas.

I found this somewhere on here, would this be a really good start for Amo?
Also, how would I go about transferring him to his new home? Would I cycle the new tank and wait and them move him from his bowl to the tank?

Thank you!
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Old 12-07-2008, 07:52 PM   #7 
Join Date: Apr 2008
To add a little:

I found my ammonia at Hannaford. I don't know where you live but you could check there. But, either method will work well.

If you do use slate, you really need to make sure it isn't sharp as bettas are the "accident prone" members of the fish world . I think driftwood and/or a flower pot (with the hole plugged) would be a better option.

As for acclimation, I would place your betta in a cup or bag and float him in the new tank for about 15 minutes, then add a few teaspoons of the new water every 10 minutes or so several times. This is assuming that the water in the 2 tanks is from the same source and the only differences is in temp and a slight nitrate increase. If this is not true, you will need to take longer to allow him to adjust.

Hope this helps . Feel free to ask any more questions.
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Old 12-08-2008, 09:06 PM   #8 
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Everyone has given everything that I'd say as far as what you need. But I wanted to give you another option for a filter and heater, as they are what I use and I've had really good luck with em. The filter I use is located here at; Aquarium Filters; Internal Filters: Aquarium Systems Duetto Mini Filter Model DJ-10 (I couldn't get the link to copy and paste, sry.) The heater I just ordered is at; Aquarium Heaters; Aquarium Edge Heater. The one I have in my 3 gallon tank is at the same site and same directions and is called Hydor Mini Aquarium Heater 7.5 Watt Up To 5 Gallon. U'd obviously need 2 if you chose this one. Sry that I couldn't get the links to work. But each part I listed costs $9.99 and I've had really good luck with the filter and 5 gallon heater. Maybe I helped some.
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Old 12-09-2008, 02:00 AM   #9 
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Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Michigan
Thanks for all the help :}

I bought my fish tank today, and I am so excited to set it up!
We are going to buy some gravel from the fish store downtown later, and maybe some new plants, since the ones that came with it are plastic.
But everything else looks great!
Once I have it all setup, I will try the cycling, and if not, will ask some more questions.

Thank you agains so very much!
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Old 12-12-2008, 04:51 PM   #10 
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Maryland
Great to hear you're upgrading your betta tank!

I urge you to get the adjustable heater rather than the Hydor min heaters. Hydor is a good company, but those little non-adjustable heaters just don't give you much flexibility in terms of setting your tank to the right temperature and increasing the temperature if you need to deal with an ich outbreak.

I forgot to mention when I made that list of stuff to buy to be sure the slate is stuff that's been eroded enough that it doesn't have sharp edges. In other words, don't buy stuff that's been recently broken as it will be sharp enough to shred your fish's fins.

As for tankmates, the cories make great ones. In a 10g tank, you could have one betta plus a group of 12 or so pygmy cories or 6 regular-sized cories of any species. They make good tankmates because they stay at the bottom (generally), won't bug your betta at all, and are armored in case your betta turns out the be a jerk and decides to attack them from time to time. I really doubt that even a full grown male betta splendens could do any significant damage to an adult corydoras catfish. If you do get some kind of cory, sand is the ideal substrate as it won't wear down their delicate barbels like rough gravel would. Plus, it's funny to watch them sift the sand through their gills looking for food. Snails and shrimp are possible options, but should your betta decide he wants to kill or eat them, he's certainly capable of doing that.
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