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Old 06-07-2013, 05:52 AM   #1 
sbgrn
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tank size

So I had a person very knowledgeable about betas advise me about tank size. I told them what I had learned on this website. She said that of course they like space, but you don't need a huge tank for a beta. She said they originate in a country where there existence was jumping from one puddle to the next. She said one gallon is sufficient for one fish.

Interesting? Any thoughts?
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Old 06-07-2013, 06:18 AM   #2 
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Well, the come from an area that has two seasons - the rainy season and the dry season. They don't just live in mud holes - for a lot of the year they have lots of room to swim.

It's all a matter of opinion. Many fish can be kept in tanks much smaller than they "need". I don't exactly know what that proves. There are many benefits to keeping a larger tank - I'm having trouble thinking of just one benefit of keeping a fish in a tiny container. You can carry it around with you?? That's all I got.


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Old 06-07-2013, 06:50 AM   #3 
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+1

First among those advantages of keeping a larger tank is consistently better water quality. The more consistent the water quality, the better it is for your fish, all other things being equal.
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Old 06-07-2013, 07:16 AM   #4 
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We all have to decide for ourselves how much room we want out fish to have to swim. Since its what they do, I try to give them some extra. But, I'm not a bare minimum kind of person. Some people have no problem providing just barely enough to get by. Some people feel a sense of responsibility to provide more for the animals for which they have chosen to care.


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Old 06-07-2013, 07:28 AM   #5 
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A bigger tank does not equal better water quality, it equals less work to have better water quality, a one gallons tank can be just as clean as a 10 gallon, a one gallon will just require more water changes, sometime people with bigger tanks get lazy and do not change their water enough so their water quality could actually be worse, so the bottom line is not the size of the tank it is how well the person takes care of it, One of my veiltails lives in a 1.5 gal planted heated and filter tank he seems perfectly happy to me
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Old 06-07-2013, 04:00 PM   #6 
waterdog
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stone View Post
A bigger tank does not equal better water quality,
I have to disagree.

Like hallyx said, it does for several reasons. First, most larger tanks are cycled and that makes for the best water for fish. Second, less water changes mean less stress on the fish.

A one gallon tank? As a rule we usually recommend a minimum of 2.5
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Old 06-07-2013, 04:15 PM   #7 
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Wow obviously a hot topic! Thanks for the replies, I'm sure each of us is right and none of us wants our fish to be uncomfortable. I was just passing on the history I learned, it was fascinating to me.

Curious, but I don't think there is a "rule" book on tank size. haha Thank one made me laugh. I've had bettas for over 10 yrs myself. Very personable fish, responsive to people which I've never seen in other fish. I enjoy him every day.
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Old 06-07-2013, 05:36 PM   #8 
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Here's one my friend wrote
Here's what we want to fulfill when housing a betta:

- An enriching environment
- Substantial room for a territory to be formed
- Mental enrichment
- A calm environment free from environmental stress (fluctuating temperature, poor water quality, lack of space, etc)
- The ability to explore as done so in their natural environments


When we put this in the context of housing a betta in a 1gallon bowl, this is what we get:

- An enriching environment: We have limited space for planting, meaning it is difficult to provide an environment where the betta can explore the bottom.

- Substantial room for a territory to be formed: We have two scenarios for which fish will establish themselves. The first is called a 'home base' which is often established in animals without territorial nature. For bettas and other territorial fish, we have a territory. Territories are often smaller for singular species, however we cannot establish an adequate territory with a spherical object where there is a complete 360 view.

- Mental enrichment: This can somewhat be supplied in a small bowl environment, however mental enrichment involves the ability to be able to search the substrate (often the smallest part in a bowl), the space for exploring (not adequate in a bowl) etc. A tank provides a much better environment for mental enrichment, so why advocate something that cannot?

- A calm environment free from environmental stress (fluctuating temperature, poor water quality, lack of space, etc): Again, size is an issue here. Secondly, as I mentioned above, we have the issue of the shape of the bowl, which is much more sensitive to vibrations which stress the fish, and we have a complete 360 view which is also quite stressful- usually we try to have one side of the tank towards a wall, which is a 'safety barrier' for the fish. It's not nice to have to keep your environment protected when you've got such an open view, even with plants. Heating is a big issue. Where do you put a heater on something that is shaped like a bowl? Some may have flat sides, but the size of the environment is far too small to safely heat, and is susceptible to large temperature fluctuations.

- The ability to explore as done so in their natural environments: This has been explained in the above paragraphs.

Vs a tank that is of a good size (5 gallons and above)

- An enriching environment: The size of the tank makes it much easier to plant, since we have more room to add substrate, plants, and decor. This is much better for a fish.

- Substantial room for a territory to be formed: again, much more surface area, and we are able to make sure there is no issue of a 360 view being formed with covering the back of a tank, or heavily planting one particular side.

- Mental enrichment: More room leads to more exciting things that can be added. I agree that planted bowls can look and be magnificent, but for bettas? We are much more limited for what we can do for them.

- A calm environment free from environmental stress (fluctuating temperature, poor water quality, lack of space, etc): Although tank size is always a factor, most tanks can be safely heated, we have a good surface area for planting, etc.

- The ability to explore as done so in their natural environments: Again, tank size and water volume are factors of this.


That being said, bowls are often quite small and this is why we cannot provide a lot of these things. Vases that are square or rectangular may be a lot better, but are often tall rather than wide, and I haven't seen a fish that prefers to swim vertically more so than horizontally. Even biorb tanks are stressful to fish, despite them being as large as 60+ gallons. They're just not a good shape.
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Old 06-07-2013, 05:47 PM   #9 
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Well if you wanted to be technical, for some parts of the years certain species of betta can be forced to live in damp leaf litter after the water has dried up. However, that does not mean that this is the type of extreme environment you should be aiming to provide for your betta.

One of the main flaws in this 'puddle argument', is that the domesticated strain of Betta splendens are not wild fish. They are a product of selective breeding, and have been reared in aquaria for generations now. Their home is not the rice paddies or klongs of Thailand. It is in the jars and fish tanks of breeders and hobbyists the world over.

The minimum tank size for this fish is very much personal opinion. Some people will tell you a one gallon tank is suitable for a single betta fish, while others may be very vehemently opposed to keeping a betta in anything less than 5 gallons.

I feel that unless you are a breeder, you should always aim to provide the best and most enriching environment you can for your fish. The main issue I see with the betta side of the fishkeeping hobby, is that many people seem content to skate by on bare minimums for tank size and care. I personally think an adult betta should have at least 5 gallons of space if it is a permanent home. However, like I said, it is all opinion and there are some people who have kept bettas for years in one gallon tanks and some who have only kept their fish for months in larger aquariums.
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Old 06-07-2013, 06:11 PM   #10 
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Water changes are only stressful on the fishing you never do them. Many species LOVE water changes. The exception is of you feel the need to remove the fish from the tank to do the change - except for extreme circumstances, that really is unnecessary.



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