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Old 04-15-2015, 02:37 PM   #1 
lwilkins
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Question 1.2 Gallon Tank Heating/Temp

Hi all,
I just got a male crown tale this past Sunday from Petsmart. I got him a 1.2gallon tank with gravel, beta pellets, dried blood worms, and a fake plant with tunnel. After searching the net, I went back and got him a moss ball, small heater and a floating thermometer yesterday but I think it's too hot for his tank. The girl at petsmart said it would be fine but the package stated it was for 2-5 gallon tanks. So, last night I put the thermometer in and it was 75 degrees which I was surprised b/c the beta was acting lethargic and I was worried the water was too cold. So I set up the heater anyway and watched the thermometer carefully, worried the heater was too much for his tank. The temp went up to 82 by about midnight from 8 pm and he was extremely happy - very active and swimming around. When I woke this morning, it was at 86 so I panicked and unplugged the heater completely for the work day. I won't be home until 7 tonight to check on him so I'm just wondering what I should do tonight with the heater. I know many of you will say to get him a bigger tank and I may eventually, but for now, I need to not spend more money on this one beta as I have already dropped about $90/2 trips to petsmart. He also isn't eating much at all. He ate maybe a piece of blood worm last night but he doesn't seem to see the pellets due to they swirl around from the filter too fast. I have been removing the uneaten food with a turkey baster. Our twin 2 year old boys have named him "Ricardo"...no idea where that came from. :)
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Old 04-15-2015, 03:10 PM   #2 
Axeria
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First of all welcome to the forum!

I want to say that I think it is really good of you to join a forum to get help with your guy, you have joined the very best one too :D

I have to say tho that your 1.2g might be too small a body of water for the heater, this is why we like to recomend a tank at minimum 2.5 gallons and a adjustable heater. then you wont get those huge fluctuations because your heater is set to keep the chosen temperature :)

Do not unplug and replug many times a day, big fluctuations is worse than living in slightly cold water until you can get a decent heater :)

Do you have a filter for this tank? And are you planning to cycle your tank? I would deffo recomend it for you guys as I bet with twins you have a hectic enough time schedual as is xD this is just me asuming ofc, you might be one of those supermoms that find time for anything and everything :D
You see, With a 1.2gal I think you are looking at a WaterChange every two days , where two of them each week is at 50% and one is at 100%. And you will need to dose with prime to lock any harmfull ammonia every day. With a cycled tank you only need two WC a week on a 1.2 gal, one 50% and one 50% with vacuum and gravel cleaning :)

If you upgrade your tank to minimum 5 gal you only need one wc weekly with gravel vacuum when its cycled.

I would also check on the plastic plant if it has rough or sharp edges that can damage your bettas delicate fins ^_^

oh and dont worry about him not eating yet, he probably needs time to adjust. keep offering food but dont worry until its been a week or more. they can go really long without food and not starve.

Again welcome to the forum!

Sorry for the messy post xD

Last edited by Axeria; 04-15-2015 at 03:12 PM.
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Old 04-15-2015, 03:33 PM   #3 
lwilkins
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Thank you for replying!
Yes, the tank came with an under gravel filter which I have running and which is making the food swirl away from him quickly. The plant was under the "beta" section in the store so I hope it is okay...it seems soft and has an attached tunnel/cave for him to swim through.
I was not planning on cycling b/c I don't know what that is yet and seems like more work. You are correct in that we are extremely busy. We both work full time outside the home and the twins go to day care. When I set him up, I treated the water before putting it in the tank but I didn't think I need to treat daily...do I? I have another gallon of treated water ready to be used as needed that I mixed last night for partial water changes. There was one other small heater I could go back and exchange and try that to see if it doesn't get too hot. What do you think? The other heater said for 1-3 gallon.
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Old 04-15-2015, 03:51 PM   #4 
Axeria
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Hey no problem! I am glad I can help others with the information this site has teached me :)

The undergravel filter is really just for aeration, and you wont be able to cycle with that. You need a place for the beneficial bacteria(BB) to grow like on a sponge on a sponge filter:


If you run a airpump or powerhead with the undergravel filter you can buy a sponge filter for a couple of bucks online, replace the undergravel with the spongefilter and start cycling. It takes 1-2 months and requires a decent testing kit like the API master kit(costs 17bucks on amazon) but it will free up alot of time doing water changes and it will help you keep your betta healthy and happy. So it takes some work in the start, but then when its done cycling the BB is working for you and you get less work each week ^_^


I would buy a water treatment that locks ammonia either way, I use Prime from seachem. It detoxifies the ammonia in the water for 24-48 hours and makes the uncycled tank alot safer for the fish. You can't use it in stead of waterchanges and you will still need to do a wc every two days, but it will keep his water safe in between changes. A small tank gets toxic really fast unfortunatly!

If you get to exchange the heater for a smaller one I would do that or maybe you can pay a few dollars extra and they wil let you exchange it for a Adjustable one? they are really the safest for both you and your fish :)

I know this is alot of information to gulp down, and I know its really annoying having to buy new things all the time, but by upgrading to decent stuff once you save alot of grief and money in the long run :)

Edit: forgot to give you the stickie on cycling: Cycling

Last edited by Axeria; 04-15-2015 at 03:56 PM.
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Old 04-15-2015, 04:41 PM   #5 
BettaStarter24
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If you are able to I really highly recommend upgrading to a 2.5 gallon tank at least and picking up an adjustable heater. That way you'll avoid the large fluctuations in temperature and he'll be happier.

I'm not sure what plant you're discussing, but run a pantyhose across it and if it snags it will tear his fins. I recommend silk or live plants.
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Old 04-15-2015, 05:02 PM   #6 
Axeria
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^+1! :)

I totally forgot to mention silk plants, they are really good in stead of plastic as they are soft. real ones are even better. The pantyhose trick is also a very good tip, run pantyhose on all new decor always ^_^
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Old Yesterday, 01:26 PM   #7 
lwilkins
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Update on Ricardo

Thanks again for your help! I went back Thursday night and exchanged the heater for the small one for 1-3 gallons. I was pretty worried he might die on Wednesday because he got on top of the pump a few times to breathe air with less effort (I assume) and then Thursday morning he was just laying around on the bottom and looked fuzzy like he might be sick. Anyway, he is much better now. I got the heater set up Thursday night and it's keeping the temp at 76-78 degrees and he is really happy and looking healthy. He started going after food aggressively and is swimming a lot, colors look better, fins look better. I feel a lot of relief that he made it past the first week! I am thinking about getting a 10 gallon tank in the future and if all goes well, having the beta plus a bottom feeder, snail, ghost shrimp and even possibly a African dwarf frog. Do you all think 10 gallons will be large enough for this community? I'll plan ahead and cycle the tank before I get anymore critters.
Thanks!
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