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Old 04-21-2009, 02:59 PM   #1 
birthdaybetta
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Questions/recommendations re: 1-2 gallon starter tank?

My boyfriend gave me a betta for my birthday, and Bubbles' tank is 1-2 gallons. We live in CA and our apt. is usually warm and sunny, so how important is a heater and/or filter? I'm guessing that I'll need to change this tank with treated water about 1-2 times a week? Is there any way to tell if mine is m/f? Bubbles doesn't seem aggressive, just easily spooked. Is it normal if its body is paler than its fins?

I'll probably save for a larger tank, and maybe some non-betta company, because I think that it would make Bubbles happier. I already added some small accessories and a plant to its tank, which really made the poor thing much more lively.

I've already done some reading on here; I think that's it for now on questions, but I might need to buy a book.
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Old 04-21-2009, 05:59 PM   #2 
JingleAllTheWay
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1-2 gallons is probably fine. If you can afford to get a bigger one, a 2.5 gallon or larger would be great.
In the tank you have now I'd probably do a 25-50 percent water change every few days. You can get a water conditioner to add to tap water so it will be safe for Bubbles.
Does Bubbles have short fins or long ones? If it has long ones it is a boy; short means it is a girl. I think there are other ways to tell but that's the one I always use. Bubbles is probably just spooked right now; after he gets used to his new tank he/she should be fine. Bettas have a variety of colors so the body can be paler than the fins. He/she may brighten up after a while in his/her new tank.
Bettas, as far as I know, do best when they are by themselves. I personally have never kept a betta with any other fish. I've always heard they are solitary fish and best left by themselves.
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Old 04-21-2009, 06:29 PM   #3 
LaniBaby
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you do have to be careful about which fish you p ut in there. a lot of them can be fin nippers and if your betta has long fins, they will go after him. Bettas are fairly solitary, so I don't know that he'd be happier with someone else in there. I'd say put him somewhere he can see activity all day, like where he can watch you cooking or going about your day.
Bettas like water that's about 76-80 degrees. If it's staying that warm without a heater and will continue throughout the winter, you probably don't need one. If it's cooler than that, i'd recommend one. Filter's aren't necessary if you change the water religiously.

Do you have a photo? That's a good way to tell if he's a male or female. There are shorter finned males, called plakats, but you generally won't find those at a pet store, so more than likely, if he has long, flowing fins, it's a male.
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Old 04-21-2009, 09:48 PM   #4 
Cody
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Originally Posted by JingleAllTheWay View Post
Does Bubbles have short fins or long ones? If it has long ones it is a boy; short means it is a girl.
Not true. There are Plakats that all have short fins, and then Hermaphodites which are way more common than you think. The only way to tell for sure is to look for an egg spot.

You NEED a heater. I could care less if your room is kept at 50F or 80F; you need a heater. A Filter would help tremendously. Without a filter, you need to change water every other day, and 100% saying that tank will not cycle. With a filter, twice a week at 50% if adequate.

A 1-2 gallon tank is small. Try to get 3+ gallons. And cycle it, because you didn't with this tank.
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Old 04-21-2009, 11:49 PM   #5 
birthdaybetta
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Thanks for the helpful replies, everyone! I do have tap water conditioner that I've been using from the start. If we accidentally overfed him, should we take out the food he didn't eat? Do they sell heaters/filters for 2-3 gallon tanks? I don't want to put other fish with him, but I want to find out if a small snail or crab would be compatible. Can you test the water temp with a normal, clean thermometer? I think Bubbles is a boy, I attached some pictures to show him off.
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Old 04-22-2009, 08:38 AM   #6 
Nataku
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Looks like a male from those shots, and also looks like he's developing a bit of bloat too. Stop feeding him for a couple days and hopefully that belly-pooch will go away.
Which, on that topic, what are you feeding him, and how much a day? And yes, if there is left-over food in the water, scoop or suction it back out. If the betta hasn't eaten the food in a couple minutes, then he isn't going to eat it and there's no reason to leave it in, as it will only foul the water faster.

Snail would be a better choice than a crab. Crabs are opportunistic feeders and anything they can catch in their claws they will generally eat. Including bettas. Snails - depending upon the size of the snail, the betta may just eat the snail. It happens. Also, some snails will reproduce like there's no tomorrow, and will quickly foul the water if left to their own devices, so watch and make sure that there isn't suddenly baby snails popping up everywhere even if you just get one... snails are just like that.
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Old 04-22-2009, 09:46 AM   #7 
Cody
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Ok, that tank is definatley not 2 gallons. That tank is at the most a gallon, which is unsuitable for a betta. You need to upgrade and give him the proper conditions. As Nataku said, there is sickness showing and I can tell the bowl is cloudy, which means you are having bacterial blooms.

Don't even think about addding any thing else until you help what you have.
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Old 04-22-2009, 11:59 PM   #8 
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Hurm. Thank you all for the food for thought. There was leftover food, which has been removed... actually, that was my only clue that he was overfed (he won't be overfed anymore, now that only one of us is feeding him). We went by the recommendation on the Betta Bio-Gold pellet packet (2-4 pellets 2-3 times daily).

I have no intentions of adding anything else to this tank; I know it's a small one, and that's why the title of this thread has "starter tank." I guesstimated 1-2 gallons, so I was within the range. :P Of course he'd be better off in a bigger tank... we'd be better off in a house than a studio apt., too. I'm sure he's grateful to be out of the ridiculous store display bowl than he came in, at least. His attitude is greatly improved (much less easily spooked now). Thanks again for the helpful pointers.
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Old 04-23-2009, 08:47 AM   #9 
JingleAllTheWay
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Not true. There are Plakats that all have short fins, and then Hermaphodites which are way more common than you think. The only way to tell for sure is to look for an egg spot.
Cool. I did not know that.



Birthdaybetta, I believe that it is fine to keep a betta in a one gallon, as long as you keep up with water changes and everything. If you can get a bigger tank, that is great; if you can't, your betta should be fine. Everyone has differing opinions on the size of tank. I have two bettas in a one gallon and they have both thrived in them.

(Just for clarification, I didn't mean I have two in one one gallon. I meant they are each in a one gallon tank. Whew, didn't want anyone to take that the wrong way.)
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Old 04-23-2009, 09:19 AM   #10 
dramaqueen
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I have 3 of my 6 in one gallons and they are fine as long as I keep up on the water changes.
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