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Old 11-25-2009, 12:58 AM   #1 
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Question Filters / Heaters / Cleaning - New Here

Hi, I have been reading this web site on and off for the past two days and found many answers and even more questions. Than you all for the valuable and indispensable information on this site.

Last year, I bought a 2 gallon aquarium (I know you have said that the minimum should be 2.5) (the picture can be shown below) at Petcetera, but I don't have the space for it. I also bought a Betta, the solution for the water and the food (flakes) plus a tiny fish net. My fish (Casper) died after three months. Enough time to get attached to him (I never was able to tell the gender - and the pet shop could not tell me either).

First question:
- I do not have a heater. My living room's temperature is almost always at 25 degrees Celsius. The aquarium is made of plastic, must I have a heater?

Second Question:
- I do not know how to change the filter on my filter. All I see is a stone at the end (inside) of a plastic tube which connects to a plate that goes under the gravel, which is then connected to a pump (at the other end). Can anyone help me?

Third question:
- I changed (also emptying completely the aquarium) and cleaned everything inside the aquarium once every two weeks. I use only hot water. I wait about 6 hours for the aquarium to regain room temperature before inserting my Betta. Am I doing something wrong? Of course, I add the solution made especially for Betta.

When I come back from the Christmas holiday I will buy myself a new Betta, plus silk plants instead of plastic ones. Plus a thermometer. Plus anything else that you might sugest (except for a new aquarium). Casper looked normal before dying. Is it possible that I have overfed him? Can anyone give me some advice? Thank you very much in advance!
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Old 11-25-2009, 03:27 AM   #2 
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Yes, you should have a heater. My house also is quite warm, but before I had a heater when I kept my bettas in bowls, their water got much colder than my houses tempurature. I keep my bettas water at a warm 80 degrees F or 27 degrees C

I have no idea. You should just see if you can open it up somehow and then go from there.

If your aquarium isn't cycled (assuming it isn't because its so small) then I would consider changing 50% of the water twice a week. I am also assuming the solution you are adding here is a water conditioner. So yeah that sounds about right.

I haven't had many issues with plastic plants so far, only one instance of a fish ripping his fin on a particular plant. I think it really depends on the plant & on the betta. Its definitely possible that you overfed your betta. I would try to keep him on a steady feeding schedule of around a pinch every other day. Switch up his diet a bit with some bloodworms / pellets / brine shrimp to keep him happy ( bloodworms / shrimp should be fed as a treat ) Definitely buy a thermometer.

Try to get a heater. Try to figure out how to change your filter cartridge. Do more frequent water changes if you want to keep your fish healthy and happy =)

Last edited by Mizzle; 11-25-2009 at 03:31 AM.
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Old 11-25-2009, 03:57 AM   #3 
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Thank you Mizzle! What kind of heater should I look for? When you say the water should be cycled, do you mean pumped from under the gravel and exited to the top of the aquarium so that the water moves? If this is so, then I'm confusing a cycle machine and a filter. By looking at the picture on my first message, can you tell which one I have? Also, by changing the water 50%, do you mean emptying 50% of the water in the aquarium and replacing it with clean water. I expect that I must remove my Betta from the aquarium to lessen the stress? Also, I imagined that removing my Betta from the aquarium so I can clean the tank is stressful on my Betta? Is this true? Thank you for your patience!
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Old 11-26-2009, 11:35 PM   #4 
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I'm getting a Hydor Mini Heater. It is for 2-5 gallon tanks
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Old 11-26-2009, 11:42 PM   #5 
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Thank you for the info about which heater to buy. I'll look for it in one of the stores in my city.
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Old 11-26-2009, 11:47 PM   #6 
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Cycling is short for nitrogen cycling. It's important because it puts healthy bacteria in the tank that will break down ammonia. Here's a site explaining how this is done:
However, this is not essential for bettas and if you do water changes regularly you shouldn't need to cycle.

What you have in your tank is called an undergravel filter. It uses air to pull debris into the gravel which is great for cycling the tank. However it isn't the most efficient filter and you would have to do twice weekly water changes with a gravel vacuum and a bucket. The vacuum siphons water into the bucket, and when you use it your betta can be in the tank. I used a gravel vacuum in my one gallon many times and I never had to remove my betta. Netting your betta or moving it from the tank at all actually stresses it out a LOT.
Gravel Vacuum:

Last edited by iheartmyfishies; 11-26-2009 at 11:57 PM.
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Old 11-26-2009, 11:49 PM   #7 
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There is no cartridge for an under gravel filter. They work by pulling all the "gunk" underneath that plate, and then the beneficial bacteria breaks it down, or at least that's how it's supposed to work in theory. I've never really been a fan of them. I have a 2 gal tank and I use an Elite mini filter, and I much prefer it.
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Old 11-27-2009, 12:05 AM   #8 
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Hmm, it seems like I'm missing quite a few things in my aquarium. I didn't want to buy another aquarium. But I'll consider buying one with all the trimmings when I come back from my Christmas vacation. However, I will have to make room for it. I contacted a store (they specializes in aquariums and fish) and told them I was interested in a 29 Gal. aquarium. They told me that the size of the aquarium would be to big for it (I would also add a few other fish in it) and that Betta prefer shallow water. In this forum I got the impression that this might be false. Is this true?
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Old 11-27-2009, 12:11 AM   #9 
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A 29 gallon would be great for a betta. You can't always believe everything they tell you at petstores. 29 gallons is plenty big enough to add tankmates that will be compatable with your betta.
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Old 11-27-2009, 12:30 AM   #10 
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Good, I'm happy I can have a Betta in a large tank. They are my favorite fish. If I invest money in an aquarium, it might as well be for life. And I should buy everything the fishes need. Is the gender of the Betta important if I place other fish (only 1 Betta) in the aquarium? What other type of fish can I add that will eat the same type of food as my Betta? I will be buying a automatic feeder (Eheim Automatic Feeder) for when I leave on vacation. And I don't think I can put more than one type of food into it at a time. What would you guys (and Gals :o) think of the type of fishes I can place in the tank. I love colors and panache! By the way, I don't want to use dividers. I'd like it if they all got along.
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