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Old 12-10-2009, 04:20 AM   #1 
iamtetsuo
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Considering getting a betta

Hello everyone!

My girlfriend and I have decided to get a fish and we're thinking about getting a betta. We're thinking about getting a fish because we live in a rural area and the quietness drives my girlfriend crazy, she needs noise to fall asleep. The current solution is a fan, but it uses way too much electricity, and makes the room far too cold since it's winter now.

I already have a small (3 gallon I think) Eclipse tank from when I used to have a goldfish (I know now that a 3 gallon tank was far too small for a goldfish but at the time I had no idea).

I've been reading up and know that I will need a heater, as well as some nice tank accessories. I'm looking at this heater http://www.petco.com/Shop/Product.aspx?sku=997528 mainly because we can't really afford anything else.

Some specific questions I have: can anyone link me to a good guide to preparing tank water for a fish? The tap water here is directly from a spring, but I know that establishing a good bacteria culture is key to keeping fishy's healthy and happy.
Do bettas need light at night? I need it to be dark in order to sleep and since we plan on keeping our fish in the room this would be a deal breaker.
Should I get a new bio-wheel for my tank, or would re-using the old one be ok?

Any other advice you have for us would be much appreciated!
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Old 12-10-2009, 10:09 AM   #2 
HopeInHeart
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Hello and welcome! I have never used the Hydor heater, so I don't really know what it's like.

You should turn the light off at night, bettas need their sleep too!

Sorry I don't really know the answers to your other questions.
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Old 12-10-2009, 12:57 PM   #3 
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I would get a new biowheel so as not to contaminate the tank with any mould or dust that may have collected on the old one.

A Hydor Mini will suffice given it is the 15w version, not the 7.5w one.

Prepare the tap water with dechlorinator to remove chlorine, chloramines and heavy metals. The bacteria are something that you will have to culture in the filter ( biowheels are awesome for hosting plenty of beneficial bacteria) because they do not come from the tap. Here are some good guides on how to start a bacteria culture in your tank so that when you get the fish it will be ready:
http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...ium-cycle-252/
http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/m...-methods-3067/

Eclipses come with an awesome light... wheras most starter kits come with an incandescent light that cannot grow plants and will alter the temperature of the water, Eclipses come with a flourescent light that stays cool and provides you with enough light to grow low-medium light plants. No aquarium light should be left on for any more than 8 hours per day, but given bettas love their shade I suggest you keep it on for about 6 hours per day. I use an inexpensive plug-in timer to turn my lights on for me while I am at work. Then they stay on as I drift asleep watching the fishies (all the tanks are in my room, thank-you parents :)) and I don't even have to jump out of bed and turn them off!

PS. Here is a good list of topics to read up on before taking the plunge:
http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...nt-topics-257/

Always remember:
-Never trust a fish-store employee's advice!
-The more you read before starting, the easier it will be to take care of your fish!

Good luck!
Kelly
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Old 12-10-2009, 12:59 PM   #4 
Calmwaters
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I have that heater in a few of my tanks and it works good as long as the room stays warm. I like this one better it is only about $15 and it seems to keep the temp more consistant.
Walmart.com: Tetra: Heater, 1 ct: Fish
I personally would not use the old biowheel but thats just my opinion. And I agree with Hope about the other stuff.
Welcome to the forum and I am glad you are researching and then getting the fish not the other way around.
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Old 12-10-2009, 01:29 PM   #5 
ChristinaRoss
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great advice there!
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Old 12-10-2009, 02:51 PM   #6 
iamtetsuo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kelly528 View Post
I would get a new biowheel so as not to contaminate the tank with any mould or dust that may have collected on the old one.

A Hydor Mini will suffice given it is the 15w version, not the 7.5w one.

Prepare the tap water with dechlorinator to remove chlorine, chloramines and heavy metals. The bacteria are something that you will have to culture in the filter ( biowheels are awesome for hosting plenty of beneficial bacteria) because they do not come from the tap. Here are some good guides on how to start a bacteria culture in your tank so that when you get the fish it will be ready:
http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...ium-cycle-252/
http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/m...-methods-3067/

Eclipses come with an awesome light... wheras most starter kits come with an incandescent light that cannot grow plants and will alter the temperature of the water, Eclipses come with a flourescent light that stays cool and provides you with enough light to grow low-medium light plants. No aquarium light should be left on for any more than 8 hours per day, but given bettas love their shade I suggest you keep it on for about 6 hours per day. I use an inexpensive plug-in timer to turn my lights on for me while I am at work. Then they stay on as I drift asleep watching the fishies (all the tanks are in my room, thank-you parents :)) and I don't even have to jump out of bed and turn them off!

PS. Here is a good list of topics to read up on before taking the plunge:
http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...nt-topics-257/

Always remember:
-Never trust a fish-store employee's advice!
-The more you read before starting, the easier it will be to take care of your fish!

Good luck!
Kelly
Thanks for the links, busy reading now!

Dechlorinator is not necessary, the tap water here never sees chlorine. It quite literally comes straight from a spring (the spring is only a couple hundred feet away from the house).

I'll also start looking around to see what kind of heaters are available locally. The room does get chilly at night so a higher powered heater is probably a good idea.
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Old 12-10-2009, 03:14 PM   #7 
kelly528
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Only dechlor then if there are any heavy metals in the water.

For a 3g you will want roughly 15 watts, although 25 watts will work fine as well provided it has a knob with which you can adjust the temperature. You can also prowl craigslist or the classifieds on a local fish forum. I always score awesome deals on heaters there.
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Old 12-10-2009, 03:32 PM   #8 
iamtetsuo
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OK reading through the tank cycling guides none of them mention if I should have the heater set up while cycling the tank

Seems like it would be a good idea to me, as most bacteria thrive in warm conditions
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Old 12-10-2009, 05:47 PM   #9 
kelly528
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Yeah you're dead on. Leaving the heater at 84 or so will cause the bacteria to reproduce faster.
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Old 12-10-2009, 10:34 PM   #10 
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So I went down to PetSmart today to check prices and see what kind of things they had.

Found a good heater I'll probably go back and get, 25w adjustable for $18, as well as several neat tank accessories (my girlfriend wants to get a pirate skull, I think I agree with her :D ). They also had some nice soft fake plants as well as a decent selection of live plants (need to read up and find what kind of live plants would work best with betta's)

But then we went to go look at the bettas. I was appalled at how they kept the bettas, in little cups with no heat source nearby, several of them floating at the top clearly dead. Petsmart is usually pretty good with their animals, but this was disgusting.

I'll go check out some of the smaller shops and see what their stock is like. I just found out that there is a store that specializes in tropical fish nearby, I'll probably drop by tomorrow.
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