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Old 01-28-2010, 12:15 PM   #1 
SoulSong
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Given aquarium w/accessories & gift certificate for betta

I'm hoping to find help here. My family knew I'd wanted a betta for years. Last weekend they surprised me with an aquarium kit from fish.com & a gift certificate to a local pet store for a betta. (Thank goodness they didn't actually get the fish!) I've never had a fish before & know I've a lot to learn.

I know the tank should be bigger, but until I get things stabilized this is what I have for now. (I got some extra things to prep the tank, Nutrafin stuff recommended by pet store staffperson):

*1 gallon tank with lid & light, plastic grate (filter?) under gravel
*Blue gravel is supposed to absorb ammonia, says to change it every 30 days
*submergible Heater; "electronic thermostat automatically adjusts to 78F"
*Nutrafin Cycle ("reduces fish loss, more nitrifiers, keeps aquariums healthy, rapidly matures new aquariums, for fresh or salt water, cannot overdose")
*Nutrafin Aqua-plus tap water conditioner for fresh or saltwater use
*Hikari Betta Bio-Gold baby pellets (mfg Kyorin)
*2 thermometers - one on either side of the tank until I see what the heater does
*2 fake plants. 1 silk, the other soft plastic, both tested on pantyhose

Will this setup work for a small betta for now? Should I be using anything different, or something else? I'd love to go looking for my new friend this weekend so I'll have time to slowly acclimate him to the water. Set up tank last night so water would have time to condition & temperature to settle.

Any advice would be welcome.
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Last edited by SoulSong; 01-28-2010 at 12:19 PM.
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Old 01-28-2010, 12:40 PM   #2 
1fish2fish
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That will be a great tank for now.. but I would nix the Cycle stuff... 1 gallon tanks won't cycle properly and trying to cycle them will be really harmful to your fish. For now I would do water changes every other day. These need to be AT LEAST 50% of the water and 1-2 times a week you need to do 100% change and clean the gravel. I've never heard of that "ammonia reducing" gravel to work so its best to stick with water changes.

Besides that it looks like you've got everything you need.
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Old 01-28-2010, 12:51 PM   #3 
DragonFish
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+1 agreed to the above. Though if I may add....

1 gallon is too small to cycle, 2.5 gallons is the smallest you can cycle with. I've never heard of any 'ammonia removing' product that actually works, its mostly all just a marketing tool to get money out of the unsuspecting....in fact, I'd be worried that gravel might leech something into the water that could potentially be harmful to your new friend....may want to exchange it for regular gravel, or marbles(my personal fav in smaller tanks, far easier to clean....but its your choice, whatever you like better)

Your going to want to do a full clean(100% water change)every other day in a 1 gallon to prevent the buildup of ammonia and do a thorough cleaning of the gravel a couple times per week at least.

Watch the temp carefully, its difficult to heat such a small volume of water without cooking your fish....keep an eye on it for a few days to make sure it remains stable before getting your new buddy.

Though your going to want upgrade in the future, you seem to have a nice setup and everything you need for now :) Welcome to the addiction!

Last edited by DragonFish; 01-28-2010 at 12:53 PM.
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Old 01-28-2010, 01:05 PM   #4 
Jupiter
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I agree with the advice. It seems like a nice tank for now, though.
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Old 01-28-2010, 01:33 PM   #5 
SoulSong
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Thank you all!

Heater: I was worried about it, which is why I got 2 thermometers to monitor both sides until I see how it behaves. Last thing I want is to overheat the little guy, but my home does run cool. I've seen a 7.5watt submersible by Hydor advertised, but it is unregulated. Would that be safer for such a small tank?

Love the idea of marbles - never would have thought of that. Makes sense about the ammoni-absorbing gravel, was worried about the rough edges anyway. Will get marbles, dump gravel, put in marbles & fresh water, then add just the water conditioner & let tank stabilize before bringing my new friend home.

I'd rather take my time & get it right than lose my new fish - whoever he is!
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Old 01-28-2010, 01:49 PM   #6 
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That sounds like a good way to go. I've used hydor 7.5 watt mini's in my 1 gallon tanks and they've worked pretty well but tend to stay on the hot side (82-86*) which isn't bad but you have to be careful if you let your room get warmer.. but since you say your house is on the cool side I think you'll be ok with a 7.5 w.
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Old 01-28-2010, 02:07 PM   #7 
DragonFish
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Sure, no prob ;)

Its better if the heater is adjustable, those will sense the water temp and turn on and off at the appropriate times....or they should at least. Thats far safer in a smaller tank and allows for more of a steady temp while the Hydor Mini(the 7.5 watt)won't do that. It gives off heat constantly and theres no way to regulate or adjust it, not to mention it'll fluctuate with your room temp...and if your house is cold, it only keeps the water a few degrees above the room temp.....you'll probably have issues with the water being too cold.
So stick with the one you have now(assuming its adjustable)and just watch the thermometers to make sure it stays a stable 78-80 degrees ;)

Haha, I personally love the look of marbles myself, not to mention I'm far too lazy to mess with cleaning gravel in an uncycled tank....takes far less time and effort to rinse the marbles and you can be totally sure to get any waste out ;) Not to mention they're shiny <3

Its wonderful that your doing your research first! There are so many people who don't bother to even consider before buying a betta, thinking they're easy pets who need water changes once every two months and can live in time bowls or vases.....So cookies for you for doing your research and caring about the wellbeing of your new soon-to-be fishy friend :)
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Old 01-28-2010, 02:30 PM   #8 
SoulSong
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I greatly appreciate the encouragement and advice from you all. I really want this to work. Now all I need to do is make sure the tank is ready, the temperature stable, & that I have a solid chunk of time to spend introducing my fish to his new home. Wish me luck! I'll be back with pictures one of these days.

P.S. DragonFish, I'll take the cookies home to my dog!
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Old 01-28-2010, 04:17 PM   #9 
dramaqueen
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Hello and welcome to the forum. We love pictures, especially of new bettas. lolYour tank looks very nice!
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Old 01-30-2010, 12:26 AM   #10 
veganchick
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cute tank! great job researching before you get your betta!
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