Hey all! So I recently took this little guy in, previous "owner" was a 4 year old who has owned this Betta for 2-3 years. They were moving and the mother of the kid didn't want to bother with moving the fish and his little half-gallon bowl. (The water was all yellow, no plants/decor/gravel and pieces of human food floating around, apparently this was his home for those 2-3 years they had him)
I've been cycling a 10 gallon tank the past few weeks, and I just moved him in. So far so good, he loves his food (Aqueon Betta Food) and he's very curious/active!
Few questions, I hope this is the right place to post.
How long do Bettas live? (Lol this fish seems/looks old to me)
Can I place Java Moss/Fern in there now?
The 10 gallon tank is pretty darn clean, I was thinking of buying 2 Mystery Snails and/or 5+ Ghost Shrimp, should I wait a couple weeks before doing so or can I put them in now? (I know they eat scraps/algae, etc and well it being a new set-up..)
Difference between Mystery Snails and Ghost Shrimp?
Lastly, is a heater necessary? It's almost summer, it gets pretty hot here (90+ Fahrenheit) and the aquarium is by a window.
Well, as for the heater... Do you keep your house at 90?
I would get a thermometer, you might be surprised how cool the water is.
I would actually avoid both those tank mates... bettas (as I'm sure you know) are pretty aggressive, and can terrorize both mysteries and shrimp. Nerite snails are very well protected, and are VERY good algae cleaners, which might be a huge bonus if it's near a window.
I would definitely get the fern/moss in there, can't harm anything!
2 small concerns - I can't tell if all the plants are silk, plastic is notorious for ripping fins. I've never had an issue with it, but many people have. Also, I would consider switching to a higher quality food. If you look at the label, you might be shocked by how full of crud it is. Personally I use New Life Spectrum, many people here recommend Omega One pellets.
How long do Bettas live? Healthy fish can live 3 -5 years, yours, given his previous conditions, is probably close to the end.
Can I place Java Moss/Fern in there now? Yes, you can.
The 10 gallon tank is pretty darn clean, I was thinking of buying 2 Mystery Snails and/or 5+ Ghost Shrimp, should I wait a couple weeks before doing so or can I put them in now? (I know they eat scraps/algae, etc and well it being a new set-up..) You can put them in, but consider that the shrimp could become a good meal for your fish, you may want to see what his personality is like. If he's very aggressive, the shrimp may not be a good idea.
Difference between Mystery Snails and Ghost Shrimp? Mystery snails can get pretty large, ghost shrimp can be large, but they are sometimes vulnerable to attack from a Betta fish. Mystery snails will generally eat algae, but they aren't the best at cleaning it up. Ghost shrimp eat all sorts of things, but are also not the best for cleaning up the tank. You will still need to do probably 2 tank cleans a week.
Lastly, is a heater necessary? It's almost summer, it gets pretty hot here (90+ Fahrenheit) and the aquarium is by a window. Yes a heater is necessary to keep the temperature stable, imagine if the temperature at night drops very low one night, then it can be very stressful for your fish. Betta fish do best in stable warm temperatures (not hot), frequent temperature fluctuations can be extremely stressful for a Betta, and can bring on illness (a consistent temp of 65 is better than one that is constantly going up and down, even if it's only by a few degrees. Also, you may want to consider not having him close to the window. Direct sunlight is bad for Betta fish, and if it's very hot outside, it could get very hot inside the tank. 90 degrees is MUCH too hot for a Betta. They thrive best in stable temps between 76 and 82.
It's been a busy past few days for me! I read everything as soon as you guys posted, so I went ahead and placed orders for a couple live plants (java Moss, java fern and anubias) and a 100 watt adjustable heater.
I'm also looking into getting some higher quality food for the little guy. :)
Couple more questions, how can I tell of he's aggressive or not? I stuck my hand/arm to adjust a plant, he swam circles around my hand? Lol
When I buy the Ghost Shrimp (decided against snails) can I just put them in or should I put them in another cycled tank I have? (3gal where I had the Betta while the 10gal cycled)
Thanks for all the help!
Last edited by Fethre; 03-17-2014 at 08:18 PM.
Reason: Add more information
It's generally considered good practice to quarantine ANY tank mates first, for several weeks.
It's hard to tell if they're aggressive with you... You're the food monster! Even my most aggressive boy will beg like a little puppy if I put my hands in the tank. If you have a mirror, you can always gauge his reaction to that. It's normal for them to flare, although it's not an issue if they don't. One of my boys (poor Merraxes) would just stare at me, he only flared ONCE. On the flip side, my most aggressive boy will jump out of the water to grab the edge of the mirror...
Oh my gosh, the little guy totally went after the mirror and he stayed 'flared' for a good 5 seconds after I took the mirror out! First time i've actually seen the little guy flare lol! (You know what, i'm just going to go ahead and name him Little Guy)
I stuck the tip of my finger in the tank after putting the mirror in, and he managed to nip at me, he's never done that, not sure if he was still feeling feisty or he was curious.
I don't mean to be so blunt, but this makes him aggressive, right? Would it be cruel to test out a couple shrimp with him? (after they've been quarantined and if they seem healthy)
On another topic, i've been browsing the forums (learned so much already lol) and I noticed my betta doesn't have long flowy fins that most other males do, is this normal? He's been like that since I got him.
Last edited by Fethre; 03-18-2014 at 07:46 PM.
Reason: Again adding more details!
I've always wanted shrimp so i'll go ahead it with it, maybe they'll make tasty treats? Or at least that's what i'm telling myself to not feel bad. :p I'll definitely make sure to add more caves/grass type plants for cover.
I really hope he's not near the end, I really like him. Compared to the tropical fish I used to have, Little Guy has quite a personality.
For some reason it is taking forever to try to upload the picture I just took, i'll try again later! I was able to get a really clear shot though. :)