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Old 02-09-2010, 10:10 AM   #1 
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Just checking...

Hello! I just pseudo-impulse-bought my betta, Andrew (actually his nickname) yesterday, along with a 5 gal. tank, etc. etc. etc.. I say "pseudo" because I spent an hour online reading these forums and other betta care guides and then another hour at the pet store looking at each and every product that was on the shelf. This is my second-ever betta; my first, Leviathan, was unfortunate, in having been left in the care of my then-boyfriend while I was away for 6 weeks (he thought it was OK to bring Levi to work - he worked in a skating rink); I was also not aware of the proper care for a betta and had him in a plain glass bowl. Anyhow, as much time as I spent trying to read up on the proper care and set up of a tank for a betta, I still feel like I am doing it wrong. But I digress. I just wanted to clear up some questions:
1. I know it is not necessary to have a filter, but I have one. I understand that it should be removed if it makes bubbles? Does that mean bubbles on top of the water, or bubbles that are stuck to the bottom of the filter?
2. I have never heard of bubblenests before. I hope that Andrew will be happy enough to start making them, but if he does not, I want to know what I can do to make him happy! How long does it usually take bettas to become comfy in their new home? He's been in there a couple of hours, and he seems OK. He's swimming around and checking things out. He really likes one particular corner, which has more silk plants in it than any other (I read that they like lots of hiding places, and was at first scared that I put too many plants in my tank).
3. I have currently filled my tank with conditioned tap water (I used Top Fin Betta Water Conditioner that I bought at Petsmart), but I was wondering if, when I do my water changes, I could just use bottled spring water, or do I have to treat that as well because I have used conditioned tap water to begin with?

I do not want my Andrew to die off because of a silly mistake I made. Any suggestions/reassurances/criticisms would be fantastic, as my now-boyfriend thought a small bowl would be enough for little Andrew. I've included some pictures of Andrew and his home. I'll post better pictures of him as soon as I can get Andrew to come out of his hidey-hole in the corner. Thanks ahead of time for any help!
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Old 02-09-2010, 11:24 AM   #2 
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Hi honeyfish,

Welcome to the forum and congrats. on your new buddy. Your tank setup looks perfect. I have 6 betta tanks ranging from 2.5 gals. to 5 gals. and they all have filters. Although not absolutely necessary, it's perfectly good to have them. Keep an eye on your boy in the current from the filter flow. If it seems too strong for him, you can slow it down some by placing panty hose over the flow area. I've never had to do that because mine all do well and some even play in the current. There are other betta lovers on this forum that can speak to that better than myself so let's wait for them to chime in.

As for bubble nests, I have 3 who build them constantly and 3 who have never bothered. I can assure you that all 6 of mine are happy campers. If he never builds one, it's fine.

Tap water is perfectly fine to use during water changes. Just bring the temp. up to the same temp as the tank, add your conditioner and you'll be all set.

Last edited by Romad; 02-09-2010 at 11:25 AM. Reason: correction
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Old 02-09-2010, 04:01 PM   #3 
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The bubbles you're thinking about are probably from air stones, just a few bubbles made from the filter is fine (:
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Old 02-09-2010, 04:57 PM   #4 
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Hey there!

Welcome to the forum and addiction. ;)
As long as your guy has room to swim to the surface and breath, he'll be just fine. Don't be worried about too many plants. Your tank is very cute! A little cave is also a great investment.

I use conditioned tap water but spring water should be good. As long as the water isn't Distilled and free of chlorine and heavy metals its good. Also beware of anything iron in the tank. It will kill your fishie. But anything you get at a pet store for your fish is iron free.
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Old 02-09-2010, 05:13 PM   #5 
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Your filter is fine.. Make sure you have a heater though. With all those plants you don't necessarily need a cave as most bettas prefer to hide and sleep in their plants.

The spring water is a waste of money.. just use good old tap water and conditioner. If you want you can even age the water in a bucket for 24 hours prior to your water change.

Some males will not bubblenest.. especially older ones. In general though most healthy young males in heated tanks will blow some bubbles if not make a bubblenest outright.
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Old 02-09-2010, 07:54 PM   #6 
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be careful that your plants have no sharp edges, and are not to stiff!
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Old 02-09-2010, 08:10 PM   #7 
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I was about to say that too veganchick. That purple one looks sharp. Make sure it's not too sharp by running some pantyhose over it. If the pantyhose rips/ tears, it's too sharp for a bettas fins. I have also heard about people using toilet paper in the same way. Not sure it works though.
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Old 02-09-2010, 08:13 PM   #8 
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When in doubt take it out.
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Old 02-09-2010, 10:33 PM   #9 
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ur tank set up is awesome! looove it!
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Old 02-10-2010, 12:32 AM   #10 
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Wow, thanks for all the replies! As for your concerns about my plants, they are all silk. I will double check the purple one though, just in case. Also, I do have a heater in my tank. I knew I would need one because our house is constantly below 70 (usually at 65 - I'm always freezing!!). I also sometimes turn on my space heater to heat my room a little more, to help keep the water temp up. I've noticed that this has helped some and the temperature doesn't fluctuate much when I turn it off for a long period of time (the space heater, not the tank heater). Thanks for all the tips you've given me. I really want to do this right. It seems kind of silly to be this worked up over a fish, but if I can care for a fish well, then I can't say I'll be able to care for any other animal, either. Plus, he's just so darn cute! He's starting to get used to his surroundings now, and he swims up and down the side of the tank when I come into the room. If he's on the other side of the tank, he'll swim over to the side I'm on when I'm sitting here on the computer and just stare at me for a while. And then when I turn around he darts around a plant and hides. I think it's funny. I can't wait to see what else he will start doing! My boyfriend laughs at me when I tell him about it, but when he meets Andrew, he'll know what I'm talking about.

Last edited by honeyfish; 02-10-2010 at 12:36 AM.
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