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Old 03-03-2010, 01:53 PM   #1 
doubleatheman
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My first beta - My tank setup, and a few quesitons.

Hello all,

My first post here. A bit overwhelmed at how active of an online community there is just for Betta fish! When I was younger we had 2 or 3 bettas over the years. We had a small 1 gallon tank with a light, under gravel filter/small world filter. Each Betta lived about two/three years. We did not heat the little tanks though.

We also had a 12 gallon tank and ran that for about 8 years, we waited until the last fish died (from age not neglect), and shut it down, it was too much work.

So my mom has taken care of those fish in the past. Now I'm 19, and I want my own Betta. (My other friend is also just getting into fish.)

I have read the entire 3.0 guide here, great info!

I purchased a small 1 gallon tank about 8 months ago:

http://www.petco.com/product/104215/...t=FishFC_Tanks

I finally actually want to get it going.

I feel bad the tank is not 1.5-2.5 gal like most recommend. I hope 1 gal is not pushing it for small. Eight months ago I didn't know this.

Learning that it will need 76-86 F water, I quickly realized our house temp of 62-65 (in the winter) would not do.

So I looked around and found that many people online are using this for their 1 gallon tanks: http://www.petco.com/product/102429/...pplies_Heaters


I went to the store yesterday and got:
7.5 watt heater (see link above)

Penn Plax Small world filter - http://www.petco.com/product/3199/Pe...pplies_Filters

Complete water conditioner - http://www.amazon.com/Aquarium-Pharm.../dp/B001F93XQS

Thermometer

Air hose t connector and valve adjuster's

The last things I used from or tanks from before was our gravel, (fake) plants, and Wardley welness bullseye 7.0: http://www.antonline.com/p_00942-GP_659109.htm

Our tap here has a ph of 8.5 and up :( We had great sucess with bulleye 7.0 with our older tanks.

Last night: I added filter, plants, heater, gravel, water treatments, and thermometer.

The water came out at about 62* from our tap @ 11pm last night. @7am the tank was 74* I'm wanting to see what temp the tank will end up. (my room is about 68* today.

Since I want the tank 10*f warmer than my room, this heater should be perfect, It claims to keep a 2g tank 5* warmer than the room. If the tank ends up getting too hot I plan on getting this:

http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/...7X-_-100685878

And set that to cycle the heater on/off as needed to keep the tank a stable temp. That timer can turn the heater on/off every 30 mins as needed. Since the heater can only raise the water temp slowly the fluctuations would be less than 1-2*f.

I have a digital electric heater in my room, which is set to 65*, but according to my atomic clock with a thermometer, my room is always 68* my room temp is very stable (digital heater) so fluctuation should not be an issue.

I find it frustrating that they don't make automatic heaters for smaller tanks. Yeah I know I should get a larger tank, but I don't have the room for it.

The small air pump that came with the tank is perfect, it produces a very weak water flow, which I hear is good for Bettas.

So all in all I think after I let the tank run a few days, and get the temp perfect, I'm going to get a Betta. I didn't plan on cycling the tank, we never did for our other Bettas, Just more water changes at first, testing for ammonia and ph of course!

Pictures of my setup: http://pbckt.com/sg.J45

So with the advice of you folks, think I'm good to go. Or have I missed something serious.

Thanks!
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Old 03-03-2010, 04:04 PM   #2 
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Looks cool, I don't think the small tank issue is problematic unless you aren't willing to clean it every 2-3 days. On a lot of websites they set the minimum at 2.5-5g because it is easier for beginners to take care of and requires less water changes. But really as long as its heated and planted well anything over 1g will do just fine.
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Old 03-03-2010, 10:24 PM   #3 
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I went to the store today and got 3 types of food, 2 kinds of pellets, and blood worms. Saddly out of Petco, Petsmart, A local fish store (mostly saltwater) & Walmart I couldn't find anything else more interesting for bettas.

I also got 2 timers, one for the light, and one for the heater.

The timer I found can actually be set in 15 min increments. So If I set the timer on for 15 mins and then off for 15 mins, that effectively cuts the time it is on in half, making a 7.5 watt heater a 3.75 watt heater, which is perfect for 1 gallon! :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by kelly528 View Post
Looks cool, I don't think the small tank issue is problematic unless you aren't willing to clean it every 2-3 days. On a lot of websites they set the minimum at 2.5-5g because it is easier for beginners to take care of and requires less water changes. But really as long as its heated and planted well anything over 1g will do just fine.

Even with the small carbon/cotton filter you recommend every 2-3 days? I was hoping only to have to clean once a week on Sundays.

Last edited by dramaqueen; 03-03-2010 at 10:33 PM.
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Old 03-03-2010, 10:53 PM   #4 
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But would the heater cause fluctuations in the water? That can easily stress out a betta. Also, try not to take too much room in the bowl. 1 gallon is kindof pushing it, so I would want as much room for him as possible. Definitely a hiding space though, bettas need hiding places.

Cleaning it once a week is not suitable for a 1 gallon. For a 1 gallon, especially since you'll be cycling it first, you'd start out with doing it every-single-day, and moving onto every-other-day. This is why I prefer bigger tanks. With bigger tanks, after it's cycled (emphasis: After-it-is-cycled) you could definiitely do once-a-week changes. I do that with my 5 gallon. All ammonia / nitrates are a-okay. I do weekly changes. Everything's a-okay.
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Old 03-04-2010, 12:30 AM   #5 
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Quote:
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But would the heater cause fluctuations in the water? That can easily stress out a betta. Also, try not to take too much room in the bowl. 1 gallon is kindof pushing it, so I would want as much room for him as possible. Definitely a hiding space though, bettas need hiding places.

Cleaning it once a week is not suitable for a 1 gallon. For a 1 gallon, especially since you'll be cycling it first, you'd start out with doing it every-single-day, and moving onto every-other-day. This is why I prefer bigger tanks. With bigger tanks, after it's cycled (emphasis: After-it-is-cycled) you could definiitely do once-a-week changes. I do that with my 5 gallon. All ammonia / nitrates are a-okay. I do weekly changes. Everything's a-okay.
The fluctuations would be less than .25*f. It took the heater all night to raise the temp by about 5* so its really slow. Think about it real heaters for tanks cycle on and off every few hours normally.

I am seriouly considering though getting a 2.5 gal tank. The easiest time to switch sizes is now before I have even started. The small heater I have though would have been a wasted purchase. maybe they will take it back if I package it up nice. Everything Else I have purchased (except the tank itself can be used in the larger one...

Hows a 25 watt heater in a 2.5 gal tank? too much? maybe my 7.5 watt will work well in the 2.5 gal tank.

I don't now I'm on a budget, and I'm already $50 into this whole beta setup... I thought fish were cheap! It seems after the initial setup all you need is water treatment/food/filters.
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Old 03-04-2010, 12:57 AM   #6 
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Ahhh, the "I thought fish were cheap" statement. Fish are definitely not cheap, which is why they're more deserving to be equal to other animals in life, you know? Once you have fish, you realize what they really are. Call me pathetic, but hey, that's just me.

Definitely go for the bigger tank. Reach for 5galllon (Walmart sells a kit just for $30. That's a serious bargain right there). Or, go secondhand. Secondhand 5 gallon's are probably, $10? And a 25watt heater would probably work well in a 5 gallon (But I'm not good with watts, so wait on that).

If you can't, then 2.5 should really really really be the minimum. Not sure on the heater, again, I just buy whatever is suitable according to the box, lol...

And I know the heaters in fish tanks go on and off, I just thought yours would go off at a certain time, not at a certain heat. Just thought it would keep heating, then turn off, then repeat vs. Keep heating until desired temperature, stop heating, as soon as it hits below start heating again. But, I don't use timers either, lol.
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Old 03-04-2010, 02:10 PM   #7 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xxabc View Post
Ahhh, the "I thought fish were cheap" statement. Fish are definitely not cheap, which is why they're more deserving to be equal to other animals in life, you know? Once you have fish, you realize what they really are. Call me pathetic, but hey, that's just me.
Ha ha ha! Animal rights set aside they are so addictive! Doubleattheman... 1 year and 2 months ago now I bought myself a betta and a 1g bowl for $30 (for everything). Now I have probably spent close to $1000! MTS is real.
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Old 03-04-2010, 06:40 PM   #8 
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For me, MTS is scary. Lol!
They are addictive!! Once I find the space, I'm gonna buy myself a looong aquarium stand ... and staack it full of 5 and 10 gallons. Whoo! But only in my dreams, haha.
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Old 03-05-2010, 03:11 AM   #9 
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Well I went out and got a bigger tank, I guess the 8 month old tank is my backup tank now.

Its a 2gallon I couldn't find any 2.5 gallon tanks.

It was 24.99. I really like that the air pump hides in a compartment under the tank!

Also I got the new heater, 13.96 for 2-15 gallon tanks. But it's only heating to 76* not the wanted 78* Its the walmart kind that is said to be preset to 78* its off a tiny bit not the end of the world I guess.

Returned the 7.5 watt heater.

I'm sure my soon to be Betta will be happy :)







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Old 03-05-2010, 01:26 PM   #10 
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Careful with the plastic plants, though, in a space like that he'll be brushing up against it often, and don't be surprised if his tail gets snatched on it and ripped! That's why always go for the *silk plants* with bettas.
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