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Old 04-01-2010, 09:21 PM   #1 
betta1485
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Exclamation Betta novice

Hi everyone!

Today I randomly bought a betta fish for $10 at my college campus and I have no idea how to take care of it. It came with some food and a really small jar (12 fl oz.) and a piece of small paper with a link to a website http://www.davessodaandpetcity.com/pdf/care-betta.pdf that has basic facts about betta fish. This weekend I am definitely buying a bigger tank but I live in a dorm so it can't be too big. I need to get a tank soon because its trying to jump out of the jar

Can you guys fill me in on how to take care of my betta fish and other things I need?
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Old 04-01-2010, 09:28 PM   #2 
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I just noticed the Betta care sticky. I'm going to read it but I still would appreciate any advice, tips or suggestions can make my betta happy
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Old 04-01-2010, 09:46 PM   #3 
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This FAQ has some nice information on general betta care and will probably answer most of your questions if you haven't read it already: http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=20058

EDIT - I see you've stumbled upon this yourself. ^

But in short: The general consensus on this forum is that bettas should be kept in a minimum of 2 gallons of water, though anything 5 gallons and over would be best. A filter isn't a requirement unless you plan on cycling your tank, but a heater is to keep your temperature consistent. As well, you'll need some sort of water conditioner to make your tap water - or whatever source you use - safe for your fish; I use Tetra Aqua Bettasafe. Here's a thread I dug up (that doesn't seem to get the attention it deserves) which covers all the necessities to keep your tank inhabitable: http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=39100

Other than that, you'll just need some food, and some aquarium salt to keep on hand. As far as food goes, I think pellets and bloodworms are preferred over flakes and should be fed to your fish once or twice a day - how much varies. The salt is just for treating any problems you may come across though can be added to your water regardless. I don't know if you'll need a water test kit for a small, uncycled tank, but I'm sure someone else will have an opinion.

By the way, welcome to the forum and good luck with your new fish! Feel free to share pictures.

Last edited by Kittles; 04-01-2010 at 09:51 PM.
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Old 04-01-2010, 10:23 PM   #4 
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Thanks. I may get the tank tomorrow because its really trying to get out of the jar. I have lid that is covering half of the jar because it can actually reach the top. So i threw out some of the water but now its only in 10 fl oz. of water. This is really bad.
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Old 04-01-2010, 10:27 PM   #5 
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If I get a 2.5 or 5 gallon tank, should I get a filter? Also, what voltage should the heater be for my tank if its 2.5-5 gallons?
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Old 04-01-2010, 11:56 PM   #6 
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You shouldn't need a filter unless you're cycling it - but I don't think that's appropriate for a tank of that size (2.5 gallons). You'll have to do complete water changes at least once a week, filtered or not.

As for the heater, I'm not sure what voltage exactly, but I do know that you can get either the Hydor Mini Heater at most, if not all, pet stores, or a Tetra heater that I believe is most often sold at Walmart. Both provide adequate heating in smaller tanks and should keep the temperature at ~78 degrees.

Other things you might be interested in are some plants or other tank decor as bettas do enjoy places to hide. I wouldn't advise live plants, though, because with the frequent water changes and constant uprooting the plants wouldn't do well. You can, however, buy silk plants as long as the colors don't bleed, and they don't contain any wires or fragrances.
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Old 04-03-2010, 01:41 AM   #7 
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I ended up buying a 5 gallon that came with a filter, water conditioner, a liquid that removes nitrates and ammonia, a fish net, a hood that has a incandescent light bulb, food and a thermometer-all for $30. I got a 15% discount on the gravel too. The only thing is that I didn't cycle the tank. The container that my betta was in was so small (10 fl oz.) and he was in there for almost 2 days so he really needed more space....I bought a mini heater (the kind that you put on side of the tank) but it does not fit in my tank so I think I'm going to invest on a better heater, preferably one that has a thermostat. The one at my local petstore cost $20. Do you guys know of a good thermostat that I can order online that is cheaper than $20?
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Old 04-03-2010, 01:52 AM   #8 
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My tank also needs some fake plants and some decorations. I really don't feel like buying them from the petstore because it seems so expensive. Are there less expensive alternatives?
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Old 04-03-2010, 03:17 AM   #9 
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Walmart tends to have cheap decorations and plants if you can get to a Walmart.
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Old 04-03-2010, 07:07 AM   #10 
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Do yourself a favor and get a submersible adjustable heater. I use a 50watt in my 5 gallon from Petco. I live in the Northeast so those heaters that come "preset" to 78 degrees didn't cut it in the winter.

Read up on the Nitrogen cycle and be very patient. I have tanks that took months to cycle but once you're there, it's just weekly maintenance after that.

Good luck with your new guy and welcome to the forum.
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