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Old 02-02-2010, 02:15 PM   #1 
Jessafall
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Soon to be betta owner has some Questions???

I have recently become facinated with betta's and found a 5 gallon tank on craigslist that is coming with hood w/light, air pump, filter, heater all for $10. what a steal!!! i'll also be buying, a live plant, couple of fake plants, pebbles for bottom, fish food, the worm things, couple hidey spots, light, suction vacuum thing, temp gauge, a ph kit, conditioner. anything else that I need????

anywho, since i have never have owned fish, only have owned land hermit crabs besides the family cats and dog. I am clueless on how to make sure the water is right before i put the betta in. i read you have to let the water sit to get rid of the amonia, is that true? what kind of live plants are safe for betta's besides that betta bulb u see in petco?? what brands of food does your betta like? i'm sure I'll have more questions later. I like to research before getting anything, i researched hermit crabs for 2 months before i actually got them. well that's all for now. now off to an interview!!!
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Old 02-02-2010, 02:22 PM   #2 
Betta Fish Bob
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It is so nice to see someone that wants to start out the right way, rather than just divibng in.

Here is a great Sticky Post by one of the board's moderators ...

http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=20058

That really covers it all.

Good luck!
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Old 02-02-2010, 03:34 PM   #3 
MollyJean
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And add a heater to your list of provisions. :)
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Old 02-02-2010, 03:51 PM   #4 
sunkissedinCA
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welcome!

that's definitely a steal, wow. that tank basically has everything you need, you just need to make sure you get some water conditioner. water conditioner clears the water of all the harmful substances that are in it. some that i recommend are Jungle Laboratories Start Right Water Conditioner, and Top Fin Tap Water Dechlorinator which is my personal favorite

as far as food goes, Hikari Betta Bio-Gold is a favorite among many members of this board. i also use Tetra Freeze Dried Blood Worms as a treat once a week.

good luck and if you have any other questions feel free to ask!
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Old 02-02-2010, 04:22 PM   #5 
louu
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You will also have to cycle your tank, i dont think that is includedin betta fish bob's link but i could be wrong( didnt see it there). If it isnt i can find you a link or you can search 'cycling tank' with the search facility of this site I found a good one not the other day as im cycling my first tank as we speak i could try and find it if you need :)
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Old 02-02-2010, 04:25 PM   #6 
kelly528
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Good to see someone saving themselves so much trouble! Jumping into fishkeeping without researching is nothing but bad news, wasted money & dead fish.

I will warn you beforehand never to take the advice of LFS (local fish store) employees. They rarely know what they are talking about and I have seen a lot of well-meaning people come to this board having wasted lots of money on merchandise that is unsuitable for bettas or useless.

You may have heard that letting water 'age' eliminates chlorine. Until recently fishkeepers were not aware that aging does nothing to eliminate chloramines, heavy metals and other compounds that are a part of the growing list of crap cities are adding to their water. So even with aging your water you would still have to add water conditioner. Since water conditioner eleminates everything, you might as well do away with aging and just use conditioned water from the tap. I recommend Seachem Prime. Prime will remove any ammonia in your tap water as well, and if you have a big ammonia spike you can add 5x the recommended dose to get things under control until you figure the problem out. Since 1 millilitre treats 10g you should only need a very small bottle.

Live plants... as a beginner you need to look for 2 qualities in your plants:
1) They are actually aquatic. Some pet stores sell terrestrial plants as aquatic plants. They can survive submerged for a few months before they die and rot in the tank. Huge ripoff.
2) They only require LOW light. If you buy a high-light loving plant it will pretty much wilt unless you have a special, high-wattage lighting fixture.

Some really great plants to start off with are java fern and any anubias, cryptocoryne or moss species. They are all quite low-maintenance and thrive in beginner tanks.

As far as diet goes I recommend you base the diet around 2 or three quality pellets such as Hikari Betta Bio-Gold, HBH Betta Bites or Atisons Betta Pro, then supplement with frozen or live foods such as bloodworms, brine shrimp, krill or tubifex (I only buy Hikari Bio-Pure Tubifex; tubifex worms are notorious for carrying internal parasites but Hikari sterilises their well).

I also strongly suggest you complete a fishless cycle before you put your betta in. This will colonise bacteria that eliminate the need for 100% water changes. Here is the jist of cycling:

Quote:
Rotting food and fish waste produces a toxin called ammonia. This is usually what kills fish when the tank isn't cleaned often enough. Given enough ammonia, bacteria called Nitrosomonas start living off it and starting a colony in the tank. They live on all the surfaces, primarily the filter because it contains the most surface area. They eat the ammonia and produce a less-harmful waste product called nitrIte.

When nitrIte builds up, it attracts another kind of bug called Nitrobacter bacteria. They do all the same stuff as Nitrosomonas, only with the nitrIte instead of ammonia. What comes out the other end is a chemical called nitrAte. It's only harmless in big amounts. You then vacuum the nitrAte out of the tank when you do the water change. It doesn't take alot of vacuuming to remove.

In an uncycled tank, you skip the bacteria by sucking all the ammonia up yourself. Since you are cleaning out all the ammonia before the bacteria get a chance to dig in, they never really colonise the tank. So you take care of all the ammonia yourself, which requires bigger water changes to eliminate.

AMMONIA >nitrosomonas bacteria> NITRITE >nitrobacter bacteria> NITRATE => Water Change


I hope that helped and welcome to the forum!

Last edited by kelly528; 02-02-2010 at 04:34 PM.
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Old 02-02-2010, 04:51 PM   #7 
Kattnipp
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WOW what a great thread. We are planning to get a Betta Fish in the summer for our daughter for her birthday. This site is such a great place to learn about all we need and will need to do before bringing home a new pet.

Annette
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Old 02-02-2010, 05:19 PM   #8 
kelly528
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Keep reading! There's nothing worse than figuring out that the bowl you just paid $20 for needs to be cleaned daily to keep ammonia down!

One of the thing I admired most about my parents is how they advocated researching each pet we got, no matter how big or small!!!
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Old 02-02-2010, 06:19 PM   #9 
Jessafall
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I owned land hermit crabs for 1.5 years, i had to adopt them all out but every time i went to petco or petsmart to get a new crabby the employees would tell me stuff about the crabs that was totally wrong! I always had to correct them and they never liked that. one girl was helping me get some new guys and she said "boy they are never active during the day" I chimed in and said "that's because they're nocturnal" she's like "oh, i had no clue." we went into this whole conversation and I told her what needs to be changed in the tank to make the crabs happier and helped her sort through and get the dead ones out. I just wish every petstore would hire people who have taken care of those types of pets in the store and not someone who knows nothing.
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Old 02-03-2010, 11:08 AM   #10 
kelly528
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There's a girl who frequents a few other betta forums who knows what she is talking about, but it reprimanded for giving good advice at Pets At Home!

The sad thing is that every fish is just a $ to a retailer and they base their whole business, including the education of their employees, around cutting a profit.

I like to put it this way: Considering most employees have poor or no education on what they are selling, you probably have a better chance of getting fishkeeping advice from a random person on the street!
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