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Old 04-18-2010, 04:45 PM   #1 
Jennyinurmouth
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Question bowls

Okay, there is a lot of controversy over bettas and the amount of space you put them in.
I thought I would be able to get my 10 and 5 gallon aquariums from my mom, but family problems prevent me from doing that. >.>
So I have to save up my money for a tank to divide and all; being in school in stuff it is hard.
I have two bettas at the moment, possibly will be adopting a third one from a friend.
Here is how they are living now.
I have four 1 gallon bowls, two of them they are living in, the other two bowls are ready to put them in at the end of the week when it is time to put them in clean water.
I just do partial water change Wed. then on the weekend I switch the bowls.
I figured this would be less stressful than having to go in a small container waiting until I get thier bowl clean.
I keep a plant in there with them at all times and gravel.
Is this a good setup for until I get a tank ready?
They are always in fresh water and they seem happy, blowing bubble nests and are active.
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Old 04-18-2010, 04:54 PM   #2 
Kittles
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That's a neat setup you've got - changing bowls instead of only the water. I'd say that as long as you're keeping the water clean (and heated - do you have a heater?) your bettas should do just fine, and seeing as you're doing a 50% water change between transitions, you're meeting the criteria. Depending on their feeding and what not, though, you may need to add another 50% water change to your schedule. I'm sure it doesn't take long for ammonia to build up in a one gallon.

Now where's Mister Sparkle, bless his heart. I'm sure he'd be more than happy to share some tips for small aquarium betta care.
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Old 04-18-2010, 04:59 PM   #3 
Jennyinurmouth
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that is why I need an aquarium. I looked for heaters at quite a few pet stores and everything. They have none for anything smaller than a 5 gallon. I have them, not in direct sunlight, but in the warmest area of my house, which keeps the water temp around 74 or 75.
I really need a heater >.< maybe I could order some online.
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Old 04-18-2010, 05:04 PM   #4 
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Do you have thermometers in the tanks? I know Mister Sparkle has mentioned something about using heating pads before, but I don't know the specifics. He needs to peep this thread out for sure.
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Old 04-19-2010, 04:30 AM   #5 
s3kshun62
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I have seen these heater pads at most chain pet stores. They have one that works for 2-5 gal bowls and tanks. It will raise the temp at least 3-5 degrees. I cant remember the name but it doesnt seem all that bad and it is relatively cheap. I know craigslist has a pretty good selection of aquarium tanks for little to nothing at all. Most even come with all the equipment and sometimes even fish. Try there.
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Old 04-19-2010, 10:30 AM   #6 
ScuitoAmi150
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Bowls are okay for a temp. home as long as temp. and everything stays the same.
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Old 04-19-2010, 12:02 PM   #7 
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Sorry for not being around over the weekend. We had a lot going on...kids' stuff, Sea World, etc.

Anyway, the 1 gallon bowls are perfectly suitable spaces for your bettas. As long as they can swim at least 5-6 body lengths in either direction, and are able to easily rise to the surface to gulp air, your bettas won't feel cramped. The two things to worry about are water quality and heat. It sounds like you are meeting the minimum requirements for water changes, and having a "standby-bowl" is actually the preferred method! Remember that doing additional water changes can improve conditions dramatically in nanoquariums, and a small, live plant will have a HUGE effect on oxygenation/filtration.

As to heat, that can be really tricky. In my experience, I have not yet found an aquarium heater that is truly appropriate for a 1gallon nanoquarium. I am going to try out the MarineLand 10-watt, and I'll let you know if I have success with that. But here's what I currently use:

1- sheet of plexiglass
1- ZooMed terrarium heat pad (for reptile enclosures) 6"x9" size

I have stuck the heat pad to the plexiglass, and I adjust the placement of the vertical piece of plexiglass (you can look around for various items that might work as a "stand" for the plexiglass) to meet the desired temps. The best placement can be anywhere from 1/2-in. to 4 inches from the bowl, depending on any number of factors including humidity, thickness of your bowl, etc. Letting the heat pad touch your bowl is most likely going to drive temps up way too high. It is important to have thermometers in/on the bowls (as far from the heat source as possible), and I shoot for 78-79 degree readings. Anything over 84 is going to be way too much, especially if that is the measurement on the "cold" side of the bowl! The 78-79 range gives you a good buffer to prevent overheating. I would experiment with the empty bowls until you find an adequate placement. Also, make sure that you heat the empty bowls, too...otherwise the temperature fluctuation when you transfer your fish can be very traumatic for them.

Finally, I'm going to throw in one more shameless endorsement for a small sponge filter. They are very inexpensive and will provide JUST ENOUGH water movement to circulate the temps without disturbing the still water of the bowl very much.
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Old 04-21-2010, 03:41 PM   #8 
Jennyinurmouth
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thanks :3
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Old 04-21-2010, 07:17 PM   #9 
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Many also use the Tetra 2-15 Heater (from Walmart) for smaller tanks. Not sure how well it is with a 1 gallon, but I'm pretty sure at least one person has mentioned using it...

The main problem / controversy is the water quality. I wouldn't argue with your method, it seems you're doing fine. Now, MY side, as I'm sure Mister Sparkles is aware of, is I prefer giving my bettas grand space and lots and lots of plants to swim around and with. But that's just me. But I see you're going that way...hehe... :)
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