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Old 04-18-2010, 05:08 PM   #1 
prettyfishy312
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Question Hopefully new betta owner... please help!

Greetings betta owners!

After the death of my four goldfish (that I've had for about a year) I am looking to start new with a betta. I have read and seen many things about them and was wondering about a few pointers about things such as what to put in my tank. I am also questioning whether a male or a female betta would be better (5 gallon tank). If I think of anything else to add to this thread I'll put it down... thanks!
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Old 04-18-2010, 05:14 PM   #2 
Romad
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Hi Prettyfishy,

Welcome to the forum and the betta addiction :) For a 5 gallon you can get a nice cave ornament (no sharp edges) and a nice leafy silk plant or two. This will provide a lot of hiding and sleeping spots for your betta.

I have one gorgeous male halfmoon in my 5 gallon. I would go with a male if you want one with gorgeous fins.

Do you know which type of filter and heater you'll be getting? I use a submersable 50w adjustable heater and an AquaClear 20 hang on filter.

Other than that, a great water conditioner (Seachem Prime works best IMO), a thermometer, and a water test kit so you can monitor the ammonia, nitrites, nitrates, and ph while your tank is cycling. If you haven't read up on the Nitrogen cycle yet, you should do that before you get started so you know how important it is to get the tank cycled so you don't have to continuously change the water.

Good luck and we'll all be here to help you along when you have more questions.
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Old 04-18-2010, 05:17 PM   #3 
Betta Slave
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Welcom to the forum!
It really depends- A male betta is definitely more colorful, and usually larger (well, mine are) than females, which are much harder to find. On the other hand, females can live together in groups (called sororities) of up to three or more. It depends what you like- smaller fish with not as much finnage, or larger fish with more finnage? It's up to you. (However, there are some types of male bettas that don't have as much finnage, for example- a Plakat betta.) If you decide to make a sorority, Don't get confused with plakat bettas! Males can sometimes look like females, and if you accidentalle put a "male" in your tank, he could rip up the fins of or even kill your females. 3 or more females in a five gallon with decorations etc might be overstocking a bit, so I would go with a male, unless you have a larger tank. Females can live on their own, too, and have just as much personality as males!

For inside the tank, to make your betta feel at home, buy a heater, thermometer, but a filter is your choice- most of them are too strong. I don't have them, and my bettas are fine with small water changes here and there and complete water changes once a week, but other people do have filters, and if you can find a weak enough one, that's fine. Buy real or silk plants- or plastic, as long as they aren't sharp, because they could rip up your betta's fins. Also buy a den or cave or two- bettas can be quite shy and need places to hide. Also, almond leaves (which you can order from breeders) put inside the tank can realy help them. They stimulate color, help spawning, and make them feel more at home. I have some, and I put them in each of my four betta's tanks, and they're much more active than when they didn't have them. Here, I copied this off the breeder's site that I order my fish and almon leaves from-Simulate black water condition which is the natural environment for the tropical fish. Enhance fertility of fishes. Contain humic acids and tannins which have anti-bacterial & anti-fungal properties. Contains chemical that will bind with ammonia in the water. Contains calcium needed to activate the muscles and to develop strong bones, teeth and scales. Enhances the natural color of the fish. Lowers the pH of the water and absorbs harmful chemicals. Adds essential trace elements to the water. Recommended for all fresh water fishes kept in small containers without filters, specially during transportation.
Also, as Dramaqueen says, get some water test kits.

Hope this helps!

Last edited by Betta Slave; 04-18-2010 at 05:26 PM.
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Old 04-18-2010, 05:20 PM   #4 
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Hehe, well there's SO many things you can do with a betta tank~ Getting a male or a female is completely up to you. I think that decision is best for you, since you should know what you want :) however, both are wonderful fits for a 5 gallon...just not together.

I don't really know what you mean by "putting in your tank." So I shall just ramble on...
Black gravel looks pretty. White is starting to get too bright, but is still fine with me.

Get lots of plants. Bettas love plants, and I do mean a lot! However you don't need to fill your tank IMMEDIATELY. Buying one or two (or three) a week should suffice and fill up quickly.

Get silk or live plants. Plastic have a reputation of ripping their (usually male's) tails. Check with a pantyhose if you want to be sure though. Drag the pantyhose slowly and carefully across the plant. Silk plants do not scratch bettas, however their hard bases (and sometimes stems) may do something.

Bettas are not fond of high currents. So if you want a filter (not necessary, but if you have it, why not) if must be adjustable, or you must be willing to buffer it manually (blocking it with sponge or water bottle, this is easily google-able).

Heaters are musts, unless your room temperature never drops below 78. Their ideal temperatures are 77-80F around.

Wow, I'm quite blankminded today. Can't believe that's all I must share.
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Old 04-18-2010, 06:35 PM   #5 
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Welcome PrettyFishy,

I just wanted to say that sometimes the fish will choose you :) I intended to get a male for the pretty long fins, but just couldn't put this teensy tiny girl down. I would look at others, but always returned to her. So she came home with me! Although the fins aren't as long, she's just as fun (heh...or more!) to watch--full of personality and even flares at things (today it is the measuring tape--we are in the process of moving).

As for what to put in tank--yes, heater, thermometer and lots of plants. something like a pot may be good too so the fish can hide. Good luck and have fun! :)
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Old 04-18-2010, 09:49 PM   #6 
dramaqueen
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Hello and welcome to the forum. I think everything's been covered.
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Old 04-18-2010, 10:16 PM   #7 
prettyfishy312
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Thank you so much for the help guys! :D I appreciate it...
I think that I now want a male betta (but if I can't help but notice a female I'll take her). I have done some extensive internet research, but hearing it from actual owners of bettas just helps so much more! but just another couple questions....

Should I get an aquarium background for my tank? I heard that bettas can get stressed out if too much light is coming into their tank at one time... and I have an Aquatech 5/15 filter (which i'll manually "plug" so it shouldn't be a problem).

And can I use tapwater to fill my tank (obviously it will be conditioned as to not harm the fish) or should I use purified/distilled water?
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Old 04-18-2010, 10:24 PM   #8 
xxabc
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I don't use a background, but many others do. That's also 100% opinion. If you do, make it match your gravel, haha... Darker backgrounds may make the betta see their reflection more often, but it should stop with time in case you are skeptical with dark backgrounds. Dark backgrounds + bright light, even more so.

Yes, use tap water. Unless you have too much ammonia (this can be tested with an ammonia liquid test kit. It is much easier to buy the API MAster Kit as mentioned above), then you will need another source. The tap water contains more nutrients and minerals. Purified, less so. Distilled is completely drained of it, and I shall never use it. If you see "betta water" at the store, ignore that as well. Just wasting your money.
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Old 04-18-2010, 11:39 PM   #9 
dramaqueen
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I second the API master test kit recommendation.
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Old 04-18-2010, 11:44 PM   #10 
anmgemini
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I have a question too. I'm a new owner. If I have a plant ( House ivy which my fish loves to hide in) do I need to clean out the water less often? I was told the plant filters the water.
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