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Old 05-11-2010, 04:56 PM   #1 
Sarada
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New owner

My 3 year old wanted a fish but I have 3 kids under 3 so I wanted something easy. I thought a betta would be perfect, maybe I should have researched first? I bought a starter kit but now since joining here realize his 'starter tank' is probably too small? It's bigger then the 'cup' the store had him in...
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Old 05-11-2010, 05:04 PM   #2 
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Depends - How big is it exactly? One shouldn't compare their own tank to the petstore-cup as the cups aren't ever permanent to begin with.

The smaller the "tank", the more water changes you will have to do. Betta keeping CAN be easy, but at the start it takes some work to make it easy in the long run.

The reason you need to do more water changes in a smaller tank is because of the buildup of ammonia. Ammonia comes from rotting fish food, and fish poop/urine. As you can imagine, a small tank will easily fill up with ammonia rather than a large tank (given the fish are the same). Oh, and ammonia is VERY toxic to fish in high levels. It can negatively effect them in the long run, or kill them (which is very common when fish keepers stick a bunch of fish together and the ammonia levels SPIKE UP because of all the fish at one time). Ammonia is never good for the fish.

In order to KEEP those levels down, you "cycle" the tank (this is not a filter. Technically it's the Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle). It's not easy to learn at first, but with time it gets very simple. Here's a starting place:
http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...tocking-38626/

Ask any questions you need to, don't be shy. :)
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Old 05-11-2010, 05:16 PM   #3 
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Thank you for your reply...the bonus of a 'tank' this small is I could easily change water daily :P

I will find a camera and take a picture...I have no idea what a gallon is but I bet it's smaller.
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Old 05-11-2010, 05:18 PM   #4 
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Ah....the box says 0.5 gallons
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Old 05-11-2010, 05:48 PM   #5 
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So much for a 'cheap' pet for my son...but Bob the Betta looks so happy in his tiny little 'tank'.
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Old 05-11-2010, 06:00 PM   #6 
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I think he has started to attack his reflection...
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Old 05-11-2010, 06:03 PM   #7 
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Your fish will do fine in a .5 gallon tank as long as you're able to adequately heat it and keep the water clean by doing daily water changes.
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Old 05-11-2010, 06:17 PM   #8 
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Ok...researching heaters.
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Old 05-11-2010, 06:19 PM   #9 
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Half a gallon is quite small... they say that the minimum for a betta should be 2.5 gallons. As for the attacking the reflection- they are fighting fish. He though that it was another fish and so it was instinct to try and kill it.

Good luck with the new fish! :)
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Old 05-11-2010, 06:31 PM   #10 
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You will find the most difficulty in heating it. Another user here says he uses heat pads to heat tanks that small, but they are not suggested for a new fish owner.

I actually find larger aquariums much easier to clean that smaller tanks ... it just turns out that way for me.

Just a bonus: When changing water, if you're not doing 100% water change then no need to take out your fish. For you, you may need to change the water pretty darn often. 0.5 is manageable, but not easy to filter or heat. Optimal temperatures are 77-80F and is not able to be compromised.

If you decide to upgrade, just tell us. For me, in my opinion, it's easier to start out a new fish owner with a LARGER tank. That way mistakes are fixed much more easily than in smaller tanks (although I am not at all suggesting you spend money you don't have).
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