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Old 06-21-2010, 10:20 PM   #1 
mjbn
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New to betta fish. help?

I got a betta fish today, and i'm using my sisters old betta tank from petsmart. http://www.petsmart.com/product/inde...ductId=2753229 <<tank


How many times do i feed, clean water(how much % also?), and all that? and do i need a filter&heater?

Also I'm thinking about replacing that tank with this nicer one.
http://www.petsmart.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2752291 the 1 gallon tank. what do you think?
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Old 06-21-2010, 10:29 PM   #2 
Adastra
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Sadly, neither of those tanks are a good container for your betta. In a container that small, you will need to change the water at least every other day because fish constantly release ammonia through their gills. This ammonia is kind of like pee--I don't know if you can imagine the horror of constantly having to swim in, breath in, and drink in urine all at once. Doesn't sound nice, does it?

The best solution I can give you is to go to Wal Mart or Target and get one of the 2 or 4 gallon Rubbermaid or Sterilite plastic storage bins. They are only about $2-$4, so if you don't have money for a real fish tank, this is the way to go. These are perfectly safe for fish--just rinse it out and fill with dechlorinated water. REMEMBER THE LID--bettas are jumpers. You will need to buy an adjustable heater for your fish--this is not optional. Bettas are tropical fish and need temperatures of 78-83 degrees to be comfortable, healthy and active. The cheapo heater pad things and other non-adjustable heaters are not good enough, they are a rip-off. You want a 25 Watt adjustable heater--like this one: http://www.fosterandsmithaquatics.co...8&pcatid=11368
They are much cheaper online than they are in pet stores, sadly. You should expect to pay around $25 for that same heater in a pet store.

You will need to change the water on a 2 gallon every 3-4 days, and the 4 gallon would probably go for about 5-6 days.

You will need to change 100% of the water. That is the only way to remove 100% of the ammonia and keep your fish safe. They alternative to this is to get a larger aquarium with a filter and cycle it. Cycling is the process by which the aquarium is colonized by special bacteria that break down the poisonous ammonia into nitrite, and then more bacteria break down the poisonous nitrite into nitrate, which is much much less dangerous and is only poisonous to fish in large amounts. That means that if the tank is cycled, you only need to change about 30% of the water once a week rather than all of it multiple times a week. Save your money for a big tank, at least 3 gallons, and keep your fish in the rubbermaid bin with a heater until you can afford a real tank.

Please research the Nitrogen Cycle and how to cycle a tank using the fishless method. You will inevitably need one of these: http://www.fosterandsmithaquatics.co...54&pcatid=4454
I suggest you get one sooner rather than later, this will let you know when you need to change your water with a simple test. Remember, the only acceptable readings for ammonia and nitrite are 0.

And as far as feeding the betta goes, I suggest getting a high quality betta pellet like OmegaOne betta buffet pellets, Atison's betta pellets, Ken's Betta Crumbles, or New Life Spectrum. These are all good brands. If you cannot find these particular ones, look in the ingredients--meat should be the first ingredient, preferably "whole" meat, like whole salmon, whole krill, whole fish meal--stuff like that. If you see "wheat" or "flour" anything before the meat--put it back, it's garbage. If you see MSG or copper sulfate in it, it's also garbage--put it back. I usually feed my fish 3 pre-soaked pellets a day--soaking them in tank water helps prevent bloating. 2 pellets twice a day is also a good idea if you have time for that.

Avoid freeze-dried foods, they are not good nutritionally, and they cause some of the worst constipation in fish I have ever seen. They're terrible. Frozen foods like hikari's spirulina brine shrimp and blood worms are a good treat, I usually use frozen foods twice a week. It's good to vary the diet with different pellets and frozen foods because no single pellet formula can provide your fish with complete nutrition.

In this hobby you learn very quickly that any product with a big picture of a betta on it is only intended to catch your eye and trick you into thinking it's a good product for a betta. It isn't. Don't be fooled and don't let the pet store people make you think that bettas come from tiny mud puddles and can live at room temperature or any of that other nonsense.

Last edited by Adastra; 06-21-2010 at 10:43 PM.
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Old 06-21-2010, 11:19 PM   #3 
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Thank you, well i found a pretty decent sized see-through vase(1.5-2 gallons) and it'll do for now. I'd really like to get a filter. Is there a difference between a filter and an air pump? what do they do? i know the filter cleans the water, but what about the air pump? and for the heater, what is the best affordable heater? lets say not above $30.?

I'm looking at these heaters rightnow.. Please let me know what you best recommend
http://www.petco.com/product/13811/M...0Heaters-13811

The 50 watt. http://www.petsmart.com/product/inde...ductId=2753018

Or is anyone can recommend a heater good heater below $30.?



Says taht that heater has a temp. dial so would that be good?

Last edited by mjbn; 06-21-2010 at 11:34 PM.
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Old 06-21-2010, 11:39 PM   #4 
Adastra
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Yes, stealths are very good heaters. :)

The main purpose of a filter is to circulate the water over "biological" and/or "chemical" filter media. Biological media is porous material like filter floss or ceramic rings or the bio-wheels that have recently become popular that are colonized by beneficial bacteria that I explained in my earlier post. Chemical filter media is carbon or zeolite that absorbs the toxins in the water, this must be changed every couple of months depending on the quality because it loses its effectiveness with time. People usually use it in conjunction with bio media, but it is optional. Many filter cartridges come with filter floss with carbon beds beneath it, hoping that you will buy new cartridges every month for the sake of new carbon--however, it is best just to cut a slit in the floss, pour out the old carbon, and replace it with new, higher quality carbon. You do not want to throw away the floss until it starts to actually fall apart--this is where most of your bacteria live--don't throw it out!

An air pump forces air through an airline tube and is usually dispersed by an air stone (a porous piece of ceramic, usually), creating a stream of bubbles. This helps to oxygenate the water. Bettas don't really need air stones because they have a labyrinth organ that allows them to breathe air from the surface of the water and don't tend to like a lot of current. It is good to keep an air stone in your hospital container in case your betta becomes sick and is too weak to get to the surface. Many antibiotic medicines also remove oxygen from the water, so it is good to have an air pump in case your betta becomes ill.

Last edited by Adastra; 06-21-2010 at 11:41 PM.
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Old 06-22-2010, 12:03 AM   #5 
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Is the air pump with air stone alone good enough? and do you know if the Tetra whisper in-tank filter is good? and what other heater would you recommend? I'm really low on money so i'm looking for bargains. hah theres a "hydor theo heater 50 watt $24.99" is that a good one? http://www.petsmart.com/product/inde...ductId=2753018
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Old 06-22-2010, 12:20 AM   #6 
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If you're really looking for bargains, I suggest shopping online at foster and smith aquatics rather than going to a pet store. The 25 Watt hydor theo I linked to you earlier was only $15 or so--can't beat that. Foster and smith also sell small aquariums--the marineland eclipse aquariums come with a power filter and a good fluorescent light and are acrylic, so they're lighter and stronger than glass. Foster and smith also offer $9 flat rate shipping, so no matter how much stuff you get you only pay $9 to have it sent to you, even if your order takes up 5 big boxes (like mine sometimes do, lol). By just getting the heater and the tank online rather than in the store, you'd save about $25, which easily makes up for the shipping cost. If you bought more water conditioner, testing equipment, thermometers, gravel, etc you'd save more on each item.

I also highly suggest watching craigslist--there are often lots of betta tanks for sale. Just make sure you hold out for a good sized one 3-5 gallons at least, and make sure it comes with a filter and a lighted hood that has a fluorescent bulb--all that kinda stuff. :)

Those in-tank filters usually aren't very good for bettas, they create a lot of current and don't have much space for bacteria to colonize. You're better off getting a small power filter or canister filter.
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