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Old 06-27-2010, 04:58 AM   #1 
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Join Date: Jun 2010
Question New betta and aquarium. looking for help :D

Hello everyone. i would like to introduce myself, i am Alex "alx" my girl and i just got a new Betta his name is Zep ( fish in Spanish spelled backwards )
we have lots of questions because we are new new newbies and we want our Betta to be happy so this is going to be a long post. :D

here is the story/background

before we bought him i was online for 4 hours everyday looking for betta info for about a week. the best info i found was at:
4. yahoo answers, (
6. (

this is my first question..
are these proper/reputable links with correct information?
(except yahoo and YouTube.. since i know its hit or miss)

continuing with the story.....after doing some research we decided to buy zep....
We live in Miami ( warm weather) and bought him at a local pet supermarket store. that same day we also bought a marina aquarium starter kit zen 1/2 gallon, with the light.
from the store we also bought betta water, and hikari Betta bio gold food.
the people at the store told us to feed him 4 pellets every day...

after setting Zep up in his new placewe realized that the aquarium was definitely too small, ( it does look pretty so now we use it a night lamp bamboo aquarium... no fish)

is this called a planted aquarium?

given that we realized that it was too small we went on to look for a bigger aquarium... after reading lots of blogs and rants from people online about tank sizes i decided that we should get a 2.5 gallon tank.. ( we can't have something bigger right now... maybe sometime in the future once we know more about fish/tanks/plants)

so getting back to the story... over the next week we bought zep a 2.5 gal aquarium ( glass)
we got a lid and some rubber bumpers to space the lid a little and give some room for air.
we also got some black rocks... for the base.... dunno the name .. compound i think....
3 aquarium rocks
3 plants. (i think one of the them is called argentinian sword or blade.. something like that... not sure on the names of the others)

we also got 2 led lights, but i put tape on them becuase they were too intense that diffused them a little.
as of now they are dimmed down even more because i put vellum paper behind the aquarium and the lights a further back. ( i'll post a pic soon)
we also got a termometer
spring water
ph thingy to check for ph
and amonia thingy to check for amonia.
and conditioner to condition the water.

here are some pics of the setup as of now ( without the vellum paper)

Zep has been 1 week in the new tank. he seems happy becuase he blows bubble nest and swims with excitement....

we are changing his water every 7th day

is this too little?

sooo. now what i am noticing is that there is kind of like a clear greasy film
cover on the top of the water.. ( we don't have filtration or aereation)

i don't know if this is a bad thing or not (i can't find concrete info about this).

so here are my questions for where i am stumped right now.
is the greasy film cover on the top of the water a bad thing
( i break it up every day to allow for the oxigen and co2 mix that happens on the water surface)

if it is bad... should i get an air pump? or a filter? or both?

if i need to get one or the other or both... is there a way i can hide them so its not in direct sight?

are there any good ideas or brands to maintain good water quality for Zep and the plants.

thnk you for reading such a long post.. and i apologize for making it too long.
i just though that i would give you the run down of our first betta experience :P

Thanks again for any answers/comments/ suggestions.
we really do appreciate it.

All the best
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Old 06-27-2010, 06:09 AM   #2 
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Illinois
Welcome! You've got yourself a beautiful veiltail there!

You do not need to buy betta water. The water is just a gimmick for more money to the petstore. You can just use tap water and water conditioner and it will be safe for him.
The film will stay there unless you get the water moving with either a filter or airstone and airpump. It's up to you whether you want to get either of those or not. Red Sea Nano Filters have clear tubing and as long as you keep the intake tube clean, you can't see it that much plus it has an adjustable flow rate.
I'd do a 50% partial water change between the 100% change too.
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Old 06-27-2010, 09:55 AM   #3 
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Join Date: Jun 2010
thanks SaylorKennedy

hi Saylorkennedy,
thank you for the quick reply... and thanks for the pointer on the filter. i will take a look at it at the petsmart to see what i can do.

thank about the note on the water as well.... yeah.. it was wayyy too expensive.. so for this tank we decided to get publix spring water and we condition it.

i was wondering if maybe a solution for the surface movement could be to get small airpump, and a long thin plastic tube. put the pump on the floor and take the tube up to the and fold it down and submerge it like 1/2 inch on the water.

thnaks again. for you help

All the best
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Old 06-27-2010, 10:23 AM   #4 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: USA
Welcome to the wonderful world of Betta keeping....

Your 2.5g tank should be fine as long as you make the needed water changes of twice weekly one 50% and one 100%
The oily film on the top is most likely organic from either fish waste, rotting plants, left over fish food or the fish food itself, lotion, oils on your hands, oils in the air..etc... they usually are not harmful to the fish it just looks ugly.
You can rid it with water changes, removing any uneaten food, washing hand etc....using a filter will help break it up or a air stone.

Using bottles water can lack the needed minerals the fish needs
The only chemical additive you need IMO/E is a good dechlorinator if on city water supply or if you use bottled water.
You need a heater to keep the temp stable at 78-80F

Make sure your plants are true aquatic plants, if you can post a good pic of them or give a name we can tell you what they are, the one name you gave makes me think they are not aquatic plants and will rot and die underwater and foul your tank.

Look forward to hearing more about your Betta and set-up and love to see more pics....
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Old 06-27-2010, 11:48 AM   #5 
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Join Date: Jun 2010
thanks plant names

Hi fish lady
thanks for the reply
i did buy aquatic plants.
here are thir names: ( i found the tags)
- echinodorus tennellus
- umbrella plant (spathiphyllum wallisii)
- Argentine sword (echinodorus argentinesis)
weird names..... :P

as far as the oil...
i am not overfeeding him.. he eats what i gice him. but you brought up a point about a question i have.

one place told me to feed him 4 pebbles once a day
another told be 2 in the morning two at night
another told me 3 every other day

i am feeding him 2 in the morning and one at night.
is this ok?.. or too little?...

i am also fasting him one day of the week (sundays)
and will get him live brine shrimp on saturdays.

.. is that ok?.. is it too little for the fish and the tank size..

ps.. today he has been opening his mouth and closing it right away..
i checked ph and amonia they are fine.

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Old 06-27-2010, 04:51 PM   #6 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: USA
Spathiphyllum wallisii-this I think- is a peace lily and needs its leaves/stems above the water, roots only in the water and it should be fine, otherwise it will rot and die fouling the water.
Your Argentine sword may out grow the tank and the E. tennellus is a very good plant for the 2.5g

As far as feeding, a good varied died is best, I don't feed store bought food that much, I make my own...I have lots of fish and its cheaper and easier for me that way.....back to your feeding-on adult fish I only feed them once daily with one day a week fast and on growing fish and fry I feed frequent small feedings.
I would feed your fish twice a day, however, I don't know the size of the food or type so I can't recommend how much, there are lots of folks on this forum that can answer that question better than I can. But it sounds like you have a good feeding plan.

As I posted, the oil can be from many things not just over feeding or leaving uneaten food in the tank, some foods are more oily than others too and regardless if all is eaten and/or removed the oils will stay.
The oils most likely are organic and harmless on the most part, filtration and/or water movement can help keep the look of the oily substance on top of the water in the water column so you don't see it but it will still be there.
Rotting plant material is also a reason you can have this on the surface, tank in the kitchen or close by when thing I did forget to mention about removing the oil is using a paper towel and laying it over the top to absorb the oil.
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Old 06-27-2010, 07:21 PM   #7 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Central Texas
Hello alx and welcome to the forum.
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Old 06-28-2010, 04:41 PM   #8 
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OFL how do you make your own fish food.
And Alx your betta should be very happy in his tank. Also you should get a air pump and airstone because it will cause CO2 to enter the water for the plants
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Old 06-29-2010, 01:08 AM   #9 
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thanks for the replies

Hi Everyone.

thank you for the replies.
Zep seems to be very happy.
this last couple of days I've been monitoring his tank carefully and there seems to be a reduction in that oily buildup, there has also been an increase in the amount of bubbles on his bubble nest... guess that's a good sign

I will change his water tomorrow at 50% and then on Saturday will do a 100 % change..

i am also monitoring the plants to see how they are reacting.. as of now some leafs are dying. so i';ll be trimming them

i went to some stores looking for airpumps. and there are lots of options.
i found this oxygen rocks that will last about a month. but am not sure about them since the store guy said that they are good for the fish but bad for the plants. so i will done research before buying anything.

i did take a look at the filters but they look too cumbersome and i won't be able to use the lid on the tank and am afraid zep will jump out. so i might not get one. however thanks for the help and advice I am very grateful.

Thanks again everyone :D

i will post updates/ questions as they arise

All the best
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Old 06-29-2010, 04:28 AM   #10 
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Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Currently East Coast
Hi alx! =] Welcome to the forum! =]

So I have an idea about your filter and lid problem! =]
First though have you checked to make sure that your hood doesn't have any places on it where the plastic will pop out to make room for a filter? You probably already checked for that but sometimes we miss things like that. =P

Here's my idea if you don't have any pop-out sections of your hood:
Take a piece of chicken wire or metal mesh with really small holes and use it as your lid! That way you can cut out a space for your filter and you won't have to worry about your betta jumping out of his tank! =] Then all you'd have to do was use a decorative piece to weigh down the lid to keep it on your aquarium or just tape it down. =] It also makes feeding and oxygenation easier because you can plop the food anywhere in the tank and there's more opportunity for the surface to oxygenate.

That or I like your idea about the air pump and just running the tube in from the floor, over the back of the aquarium, and into the water to get a current to break up the surface oils! =]

Your betta is beautiful! Good luck with him! =]
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