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Old 07-06-2010, 04:04 AM   #1 
Chilli
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New Betta Owner Tank Question

Hello Everyone. I am proud owner of 3 Betta fish. 2 girls we think (Chilli & Lilli) and 1 boy (Sushi). We are having a hard time figuring out if Chilli is a boy or girl even though the fish store owner said she was a girl (she flares a lot at Sushi).

At first we had Sushi in a 1 gallon bowl and the two girls in another bowl. The girls were ok the first day but the second day Chilli nipped the heck out of Lilli so we ran to the store on the 3rd day and purchased a 6 gallon tank.

I have been researching for hours about our new pets (only have had Sushi for about a week too) and talking with about 4 different fish store owners in my area and decided on our current set up due to all of our friendly consultants.

We have our new 6 gallon tank split up into 3 with clear glass dividers. I have seen 10 gallon split 4 ways so we thought this would be sufficient and make them happier. Each have a different color gravel, each have some Java Fern and each have a relic to hide behind or swim through. The water has been treated and we have opted for no filter and doing a 30% change weekly as per the majority of the fish store owner's suggestions and no heater (we live in San Diego).

What do you think? They seem happy so far since we have doubled their space.
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Old 07-06-2010, 03:27 PM   #2 
dramaqueen
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Hello and welcome to the forum. Your tank sounds very nice. Could you post some pictures of it?
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Old 07-06-2010, 10:10 PM   #3 
Chilli
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Here are some pictures (not the best quality) of their new home. Maybe you can help me with figuring out if Chilli is a boy or girl:



This is their new home last night. Lilli is in the red section, Sushi is in the white section and Chilli is in the blue section.



This is the top view.



This was today.



This is Chilli in the front, boy or girl?



Chilli on top and Lilli on the bottom before the move.



Sushi before the move.


I am going to try and use a better camera and post some pics on the thread with all the aquariums.
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Old 07-06-2010, 10:24 PM   #4 
Adastra
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I can't see the pictures for some reason, but I am very happy that you changed to this setup. Unfortunately there are some problems with your plans.. bettas are tropical fish that need stable temperatures of 78-83 degrees to be comfortable, healthy and active.

Keeping them at room temperature can have both long-term and short term consequences that could seriously harm your bettas. Keeping them at lower temperatures weakens their immune systems, leaving them susceptible to parasites and bacteria. Being cold-blooded, it also slows down their digestion, causing bloating, constipation, and consequently, swim bladder problems.

You need an adjustable heater with a good thermostat.

Also, 30% water changes once a week are not sufficient for keeping an uncycled tank. Fish constantly excrete ammonia through their gills, kind of like urine. If this ammonia is allowed to build up, it can actually burn the fish. Constantly having to drink in, swim in, and breathe in pee all at once sure doesn't sound nice, does it? But there is an easy solution.

When an aquarium is filtered, it can undergo a process called the nitrogen cycle. This is the process by which the aquarium is colonized by beneficial bacteria that break down the poisonous ammonia into nitrite which is also poisonous, but that can be broken down by yet another kind of bacteria into a compound called nitrate. Nitrate is much less poisonous than ammonia or nitrite, and can remain in the aquarium within a certain range until it becomes poisonous.

If you got a filter, and cycled the tank, you could go along with your plan of 30% changes once a week. However, if you do not get a filter and choose to not cycle the tank, you will have no choice but to do at least two changes a week--one 50% change, and one 100% change. The reason is this, if the fish is constantly excreting poisonous ammonia and you do one 50% change one day, and another 50% change the next day, inevitably there's still ammonia left in the tank. The only way to get all of the ammonia out is to do a 100% water change. When you do a 100% change, it's important to take everything out of the tank and clean it with hot water to be sure that all of the toxins/waste/uneaten food has been removed.

If you get a good liquid master test kit, you may be able to work out a different water changing routine that will help keep up with your ammonia levels, however, unless you cycle the tank you will still be stuck doing 100% water changes. A good liquid master test kit is a must for anyone who keeps fish.

Also keep in mind that many fish store employees/proprietors shouldn't be trusted--they will say whatever they can to get you to buy things, and they won't necessarily be good for your fish. They're motivated by money, don't forget that. Many of them also go by "old school" fishing methods which have been debunked. It is very important to do your own research--I highly suggest researching the nitrogen cycle and if you're thinking of getting a filter and a heater later on, it's a good idea to look for product reviews before shopping.

I also suggest buying your products on http://www.fosterandsmithaquatics.com -- they offer flat rate shipping and prices that are marked down $10-$20 lower than any pet store.

Last edited by Adastra; 07-06-2010 at 10:30 PM.
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Old 07-06-2010, 10:37 PM   #5 
Chilli
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Here Are Some Pictures

Thanks Adastra. You would think they would try to sell me the heater and filter and all the bells and whistles if all they wanted was my money. 3 of the stores in which I didn't spend a dime. As far as the heater, in San Diego our average temp is in the 70 degrees and my room is always in the mid 70's during winter and summer. Do you think a heater is still needed?

I fixed the previous post.


Here are some pictures (not the best quality) of their new home. Maybe you can help me with figuring out if Chilli is a boy or girl:



This is their new home last night. Lilli is in the red section, Sushi is in the white section and Chilli is in the blue section.



This is the top view.



This was today.



This is Chilli in the front, boy or girl?



Chilli on top and Lilli on the bottom before the move.



Sushi before the move.


I am going to try and use a better camera and post some pics on the thread with all the aquariums.

Last edited by Chilli; 07-06-2010 at 10:42 PM.
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Old 07-06-2010, 10:58 PM   #6 
Adastra
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On fish forums like this one it is extremely common to hear the most ridiculous things imaginable from people who have taken the advice of pet store employees. I have been told that my betta would drown in a 10 gallon tank, and that I should get one of their half gallon bowls instead. Just saying that nothing beats a bit of research on your own part, and obviously since you're here, you're off to a good start. :)

I still think you need a heater--anything below 77 really isn't good for a betta. You may think that a few degrees doesn't make much of a difference, but when you're a 2" long cold blooded animal, it has an effect on the entire metabolism. Heaters with thermostats and an adjustable dial will also keep the temperature stable which is equally, if not more important.

Unfortunately it's rather difficult to tell the sex of your fish from these pictures, especially because of the fin nipping. Some females can be just as aggressive as males, many flare just as much, and a few even build bubblenests. You may want to look up some pictures of male plakats, and see if this fish has male plakat characteristics such as a semi-circle shaped dorsal fin and long ventral fins. First impression I have right now is that it's a female, probably veil tail.

Last edited by Adastra; 07-06-2010 at 11:02 PM.
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Old 07-09-2010, 10:48 PM   #7 
Chilli
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Talking Filter On, Levels Tested, Sushi & The Girls Happy

So after doing a lot more research I decided to get a filter. The filter is for a 5-10 gallon tank and is adjustable so I put it on the lowest level. Since the tank is split into 3 sections I propped the filter to go into 2 sections and used tubing to divert the filtered water into the 3rd section as well. This will only be temporary as I am having a company cut holes in plexiglass in order to get flow through the tank without all of the maneuvering. I will put the filter on one side with one of the girls and that should give Sushi a rest.

Tested the ph and all other levels with a master kit and all is well on that front.

Seems a little bit too strong for Sushi but I have noticed he likes to use the flow for fun and let it push him down and then he'll swim around and go right back to it and do it again. No bubble nest yet. The girls don't seem to have a problem with the power of the filter and Lilli plays in the flow just like Sushi. Still haven't fully figured out if Chilli is a boy or girl, leaning towards girl but haven't found the white dot on her belly yet. Check out the pictures and see if you can help me out with that! Thanks.

I do notice that Chilli & Lilli like to stay at the very top of the tank in a corner and just hang out there until I move around or walk in. Is this normal?

Besides Java Fern is there any other plant that they might love that wont take up a ton of their space?

P.S. My girlfriend thinks I am spending more time with the fish than with her. Trying to get her to spend more time to see how fun they are. Haha.

Last edited by Chilli; 07-09-2010 at 10:58 PM.
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Old 07-10-2010, 08:27 PM   #8 
Nutt007
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You can figure out the gender of a Betta by looking for a white egg spot near the lowest fin, (the anal fin). If there is one, then it is a girl. I am glad you moved them to a bigger tank. Those bowls were tiny!

P.S. Your tank is awesome!
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Old 07-10-2010, 08:40 PM   #9 
RandomFish
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Your tank is awesome! And Sushi is a lucky fella to be sandwiched between two lovely ladies. I love how their silhouettes look against that window, like they're floating on air. :)

I do think that a heater is necessary in order to keep the water temperature constant. I'm in So. Cal. and even in mid-summer it is 70 degrees at about 8 am. Not good for a betta.
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Old 07-20-2010, 01:32 PM   #10 
Welsh
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Are you sure thats a 6 gallon? I have been looking for a 10 gallon to divide but if thats how big a 6 gallon is im definately getting one lol Can I ask what the tank measurements are?

It looks awesome btw :)
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