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Old 07-08-2010, 01:41 AM   #1 
meganrae
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Unhappy I have no idea if all this is right...

Alright, I just got my first betta fish, and I am completely enamored with him. He is beautiful, and has such a cute little personality. I've been on the forum for hours the past few days, and I've learned a lot...But I do have some questions.

First I'll give you guys a breakdown of my tank set up. It's a ten gallon, non-filtered, with a heater and a thermometer to monitor. It has gravel on the bottom and four decorations: a long stemmed floaty plant, a small pagoda hut thing for shade, a bonsai and rock display, and a bamboo and rock display. It has a slightly Eastern feel so my boyfriend named him Emperor Wong (or The Emperor for short) :D. I can post pictures if needed.

I got him some betta pellets that he doesn't seem to be eating. I'll put in some freeze-dried blood worms, and he swallows those up. I just read though that I need to soak them before hand (which I haven't done for the past two mornings...will that hurt him?) and that he needs a variety in his diet. How do I get him to eat the Wardley betta food? Or is there any other variety of food that I can get for him that he would like?

I'm also worried about his excitement level, and I don't want him to become bored. So I got a 14" long airstone that I plugged into this http://www.petco.com/product/109838/...FC_Air%20Pumps
I wasn't sure exactly how to turn down the airflow (if I could at all), and The Emperor did not like it at all. It had too much of a current, and on top of all that it tore up his top fin quite a bit :(. I feel awful! I took it out immediately, but now I'm too afraid to try it out again to turn down the airflow...Will he be alright? Should I just get a filter (which I hear produces bubbles that he can play with, the only thing is that I have no idea what a "cycled tank" is or even how to get one)? Should I put the airstone back in but turn it down a whole lot, or is there a different air pump that would work better?

Are there any other fun things that he can do? Mirrors? Float-y log things?

I love him so much already that I would hate for him to become bored in his tank...

How often should I change out his tank water, and what percentage should I do? When should I have his light on, and how long should it be on for?

He hasn't started to make a bubble nest yet...should I be worried?

Any other tips would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 07-08-2010, 02:43 AM   #2 
wallywestisthebest333
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Hello and welcome to the forum! =] It looks like you have a beautiful boy there! =D

Yes pictures would be very much appreciated! =] I advise taking the bamboo out of there unless only the roots are in there as it will only rot. =/

Bettas wont eat for a while when you first get them. If you quit feeding him bloodworms or slowly ween him off of them he'll start eating the pellets once he realizes that that will be his main food source. =]

Yeah bettas don't normally like airpumps.

You need a filter if your tank is that big. also it's needed to create a cycle.
I have no idea which filter to suggest though as I've just made modifications to mine where I'm happy with it now. =] So I kinda stopped looking for new ones. XD I personally have an aquatech 5-15 HOB (hang over back) filter for my 5 gallon tank I got from walmart as a kit. =]

Cycling your tank means to establish a large colony of good/beneficial bacteria that eat the ammonia that your fish produces when it produces waste/that food produces as it decays and turns it into nitrite and then nitrate.

It's very important that you cycle your 10 gallon because if not you'll have to do weekly 100% water changes where you empty your tank out completely and rinse/scrub everything. =/ Not fun.

here's a link with more info on cycling: http://www.fishlore.com/NitrogenCycle.htm
also I'll be starting a thread concerning cycling and starting my own cycle tonight.

Everyone here recommends fishless cycling, where your fish isn't in the tank you're cycling.

I'd help with the airstone and airpump thing but I have no idea what to do as I can't get mine to turn down either. =/

You should keep it though because it'll be useful when you cycle! =] That's actually why I got mine! XD

While you cycle your 10 gallon you should keep your betta in a 1-3 gallon jar so that it'll be easy for you to make daily - every other daily 100% water changes. =]

You can find 2 gallon herritage hill jars by Mainstays at Walmart for about $10. =] that's what I'm keeping Genie in. I just don't use the lid. =]

Good luck with your fish! =]

Also if someone like 1fish2fish, dramaqueen, or OldFishLady tells you something that doesn't match with my info LISTEN TO THEM. I'm a noob who's only had my bettas for a month (although I was researching long before that) while they're all experienced keepers! =] Always take their advice over mine! =]
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Old 07-08-2010, 05:13 AM   #3 
FloridaBettas239
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LoL it's so funny my bettas don't like pellets mabey it's because I give them live food all the time. Anyway there is other food like frozen foods that are awesome and you can get tropical flakes for when your on the go. But mine are like yours I put pellets it there and he just looks at it or spits it out.

As for the air pump there is a valve you can buy that goes in the air line and can adjust it down to one bubble a minute or full blast, and with that valve most of them have a place to hook up 2 lines or 5 depends on which one you buy atleast get one with 2 outlets and get a sponge filter you can adjust both so the flow isn't a bad and you would still have a filter. Or you can go buy a filter for 20 dollars or get a sponge filter for 8 dollars and hook it to the air pump you already have. I have ran a 55 gallon off a sponge filter and never had a problem the sponge filter catch more than regular filters just never rinse a sponge filter under sink water always wash it in aquarium when your doing a water change put some of the aquarium in a bowl and wash it out.

As for play toys my favorite on is this little bobber that floats like one for a fishing pole anyway it has a mirror attached to it the size of a golf ball so when he wants to he swims up to it sees his self and has fun but he don't see his self like if someone put a big mirror up or left one up for to long he only sees it every now and again.

As for changing the water I would do weekly changes of 25% as long as the air stone is going if it's not then I would do more% everyweek.

And for the bubble nest he isn't going to make one unless there is a male or female that he can see and you need something floating on the surface but I wouldn't have him do it for no reason.
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Old 07-08-2010, 11:30 AM   #4 
dramaqueen
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Hello and welcome to the forum.
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Old 07-08-2010, 11:47 AM   #5 
Oldfishlady
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In a 10g non-filtered, you will not get a true cycle due in part that the bacteria need a steady supply of oxygenated water to colonize, but not a problem, however, a small sponge filter would work great and then you could cycle the tank and that will make life much easier for both you and the Betta.

Water changes in a un-filtered 10g-I would do twice weekly 50% and one of the twice weekly water changes include substrate cleaning and once a month make 100%-10g with one fish gives you a bit more wiggle room even without cycling.
With a filter and cycled you would only need to make one weekly 50% water change

To help keep the interest up for the Betta, when you make the water changes-move things around and add something different to the tank, take one thing out and replace with something new.....best done when it is time for a substrate cleaning to keep the mess down.

Always remove any uneaten food after feeding and don't overfeed, use dechlorinator with any new water added if on city water supply, keep the water temp within a couple of degree from new and old water to prevent temp related problems.
Enjoy your wet-pet
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Old 07-08-2010, 11:55 AM   #6 
shinybetta
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Welcome to the forum.
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Old 07-08-2010, 12:18 PM   #7 
vaygirl
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For the air pump, you don't really need a valve. Just tie a knot in the tubing and tighten/loosen it until it's a flow your fishy likes. Whiskey has an airstone in his tank and I have it knotted down to many many tiny bubbles. He likes to swim through it. It doesn't even push him around.

Oh and welcome!
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Old 07-08-2010, 12:46 PM   #8 
Adastra
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This might be a repeat of what some of the others have said--but normally bettas don't like to have the air stone on full blast, especially if it is a large one. At times when I have to use them, usually when dealing with anitibiotics or fish with swim bladder problems, I use a gang valve--if you don't have one, you can simply tie the airline tubing into knots or crimp it, then fasten it with a binder clip.

Is the bamboo live? Many pet stores market non-aquatic plants as if they were aquatic, however these bog plants cannot live with their leaves submerged and will rot in your tank. Other live plants like java fern, anubias, java moss, and hornwort are easy to care for true aquatic plants that make great additions to a low-light tank. These will improve the water quality and provide your betta with more environmental enrichment.

Also be aware that if they are real rocks not intended for aquarium use, it may leech minerals into the tank, creating very hard water--so be very careful if you choose natural rock for your aquarium.

It's normal for bettas to be picky eaters when you bring them home--depending on the store, many get fed live or frozen foods before you buy them. Sometimes they've never seen a pellet before, and sometimes they're a bit bratty. Wardley betta pellets are not very high quality, and freeze dried foods are not very nutritious and are very difficult for bettas to digest. I would switch him over to a high quality pellet food, OmegaOne Betta Buffet Pellets, Atison's betta pellets, Ken's betta crumbles, and New Life Spectrum are all very good brands. Soaking the pellet in a little tank water will help release the "scent" of the food, and make it much easier to digest.

Personally, after my experience with freeze dried foods I'll never give them to another betta. One of my halfmoons became so constipated from them he didn't poop for a week. Frozen foods are much easier to digest and less nutrients are lost through the freezing process than the freeze-drying process. Frozen brine shrimp and daphnia are a great source of fiber and nutrients for your betta, I use these foods instead of blanched peas or a fasting period to keep my fish regular.

"Cycled tank" refers to the nitrogen cycle--the process by which your tank is colonized beneficial bacteria that consume the ammonia that fish constantly excrete through their gills (kind of like the fish version of urine). Ammonia is toxic, and can make your fish very ill--you do large (both 50% and 100%, cleaning out everything with hot water during 100% changes) water changes on an uncycled tank in order to keep this ammonia in check.

In a cycled tank, this ammonia is converted into nitrite, which is also poisonous, but there is another bacteria that converts this into nitrate, which is much less poisonous. You still must do some water changes in order to remove excessive nitrate, but much less than you would if it were ammonia or nitrite--I do 30% changes once a week on my cycled 10 gallon. Much less maintenance.

Whether you cycle the tank or not, you should purchase a liquid master test kit so that you can be sure that your water changing routine is taking care of all of the ammonia. When/if you do cycle, you will have to have this kit to help you do it. I am also an advocate of fishless cycling--though I prefer to keep my fish in plastic rubbermaid/sterilite storage bins as temporary housing--4 gallon ones are only about $3. Very economical.

It's a good idea to research the nitrogen cycle as well as different methods of cycling. If you want to buy more supplies--such as a filter, more dechlorinator, test kit, food, medication, plant supplements--whatever, I suggest shopping at this site: http://www.fosterandsmithaquatics.com they offer a great variety of supplies at much lower prices ($10-$20 lower) than any pet store I've seen--if you order just a couple of items you've saved enough to more than make up for shipping.

Last edited by Adastra; 07-08-2010 at 12:50 PM.
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Old 07-08-2010, 12:58 PM   #9 
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I no it's confusing being told so many different things. I dont tell you what I do and I dont tell you my opinion I tell you what the pro's say the people that make the products we pay so much for the one's that get paid the big buck's. anyway

Here at tetra care we believe strongly in healthy and clean aquatic system's. Your aquarium life is just important to us as it is to you. Are experts are here to help you in anyway, From setting up your first tank to mantaining your aquarium and aquatic life. Are help line and aquatic expert chat service offers tip's and soultions to any problem.

They key to maintaining the perfect aquarium is regular maintenance.
So by this time your aquarium should be cycled and doing fine. This schedule is for a cycled aquarium that is not being treated for any diseases.

Now that you aquarium is doing good it's time to keep it that way. The experts at tetra care recommend 20% water change's weekly. Each month everything but the gravel need to come out and be cleaned with just water. No kind of soap at all is ok to clean aquatic's with. If the aquarium is big enough it's recommend to have some bottom feeder's to make your job easier.

There is a such thing of changing to much water to often which can make for weak bacteria. When this happens a tank can start cycling all over again or a half cycle. It is never recommend to do 100% water change's. The only time big water changes are done is when treatment's are being done. You do not want your aquarium water so clean you can drink from it. There's a whole system going on in your aquarium not just clean water..
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Old 07-08-2010, 01:29 PM   #10 
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The poster doesn't have a filtered tank, and therefor it isn't cycled yet. This is a possibility when/if he or she decides to cycle though. :)

You can really only have one or the other, as that post states. If you try to cycle and keep doing too 100% water changes, you run the risk of undoing all your work. But up until the point that you commit to cycling, you have to do large water changes.

However I do disagree with the bottom feeders comment. Many people forget that bottom feeders poop too. So whatever they "clean" just ends up as poop in the tank--I get bottom feeders for suitable tanks because I like to watch them, but I don't entertain the idea that they're "cleaning" my tank, lol. They're just turning algae and uneaten food into ammonia and poop. If any of you have ever had a pleco, you'd know that they are the poop kings of the fish world--it gets everywhere!
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