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Old 07-11-2010, 05:59 AM   #1 
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Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: jersey city nj
Help me outfit my new 4 gallon biorb tank

Hello betta folks,

I had a betta fish for 2 years in college which I'd kept in a 2 gallon plain fish bowl. This was back in the days before the 3 ounces of liquids restrictions on airplanes so he actually flew between Boston and Seattle when I travelled, in a little thermos. Try doing that now!

I just got a new betta after many years, and he is currently in the old bowl. (His name is Horatio, and he's sort of blue tinted with gorgeous long tail fins)

Since I'm not in a small dorm room anymore and can actually get a real aquarium, I've bought him the baby biorb 4 gallon tank, and these plants:

biOrb Easy Plant - 2 Pack Small

I'd like to give him a little spot to hang out at the bottom- should I get more plants or a teensy fish bowl cave for him?

I'll also need to buy a heater for the tanks, although right now with the east coast massive heat wave the water is holding steady at 78 F just because my apartment is so warm. one tiny benefit of the heat wave!!

I'm looking at this heater- will it work with the small size biorb tank?

biOrb Tropical Heater Pack

What else should I be getting for the tank? Is a cleaning kit like this helpful?

biOrb Cleaner Pump

Any other recommendations for setting up the aquarium?

thank you for advice- I've read a bunch of the threads here, but I want to make sure that the heater, etc that I get will fit in the smaller size biorb!
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Old 07-11-2010, 10:00 AM   #2 
Lion Mom
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Hi & welcome to the forum! I don't know a THING about the Bio-Orb since I have never used one, but it looks A-OK to me. The heater & siphon look fine to use in there, IMO. If the plants are plastic like they appear in the picture, though, they are not the best for a betta as the plastic can rip their fins. Silk or, better yet, live would be the way to go. VERY easy live plants would be java moss, java fern & anubius - low light & low maintenance. :) You just attach them to a piece of driftwood or a rock with thread or fishing line - or, my personal favorite, a rubber band. They eventually attach themselves.

Hope that helps & good luck!!!
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Old 07-11-2010, 12:09 PM   #3 
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Hehe welcome to the hobby! I'm kind of new too! Bettas are addicting! It started off as just wanting to have a pet to take care of, and getting a small fish tank because of the little room we have. And $200 later, we have an awesome fish tank. And just today my husband rescued a tiny betta girl from Wal Mart.

I have some things to recommend to you, because I found out the hard way by not listening to what people were telling me.

Plastic plants will most surely kill your betta's fins. I didn't listen. I wanted cool glowy plants to match my super mega awesome black light tank. A week after having set up that tank, Ninja Dude got a huge hole in his fin. I thought it healed back, but now he currently has fin rot which breaks my heart. Silk plants that don't have sticky edges, or live plants are ideal. Live plants put lots of good things in the water and absorbs a lot of waste that fish make.

A good heater is one that you can adjust the temperature manually, which is what I saw you had picked out on Amazon. Nice find. For a tank that small 25 watts will be more than efficient. Some brands that I recommend that you might want to look into are: Eheim Jagger, Hydor Theo (which is what I use), and Marineland just to name a few.

Also, a word about the tank. I know it's a four gallon which is more than plenty for Mr. Betta, but I should say, I think he'd be a lot more comfortable and have a better life in a tank like this: Clicky.

It comes with a light, filter (which is better than the one in that tank you got), everything except gravel and food and decorations for only $30.

The tank I assume you bought your betta is this one? Tank.

The bad thing about that tank, even though it's beautiful, and it will suffice in keeping Mr. Betta, is that it's as tall as it is wide. Bettas like to swim the most <----> This way, and not as much up and down. I also learned this the hard way. I used to think it was cooler to keep my fish in a tank that looked super awesome. But as I got to love my little guy more, I realized that I should think more about what's best for him. And in the end, the tank I got (which is the one I showed you.) ended up looking prettier and he's been happier since he's been put in it.

He used to glass surf in my other tank quite frequently. Glass surfing is where they rapidly swim back and forth or up and down along the glass in your tank, which means they're bored.

You don't have to take my advise. But it might be easier to return that tank now while you haven't used it, and save about $30.

Also, even though you didn't mention it in your first post, the right betta food is also important. Someone on this forum told me, which I find really helpful and true, is that you should never feed your betta something that has "Fish Meal" as it's first ingredient. Bettas can be really picky with what they eat. I've found that Omega One Betta Buffet Pellets (they're currently out of stock but they usually restock fast and have very fast and inexpensive shipping) are what my betta loves the most. And unlike all other betta foods I've used and had to smell, this one actually smells like a seafood buffet. Like feeding your betta lobster! Betta foods I've picked up from pet stores and the like usually smell a little like rotting fish. Uck!

It's also good to feed your betta some variety. I use freeze dried blood worms and soak them first to get the air out. But a lot of people use frozen blood worms as well. I don't because I'm paranoid about bacteria. But most people seem to have no problem with it.

I hope this helps you! Good luck with your betta! Show us some pictures once he gets settled!

Last edited by Amour; 07-11-2010 at 12:15 PM.
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Old 07-11-2010, 02:32 PM   #4 
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Thank you for all the great advice! I had no idea plastic plants could hurt the little guy's fins. I just ordered the biorb silk plants, so I'll put those in for him instead of the plastics.

I'm interested to try some live plants like java ferns- would a tropical fish store carry those?

The Omega One pellets are actually the exact food I picked out at the fish store yesterday, and he just ate a few for his dinner.
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Old 07-11-2010, 03:05 PM   #5 
Lion Mom
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They usually carry java ferns. If they don't have them in stock, try to get some anubias and/or java moss. Both of those do well in low light/low tech tanks. :)
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Old 07-12-2010, 07:01 PM   #6 
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Location: jersey city nj
Thank you again for all the awesome advice! I took a quick picture of him this evening- he is still in the glass bowl, not yet in the biorb tank.

So here is my guy:

I love his bright blue color! He was very interested in my flash, so it was a little hard to photograph him while he was swimming back & forth checking it out.
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Old 07-12-2010, 07:45 PM   #7 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Central Texas
He's very pretty!
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Old 07-12-2010, 07:53 PM   #8 
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Location: N.VA

Be careful not to over feed. It's very easy to do because most bettas are pigs!!

Depending on how active they are - 2-3 pellets am & pm.

I also feed frozen blood worms once or twice a week.

Water quality is the most important issue. Keep the water sparkling clean & your beautiful guy (my guy Freddy is about the same color) will be happy.

Live plants can help keep the water clean. I have a 6 gal planted tank & change about 25%of the water weekly.

Prime is a good water conditioner.

Get a water test kit (liquid not the strips) to keep ammonia/nitrate/nitrites in check.
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Old 07-12-2010, 09:16 PM   #9 
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Ooh he looks splendid! Love that little tinge of green at the top of his tail.
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Old 07-12-2010, 11:08 PM   #10 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Northern Virginia
You've gotten some good advice--hopefully he does well for you. He does look like he's sustained some damage in the caudal fin sometime in the past--with super clean water it should heal up the rest of the way.

I've never had a biOrb (they're a bit pricy for their size, lol) but the light seems a little sketchy to me since it's described as a halogen rather than a fluorescent--you should make sure that turning the light on and off does not alter the temperature of the tank, as this can cause some major health problems. If I recall correctly, halogens run even hotter than normal incandescent lightbulbs, which by themselves cause a lot of problems with uneven heating in small fish tanks. Definitely monitor the temperature with and without the light on, and if there is a change, I would advise not using the light.
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