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Old 07-23-2010, 04:56 PM   #1 
Maryrox247
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Talking How to set up a fish tank!

So, you've decided to set up a fish tank! A fishtank is like having a part of the ocean,the rice paddies of thailand, or part of a lake or stream with you in your own home! And might i add once you have one of these...your bound to get another!

Buying your tank and the right supplies

First things first. You can't set up a tank without a tank or the right accesories. Different fish require different neccesities but, we are talking bettas. The things you will need for one betta are:

At least a 1 gallon tank (2 gallons+ work best)
A heater suitable for the tank size
A filter
A thermoeter (not the ones you stick on the outside of the tank the ones you put inside that attach with suction cups)
Gravel (one pound per gallon)
Decor! (plants can be fake or real but fake is best for uncycled tanks)

Here is a tip: Make sure the tank has a lid! Bettas just love to play a little game of superman and jump out of the tank so a lid is an abosolute must. No exeptions here, however you can make a lidby placing a screen (Like a window screen) above the tank if you wish.

Decor: The pantyhose test

Well we all love mr.betta's long flowy fins (and let's not leave out the lovely plakats!) but some plastic plants will rip them making him prone to infection, disease, and ultimately death. So silk plants are a great alternative apart from being a little more difficult to clean. If you will be using plastic plants bring a pair of pantyhose with you to the fish store! (sounds weird but believe me this technique works) To see if the plant is to sharp run it along the lenght of the pantyhose. If it snags it will most likely rip your bettas fins.


Setting up!

Well, you bought your supplies and are ready! So here is your reward!!! its a step by step guide on setting your tank up!

Step 1: find a place to set your tank. This area should not be near an AC and should be out of direct sunlight and away from where chemicals will be used. (example bathroom and kitchen) It should also be away from where excessive noise is made because fish have sensitive hearing and im sure they prefer that over being deaf.

Step 2: Rinse gravel and decorations thouroughly with cool water.

Step 3: Evenly distribute gravel in tank.

Step 4: Place decorations where desired. ( Tip: place taller plants and decor in the back and shorter in the front to make your tank look bigger!)

Step 5: Set up filter and heater BUT not before rinsing them with ,you guessed it, cool water! (by the way i said set them up not turn them on so dont plug them in just yet!)

Step 6: Fill the tank with water. When the tank is filled put in the amount of water conditioner neccesary.

Step 7: Turn everything on! (heater,filter,light if you want!)

....and presto! your done!


....not quite if your tank is 5 gallons or more then again i have heard that you cycle smaller tanks if you want



Cycling!

Well cycling is simply the process of letting ammonia rise then fall,nitrites rise then fall, ect. Your tank runs for 2 weeks to let this happen!


Fish in vs. Fishless

I personally do a fish in cycle. Add starter fish! (i used platys they produce enough waste and are nice and sturdy.) Then feed them and do the normal care you would do for 2 weeks. Then get yout water tested and if everything checks out you can add fish! If not do the same thing for another week!

To do a fishless cycle there are a few ways but here is one. Add liquid cycle ( you can buy this at your LFS) and put fish foos in every day as if you were really feeding fish. and after two week get your water tested if everything checks out then feel free to add fish! If not, do the same thing for another week and get it tested again.


Adding fish!

Well your tanks set up and cycled so now it's the moment we have all been waiting for... it's time to put in some fish! When you first get your betta he or she will be in a little cup. let him (Or her!) float in the tank for 10 minutes then dump half of the water out (not in the tank because its probably dirty!) and introduce tank water in the cup. Let him or her float for another 10 minutes like this and then set him free! The same procedure goes for other fish.


HAVE FUN WITH YOUR NEW FISH!
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Old 07-23-2010, 05:17 PM   #2 
BunniesLair
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Thank you so much for this! It helps a lot! I do have a couple of questions though.

1. I received the Betta as agift, I feel overwelmed as it is - do I have to buy a starter fish just to set up a tank?

2. You said "Then get your water tested..." - How/Where do I get the water tested?
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Old 07-23-2010, 05:23 PM   #3 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BunniesLair View Post
Thank you so much for this! It helps a lot! I do have a couple of questions though.

1. I received the Betta as agift, I feel overwelmed as it is - do I have to buy a starter fish just to set up a tank? Well if your tank is under 5 gallons then cycling is an option but if your tank is 5 gallons or more and your doing a fish in cycle then yes.

2. You said "Then get your water tested..." - How/Where do I get the water tested?
You can buy liquid test kits at your local fish store (dont buy strips they are notorious for being innaccurate) or your store may test your water for you. (Mine does for free)
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Old 07-23-2010, 05:35 PM   #4 
Dead Sunlight
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Good job Mary!!!

Someone should sticky this!!!
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Old 07-23-2010, 05:36 PM   #5 
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Ok.. I just purchased a 2.5 gal tank. Have not done anything yet.. because I want to make sure I understand it etc.

So set up the tank, put in the water, give it time to get to temperature. I would like to put live plants in it.. so my decorations will be minimal for now, until I get them.

I can introduce the fish to the tank, but if I do, I still need to replace 50% every week - is that correct?
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Old 07-23-2010, 07:17 PM   #6 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BunniesLair View Post
Ok.. I just purchased a 2.5 gal tank. Have not done anything yet.. because I want to make sure I understand it etc.

So set up the tank, put in the water, give it time to get to temperature. I would like to put live plants in it.. so my decorations will be minimal for now, until I get them.

I can introduce the fish to the tank, but if I do, I still need to replace 50% every week - is that correct?
That sounds right!
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Old 07-23-2010, 07:39 PM   #7 
BunniesLair
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YAY! I really appreciate you and everyone else that has been so patient with my questions and tank apprehensions! You all have been so helpful! I am really grateful I found this site!
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Old 07-23-2010, 07:44 PM   #8 
Maryrox247
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Can someone sticky my thread pretty please?
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Old 07-23-2010, 09:00 PM   #9 
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1. You need to let people know that a filter isn't needed unless you plan on cycling a tank.

2. People need to know what cycling is for. Pros, cons, etc.

3. They also need to know how frequently to change the tank water to keep ammonia from getting toxic if the tank isn't cycled.
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Old 07-23-2010, 09:10 PM   #10 
Amour
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I think it should be a little more descriptive and informative to be a sticky. It really didn't tell me anything I didn't already know before even coming to this site.
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