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 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.
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
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.
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!