Betta Fish Care  
Go Back   Betta Fish and Betta Fish Care > Betta Fish Bowls, Habitats, and Accessories
Check out the eBook Betta Fish Care Made Easy
betta fish
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 07-24-2010, 02:11 PM   #1 
Miss W
New Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Arkansas, USA
Question Setting Up a New Tank Questions

I am trying to set up a tank for my classroom, and want to know the correct way of preparing the tank. I will be a new fish owner, so no experience with fish in any way. Someone suggested I start a new thread, so here it is.

My question is: I have all the materials, now what?

RandomFish gave me a very good answer from the quick question thread. With permission I am reposting here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RandomFish View Post
Yes, it would be a good idea to rinse the tank, filter (if you end up getting one), heater, gravel, and decorations beforehand, to get rid of dust particles.
Quote:
Originally Posted by RandomFish View Post

If you're getting a filter and will be doing the fishless cycle, then you will need to have the filter running in the tank without the fish for about a month.

If you opt to add the fish right away, then you will need to acclimate him to the water by floating his cup in the tank while gradually replacing the water in the cup with the water from the tank (about every 15 minutes). After that, all he needs is a heater set to about 78 F, 3-4 pre-soaked pellets per day, and clean water (i.e. frequent 100% water changes for an uncycled tank). You don't need to feed him at all over the weekends.

If your principal won't allow the filter to be plugged in overnight and you would rather not have to do frequent 100% water changes, then you may want to consider setting up an "el natural" style planted tank, using potted soil as a substrate and filling half of the tank with low-maintenance plants such as java ferns, Amazon Swords, Anubias, and hornwort. Here's a step-by-step guide for a planted tank that someone did for her office:

http://thegab.org/Plants/step-by-step-setting-up-a-walstad-type-natural-planted-tank.html

^ I think this would be more educational and the fish would have more fun with real plants.

I don't see a way around not having a heater plugged in overnight though. Insulating the tank overnight/weekends with a styrofoam box, newspapers and a heat pack might be an option but the heat packs would end up being costly.

By the way, here is a link for the cheapest water testing kit:

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Freshwater-Master-Test-Kit-Fish-Aquatic-Pets/3635493

Oh, and one last thing - I think you should advise the cleaning staff to not touch the aquarium. Not to change the water, feed the fish, and especially not to clean the aquarium with Windex.



Another question:
How do I do 50% and 100% water changes?
Miss W is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-24-2010, 07:15 PM   #2 
RandomFish
New Member
 
RandomFish's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Los Angeles
Hello, it is I again. :)

Hopefully others will chime in on this thread to correct/add on.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Miss W View Post
Another question:
How do I do 50% and 100% water changes?
The easiest way to go about water changes is to use a gravel vacuum (siphon).

Here is a self-starting gravel siphon:
http://www.petco.com/product/5913/Lee-s-Self-Start-Ultra-Gravel-Vacs.aspx?CoreCat=OnSiteSearch

If the aquarium isn't set up next to somewhere for the siphoned water to drain to (e.g. sink), then you would need a bucket or two that could contain all the water from the aquarium.

You might also want a bucket to hold aged water. Allowing tap water to sit out for at least 24 hours will give time for chlorine and nitrogen to dissipate.

You would also need a good water conditioner that will remove the heavy metals, chlorine, and chloramine from the tap water. Seachem Prime is the only conditioner I know if that will remove chloramine, which will not dissipate like chlorine.



Before starting the water change, you would need to first remove the fish and set him aside in a lidded container (they are jumpers!).

Then position a bucket somewhere below the level of the aquarium, get the gravel vac started, and move it across the aquarium floor. You'll see the fish waste getting sucked up through the hose and into the bucket.

A 50% water change just means that you siphon out half the water in the aquarium in this fashion, then refill (with conditioned, preferably aged, water). You could do one weekly 50% water change in a cycled tank.

A 100% water change means you siphon out all of the water and scrub the tank, gravel, and decorations in warm water. (Note: Soap/detergent/alcohol etc should never be used.) Then set up the gravel and decorations again and refill the tank with the conditioned water.

The 100% water change is a lot of work, so it would be best to cycle your tank (which means you would need a filter running in the tank at all times). There are three ways I know of to accomplish this:

1.) Follow the instructions for "Fishless Cycling" - you can Google that term or find a thread for it on this forum.

2.) Ask the fish store if you can have some mulm from the filter in one of their cycled tanks which you can add to your filter/tank. Here's a video on that:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9E21dIdJLbs

3.) An expensive option would be to order some of this stuff:

http://store.drtimsaquatics.com/2-oz-One-amp-Only-H2O-PURE-Live-Nitrifying-Bacteria_p_1.html#


If the principal won't allow for a filter to be plugged in overnight, there are battery-powered air pumps that you could attach a sponge filter to:

http://www.fosterandsmithaquatics.com/product/prod_display.cfm?pcatid=3693

(Not sure why he would not allow it to be plugged in overnight - if he wants to avoid fire hazards, then I suppose the battery-powered air pump/filter won't be an option either.)


If you need to go filterless and can't cycle your tank, I would recommend a 5-gallon tank. This isn't too difficult to do 100% water changes on, and large enough for you to get away with doing one 100% water change once a week.
RandomFish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-24-2010, 07:21 PM   #3 
Adastra
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Northern Virginia
Another important factor is the heater--bettas are tropical fish that need temperatures of 78-83 degrees to be healthy, comfortable and active--class rooms and corporate buildings tend to be very climate controlled, so the air temperature is lower than what a betta would be comfortable in. If you can't have a heater plugged in overnight, I think you should reconsider having a betta as a class pet.

If you choose to get a larger tank, like a ten gallon, you could have a school of zebra danios or glofish (they are the same species, Danio rerio--but one has been genetically altered to possess bright pigmentation). White cloud mountain minnows would also be an acceptable choice. These fish thrive at room temperature--but you would need a cycled, aerated tank.
Adastra is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-24-2010, 08:40 PM   #4 
RandomFish
New Member
 
RandomFish's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Los Angeles
Two things I didn't include before:

The heater needs to be unplugged if it's not immersed (the package should tell you what the minimum water level for the heater is), otherwise it'll shatter. So to be safe, the heater should be unplugged before a water change. The filter (if you have one) will need to be unplugged as well.

Once you're done refilling the tank with new dechlorinated & aged water, plug the heater (and filter, if you have one) back in. Allow the heater sufficient time to warm the water up to the desired temperature. Then acclimate the fish to the refreshed tank.
RandomFish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-25-2010, 06:16 PM   #5 
Miss W
New Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Arkansas, USA
Thanks guys! The temperature in the building stays between 75-78 all year long. It's cheaper on energy to keep it on a constant temperature than to restart all those air/heater units. The only time that the units are turned off is during the winter break. I have planned to bring home the betta for those 2 weeks and during the summer. The issue with keeping things plugged in and turned on is energy related, and they understand if something is left on every once in a while. About once every 9 weeks someone comes in to audit the building for energy. There would be no problems with anything that was battery operated.
Miss W is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2010, 07:45 PM   #6 
Miss W
New Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Arkansas, USA
Just wanted to say thanks again to everyone. Percy has been in his new "home" since last Wednesday and seems very happy. He's very active and seems to like his decor. I have to take one plant(artificial) back because it came apart when I did the first water change. It was the one he liked the most! Oh, well. I'll find him something new. Any time I'm in the room (which is about 6 hours most days) he watches me moving around. No matter where I am in the room he swims to that side of the tank. He's finally eating his betta pellets, but loves those baby shrimp.
Anywho...Thanks again!
Miss W is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2010, 05:19 PM   #7 
RandomFish
New Member
 
RandomFish's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Los Angeles
Yay, you got your tank set up! Thanks for letting us know how it all turned out...it's so nice to know that we had a part in setting up a comfy home for Percy. Hope to hear about the updates as the school year progresses!


(Sorry for the late reply/bumping this thread...it's been a busy week and I'm going thru all the threads I missed ;) )
RandomFish is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
new fish owner, new tank, water changes

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Setting Up a New Tank Soon and Had Questions Jwoz Betta Fish Bowls, Habitats, and Accessories 2 05-13-2010 09:43 AM
Setting up his new home...Few questions...please :} lariboo Betta Fish Care 7 12-17-2008 09:11 AM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:06 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.