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Old 07-27-2010, 01:49 PM   #1 
Cobb89
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Intro and Opening Questions

First of all hello, my name is Alex and I'm considering (but probably will) be getting a betta fish when I move into my apartment in mid August.

I've been reading through the forums but I just have a few questions, I'll put down what I'm considering tank wise and then go into a few beginning questions, of which I'm sure I'll have more of sooner than later.

I know that the 5-10 gallon has been pretty heavily suggested. But I saw a nice square 2.5 gallon glass tank at petco the other day that I'm considering getting. I'm going to get the round pebble type things to line the bottom. And a silk plant or two for hides. One betta for starts, haven't decided on a breed or color just yet.

I don't think I'll need a heater, with my xbox360 and television and such I think my room will be warm enough. I will be getting a thermometer too to start off as well. If I notice the water isn't warm enough I'll go out right away and get the heater.

So a few questions....

The guy at the pet store showed me some chemicals to "get the metals out." I didnt study them too much, but I imagine its a conditioner of some variety. Do I need to add this to the water a few days before bringing my fish home?

Ive read it recomended to do partial water changes. Can I just submerse a water bottle into the tank and replace it with matching amounts of room temp water? Do I need to add more chemicals?

I'm new to fish keeping, betta or otherwise. I'm really looking forward to it, but I just need a little help to get started.

And if the money is there I'll bump up to a 5 or 10. Ideally, 5 would be the biggest I would really want, considering the size of my room.

Any thoughts, suggestions, and the like are welcomed and appreciated. Thanks in advance.

-Alex
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Old 07-27-2010, 02:09 PM   #2 
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Hi, welcome to the forum :)

The water conditioner you will need to add each time you do a water change and you can add it when you get the tank or before you put the fish in. I use Tetra Aquasafe as my conditioner, it also has added stress coat for the fish

Did you say you were getting a filter? If you opt to not have a filter then you will need to do 100% water changes once or twice a week depending on the size of your tank, some members may suggest more.
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Old 07-27-2010, 02:18 PM   #3 
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I'm fine doing a 100 percent change.

When doing a 100 percent change...

What should I do with my fish? Can he just go in regular room temp tap water?

And do I need to clean the pebbles and other such things with anything special? Or would just warm water do?

I'd probably eventually get a filter. But the start up cost is a little high, so for a month or two I'll probably go without the filter and just do 100 percent changes.
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Old 07-27-2010, 02:25 PM   #4 
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Welcome to the forum.
You can use a 2.5 gallon tank. Just know it is pretty much the bare minimum size for bettas.

You'll probably want to go ahead and get a heater, because at night, the temp could drop quite a bit.

Using a water bottle to do water changes could work, but if you don't have live plants In the tank, or have cycled, you'd need to do a 100 % water change every two days or so (someone correct me if I am wrong).

I know you didn't say anything about feeding your betta, but I'll just go ahead and say that you'll want to feed him good pellets instead of flakes.
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Old 07-27-2010, 02:27 PM   #5 
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Most people keep their betta's in room temp water, I personally prefer my betta's to have a heater in their tank but if your from a warmer country than me then yes room temp water would be fine for your better however, he won't fully thrive in colder temps than 80f by this I mean his colour won't be as great he won't seem as active as he could be but it won't harm him :)

When you get the pebbles just soak them in warm water, don't boil them in a pan because people have had situations where their rocks have exploded and also they can raise the pH of your water which you don't want :)

People fail to realise how expensive fish keeping can be, i've been doing it for just under half a year and I have probably spent hundreds of pounds, its ridiculous lol
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Old 07-27-2010, 02:36 PM   #6 
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Hello and welcome the forum! And it's great that you're doing your research ahead of time rather than playing catch up.

A 2.5 gallon is great. If you want a good deal on a tank and filter, though, I'd recommend getting the $30 5.5 gallon kit from Walmart. It will likely be much cheaper than the equivalent from Petco (and probably almost the same price as a filter alone).

If you do go the 2.5 gallon route and do 100% water changes, I would take the fish out and put him in the cup that you buy him in. Make sure you put the cover back on because they DO LOVE to jump!!!!

No, don't clean with anything special. Soap is toxic to fish. The only thing you need to clean with is hot water. And just rinse everything (tank, gravel, decorations, just not the fish :-p)

As for a heater, you really should invest in one. Even though your temp will be pretty warm in your room, the water always stays cooler than room temp. And your temps will fluctuate at night, which will make the water temp fluctuate. Bettas regulate their body temps by the water temps, so going up and down will make their body temps go up and down, lower their metabolism, lower their immune system and make them more susceptible to illness. Also, having a constant temp of at least 76* (and it should not be any lower since they are tropical fish) will make your betta more active and thus more fun to watch. Here is an inexpensive heater that I highly recommend (it is adjustable and I have purchased from this seller in the past and had great service and quality).

You will need to add conditioner each time you do a water change. I use, and recommend, Prime which is top quality. It seems expensive compared to the others, but you only need to use 2 drops per gallon so it ends up being much cheaper in the long run.

Feel free to ask any other questions you may have!
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Old 07-27-2010, 02:49 PM   #7 
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Kuklachica- Does that heater regulate its own temperature? Meaning, if I set it for say....75.....can I rest assured that its consistently at 75 thus in effect acting as its own thermometer?

Also.....I've only been looking thus far at Petco and Petsmart, the big national chains. Do you think I would be better off going to a locally owned pet store? How have you guys seen price comparisons between the local guys and the chains? Theres actually a specialized fish store by my house, I'm going to check them out. I'm probably going to buy my tanks and other such stuff elsewhere, but they might have a greater variety of fish. The Petco I went to only had two. The veiltail and the king.
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Old 07-27-2010, 02:52 PM   #8 
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Yes, they do regulate their own temps so they don't bake the fish. But it would be good to have a thermometer since they are not always accurate to the degree. Or to make sure it doesn't die or something.

As far as a tank, Craigslist is your best bet for cheap stuff. As far as fish, I'd check out your local store (their care varies by store as does the chain stores' care) they may have an awesome selection, or may just have veil tails. Petco has the best selection (I work for my local store) and we get in shipments each week. As them when they get their shipments in, then go in the next day once the fish have settled in. You'll def get the best selection there. Petsmart only sells veils and crown tails.
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Old 07-27-2010, 02:58 PM   #9 
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I'd reccomend not using regular of stones, but rather buying aquarium gravel. This way you know it won't affect your water at all. If you decide to use something like pea gravel, test them to see if they'll change the water ph. You can do this by putting them in vinagar. If they fizzle, don't use them.

Locally owned pet stores might have a better selection of betta fish, and better prices, but not always. Like Kuklachica said, Walmart does have cheap tanks and a good amount of cheaper tank supplies.
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Old 07-27-2010, 03:06 PM   #10 
Cobb89
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When you say aquarium gravel.....you just mean the bags of gravel they sell at the store right?

And someone mentioned feeding...... The guy at the Petco showed me some "Betta Pellets" and said they couldn't have the flakes. Are the "betta pellets" the way to go or is there something else to consider in addition?
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