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Old 08-12-2011, 11:24 AM   #1 
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Join Date: Aug 2011
A Few Questions From A New Owner

Hello all. I am a new betta owner, and I have done a lot of research to ensure I give the betta a happy home (hopefully!). I still have a few more questions though that I couldn't quite figure out without asking, and I would really appreciate the expert's advice. I have a single male betta (named "Shark") in a 5 gallon, filtered, and heated (79 degree) tank with 3 live plants and a structure for hiding. Thanks so much for reading/answering.


1) I have a 10 Watt daylight CFL in the tank. How many hours a day should I run it to have the proper balance of light/dark for the plants/betta without risking an algae outbreak?

2) About how big will he get, or is he about fully grown? He is currently pretty small at about 1.25" or so. He was one of the smaller ones at the pet store when we got him, but liked his personality and color. Just curious if I can expect him to grow any bigger.

3) I want the tank to cycle so eventually it will be lower maintenance. I know fish-in cycle is not ideal, but that is what I need to do here. Should I change the water based on a schedule? Or change it based on tank readings? What schedule or tank readings should I use to make sure the tank cycles while limiting the exposure to the toxins?

4) When I change my water, should I vacuum the gravel while trying to cycle the tank? Or should I let the bacteria stay there and accumulate to help the cycle?

5) I am planning to feed him 5 pellets of Aqueon Betta Food once per day, with a one day fast per week. Is this a reasonable feeding schedule? He snaps up the pellets very quickly, so I am a little afraid I am underfeeding him, but don't want to overfeed him either!

And here is a picture of Shark! Thanks for reading!
CynicalTaco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-2011, 12:48 PM   #2 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: USA
Welcome to the forum and what a lovely fella you have...nice find....he most like will get bigger...hard to say how much......

In a 5gal filtered tank with live plants-without an established nitrogen cycle....water changes of 50% weekly with light vacuuming in all places you can reach without moving anything or disruption of plant roots and make a second weekly 50% water only based on water prams of ammonia, nitrite 0.25ppm or may or may not need to make the second water only change.....

Filter media-needs a swish/rinse in old tank water with a water change a couple of times a month

Depending on the species of plants-generally daylight 6500k CFL bulb-you need to be on a 10hr photoperiod....with plants its a balance-the plants have to be able to out compete the algae for light and is normal to get some algae and algae can be a sign of a healthy tank-it can help the tank look more natural, soften edges and provide microorganism for the Betta to graze on, however, it does have to be control with the regular weekly water changes...if the algae gets really bad-increase the the photoperiod to 12hr/day...the active plant growth is what helps keep the algae controlled

What kind of plants do you have....

Nutrition-a good quality varied diet fed in small frequent meals......I would get several different type of foods to offer-they don't have to be Betta want the first couple of ingredients to be fish/seafood either whole or meal and offering live on occasion is always enjoyed......

Love to see a pic of the setup too.....
Oldfishlady is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-2011, 02:34 PM   #3 
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Thanks so much for the quick and detailed reply. Your help is really appreciated. For plants, I have 2 java ferns and 1 Anubias currently in the tank.

And here is a picture of the tank/setup. It is a Aqueon 5 Gallon Mini-Bow. Can you tell a 3 year old picked out the blue tank and blue/teal gravel?

CynicalTaco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-2011, 04:35 PM   #4 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: USA
It still looks nice...even with a 3year olds

The java fern and anubias both need to be tied to something...the rhizome needs to be above the substrate or it can rot and die-what little roots they do produce will find their way in the substrate and/or attach themselves to whatever they are tied to.....great choice in plants too....easy to grow, low light, low feeders...but can be slow growing too....with the java fern-don't remove or toss the brown leaves...leave them on the plant and soon you will see tiny roots and little leaves fern-it will detach on its own or once it has a couple of leaves you can remove it and tie it to something else

Because of them being somewhat slow grower and feeders they have limited ability to filter the water like the stem and floating plants do...they still do help by using ammonia and waste for food...but....algae control or out-competing nutrients/light is limited-I would still keep a 10h/day photo will just have to remove algae manually more often than if you had stem plants....

I think your tank looks great and once the plants start growing and filling in and maybe adding a few tall plants in the sags or val would give it some balance and maybe a clump of naja grass and water wisteria to give some texture with a bronze sword or crypt to give a bit of color...go to my album and you can see one of my 5gal NPT if you like-I think we have the same, a piece of driftwood with some java moss attached and add a few RCS (Red cherry shrimp) or ghost shrimp would add some more interest for the 3yr old.....endless on the direction you can go.......
Oldfishlady is offline   Reply With Quote

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