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Old 04-27-2010, 12:48 AM   #1 
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Heater for a 2 Gallon? Also pH issues.

This is my second betta (his name is Sartorius) and I had kept my first one Olecranon in a bowel his whole life (maybe 1/2 gallon and he lived 3 years) but this time I got a tank. I am new to the whole tank thing and I also got a few fellow tankmates for him (initially 3 neon tetras and a cory catfish).

First Issue: My tap water comes from a well and seems to be ridiculously high in pH. I tried to control it with some pH decreaser (just a tiny bit) and that worked for a while but then I went to work and someone helped me by doing partial water change for a slightly high ammonia. When I got home all my fish except Sartorius were dead) I tested my levels and it was my pH that had gone from 7.2 to 6.0 overnight at some point. I tried to readjust it with some baking soda and partial change and it was impossible the levels kept fluctuating (not major but by a few points) so I inevitably decided after some discussion that my tap water is impossible to control so I switched to distilled (which I do still treat with conditioner). Is this ok? Also the pH now seems to want to go acidic on me. Right now it's stable at 6.4. How do I control this? Help!

Second Issue: In terms of a heater is 2 gallons too small for one? If not what kind to use? The water feels bathtub water bathwater for an infant not my brand of super hot bathwater.
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Old 04-27-2010, 12:49 AM   #2 
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and by keeping him in a bowel i mean bowl.

also note I have now put 2 more neons and a cory in which are thriving. my betta seems a bit sluggish (see other post in diseases)

Last edited by dramaqueen; 04-27-2010 at 09:57 AM.
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Old 04-27-2010, 01:29 AM   #3 
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Hydor 7.5 watt mini heater, works great for 2-5 gals
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Old 04-27-2010, 01:39 AM   #4 
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I'd like to start by saying that if your tank is 2 gallons in size, you probably shouldn't have any other tankmates. Tankmates that are fish, at least. Not only are you exhausting your bio-load and having to deal with mass amounts of ammonia production, but tetra and corydoras are shoaling fish and should be kept in groups of at least six and three, respectively. Otherwise they will not be thriving, unfortunately. You should consider ADFs, snails, or shrimp for tankmates.

On to your issues! First: what exactly is the pH of your well water? It can certainly be alkaline without being a problem - your betta can handle it, for sure. Same if it's acidic. Odds are you won't have to adjust it. And quite honestly, you shouldn't. Altering your pH could be disastrous and sounds like it already has been. The more stable it is, even if it's a bit alkaline or a bit acidic, the better. Just stable.

And lastly: No, two gallons is not too small for a heater. There's a Tetra Whisper heater at Walmart that many people here use in their tanks. Keeps the temperature at a stable 78 for most, though it's not adjustable. There's also the Hydor Mini Heater, if that's more up your alley. Really doesn't matter which as long as you have one. Bettas are tropical fish and truly thrive in warmer waters.
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Old 04-27-2010, 07:30 AM   #5 
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I have the Hydor Mini Heater in a 2 gallon fish bowl. It says you can use it in 2 - 5 gallon tanks. I like that it is flat and you can put it under the rocks so it isn't showing except for the cord. I also have 2 of the Tetra Submersible Heaters from Wal-Mart in my 3 gallon & 5 gallon tanks. It says it can be used in 2 - 15 gallon tanks. I really like it too. The one from wal-mart was $13.72 the other I had to get at PetSmart, it was $12.99. So both weren't bad price wise.
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Old 09-18-2010, 09:16 PM   #6 
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I have the Marina c10 in a 2.5 it works great and has a thermostat so it dosent overheat
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Old 09-19-2010, 07:51 AM   #7 
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I'm pretty sure that you can't use distilled water for fish, I think I've read that someplace here. If you absolutely have to just get regular spring water.

Also yes, your tank is too small to house any other fish companions.. you should move them out. I can't see five fish in a five gallon, let alone a two.. and Kittles is right, those fish need more of their kind to properly thrive.

Your betta won't be lonely without a companion, so it's not the end of the world to have only him in a tank.
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Old 09-19-2010, 09:16 AM   #8 
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The hydor mini works great, although it is a bit inconveinent that it has to plug and unplug.
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Old 09-19-2010, 10:48 AM   #9 
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I like your bettas name! Sartorius is a very unique and uncommon name!
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Old 09-20-2010, 11:21 AM   #10 
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Distilled water shouldn't be used because it is lacking in many vital chemical components. I use spring water myself. It's 70 cents at the local grocery store and I don't have to worry about treating it for pH or chlorine or heavy metals or anything else. I would say mix in spring water slowly and make water changes until you get to an acceptable pH, so as not to shock your fish with an instant pH change. He can probably survive in a slightly acidic or basic environment, but why put him under the extra stress? Hope all goes well :)
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