I just joined this forum, and I'm planning on getting my first fish tomorrow (technically today). It's not just my first betta, but my first fish of any kind, so the process should be an adventure. I think I've done my homework, and the shop I am getting him at is a small one, not a chain, and the guy who works there seems to be the owner and quite competent.
I have a 10 gallon tank that I bought from the same store. At first, I was going to get a 2.5, but really the 5 was only a little bit bigger, and the 10 only a little bit bigger. So, I got the 10. It was a used setup he had for gold fish. Don't worry, the heater is adjustable, so it's not some sort of fixed coldwater tank. It has about a 5 gallon filter, and it came with an air stone. I've heard mixed things on air stones, so for now I'm just going to leave it in, and if the fish seems stressed and tries to avoid it I'll take it out. The shop owner assured me it was a healthy tank (guess I might find out the hard way if it's not), and he mentioned good bacteria. I know this has something to do with cycling tanks, and I have to confess that's where I get a bit lost on the fish care thing.
Right now the temp is running high 70s. I did a pH test and got a 7.6, which was as high as the test went, so instead of getting my fish yesterday, I went home with a pH adjuster the shop owner gave me. I've heard chemicals are tricky and sometimes disasterous, but apparently my town's water has a "reputation" among fish owners, and since the tank is empty there's nothing to damage irreparable at the moment. I tested a few hours after adding the pH down, and it was running a nice 7.0, and I'm going to test in the am before I go to the store to make sure it didn't spike or anything. The shop guy recommended I use wal-mart brand spring water that I can buy super cheap for future water changes, since it would probably be easier than treating my tap water. The tank as a whole has been running all weekend. It has a gravel bottom, a few fake plants, and a big crushed car aquarium decoration that can be used like a cave. The tank has a lid and lighted hood.
I was advised to wait a month or two before doing any water changes so that the tank can settle/adjust. He also seemed to think after that in a 10 gallon w/ a filter a once a month partial water change would be often enough. I have a gravel vaccuum. I'm not sure if that should only be used with the water changes or if I do that more often than the water changes. I suppose I should find that out... anyone have the answer?
I have betta food and freeze dried blood worms. I'm hearing 2-3 pellets or worms once a day is about the amount to use.
As far as introduction to the tank, I intend to float the cup/bag for 2 hours and then add about 1/4 cup of tank water every 30 min until the cup/bag is mostly tank water. I read somewhere to avoid putting the bag water into the tank. Is this correct?
Thanks for the help! I will be sure to get some pictures up when I get them onto my computer.
Welcome to the wonderful world of Betta keeping......
I would first toss the pH adjuster and the spring water-you don't want to mess with the pH and adjust with chemicals-most fish will adjust to your source water pH without issues and it is so much safer especially when you have little understanding of how it works.
Spring water, bottled water, distilled water-lack the needed minerals for good fish health due to the filtering process-some bottled water is just filtered tap water and it can still contain chlorine/chloramine that are harmful to fish
I would get a good dechlorinator to cover-chlorine, chloramines and heavy metals-Prime is a good one and so is the API brand.
In a 10g filtered unplanted tank with one Betta-needs at least 50% weekly water change and substrate vacuum to maintain water quality for a healthy fish and fins once the nitrogen cycle is completed
During the nitrogen cycle without water testing products for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH-I would make twice weekly 50% water changes-one water only and one to include the vacuum of the substrate for the first 6 weeks
With testing products-make one weekly 50% and vacuum as well as 50% water only when water prams read-ammonia and/or nitrite 0.25ppm or greater
Once you have reading of nitrate 5-10ppm and 0ppm on the ammonia and nitrite for several days without water changes you are most likely cycled.
Filter media needs a swish in old tank water with a water change 1-2 times a month and when the water flow slow to get the big pieces of gunk off to maintain good water flow-you want the filter media to look dirty this is the good bacteria that will help keep the tank stable.
Maintain a stable water temp in the 76-80F range
Feed a good varied diet and limit the freeze dried foods to 1-2 times a week as a treat-Feed small amounts twice a day is better than one big daily meal.
Any time the fish has a change in behavior or acts odd-make a water change to rule out the environment as the cause.
Look forward to seeing pic and hearing more about your new wet-pet......be aware Bettas are addictive...its hard to have just one......
Lovely betta! Welcome to Bettas they are very addictive
When it comes to stress coat you dont need to put it in during water changes I personally wouldn't but I'd wait for a response from someone more knowledgable than me.
Also lovely tank remmeber live plants can make a great addition to any tank they even keep the water cleaner! Just a thought for you :P some are pretty easy to take care of
I love your avatar =)