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Old 11-01-2010, 02:17 AM   #1 
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Betta question

About a month ago I was at wal*mart and I noticed they now sold fish so I was looking at them when I saw a sad looking male betta in a tiny cup and no matter how hard I tried I couldnt leave him so I bought him my cousin gave me a 10 gallon tank and I never owned a fish before so I put water in then I put Rye in.Well after doing some reading I found out I need a heater and filter so I got a heater the other day.But I am worried that adding a filter could hurt him
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Old 11-01-2010, 05:51 AM   #2 
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Nope. Filters are fine as long as they have very low flow.

Also, when you put the water in the tank did you use water conditioner?
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Old 11-01-2010, 10:09 AM   #3 
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I didnt I was told since I had well water it wasnt needed.Was I told wrong?
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Old 11-01-2010, 02:31 PM   #4 
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Did you get your water out of the tap?
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Old 11-01-2010, 03:53 PM   #5 
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Even though the well water isn't treated with chlorine or chloramine like water from a water company, many dechlorinators will help remove heavy metals and detoxify ammonia. It's still not a bad idea to use a quality dechlorinator like Seachem Prime.

As for the filter, it unfortunately is not as simple as plopping the filter in and letting it do its thing. The usefulness of a filter is not in its ability to remove particles from the water, this makes the water look cleaner, but it doesn't remove the real danger which is something you cannot see. Every time the fish moves water over its gills, it releases ammonia as waste--kind of like the fish form of urine. This ammonia is highly toxic, any detectable level can be harmful to your fish. This is why unfiltered containers need 100% water changes.

Larger containers with filters can undergo a process in which the filter media and porous surfaces in the tank are colonized by beneficial bacteria that eat the harmful ammonia, converting it into nitrite, and then nitrate. Nitrate is much, much less toxic than ammonia, and it will not harm fish unless it is allowed to reach high levels, so once the filter is colonized, you will only have to do weekly 30%-50% water changes.

Cultivating a bacteria colony in your filter is not something that you should do blindly. It is a process that usually takes about three weeks. I always recommend purchasing a liquid master test kit like this one:
this is the only way you will know when and how much water you need to change while the bacteria colony is growing in order to provide food for the colony while keeping your fish safe. It is also the only way that you will know when the process is completed.

You should do additional research on the nitrogen cycle and how to cultivate a bacterial colony in your filter.

Last edited by Adastra; 11-01-2010 at 03:55 PM.
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Old 11-02-2010, 03:52 AM   #6 
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Good for you for saving him and researching more about bettas.

The filter wont hurt him, just make sure you have a low flow. I have mine set where it's such a slow stream that if you move it at all it would just be dripping.
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Old 11-02-2010, 10:36 AM   #7 
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Take Adastra's advice. Research cycling. It seems like a pain and sometimes confusing but if you take it one step at a time I promise you you won't regret it. If you cycle a 10 gallon tank and only have the one betta in it you can get away with only doing a 25% water change every two weeks or so, add live plants and your talking one water change a month (but with topping off weekly due to evaporation).

I would get a sponge filter. You can buy them off or All you need is an air pump and air line and you have a good filter that you can adjust the flow on, they're also great for colonizing bacteria.

I second the opinion that you should treat your well water. Just as a precautionary because many wells have heavy metals in the water.
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Old 11-02-2010, 07:56 PM   #8 
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I would not use well water. it is usually VERY hard and has a VERY high pH, which is not good for bettas.
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Old 11-03-2010, 01:40 AM   #9 
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I would take Adastras advice a good water conditioner would be wonderful!
Also post some pics if you can a 10g is really, really good for one betta the bare minimum for a betta is 2.5g. So your betta with proper care will lead a very happy healthy life!
A few suggestions (not necessary at all) are live plants! Live plants eat fish waste (ammonia) and provide comfort. They are not at all necessary but if you wanted to you definetely could. Some of them are really easy but you've got to be careful do your research on em first cause some of the plants sold in pet stores aren't aquatic!
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Old 11-03-2010, 08:16 AM   #10 
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I have well water and it is really hard too and I have never had any problems using it in my aquariums-except with a couple of my CT males-I don't use any dechlorinator products either, however, you can have heavy metal problem but the fish will usually tell you that the heavy metals are problematic for them by their behavior-flashing, hiding, racing..etc....without signs of external parasites-often they will adapt to the metals in your well water-use of a dechlorinator that cover heavy metal or fresh activated carbon can help....but IMO/E I would not use anything with your well water unless the Betta is symptomatic to heavy metals in the water....the less chemical additives the my opinion/experience......
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