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Old 11-17-2010, 08:01 PM   #1 
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New at this!!!

Santa agreed to bring my 4 year old girl a fish for Christmas this year. Before anyone tells me 4 is to young I know that but I have always wanted an aquarium and we all know who is going to do the work anyway. So "Santa" decided that we should get a Betta they seem to be rather hardy and I have seen them live in a tiny vase full of filthy water. I bought the Aqueon 2.5 Betta Bow at Petco thinking I will put it up until Christmas buy 2 fish, it has a divider, a day or two before throw them in the tank with some water and Merry Christmas. Oh wow was I mistaken. I did a general search for betta mainly because I wanted to put a live plant in the aquarium and that is where it started. First the divider has been placed in the trash and we are going with one fish. Secondly I still haven't made a choice on a/the live plant(s) yet. Next is food I have purchased flakes, pellets, freeze dried blood worms and debating on live foods. Seems to be different opinions on live feedings. I have compiled around 5 pages of noted so far and started a journal. I am consumed and don't even have a fish yet. Even with all of the research I have 2 unanswered ?'S.

1. Is there anyway that I can have the aquarium ready by Christmas? "Cycling"

2. Can i buy quality fish at a chain store? I see all of your pics here and I have yet to see any of those vibrant colors at one of these stores.

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Old 11-17-2010, 08:09 PM   #2 
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welcome to the forum! first off, cycling is not necessary. it does help cut down on water changes, but with a 2.5 gallon you really only need to change about 50% every other week. also make sure to replace the filter cartridge monthly and use a water conditioner. and yes, you can find some nice looking fish at a chain pet store, maybe not good breeding stock, but still nice looking! both of my guys are from chain stores (Lonnie from petsmart Logan from walmart) and they are beautiful to me!
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Old 11-17-2010, 09:09 PM   #3 
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Actually, from what I've heard, water changes in a 2.5 need to be done 50% once a week, not every other week. And you dont replace the filter cartridge, you swish it around in old tank water monthly or if it gets clogged to keep any good bacteria that'll be in it. Water conditioner a must, as well as an aquarium heater depending on where you live to keep your betta warm :) Other than that, good for you on doing your research first :D Beautiful bettas are possible to find :) Welcome to the forum!
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Old 11-17-2010, 09:25 PM   #4 
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Good thing you're doing your research :) A ton of people just buy bettas and stick them in something and never look back. I'm also glad you decided on just one fish for the 2.5. What you could do if you wanted something else in the tank is get a snail, an African Dwarf frog or ghost shrimp. Look those up. I didn't cycle my tank when I started it. I've had my bettas in their own one gallon tanks and now all 3 of my boys are in a split 10 gallon. I just plan on doing a 50 percent water change once a week. Also if you go to the betta section of this site and go to betta pictures there's a whole thread where people have posted pictures of their pet store bettas. All three of my bettas are from Petsmart and I think they're gorgeous. Good luck and keep us updated :)
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Old 11-17-2010, 09:25 PM   #5 
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Welcome to the forum! It's great that you're trying to learn more about the care of your future betta.

To start off with, 2.5 G is just right for one betta! So you're on the right track.

Secondly, I'm pretty sure I didn't see any mention of a heater. Unless you live in a place which is constantly 76+ degrees, you'll need to buy a heater. Bettas are tropical fish and so require a heater to keep their water warm.

I'm not sure how successful cycling a 2.5 gallon will be. Cycling without any seeding generally takes about a month or more, so it could poooossibly be finished by Christmas. If you had live plants or have something to 'seed' your tank with (that is, gravel/filter media/decor from a tank that's already been cycled), your tank will cycle much faster.

OR you could not cycle. Bettas do not necessarily need a filter. If you don't cycle, it just means you have to do more water changes. In my 2.5, I'd do one 50% and one 100% water change weekly. However, you may want to do less than 100% if you add live plants so as not to disturb them (and they will help keep up the water quality anyway).

A varied diet is great! Flakes, pellets, and FD foods (which should only be given as a weekly treat) are fine. I personally don't feed live foods, mainly because it caries the risk of giving your fish parasites and I'm REALLY squeamish.

If you live by Petco, they always seem to carry gorgeous fish...wish I had one here...if you have Big Al's, they occasionally get very nice bettas in. Even Petsmart and other pet stores will get nice boys in once in a while. Personally I go with ones I 'connect' with.
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Old 11-17-2010, 09:40 PM   #6 
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welcome, fav74. i'm new to this forum myself. somehow the BettaFishForum disappeared, so i came here.
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Old 11-17-2010, 09:46 PM   #7 
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Originally Posted by TheUnstableOne View Post
welcome, fav74. i'm new to this forum myself. somehow the BettaFishForum disappeared, so i came here.

That happens when you click the link for the thread in your email alert, and someone has replied on this site, rather than the bettafish forum site. It confused me for awhile too, and its annoying 'cause I have to keep logging in when it happens... ^^
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Old 11-17-2010, 09:57 PM   #8 
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Hi and welcome to the forum! I'm so glad you're doing your research :) :) :)
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Old 11-17-2010, 10:15 PM   #9 
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I'm a huge fan of planted tanks, but they take a little work to get going. Once you get the balance right and the tank becomes established, they're easy to maintain.

Here's a recent post about planting a small tank. Good luck and I'd say give it a try. Java ferns, anubias, and java moss are great starters.
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Old 11-17-2010, 10:24 PM   #10 
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Since you're getting a 2.5 gallon tank, a good plant would be an anubias, like an anubias nana as Java Ferns can get REALLY big. Anubias are pretty easy to take care of and they are low-light plants. I have some in mine and I really like them. Just make sure you do a little research on plants if you decide to get them or they'll die. You can find some nice fish in the chain stores, especially Petco. That's where I got Frank, he's my avatar right now.
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