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Old 12-20-2010, 08:02 PM   #1 
ktstar23
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Going tank-shopping tomorrow

Hi everyone, I'm brand new as I just received my betta, Horatio, yesterday! I've wanted a fish for years now but never have had the opportunity to actually own one.

My friend gave him to me in one of those 1/2 gallon betta starter kits. She claimed that it had everything it needed, and that another friend's fish thrives in a similar tank, but now that I've poked around here and on other sites, I am pretty sure that that is not the case! Horatio is very listless; he spends most of his time just sitting at the bottom of the cube. There is a tiny bit of gravel and one plant. Needless to say, I feel horrible leaving him in there. :/

So I decided that tomorrow I'm going to go and get him a new home. I'm thinking 2.5 gallons, because I'm not planning to get any other fish, and I'm limited in both space and money. From what I've read, that's pretty much the minimum needed to keep a betta happy, am I right? I also plan to buy some rocks for the bottom, and some silk plants.

But what else should I be getting? Do I need a filter? I've seen tanks without them on here, so I'm wondering how necessary they are. What type of heat source should I look for? (Keep in mind that I'm in Canada, so I don't know if we have the exact same merchandise you might have in the States. Pictures and specs would be nice so I can compare.) Right now I feel like I'm doing a miserable job taking care of Horatio, and I just want to keep him healthy and happy!

Thanks in advance!
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Old 12-20-2010, 08:07 PM   #2 
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2.5 gallons is great if your willing to do the waterchanges :) Filters make it so you can do less water changes once your tank is cycled, but IDK about it in a 2.5g, I've only ever had my 14g betta tank :P A heater is definitly needed, as well as a thermometer (there're kinds you just stick on the outside, not those tacky glass in-tank ones) I think the wattage you need for a heater with a 2.5g is 25W. I live in Canada too, and pretty much everything fish-related in the US you get here in good ol' Canada :D
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Old 12-20-2010, 08:18 PM   #3 
ktstar23
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Ok, cool! (I'm actually in BC too :D Do you know if Petcetera is any good for tanks? I was thinking of going down to check out my local one tonight. If they don't have anything good I'll go to Petsmart tomorrow.)

How often and how much do I need to change my water if I were to have a 2.5 gallon tank? And does my tank need to be cycled, and how much? (Sorry for all the questions; it was a total surprise for me to receive a fish and I am entirely unexperienced!)
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Old 12-20-2010, 08:33 PM   #4 
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Originally Posted by ktstar23 View Post
Ok, cool! (I'm actually in BC too :D Do you know if Petcetera is any good for tanks? I was thinking of going down to check out my local one tonight. If they don't have anything good I'll go to Petsmart tomorrow.)

How often and how much do I need to change my water if I were to have a 2.5 gallon tank? And does my tank need to be cycled, and how much? (Sorry for all the questions; it was a total surprise for me to receive a fish and I am entirely unexperienced!)
Hm...IDK about petcetera and petsmart, when I got my supplies for my tank (mom's friend bought the tank and betta for me at some store in Vancouver, so who knows where he got it) I went to Petland, which was a bit pricey on actual tanks, but had some sales. I live in a rather remote town near Prince George, so I dont get access to pet stores unless I can convince my mom to drive three hours XD With a 2.5g, cycling is pointless, so dont worry about it, and do lots of waterchanges. I've heard that 50% and 100% a week is good, but hopefully others will chime in on that. I've only had experience with my tank, which I can go 50% water changes on once a week (it can wait longer if needed for me, but I've got a low bioload xD) I dont mind the questions :D Oh, also, the best food for bettas is pellets and bloodworms as treats, in case you didnt know ^^ I feed mine 4-6 pellets a day, but I may be wrong in feeding him that much :P Sorry for the long paragraph and if I told you anything you already knew ^^'
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Old 12-20-2010, 08:51 PM   #5 
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How often and how much do I need to change my water if I were to have a 2.5 gallon tank? And does my tank need to be cycled, and how much? (Sorry for all the questions; it was a total surprise for me to receive a fish and I am entirely unexperienced!)
Welcome to the wonderful world of Betta keeping....
In a 2.5gal unfiltered tank-water changes of twice weekly should maintain water quality: 1-50% and 1-100% weekly
You don't have to have a filter however, it can reduce your water changes some to twice weekly 50%
You can establish the nitrogen cycle, however, it is moot IMO/E due to the needed water changes in the first place to maintain water quality...adding filters in tanks smaller than 5gal is more of a personal choice than a need...sometimes in the smaller tank the filter or water flow from the filter can cause fin problems in my experience-due to-there is not anyplace for the fish to go to get out of the water flow and you can end up with tattered fin...kinda the flag in the wind effect-more with the long heavy fin Betta than the short fin type....but without the filter you need at least one weekly 100% water change for DOC and bad bacteria reason and a 50% to keep the ammonia in check/diluted....but more water changes the better...especially with the long fin type Betta

Heater and thermometer are needed to keep a stable water temp in the 76-80F range....

Look forward to seeing some pic and hearing more about your new wet-pet and setup...
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Old 12-20-2010, 08:53 PM   #6 
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Hello and Welcome to the forums

A 2.5 gallon tank will be fine for just him, having a heater is far more important then rock on the bottom I would say, and depended on the room temperature would play a bigger factor in how large of a heater. Most say 5watts per gallon, but I have a 50watt in a half or 1 gallon tank and it can dropped to 75*F and its suppose to maintain a 78*F temperature, I just need to move the tank to a warmer spot. Plus it is always better to have more then you need encase you really need it, and they are only a few $ more then a lower watt. My 200watt was $3 more then my 100watt.. A filter will help not to need water changes so often. I use a little Tetra Whisper In-tank 3i Filter. This also helps move the water around to keep my 5 gallon warm for the divided spots, heater being in the middle. It is air driven and comes with the air pump, hose, and filter with 1 cartage. Also they are rather cheap. Cycling like said Is pointless in such a small tank, as long as the water is conditioned and warm, your Betta will be good to go ;)
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Old 12-20-2010, 09:11 PM   #7 
ktstar23
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Thanks for the quick replies!

Good to know about the cycling, and that a filter isn't totally necessary. I'm thinking that I'd like to get one eventually to cut down on water changes, but I'll wait until after Christmas, hehe. (As it is I'm digging mostly out of my pocket to get this new stuff, but I think it's worth it!)

So most important is the heater, it seems. I really need to get one, poor Horatio is cold! I moved him from my room to the kitchen, where it's warmer, and he immediately was more active...but still somewhat sluggish. If it's a 2.5 gallon tank, then...how many watts?

Also, conditioner. Right now I just have this NutraFin stuff that came with my starter kit. Is it decent to use, and if it is, how much should I use to make my tank hospitable?

Last edited by ktstar23; 12-20-2010 at 09:26 PM.
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Old 12-20-2010, 09:25 PM   #8 
wallywestisthebest333
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Welcome to the forum! :D

IMO if you're going to eventually have a filter and light you should just buy a 5 gallon kit in the beginning. It's a lot easier on your wallet though it may not seem like it. I don't live in Canada but in the US 5 gallon kits are generally cheaper than 2 or 2.5 gallon kits (surprisingly), they're better quality, and they have more room which is always nice because it makes it easier to decorate. =] In the long run I think you'd be way happier (and spend less money) on a 5 gallon. =] You may choose to upgrade later anyway (to a 10 gallon or something) but if you do then it's just one less tank in the upgrade process (that most of us get sucked into) that you've wasted money on.

That's just me though. I also have a 2.5 gallon that I use for my betta Genie and he likes it. I know he liked it better when I had him in the 5 gallon for a few days though. But again that's just me. Do what you think will make you and your boy happiest. =]
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Old 12-20-2010, 09:52 PM   #9 
Malvolti
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I can't speak for BC but in Ontario I can't find 2 or 2.5s anywhere, 3s are hard to come by aswell. Here a 3 gallon kit is about $50 and 5 gallon kits are usually around $65. 1.5 gallon kits are everywhere and cost about $20. What you have is fine though.

For a 2.5 gallon you'll want probably a 10w or 25w, check the package and make sure it will heat at least up to 2.5 gallons, not all 10w do. 10w usually cost around $25 and a 25w costs about $20 (pricing logic fail).
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Old 12-20-2010, 09:57 PM   #10 
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when you get a heater, grab a thermometer sticker type or the little glass tube type, so you can keep an eye out on it, some heaters can go and and heat up to much, some you may need to adjust higher then what it says its on. I personally use have a sticker type on every tank in the house, most are ATI and 2 are Petco.
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