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Old 01-10-2011, 05:42 PM   #1 
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whats a good beginner's setup for a few bettas?

Hello all. I recently moved into a new apartment and its a little bland and boring inside so I thought I'd pick up a little tank and get a betta or two to put on my kitchen counter.

I've read the FAQ and poked around a bit, but I would still like some advice on a beginner's setup. I'm not looking to spend a fortune, maybe just a small 2 to 5 gallon tank with 1 to 4 fish or so.

I know the bettas like warmer water, so I guess a heater would be needed? The main thing that kind of bothers me is having to deal with the pH level of the water and all, and dealing with chemicals. Do I have to worry about that a lot?

I'll probably buy everything from Petsmart, and was looking at this aquarium kit. Any opinions on this particular tank? Will the water filtration system that comes with the aquarium kits be enough? What else do I need with it?

Also, if I wanted to put several fish together, do they all need to be female betta or tetra to avoid conflict? Can I mix bettas, tetras, and glowfish in the same tank?

Sorry for so many questions, I just want to make sure I get everything right before I begin. Thank you!
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Old 01-10-2011, 06:44 PM   #2 
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Yes, a heater is needed. The temp should be stable in the mid to upper 70s. You don't have to worry about pH as much. Bettas can adapt to that. The only thing you really have to worry about is getting a dechlorinater.

2-5 gallons is a good size for 1 betta. At the most, you could divide a 5 gallon tank for 2 bettas.

Petsmart takes me to their homepage, so i can't see the tank youre talking about, but a filter is not necessarily needed. It only helps if you are going to cycle your tank.

In the size tank that you're talking about, you shouldn't put tankmates in with your betta. With the exeption of dividing a 5 gallon like I said. It is too small a space for that number of fish. Also, there is a lot more waste generated..

And welcome to the forum. :)
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Old 01-10-2011, 07:11 PM   #3 
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same for the homepage-

2.5 gallon min.

heater for anything over 3 gal

hidey hole thing+plus plants

if you don't use a filter, make sure you clean on a regular basis
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Old 01-10-2011, 07:18 PM   #4 
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A Heater is a must for any tank :D Not just for one over 3 gallons :)
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Old 01-10-2011, 08:17 PM   #5 
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Oh ok, if you go to the Petsmart page and go under aquarium, and then aquarium kits, you should see a bunch of small setups. Most of these come with some rocks, some decoration, a mini filter, and a light bulb.

The one I was looking at is a 2.5 gallon Hawkeye's Aquaview 360. Or maybe the Aqueon Mini Bow ones? Or even the Eclipse Hexagon. Most of these tanks feature several fish in the picture on the front. Can I not use several fish as well or are these different types of fish in which you can safely have more than one?

If I didn't use betta fish, what else would be good for a small tank such as these? I'd really like to be able to have at least 3 fish or something.
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Old 01-10-2011, 11:21 PM   #6 
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here's a really useful site.

You can put in your tank size, filter, the fish you want and how many and it will tell you whether your tank will be overstocked (hint, those pictures on the front of the kit boxes are often very inaccurate). I would go with a ten gallon or more if you want to put tankmates in with a betta.

The general feeling seems to be that smaller corydoras catfish are good, peaceful companion fish for bettas. Tetras may or may not nip your betta's fins. Female bettas need to be in groups of five or more or the low fish on the totem pole will be terrorized. You can't really fit more than one fish in a 2.5 gallon, you could put two bettas in a divided 5 gallon

If you don't want to go with bettas (while they are gorgeous fish, their territorial instincts can complicate community tanks), you might look at dwarf gouramis, tetras, danios, or platies. All of these are colorful and can do well in a community tank. I would like to stress, however, that none of these fish can be fit into a 2.5-5 gallon tank in the numbers they need to be comfortable or with the space they need to grow to their full size.

I would strongly suggest a ten gallon tank. A ten gallon tank is usually about the same price or even less than a smaller tank. You're paying for the convenience of a little tank and I have to say, after having had both a ten gallon and a 2.5 gallon, the fish are happier in the larger tank, and the tank itself is far more beautiful. I hope my ramblings help you make your decision and welcome to the forum!
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Old 01-11-2011, 01:57 PM   #7 
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I have the aqueon 2.5 minibow and I love it. I have one male betta and it's great for him. The filter can be a bit strong for some bettas, but there are ways to work with it (sponge pre filter slows down the current considerably). It does need a heater though - the heater really is a must.

if you want more than one betta you should really either get 2 tanks or divide a 5 gal (at least). As you probably know male bettas can't be kept together, and if you want multiple females you need at least 4 or 5.
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Old 01-11-2011, 02:55 PM   #8 
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If males don't get along with other fish, can anyone tell me why people don't just buy all female bettas if they aren't trying to breed? So it would be perfectly okay for me to put about 2-5 betas in a 5 gallon (that or 8 gallon is what I will most likely end up getting).

What if I only used glofish or tetras or some of the other varieties of tropical fish? I don't really have a preference, I just wanted a few fish that could comfortable live together and also look different.
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Old 01-11-2011, 03:22 PM   #9 
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Whether a betta gets along with other fish is a matter of the individual personality of the fish. People tend to get males because they are flashier and more available through stores like Petco.

It would be okay to put 2 males OR two females in a five gallon BUT you would have to put in a divider so they couldn't get at each other. No more than two bettas in a 5 gallon tank, and there MUST be a divider. If you just put in two females without a divider, they will probably kill each other. You would need a ten gallon to start a betta sorority (5 female bettas).

According to AqAdvisor, you could put 5 neon tetras in an 8 gallon.
Or, 5 glofish.
Or, 3 platies (these are bigger fish, so fewer in your tank.)
Just remember, you need a filter and a heater.
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Old 01-11-2011, 03:58 PM   #10 
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Can you recommend a good heater for a 5-8 gallon tank? I'm looking at the prices on some site and it looks like this will cost an additional $20 or so.

Are the filters that come with some of the aquarium kits sufficient enough? And are there any aquarium kits that COME with a heater? It seems like a lot of these kits have everything you need to get started, except a heater.

Oh and one more... would it be okay to put one male betta and have all the rest of the fish be different (other tropicals)? Or should I use one female betta and like 3 glofish and one tetra or something like that?
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