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Old 01-28-2011, 07:57 PM   #1 
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Unfortunate Circumstances

I have been placed in possession of a lovely male Betta that I am absolutely in love with... Unfortunately, as the fish was a gift, I'm not sure I have anything remotely close to what I need to properly take care of it (and am pretty sure the setup is pathetically lacking if not downright dangerous to him...) And, as I am also a college student, resources are a bit limited. I was wondering if I could get a quick rundown on what I need to get/replace and how to take care of the the good Doctor. (Betta's name is Dr. Horrible) Cheap would be best. Thanks for your time.

First, the things I do have:

1 gallon tank w/ plain gravel on the bottom...
Small filter that came with the tank, not sure on power, size or type...
Silk plant
Bottle of BettaMin food (flakes and dried brine shrimp)

Right now, I've got the tank setup the way the instructions say to, with the filter running. (the tank I filled with spring water... I did NOT treat the water at all, because I don't have anything to treat with.) I've ordered a water testing kit for Ammonia and it should arrive in the near future... I know he needs a bigger tank, but to be honest, it may have to wait until I can get ahold of some disposable income.... Any advice on dealing with the smaller tank until that happens?

Right now, he doesn't seem to be suffering from any ill effects. He's lively and responsive, if not a little too determined to dominate the filter. He keeps swimming right up to it and demanding it to surrender. :P
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Old 01-28-2011, 08:02 PM   #2 
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Betta are very resilient, he should be able to hang in there a few days until you can upgrade the setup.
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Old 01-28-2011, 08:34 PM   #3 
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You really need to get a water dechlorinator like asap... If there's a 24 hour wal-mart near you I would go pick up what ever they have that removes the chlorine and chloramine from water. If not pick something up first thing in the morning.

Seachem Prime is the best conditioner but any will do really.

Your biggest issue is going to be heating. Bettas need to be in temperatures around 80 degrees to be happiest. It's virtually impossible to reliably heat a tank that small. Most heaters will over heat that size.

I would also go pick up some pellets
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Old 01-29-2011, 10:37 AM   #4 
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Welcome to the forum and the wonderful world of Betta keeping......

The 1gal with a filter will be fine-watch and make sure the filter is not too strong and causing any swimming problems or fin problems...if so...I would take it out..

In a 1gal with a filter twice weekly water changes of 50% will be needed to maintain water quality......1-50% water only and 1-50% to include the substrate/gravel cleaning with either a vacuum or stir and dip method

You will need a dechlorinater that covers-chlorine, chloramine and heavy metals and use your tap water...the bottled water may not have the needed minerals for long term health and can get costly with all the water changes you need to do on a 1gal need to change him over to the tap water slowly.....get the dechlorinater first and make a 50% water only change with dechlorinated tap water and he should be fine....

When you make your water changes make sure the water is within a couple of degrees between new and old water so not to cause temp related problems and use dechlorinator with any water added to the fish.....

You need to get a heater and thermometer to maintain a stable water temp in the 76-80F range.....they have heaters that will work well in 1gal tanks-look for 7.5-25w heaters...I use both watt types without issue in my 1gal unfiltered Betta tanks

Good luck and keep us posted...we would love to see some pics...
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Old 01-29-2011, 12:14 PM   #5 
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as for water changes I would think you would have to change 100% of the water at least once a week to prevent ammonia build up, I am wondering if OFL meant to write a 50% and a 100% each week

Anyhow, in my uncycled unfiltered 1.5 gallon kritter keepers I did 100% water changes every three days.. until I got some floating plants (hornwort, duckweed) they eat up the ammonia and now I do a 100% every 5 days..
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Old 01-29-2011, 12:55 PM   #6 
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Location: New England, USA

I have a tiny baby betta in a one gallon. The tank came with an undergravel filter set up, which I am NOT using. In such a small tank, water changes are a necessity - and I wanted to make the process as easy as possible. I am using this tank:

This is a nice 1 gallon set up. Best of all, it comes apart quite easily and the shape is such that I was able to fit a Tetra 2-15gallon (50watt) heater in the tank. It is keeping the water at a consistant 78-80F.

When my fish is full grown (about 3") she will require about 3 gallons of water to support her 'bioload'. At that point, I plan on moving her (and my cori cats) to the sorority tank I am currently saving $ for. The one gallon will then become a quarantine tank.

Good luck on your own betta adventure! :)
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Old 01-29-2011, 02:18 PM   #7 
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With a filter-twice weekly 50% should maintain water quality in a 1gal

Without a filter-1-50% and 1-100% would be needed to maintain water quality

This is based on experiments I conducted (not scientific but I did have a control tank) in 1gal and 3gal tanks with no live plants and 1 adult Betta
What I was looking for- was ammonia and how many days it took to reach unsafe levels and I found that basic care would be the same on both the 1g and 3gal tanks unfiltered...this is just my opinion and experience based on a non-scientific experiment.....this could vary from tank to tank based on source water, feeding, foods...etc......

Addition of live plants changed the results even with the added snails

You are not trying to create a sterile environment, however, since we are dealing with a closed system regular water changes are needed to keep water chemistry safe for the fish and ammonia is just one concern-you also have dissolved organics that can be problematic when they reach high levels...... and IME-with this species you also make water changes for fin health in addition to the water changes for water quality...
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Old 01-29-2011, 02:28 PM   #8 
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Congrats on your new Betta He's really pretty!

Everyone is giving some great advice, for sure a water treatment, and for sure a heater. I have a 'Hydor Theo 25w' which I have used in a 1.5 gallon for ages, even when half full (while traveling). It doesn't overheat....once you set it to a temperature, it maintains it within a couple of degrees while shutting off and turning on automatically. These seem to be the most reliable based on reviews. I got mine on, and you can find them between $13-$18.

Other than that, lots of water changes are a good idea, and the whole live plant thing will really help you out. Mine LOVES Java Moss, which is easily kept....just throw it in the tank, no need to plant.

Good luck
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Old 02-05-2011, 03:01 PM   #9 
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Dr. Horrible is doing well in his home. The roads have been so horrible around here that I haven't been able to get anywhere. I've been doing two water changes a week- a 50% and a 100% where I clean the gravel and he seems to doing well.
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Old 02-05-2011, 03:17 PM   #10 
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Good to hear he is doing better....good job....
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