So I am (as of yesterday) the proud owner of a Betta! :) It was rather an impulse buy, in terms of I hadn't been planning on getting one right away, but when I saw them I couldn't resist! He is a beautiful blue/green "veil" tail (I think that's what he is?) with some red. My boyfriend insisted on naming him Poseidon (cliche, but he is just so beautiful!). I mortify the poor guy by referring to him as Po.
Anyway, he is in this horribly tiny 1 gallon tank from the store, and I'd like to change that ASAP (which is kind open top, which I don't know is a good thing?)! Thing is, I've never owned any kind of fish before! I'd like to get a 5 gallon tank, which I hear is the minimum size if you want to be good to your Betta. But I know NOTHING about filters, heaters, tanks, or anything like that! I just have my little 1 gallon tank with a plant inside (small, real plant).
So I guess my questions are as follows:
Can anyone recommend good brands/types for the tank, filter, heater, etc - maybe ones particularly good for Bettas? (I hear Betta's need minimal water movement... how do I ensure this? Is there are particular filter to use?)
Should I buy a "kit" or just buy separates? I'm not TOO concerned with price, although I'd rather not spend an arm and a leg (i.e. I appreciate bang for my buck).
Is there anything I need to know in regards to moving Po from my icky 1 gallon to his new 5 gallon (once I get it)? I have skimmed the threads and see something about "cycling", what is that and how do I do it? (Do I have to do it?) - I know about conditioning my water and everything, just not sure about cycling.
What kinds of other decorations do bettas like? I know not to get anything sharp because of their delicate fins.. but anything you recommend?
Phew! I feel like I have a ton of questions, I just want to make sure Po has the best life he can! :) Thanks guys, and I'm glad to be part of this community.
What i have understood from this site is the minimum a betta should have, is 2.5gals. However, I have had a betta who hated anything over 1gal, he would loose all of his colour and hide all the time. in his1gal he was always perfectly content. It depends on the fish.
Bettas should always have aheater, so when if you decide to buy a kit, it will most likely not come with a heater. you usually get the filter, some food, and some small extras
For the minimal water movement- almost all filters will have a strong current, but from what i've heard internal filters are pretty good. ive got a hang-on the back filter for my split 5gal, and i baffle it with a piece of filter sponge and an elastic band. i know alot of other people on the forum use it aswell, and it is also a good place for beneficial bacteria to grow.
Welcome to the forum and to the wonderful world of Betta keeping...its a great hobby to be a part of.....
As CC has posted-every Betta is different and unique with likes and dislikes...they love to keep us on our toes...lol.....
As far as tank size-thats up to you...IMO/E...they are fine in 1gal tanks provided that the needed water changes are made, however, when you just have one- getting the planned 5gal will give you more room to decorate and create a special space for your new wet-pet.....however, be warned this is addictive and hard to have just one Betta...laffs.......
Heat is really important for this species of fish...maintain a stable temp in the 76-80F range
The nitrogen cycle-this will happen in a filtered tank rather you want to or not......you can safely establish the nitrogen cycle with the Betta in the tank provided that you make the needed water changes to keep him safe and once you get your new tank...we would be happy to talk you through it once we get all your specks on the new tank.....
Check out and read the sticky and other threads and as you come to thing you don't fully understand....just ask...we will be happy to answer all the questions you have......
Hi,welcome to the forum.
I'm glad to see you have been reading up on the forum and learning about looking after your new little friend.
A 5G tank would be lovely for him (2.5G seems to be the minimum,but I prefer 5G as there is more room for the Betta to explore and a little more room for error in water quality for beginers).
Are you from the U.S /Canada? because I can't recommend a tank kit as we have different ranges in the U.K from you.(light,heater & filter is needed)
You can cycle a 5G tank with your Betta in it as long as you watch the water quality (Ammonia,Nitrite & nitrate levels) to do this best use a liquid test kit and not the paper strip ones.
For deco,you have a live plant in your current tank.Do you know what plant it is?,unless you have enough light source the plant may die (wait until you get the new tank and find out what light it is and we can recommend plants then).Bettas love places to hide so you can get fake plants (silk if possible as some plastic plants can have sharp edges that can rip your Bettas fins..you can try pulling a piece of panty-hose/tights/stockings across the plant,if it snags then its a no no).Also you could buy a cave type deco for him to hide in (make sure it's big enough so he won't get stuck).
Bettas can jump,so a hood/lid is prefered.
A filter is not needed, but it is alot easier to have one. Also, most filters are naturally too strong. All you have to do is buy an aquarium sponge from a petstore (do not use dish sponges), then cut it to fit the outtake part of the filter (the "waterfall" part) and put a rubber band around it and the filter.
As for a heater, (provided you get a decent brand) they are pretty easy to use. Just set it to what temp you want and it stays there. Though make sure when you get a heater, let it sit in the setup tank for about 15 mintues before plugging it in (just to be safe).
There are two brands of 5 gallon tanks at Walmart that are both good tanks. Both about $30. One is Tetra brand and the other is Hawkeye. They both come with filters and little things like sample water conditioner.
For decor. Get some silk or live plants and something for him to hide in to feel safe. Make sure the cave has no tiny holes as I have heard many Bettas get their heads stuck in them.
Good luck with your new, soon to be, obsession. And welcome to the forum! :)
I'm new to betta-keeping as well. One word of caution - be very careful NOT to overfeed! As I've learned on this forum, a betta's stomach is the size of their eye! And they are little piggies and will continue to eat and eat which causes their bodies to bloat and other problems. I feed a few micropellets in the morning and a tiny bit of flake. In the evening, I feed a tiny bit of freezedried shrimp OR a few freeze dried bloodworms (like three). Some people fast their fish one day a week. I've done a morning meal only for a day - but haven't fasted Brooke. Hope that helps!
2.5g and 5g minibow aqueons have a mechanical/chemical filter but no nice biological function and the flow it a tad strong, needs modification. One side will be darker than the other.
3g Marineland Eclipse is a VERY VERY reliable little tank but mine always overheated with the light on, its a bio-wheel system that uses the "hex 5" filters you can get at walmart. I'd add a pre-filter sponge on it to keep from quickly polluting the main filter cartridge. It is a very nice tank with the exception of having to lift the whole lid to feed (hatch is over the filter, WHY marineland WHY?!?) and the light is up front in the lid. Great lighting, nice and strong for plants.
Petco has a 2.5gal "chest-like" tank with LED lighting that's built to same quality as the 2gal hex I reviewed someplace round here. It has a few more bulbs and a bit stronger power supply to it.
The 1.8gal Tetra bio-orb thing is nice looking if a bit over-board BUT you can cut a piece of cascade bio-media to fit down in the gutter to the output falls and make it a full biological filter, even has round thing you could fit the sponge/material around. BTW on the Tetra Bio-Orb you can tie a ribbon round that plastic circle and hang it down to the water's surface and get rid of much of the trickle sounds.
I'd say the only real issue I have with the Aqueon version of the bow-fronts is the mechanics of the filter's flow. They use a flat horizontal cartridge which progressively blocks and while it DOES get the water all sparkly clean, horizontal filters clog quickly. This system has an over-flow side port that also drains into the tank so you have to take a good look or open it to see if the filter is done. Aqueon filters use a submerged pump and a nice no-suction-stick intake pipe and the 1 and 2.5g have a horizontal flat output that produces a nice wide stream that breaks up surface really well. A strip of sponge would probably fit into the output and be serviceable for making the stream go down slower.
There are a couple other tank options to consider.
Quite a few people have been happy with the 6.6 gallon shelf tank, it uses a tetra HOB version of the whisper filters, you can fit a bio-media in there easily. It fits interesting niche locations and has plenty of room for bettas to pace for exercise. It IS sensitive to flexible or simply non-flat surfaces. Since it's acrylic it will flex at first but they all get brittle with age.
There's also a 3 gallon? round tank that is fairly sturdy, the one with the bottom center light thing. (this is the one at petco, not walmart) You can easily cut a slot for a Tetra internal whisper into the lid (it's just a frisby) and it comes with a handy little Hawkeye air pump. It's technically an undergravel filtration tank but the center column isn't wide enough to get an appreciable flow for the total surface of the gravel bed. UGF need betta-unfriendly flow rates to operate well.
The question you need to ponder on tanks and tank size is "How much can I afford to replace one component of each month?"... you save that budget up then you can buy plants and knicknacks just for the wiggles you'll get.
But yeah, don't risk putting a chinese algae eater alone with a male, the algae eater can move faster and give nasty hickeys that take scales off. Mine's in the girls tank and it took four other girls to get him to leave Purp alone. She has a hickey on her left side now. The algae eater counts as 3 inches new and five inches of fish after about a year. They DO keep tanks awesomely clear tho.
Last edited by Thunderloon; 02-19-2011 at 06:28 PM.