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Old 02-18-2011, 10:41 PM   #1 
tfranc
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Question New 10 gallon please advice

Hi I finally got around to setting up my 10 gallon tank yesterday, with a corrugated plastic sheet as a divider, some glass stones and their heater.

I added the water yesterday and added the water conditioned to get the chlorine out as well, let the heater get the water to temperature and let my bettas get used to the water as well.

Is it normal for the water to have a ton of bubbles on the tank edges?
Also, today the water looks murky and not clean and its only been a day, am i doing something wrong? please help!

thank you
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Old 02-19-2011, 08:01 AM   #2 
jespenguin
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I'm not to knowledged in bubble nests, but I do know thats what bettas make. Without a filter, the murkyness is probably likely. My 55 gallon took 3 weeks to be a cystal clear after setting up. Also, check that heater for a water here mark, if the waters not to there and that part is heating up out of the water, they can explode. Never a good thing, plus you have some definate room to fill the water up more.
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Old 02-19-2011, 08:20 AM   #3 
Here Fishy Fishy Fishy
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tfranc,

Water evaporates quickly, especially if your tank is not covered... which means your heater could be compromised before you know it. Add water and cover your tank.

A covered tank will prevent excessive evaporation, make the air above your betta safe for him to breathe (they need warm, moist air to protect their labyrinth organ - bettas breath air from the surface of the water) and keep your betta from jumping to his death (they like to jump).

Also, the corregated plasic is a great divider - the fish can't see each other - but you'll need to be sure that water can flow freely from one side of the tank to the other, for even distribution of heater and filtration (when you get some).

Without filtration, you'll need to change the water frequently to prevent the build up of ammonia and other chemicals that will be toxic to your betta. A water testing kit will help you keep track of what's going on in the tank.

Fresh, conditioned and heated water will help your betta be his best!
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Old 02-19-2011, 04:56 PM   #4 
tfranc
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Thanks so much, about the filter, I have heard way to many horror stories about them and how the bettas fins get cought and sometimes they end up inside the fan, where they die a horrible death, that is why I am afraid of adding one in, even though it would make my life easier. about the divider, its really funny because even though they can't really see each other, they still keep flaring one on one side and the other on the other at the same place :)

and they apparently did make a bubble nest so I assume they like their new home.

but I will add more water and check out the top cover to keep them nice and safe.

I guess the water will not get nice and clear unless I add a filter right?

thanks
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Old 02-19-2011, 07:41 PM   #5 
Here Fishy Fishy Fishy
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OMG, if I had heard such gruesome filter stories, I'm sure I would have balked at them too! O_O

The water will not get nice and clear without a filter, and in fact, it will need to be changed frequently by hand, to remove toxins from the tank.

The good news is that there are many types of filters, and in reality your fish is in more danger of dying/illness/short life from toxins in the water than he is from filteration.

Since you have male bettas, you'll want a filtration system that gives very little current, so they don't have to fight the current to get around. If you do a search on the forum for 'filters' or 'filtration', you should be able to find out what systems will work best for your situation.

I'm glad to hear your fishes are building bubble nests! That is a good sign. Yes, they will flare at each other... they can 'smell' each other even if they can't see each other. :)

As for the cover, you could use more corregated plastic or plastic wrap. If you're really desperate, a long taped down piece of corregated cardboard will do. Bettas are jumpers. Without a cover, you're risking a dried up fishy friend on the floor. :(
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Old 02-19-2011, 07:52 PM   #6 
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Even if you get a filter, how will the water flow from one side to the other? Or are you getting two filters?
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Old 02-19-2011, 07:52 PM   #7 
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I'd go ahead and put four more inches of water in no matter what.

I don't like your divider for one reason, it had no sterility when it was manufactured and is probably leaching into the water.

You CAN one-filter with such a divider, you simply have to leave some room open, either holes in the divider for flow or you can cut a hole in it, round if you use intake pre-filter sponge or square for a rough sponge so you have a way for flow to get back to the intake side. Cheap all around. Just cut a notch on the back edge of the divider so the filter can sit on the edge with its flow straddling the wall. If you don't allow for flow you could set up two smaller filters like the smallest submerged pump whispers.

You can make a hanger to dangle them down inside the tank to the water height you're using with a plastic coat hanger or fishing line or a milled piece of 408 stainless with the top edge turned into a squared off hook and the bottom with a slot in it for the hanging hook. Don't use steel or aluminum exposed in the tank if you can avoid, even above the water line.

I don't believe that heater should be touching the bottom, either.

Looks to me like the heater side is cloudier, the other side is probably cooler.
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Old 02-20-2011, 08:51 AM   #8 
Here Fishy Fishy Fishy
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Thunderloon,

People do make plastic substitutions when making dividers. There is another person (sorry, I'm drawing a blank at the moment) in this forum who successfully uses plastic needlepoint canvas for her dividers.

Yes, I agree that plastics leaching can be a concern. But for right now, our friend is getting things basically up and running. His bigger concern is to make that divider flow-through (if he can).

An ice pick or awl would be great for poking holes in the plastic... any rough edges and 'hanging chads' would have to be sanded off afterwards. A rinse in hot water before it goes in will remove any sanding residue.

When you are a betta owner, sand paper is your friend! :)
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Old 02-20-2011, 03:29 PM   #9 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Here Fishy Fishy Fishy View Post
Thunderloon,

People do make plastic substitutions when making dividers. There is another person (sorry, I'm drawing a blank at the moment) in this forum who successfully uses plastic needlepoint canvas for her dividers.

Yes, I agree that plastics leaching can be a concern. But for right now, our friend is getting things basically up and running. His bigger concern is to make that divider flow-through (if he can).

An ice pick or awl would be great for poking holes in the plastic... any rough edges and 'hanging chads' would have to be sanded off afterwards. A rinse in hot water before it goes in will remove any sanding residue.

When you are a betta owner, sand paper is your friend! :)
Agreed except the point on the plastic he used, the needlepoint grid is urethane and an almost leech-free material that is highly immune to most chemicals... you never can tell with poster-backing board.

Quick and easy flow through:

See if you can find a few of these in 3/8" inch ID at your local hardware store: http://www.plumbingsupply.com/bulkhead.html

You can cup one boy and carefully use a pointed scissor to rough out a hole then thread this in and put the nut on the other side. Three should be enough to deal with the flow of any reasonable filter. Put them with at least two inches of separation between holes so the divider isn't weak. Hopefully they won't cost more than a buck or so each. If they do I'm sure you can find some other fitting that will work the same way.

If you move up to an acrylic divider you can keep the bulkhead fittings or use larger ones with plastic mesh tightened down over the male end by the nut.
Acrylic sheets can be bought at Home Depot (usually) back by the windows, securing the edges with a "log" of foam or foam inside cheap shop-vac hose, what-not, works.
In the end though you'll probably want an actual made-for-tank divider. Might end up being cheaper.

Last edited by Thunderloon; 02-20-2011 at 03:33 PM.
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Old 02-20-2011, 03:49 PM   #10 
Malvolti
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Most people who have problems with betta+filter are inexperienced. By putting a piece of nylon stocking over the intake or some filter foam inside your fish can't get sucked in. By baffling the output you can redirect or reduce the flow enough to not harm the Betta. A filter will also let the tank cycle.

Others have covered the rest. The divider needs to allow water flow (I use the plastic knitting canvas method which works great, better than store bought versions and cost me $4).

You should have more water in there which would also allow the heater to be raised off the bottom. If you get a hood you can fill to the top which means more swimming space for the Bettas and you can do fewer water changes each week. A half full 10 gallon with 2 bettas is technically only a 2.5 gallon and should be treated as such.

Bubbles on the sides means you didn't let the water sit long enough before you added it to the tank. From what you said I'm guessing you added the water straight to the tank and then treated it in the tank. There really isn't anything wrong with that and the bubbles will go away after a few days.
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