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Old 05-16-2011, 08:41 PM   #1 
idolsandanchors
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Old to fishkeeping new to this whole world of betta keeping.

So I have had community tanks in the past. A 55 gal and a 30 gal, but that was two years ago. About 3 weeks ago I decided I would get a cool little square bowl and buy a betta because it would be simple and easy to take care of. I had one a long time ago in a bowl that my cousin basically decided she didn't want anymore and it lived like 2 years (even survived multiple suicides and accidentally getting beer in it's bowl).

So I got a little red betta from Wal-Mart. I came after they had just got a truck and he was the most active best looking one there. After joking around we started calling him Billy... and it stuck. So I upgraded him from a bowl to a little $20 one gallon tank from Wal-Mart after discovering this site. He got alot more active and basically goes crazy whenever I'm in the room. Probably the most social fish I've ever seen. He even turns his head if you say his name. I decided to splurge on him and get a 5-gallon hex by Marineland as I knew it was a good brand and they have good filters (got him a heater as well). I bought some live plants from Petsmart and got some black sand substrate and let it sit without filtration overnight because the water was basically black. So now I have the filter running and I added an awkward shaped driftwood piece I had bought a long time ago but never had in a tank.

So does anyone have any suggestions on keeping up with this. I have never had live plants. I bought small ones as they were cheaper and I figured they would grow fast. And I am also curious as to getting him some sort of tankmate.
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Old 05-16-2011, 10:19 PM   #2 
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Originally Posted by idolsandanchors View Post
So I have had community tanks in the past. A 55 gal and a 30 gal, but that was two years ago. About 3 weeks ago I decided I would get a cool little square bowl and buy a betta because it would be simple and easy to take care of. I had one a long time ago in a bowl that my cousin basically decided she didn't want anymore and it lived like 2 years (even survived multiple suicides and accidentally getting beer in it's bowl).

So I got a little red betta from Wal-Mart. I came after they had just got a truck and he was the most active best looking one there. After joking around we started calling him Billy... and it stuck. So I upgraded him from a bowl to a little $20 one gallon tank from Wal-Mart after discovering this site. He got alot more active and basically goes crazy whenever I'm in the room. Probably the most social fish I've ever seen. He even turns his head if you say his name. I decided to splurge on him and get a 5-gallon hex by Marineland as I knew it was a good brand and they have good filters (got him a heater as well). I bought some live plants from Petsmart and got some black sand substrate and let it sit without filtration overnight because the water was basically black. So now I have the filter running and I added an awkward shaped driftwood piece I had bought a long time ago but never had in a tank.

So does anyone have any suggestions on keeping up with this. I have never had live plants. I bought small ones as they were cheaper and I figured they would grow fast. And I am also curious as to getting him some sort of tankmate.
Idols&A,

Plants are a great idea -- they help clean the water and your betta will love them. I have anubia and ambulia in my betta tank, along with some moss growing on driftwood.

I'd be very cautious about tankmates. I lost a couple of guppies to an earlier betta, who mauled them, thinking they were bettas. I couldn't even put in shrimp -- he flared at it, scaring it into fits.... I have a couple of snails in there now.

GB
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Old 05-16-2011, 11:25 PM   #3 
idolsandanchors
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Idols&A,

Plants are a great idea -- they help clean the water and your betta will love them. I have anubia and ambulia in my betta tank, along with some moss growing on driftwood.

I'd be very cautious about tankmates. I lost a couple of guppies to an earlier betta, who mauled them, thinking they were bettas. I couldn't even put in shrimp -- he flared at it, scaring it into fits.... I have a couple of snails in there now.

GB
The weird thing is mine has never flared once since I got him. I can show him another betta or anything he just stares.

Now how do I get some moss for my driftwood. I'm worried my piece is too big but I guess it's fine. I will post a picture of his new tank.

Old 1 gal


New tank

Last edited by idolsandanchors; 05-16-2011 at 11:34 PM.
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Old 05-17-2011, 12:03 AM   #4 
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The tank looks really good! The wood is big, but the way you have it set up is nice.

Probably not many tankmates to go with your betta in a 5 gal. When I first got Leroy, I had him in a 10 gallon and he was with some neon tetras and a couple peppered cories. They were just fine together. But, you probably know that the neons need to be in a school of about 5 or 6 +, and the cories need to be with several others as well, and 5 gal is just not big enough for this.

I've got Leroy in a 6 (+ a tad) gallon now by himself. I considered a snail, but I hear they produce lots of waste, plus the snail might get eyes or antennae eaten off. Don't want to do that to a snail.

I'm not living in the US now, so not sure what the shops have as far as moss.... but I'm sure you can find some out there, or on ebay, etc. To attach it to the wood, take the moss and lay it on the wood, maybe spread it out gently if it's in a big clump, and you can tie it on with fishing line. Sometimes fishing line doesn't knot well, so you could also use string or thread. Eventually, the moss will attach itself and you can remove the fishing line or string carefully.

Last edited by LeroyTheBetta; 05-17-2011 at 12:10 AM.
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Old 05-17-2011, 01:24 PM   #5 
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I've asked about plants. I want to do a sorority in a planted tank. See this thread here for some advice: http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=70604 Within that thread, there is a link about a good beginners guide to plants. It's pretty good. I suggest you check that link out too.

As for tank mates, I have a mystery snail and I really enjoy him. My betta bothers him every once in a while, but never violently. I keep a close look out for that. For other tankmates and stocking questions, I use aqadvisor.com. Don't know how accurate it is, but I've never had any problems what so every with it.

Hope this info helps!
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Old 05-18-2011, 04:54 PM   #6 
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Thank you all for your help and suggestions.

The new tank is cleared up fast. And the driftwood in the position it is in is basically being a baffle for the filter output. I'm a little worried though. I have tested the water the past 3 days and the ph stays around 6.7-6.8. But I keep getting a .5-1.0 on ammonia levels. I put in conditioner and everything. Should I add more? I'm afraid to do a water change and risk adding more ammonia to it. The fish has not been transfered yet. I'm too worried he will freak out and die.
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Old 05-18-2011, 05:26 PM   #7 
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Welcome to the forum and to the wonderful world of Betta keeping.....

Its hard to tell by the pic...but some of the plants look a bit like mondo grass an sometimes called kyto grass I think...this isn't aquatic and will rot and die polluting the tank....I would look up all your plants or post a clear pic of them and maybe we can ID them for you....some pet shop are really bad about selling non-aquatic plants as safe aquarium plants......

Is that an under gravel filter (UGF)..if so, you don't want to use rooted plants since the roots can get in the plate and the UGF won't work properly....moss, fern and anubia will all work well since you don't bury the roots with them....

What kind of testing products are you using...liquid reagent or strips....
what are your numbers for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH for the source water and tank water...be sure and do a 24h degas on the pH too

What is your source water-city water supply tap, well water...etc.....

In a 5gal tank-its not big enough for any other fish except for the Betta...other tank mates that would work are shrimp and/or snails, however, some Bettas tolerate them and other don't.......

What kind of additives are you using if any.....

I assume you are doing a fish-less cycle since you haven't added the fish yet...what are you using for the ammonia source

Your tank look nice...I like the black gravel and your driftwood.....

Last edited by Oldfishlady; 05-18-2011 at 05:29 PM.
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Old 05-18-2011, 05:36 PM   #8 
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Welcome to the forum and to the wonderful world of Betta keeping.....

Its hard to tell by the pic...but some of the plants look a bit like mondo grass an sometimes called kyto grass I think...this isn't aquatic and will rot and die polluting the tank....I would look up all your plants or post a clear pic of them and maybe we can ID them for you....some pet shop are really bad about selling non-aquatic plants as safe aquarium plants......

Is that an under gravel filter (UGF)..if so, you don't want to use rooted plants since the roots can get in the plate and the UGF won't work properly....moss, fern and anubia will all work well since you don't bury the roots with them....

What kind of testing products are you using...liquid reagent or strips....
what are your numbers for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH for the source water and tank water...be sure and do a 24h degas on the pH too

What is your source water-city water supply tap, well water...etc.....

In a 5gal tank-its not big enough for any other fish except for the Betta...other tank mates that would work are shrimp and/or snails, however, some Bettas tolerate them and other don't.......

What kind of additives are you using if any.....

I assume you are doing a fish-less cycle since you haven't added the fish yet...what are you using for the ammonia source

Your tank look nice...I like the black gravel and your driftwood.....
I got the plants at petsmart. Idk what kind really. I'll post some pictures when I get a chance. There is no undergravel filter though. I know they don't with plants. The tank is the Eclipse 5 by Marineland. I'm using water just from the tap with Wardley 3in1 conditioner which is what I know I used in the past. I haven't used any other additives though. I let the water settle for a day from the cloudiness of the black sand substrate.

Thanks by the way, I'm glad I came across the driftwood with my old aquarium stuff. It turned out quite nice. I still have a 30 gal tank. I'm debating on getting it back up. But I kind of don't feel like I will have the time. The 5-gal is enough. All these betta pictures make me want another though. I had know idea there were so many varieties of betta.
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Old 05-18-2011, 05:58 PM   #9 
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Its hard to have just one...laffs.....Bettas and aquariums in general can be addictive....lol.....

Petsmart is really bad about selling non-aquatic plants as aquatic and I wonder if this is your ammonia source since you didn't add any to get the nitrogen cycle going...have you tested your source water for ammonia.....I would make a water change on the tank until the ammonia is 0.25ppm or less before you add the Betta and then twice weekly water changes during the nitrogen cycling process(4-8weeks)...1-50% water only and 1-50% to include the substrate cleaning in all areas you can reach without moving anything or disruption of plant roots...or since you have testing products make the water only change based on ammonia/nitrite 0.25ppm or greater and once you have 0ppm ammonia/nitrite and 5-10ppm nitrate your nitrogen cycle is most likely established....but I am sure you know this already....not tell you anything you don't know...lol....habit to post it...lol....
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Old 05-18-2011, 06:05 PM   #10 
idolsandanchors
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Its hard to have just one...laffs.....Bettas and aquariums in general can be addictive....lol.....

Petsmart is really bad about selling non-aquatic plants as aquatic and I wonder if this is your ammonia source since you didn't add any to get the nitrogen cycle going...have you tested your source water for ammonia.....I would make a water change on the tank until the ammonia is 0.25ppm or less before you add the Betta and then twice weekly water changes during the nitrogen cycling process(4-8weeks)...1-50% water only and 1-50% to include the substrate cleaning in all areas you can reach without moving anything or disruption of plant roots...or since you have testing products make the water only change based on ammonia/nitrite 0.25ppm or greater and once you have 0ppm ammonia/nitrite and 5-10ppm nitrate your nitrogen cycle is most likely established....but I am sure you know this already....not tell you anything you don't know...lol....habit to post it...lol....
Okay, thanks.
And I got some pictures of the plants

The front grassy looking plant that I added around the bottom of the driftwood


And the back plants


I added 1 extra tsp of conditioner just to see if that helps any.

Last edited by idolsandanchors; 05-18-2011 at 06:09 PM.
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