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Old 05-14-2011, 11:48 AM   #1 
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Red face Do you think this will make an acceptable betta habitat?

Hi! I'm Midnightx21, aka Lauren. I just joined the site yesterday because I'm [hopefully] getting a betta soon. If I can just convince my parents....LOL.

Anyway. I've been researching various tanks, decorations, etc. and wanted to know what you guys thought about the things I've found. Please keep in mind that I'm on a limited budget and can't afford anything super-expensive.

I'm planning on buying the 2 gallon one. I thought it was a bargain with all the built-in features, especially the light, which will help keep the water warm.

Not much to be said here...

I have a couple questions with these. Are they of good quality? Do I need more than one? Are they big enough?

Decorations: [no link]
I have tons of seashells and rocks that I've collected from previous beach vacations. If I wash them off, will they make suitable decorations?

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Old 05-14-2011, 11:54 AM   #2 
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Hmmm I'm not an expert but you should try to get a 2.5G instead of 2, but if you get the 2 anyway, don't spam with gravel like the one in the photo, I think 1 plant is enough on that tank because of the size, and you would need a cave for him to stay in, also a filter and a heater, and a thermometer to check the temp from time to time.

Sounds a lot but when you buy everything, it's just fun later, I have just 1 betta and 3 snails in a 10G tank, the food I bought, gosh that's enough food for like 5 years for him, and I even bought another one for snacks.. xD!

What you can always do, like most people here in the forum do, is to get a 5G tank, then you can buy a divider and have 2 bettas on it.

oh and welcome to the forum


If you are from the US, check this one another guy from the forum linked:

Almost the same price and 2.3x bigger!

Last edited by SillyCone; 05-14-2011 at 11:56 AM.
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Old 05-14-2011, 12:03 PM   #3 
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You wont need a filter necessarily with a tank that just have to do more frequent water changes. You will need a heater & a thermometer.

You also should not put any seashells or rocks or things from the beach in your tank because it will alter the pH. (Usually too high)

Also, plastic plants aren't the best for bettas. Look for silk or cloth plants that wont tear delicate fins.

And I agree, gravel also makes it more difficult to do water changes in a smaller tank...but you'll probably need a little to anchor your plants. See if you can talk your parents into a 3 or 5 gallon kit that comes with most of the things you'll need. I have a tetra crescent 3 gallon that I like (about $50), but a 5 gallon kit..even a critter keeper would be nice. Then you can easily have a heater and gravel and lots of plants and hiding places.
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Old 05-14-2011, 03:18 PM   #4 
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Thanks so much for the advice!! This will be my first betta, so I'm trying to figure everything out lol.
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Old 05-14-2011, 03:42 PM   #5 
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Okay, stop by your local PetCo. There 2.5 gallon tank (lighted hood, filter in the hood bow front betta tank) is on sale for like 50% off. So depending on the price at your store it could be $18 or $25. But it's SO worth it.

If you can't afford that, or your parents think it's too much for a single betta, get the walmart Hawkeye 5 gallon for $25 then you can put a divider in for two bettas!

As for gravel, ditch GRAVEL. Ditch sand, too. Those are better for much larger tanks. Because they need basically a 100% weekly and a 25-50% sometime during the week, too, it's a PAIN. Trust me. Get larger pebbles or go for "river rock". The larger pebbles anchor REALLY well. I'll show you a picture of my male's tank with it and hopefully I have a picture of my female's with dollar store "stones" in it. The pebbles hold down his live plant extremely well and the stones in my female's hold down her fake plants wonderfully as well. Plus, I just dump it into a strainer and rinse it out with hot water really quick. The larger size of them means they don't stick, either, unlike gravel!

Plants. My first option? Go live! Anacharis is a super beginner plant and don't need anything fancy besides light. They are generally $2-$3 for a whole bunch of it. They also reproduce on their own! It can stay floating or can be tethered into gravel. It's perfect for decorating a smaller tank. Also, moss balls are decently priced and take next to nothing to maintain and flourish. If you're going fake, definitely go for silk plants. WalMart sells about 3 in a package for $5!

Thermometer is a must and are $2 at Walmart, too! Heaters go with this. Unless you live somewhere where it's reaaaal hot (like where I do!) you have to get one for your fish. Heaters vary from $12-$30, but for a smaller tank you can get one for about $12-$15. Look online for deals, too. You'd be surprised how much cheaper you can find them on online stores! Also, pet stores regularly have heaters on sale. So it pays to wait and look around.

I wouldn't use real beach items. They can affect the hardness, pH, etc. Not good for the fish! Plus, you don't know what's in them or what animal or species it came from. There are plenty of good, cheap things out there. I got a cave for 99 cents for my girl's tank from PetSmart! My boy's skull was on sale for $3 at Walmart. Just keep your eyes open! Plus, things like a terra cotta pot or a mug are cheap and can be used as a hidings spot.

Here's my male's tank broken down:
$5-Gravel (5lb bag, only used half!)


$3-Fake plant


You can do this on a budget.

Not to mention, thrift stores and Craigslist are wonderful places for cheap or almost free tanks. I got a 1.5 gallon tank plus filter for $3 at Goodwill and there's no cracks or leaks and the filter works! On CL I've seen full set 10 gallons (heaters, lighted hoods, filters, etc.) for $20.

^ That's my boy's tank. It provides ample hiding space (with the skull) and the anacharis provides him somewhere to rest. I see him laying on it allll the time. Plus, because it's "bare" but extremely functionable, he actually gets to swim! It's not flooded with things. Half the time I can't find him in there, LOL! Those pebbles I found at PetCo, by the way.

Good luck!
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Old 05-14-2011, 04:02 PM   #6 
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The 2 gal is perfectly fine. Having a filter is nice but not necessary. (I have both my tanks filtered and cycled. It means I only need to do a 25-50% water change 1x per week.) But the light won't heat the water so you will need to spring for a heater and thermometer.

If you use the gravel - which is fine if you are going to cycle the tank - you will eventually want a gravel vacuum but they are nice for water changes also since you use them to remove water from the tank without having to suck on a siphon hose.

My hubby looked at the stuff I had for my first one and said...Its a betta, they don't need that much. BUT - now he sees how active - and interactive - my bettas are agrees that the heater and larger space are worth it. (I have a 1.8 gal. and a 2.5 gal. tank both filtered, cycled and heated.)

Good luck!

P.S. - Silk plants are MUCH better for Bettas then the plastic ones. The sharp edges can hurt their tails.

Last edited by Grundylady; 05-14-2011 at 04:05 PM.
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Old 05-14-2011, 04:09 PM   #7 
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laughing is correct, but at walmart ive seen 5 gal tank kits with all the equipment for like 30$! thats cheap! and a heater for that im sure is around 20$.
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Old 05-14-2011, 04:29 PM   #8 
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You guys are awesome. Thanks!
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Old 05-14-2011, 04:53 PM   #9 
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That petco thing almost makes me wish living in the US. LOL!
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Old 05-14-2011, 05:22 PM   #10 
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Yeah, you can easily build a good tank on under $15...if you live somewhere warm. It's the heaters that take a good chunk out of your wallet. The preset heaters at Walmart are some of the cheaper ones ($11) while still doing a pretty good job heating smaller tanks.

Welcome to the forum btw!
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