Hello everyone! I saw this site while browsing some other betta forums and I decided to join. I recently got my first betta about a week ago. I went in to the pet store to pick up some hamster food, bedding, and some frozen mice for my snake. I told my self I was NOT going to get any more pets because I already have several: a snake, a hamster, a ferret, two dogs, three Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches, a tarantula and a cat. Well I came upon this handsome royal blue veil tail and I couldnít help but to feel sorry for him. He was in a cramped little cup in the back of the store. I went in for a closer look and I fell in love. So. . . I couldnít help but to buy him. I got a five gallon plastic tank, some gravel, some plastic plants and some other basic necessities. I took him home and decided on the name Dorian Grey. Well anyway, being a new betta owner I have a few questions:
1. What type of filtration system should I get? As of right now Iíve been emptying half the water in the tank and putting new water in about every three days. Any info on filter type, size, etc would be great.
2. I really want to add some live plants so far I came up with Amazon sword. Iím looking for something that doesnít need a lot of light and can be buried in the gravel. I may be able to anchor something down but I donít want anything to float. Any Ideas?
3. Also if someone could please tell me a bit more about tank mates, decorations, sororities, basic tank set ups, and just some general info that I would need to know.
Sounds like you're off to a good start with a nice sized tank.
For filtration you are going to want something that does not create too much current. You can search "cycling" on the forum and find out about that. If you decide to cycle you're tank you'd do 1 water change a week, about 50% of the water. If you don't cycle you'll need to change 100% of the water every week because the ammonia that builds up in the tank will not be removed by only doing partial water changes.
What brand/type of aquarium do you have? A HOB (hang on back) filter is a great option because they don't take up much space, the flow can be easily baffled, and the intake can be covered to prevent torn fins.
Another option would be a sponge filter, basically these are hooked up to an air source and provide biological filtration with an adjustable current.
I wouldnt go with amazon sword for you're tank, they get huge and need a lot of light. I'd go with java fern, java moss, anubias, and the like. Low light and hardy plants.
I wouldn't put tankmates in a 5 gallon with a betta, if you really want to you can add a snail but other fish are out of the question IMO, too small for a betta to not get aggressive and territorial. Make sure any decorations are soft and won't tear you're betta's fins.
I would go into more detail but I have to leave for work. Just take a turn around the forum and use the search function and I promise you'll find everything you could hope to know and more :)
For number 3: Sororities are when a group of female bettas live together. The number of females should be 5+. But, since you have a male, you don't really need to worry about that.
Make sure your betta has hiding places in his tank. Plants and caves work well.
Some general information: Try and feed your betta pellets, not flakes. Flakes are okay, but they spoil the water. Pellets are easy to feed, just 2-3 per day. Aside from pellets, make sure your betta has a source of protein such as freeze dried bloodoworms. Frozen Bloodworms and frozen brine shrimp also work. Just chip off a tiny piece, and let it defrost in a cup of tank water. Use a syringe or tweezers to drop in the peices of defrosted food. Never defrost food and freeze it again as this can harm your betta. Only use freeze dried bloodworms as a snack, too much can cause bloating and constipation. Remove and uneaten food, and if it sunk a turkey baster of siphon should do the trick.
Weekly water changes should be good for your tank, but never use soap. Soap can harm your betta.
When a male is happy and healthy, he will blow a nest out of bubbles. Lately, alot of new members have been worried, but destroying a bubble nest wont affect your betta in the slightest.
Thanks guys! I've been looking through the site some more and you're right everything I need to know and more is here! Based on what you guys said and what I've read I've come to the conclusion to move Dorian to a bigger tank. I picked up a 10 gal aquarium today and ordered a pump and fliter online (I think it was called an Aqueon Medium filter pump system or something like that). I read over some reviews and tons of people said it was great to use for bettas- hope they're right! If not I'll pick something else up at the pet store. I'm in the process of setting up the 10 gal right now but I won't put Dorian in it until I get the pump and everything working. I think I'll also get some Java moss and some ferns maybe and definately some tank mates.