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Old 12-30-2011, 12:05 PM   #1 
iSpyce
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Questions regarding upgrading my tank

Hello everyone!

I was given a beautiful red Betta for my birthday back in November (his name is Fin!). Currently he just lives in a standard fish bowl that holds.. I dunno.. maybe 2-3 liters of water. I'm not sure of the exact amount. Anyhow, I'm looking into getting this kit from Amazon, a 5 Gallon Marina Style Glass Aquarium Kit. I'm on a pretty tight budget right now so this sounded ideal for my price range.

I'm also wondering about gravel... is there anything I need to know to look for when looking for gravel for a Betta tank? Or is standard tank sand/rocks/gravel OK to use? How much do I need for a 5 gallon tank? I'm thinking of getting a 1 pound bag of the Marina Decorative Gravel because the price seems fair. Is 1 pound enough to coat the bottom of my tank or will I need more?

Sorry for all the questions. I've never really had a fish before so I'm clueless on how to take care of one. Any help is greatly appreciated!
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Old 12-30-2011, 12:15 PM   #2 
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Hello! Welcome to the forums! :)

That is a nice looking tank. 5 Gallons is a lovely size for a betta, he should enjoy it. The one thing the kit is missing though is a heater and that is a critical component to long-term betta care. I have a 50W heater in my 6.3 gallon and it keeps it at a constant 79 degrees F (going to raise it to 80). So an adjustable heater is really crucial.

You may also consider an internal, suction-cup thermometer as they are usually much more accurate than external, stick on ones.

As far as I'm aware your bog-standard aquarium gravel (like what you linked) should be absolutely fine. I'm not sure of the number of bags you'll need... I'm terrible with size when talking about weight. As long as you rinse the gravel (and ornaments/decorations/plants etc) before you use it you shouldn't have many problems.

Also try to avoid rough, plastic plants as decorations if your betta has long fins as this can lead to fin-tears. Don't forget water conditioner (looks like it's included) and betta-appropriate food (betta pellets, flakes and/or a mixture of freezedried foods).

Good luck!
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Old 12-30-2011, 12:39 PM   #3 
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Thanks for the response! I didn't even realize the tank doesn't have a heater. I even looked through what the accessories were and I apparently just over looked that. I'll probably just end up getting this mini heater, it's in my price range and has great reviews!

I can't wait to get my tank. I know he'll love it!
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Old 12-30-2011, 01:23 PM   #4 
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That mini heater is not going to heat a 5 gallon tank. Depending on the ambient temp of the room they barely heat 2 gallons to an acceptable temp range for a betta. You're better off going with a 25 or even 50watt heater, preferably adjustable. They're going to be more expensive but saving your money and going with the better heater is a much better option than getting the little heater because your fish will be huddled next to it and not enjoying the full tank.

If your are on a tight budget you don't have to get gravel. You can do 100% weekly water changes and just have a bare bottom tank with lots of decorations/plants. Its an easy way to save money.
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Old 12-30-2011, 01:42 PM   #5 
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In the summer the ambient temp of my apartment is fine, but during the winter months, living in norther New England, it's not uncommon for my apartment to fall into 20's, 30's, 40's (I can't afford heat and my fuel assistance is not enough to keep my room at a warm temperature all day every day all winter long).. this kind of environment is definitely not suitable for a Betta, which is why I wanted to get the heater- I figured it would warm the tank water to where it needed to be.

Looks like I may have to put off getting the tank for a while. I don't want to get one if I can't get the heater at the same time. You're right, I don't need decorations or gravel or anything like that if I can't afford them. I may have to send him to live with my mom for a couple months until I can afford a whole aquarium system.

thanks for the tips, guys!
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Old 12-30-2011, 02:14 PM   #6 
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Actually... would something like this heater work, at least for short term use, in my small fish bowl? Or are there any suggestions for what I can use for my small fish bowl? I'm sitting here punching numbers to see if I really can afford that aquarium kit, and right now, I just don't think I can do it. I thought I was going to be able to, but I was wrong.

Is a heater like that OK to use in a fish bowl (holds roughly 2-3 liters), or are there smaller heaters I can use?
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Old 12-30-2011, 04:59 PM   #7 
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In a small fish bowl the hydor heater would work.

Another option you might consider is getting a clear sterilite plastic container. You can get one that is easily 5 gallons or more for like $3 with a lid. Use a screw driver to punch a few holes in the lid and you've got yourself a nice tank and can use the rest of your budget to get a decent heater and a few decorations. It's a MUCH cheaper option. Then you can continue to save up for a standard aquarium and all the fixin's

Some people don't like them because they aren't crystal clear but they are a great alternative. You can even cut the lid for a filter, etc if you wanted.

Here's a picture to give you an idea of what it might look like. This is my spawning tub so it's not a permanent tank but i know plenty of people who use them as such. This tub holds roughly 4 gallons and cost less than $5 at wal-mart.
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Old 12-31-2011, 02:57 PM   #8 
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Hey.. that's a great idea! I never thought such a thing could work. The plastic won't bother the fish? I think I could afford that. Thanks for the tip!
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Old 12-31-2011, 03:22 PM   #9 
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Nope they don't mind it at all :)
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Old 12-31-2011, 03:33 PM   #10 
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For the 5g tank you could get this heater. And it is adjustable! If you have a heater you need a thermometer to make sure the heater is working correctly. The glass ones work the best. I would suggest this heater or this heater http://www.amazon.com/06105-Heaters-...5367093&sr=8-4 or http://www.amazon.com/Elite-Submersi...5367122&sr=8-1

For the Elite mini there is also a 50w version that is about $13 so here it is http://www.amazon.com/Elite-Submersi...5367194&sr=8-2
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