So I bought a betta fish about 2 weeks ago, and she passed away today. Not entirely sure why! So I had a few questions, since I decided to get another one.
Which is better, glass or plastic for a tank?
Filter or no filter?
Pump or no pump?
How much air holes or slots should there be in the tank lid?
Does he need a light?
Does he need a heater? If so, what temperature should it be at?
My sister has a 5gal Fluval Chi tank, and it is currently around 20 degrees Celsius, and her betta and goldfish are doing amazing in it. I have researched what temperature to keep the tank at and I have been getting really mixed answers! Anywhere from 12 degrees Celsius, to almost 30 degrees Celsius. I do have a thermometer in his tank now.
Which is better, glass or plastic for a tank? This is preference. I prefer glass as it doesn't scratch like the acrylic does. However, if you're looking for a good smaller starting tank, the Aqueon Mini Bows are great as they come with a hood and a filter.
Filter or no filter?Again, preference. A tank 5 gallons or larger could be properly cycled with a filter. A filter will cut down on your water changes, but bettas like little to no flow. I don't keep a filter in my 2.5 tank as I found it to be too much. On a larger tank, I would never keep fish without one.
Pump or no pump? Air pumps are not needed for bettas.
How much air holes or slots should there be in the tank lid? Enough to allow oxygen to enter the tank, yet keep the air in the tank warm and humid. Most tank hoods are just fine.
Does he need a light? Bettas need a light cycle just like we do, meaning some light in the day and some dark hours at night for rest. I like my tanks to all have their own lights, as it makes the tank look nice and I have live plants. With live plants, you need to meet the requirements they need for lighting. Bettas themselves just need the light and dark so they could be fine in a lit room.
Does he need a heater? If so, what temperature should it be at? Yes, bettas are tropical fish and need temperatures ranging from 75-80 degrees farenheit.
I would also suggest having a chat to your sister about her stocking, if you can. Goldfish and bettas should not be together for a number of reasons.
1) Bettas like high temperatures, around 27C. Goldfish prefer cooler temperatures and will suffer greatly shortened lifespans at high ones. At her current 20C, her betta is freezing and will succumb quickly to any disease, which will likely arise as a result of my third point. He will not live as long at colder temperatures. If he does get sick, he will struggle to recover.
2) Bettas are aggressive, and a goldfish has lovely flowing fins that a healthy betta shouldn't hesitate to chomp on.
3) Goldfish get huge. The smallest species get at least 6 inches long, whilst the bigger species can get more than 14 inches. It is a myth that goldfish grow to the size of their tank. What actually stunts their growth is the ammonia from their waste (they are really heavy waste producers), building up in small tanks to a poisonous degree. This ammonia will also affect tankmates. As a consequence, they need big tanks (20 US gallons minimum for the smaller fancies, 30 for larger fancies and 55 for slim-bodied goldies) with double filtration.
I know they may look fine for now, but if they are in a Fluval 5 gallon together, she is going to run into problems sooner or later, and her fish will suffer. Goldfish should live 15 years and bettas at least 3, but can live as many as 5. They won't manage it in those conditions. :(
I'm sorry if I come across as rude or overbearing, but I see these two species mistreated (usually through ignorance, not malice - not saying your sister is being deliberately cruel at all) and it makes me so sad.
They have been together for 3 years already! The goldfish is some sort of "micro" goldfish? He won't grow any bigger than he is. So far the betta is doing great! Has never been sick, always eats and has never bothered the goldfish, but yes we did do research when we got them (they were already together when we got them, came as a package deal). Tried separating them, and the betta almost died in his new tank! So we put him back in the original tank and he came back to life, and has been fine the past 2.5 years
I would perhaps tell your sister that it would be best to separate them and find a new home for the goldfish though he's stunted already. As a keeper of both bettas and a few varieties of goldfish, I can tell you that these conditions aren't good for either fish. Hope I'm not coming across as rude, but as Bombalurina said, goldfish and bettas are probably the two species of fish that people get incorrect information on. I'm very glad that you came here first to get information about your betta before purchasing one. If everyone did that we'd see a lot less unhappy bettas!
Good luck on the next venture, be sure and let the temp match before releasing him into his new home, they can have temperature shock. Betta will take some lower temps to 72 degrees, but favored is 78 to 80. Keep the temp stable. Have great conditioners to remove chlorine from tap water, be sure that's done. Perhaps your aware of this, again best of luck. Keep us posted. Mine was in a 1 gallon experimental bowl, actually did great, but lots of water changes. Just recently put him in a nice 5 gallon setup.