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Old 02-07-2012, 10:14 PM   #1 
fishergirl16
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How should a Betta Fish Tank be cleaned?

I had a betta fish in the past in a small 1 gallon bowl. Despite the fact that it lived for a while, I noticed it wasn't thriving like other ones I had seen. I went and researched after it died and found out a lot about how I should take care of it.
I would like to get another betta, but before I want to get the right tank setup and everything that I need to for it.

Some tanks I looked at were the:
-Fluval Chi
-Eclipse 3 Gallon or 5 Gallon Hex

I mostly want something beginner, as I'm very new to this and would like a basic setup. I was wondering which of these tanks were better or if there could be any suggestions.

Also, do I need to acquire live plants? I just wanted to get some soft ones from the pet store but I'm not too sure anymore. Like I said, I don't want to have many things like plants rotting on my hands when I'm just a beginner.

About tank 'cycling', I really do not know what this means and if it is even necessary. Do I need to do this to keep a betta?

And then about water changes. I used to do complete water changes every week with my fish bowl but I don't know if this is the case anymore.. With my tanks, what would be the best water changes to do?

Finally, for a heater, I found the Elite Submersible Mini Preset Heater. Is this a good choice.

I'm sorry for all the questions, but if it at least some would be answered that would be great :) I was kind of shocked to see all the care that a betta fish needed, and I really want to redeem myself from my last experience :D
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Old 02-07-2012, 10:38 PM   #2 
EmilyN
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Don't worry about past mistakes too much. I did the exact same thing when I got my first betta. All my info came from friends who were making the same common mistake. But now your next fish can be happier :)

I, personally, would choose the 5 gallon hex out of the three you named. All three would be fine for one betta.

Soft, fake plants are just fine. Also, speaking of decor, you might want to add a cave or two for your fish. Bettas enjoy them.

You really can't cycle a 3/5 gallon tank so don't worry about that.

I don't really know anything about that heater but I'm sure someone here can help. Maybe you could read some of the reviews here: http://www.amazon.com/Elite-Submersi.../dp/B00106X8QG
It is 4 star rated with 60 customer reviews.

Good luck!
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Old 02-07-2012, 10:48 PM   #3 
Shirleythebetta
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be careful of caves though. I use mugs because a cave I bought was sharpe on the inside. if you do get a cave you can file the rough spots though. just be cautious.
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Old 02-07-2012, 10:53 PM   #4 
fishergirl16
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Thanks so much! That helps a lot. Is the filter on Eclipse systems too powerful for a betta though? I read that somewhere and just want to clarify.. :)

Additionally, I saw some people using terracotta pots as caves for their bettas? Is this alright?

And the water changes? I've seen anywhere from 30% - 100% every week and I'm becoming a bit confused with the conflicted information xD.
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Old 02-07-2012, 11:21 PM   #5 
Shirleythebetta
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for the water changes most suggest a 50% and a 100% once a week. I have a one gallon, a one and a half gallon and a 2 and a half gallon that I give 100 percent changes once a week. So you kind of have base it off of what you think is best. Lots of people use terracotta. U should be able to run a search about it on here. I would stay away from any pots with holes. A person on here had an incident were their betta got stuck in the bottom of a flower pot. I like my mugs though. They are pretty cute and I stick the handles up. my bettas love to swim through the handles. pic below.
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Old 02-07-2012, 11:21 PM   #6 
Shirleythebetta
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oh the first pic is my first set up second is my current setup.
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Old 02-07-2012, 11:40 PM   #7 
fishergirl16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shirleythebetta View Post
for the water changes most suggest a 50% and a 100% once a week. I have a one gallon, a one and a half gallon and a 2 and a half gallon that I give 100 percent changes once a week. So you kind of have base it off of what you think is best. Lots of people use terracotta. U should be able to run a search about it on here. I would stay away from any pots with holes. A person on here had an incident were their betta got stuck in the bottom of a flower pot. I like my mugs though. They are pretty cute and I stick the handles up. my bettas love to swim through the handles. pic below.
Thanks! But when you say a '50% and a 100%', do you mean or?
Also, if I get the 5 gallon, would 100% changes be too much since yours are 2 and under?
Finally, when doing changes, do I need to wash gravel/plants after I take the betta out? Idk, but a lot of poop or something could be hiding in the gravel xD.

And I'll find some mugs :) Do they need to be new?
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Old 02-07-2012, 11:47 PM   #8 
Shirleythebetta
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The mugs need to be new or rinsed really well in super hot water. Mine weren't new. I rinsed them. I have to say a five gallon is beyond my reach.
when I say a 50 then a 100. I mean do a %50 change like..... at the start of the week then the middle do a hundred. I really can't give much advice about a 5 gallon though. you can try sending a message to Old Fish Lady, Sakura8 or Dramaqueen. Any of them can give you specifics on their opinion of a 5 gallon if no one else answers you here. Also, the decorations and gravel... I rinse all of it in hot water since I do %100 percent changes. Then I rinse the tank. definatly message any of those people I mentioned and they will for sure give you the best information on changes in a 5 gallon. I think even if you don't do that many %100 changes in a 5 gallon I would still rinse everything. The gravel would have to be syphoned.....
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Old 02-07-2012, 11:49 PM   #9 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EmilyN View Post

You really can't cycle a 3/5 gallon tank so don't worry about that.
I have to disagree with this - my 5 gallon is fully cycled. :) Any tank with a filter 5+ gallons is going to cycle whether you want it to or not, unless you constantly change the filter media and scrub the heck out of the gravel, and let's face it, why would you?
What cycling is: the process of building up nitrifying bacteria in the filter (in other places too, but mostly the filter) that converts your evil ammonia into less evil nitrates.
What happens during a cycle: first, a source of ammonia is added to the water. Either you can do it with pure ammonia, fish food or a dead shrimp, or it will happen anyway when your fish poos. The ammonia will build up and nitrites will appear to eat all the ammonia. The nitrites will build up, then nitrAtes will appear to eat all the nitrites. Then all you have left are the nitrates. You do a water change, and your tank is cycled.
Fishlessly cycling a tank is, of course, easier on the fish, and requires less work because you only have to test the water. With a fish-in cycle, you have to do lots of water changes to keep it safe for the fish (spikes of ammonia, nitrites and nitrates are bad for fish), and each water change delays the process, so it does take a lot longer.

That's cycling in a nutshell. Let me know if you want to know more. :)

As far as live plants go, as long as you have a light on your tank you should be able to grow hornwort, wisteria, elodea (also called anacharis) and lacefern. With or without, you should also be fine with java fern, java moss and anubias. All of these are super-basic plants that really don't need anything special from you. They'll live off your fish poo and that's it. Faster growing ones (the first four I mentioned) will speed the cycle up, because they suck up waste.

With a cycled tank, properly stocked, a 25-50% water change once a week is enough. If you do a 100% change in a cycled tank, you might kill off some of the beneficial bacteria. In an uncycled tank, one 50% change AND one 100% change a week is necessary, to get all the bad gunk out that might contribute to ammonia levels.

Mugs don't need to be new - they just need to be clean. :) Sake cups can be a lovely, stylish alternative. :)
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Old 02-08-2012, 12:09 AM   #10 
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Thank you so much for letting me know about the cycling process! I'm not sure if I'm up to do it yet though; I just feel a little bit intimidated by the whole thing.. And I don't have supplies for testing water, etc.
If I get a 3 Gallon Tank would I be able to avoid it xD?
When I get a little more experience in handling fish I'd like to try it but now I just don't think I can. However, if there's a way to do it without testing the water, that would be great for me.

Also, do you know where I'd be able to find the live plants? The only ones I've seen are those Betta Bulb-things. Would I be able to find them at a pet store like Petco or something?
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