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Old 02-04-2012, 07:16 PM   #1 
MadameDesu
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Preparing for a New Friend

Hello,

I'm currently preparing to get a new betta and would really appreciate any and all advice!

Here's my shopping list:
Plastic 2 1/2 Drum Bowl
Aquasafe Water Conditioner
Thermometer
Hydor Slim Heater
Gravel
Gravel Siphon
Leaf hammock (how cute!)
Pineapple house
HBH Food

Here are some questions I have:

1. Is this a suitable tank environment for a Betta? I've been having second thoughts about it. I'd like to keep it at 2 1/2 gallons because I am a poor college student (also, I'd like to be able to keep him on my desk ), but if there's any kits out there that you guys would recommend, I'd love to see them!

2. How often would a 2.5 gal tank have to be cleaned? I was thinking 50% 2x a week, cleaning the gravel 1x a week. Does the fish have to come out during a 50% change or can I scoop water out and back in while the fish is in there? Can I use the siphon with a fish in the tank? (probably not)

3. How would I travel with him? Sometimes I go home on the weekends, about 45 min away. I don't want him to stress out too much!

Any additional advice is much appreciated! Thanks so much!

-MadameDesu
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Old 02-04-2012, 07:30 PM   #2 
peachesxo
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I'd pass on the leaf hammock and go for a real anubia or two instead. You don't need a light to keep them alive and it will last you longer than the hammock, and your betta will like it a lot more guaronteed. Plus they are way prettier :D (I had a leaf hammock and it started falling apart after 2 days in the tank, plus there is a wire in it so if that were to come out of the material it can very easily injure or kill your betta..)

As for going home on weekends, as long as you feed him right before, he would be fine on his own for those 2 days. Probably better to leave him then bring him with you and stress him out.
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Old 02-04-2012, 07:31 PM   #3 
a123andpoof
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Personally I wouldn't get a siphon, I don't use it on anything smaller then like 5 gallons. But it's up to you.
For water changes 1 50% and 1 100% each week. Even if you were to siphon you would need to do 100% Yes you can siphon with fish in tank.
The tank is fine! I use bowls with no problem. There are nice 2.5 gallon tanks, but the bowl will be cheaper.
I would also add in some plants like silk plants or something to your list.
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Old 02-04-2012, 07:33 PM   #4 
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Also betta leaf is up to you, I just got one and love it! Though it does have some bad reviews they are cheap enough that if it doesn't last long it isn't a huge deal.
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Old 02-04-2012, 07:35 PM   #5 
Myates
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Welcome :)

Sounds like a good set up-

If you are unsure about the bowl, what I use and many others use is a Kritter Keeper, they are sturdy, cheap, safe to heat and not too big- a medium is 1.75 gallons, and a large is about 2.75 gallons. I use a desk lamp at about 40watts to light mine up- it doesn't affect the tank temp, nor does it melt the plastic on top (my lamps are only a few inches above the plastic).

You can choose to filter them, or not- if no, then the recommended water changes for 4 gallons and under, with no filter is 1 50% (water only) and 1 100% per week, you may be able to get away with a 100% once every 4 days- with my water source it works best for me. You can test the water free at PetCos and Petsmarts to see if something such as that works for you.

If you don't use a filter, then you won't have to siphon out the gravel as the 100% weekly will take care of that.
For 50%, you can do either or- if you are using a bucket or a pitcher to collect the water prior to adding it into the tank, use the thermometer and get it to within a degree of the temp of the tank, and mix in the water conditioner then pour slowly into the tank. If you are pouring straight from tap into the tank, then it would be best to use the cup you get him in to hold him during the water change.
Make sure to unplug the heater during the 100%s, and just add in water close to what the temp was so the heater doesn't have to work too hard to warm it up.

BUT, if you wish not to do a 100% and instead siphon, buy a small siphon, and do that with each water change- 2-3 50% per week... you can leave the fish in there as long as he doesn't get too curious when you first place in the siphon to start sucking.. be careful as the water will but suctioned out quickly so have to move quick to get to all the places before it gets too low- why I just do the 100% heh.

I would also add in a couple silk plants- as bettas tend to love swimming among them, and using them for naps, just like they would on the hammock and in the pineapple.. plus gives them places to hide if they want some alone time, and mental stimulation while they swim about them looking for food.

If the heater doesn't seem to work too good (as sometimes presets can be tricky) fill the tank up with water around 78*F and usually the presets are able to keep it steady at that... otherwise they tend to only heat to a few degrees warmer then room temp.
For something around 2.5 gallons, I recommend a 25watt-50watt adjustable heater- that way you can adjust to what works best for the tank, and for you- as well as if you upgrade to a 5 gallon one day you can use the same heater.

Otherwise I think you have everything covered :) Wish you luck and looking forward to pictures!

Took me a long time to type this, sorry for double posting what others said.

Edit- as for travel, if going home on the weekends you wouldn't have to take him as they can live a couple of weeks without food- just do a water change prior to leaving, skip the last meal and he will be fine for days.
But if you wish to take him, then in his cup would be fine- I use a wool ski cap to keep my bettas warm on the long trip home from the store- just have to make sure he won't slosh around too much, and keep in mind the cups can make them cold/hot real easy/quickly.

Last edited by Myates; 02-04-2012 at 07:38 PM.
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Old 02-04-2012, 07:46 PM   #6 
MadameDesu
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I like the Kritter Keeper much better, actually!
I think I'm just a little nervous about doing a 100% change without freaking my fish out!
How do you do your 100% changes, Myates?

-MadameDesu
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Old 02-04-2012, 08:17 PM   #7 
Myates
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I use the cup they come in- at first I would trick them to the surface.. either with the tip of a clean finger, or with a piece of food.. then quickly (but gently) lower the cup in next to them, as close as you can so that the suction the water creates entering the cup will suck them into the cup. Place a lid on it and go about doing the water change..
Turn off heater/unplug it, then empty out a good part of the water with a cup of sorts (I use an old peanut butter plastic container cleaned) as it fits into a kritter keeper decently and removes a fair amount of water.
Once a good portion of the water is removed, I can easily move it over to the sink. I remove the decorations and pour the water out into the sink.. making sure not to tilt it too much to lose the substrate (I use medium-large size rock substrate I found at Big Lots in the candle section for decorating.. cheaper and more for the money).. and I use the half rounded glass beads- they don't scratch up the keepers and it's easy to remove debris and waste with them.
Smaller gravel is fine, just swish it around in the kritter keeper a few times with semi-hot water to make sure it's all cleaned out (you don't want to have too much substrate, but enough to look nice and cover bases of plants).

I fill the tanks back up- I float my thermometer in them as I fill them to make sure I get the temps as close to 78*F as possible.. fill about halfway- return the tank to it's spot, use a pitcher if you have one- one of those gallon ones (can use a water jug as well).. making sure the temp is still roughly the same- add in water conditioner for the volume of the tank, add in decorations then use the pitcher/jug to fill the tank back up.. the movement of the water will mix the conditioner in. Turn on heater.

Leave about an inch or two from the top, float the cup- I place the cup upright in the corner and use the lid to hold it there by pushing it against the cup- leave him floating for 10-15 minutes to make sure the temps even out in case you were off by a few degrees.. since it's the same water source, go ahead and just one time during him floating, remove some of the water from the cup (pour it out in the sink or in another cup) and replace it with water from the tank.. after the 10-15 minutes, set him free. Add in the remainder of water from pitcher/jug to about half an inch to an inch from the top. I keep mine with lids on them, or seran wrap poked with holes as to prevent jumping.. so I can place the water that high. Otherwise, if you wish to keep it unlided, then about 2 inches from the top I would make the water level.

As long as you do the weekly water changes, placing a tiny bit of old water won't harm him in the new water.

Regardless of how you do it, he will still be upset. Eventually most become use to the routine and don't freak out too much.
You can use a net to gather him, but you risk tearing a fin, and the chase with the net can be stressful.
Sometimes you may just end up chasing with the cup- but it's not as bad as it's clear and with a rectangle tank you can use that to help get him into the cup.

Hope it helps.. if you have any more questions, feel free to ask!

Last edited by Myates; 02-04-2012 at 08:19 PM.
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Old 02-04-2012, 08:31 PM   #8 
MadameDesu
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That sounds do-able! Thanks!
How many pounds of those gems do you have in your keepers?

-MadameDesu
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Old 02-05-2012, 09:15 AM   #9 
Myates
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I just get enough to cover about an inch on the bottom.. You can probably eye it and see how much you would like in there. You can have more, or just scatter a few on the bottom- all how you like.

I'd check crafting stores first for the rocks/gems.. they tend to be cheaper for a lot more then the ones you find at pet stores and walmart.
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Old 02-05-2012, 09:44 AM   #10 
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Yay! Good job for doing your research and asking for advise! Myates pretty much gots ya covered!
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