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Old 02-09-2012, 04:01 PM   #1 
regirmd
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New Betta Owner

Hi! I recently bought a betta as an "easy starter" fish for my almost 2 year old. I was obviously completely misinformed by the resident "fish expert" in the LPS.
I have been reading through this site for about 2 days now and have basically decided:
- I am getting a 5 or 10 gallon tank. (Henry is now in a 1 gallon .. I know)
-I have decided to go with sand.
- He needs a cave or something similar, a betta hammock and a floating thing that was recommended on here for him to hide in up top.
- We have live plants I may add some new ones that were recommended.
- He need a heater which will arrive Saturday. We have a filter. His new food will arrive saturday as well - brine shrimp and blood worms (for treats).
-I have ordered a gravel/sand/tank cleaner as well.

Please correct me if it sounds off or if I'm missing anything.
One main question I have is should I get shrimp, A snail, or the kuhli loach fish for bottom cleaners or company or would he be happiest just left alone. 10 gallons seems like such a big tank for my little guy to be alone in.

Thank you!!
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Old 02-09-2012, 05:16 PM   #2 
JKfish
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Personally, I think that he'd be fine alone, but if you wanted you could get tank mates. There are a whole lot of possibilities, but you'd first want to cycle your tank. Since you only have one boy, you could do a fish in cycle if you're careful. I would simply recommend that he is the only fish in the tank until it is cycled, that way ammonia doesn't rise too fast and make him ill. Just do a 25 to 50% water change once a week. Over the next month or two, the tank will slowly cycle.

I noticed that you didn't list a dechlorinator. Prime by Seachem is an excellent and economical choice, because the dosage is just 2 drops per gallon :D. Oh, and I don't think you'll need a gravel vaccum/cleaner simply because the sand is so fine it'd all be sucked out. You'd be better of getting a small siphon and simply running your hands through the sand to shift it around a bit and get the mulm in the water before getting the siphon going and just removing the water.

When it is cycled, you'd be able to go with a lot of choices. In a ten gallon, you could go with one of these groups: a group of 6 kuhli loaches would get on great with him. If not the loaches, you could do a group of four platies, or a group of 6 endler's livebearers. Since shrimps have a very low bioload, you could probably add three or four to the tank in addition to one group of whatever other fish you want. However, you'd just want to be warned that some bettas do enjoy midnight shrimp cocktail snacks. Or, if none of those strike your fancy, you could divide the tank and have another betta boy in there. :D

In the five gallon, you'd be limited to shrimps and snails.

When your tank is cycled and you're ready to introduce whatever tankmates you decide to get, you're going to want to remove your boy, rearrange the tank somewhat, add the new fish (giving them time to explore and relax), and lastly add your betta boy. This'll minimize possible agression. Of course, how well the fish get along will mostly depend on what your betta's personality is like.

Last edited by JKfish; 02-09-2012 at 05:20 PM.
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Old 02-09-2012, 05:16 PM   #3 
bahamut285
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Hello Regirmd, welcome to the forum :)

If you are planning on getting Kuhli loaches, the 10 gallon would be more appropriate. They are also sensitive to sudden water changes, so you should only get them after your 10 Gallon has been running for a month or so.

I also believe they like company (3 or more) and prefer sand :)
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Old 02-09-2012, 05:22 PM   #4 
regirmd
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I do have a water conditioner. Is that the same as the decholrinator?
I will send my vaccum cleaner back and get a siphon and I should wait until the tank cycles in a month or two before I add any new fish/shrimp.
I would assume if I end up with the 5 gallon he should just be left alone in there and only add if we go with the 10? Im ok with him eating the shrimp if he feels the need. I won't however be replacing them if he plans to eat them all haha!

Thank you so much for the help! I want to get him into his proper tank asap and out of that tiny one!
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Old 02-09-2012, 05:25 PM   #5 
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Yes, they're the same thing :)

You can buy a siphon (pretty much just an airline tube) from walmart or Petsmart for all of a dollar or two, you'd just have to look at the different diameters to make sure the one you're getting wouldn't be too tiny and restrict the flow of water too much.
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Old 02-09-2012, 05:30 PM   #6 
regirmd
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Thank you bahamut285. The Kuhli Loaches are one of the reasons I wanted sand, that and supposedly its easier to clean. Although Ive read both arguments on that one. If I did get them I was planning to get 5 or 6 so they would have company and maybe 4 shrimp- depending on how my betta reacts to them.
I appreciate all of the info!
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Old 02-09-2012, 05:54 PM   #7 
regirmd
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Thanks for the tip on adding fish I would have never thought to take him out for a bit and rearrange for the new guys!
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Old 02-09-2012, 06:56 PM   #8 
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The vacuum/siphon wont suck up sand unless you put it super close. sure you might lose some, but that is only if you put the tube like right against the sand, keep it at least like an inch above the sand, the sand will be too heavy but the poop won't.

Also, if you get the loaches, you can still get some ghost shrimp, though they are a hit or miss, since bettas are carnivores. They need waffers to eat though, don't get the algae ones for ghost shrimp, get ones that has the first ingredient as fish meal.
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Old 02-10-2012, 09:16 AM   #9 
regirmd
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Thank you!

I had no clue I needed wafers for the shrimp. Thanks so much for telling me. I just assumed they were bottom scavengers. Im going to do some research on them and the Kuhli Loaches in the next month while my tank is cycling to make sure Im educated about them!
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