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Old 03-29-2012, 05:26 AM   #1 
phoenix888
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New aquarium

I have a new aquarium set up for my Betta. I have had the filter running for 72 hours now. Today I added the garvel and some plants. How long should I wait until introducing him to his new home?
Forgot to add, it is a 20L tank. I have a ph colour testing kit, thinking I should invest in something easier to use or something digital for more accurate readings. The kit I have says the water ph is at 7.4. I am trying my best here for my little guy, he deserves a nice big tank with friends, am going to be adding some neon tetras whenever the tank is ready. I am just not sure how to tell if it is safe for Phoenix.

Last edited by phoenix888; 03-29-2012 at 05:39 AM.
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Old 03-29-2012, 10:12 AM   #2 
tiffanini
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Do you plan on cycling the tank?
Cycling is strongly encouraged because the beneficial bacteria consumes the dangerous ammonia and nitrites. There is less frequent water changes with less water changed each time compared to an uncycled tank. The environment would be more stable so your betta would be less likely to get diseases and less stressed. Also, neon tetras require a cycled environment to live a healthy life.

A ph of 7.4 is fine for bettas and if you try to chemically change the ph, it's hard to keep it at the same level. A ph of between 6 and 8 is usually fine for bettas (6-7.5 ph for betta with neon tetras).

Ph is usually not a huge deal in the aquarium world and I suggest you buying an ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates tests instead because these are usually more helpful and can show when dangerous conditions arise for your fish.
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Old 03-29-2012, 10:28 AM   #3 
kfryman
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Sorry to ruin your plans but a 5 gallon cannot support a Betta and at least 5 neon tetras, there is no way. Bettas are aggressive fish and need space, he will feel cramped and could end up killing the tetras. Also a bioload of that much will make you do water changes like 2-3 times a week instead of 1 a week. Also neons if not properly schooled or in big schools, can nip all of the bettas fins off. Overstocking when you are new is definitely not recommended.

pH shouldn't be worried about with bettas, worry about ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate more. pH should stay the same as long ad you aren't buffering it.
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Old 03-29-2012, 03:50 PM   #4 
phoenix888
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Thank for your replies. Sad about the tank not being big enough, but thats the way it goes. I have had Phoenix for almost a year now and through recent readings found the poor guy has not had suitable space. It is so wrong how pet stores tell you they need little space: encouraging you to buy a betta tank. As for popular opinion, yeah well I was one of those fools who bought into the "they live in rice fields but can also live in hoof prints!".

I have started telling anyone that will listen about the poor bettas lot in life, hopefully just challenging peoples thoughts will make them second guess and do some research.

Now for the tank, I guess the little guy will be alone until I get a bigger one. I have had this tank for 4 months now, finally decided to make room for it, wish I had done it sooner, knowing what I now know. It was going to be for goldfish but now it is for Phoenix.

It is so frustrating though, yesterday I went to a shop to buy the plants and gravel and they only sell fish and fish supplies. I had a talk and he said 20L should be enough room for the betta and tetras, frustration!
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Old 03-29-2012, 04:13 PM   #5 
phoenix888
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You provided measurements in centimeters:
Width: 36cm (14.17")
Height: 26cm (10.24")
Depth: 32cm (12.6")
Your tank's volume is 29,952.0 cubic centimeters or 30.0 liters, which is approximately 7.7 U.S. gallons.

Just looked up the dimensions of my tank to make sure it was a 20L no, it is a 30L, is that still suitable for only one betta or can he have friends?
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Old 03-29-2012, 04:16 PM   #6 
Olympia
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Ugh. I don't listen to pet store people at all. Even the LFS seems to have some clueless peeps.
If you want a buddy for him, once it's cycled you can try adding some shrimp :)

That's 8 gallons. Personally I still think it's a no..
Have you thought about dividing and getting a second betta? :)
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Old 03-29-2012, 04:56 PM   #7 
phoenix888
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Yes, have thought about dividing, just not sure how to go about that, this is my first aquarium. Actually that would be perfect- my fiance has a betta and we have been looking for a second tank for him, would save a lot of time and money to divide! Silly, I guess I was rushing for Phoenix as he is bigger and I have had him for almost a year. We have had his friend for about a month now, Phoenix used to have another friend called Sparky, Sparky was fine so we thought and all of a sudden he was gone. Phoenix stopped being active so after a couple of months, we got him a friend. Lol, if friend is what you could say, no two male bettas could be friends! Phoenix is pretty easy going though, the little guy flares and carries on and Phoenix flares a couple of times, turn his back and returns to his favourite resting spot!!

So, trying to do the best thing here, am so badly wanting to put Phoenix straight into the tank but too scared it will harm him. Am going to go and buy some of the testing things to find out how good or bad the water is!
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Old 03-29-2012, 07:36 PM   #8 
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What brand is your tank? I also live in Australia so I'm familiar with the bigger Aussie brands. :) The main reason I ask is that the AquaOne tanks are generally completely the wrong shape to divide - very cube shaped with a curved front. Amazing tanks and very attractive, but not good for dividing.

As to when you add Phoenix, you have two options. You can fishlessly cycle the tank by adding a source of ammonia (fish food is the best option because it is really hard to get pure ammonia in Australia- people think we will make bombs with it or something), or you can do a fish-in cycle. If you choose the first option, you will have to wait around 6 weeks before you can add him. If you choose fish-in, you can add him today but you'll have to be super-dilligent with the water changes.

When you get a testing kit, don't get the strips - liquid kits are much more accurate. I like the AquaOne kits, although I have no idea how the nitrate kit is supposed to work, but if you can shop online, I'd suggest the API master test kit (it will be cheaper online than in shops).

When adding him, make sure you acclimatise him to the new water slowly. Make sure your temperature in the new tank is correct (about 27C is ideal - if you have a glass thermometer, you want the temperature to be level with the top of the green section). Make sure you are also using water conditioner. :)

It's a good thing you didn't get a goldfish! They need much bigger tanks - 80 litres for one fancy, and 200 litres for a comet! Petshops are notorious for having absolutely no idea about fish.
If you can, get in touch with the Sydney District Aquarium Society (I think that's what it is called). I'm a member of the DAS for my state, and you can get some massively cheap supplies through them. :)
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