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Old 04-09-2012, 03:26 PM   #1 
Chrexis's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Windsor, Ontario
Looking to get a betta, first post here!

So this will be my first thread! I would just like to say that I have been creeping these forums for a while now and I have been really looking forward to getting a Betta!! So I have my 5 gallon tank that I got from my cousin, but sadly it didn't have a lid so I made one out of chicken wire:

And I was curious if anyone could give me any tips as to what to buy next! I am looking to go buy my Betta tomorrow along with the suitable accessories. I have a bubbler, I have aquarium salt, I will be buying a heater. Should I buy a filter? What else would I need and what would make our (the fish and I) lives easier?

I would love to hear what everyone here has to say! I understand and I have read the other threads about betta homes and such, but I'd really like to hear from you individually and perhaps get to become part of this community!
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Old 04-09-2012, 03:49 PM   #2 
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Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Central Ohio, USA
Welcome to the wonderful world of bettas! Your list looks good so far, but be sure to get some water conditioner/dechlorinator and use it when you first add water and then every time you do water changes.

I'm relatively new here myself, but many here will say that with a 5 gallon it's easier to get a filter and cycle the tank. This cuts down on the number & percentage of water changes you need to do each week. Here's a link to the sticky about cycling:

And here's a link to the sticky about general betta care what can five you some ideas about equipment you might need:

The only other thing I can think of at the moment is that bettas like to feel secure and a big, open tank can be a scary place. Some plants (live need light, but soft silk plants are also nice) and maybe a "cave" of some sort so he can hide if he gets afraid.

I'm sure others with more experience can chime in with more/better advice.
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Old 04-09-2012, 03:57 PM   #3 
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Dartmouth, NS
Ack!! Welcome!

Your fish will be very happy in his new home. Put some gravel in there, some caves, a lot of plants, driftwood, some live plants.. Anything you want. A filter would be a good idea but I have NO idea about cycling and since you're getting your fish tomorrow it might be an in-tank cycle or something. blargh, I don't know.

The gaps in the chicken wire might accommodate an escapee. Some jumping bettas have been known to jump out of smaller holes. Keep your eye on that!
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Old 04-09-2012, 04:11 PM   #4 
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Location: In a galaxy far far away...
Welcome! Everyone is helpful here, I'm sure you'll know everything you'll need to. Laki and sparkyjoe gave the info. I would give. :) Make sure to post pics of your new Betta. :D
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Old 04-09-2012, 04:20 PM   #5 
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Location: Windsor, Ontario
Since I won't be able to cycle the water since I have no testing kit, could I just put in a live plant to help reduce the amonia?
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Old 04-09-2012, 04:22 PM   #6 
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Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Ontario, Canadiana
I'm sort of getting the hang of setting up tanks quickly, so here's my checklist:

- heater
- thermometer
- filter, because trust me, anything above three gallons is REALLY ANNOYING to do 50 and 100% water changes on. This'll enable you to do a fish-in cycle.
- water conditioner
- silk plants, or real plants if you're up for that! A good rule of thumb for silk plants is that you should be able to run a nylon against them and not have it tear. They should be specifically labelled as silk.
- gravel/substrate is only mandatory if you want live plants. I have a few bare-bottom tanks and a few with gravel, and a couple that just have coloured stones scattered around the bottom-- it's up to you!
- a hidey-place or two. If you can't find any caves/hidey-holes in the petstore that you like, or that seem smooth enough, new never-been-in-the-dishwasher coffee mugs or terra cotta pots work well!

Also useful to have:
- water test kit-- with vials, not strips, usually about $35 (this'll be for the cycle, and they last forever so you can use it on future tanks too!)
- a 1 gallon bucket/bowl/somethingorother that hasn't been used for anything else, which you can use for water changes.

In terms of your lid, if you're worried about jumping, you can just opt to keep the water level down a couple of inches from the black rim to discourage it too.

Also: welcome! :) I'd love to see pictures of your new betta once you pick one out.
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Old 04-09-2012, 04:25 PM   #7 
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Fresno, Ca
It looks as if you have it covered, but I would get a lid with much smaller holes in it. If your betta jumps, and you're not there to see it, a real tragedy would result.
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Old 04-09-2012, 05:03 PM   #8 
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: North Carolina (Maryland girl at heart)
I'm a new user myself, but I've been using this website for over 2 years. Here are somethings that are necessary for a happy and healthy betta.
1) Filter- there are many different types, but I would go with one that has a adjustable water flow thing.
2)Gravel- These is optional, but it make the aquarium look a LOT nicer and some benficial bacteria grows in it.
3) Plants- Live or fake, take your pick. Live plants might be a little bit more of a hassle, but they can add oxygen into your tank.
4) Caves- Your betta will be timid at first, so he'll need some place to hide!
5) Thermometer
Thats all I can think of. Happy fish keeping! :D

Last edited by kfmaguire; 04-09-2012 at 05:04 PM. Reason: just wanted to see hat advanced posting was
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Old 04-09-2012, 05:30 PM   #9 
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Location: Plattsburgh, NY
Don't use a live plant unless you plan on taking care of it as well. Without a testing the water, you'd only be giving yourself false comfort and not really know if the ammonia levels are safe or not. Definitely get a testing kit. They are cheap and in a tank so big you'll need one.

I wouldn't trust chicken wire so big. I'd be afraid that my fish would jump and get caught in it, dying slowly while I'm not around.
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Old 04-09-2012, 06:57 PM   #10 
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Windsor, Ontario
Well it's all I have in terms of someway of keeping him from jumping. I can just not fill the tank as much?

Just bought the filter: Tetra Whisper Internal Power Filter
My floating thermometer, along with some black gravel. I'll be delaying the acquisition of the fish for a day or two to allow myself to by all of his necessities.
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