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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello all! I am new to this site and brand new to keeping bettas. Here's my story. You seem like nice people, so I will tell all.

A couple of months ago, I fell victim to the fish vase. Yes, I did. There I was, a lover of animals (a cranky rabbit, two overactive hamsters, and a cat), ready to embark on a new experience of pet keeping and the shop was selling miserable little deathtraps for fish and calling them charming homes.

My first betta was named Beofish (Beowulf... but fish... I'm an English professor, okay?). He was a mighty, kingly fish and floofed his fins and looked very happy at first in his vase with his little tiny castle. He ate well and was very interactive. Of course, that couldn't last. I didn't know I should be changing his water nearly every day. I didn't know he needed heat. I didn't know he needed space! Vague memories of successfully keeping a betta as a child made me think I was doing fine. Of course, he was doomed from the start. The mighty Beofish's passing was extremely upsetting, especially because I had the growing suspicion that it was my fault.

So I started doing research. We profs like research. I researched a LOT and discovered that bettas like space, warmth, clean water, hidey holes, plants, and all manner of things I had not given my poor Beo. So I determined that I owed the betta world penance. I would do it again and I would do it right. The vase went into the closet.

I bought a Marineland Hex 5 gallon aquarium because it seemed like most people agreed 5 gallons was a comfy size and I have just enough space. I bought live plants, a bigger castle with a little tunnel for the soon-to-be crowned king. I bought a heater, too, of course.

Beofish II was soon introduced to the new kingdom, a feisty brilliant red fellow who loves to jump out of the water to grab food from my finger and spends his days swooshing about in fine form. It's been two days and I am thoroughly in love.

If you've read this far, I'm grateful and impressed. And here are my questions:

1. I didn't cycle the tank. During all my research, I received conflicting opinions about whether a tank that size with one fish needed it. It sounded like if I do regular 50% water changes for the first several weeks, it would be okay. Question: have I hopelessly doomed another fish?

2. BeoII's personality is clearly very active and aggressive, which I love! I adore watching him floofing and flaring his magnificent fins and darting about. However, he spends a lot of time shimmying up and down along the sides of his tank seemingly attacking the glass in the front of his tank. It looks like he's banging his little face pretty hard against the sides at times, very agitated! Is he just seeing his reflection or is he still getting used to his tank? Or is he just a little crazy? I can't really cover up the front of his tank... so I'm not sure how to handle his behavior. I have this nasty sense that he's upset about something that I've done wrong.

3. The Hex 5 has a very quiet filter in the lid with a Biowheel, but I'm not sure if the flow it's creating is still too powerful for BeoII. He sometimes goes into the current and seems to be enjoying fighting it, but again, is he happy or upset? I can't tell! He does have plenty of places to go to escape the current, and I've been unplugging it at night just so I know he's able to rest. I was wondering if anyone has any experience with this tank and has successfully lessened the flow. No, there is no setting to slow it down.

4. Finally, is there ANYthing else I can do to give BeoII the chance of a longer reign? In the name of my poor first fish who suffered for my ignorance, I want to do it right!

And dangit, I love the little guy already.

The obligatory pictures of my new resident warrior king:

BeoII.png
Every king needs a castle.

BeoII2.png
He spends a lot of time in the very front of the tank, possibly keeping an eye on my every suspicious move?

BeoII3.png
Trying to attack me. Adorable!

BeoII4.png
 

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He isn't a crowntail. He looks like a red halfmoon rosetail
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I actually just changed that! I was thinking of my old fish for some reason, who was a crowntail. Oops!
 

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i don't have your tank or filter, so I can't help you there, but I do know that beoII is seeing his own reflection and to prove his dominance to the "other" betta.

for a longer reign, remember to do a water change at least once a week, and to feed him and give him affection.
hope this helps, and welcome to bettafish.com!
 

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Ah Lol. He is a beautiful fish. :)
 

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If you've read this far, I'm grateful and impressed. And here are my questions:

1. I didn't cycle the tank. During all my research, I received conflicting opinions about whether a tank that size with one fish needed it. It sounded like if I do regular 50% water changes for the first several weeks, it would be okay. Question: have I hopelessly doomed another fish?

If it were my 5 gallon, I would probably do a 25% and 50% each week. I haven't had a 5 g though, so don't quote me. I do one 50% with my 10 g each week.

2. BeoII's personality is clearly very active and aggressive, which I love! I adore watching him floofing and flaring his magnificent fins and darting about. However, he spends a lot of time shimmying up and down along the sides of his tank seemingly attacking the glass in the front of his tank. It looks like he's banging his little face pretty hard against the sides at times, very agitated! Is he just seeing his reflection or is he still getting used to his tank? Or is he just a little crazy? I can't really cover up the front of his tank... so I'm not sure how to handle his behavior. I have this nasty sense that he's upset about something that I've done wrong.

He's probably just attacking his reflection. It's normal. Unless he's seriously hurting himself I'd not be concerned.

3. The Hex 5 has a very quiet filter in the lid with a Biowheel, but I'm not sure if the flow it's creating is still too powerful for BeoII. He sometimes goes into the current and seems to be enjoying fighting it, but again, is he happy or upset? I can't tell! He does have plenty of places to go to escape the current, and I've been unplugging it at night just so I know he's able to rest. I was wondering if anyone has any experience with this tank and has successfully lessened the flow. No, there is no setting to slow it down.

Haven't used that tank. But, they don't really need a filter if you are concerned. None of my tanks have them.

4. Finally, is there ANYthing else I can do to give BeoII the chance of a longer reign? In the name of my poor first fish who suffered for my ignorance, I want to do it right!

What type of food are you feeding? New Life Spectrum pellets and Omega One pellets are the two top foods. Also, they like frozen brine shrimp, frozen daphnia, frozen glassworms/mosquito larva, frozen bloodworms as treats. Don't feed freeze dried.

I would keep some Epsom salt and aquarium salt on hand, just in case you ever need it.

It's nice to meet another "teacher". I'm actually just an instructor at a community college, a teaching assistant at my university and I work part time at PetSmart while I finish up my graduate work. As you can probably tell, it is not in English though :).
 

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Discussion Starter #7
i don't have your tank or filter, so I can't help you there, but I do know that beoII is seeing his own reflection and to prove his dominance to the "other" betta.

for a longer reign, remember to do a water change at least once a week, and to feed him and give him affection.
hope this helps, and welcome to bettafish.com!
Are weekly water changes necessary for a tank this size with a filter? Again, so much conflicting information! I've seen every other week up to once a month. I don't mind doing frequent water changes, but it seems like everyone has a different idea of what is reasonable.

No worries about feeding or playing with Beo II. I frequently reward myself with a break from grading essays to play the old classic Follow The Finger. He gets fed three pellets twice a day with a fasting day once a week.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
If it were my 5 gallon, I would probably do a 25% and 50% each week. I haven't had a 5 g though, so don't quote me. I do one 50% with my 10 g each week.

Thanks for the responses! Well, it sounds like weekly water changes are ideal, so I will start doing that.

He's probably just attacking his reflection. It's normal. Unless he's seriously hurting himself I'd not be concerned.

He seems okay so far and he's only been in the tank for two days, so he may calm down a bit eventually. I have been trying to avoid having his tank light on when the room is getting dark to see if that helps minimize reflection.

What type of food are you feeding? New Life Spectrum pellets and Omega One pellets are the two top foods. Also, they like frozen brine shrimp, frozen daphnia, frozen glassworms/mosquito larva, frozen bloodworms as treats. Don't feed freeze dried.

The food is by Aqueon. I have no idea if it is good or not. I wouldn't mind getting different food, although he isn't finicky about this stuff.

It's nice to meet another "teacher". I'm actually just an instructor at a community college, a teaching assistant at my university and I work part time at PetSmart while I finish up my graduate work. As you can probably tell, it is not in English though :).

What do you teach? I was a graduate assistant while finishing my master's and now I am a part time prof at a local university. No PhD yet, but I am hopeful. I love teaching, though!
 

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You should have an API Master Test kit. Testing your water parameters a couple of times a week helps determine when you need to make water changes. Sometimes twice in one week; sometimes once. A gravel vac is also a good buy so you can vac the gunk from the bottom when you do water changes.
 

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What do you teach? I was a graduate assistant while finishing my master's and now I am a part time prof at a local university. No PhD yet, but I am hopeful. I love teaching, though!
I teach Intro to Sociology at the community college, and I'm a TA for Introduction to Women's Studies. I have an MBA in Marketing, and I'm finishing up my MS in Sociology this summer (after 3 years, :roll:). I should transition into the PhD program this fall as long as I finish my thesis this summer.
 

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I teach Intro to Sociology at the community college, and I'm a TA for Introduction to Women's Studies. I have an MBA in Marketing, and I'm finishing up my MS in Sociology this summer (after 3 years, :roll:). I should transition into the PhD program this fall as long as I finish my thesis this summer.
That sounds great! I am jealous that you are starting your PhD. I have two master's degrees, but unfortunately they don't combine into a little PhD. :) Unfortunately, the degree I want in Celtic Studies is only offered at one uni in the US (which happens to be Harvard) so unless I go back to Scotland, I'm going to have my work cut out for me.
 

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You should have an API Master Test kit. Testing your water parameters a couple of times a week helps determine when you need to make water changes. Sometimes twice in one week; sometimes once. A gravel vac is also a good buy so you can vac the gunk from the bottom when you do water changes.
The test kit intimidated me, to be honest, but I think you are right. It would be a good thing to have on hand to monitor Beo's water. I will have to look into a gravel vac as that sounds like a really good way to keep the tank really clean. Thanks for the tips!
 

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You sound like a fun person to get to know. An English Prof, who wants a degree in Celtic Studies, with the name ninjabunny, yes... that is an awesome combo.

On the betta front... you may also want to consider having a smaller QT tank on hand.
 

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You sound like a fun person to get to know. An English Prof, who wants a degree in Celtic Studies, with the name ninjabunny, yes... that is an awesome combo.

On the betta front... you may also want to consider having a smaller QT tank on hand.
Fun? I hope so! English profs are allowed to be quirky. That's my excuse. My username is derived from a long-standing joke about my days as a martial artist in which I showed up one day in my black uniform sporting pigtails (they were practical!). I was never taken quite as seriously after that. But since I also own a pet rabbit, it just kind of stuck as a new username.

And I do want to get something practical to stick Beo in when I'm cleaning out his main tank, anyway, so that makes a lot of sense!
 

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I bought this gravel vac. I really like it; not too big my 5-gallon tanks.

Amazon.com: Lee's 6-Inch Slim Jr. Ultra Gravel Vacuum Cleaner, Self-Start: Pet Supplies

And this covers everything.

Amazon.com: api freshwater master test kit: Pet Supplies

I use test strips every other day and the test kit (more accurate) once a week. I have shrimp in with Willie and Si so I need to check parameters more frequently.

BTW, welcome to the forum; lots of nice and knowledgeable people here who are always quick to help.
 

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I bought this gravel vac. I really like it; not too big my 5-gallon tanks.

Amazon.com: Lee's 6-Inch Slim Jr. Ultra Gravel Vacuum Cleaner, Self-Start: Pet Supplies

And this covers everything.

Amazon.com: api freshwater master test kit: Pet Supplies

I use test strips every other day and the test kit (more accurate) once a week. I have shrimp in with Willie and Si so I need to check parameters more frequently.

BTW, welcome to the forum; lots of nice and knowledgeable people here who are always quick to help.
Thanks! This is very helpful. I figured that I might as well enjoy learning about fish care in a community rather than wandering lost and abandoned on Google. So far, it's been great!
 

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I have a 5 gallon tank and I do a 25% water change once every 2-3 days with a siphon that grabs all the debris up. I have a filter running and a heater on, of course, since heat is important. I also have a "betta hammock" which is a little leaf your fish can rest on (and yes they like this). Hmmm...other than that, some water conditioner. Had my fish a few months now and he's thriving well. I think your guy will do fine also. :) And I love his name, haha. Mine's red also, but he's a veiltail.
 

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I was going to suggest the hammock, too, since your tank is so tall. He will love it!
 

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I have heard that cycling a 5 gallon (or anything under a ten) can be difficult, but it can be done.

The essentials for doing a fish in cycle:
1) Check water params with a liquid kit everyday. Anytime ammonia or nitrite gets up to .25, do a 50% water change. Anytime nitrates get up to 20, do a 50% water change.
note: check your tap water to see if it has ammonia or nitrates. Because, for example, if your tap has .25 ammonia, then your tank will always have .25 or more ammonia as well, so doing a water change won't help unless the tank gets over .25.
2) Use Prime by Seachem as your water conditioner. It will detox ammonia for 48 hours, and can also detox nitrites and nitrates.
3) Do not ever turn your filter off. You need that water flow to establish the good bacteria colonies. Look into baffling your filter outtake if you're worried about the flow. Using a sponge or a water bottle are the most common methods. Edit: Check out post #10 for a baffle idea
4) Do not ever let your filter media dry out.
5) Do not pass go, do not collect $200- heh, just kidding- it seemed to fit.
6) Read the sticky on this forum about cycling.

Welcome to the forum and to the world of betta keeping! All it takes is a little diligence, and your boy will love you forever.
 

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what a gorgeous fish!
A five gallon is a pretty good size to cycle :)
I highly recommend cycling it ^_^
(unless you LOVE doing water changes)

Welcome to Bettafish.com!

if you ever venture into the domain of live plants, let me know ;)
 
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