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361 Views 7 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  RussellTheShihTzu
I am brand new to the whole betta fish thing.

How small of a tank can I get away with getting without compromising the quality of life of a single betta? Also depending on the size, what size is the biggest aquarium I can get that will not need to be filtered? I am a student and working on a limited budget. I will need to get a heater for the aquarium because my house is relatively cold, especially in the winter.

I don't really know what to get other than:
-heater (Do I need a light if I have a heater?)
-Water conditioner
-A betta fish
-food for the fish

Please let me know if there is anything else I need to get, and how small an aquarium I can get. Any and all advice is appreciated as I am a complete nooby.
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Upon spending 5 minutes I found This:

I am thinking that I will probably get a aquarium around 5 gallons as I will just have a single betta. Is there anything else I should be aware of, or is this information enough?
Hi, and welcome!

An important thing to realize is that a larger tank (within reason) is generally less work to maintain than a smaller one. In addition, a larger tank will hold a more steady temperature and water chemistry. So, a 2.5 gallon tank is easier than a 1.5 gallon, and a 5 gallon is easier than either. Look up the sticky with "Old Fishlady's water change recommendations" and you'll see what I mean. Another reason to go with a 5-7 gallon is that it is reasonable to establish a nitrogen cycle with a tank of that size, should you decide to go with a filter in the future. It also leaves open the possibility of dividing the tank in the futures for 2 bettas.

Light requirements partly depend on what you decide to do for plantings.
You will probably want to have some basic meds on hand for emergencies.
Wander around on the site, especially the "stickies"; there is so much information here!
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What is your budget? Can you order online?


1. Tank: You can get a 5.5 gallon tank-only in PetCo for around $14.00

2. Heater: A 25 watt at Aquarium Heaters: Hydor Theo Heater for $15.

3. Thermometer: I recommend a digital thermometer over floating glass. You can get that at F&S.

4. Canopy: A glass canopy Aquarium Lighting: Marineland Glass Aquarium Lighting Canopies for under $10.00.

5. Filter: Either an internal Aquarium Internal Filter IF-202 or HOB (Hang On Back) Aquarium Hang on Filter PFE-1 - 15 Gal Capacity, 45 GPH, 2W filter from AquaTop/TruAqua.

6. Water Conditioner: Drs. F&S also has Seachem Prime for half-price until tomorrow so if nothing else, I would get a bottle of the 500mL right now for under $7.00.

Total: Around $60.00

I use all of the above and am very happy with everything.

Optional: In no particular order

1. Substrate: For a 5.5 you need about 10 pounds of gravel or sand.

2. Vacuum: Wal-Mart has airline tubing you can use as a vacuum. Or, you can use a regular turkey baster to clean up waste.

3. Light: You can use a regular clip-on light. Use a timer set for eight hours so you don't get algae. For plants I use this light but it may be pricy for some and can certainly be bought later or a Christmas or birthday present. :) Finnex Stingray LED Fixture: 16 Inch The 16" is for a 5.5 but if you have a canopy you can use the 12" which is $10.00 cheaper.

4. Silk or live plants (Drs. Foster and Smith has good silk plant packages). Live: Anubias, Hornwort, Anacharis, Wisteria, Cryptocoryne. You can start out with silk and transition to live as you gain knowledge.

5. "Hides." But, if you have enough plants you don't need hides as the plants will serve the same purpose.

Welcome to the Forum! :wave:
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Budget is flexible currently with Christmas coming I will probably be able to raise some funds for a betta. Also I have access to Amazon prime so any of that stuff that can be found on there will be very good.
The tank is in-store only. I believe the Stingray are less on the Finnex site (the one linked) than Amazon. Drs. Foster and Smith may be on Amazon but don't know if their sales are available on Amazon.

Have fun!
As this will be my first betta should I go with a 5 gallon tank or 10? I've been reading your journal, and noticed you give them time to adjust in a 2.5 gallon before transferring to a bigger tank. If I don't have a medium sized tank in the transition is there a way to make the transition easier on the fish other than having plenty of cover and such?

This is just a shot in the dark, but is weighing the container the betta comes in to the bottom of the tank to give it something familiar to chill in as it becomes used to the larger aquarium an option?
I like a 10 gallon and a lot of people get those thinking they might divide. My favorites are my PetCo 5.5 gallon tanks. I'm using the 2.5 so my last few have gone directly into a 5.5. I buy mine all of my Betta from Martias Pham on FaceBook and none have had any trouble acclimating to the 5.5s and larger. Martias is a breeder; not an importer.

Anything from 5.5 up is good if you might eventually add tank mates. All of the latest photos in my journal are Betta in a 5.5.

I'm in La Vergne; where are you. If you don't want to say here you can send me a PM.
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