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Heater and some newb questions

807 Views 12 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Sheldon31

This is my first post. I just bought my first Betta (a male half moon). After doing a bit of research it seemed like the right fish for me.

I bought a 5 gallon tank and a couple of pieces of soft artificial flora and a cave (which I am not starting to worry about after reading some of the reports of damaged fins and fish getting stuck on this board).

My main question is that I DID NOT buy a heater and I will not be able to buy one for a few days. I added 2.5ml of stress coat and I am currently letting the whisper filter run overnight before adding my betta to the tank.

The water is not ice cold by any means, my room temp is 72 degrees but I realize I need a heater. Should I not add my betta to the tank or handle this any different than adding him to the tank after 24 hours as I was planning? Will I kill my new betta without a heater if I can not get to the pet store for a few days? Should I use a lamp to temporary aid the LED lights?

Thanks for your help. Any other tips for a new guy would be appreciated! Should I get rid of that cave with the smallish entrance? It looked so much bigger in the shop.

Thanks in advance!


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The cave looks fine. I would add in your betta to your tank as soon as you can, your 5 gallon tank is going to maintain a temperature better than his cup or bag that he came in. Bettas are very hardy and can go without a heater but it is definitely needed for a happy betta. I would keep the tank insulated as best you can to prevent it from getting too warm or too cold.(wrap it in a towel, keep it in a heat controlled room with no windows) The temperature of the water is not going to kill him but the change in temperature will, so make sure the temp you achieve is steady.

As for letting the water sit, it isn't needed. Once you add in your conditioner it is ready to go, letting it sit will do nothing to benefit the water or tank.
I would add your Betta to the 5g right away, slowly acclimate him though. Getting the heater ASAP will be the best idea, and using a lamp along with the LED light my provide some heat.

Hrm, not sure about the cave. My Betta is too scared to enter any cave I bought him, but it looks alright. Pretty sure he won't get stuck in there.

Hope that helps!
Thanks for your input guys - putting the little guy in now - acclimating him this way: I transferred him to a bag which is floating in the tank now. At 5 min intervals for the next 15 minutes I am going to add some water from my tank to the bag and at the end of the 15 minutes I am going to let him into his new home!

Still working on figuring out a name though!
Figuring out names is the fun part, I let my Kyon show a bit of personality before picking his name. He is very bold so he needed a bold name and Kyon seemed to fit :) please upload pics when he's settled in would love to see your new friend :) have you got a thermometer? You can pick the paper thin ones really cheap and the glass ones are not much more. I payed £1.50 for mine, then you can monitor the temp while you don't have a heater.
I agree with Sheldon, but (sorry Micho!) I don't suggest using the lamp. When you turn it off to allow him to sleep, it will cause to great a drop in temperature. I would just use the towels and aim for consistency until you can get the heater. :)

That is a very smart looking tank, but I share your worries on the cave...maybe use a clean coffee mug instead? He can't get stuck in that. :) I would also suggest adding some more plants (silk is great, live is even better if you feel up to the challenge!) as bettas like to have dense cover. Being used to his cup, he may feel a little overwhelmed by all the open space, and more decoration will help him get used to it. :)
If you do want to consider some live plants, java moss, java fern, hornwort, anubias and marimo moss balls are pretty much impossible to kill. :)
I did wind up finding the time to buy a 25watt heater yesterday. I raised the temperature 3 degrees over about 12 hours yesterday and plan on another three over 12 hours today (which will put the tank at around 77 degrees). I am trying to acclimate him slowly.

I am open to live plants but honestly think that will be for my next tank. I am a bit nervous of biting off more than I can chew at the moment. I will take your advice and add one or two more when I do my first cleaning in about a week or so.

He actually seems to like the cave. I have seen him spend some time in there and I am sure he does a little more when I am not around! I dug a little of the gravel out from the bottom of the cave so I would say the opening is more like an inch at this point.

This is more just personally for me (I think) than it is for the benefit of the (still un-named) Betta - however I would like to add another fish or snail to the tank. I have three local pet stores that have all never heard of nerite snails but do stock mystery snails. All three recommended small schools (3 or 4) of neon tetras. Any strong feelings on that? Just seems like my Betta/tank could use a little more action.

Finally please meet my new Betta (still working on getting auqua photos right):


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What a beautiful color your fish is. I thought of my betta name while asking a question. I got tired or saying fish or betta and had been calling him red anyway and he is larger than my newest one. Good luck with a name.
For anyone following my little odyssey here with my new Betta who was proudly named Dr. Augustus Pablo today, here is some more info - I would really love any tips or advice anyone has.

I replaced the cave with this much bigger one with to very large points of egress as well I now have the heater hovering the temp at about 79 degrees F.

I also added Zip (Orange) and Zap (Green) - two GloFish (zebra danios) to see how they would get along. Everyone seems to be content - no pecking, although the Glo's are sticking to the top of the tank almost exclusively right now.

Next step is to add another plant and as long as everyone is happy, in about a week introduce two or three more GloFish. Perhaps a snail but I suppose I will be bordering on overcrowding at point.

Any advice as to where to place the next plant? I plan on it being taller than the two currently in the tank.

And of course any other advice is appreciated. Thanks!


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What a beautiful color your fish is. I thought of my betta name while asking a question. I got tired or saying fish or betta and had been calling him red anyway and he is larger than my newest one. Good luck with a name.
Thanks for the compliments :-D
Great tank! When you get ornaments or plants, just rub them with a cheap pair of nylons. If they tear the nylons they'll tear fins. I was unsure about doing this, until I saw another customer do it with those cheap free nylon socks you get for trying on shoes. The pet store employee who asked us WTF thought it was a good idea when the other customer explained.
It is really helpful to read suggestions from experienced people. I want to put a nylon stocking in my purse and see if I get kicked out of Petco, :lol:. I did not return a popeye fish that they should not have sold me. They had two larger ones in isolation they admitted were sick yet they sold a smaller one anyway.

Grand daughter was so upset.

I just had to come back and say I know better, about the stocking deal but that is the least kind of thing I'd like to do at times.....
Oh what a shame :( I would be careful of over stocking, 5g are not THAT big but are perfect imho for Bettas. Danios usually require a lot of room, longer tanks, as they are very active and fast. Tetras are good but as I learned sometimes they are fin nippers and need to be in a school of at least 6. Some people have success with 5. Bettas will happily live alone but a snail are good in smaller tanks. I have a pond snail in my 15g but will be bringing him over to my 6.5g as Ky seems to get along with him fine. A lot of people keep red cherry shrimp and amano shrimp with their bettas in 5g tanks too. I hope to have a couple soon.

ETA: He's gorgeous! Love his colouring.
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