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Hello, my name is William. I work for a pet supply store and I recently worked an event for a local fair/business type annual get-together for my city. Anyway, I came into a goldfish last weekend that I was hoping I could save or at least provide some what of a better prize than a handout at a carnival. A little kid was thrashing the bag around and then he trashed the poor thing! GRRR :evil: Anyway, I left the event that night and the only place open was Walmart, so I unknowingly bought a crap ton of stuff. I got a gallon aquarium (which I soon learned is unacceptable for a goldie), and gravel, some plants, etc. to try and make as nice a home as possible for him. I dropped some aquarium salt in there that night and kind of put him in a makeshift bowl/vase thing that we had until the water had cycled and all the plants and gravel were rinsed.

Unfortunately, he died :cry:. I was incredibly bummed but I thought about it for a while. I have all this stuff, and it isn't going to use, and now, I found myself with an aquarium itch. I wanted to continue! So, I thought, what kind of fish can even work in a gallon tank? Betta! Then I read on; most people say a gallon is too small for any fish, and I accept that. I am getting a Betta, and for the time being, will harbour him or her inside of the gallon tank. So far, I've got an under gravel water filter/air pump, a 5w tank heater, a little silk plant, a small bamboo sculpture, and a couple sprigs of Java moss, in addition to the gravel and a thermometer.

I have treated the tank with stress coat this time around, and feel that I am close to ready to bring a fishy friend into my life. So yay me!

And that brings me to you, forum members of bettafish dot com. I have read the guides/stickies and what other sites have had to say, but I still have some lingering questions and and open to opinions on types of betta, food suggestions and the like.

My tank thermo lies at around 83-84 F right now. Is that too hot? It is only a 5w and I don't see any way of adjusting it.

Are there any additional supplies (other than stress coat) that I should add before getting my Betta, or that I should stock up on in order to treat the water/Betta while (s)he's in there?

Any food reccomendations? I have Hikari Betta Bio-Gold pellets right now, as it is the one food my store carries. Price is not an issue. I am all about quality. Also, what kind of bloodworms should I look into? Those packages with the individual trays seem awful large for a single betta.

And lastly, I'm looking at a half-moon betta, or possibly a crown, but ultimately, it'll probably come down to the connection of the Betta that chooses me (hopefully!) but I was wondering what I should look for in a Betta (beyond the points mentioned in the beginner guides)?

One note, I am investing in a 5 gallon tank over the course of the next few weeks and would like to create a completely live environment for my betta to thrive in, with plenty of activity for the little madame or fellow! Are there any suggestions to plant types or if a live setup is even a good idea?

Thanks in advance to all of you, and I look forward to a long and fruitful career as a hobby aquarist along with the rest of you. Take care and talk to you soon!
 

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Welcome to the forum! You look like you're set for starting out with the absolute necessities.

The 83-84 degrees isn't ideal (77-80 is your ideal) but if you can get that 5 gallon soon, I don't think it will hurt too much? I may be wrong about this and one of the more experienced keepers will likely correct me if I am. One of my tanks can get up to 85 because of how its set up so I have to leave the lid propped up to let the AC keep the tank temp steady.

For a 1 gallon you will need to do water changes daily if I'm not mistaken. You can also get in cycling by getting Tetra SafeStart. As far as water treatment, I'd have Aquarium Salt on hand. It's a great bacteria ward if your betta comes down with finrot. Epsom Salt and Kanaplex(you will likely need to order this online) as well as General Cure are good meds to have already so that you aren't rushing about at midnight trying to find something to save your fish should emergency strike. Stay away from meds ending in "fix" there are reports of these meds hurting the labyrinth organ(their equivalent of a lung) and causing more harm than good.

Food: Many on here recommend New Life Spectrum(NLS) or Omega One (OO). These are both high quality foods. My jar of NLS cost me about 8$. Stay away from freeze-dried foods. Frozen foods are the best for treats. The ones in little cubes can be chopped up with a knife and thawed for 10-15 min before serving and the rest can be put back in the freezer. If you can get it, keep frozen daphnia on hand. Should your friend come down with constipation it is a safe and natural laxative that won't harm them like peas. I have found that I like the San Francisco Bay Assortment. Should you get a herbivorous fish later it has a supplemental "Emerald Entree" full of greens for them.

Bettas: Get the one that appeals to you as a person and connects with you. Active fish that do not seem to be having trouble swimming are the best for those who do not want to take on a sick fish. However, many people here purposely rescue sick fish in efforts to give them long full lives. Sick fish are a challenge but can be rewarding should they pull through and color up as their true colors are often a mystery. Long finned fish can be prone to fin biting and while frustrating, as long as you keep up your water changes and keep the water clean and warm, the only issue will be aesthetics.

Live environments are also a fun challenge. They require more attention than just a typical tank. Higher light grades (such as fluorescent bulbs/high quality LEDs), liquid fertilizers and root tabs (such as Seachem Flourish or API Leaf Zone) and co2(either in liquid supplement(Seachem Excel or API co2 booster) or in diffuser form (injecting CO2 directly into the tank)

Plants: Java Ferns, Java moss, Crypts, Water wisteria and Amazon Swords are common in low-tech tanks as all but the Amazon Swords are pretty much the troopers of the aquarium world. I've heard they're hard to kill.

Make sure all decorations pass the pantyhose test so they won't rip fins and keep up water changes and your finned buddy should live for many years to come!
 

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Thank you so much for the thorough reply, Crossroads!

Good news, I tried running ac and I got it hovering around 76-77 degrees, so I think it was stale air and possibly a lingering light that affected it.

I will look into the safe start, and have some aquarium salt on hand as well. How does that differ from stress coat (in the sense of what it does to the water, not what it is comprised of)?

I am really excited to get my 5 gallon! I think I'll probably move the java moss over and dedicate the single gallon to a little quarantine area for when I need it.

As far as the fish goes, I'm still waiting on the right one,and I'm going to wait till early next week to get him only because I'm out for the weekend, but I've stopped by all the local pet stores to see pricing and variety, and I think my local mom and pop is the way to go. The big box stores shove them into a little plastic cup, whereas this store gives each their own gallon tank with a filter and they all seem so lively!!! I may just end up rescuing, but I don't want to be disheartened if I were to make a fatal mistake with one... We will see where my heart takes me!
 

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Stress Coat is a water conditioner that has aloe in it to soothe the fish and help with healing. It also replaces the slime coat (you'll notice if you get it on your hands it is pretty slimy) which helps the fish ward off disease. It's one of my favorite products actually. AQ salt is just non-iodized rock salt. It helps ward off bacteria by dehydrating them rather than bolstering the fish's immune system. When used in combination with Stress Coat it hits two birds with one stone in helping sick fish. AQ salt isn't really necessary all the time. I use it when my fish have damaged fins or are injured, then clean it out and let them rest for a week so that it doesn't damage the kidneys or liver.

Safe Start is the nitrogen cycle bacteria. It will help in getting your tank cycled, thus keeping ammonia, nitrates and nitrites down. Which is why before cycling you have to do lots of water changes. Otherwise the ammonia will poison your fish. I would save it for the 5 gallon and just do water changes on the bowl for now. You can use Seachem Prime as a water conditioner and it will lock up the ammonia on the 1 gallon, making it safer so that the ammonia can't hurt the fish as easily. I'd still recommend daily water changes, but the Prime will hit another point and keep it locked between changes.

I have to say I have made fatal mistakes in rescues. "Red Fish" was one but his last week was in a warm spacious 10 gallon instead of a cold dirty cup. Two of my current fish are rescues though and are doing great so rescues can be hit and miss.
 
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