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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all~

While I can't afford the pretty decorations I want, I was looking to get some more hiding things for my betta. That way I can cycle between his (bulky, ugly) log decor and other decor, and keep things interesting. Lately he seems to get his entertainment solely by watching me, waiting for me to hold up a pen or something for him to look at. I think he's getting bored with his surroundings.

I've seen a lot of people use pieces of PVC pipe/tubing for their fish, is this safe? I also wondered what metals would be safe, since I'd like to start training him to swim through a hoop, and metal hoops are very cheap at hardware stores.
 

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You cannot put any metal into a tank.

You can also buy terra cotta pots at dollar stores. Just make sure to either plug up the small hole at the bottom or completely smash out the bottom and then sand down the edges so they aren't sharp.
 

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PVC is aquarium safe. I prefer to use terracotta pots as hideaways but you can also make tubes out of craft mesh. they are very inexpensive to make and you can bury them in the substrate to make a cave or let them float. Either way your betta will enjoy them.

Look for plastic rings, they will be much safer than metal.
 

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PVC is aquarium safe but not betta fin safe as is. You'd need to do a lot of sanding on the cut ends to smoothen it out (or consider coating the rough cuts with pvc glue and letting cure 48 hours+). The only safe metal to use in an aquarium is stainless steel, but its not cheap.
For my quarantine tanks I've bought silk plants and covered the sharp plastic tips with silicone and let cure 48 hours+ before putting into tank. I've also made hides with plastic mesh from the craft store, easy and cheap to make. But for the most part my tanks have live plants so no issue with betta fins.
 

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IMO no plastic is safe that includes resin and silk, Why? Because its not something that would occur in the fishes natural environment. To me its pollution just like plastic in rivers and streams.

Live plants, Drift wood ( I always sand all the sharp bits first and it passes the stocking test) nice smooth rocks these things are natural and 100% betta safe, plants and drift wood also help with water quality.
 

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Silk plants are fine to put in betta tanks. Just check for sharp bits and sand them down. Yes live plants are amazing. However to a new betta owner the idea of live plants can be very intimidating. I have also found with new betta owners, that they should focus on providing their betta with the proper care - meaning enough water changes, good food, cycling the tank, having a heater, etc. Live plants can be extremely expensive and for many money is an issue. You can buy a pack of 3 silk plants from Petco for $10. It can cost up to $30 or more to fill a tank with live plants.

You also have to remember that betta slpendens are a domesticated species. their natural environment is being raised in small cups by breeders - most likely in Thailand. They are not wild species of bettas.
 

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I agree live plants can be costly, however there are some that aren't too intimidating for beginners. Floating anubias make nice leaf hammocks/top cover and are *almost* impossible to kill (I say almost... I know it can be done, but I think it requires some bad luck), and moss balls are great fun. Floating an indian almond leaf is good... all of my Bettas seem to zone in on a crisp new IAL and spend the next several days constructing elaborate and/or lame bubble nests then patrolling and guarding said bubble nest... it certainly keeps them (and me) entertained. In one of my tanks without good lighting I've floated about six anubias and the fish seems to enjoy wriggling around in their roots and leaves.

I've found that anything floating seems to hold more interest for my Bettas than things placed at the bottom of the tank, so stuff they can swim through/rest on/bubble nest against at the top might be a good way to go if you're trying to keep your Betta busy.
 

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You also have to remember that betta slpendens are a domesticated species. their natural environment is being raised in small cups by breeders - most likely in Thailand.
Here's how.
https://youtu.be/YSF1SFtucKk

I agree with you for the most part, I think adding live plants to the tank is part of the set up process and I do understand that fish keeping can be expensive even for a basic set up, My Aquael 5 gal shrimp cube cost $120 at my LFS, Plus substrate plus live plants and driftwood. and because I didnt like the pre set heater that came with the tank I replaced it with a $70 dollar one.

To date this has cost me $300 AUD and that's before I add the shrimp
These
Crystal Black Shrimp, SSS Grade$69.95 Inc Tax That's each, and I am getting 6.



I also understand that by the time people come here and ask questions they have a tank and a fish already so we help them as best we can. Sorry I am a fan of keep it natural keep it simple keep it full of clean water less things can go wrong.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you everyone for your great replies! I totally agree that I would love to get more live plants, but I think I need to get plants that are... harder to kill. My sagittarium plant died, and my banana plant is on the way out - I think they either don't get enough light or enough nutrients in my current setup. I want to look into some kind of fertilizer substrate to mix in with my sand, but thus far the price and the lack of knowledge has prevented me. My bamboo plants are absolutely thriving now that I've floated them so their leaves are out of the water.
 
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