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I Want To Get a Betta Fish But I Need Help!

1452 Views 18 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  SaltAndLight
I am a teenager (more or less) and I would like to get a Betta fish, since they are less of a hastle, and less costly than most rodents and reptiles, and also because they are fish that tend to interact with their owners. I do own other types of fish but they are not Bettas, most of them are Guppys so I need help in learning more about expenses and proper care of Bettas.
Although there are many forums about this, I have never found one that had the exact requirements that I wanted.
Can someone please tell me the price of a cheap Betta fish, what type of Betta it is and where I would find it?
Can you also tell me the minimum of items I would need for this Betta fish, and how much each of these items would cost, and where I could get them?
Please note that I am planning to buy a bit less than a 5 gallon tank, maybe a 4 gallon or 3 1/2 (I know those exist).
Also note that I live in the Mid-Western United States, so I don't use Pounds and Euros or any other currency other than U.S. Dollars and coins. :lol:
Can you also tell me what the total cost would be overall per month? I don't want to go to superfluous, but I don't want to neglect my fish either. I really want to be informed so I can convince my parents to get me one for my 14th birthday.
Thank you to anyone who responds!
(Pictures could help!)
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Welcome to the forum!

It really depends on where you get the betta. I got a veiltail male betta from petco for about $4.99. Females tend to be cheaper in chain stores (in my experience) because a lot of people don't want to buy them.

The minimum items... that is a tough question, and prices will also vary by brand, store, etc. Here is a link to a post that may help explain it a bit better.

In my experience, bettas barely cost anything monthly, I have seven bettas and I only need to replenish food and water conditioner once every 3-5 months!

The link above tells you quite a bit about betta care, also.

I really hope this helps, and that you can convince your parents to let you get a fishy. ;)
I would say you need:

A tank (with lid)
filter (I like sponge filters for bettas)
Fake plant or cave they can hide in
Some gravel
Water conditioner
Bucket&siphon OR water changer

If you wanna go cheap the whole setup could cost you less than $75 :)

Edit: oh and I pay virtually nothing to maintain my betta lol...
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Looking at the 5 gallon kits are cheaper than the 3 gallon kits so I must ask if there is a reason you want to go smaller than 5 gallons?
Looking at the 5 gallon kits are cheaper than the 3 gallon kits so I must ask if there is a reason you want to go smaller than 5 gallons?
Yeah if you get a 5 gallon with a filter you only have to do one water change per week. Any less it's recommended to do two a week.
I agree with the people above with getting a five gallon.
You should definitely have something for your fish to hide in, but make sure that his/her fins won't rip on the decoration. (Try putting it through some nylon tights; if it rips don't use it. It's the same with plants.) I like live plants best because of the benefits to them, but that's just personal preference. When getting a filter make sure it's not to strong, as the flow of the water can stress your fish out and make it hard for them to swim. You'll also need some different foods as your betta's diet needs a variety. I personally feed my boys freeze dried blood worms, pellets, and the occasional live foods etc... Flake foods are a no, as bettas instinctively go for foods that actually hit the surface (in the rice paddies they originated in they fed off of insects and other things that flew into the water as well as worms). Bettas are carnivores stay away from plant based foods and pellets. Pellets made out of a freeze dried variety of foods is better. You'll need water conditioner, stress coat, and aquarium salt for doing water changes etc... Then some gravel (big enough for the betta to not fit in it's mouth just in case). If you live by a beach a cheap alternative would be to collect some smoother slates of rocks and etc to put them in the tank and build a cave out of. All you would have to do is make sure they are safe for your fish by boiling them in hot water and scrubbing them with vinegar. (getting it all off when done). I would go for researching a lot in getting a healthy fish, in my experience the fish at the pets stores tend to be in bad conditions, which could lead to more expenses in treating the little guy/girl. Veil tail bettas are the least expensive of the fish as well as females (They cost about five dollars as said above.)

After getting the basics which personally cost (me personally) about... 80-100 dollars after the food, salt,stress coat, tank, gravel, filter, fish, heater and decor the maintenance isn't bad at all unless you're fish gets sick (which isn't very costly anyways.)

Pretty much every aquarium setup is going to be a little expensive, but it's worth the money for your fish's heath and happiness. Sorry if I'm repeating stuff you already know. ^^'
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Here I'll set up a run down with cheaper stuff that still isn't total crud. I rounded everything up to sort of account for tax but I didn't include shipping because I assume you're going to the store.

I think I got everything. You can get a hammock for $4 as well if you want one. It's optional but all my bettas like theirs.

Grand Total = $105
That's not including the fish. It's not cheap when you start up but up keep would just be buying more stress coat and food when you run out.
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Petsmart has a deal on a 5.5 gallon kit for just $24.99. It includes the tank, a hood/light, and filter, although you might consider a different filter.
Like MattsBetta said, look for a second-hand tank. In my area, there are lots of FB yardsale groups. I just got 2 tanks by putting up a wanted ad.
Be careful with those 5 gallon kits from Walmart- test it first before you put in any gravel ect. Set up mine and found out it had a small leak at the bottom- when I returned it the lady looked at the product and without opening my mouth said "let me guess, it leaks, right?" Maybe mine was part of a bad batch I don't know- just for fare warning.
As stated above you need a heater if you go to wal-mart you can get one for $15 that works in tanks from 1 gallon to 5 gallons. Many people don't care for them, but I don't mind them and use them in all my tanks. I would highly reccomend Prime water conditioner its about $6 dollars, but you only use 2 drops per gallon. Lasts a really long time. I bought my first set up from walmart and it cost about $100...but I bought a slightly more expensive tank. You can get a bag of gravel for about $5, 3 silk plants $5, a cave $6, a 5 gallon tank $25, and a siphon for $10. I wouldn't recommend walmarts fish food as its pretty cruddy so I get mine at petsmart tetra something my fish and I both like it. Costs about $4 but with one fish it will last forever. When I was at petco the other day a female betta costs about $3 and an adult Veiltail like $4 if you want something fancier your looking about $5 to $20.
Also look at garage sales for cheap tanks. I found a 3 gallon for $1 yesterday, and quite often find different decor items, and various size tanks for under $20. Usually under $10 for anything smaller than a 10 gallon.
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Look on Craigslist... Lots of great deals on tanks.
Yeah you can even find small tanks for free if you keep looking...
Wow! So many replies! Thank you! Now all I need to do is gather up this information and convince my parents! Really, I can't thank you enough. I'll update if (or when) I get him/her.
Looking at the 5 gallon kits are cheaper than the 3 gallon kits so I must ask if there is a reason you want to go smaller than 5 gallons?
5 gallons would be fine. I just need to fit it on my table in my room is all. I live in a pretty small apartment with 3 other people and we already have a big tank, but that one has a ton of other fish in it, so I can't really put a Betta in there. (My dad didn't know that about male Bettas being territorial so he put one in the large tank, and he killed another fish :cry:, so we gave the fish to someone who wanted a fish.)
Petsmart has a deal on a 5.5 gallon kit for just $24.99. It includes the tank, a hood/light, and filter, although you might consider a different filter.
Thank goodness, I have a Petsmart really close by. :-D
Thank goodness, I have a Petsmart really close by. :-D
VT bettas are $.99 at my PetSmart, and most females are $.99 as well.

Also, If I were you I would go with an All Living Things Critter Tote. You can get a medium (which is the size of a 5 g tank) for $12.00. You can get an appropriate size adjustable heater from Aqueon for around $30.00. Small silk plants are $1.99 each, so if you got 4 it would be between $8.00-$9.00. Gravel for your tank will be around $6.00 (5 lbs for 5 g). And, if you budget yourself $8.00 for a cave/something to hide in you will be able to get something nice. That would all come in around $70 with tax.

That doesn't budget in a filter, but you don't really need a filter. They are nice to have, but none of my tanks have them and all my water parameters are fine with regular water changes.

ETA: Oh no. I forgot food and water conditioner. Omega One pellets are around $5.00 and While StressCoat is my favorite, and its not much more expensive than Top Fin, you can get Top Fin for around $6.00, and StressCoat for around $9.00. With only one betta you'll need water conditioner probably every 3-4 mos, and food should last you almost a year.

I work there, so I'm used to helping people get all they need on a budget. :)
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you could also check out , they have a lot of cheap equipment, and fish
Try FREECYCLE.COM, people post free things to this site all the time. Just have to pick up promptly!
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