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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The road to getting my first Betta has been a bit of a rollercoaster. Last semester, I bought a 1.5 gallon tank to keep in the dorms. This one to be exact. http://www.petsmart.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3804454

Couldn't afford to also get a heater so I just got a goldfish. (I've obviously come to learn that this small of a tank is terrible for a goldfish) The finished survived the whole semester but died on the transfer back home.

Fast-forward to now, I've moved into an apartment and decided to get my aquarium set up again. End up looking at the Bettas and decided I would get some. I knew you couldn't house a male together but asked the people at the store about two females and they said it would be okay. I of course have now come to learn that just two females in that small of a tank does NOT work.

Luckily, I caught on to this and separated them with only some slight nips in the tail fins. I found a friend who was interested in taking the second Betta since she herself was wanting to get a fish and I don't really have the space for two decent sized tanks.

I've definitely learned that I need to stop making such ignorant purchases so now I have a few questions:

Is it okay if I keep my girl in this 1.5 gallon tank? I've read on these forums that you should have at least a 2.5 gal tank but I've already spent money on this tank and don't know if I have the money or the means to replace it.

Is the filter to strong on this tank? I noticed that it gives off a bit of a current and she has a tough time swimming near it. Should i do away with the filter all together or is there a way to stymie the flow?

Will my female be okay on her own or will she get lonely?

I intend to get a heater and a thermometer tomorrow. this is one I found online for my size tank. http://www.petsmart.com/product/index.jsp?productId=12315584&lmdn=Wattage Will it be okay or are there other recommendations? I can't really go above this price range.

I have already purchased the proper pellet food, blood worm treats, and water conditioner(dechlorinator). The tank came with two plastic plants which I have replaced with one larger silk plant that has flowy leaves for her to hide in. I already had a small dragon ornament and have also purchased a minicastle that she can also hide in.

Is there anything else I should get?

Any other tips for a new owner?

Sorry for such a long post, I'm just excited and want to make sure I do a good job! I'll post pictures once I have access to a camera.
 

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OK. Lets start... Yes, she could be kept in that Tank. As long as you do water changes she could stay. *Phew* The water changes, I would say 1 50% and 1 100% per week. Next the filter, you could baffle the filter with a sponge. IMO you don't actually need a filter for a 1.5 Gallon. Filters are best for tanks 5 and up gallons. Betta Fish aren't lonely. They are solitary! They never get lonely. I suggest the Hydor THEO heater. But get a heater as soon as possible. If you have enough money, please buy a bigger tank. Betta Fish can live in that type of Tank, but it's not ideal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the suggestions. I'm trying to figure out the petsmart return policy. I didn't think I could return it since it has been used for a few months but I actually may be able to for store credit. In that case, I can put it towards a bigger tank. If not, I'll have to make do until I have a bit of free money to spend on the tank.

The heater you recommended I am only finding as an online exclusive at Petco and amazon. Would it be okay to order it online or should I not even wait that long?

I truly appreciate all the help!
 

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I have a tank from Petsmart I bought for $35 with a Pet Perks card. It's a Marineland 3 gallon tank w/filter that does have adjustable flow, but the current is still too strong for my liking so I baffle it with a filter sponge. However, Petco is having a sale right now with whatever their membership card is, $1 per gallon. So a 10 gallon is $10, etc.

As for the heater, I highly recommend a heater with a thermostat on it. Bettas like water temps of high 70s, low 80s. My experience with just a submersible heater was that it didn't get above 75-76F. Thermostat heaters are slightly more expensive, but totally worth it.

Unless you get a 20gal tank, you can have a betta sorority. Other than that, no. Do not get another betta to keep with her. You will end up with beaten up/dead fish. They like being by themselves, they are much happier by themselves.

My tank: http://www.petsmart.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2752385&lmdn=Brand

Hope this helps, enjoy your new fish! :)
 

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You could buy it on eBay. It's a lower cost. ^_^ What exactly is the temperature of the Tank? Is she still shaken? If she's stressed or weak, I would get the Heater at your store as soon as possible. If she's not, you can get the heater from eBay. Or any Online store of what you choose. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
You have both been very helpful! I know my family has some sort of membership to both petco and petsmart but I'm not finding the $1 per gallon deal on the website. Maybe it's only in select stores?

I'll definitely check out ebay and also my local craiglist. It would be nice to find something I could purchase instantly.

Unfortunately, I do not have a thermometer that I could accurately measure the water temperature with. I was completely ignorant until I actually started doing research in the past few days. However, she seems to be doing fine. She's swimming around and sometimes hiding in her plant. She has a good appetite when I feed her and doesn't seem lethargic at all. It might be because my apartment has been pretty hot lately so the water temperature isn't too terrible? It's been three days and she's still doing okay so I think I can just order the heater you recommended online.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Okay I've found a 2.5 gallon tank on craiglist for 7 dollars and it looks to be in good condition. Obviously the bigger the tank the better but is this tank a suitable size? It's the minimum requirement on the basic care sticky. I don't have a separate table for the tank so I'm constricted by desk space. Just want a happy medium between large enough fish tank and space to work on my desk.
 

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I've heard a couple people talk about it on here, maybe it's an in-store only kind of thing as I can't find it online either.

Thermometers are pretty cheap. I just use a stick on one from TopFin I got for like $3 at Petsmart. However, I would suggest getting one that suction cups inside tank itself. My stick on one is starting to peel off. :(
 

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Also try freecycle.org. It's things that people are trying to *give* away. Maybe you could find something there?
 

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Ok, so what happen if people have too many fish and jars? How do you keep them warm? I just keep my at room temperature for now 6 months, and they look just fine.
Are the bettas active? Are they eating? Do they swim, or just sit at the bottom of the jar? It's like keeping a dog in a crate; it will live, but it won't be happy or comfortable. Room temperature that feels good to humans, usually isn't comfortable for bettas, considering they need high 70s to low 80s for it to be nice and cozy.

As how to keep them warm, I suggest moving into at least 1 gal containers that you can put a heater in.
 

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To the OP:

Good on you for seeking the correct care for your fish. :-D

2.5 gallons is okay, if that's all you can find/afford for now. The important thing is to take appropriate measures for the size of the tank to keep the water absolutely free of ammonia (the smaller the tank, the more frequent the changes - and the more stress on your fish, but some fish cope well with that, others do not..).

I have my little VT girl in a massively planted, filtered 3.5 gallon with 5 shrimp and she is as happy as can be, and super healthy with it. I am strict with my water tests and 2 x 30% changes - used to be more, but with all the plants in there this schedule is fine for keeping the water pristine.

I have another little guy with some long term health issues in a barebottom 1.5 gallon, and while I feel kind of bad for him it's the best solution I've found to give him some relief from his various problems. I change his water 3x 100% per week, as any ammonia level large enough to show up on the test makes him very ill. And that's what it takes to keep his water clean, and him as healthy as I can make him.

My other guy is a huge plakat, who is soon to own a 10 gallon NPT that is heavily, heavily planted and filtered with a sponge filter as well. I feel this is the best environment for him.

I don't mean to carp on about myself, that was all just to illustrate that different fish can thrive in different environments.. not every betta needs a 10 gallon tank to thrive and have a happy, healthy life. And some will suffer horribly in a 2.5..

I think you'll work it all out. If she needs an upgrade, I have no doubt you'll eventually get her one. Because you seem like a nice and responsible fish owner, to me. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks for all the advice! I've actually gotten quite lucky with my tank situation today! I found out my younger brother has been needing to move his gold fish to a bigger tank from a 10 gallon. I'm getting to take his old 10 gallon which is saving me a lot on costs. His new tank also came with a heater he doesn't need for his goldfish so I'm getting that too. It worked out better than I could have imagined.

I'm thinking about dividing the tank or possibly adding in another tropical species that gets along with bettas and would do well with them in a 10 gallon. If I divided the tank, would it be okay to separate into three sections or should I just do two 5 gallon sections? And if I didn't, what fish would do well with my betta?

So glad I found this forum. Everyone has been immensely helpful, much more so than the people at pet stores. A lot of them seemed misinformed about bettas. First time I went they told me I could just put two females together and they'd be fine. Today when i went with my brother, they told me that my betta would get scared in the 10 gallon and I would have to divide a 1 gallon section because it would be too much space.
 

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Don't worry about dividing the 10 gallon right now. You are a new Betta owner still trying to figure out what she needs to live and thrive. Focus on decorating the tank and getting the water warm. Then let her move into her new habitat.

It isn't a good idea to dive headfirst into buying tankmates or another Betta while you're still working on making things right for your first one.
 

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When you are ready, it's easy to divide a 10 gallon, and a fish can live very happily in a divided 10 gal (essentially two 5 gals with one heater and one filter).
As for them not getting lonely...They are solitary fish, but they don't go their entire lives with no interactions. They don't need other fish to be with, but they do need stimulation, and they often seem to find their owners fascinating. :) Not only do you mean food, but you mean sounds and vibrations and colors/patterns/interaction, and betta need that. :) I don't know if they are smarter that some other fish types, but they seem to need more human interaction than other fish I've had over the years. :) It could well be because they live alone and other fish usually live in groups.

Anyway, just wanted to chime in on that point. :)

Oh, one more thing, I don't know for sure, but I'm thinking that I saw somewhere that it wasn't a great idea to have a male and female in a divided tank. I think I read that it stresses them out...but I could be wrong as well. :) If you decide you want a male later, I'd ask on here and I'm sure that someone with more divided tank experience can give you better information than I can. :)

Good luck to you, and don't feel bad...there are *MANY* people on here who have the same petstore background you do...myself included! ;) I kept betta for years in 1 gallon bowls with airstones and not enough water changes because I thought I was giving them a good home...aggh! ;)
 
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