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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

I just upgraded to a new tank (now 2.5 gallon) from the 1 gallon my betta was in for the first few months. Wow, he is so much happier after the first day being in there. Alot more active, he just used to sit near the surface before for hours doing nothing every day in the 1 gallon tank...now he is swimming around, swimming through the gently moving filter water, then going behind the filter to rest, then circling around again. Its like he's figuring out the best place to be.

I have a few questions....

1. Does anyone recomment the betta hammock? (Fake leaf that you suction onto the side near the top, so they can 'rest' without having to swim up too much for air.) Now that the tank is 'deeper' and also has a gentle current from the filter, will he need this? He seems to have found a still spot behind the filter where he rests at the surface without moving his fins. He seems able to float there quite fine...not sure if I should give him a little help in that regard.

2. The new tank now has a built in light. Before, he would be in the dark at night, and during the day in a room with blinds open...just natural light, sometimes having the room light on, and a table lamp on next to him.
I read they don't really like the light too much. Can we put the tank light on? It does look pretty. Does one leave it on all the time, or switch it off at night? I'm not sure what's best.

3. Last question....for several weeks before we got the new tank, he didn't really eat his food I put in immediately. (they are betta pellets, that didn't really mess up the water too much if you left them). I'd leave them in there and they would be eaten several hours later. I gave him about 6 - 8 pellets morning and again at night. Is that too much? Is he just not hungry? Why does he not come up and gobble them up immediately?

Thanks!

Alison
 

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Welcome to the forum, Alison! I'm sure your boy did enjoy the upgrade.

1: I had a betta hammock for a while, but the metal rod in it began to rust. Some say they can be made safe by putting aquarium sealant over the metal rod. I don't know if you feel up to the job, but I won't be getting another for a while at least.

2: Most fish don't like a lot of direct light. Who really likes standing in the middle of a sunny field all day, anyways? You can certainly leave the light on during the day to see him better, but be sure to turn it off at night. Fish need a day and night cycle just like we do. The dark helps them rest for the next day. Just make sure you don't turn his light on or off if the room is dark. Turn on the room light first to let his eyes adjust.

3: Depending on the size of the pellets, that's a bit much food in my opinion. Try cutting that dose in half. Another note about his eating habits, betta don't eat much if they are cold. Betta are a tropical fish that like water temperatures between 76F and 82F. If you warm his water up with an aquarium heater (and thermometer to check the temp), I can guarantee he will start eating like a piggy again.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Izzy...good tips.

I have a small tank warmer, that we used in the winter. We are in Florida, so right now its getting warmer generally, and I just looked at his thermometer - it was about 80F, in the 'safe zone'....this is without a heater...I'll definately keep that in mind though, as we sometimes have the ceiling fan running in the room, and the AC is on to about 78F. I'll check his temp at different times in the day.

I'll also cut his feedings a bit...say to 4 or 5 pellets once a day?

Thanks again!
 

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Oh boy. Florida. Ya. You probably won't need a heater. For when the AC is on just remember that water temperature is usually a few degrees lower than room temp. Heck, you could probably keep betta outside in Florida.

I would actually do 3-5 pellets twice a day. I believe it provides better nutrition absorption. Also, remember that a betta's stomach is about the size of his eyeball. So if you have large pellets, do about 3. If they are small, then 5 will do.
 

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I just want to make a suggestion on the betta hammock thing. :) You can make your own by getting a little suction cup and an anubias plant. You can either leave the anubias as it is, or you can snip off one of the broader leaves and put it in the suction cup. Personally, I just like to have my anubias tied to driftwood - it has such lovely broad leaves, which look gorgeous and provide a nice resting place. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Thanks, good idea! I'm sure I could make something.

Now I just have to google a picture of an anubius plant. :)

I'm a newbie with fish and aquariums...learning alot though!
 

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Java ferns ate great too, personally I think any freefloating plant makes bettas happy
 

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I love having anubias with my betta, too. I have one in every tank! Java fern is another great plant. My boys love to play in the long fronds. This is a great place with some info on anubias: Anubias (Anubias barteri) Profile I've seen them sold at petsmart and petco. In fact I just picked up another one from Petco today. I love those little plants!
 

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I have an anubias nana in the one gallon, fixed it to the bettas candle holder housing, he loovvveees it. they are so hardy and visually pleasant. :D only downside is their price. compared to java ferm which i can get for $2 anubias are usually around $8 :(
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Wow, that's the sort of price you pay for plants here! Java fern is usually about $8 too, though.

Java moss is another good one. I have a big mat of it in front of a buddah statue and Odysseus has fallen in love with it. He spends a lot of time lying on it.
When he's not there he's in the roots of the anubias or chilling in the hornwort.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
So...another newbie question....

right now I have 2 plastic plants in Bobbie's tank...I thought I'd better just start with what's easiest till I get the hang of things.

Are live plants easy to grow and maintain in a 2.5 gal aquarium? How does it affect water quality. Will I have to change water more frequently or less frequently? Or the same.

Right now I use Reverse osmosis water from our system (our well water here is full of sulphur)....and I use Kent's "RO Right" to put back some of the minerals...its different dosages with different fish. (2 tsp per 5 gal for bettas, so I'm using 1 tsp in 2.5 gal). My plan is to do a 100% change once a month, and do 1/3 to 1/2 water changes weekly. I have a small filter now so hopefully that will help keep the water better. My one gallon unfiltered tank had to be changed every 4 or 5 days, any longer and it started looking gross.

Will live plants grow in that? I'd love live plants (I'm an avid vegetable gardener myself)...but since this is my first ever fish...I'm a bit scared I'll mess it up!

Thanks for all the supportive help by the way...I really appreciate it!
 

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Some plants like the anubias and javafern survive through almost anything, I think water wisteria too, some just needs more light than others :) Elodea usually doesnt do so well in warm waters. but they are al easy plants. A suitable snail can help keep algae in check if you have a light. personally I would love to do a planted tanked in a decent sized tank :)
 

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For a 2.5g the consensus here is to do a minimum of two water changes per week--one 50% and one 100% with gravel vacuuming. A few plants won't make much difference. Test water (with a liquid test kit, if possible) before each change and make sure ammonia never gets above .25ppm. (I do two 80% changes/week with vacuuming, and a complete fish-out tank cleaning every month or so. I also spot-clean poops and waste food whenever I see it.)

As you are a gardener, and probably have a green thumb, check into running an NPT (Natural Planted Tank). Old Fish Lady has a lot of advice on her member page. Practically maintenance-free, except for pruning. Build a NPT, then move your fish in. He'll love it---guaranteed.

My fish love their floating large Anubias; they use it for hides, rest stops and beds. Much better than plastic leaves. Wisteria and water sprite are also good.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Ok...so I should change water more frequently it seems...and get a gravel vac. So I should still do a 100% change once a week even with a filter for a 2.5 gal tank? and another 50% change in the same week. Thanks for that advice. You definately can't trust the pet store guys!

Natural planted tank sounds like a fun project...I'll definately look into it. Not something I've ever done before! Who know that getting a pet for my 7 yr old son would turn into such an adventure! (Bobbie lives in son's room, but mom does all the fish care :-?)
 

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If you have a filter, two 50% changes will be enough, as long as you vacuum the gravel during at least one of those changes. :)

If you do choose live plants, all you need for success is a good light, and the right plants. :) With 1-2 watts of light per gallon and a kelvin rating of 5500-6500, you can't go wrong with easy plants such as:
- anacharis (great ammonia sucker)
- hornwort (ditto)
- duckweed (ditto, but it is really annoying)
- java fern
- anubias
- java moss
- some basic crypts
They don't need any kind of special plant food or substrate, just a decent light and a fish to poo on them. :)
 
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