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Hi, I'm planning on setting up a new tank today. I want to get a betta fish and have it set up properly but there are some things I just don't know.
Like I read about the nitrogen cycle but wasn't sure if using something like API's Quick start would be good to use to set up the water. I was planning on using spring water to fill the tank. But I also wasn't sure if I used tap if it would be alright to use if I use the Quick start as well. I will also be getting a brand new filter so any suggestions for those would be appreciated (10gl tank)
I also want to get some live plants that'll do well in the tank with my betta. I was planning on a moss ball. OR I was also considering getting a pleco, ghost shrimp, or snails to go in with him (but lmk if you found any of those to not work well with a betta,I know they're not very sociable?)
I'm just looking to find some basic information on set up and any tips or tricks to make it a good home for a new betta. Thanks!:p
 

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Hello, Any brand of starter Bacteria will work fine. Once your tank is cycled and has the beneficial bacteria you won’t need to add the starter anymore (about 6 weeks give or take) you’ll need a normal water conditioner I recommend seachem Prime. I personally like to use sponge filters in my tanks but the aqua clear hang on back filter comes highly recommend. You’ll have to fill it with your own filter media (very simple set up if that’s what you decide to do)
Here is a link on how to cycle a tank that you may like CYCLING: the two-sentence tutorial
The plants depend on how hard your water is. I personally have hard water. I use water straight from my tap and conditioned with Prime. Plants that do well in my tanks without a special light are Anubias, amazon swords, Cryptocoryne and the bulbs plants aponogeton and dwarf lily (you can buy the bulbs and just toss them in your tank) you’ll need a root tab fertilizer for the rooted plants, sand or gravel doesn’t matter. I also recommend silk plants for the fake plants they are gentle and won’t tear your bettas fins, get the tall 12 inch ones so they kind of bend at the top of the water. Bettas are shade loving fish so the more plants (fake or alive) the better. It will also give him a place to rest at the top. I don’t have shrimp but my understanding is that they need a well established tank with algae to thrive. I’m sure someone can elaborate more on that as there are many shrimp keepers here. Plecos and snails poop A LOT 😂 but doable. Depends on your betta’s personality if they will tolerate tank mates.
 

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I would also get an adjustable heater, they are easier than the preset ones. An API water testing kit and a pack of Indian Almond leaves (catappa leaf) 🤘🏻💜
 

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Discussion Starter #5
And welcome to the forum!
Thank you! I do have to ask though if its okay to start off with basic things and upgrade over time? I've saved up but don't have a bunch to spend quite yet. I think i have enough for the filter, heater, gravel and plants so far.
And how do you use a sponge filter?or clean it?
 

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Yep I think most of us upgraded as we went along. Just make sure you have at least one tall fake plant that he can rest on and you can add as you go. The sponge filter connects to an air pump. As the air travels up the lift tube it draws water through the sponge. I wouldn’t clean the sponge until you’re sure the tank is cycled. I clean mine in dirty tank water that I’ve siphoned out into a bucket. Chlorine from your tap water will kill the beneficial bacteria you worked hard to culture in whatever filter you choose so going forward no matter what always clean your filters in dechlorinated water. The water test kit is kinda important if you can’t get one right now I’d at least get the test strips that measure ammonia so you can be sure your tank is cycled. You won’t know for sure that the tank is cycled until ammonia and nitrites are reading zero at that point it’s a test for nitrates as that is the ending of the cycle and the nitrates is what you’ll be doing water changes to lower that number. People say you shouldn’t let it get higher than 40ppm nitrates but I always change water at 10-20 ppm nitrates. That’s just me though.
 

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Welcome! @X skully X has some great advice for you here.
Sponge filters are the best way to go, as they're easier to adjust. Betta do not like strong current because it will make it difficult to swim, however there are some other filters like the aqua one they mentioned that will work great.

Plants. I got a Java fern. They're low maintenance and don't need to be buried in the substrate. I also got a moss ball to help with waste (plus they're darn cute). If you decide to plant, please make sure the substrate is well rinsed out, as i feel this may be one of the reasons my Betta has fallen ill. Anubias is super easy too and makes a pretty leaf.

You're going with a 10 gal, good for you! You'll have a lot of space to play around with different plants, again @X skully X had some ideas for some.

You might wanna cycle the tank a whilw before adding the betta. It'll also give you an opportunity to see how the plants are coming along. With plants, you wanna make sure you try to remove any dead ones asap as uta not healthy for the fishing.

Seachem prime is a savior!! A digital thermometer (I got mine for <10$ CAD). Hygger has some good adjustable heaters you can look into.

Enjoy, you'll find so e great advice here :)
 

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Just to clarify, the plants I mentioned seem to be doing good in 8 ph. If your Ph is lower you will have new options! Some plants just don’t thrive in high PH. I’m pretty new to plants myself. Before you buy any live plants I would find out what your water parameters are out of the tap. Most big box pet stores will test your water for free, just make sure they write down the numbers for you instead of just telling you it’s “safe” lol then you can decide what plants you might want to invest in based on what your water is. ✋🏻 I learned that the hard way. Pretty disappointing when plants melt away.
 

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Aa, yes pH make a difference, you're right. I'm learning so much in between my posts. Every reply kind of inspires more research. You never stop learning and it's kind of refreshing :)
I completely agree! Oh the things you learn here. It's fantastic!
 

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Welcome to the Forum!

There are two ways to cycle an aquarium. Running it for a few days does not cycle as an Ammonia source is needed to create nitrifying bacteria.

1. Fish-in. The only way I've done cycling and why I can't comment on fishless; no real experience. Fish-in gets a bad rap from some but, IMO, they aren't thinking. If you use SeaChem Prime and follow the Forum's cycling tutorial fish are never exposed to Ammonia or Nitrites at a dangerous level. This was not the case before products like Prime.

FWIW, I never killed or damaged a Betta doing fish-in cycling.

2. Fishless. For this you need an artificial Ammonia source like pure Ammonia, raw shrimp or fish food.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for all the replies. I ended up getting a brand new 10gl tank with a Whisper Filter I think from Tetra. Its super quiet and the water output from the top doesn't disturb the water much. I bought some Safe start which has live bacteria in it (hopefully it was alive) and poured about half the bottle in (it said use the whole bottle but I wasn't sure). I used spring water too. Should I put like some fish flakes in there to help the cycle start?
I also got some Java fern, moss balls, and some other plants for the tank. I hope I planted them right as for now they're stuck into the gravel I got.
You guys have been super helpful. Ig you guys have any tips as what to do from here if appreciate it. Or even tips on some Ithing I should've done instead 😂
 

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Hiya! Congrats on the new home (for the fish) :)
Im a semi-beginner on the fish thing myself, so I cant help much for cycling.
What I can say is that the Java fern you got, you don't need to plant it. It can sit happily onto of the substrate, or you can tie to a deco. My Java came with weight on it so I can just let it sit there.
You might wanna take a look at the 2 sentence cycle thread we have on here (I dont know how to make the sticky). It'll give you some tips on cycling with fish inside.

Good luck!
 

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Hiya! Congrats on the new home (for the fish) :)
Im a semi-beginner on the fish thing myself, so I cant help much for cycling.
What I can say is that the Java fern you got, you don't need to plant it. It can sit happily onto of the substrate, or you can tie to a deco. My Java came with weight on it so I can just let it sit there.
You might wanna take a look at the 2 sentence cycle thread we have on here (I dont know how to make the sticky). It'll give you some tips on cycling with fish inside.

Good luck!
Any time I tried putting my plants in, they just floated upwards? Wasn't sure what to do with them other than plant it. I was actually just reading the 2 sentence cycle thread but thank you c:
 
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