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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been trying to get a betta for a while now but just haven't had the funds or time. Now it's summer and I just got a job so I was thinking that with my first paycheck I could get a PS2 and the stuff for a betta.

The thing is though... how much do you guys think you spend per year in betta care?

Also does anyone have any idea how much electricity a 5 gallon tank usually uses with just the filter, light, and heater? I'm an environmentalist and wanna be as energy efficient as possible even with my fish keeping! =]

Thanks for reading and sorry for the weird questions. ^_^;
 

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Excellent question - I was asking this myself.

Don't quote me on this, but I recently read somewhere that a 10 gallon costs as much as a coffeemaker would per year? Sounds weird now that I type it. Anywho, I found this bit of information on this website:

Link

FISH (includes freshwater and saltwater)
Initial cost: Bringing home a new fish will cost you at least $100. You can expect to pay $35 for a 10 gallon aquarium with hood and light fixture, $10 on a bulb, $10 on an automatic timer, and $25 on tank accessories like gravel and plants. The larger fish, like catfish and cichlids, will need at least a 40 gallon tank, which can cost about $200. Fish themselves run anywhere from $1 per goldfish to hundred of dollars for the more exotic species.
Maintenance: Each year you will spend about $65 on food, $35 on water treatment chemicals, $40 on medication, and $60 for equipment such as filters and cleaning supplies, for an average of $200 per year, or $4 per week.
I say the initial cost is the most I'll ever spend on fish.

This website has some information on the monthly energy bill for maintaining an aquarium:

Link
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
D8 You are AWESOME! You answered my question completely and in a short amount of time! You have just saved me a ton of extra hard work that I don't have time for! =]

Thank you so much! From the information you provided I have decided that it may be best to start off with a 5 gallon instead of a 10 gallon. Then when I have more money and I've done a better job at lowering my general energy consumption I'll get the 10 gallon! =]

Thank you again! =]
 

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I'm not sure of your living situation but last year I lived in a one bedroom apartment by myself. I unplugged EVERYTHING when I wasn't using it (except the refrigerator). I would turn off the heat when I left the house or the AC depending and sometimes I just wouldn't run AC. Anyway, my point is that my Electric bill was never over $18 a month and my Gas bill was never over $35 a month just by unplugging things when they weren't in use! I'm sure you already know this though!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Oh yeah and thank you! =] But I'm 18 and currently home for the summer. My family is in a tight spot right now and we have to keep the AC on. Our bills are low too, like 25-50 dollars a month but I still wanna keep things down while I'm here you know? When I'm back at school the only things I have plugged in all day are the microwave, the mini-fridge, and my laptop. I think I'll start unplugging the microwave when I go back though and only plug it in when I use it. =] That way the aquarium can be plugged in all the time. =]
 

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I just bought a 2-1/2 gallon tank with filter and light for $45. The betta fish was $3.99, gravel 5 pounds was 7.99 the live plant was 6.99 and the arched rock was 12.99. Food which will last a long time cost $3.99. I still have to buy a thermometer and heater, even though right now my room is never below 80F due to the heat wave we are having currently. I will have the heater in a couple of days. The filter that came with the tank is a little strong so I only run it for an hour each day. My water only needs baking soda to adjust the ph, so that is really cheap to buy at the grocery store. I don't know how much ph test kit costs as I'm using one I have had for several years. Hope this has helped. Also buy bettafish food and NOT tropical fish food.
 

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For me, the plants + gravel + random decor > tank.

But not by much. I spend a lot on plants because bettas do really, really well in heavily-planted tanks. Not bare tanks with 2 plants here and 1 plant there. So ... I take that far and spend a lot of money there, haha.

After initial cost, you should hardly be spending anything afterwards (aside from redecorating or illness or accident). My initial cost was near $100 for my 5 gallon divided.
 

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I was lucky enough to find a 2.6 gallon Marina goldfish kit for half price while it was on sale. :-D So for $20 (Canadian), I got a tank, gravel, decoration, filter, background, small bottles of water treatments (2 different kinds), and a small container of goldfish food that I have no clue what I'm going to do with. I bought a fake plant, the light that goes with those Marina tanks on sale, and a small heater at Wal-mart. The light cost $8.50 and the heater cost about $11.98. I had to buy some betta food, since all I had was goldfish food. :) All in all, it cost about $40-45 (again, Canadian) for the full set up. Then all I had to add was the fish!!!!
 

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Right now, the most money I spend is for fish food and salt, which lasts me about a year :) SO, after the initial set up, it's been costing me about... 12 bucks xD That`s it. Very inexpensive after the initial set up.
 

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I agree with code red. Unless your trying to factor how much water your using into the equation, after the initial $50-100 for the set up it rarely costs me more than $20 a year for my fish (except when I have to add new tanks LOL). If you get a regular sized can of pellets, a thing or two of frozen foods, and maybe one can of freeze dried something or others plus a carton of aquarium salt.. it will cost you about $10-15 and can easily last a year or more depending on how much you feed.

I also feed my guys live brine shrimp weekly as a treat which costs $1 a scoop at my LFS. Hopefully I can set up a DIY after I get rid of my fry and just raise my own brine.
 

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Yep. Although I do go through water conditioner and pellets pretty fast!! I calculated that I feed my fish over 50 pellets a day... Yup. LOL

My Mom is always teasing me that she's gonna make me start paying half the electric bill. :p Hope she's kidding.... Hehe.
 

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In all reality, bettas are one of the cheapest fish to set up for. You don't have to use real plants if you are careful when choosing fake ones. In my experience fake works just as well and you don't have to worry about them dying and you dont need to worry about what type of light with fake plants. A 5g at Walmart with hood, heater and filter costs $30. If the filter is too strong (which it definitely will be in the kit, you can slow the flow with a bit of sponge in the intake until you can get one with a softer flow. Play sand or pea gravel from Lowes is less than $5 for a huge bag. A 25w heater, 15w light, and the smallest filters shouldnt run more than $5 a month and I would think even that would be more than true cost. So, start up is 30+5+4 (for fish)+4 (for food). Pick up plants as you can afford it and you can start up for less than $50.

You will need to get water conditioner, but the kit comes with a sample that should last for a few water changes. You can easily cut start up costs too by checking yard sales and craigslist for used aquariums and equipment.
 

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I think the one thing we all forgot is the almighty test kit. A decent kit is going to run you at least $30. The strips don't work and the cheapest kit I've found is the API Freshwater Master. There is a liquid one sometimes available at wal-mart for cheaper but it lacks some important tests.
 

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True enough Jackie, but until he can afford it, most LFS will test. He just has to be sure they use a liquid test.
 
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