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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I became a new member on this site today, and I decided to create a journal!

I am also a new betta fish owner. I am the proud "mommy" of a male half-moon betta named Norbert as of July 29, 2014! :lol:

Norbert lives in a one-gallon filtered tank. He's got a nice green plant to hide and rest in, and pretty stones on the bottom of his tank.
I realize now that getting a 1-gallon tank was a mistake. He deserves more room. I am now looking to get him in a bigger tank as soon as possible and with a heater. He's such a cute little boy and deserves lots of love and space!

For now, as I search for a suitable, affordable tank, he seems quite content. He's very lively, and he likes people it seems. He likes to look at me. :-D

So, here's my boy:
 

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Wow, he's very pretty!

I'd like to note that if you're careful about your water changes, and especially if you find him live plants, he CAN live happily in that tank. But if you'd like to get him something better, there are both efficient/cost-effective and frustrating/expensive ways to go about it.

I suggest getting yourself an ordinary glass tank. PetSmart sells the "Grrreat Choice" brand tanks... they're cheap and basic. Find or make yourself a lid (this can be a piece of fabric tied around the top with a ribbon if no other suitable material presents itself; I plan on making one out of the thick plastic material that tablecloth covers are made out of for mine). He WILL jump out if given the opportunity.

Next, equipment. Get him a heater--5 watts per gallon is generally the minimum unless your house is cold--and make sure you get one that's adjustable. A filter is optional. Get the biggest tank you have space for, because it's not much more expensive, gives him more room, is easier to keep, and is easier to find equipment for. Small-tank heaters are very unreliable. A 5-gallon home is very easy to heat, however, and very easy to maintain.

In ten gallons, you can keep select other fish with him if he's okay with it and if there's plenty of cover. In more than ten gallons, you can get away with a wider variety of tankmates. Something to consider if you like all sorts of fish. You must never keep him with another betta, obviously, or anything that looks too much like one.

When you buy any equipment, especially filters, read reviews first. 90% of everything is crap, especially aquarium equipment, so research first.

Also make sure that any ornaments you buy are aquarium safe BEFORE you put them in. This doesn't mean checking for a label that says "aquarium safe." It means sticking it in a bucket of water conditioner-treated water for a few weeks and then examining it. If anything's bubbling, chipping, flaking, leaching, smelling funny... take it back to the store.

The exception is live plants. Never buy live plants from a store's fish tank, ESPECIALLY if the fish look sick or dead. The ones in the tubes are all right, but still research before you buy; some of the plants sold in tubes are for lizard habitats and aren't fully submersible. They'll rot in your aquarium. Others require special fertilizers or CO2 injection. The ones you want are java/"el nino"/tropica/windelov fern, java moss, water wisteria, floating plants, and marimo moss balls. Those don't require any special fertilizer or anything, just stick them in. They'll help absorb the ammonia produced by your fish, making the tank safer. Sometimes the ferns even come with baby ferns attached under their leaves--bonus!

That's all the advice I can think to give you right now. If you're on a tight budget, I can give you recommendations for that too--but, remember, he will be perfectly happy in that 1g tank as long as you keep it clean and warm.

Welcome to the forum!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for all the advice! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Two days ago Norbert was looking sick! I've now had to resort to doing 100% water changes everyday for his 1-gallon tank, which is probably stressful for the poor guy, but at least he gets clean water everyday that will help him get healthy again.
Since I do not have an aquarium heater, I've wrapped a blanket around his tank in the hope to keep the water warm.
He's looking much better now! He's much more lively now. He's still got a little discoloration on his fins, but looking so much better than two days ago.

I'm working on getting money for a 5 gallon tank, heater, and thermometer. In his new home he should be happier. I'm getting it as soon as I can!
 

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You can always try scouting out yard sales, Goodwills, and secondhand shops. I just picked up a 10 gallon with a filter, hood w/ light, and decor (the decor will probably be thrown out) for $20. A good scrubbing with clean hot water (no soap), a second cleaning with a 5% solution of bleach, and then enough rinsing to remove the bleach smell, and the stuff will be good as new. :) It's labor intensive, but being short on money is a thing sometimes...
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
You can always try scouting out yard sales, Goodwills, and secondhand shops. I just picked up a 10 gallon with a filter, hood w/ light, and decor (the decor will probably be thrown out) for $20. A good scrubbing with clean hot water (no soap), a second cleaning with a 5% solution of bleach, and then enough rinsing to remove the bleach smell, and the stuff will be good as new. :) It's labor intensive, but being short on money is a thing sometimes...
Wow, that's a really good price. The tank I was saving up for is only 5 gallons with a filter and light hood for $30!
 

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Ooh, don't bother. If you buy new, get a basic 5g glass tank, make a hood out of clear tablecloth-cover plastic (you can find it at Wal-Mart or any fabric store), and get a clip on light. Ask for recommendations for filters and heaters. Not only will this be cheaper on the whole, but you'll get better equipment by and large.

But yeah, shop around thrift stores. They have really nice deals.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hopefully tomorrow I can get someone to take me to a thrift store, hopefully they've got tanks there. If not, I found someone local online who's selling a 5 gallon with lots of accessories for $20.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Going out on the town today in search for a tank! Wish me luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Success!
I purchased a used 9.5 gallon tank today that came with a light hood with bulbs, a filter, heater, gravel, castle decoration, two large fish nets, a gravel vacuum/siphon, and a bottle of disease treatment for only $10!

The gravel and decoration will probably be thrown out, but if the filter and heater work then I'll be keeping them. I also bought a thermometer today.

The tank needs a lot of TLC, though. It has a lot of hard water encrustation that needs cleaning and the front of the tank has crayon drawn on it that needs to be scrubbed. But, it can be revived!

Here's a picture:


The plan is to go out and buy new gravel tomorrow and maybe a few decorations. We'll also having a cleaning day! Need to get all the gunk off the filter and clean the glass (no soap) and hopefully it will be as good as new for little Norbert, who is anxiously waiting for his new mansion!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Neat, neat, neat! That was a really good deal!

When you go out, stop in a hardware store and get waterproof silicone sealant (make sure it's clear). You'll need it sooner or later, especially with a used tank that may not be watertight. ;-)
Ah yes, that seems like a good idea. Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Most of my friends and family think I'm crazy to have bought such a big tank. They're all like, "It's just a fish." and "Why such a big tank for such a small fish?"
Does anyone else hate the statement, "It's just a fish"?
I want to give my fish the home he deserves, and I want him to be happy and healthy. He's not just a decoration, he's a living thing that needs to be taken care of and loved.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Tank Cleaning Day!

Cleaned the tank today!
Man, that was labor intensive!! Did lots of scrubbing!
But, I think I've got it in pretty good shape. Just one step closer to Norbert in his new home!



I ended up throwing out the filter it came with, just too crusty and icky looking for my liking. I ordered a new sponge filter from Amazon today, so hopefully that will come soon. I've already got an air pump and tubing, so that's good.
Did not end up getting gravel today, but hopefully tomorrow
I have yet to find out whether the heater works or not, cross your fingers that it does!
And the lights do not work. I'm hoping it's just the bulbs and not the thing itself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
Journal #6: Mumford

Been taking care of my friend's betta fish for a few days while she's on vacation. He's a male crowntail named Mumford (I call my friend Norbert's aunt, so I guess that would make Norbert and Mumford "cousins"). He's a very dark blue, almost black, and he's a little less lively than Norbert. He's a very cute fish, and she loves him to death!
I convinced her (Because Mumford is in a one gallon bowl) that she should get a bigger tank with filter and heater. Now she's saving up to buy one! I'm sure Mumford will be an even happier fish. :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
August 19, 2014

Journal #7: Style and No Filter
Decided to have a little style change to my journal entries. As you can seem from above, I'm going to be numbering my posts and giving them titles in bold and coloring so one can easily see which posts are a journal entry and which are simply replies to other's comments.

I'd like to give a shout out to those who've cared enough to leave a nice comment and to whoever is reading this post, it feels good to know that people would like to know about your fish. And also to those who've helped me out, I'm a new betta fish owner, and so I'm sure Norbert thanks you, too.
:thankyou:

And the sponge filter that I ordered for my new tank has still not arrived.
This is expected, though, because it's coming from such a long way (Hong Kong). Hopefully it will be here by Friday or sooner, because Norbert would like to get out of his little one gallon tank, and I'm sick of 100% daily water changes
! :demented:

Other than that, there isn't anything new. I'll make sure to post pictures of his new tank setup when it's ready. Thanks again for following mine and Norbert's adventures!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
August 20, 2014

Journal #8: Filter Situation
Well, it turns out that all this time I've been waiting for a filter to come that wasn't even paid for yet.
Turns out that we never actually paid for it, so today we found out and now it's getting shipped. So frustrating!

:frustrated:

Anyway, I want to finish this journal entry with a bunch of faces, because they're cool: :):-D:lol::p:-?:|:-:)cry::oops::shock::evil::twisted::cool:;-):roll:
 
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