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Tank Size... What's the Deal??

1124 Views 13 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Plakattyphoon1234
Ok, I am kinda new to bettas and the fish I have now in currently in a filtered, heated, planted 2.6 and doing very well in it, but I have not been able to keep a betta alive for more than 8 months:cry:. But the thing is, I remember my mom having a betta as an office pet (it was given to her by coworkers) and she kept him in a vase with a plant on top and that fish lived for 3.5 years. No heater, no water conditioner and he only had a partial water change once a week. He never had finrot or ich either... So I'm wondering how is it that I keep killing my fish and I'm trying the "very best" to take care of them and my mom took care of her fish with little knowledge and that fish out lived all my betta by what seems like eons :frustrated: I really feel like I should take my tank back and call it a day.

I also remember having bettas in 1 gallon bowls as a kid and they all lived longer than any of the ones I've had now...... I just don't get it :-(

By the way all the stuff about my mom's betta happened like 10-15 years ago.
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Tank size is very important, even if it may not seem like it at first. Just because your mom did it doesn't mean you should, and bettas really do need large tanks. Rice paddies are their natural habitat, and they are larger then what people think. A 3 gallon or more is highly reccommended.
Tank size is important but you should focus on WHY it is important: balancing the build up of harmful chemicals. Tanks that are low in volume (small) build up toxins much faster than tanks that are big (high volume). These toxins are invisible and occur naturally, such as ammonia. The only way to remove toxins is though water changes. By regularly changing your water you maintain what a Betta fish needs the most: a healthy environment.

Take a moment and reflect on what you are doing. Consider the following:

How often do you change your fishes' tanks?
How much food do you put into a tank and does your fish eat it all?
How much water do you change at one time?
What type of water conditioner are you using?
Are you acclimating your fish to the new water?
Do you use chemicals to clean your fish tank?
Do you rinse your hands thoroughly without soap before handling your aquarium equipment?

These are a few basic questions you should consider when figuring out why your tanks are not working out for you. Set up is not as important as maintenance.
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Yeah, and I will admit my boy is so much happier in the 2.6 than in the 1 gallon quarantine I have. I took him out of the larger tank to put him in quarantine to asses his split fin but he just clamped his fins up and sat at the bottom. When I returned to his large home he was zooming around fins spread wide like normal. And I've noticed that any damage he's had heals much faster than in a non filtered tank.
My tank is running fine now... actually its running excellently, cycle and all. But I guess I just get discouraged sometimes and wonder why this happens and how people with so little knowledge have fish surviving for years. Through the fish that have passed away, I've learned more and more about my rookie mistakes.
A stroke of luck for your mom maybe? I had bettas growing up in small bowls and they never lasted long. that was before I understood how to take care of the fish.

1 gallon and up I think is fine for any betta. As long as it is heated.

it is frustrating when you try your hardest to care for the monsters and seeing others that don't have the proper care seeing their bettas hanging in there.
That is the story of my life right now lol. I've only had my VT for 2 months now, and I pray that I will at least celebrate his one year birthday. Anything else is extra.
I honestly know that bettas of the past were more hardier then the ones today or the future. Past bettas (Like mines) survived/thrived in the smaller containers, but lived short lives. When did she had her bettas? You are doing a great job.

IMO bettas should be in a 1 gallon minimum with a heater, filtration, and 2-4 day water changes. 2 gallons and up is better. 3 gallons and up is optimal. Depends on the bettas personaliy. Do a test run with a 1 gallon and another one with 2 gallons and up(the smaller one first). Typhoon was active in the small betta cup, so i gave him a medium kritter keeper, but he was less active in 4 weeks (I will find him a heater, then see if he likes the space).

Keep doing with what your offering your betta.
Thanks for the encouragement and tips everyone :). I like to get people's opinion and personal experience with owning bettas. And I've always wondered with the new tail types how close knit the gene pool is to get those trait and are they become more frail because of the genetics now?... but that's a debate for a different day I guess lol.
Betta can survive in cold bowls of ammonia-laced water for a surprisingly long time. Ammonia lowers the pH which turns the harmful ammonia into relatively harmless ammonium. And the cold water slows their metabolism so they live longer. But it doesn't seem like much of a life to me.

Besides a clean, cycled, well-maintained tank, a high-quality diet is most important. New Life Spectrum Betta pellets or Omega One Betta Buffet.

That's a very good insight about genetics. In order to maximize profits, a lot of breeders these days are selling a weaker line of fish that, in earlier times, would have been culled. Hopefully your current pet is strong, healthy and active.

A healthy active Betta is a joy to it's owner. If it doesn't live quite as long, it's life will have been full of cheer and have been worth living.
I love New Life Spectrum, I've always used it! I did think about the science about the slower metabolism = a longer life, I also read in a book that bettas don't necessarily die of cool (say 65'F) temperatures, its the secondary infections that normally kill them because their immune system is compromised. Then again a high concentration of waste in a small volume doesn't help the situation either.

It makes me sad how some breeders just want fast money. And then there are people who just want the experience of breeding bettas and end up with hundreds of eggs that they don't know what to do with.
Oh man a betta in a heated tank with room to swim is an absolute pleasure. You can just instantly tell they are SO happy. I'm all for quality>quantity. I'd rather live a short amazing life than a terrible long life. Same with how I feel about my fishies. Yes I'd rather them live longer, but not at the expense of their health and happiness <3
I absolutely agree!
Agree, but need to know when i will die(no, my betta fishes at the current conditions)
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