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Snowflake
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Hi there Snowflake :giggle: 2nd question first - yep Bettas are commonly called Siamese Fighting Fish. 1st question - well you can happily keep a betta in anything from 1 litre up - but for ease of care I highly recommend a small 12" tank with filter and heater :cheer: Your baby will love you for it - and usually be quite active and tend to keep their fins more healthy. If you only have a small tank and no filter, you will need to do 50 or 100% water changes twice weekly. And as bettas like to be kept around 26 or 27 degrees - a heater makes this much easier. HTH, Di

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Yep, bettas are called 'fighting fish' because, in Thailand and Vietnam where they orginated, they were fought for sport. Male bettas are territorial, and will fight other males who infringe on their space. That's why male bettas are kept singly.

A reasonable minimum size for a long-term home for a betta is around 4 litres (1 gallon), although you'll see betta bowls and jars in sold in pet shops that are much smaller than that.

Because bettas have a labyrinth organ which allows them to breathe air, they aren't completely dependent on getting oxygen from the water. This means a filter isn't a necessity, as long as their water is changed regularly to prevent a build up of ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and other contaminants, and solid waste is removed daily. However, filtered tanks do make life easier for the owner :giggle:

Bettas do, however, need a reasonably stable temperature, between 24 - 28 deg C. Excessive cold or heat and sudden temperature fluctuations can make them prone to a variety of diseases. So a betta's home needs to be either heated, or kept in a location where it's warm enough and ther temperature doesn't vary too much.

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Uh-Oh! all the betta freaks are coming out of the woodwork now :giggle:

I can hear them already; "Lets get her!! we have another potential convert here guys!! "

And "Snowflake, step away from the goldfish tank slowly! and go and buy some bettas!....... Oh, and while you are there, you will need about... say 6 tanks to begin with!"

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Uh-Oh! all the betta freaks are coming out of the woodwork now :giggle:

oi! I resemble that comment ! :lol:

buy some bettas!....... Oh, and while you are there, you will need about... say 6 tanks to begin with!"

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

What only 6 tanks? nah one tank for each fish plus growout tanks and hospital tanks plus at least one girly tank .... definately need way more than 6 tanks :cheer:

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What only 6 tanks?  nah one tank for each fish plus growout tanks and hospital tanks plus at least one girly tank .... definately need way more than 6 tanks :lol:

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

My Bad :cheer:

Make that 12 tanks on the first day :giggle:

(Then kick husband out, sleep on floor and move all bedroom furniture out. Then think about using all other rooms and surface areas!)

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Hi Snowflake - That was a quick conversion!

I keep all my males in a 12L (minimum) tank, with a sponge filter. Unlike goldfish, bettas in Sydney do much better if you don't need to change the water very often, as the chemicals in the water seem to singe the tips of their fins and finrot can set in. Therefore I believe that a filter is crucial. It can be disguised behind a decoration if you think it looks untidy :giggle:

Just like goldfish, bettas produce ammonia, so a filter is a good idea. The best way to get your filter established quickly is to "seed" it by running it in a tank with fish already in it for at least a week. THis isn't compulsory, it's just a sugestion.

Also if you want to use gravel in the tank (many betta owners use a bare bottom tank to make cleaning easier), see if you can get gravel from a friend with an established tank, as that will have the beneficial bacteria that eats ammonia on it already. that way, ammonia stops being a problem much sooner than if you start from scratch.

I will get a photo of the type of sponge filter many of us use for bettas. I will also get a photo of my "typical male betta tank". Mine look pretty manky, as they are functional not decorative! But they will give you the general idea. And the fish are much healthier now than when I used to mess about all the time adding "clean" water.

BTW the betta on my desk at work is a bit spoilt - he has an enormous tank to himself :cheer:

For your first betta, choose a hardy variety such as a veiltail (VT) (like Margaret's) or a plakat. Plakats are the short-finned bettas, which are available in some stunning colours that the long-finned bettas pale in comparison to, and are full of personality. Crowntails and halfmoons/deltas can be more touchy about water quality. It can take a while to master their specific water quality needs.

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:giggle: Oh no it's happening, I just called my hubby over to show him the Betta's and told him in uncertain terms that if I get one then I know where I'd put it. Can you put more than one Betta in a tank as long as they are the same sex? I had a look at someone's Betta and I can't remember who (short term memory loss, I think I'm still in mourning) but I really liked their veiltail oh and I thought the Pineapple Betta was very cute! Tell me are they more stressful than goldfish? In other words less maintenance or more?

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Belinda's tank (is vacant - did you hear that story? Gabby the Yabby escaped!!) would be perfect. Guys, it is an approx 10L AquaOne (I think), with a HOB. However, the intake of that filter might be strong enough to suck a long-finned betta's tail in. Again, a plakat may be better. They look especially good copper (like the colour of the one in my office). Or you can put a filter sponge over the inlet to stop the fish's tail getting sucked in. You can certainly keep several females (never males) in one tank, but they may quarrel and they will establish a pecking order. Some females can be vicious and may even kill some of the other females (this is not common but not unheard of). They are called fighting fish for a reason! If you bought several females from one spawn, who had never been jarred/separated, they should be ok in one tank. A tank of female bettas looks awesome!!! If you provide plenty of plants so the "bottom of the pecking order" can hide if needs be, that helps a lot. You should not keep a male in the tank with multiple females. Betta females in a group will turn on a male (especially a longfinned male who swims slower than the girls) and IME will often kill him.

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Go girls! I thought we were special...just joking. I can't believe Gabby escaped again! Obviously they didn't find her? Lilli with changing water etc you do it the same way as in goldfish? Is this a silly question? How many females in that 10L tank? Can you have all males or do they fight? I've actually found the perfect spot for this tank...my computer desk at home is near a large window which is warm in winter. Lilli can you help me sought out where I can buy Bettas?

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Hmmm, You need more tanks! We were not joking about that :) Once you get one betta, it's never ever enough. So to not cause any stress in between buying more after your first one - I suggest you go out to The warehouse or any el cheapo store and buy 5 x 10L plastic tanks (with lids) followed by 5x 25w heaters (Don't worry about the cost, you won't care about that soon, trust me, you can always fain memory loss ;)) With bettas you do not need a filter, and with a 10L I will do 50% water change twice a week. Males are to be kept seperate, always. You probably won't be able to squeezemore then one in to female into a 10L tank, best go out and buy a 2ft tank :) I am sure Lilli can help you with some bettas! Lisa told me about Gabby the Yabbie, my bet is that she has been kidnapped and I am waiting to hear that there is a ransom note :)

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I wouldn't keep more than 1 betta in a 10L tank. That is my idea of minimum long-term low-hassle accomodation for a single betta. But I do use a filter, and avoid water changes. In Sydney, waterchanges = finrot to bettas :) Even if you age the water for days.

I have plenty of bettas available right now, but not necessarily in the colours you'd want. Do you have a colour in mind?

Have a look in the classifieds section in the forum, there are often bettas for sale there that members of the forum have bred. You can expect to pay a bit more for them than if you bought a VT at Strictly though, as we have had to import the breeding stock, and that is expensive. Also our bettas are generally not VTs and these types of bettas cost more, anyway.

You should use a heater, even if the tank is to be near a warm window, as temperature fluctuations (eg at night) are very stressful to bettas and can impact on their immunity, then they et white spot (or worse) and eventually die.

BTW bettas live to be about 2, and they are usually at least 1 when you buy them at a pet store. The bettas from breeders are younger, so have more of their lifetime ahead of them!

If you really want to drool over gorgeous fish, look at the bettas for sale at this site:

AquaBid

Those prices are in USD, plus there is a $30 import fee per fish, so you can begin to understand what it costs to get them into the country and why Aussie breeders charge more than the petstores do for veiltails :)

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Is there any where on this site I can see a step by step set up to house a Betta?

Not really, as everyone does it slightly differentlly. My personal step by step would be:

Buy a 10 litre tank at PetBarn. It must have a lid - bettas jump and end up crispy. These are several of my 10L tanks, placed longways on a shelf, that each house 1 betta:

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Here is the inside of one of my male bettas' "stables". Messy, but functional. Yoy can make yours look pretty!:

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Buy the littlest heater you can get

Buy a small sponge or PennPlax filter.

Sponge filter:

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Penn Plax filter:

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Buy a little air pump, some silicone airline and (important!) a check-valve (to stop water siphoning into the pump) and a little valve that you can adjust to slow the air flow down - bettas don't like huge bubbles turning their tank into a hurricane!

Backflow valve:

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Airline bubble rate valve:

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If you like, buy some plastic decorative tank backing to make the back of the tank look nicer.

Buy a thermometer - Very IMPORTANT!

Buy whatever colour SMALL sized gravel you like (don't use those big glass beads, poop and food falls in and rots).

Buy some SMOOTH driftwood and java fern. Java fern is a genuine aquatic plant and will not die underwater, but lots of other tank plants sold at an LFS will. That is why it costs a little bit more. It is a good investment if you want Mr Betta to be happy.

Take these ^^^ things home and set them up in the possie you want them in.

Wash the gravel before you put it in the tank to get rid of sediment/dust that will make your tank water cloudy.

Soak the piece of driftwood for a few days to get rid of the excess tannins (they stain the water dark brown). Once you do add the driftwood to the tank, it will slowly release tannins, which makes the water more like Mr Betta's native water, so he will be healthier. (I have it in my tank at work if you want to have a look). You can position the driftood to obstruct the filter if you think it looks messy.

After all the gravel and driftwood is in place, fill the tank with water and add 3 x the neutraliser dose that it tells you on the label to add.

Add the java fern. Java fern is not planted in the gravel, it does not have actual roots. Just put it somewhere in the tank that you think looks good :)

Switch the airpump/filter on. Use the twisty valve to adjust the bubble rate until it is about 2 - 3 bubbles per second.

Switch the heater on. Wait 24 hours and monitor the temperature using the thermometer to make sure that the heater is at the right setting. Adjust it if necessary. The tank should constantly be about 28*C

Leave the whole thing to settle for at least 2 more days (that ensures that all the chemicals from the tap water are gone.

Then the tank is ready for Mr betta.

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My goodness thanks for all your effort to show me! I phoned around this morning for some tanks and I found a 10L one like Belinda's for $30. It does however come with a hang on filter gravel and a fake plant. The cover at the top have some holes and now having you said they jump out I might have to look for an alternative. Do you think this $30 one would be ok? They said I could put a sponge around the intake of the filter. What do you think. I also have a bucket of water which has been standing since yesterday. Do you think it would be ok to use once I get myself a Betta? I've put some ager in it and that's about it. The PH is still high so I'm trying to get that down.

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Hi Snowflake. Fake plants are not a good idea as they have rough edges and bettas' tails are known for getting torn on them. Even a little gap is enough for a betta to jump out of. The water level in the tanks I put in the photo are down because I had to take the lids off in the heat. So I'd go for a tank without a gap. If a yabby can escape from it, so can a betta!

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Just had a look on aqua bid and I really don't know what I'm looking for.  I saw a beautiful red plakat and a beautiful yellow one.  I've been told the yellow ones are very rare to find.  Has this got any truth to it?

If by rare you mean you won't find them in a petstore, then yes that is true. But as you can see, they are available from overseas, so "rare" isn't really the right word.

Almost all the aquabid fish are in South East Asia. Some are in America. None of the bettas currently listed on Aquabid are in Australia. So unless you're willing to pay $30 import fee and $20 shipping fee to get the fish to your door after they clear quarantine, as well as the purchase price in Aus dollars, you're better of buying your first betta locally.

If you want bettas like the ones on aquabid, maybe you should make a "wanted to buy" post in the classifieds section and the breeders who are members of this forum will tell you if they have fish along the lines of what you want.

Otherwise, you'll just have to try your luck at your local aquarium.

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Hi Lilli, the PH is about 7.5 at the moment. I've been reading other posts and I had no idea how much work and dedication is involved in owning Bettas and breeding them. In fact last night I stayed up until 1am trying to empower myself with some info. I admire you all!

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