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Betta Setup Help?


mat92
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Hi all.

I a betta a few days ago, and currently keep him in a fishbowl with about 3.5L of water in it (not including gravel and plant). I have a plant and a decent amount of gravel, with a few inches gap at the top of the tank so he wont jump (hopefully!!).

Although his tank is on the small side, I was wondering if it's big enough?

I also have an 11L tank but its packed away in storage at the moment. If i moved my fish into the larger tank would i need to buy a heater or something? At the moment I just use a regular lamp on him for a couple of hours each day (about 1hr in the morning, 4 in the afternoon i guess.) and his tank seems to be pretty warm. He seems pretty happy, and i came home yesterday to find he had built a bubble nest!!!

I have also been feeding him (occasional) live food that I have been growing in my backyard (mosquito larvae and these little red wormy things). Any suggestions welcome, as I'm new to keeping bettas!!

Cheers,

Mathew

By the way...

The petstore didnt seem to know very much about keeping fish... according to them I should keep him in "the smallest tank possible" and "never feed him live food, as he will make a mess and not eat it"..... so the only *real* information i've been using at this stage is off the internet.

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ugh I HATE ignorant petshops! Bettas LOVE live food and you should put them in a DECENT size tank! The bigger the better!

Now I'd be guessing that living on the goldcoast you'd be fine through summer months but I'd guess he will need to be heated throughout the winter time (as overnight the temps can drop a bit too much for the bettas), in that sense it would be more appropriate to put him in the bigger tank as depending on the dimension of the 3.5 it might not be able to hold a heater in there if it turns out you need one.

In any case you should buy a thermometer from the LFS, Bettas can live between the range of 22-32 degrees C (if you get out of that range they can have organ shutdown and die) and are happiest somewhere between 25/28 degrees...

You'll need to do regualr water changes of course, in the 3.5L one I'd probably try to do a 1/3 change every 3-4 days. Remember to use a good quality water conditioner/ager and try to let the water sit a few days before you use it so it can stabilize. Also when adding the water try to have to reasonably close to the temperature of his tank as if it's a huge change in temp it can cause them to go into shock.

you sound like you're doing a great job so far :lol: I suggest you read through the threads (I think there's one pinned at the top with like the top 10 questions or such that should be helpful to you :P)

aaah here it is! : http://ausaqua.net/forum/index.php?showtopic=3162

Edited by y2jdaze
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ugh I HATE ignorant petshops! Bettas LOVE live food and you should put them in a DECENT size tank! The bigger the better!

Now I'd be guessing that living on the goldcoast you'd be fine through summer months but I'd guess he will need to be heated throughout the winter time (as overnight the temps can drop a bit too much for the bettas), in that sense it would be more appropriate to put him in the bigger tank as depending on the dimension of the 3.5 it might not be able to hold a heater in there if it turns out you need one.

In any case you should buy a thermometer from the LFS, Bettas can live between the range of 22-32 degrees C (if you get out of that range they can have organ shutdown and die) and are happiest somewhere between 25/28 degrees...

You'll need to do regualr water changes of course, in the 3.5L one I'd probably try to do a 1/3 change every 3-4 days. Remember to use a good quality water conditioner/ager and try to let the water sit a few days before you use it so it can stabilize. Also when adding the water try to have to reasonably close to the temperature of his tank as if it's a huge change in temp it can cause them to go into shock.

you sound like you're doing a great job so far :rant: I suggest you read through the threads (I think there's one pinned at the top with like the top 10 questions or such that should be helpful to you ^_^)

aaah here it is! : http://ausaqua.net/forum/index.php?showtopic=3162

Thanks a heap for that!!

once I unpack (moving house at the moment) I think I'll move vince into his new pad =P

and buy a small heater... i have no clue as to what kind of heater I should get though... (and im kinda broke at the moment being a youngin =P)

I changed did about a 1/3 water change yesterday, and came home this afternoon to find ANOTHER bubble nest!

is that a good thing or a bad thing?

Again, thanks for the advice. you sure were more helpful than the petstore... they had them living in tiny disposable plastic cups, in some dark corner of the fish section....

Mat =)

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Some pet shops suck....A bubblenest means hes happy . You would only need a 25 watt heater for a 11 litre tank.

Your better off asking any questions regarding bettas here or go through the search mode and look up old posts.

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don't get me going about those petshops!!! :yes: the last time i visited one (in a mall, of all places), i found three males stuck together in one cup. probably a customer had done it but you'd think the workers would notice! it was so horrible... one of the males was dead and the other two were completely shredded up! but nevermind my ranting... i use a small, 7.5 watt heater for my 2 gallon tank. that's for my ittybitty female, and it works quite well. but you may want a bigger tank for your male. it may also be a good idea to get some sort of lid (that lets air through) for your tank. in the past, some of my bettas thought they could fly and ended up on the carpet! it was a miracle my old dog didn't try to eat them! :lol:

Edited by Melkie
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poor fishies at the petshops...

I'm not really sure how much a gallon is... but do you think 11L would be large enough? Its sort of a stretched (horizontally) octagon shape, and comes with a glass lide, that has a small gap. Im not sure if it would let enough air in though. Maybe i should use some mesh or something? I havent been able to find a 7.5watt heater anywhere (went to the petshop the other day) the smallest I've found is 25w =S. Would that still work or would it be too hot or something?

As i know nothing about heaters xD

don't get me going about those petshops!!! :yes: the last time i visited one (in a mall, of all places), i found three males stuck together in one cup. probably a customer had done it but you'd think the workers would notice! it was so horrible... one of the males was dead and the other two were completely shredded up! but nevermind my ranting... i use a small, 7.5 watt heater for my 2 gallon tank. that's for my ittybitty female, and it works quite well. but you may want a bigger tank for your male. it may also be a good idea to get some sort of lid (that lets air through) for your tank. in the past, some of my bettas thought they could fly and ended up on the carpet! it was a miracle my old dog didn't try to eat them! :lol:
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25W will be fine and 11L is a very nice home for a betta.

When you fill it make sure the water level is at least 1 to 1 and a half inches below the lid (1 they need to breathe surface air to survive and 2, you'd think that such a small gap would be impossible for a betta to jump out of... it's not!!!) that small gap is enough to let sufficient air in :yes:

As I mentionned earlier you need to get a thermometer for the tank. A thermometer is essential as it can save you if your heater suddenly stops working (you'll see the temp change!) Stick the thermometer in and then the heater, set it at 25 degrees to start off with and then give it a few days to settle, you'll get an idea of where the temp sits, even though the heater is set at 25 you may see that the actual tank temperature is 27. So that would be a great setting :lol: or it could go the other way around, the tank temp could be 23 with it set on 25, in this casde you'd need to turn the heater up a notch or 2.

Hope that helps!

Edited by y2jdaze
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whoops, my bad! i'm from the USA (you know, americaaaa the beeaaautiful... :yes:), where we measure things in cups, quarts, gallons, ect.. 2 gallons = around 7.570823568L (could be wrong here but i'm crossing my fingers and hoping that i'm not), so if you use the 11L, you'd definitely need something stronger than 7.5 watts. :lol:

Edited by Melkie
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25W will be fine and 11L is a very nice home for a betta.

When you fill it make sure the water level is at least 1 to 1 and a half inches below the lid (1 they need to breathe surface air to survive and 2, you'd think that such a small gap would be impossible for a betta to jump out of... it's not!!!) that small gap is enough to let sufficient air in :yes:

As I mentionned earlier you need to get a thermometer for the tank. A thermometer is essential as it can save you if your heater suddenly stops working (you'll see the temp change!) Stick the thermometer in and then the heater, set it at 25 degrees to start off with and then give it a few days to settle, you'll get an idea of where the temp sits, even though the heater is set at 25 you may see that the actual tank temperature is 27. So that would be a great setting :lol: or it could go the other way around, the tank temp could be 23 with it set on 25, in this casde you'd need to turn the heater up a notch or 2.

Hope that helps!

Thanks a heap for that!!! Now i just need to wait until i move house (a few weeks), so I can get my 11L tank back =P.... and buy a filter & thermometer in the meantime. (would one of those little cheap stick on ones be ok?)

Thanks again!

Mat.

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I was told 1 gallon= 3.8L :byebye:

The stick on thermotmeter should be fine..

Personally i prefer the digital thermometer as you only have to glance at the screen to know the temp.. Im dislexic when it comes to reading anything else haha

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I love the stick-ons. They can be out by a little depending on other things (if you heat by desklap and the light is close to the thermometer, for example) but they are generally gerally good. Having said that, digitals are great, and some can even be set to alert you if the temp gets above or below a certain level.

Sounds like you are on the right track! Thermometer first, then heater, then filter if you have to prioritise :dontknow: Be careful if you get a power fikter, there are very few around that wouldn't make a whirlpool of that size tank.

11L is about 2USG :D

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Thanks! im not sure about the power filter... do you think i'll be fine without it? do you think a few extra plants and regular water changes would do the trick? if not would one of those little aeration filters (with the mediums in it) be alright?

I love the stick-ons. They can be out by a little depending on other things (if you heat by desklap and the light is close to the thermometer, for example) but they are generally gerally good. Having said that, digitals are great, and some can even be set to alert you if the temp gets above or below a certain level.

Sounds like you are on the right track! Thermometer first, then heater, then filter if you have to prioritise :dontknow: Be careful if you get a power fikter, there are very few around that wouldn't make a whirlpool of that size tank.

11L is about 2USG :D

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Oh for sure. I have 2 tanks that size and some even larger and i don't bother filtering them. They are planted though, and it works pretty well :betta:.

Stuff that doesn't drop leaves or get moody about water changes would be best, like java fern and anubias. You could even get away with lucky bamboo using the tank like a vase, or the non-aquatic-but-sold-as-aquatic spath lily (peace lily in disguise). Small tanks are fantastic

I'd definitely go with an air-driven filter rather than a power filter if you want to use a filter (and sometimes it can be good, like if you find the water is fouling too fast or your tap water is a bit dodgy and you need more time between changes or partial changes etc). The only power filters that would work in that size are the tiny tiny HOB types (sold as Palm in the US, but we get the knock-off models and they are very hard to track down anyway) and honestly, it'd probably be overkill.

My choice would be a small pump and a sponge filter, or a small UGF. UGFs are awesome in small tanks as they give you full use of your substrate as a biological filter. The main problems that are assiciated with them (Old Tank Syndrome being the biggie) rarely crop up as most times you'll give a tank that size a 100% clean on a regular basis anyway.

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I only filter my girly tank and my spawn tank.... everyone else gets to live in their own filthy water until i can be bothered with water changes :P but yes as long as you water change regularly they will be just fine without filtration :blink:

If you want you could also go for a sponge filter and a weak airpump and then get a flow control valve to slow it down, quite a few of us use that method :(( easy nice slow flow but still does the job once cycled.

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