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Old 02-27-2013, 02:08 PM
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Default My Betta setup, any advice/ opinions?

Tank is just getting settled, won't add fish until Sunday at the earliest, looking for any advice...

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Old 02-27-2013, 06:43 PM
Psyfalcon Psyfalcon is offline
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Not too bad.

I'd add a background. I've spray painted some (on the outside, of course), used wrapping paper on some (green, blue) and even used paper bags. Brown gives it a nice river bank feel, but with the blue gravel you might want to use some black construction paper.

Try to find a tall plant or two. Bettas like the top of the water so give them some structure up there too. Even a way too long piece looks nice as it lays along the top.

If you're not planning on cycling the tank, I'd just add the betta, and let the good bacteria develop for several weeks, depending on whatever else you're planning on.
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Old 02-27-2013, 06:45 PM
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I think it looks lovely! Most Bettas ever get that I ever see are tiny bowls.. that looks like a fish mansion!
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Old 02-27-2013, 06:55 PM
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Nice!

I would add some tall plants, maybe a hammock.

My Betta really likes to hide and swim through a jungle so maybe you could look at planting the tank a little more.
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Old 02-27-2013, 07:17 PM
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I agree with the above. Mine seem to love wriggling through the weeds. They will go out of their way to turn on their side and squeeze between a clump of weed and the bottom of the tank, or breech the water wriggling over top of floating plants, and they like to rest on big broad leaves. They really seem to dig "jungle" tanks, which makes sense as I believe they come from rice paddies and other ditch/swamp/overgrown puddle type environments.

Whoever comes to live with you is getting way better than probably 99% of bettas, and I'm sure he'll be just dandy in there the way it is. If you want to do something special, buy a betta hammock and/or a clump of java moss... the moss will cost $5 or so, is easy to keep, oxygenates the water, eats up nitrates and the fish will probably like snooping through it, especially when it grows.

And definitely add the fish in slowly, or you could turn the tank toxic.
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Old 02-27-2013, 07:18 PM
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I'm hoping to add live plants but I will get a taller one for now, a hammock? My novice is showing.... Lol

It's a ten gallon, thought of splitting it but couldn't find any screen or divider that was not fully see through, and I would think that would just stress him out!

My son does graphics he's making me a background, I just have to pick a scene for it!

I'm going to add a few tropical once I figure out for sure the best to house with a betta, and was advised to add them first, then the betta and not the other way around..
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Old 02-27-2013, 07:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LauraLeigh View Post
I'm hoping to add live plants but I will get a taller one for now, a hammock? My novice is showing.... Lol

It's a ten gallon, thought of splitting it but couldn't find any screen or divider that was not fully see through, and I would think that would just stress him out!

My son does graphics he's making me a background, I just have to pick a scene for it!

I'm going to add a few tropical once I figure out for sure the best to house with a betta, and was advised to add them first, then the betta and not the other way around..
One brand is called "betta bed" but I think there are others. They're like this:

So he can lay on the leaf.

For some reason I thought you were going to add the betta first, but yeah... I've had males that were territorial toward zebra danios and other bland looking fish when they were added in later, which is why I recommended adding the betta last.
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Old 02-27-2013, 08:02 PM
Psyfalcon Psyfalcon is offline
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On the other hand, ammonia can be an issue. Bettas seem somewhat tolerant being that so many are kept in bowls, but some tropicals are... not.

It would be best to do a fishless cycle, especially if you you're going to try anything like neons or rummynose tetras.
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Old 02-27-2013, 09:12 PM
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What would you guys recommend to add and get along with the betta? And when you say cycle you mean emptying part of the tank and refilling it? Sorry if I'm being a pain, I kept fish before but was totally uneducated about them and wound up frustrated and gave them to a more experienced friend..
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Old 02-27-2013, 09:44 PM
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Basically, when you put fish into a new clean tank, their poops and uneaten food produce ammonia. Ammonia is pretty toxic and will burn and kill the fish. However if there is a reasonable supply of ammonia, bacteria will start to grow. They eat the ammonia and produce nitrite. Nitrite is also poisonous. But when there's a good supply of nitrite in the water, another kind of bacteria grows. They eat the nitrite and produce nitrate. Nitrate is only a little bit poisonous... it has to buildup for a while before your fish are harmed. Plants eat it. When the ammonia-eaters and the nitrite-eaters are established in your tank, the poops and and food just get swapped to the nitrate.

To summarize:

Ammonia-->Nitrite-->Nitrate

That's what's called biological filtration... that's the main reason your filter works... it has a sponge with lots of surface area for the bacteria to live, and then pulls the water over the sponge so they can gobble up all the badness and make nitrate. The bacteria will also live in your gravel and on the glass, so it's important not to scrub your tank out. And you'll still need to do a little water change ever week or the nitrate will build up to toxic levels.

But as you can see it takes a while for the ammonia-eaters to grow, for them to make a supply of nitrite, then for the nitrite-eaters to grow.

So when you're just setting up a tank, it has nada, and to get it properly set up you need an inital source of ammonia. You can do this with fish, a non-fish ammonia source, or bottle bacteria (maybe).

If you use fish, whatever fish you first put in is going to have to sit in ammonia-water, then nitrite-water before the tank is nice and comfortable. Some fish can withstand the toxic stages but for others its insta-death. Bettas are pretty tolerate... so are zebra danios and some others (if you go to a good fish store they should help you out).

Your other options are store bought bacteria in a bottle (my fish store says it works, but I've heard other people say it doesn't), or you can do a fishless cycle where you just put fish food or ammonia from the store in your water for a while. The bottle stuff works pretty quickly (if it works), doing it with eg fish food will probably take weeks.
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