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Old 09-20-2013, 12:57 PM
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Default Betta fish

I'm thinking about getting a betta fish (or any fish) "for Lillian". She loves to watch the fish in the pond outside, and she (and I) might like an inside fish.

What kind of setup do I need? Can it live in a bowl with no filter like lots of people have them? Or is a real tank better? How much time/care will it need?
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Old 09-20-2013, 01:03 PM
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I always got mine a real tank...

They do need a heater even though a lot of people keep them without one. Living in water that is too cold will stress the fish and eventually lead to it's early demise. They are a tropical species.

They like to have plants if you can get them. They love plants that float on the water as well as plants they can hide and hang out in.

As for filtration go with something that does not create too strong of a current/movement in the water as the long trailing fins are delicate and easily injured.

I love bettas! They learn to recognize your face...and some of them learn to play with you in a manner of speaking

As for care it depends on the size of their habitat. Smaller tanks are going to need more frequent water changes. Feeding usually happend twice a day.
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Old 09-20-2013, 01:12 PM
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I think they do better in a real tank setup. I have one in a 20 gal with just a sponge filter (so it doesn't make much current). The tank was originally set up for a couple of small catfish (who still live there) and I got the betta kind of on impulse to add. He likes to hang out in all the little caves and such that the catfish do and patrols around the whole tank regularly, so I think he really likes the space.

Maintenance depends more on your set up than the specific fish. I have three small fish in a 20 gallon tank, so I can get away with relatively infrequent water changes, a couple of times a month. I usually feed every other day.
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Old 09-20-2013, 03:53 PM
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They can survive for a time without heaters and filters n a small tank, but consider that life. The only reason they can survive for a time without a filter is because they have a labyrinth organ, which allows them to take in oxygen from the air, rather then using their gills, but its not meant to be used long time, its for short term survival. It would be like breathing through a straw underwater for you for the rest of your life, in a space the size of a bedroom, you might survive for a while, but probably not your full life span and it wouldn't be a very nice life either.

I small 5 gal tank is just the right size for a Betta, you can get them with nice little hang on the back filters that are easier to take care of then a tank with no filter.
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Old 09-20-2013, 03:57 PM
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I've had several bettas. Either in 5 gallons or 10 gallons. They definitely do need a filter and a heater imo.
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Old 09-20-2013, 04:15 PM
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agree with everything posted. 5gal MINIMUM, 10 is better. they can peacefully coexist with other things as long as youre careful what you pick. i had mine in a 10 gallon bookshelf tank with cherry shrimp and whiteclouds and live plants and he, and it, was just LOVELY.
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Old 09-20-2013, 04:45 PM
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My betta LOVED his 5 gallon tank with a heater. I'd had several bettas in bowls before and I have to say the one in the tank was WAY more lively and interesting. He had a better appetite and I was even able to get him to take freeze dried treats out of my fingers.
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Old 09-21-2013, 04:39 AM
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I love Minibows for Bettas... they're cheap, and they come with EVERYTHING you need besides the fish, gravel and plants. My Bettas all enjoyed this 2.5 gallon version, or you could get the 5 gallon for $10 more. Walmart has them for cheaper! It comes with a Whisper filter that I keep on the lowest setting for minimal current. Bettas don't like current!

I got a very small tank heater (at Walmart, for $5) for the cold months. In the summer, our house is 75 degrees which is perfect for Bettas. Get a temperature strip to make sure the heater is keeping it between 70-80 degrees.

Besides that, throw some aquarium sand or fine gravel in there, and a little bunch of live plants. Java ferns & Java moss are ideal, because the aquarium light for a few hours a night is plenty to keep them thriving. Live plants look much better, and add oxygen to the water. I always give them a hiding spot too. You can buy a tiny terra cotta pot for about 50 cents from Walmart and that's perfect! I find that they like checking out marbles too. Get a bottle of Stresscoat to treat tap water.

Petsmart has some awesome Bettas now!!! At least in my area. They sell gorgeous halfmoons, super deltas, plakats, etc! I don't prefer Veiltails (Bettas with tails that hang down) because they tend to get weighed down by their tails.

For food, buy a package of frozen bloodworms, thaw out a fraction of a cube per day, and feed the Betta 5 worms once or twice a day. You can also buy Hikari Betta Bites for convenience, or another pellet food, but fresh food is always best. Most importantly, do not overfeed! Uneaten food at the bottom of the tank is all bad. Feed him only as much as he'll eat in a couple minutes and feed slowly so he can get it all. Watch for his belly, if it's bulging, that's too much food. Change the water 50% weekly or 100% every 2 weeks.
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