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Looking To Get Betta


chico

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I currently have a 10 gallon housing two orandas. It's almost 4 months old. Completely cycled. I want to purchase a new 55 gallon, transfer the orands into that. I will then have a 10 gallon cycled sitting there.

Can I keep a betta in a 10 gallon successfully? I have some questions for the experts, please:

1. Can I keep everything in the 10 gallon (gravel, plants, background)?

2. I have been reading that the betta doesn't like a strong current. Therefore, with an already cycled tank, should I replace my 150gph filter with a smaller one? And if so, how small? I would assume I would need the filter if I am not planning on 100% water changes with a 10 gallon.

3. Do I need to get rid of the gravel? I have been reading gravel isn't recommended; or is that because pple who perform these 100% water changes don't hassle with the gravel? I would assume I would just perform 20% water changes weekly by vacuuming the gravel.

4. Do the same rules for water quality apply to the betta tank as does to the goldfish tank (i.e. ammo 0, nitrItes 0, nitrAtes <20)? What about ph? I have also read a small heater is in order; any suggestions? Adding Prime also recommended?

5. The bettas I saw at my lfs looked in pretty sad shape. All of their fins were ragged pretty bad. Do they all initially look like this and then bounce back in better conditions? Or, does someone recommend an online shop for a better quality betta?

Sorry for all the questions. But I know I can trust you guys w/the correct answers. Or, direct me to where all these answers are! (i can't seem to find an all inclusive place) Thanks again for your assistance!

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1) Yep, all that stuff is fine :) You might want to make sure there isn't anything sharp that could tear your betta's fins.

2) 150 gph is a lot for a single betta (one betta is all you want in this tank, right) and he will not like the strong current. They don't make very much waste, so you only need a small filter. Maybe in your position can recomend a good filter.

3) You can keep your gravel no problem. Most people don't keep gravel in their betta tanks because they are smaller/don't have a filter/don't syphon. As long as you syphon the gravel every week, gravel will work great!

4) Yep, all the water quality rules still apply. It would be a good idea to cycle your tank before you get your betta since they are very sensitive to ammonia and nitrite, and that can lead to fin rot, etc. Since you live in Chicago, I'd recomend getting a heater. With healthy bettas in warmer climates it isn't always necassary, but its recomended. I'm getting one soon as well, because my betta gets fin rot very easilly and I think it would help when it starts to cool down. I've never owned a heater with any of my past bettas or other fish so I can't recomend one, but scroll down in the betta section and you should see a couple posts about betta heaters. Bettas need a water conditioner just like any other fish. It doesn't have to be prime, but I feel prime is one of the best :)

5) There is only one LFS near me that sells healthy bettas. Most stores simply do not clean out their little containers...EVER!! I fell in love with a betta that was in horrible condition in one of those stores (they were all in his shape too) and took him home. Ever since, he has been battling fin rot. However, I've heard of a lot of happy endings, and bettas are the kinds of "bouncing back". Look around at more LFS's tho, you might find some healthier ones.

Have fun with your betta!

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Kissy - thank you so much for your reply! My son was so excited when he saw the blue bettas in the store. It's not going to be an immediate purchase, but I want to be sure I can do it when I do.

Thanks, again! :D

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OH...I have another question re lighting.

I have two fluorescent bulbs on the existing 10 gallon. Do bettas like light?

And regarding Kissy's comments on the sharp items....I have two ornaments in there now - not sharp at all. But, do bettas prefer plants rather than ornaments?

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You're welcome Laura :)

I've never personally kept a light in a betta tank, but I think my betta would LOVE one. He gets enough natural lighting from my open bedroom window. However, if turn on the light on the empty 29 gallon next to him after it starts to get dark, he really seems to enjoy it! I would prefer the look of plants, but bettas love lots of hiding places and dislike bare tanks, especially larger ones. As long as your betta will have some places to hide, I don't think it really matters. If you are planning on real plants tho, real plants are benificial to any fish :)

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Yes - I do have real plants in there now.

I'd like a clarification, please. The tank is cycled now w/the two fish in there. Once I take the fish out, is it recommended I totally clean out the tank and recycle? Or, how's this for a plan:

-remove current inhabitants

-remove the current 150gph filter and add a smaller one, however utilize the old media to keep the cycle

-get the water temp right for the betta

-vaccuum and perform water changes for a couple weeks to get all the old fish gook out of the gravel; however, the filter will still have the load of biobugs, and there shoudl be some biobugs left in the gravel if I don't perform a thorough cleaning

-ensure the params are right and add mr betta!

OR

wipe out the tank and start new, ensuring the tank is cycled b/4 adding the betta

??

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As long as you are positive the goldfish were perfectly healthy, you don't have to nuke the tank. However, the bio-bugs need to be fed too, or they will starve. What type of filter is the 150? Does it use bio media or a cartridge?This is what I would do:

Buy a new filter and set it up, leaving the old cartridge or media inside the tank or new filter, and then add your new betta. Test water params every couple days to make sure everything is working alright. If you are looking for a special betta instead of just one your son picks out at the store, you need to feed your buggies. They shouldn't go more than 36 hours without ammonia or they will perish. If this is the case, the easiest thing to do is to clean out the ten gal, and set up a new filter on the goldfish tank (along with the current goldfish filter, and make sure your goldies are healthy) so bacteria can colonize in the filter, and still be fed. Leave it there 2-3 weeks. After that, start looking for your dream betta. When you bring him home, acclimate him to the new pH in a separate, covered container, by gradually adding dechlorinated water from the tank to his container, and removing some of his water over and over again til pH's match. While you are doing this, get your ten gal ready for him and move the little filter back over to his tank. If the goldfish's filter has a cartride, swish it around a little in the 10 gal, then put it back. When pH's match, then you can add him! Test the water in the bettas tank regularly to make sure enough bugs transferred over.

I hope that wasn't confusing!

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Thanks again, Kissy.

I will have to reread that, and print it out for my records.

Let me ask this: the ph value. Does it have to be within a certain range for bettas? Right now my ph is on the high side: 8.0. I remember reading somewhere that bettas like a lower ph. Should I fiddle with the tank params to get the ph in that range? Or is it okay to use your method to acclimate the betta to the existing ph of the tank. (apparently it is okay since you mentioned it!)

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Bettas do prefer a neutralish pH, but they are very adaptable, as long as you have a high kH to stabalize your pH, you should be fine. My pH is around 7.9-8 also, and my betta is doing fine concerning the high pH. I wouldn't try and mess with chemicals to adjust pH, especially not pH down. I made that mistake a while ago and I kept adding pH down (acid) to my goldfish tank like every day because the next day, the pH had shot back up. Oy I wish I knew back then..the pH going all over the place was not good, and neither was all that acid in his tank x_X

So, your pH is fine, just acclimate him slowly to your natural pH and he should do well :)

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:) Kissy has given you some good advice.The only thing that I might add is that I actually have an Aquaclear 150 on one of my Betta ten gal. tanks,and really haven't had any problems.They have a little knob to turn the flow down-which I did,and as an extra,I added an ornament in frontt of the water flow to help cut it even more. I have the tank full of live plants,which make great coverings/hidey holes/beds. :) As for the tank water that's in there now,as long as your goldfish are healthy,and your water params are reading good,I personally would probably do a twenty % water change and go from there.Good luck with finding a Betta,and let us know how it goes.
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oooohhhhh - thanks Devs! I thought about the adjuster....but still wondered if it was too much flow.

And thanks to you, again, Kissy!

I took a look around today for some bettas at local stores....only 1 out of 3 carried them; and they were pretty ragged at best.

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Sounds like you're on the right track, bettas love lots of plants to squeeze under and thru, and the plants will need light. You can use the same water, same media, gravel, everything that your goldfish used but a betta will produce a lot less waste so a smaller filter is a good idea, don't worry too much about the flow tho, there'll be quieter pockets of still water for him to retreat to with plants to break the flow.

Watch out when you add a heater that the plants will tolerate warmer water and don't start dying. Try adding a bit of driftwood to bring the pH down rather than fiddling with acids. And introduce your betta to the water slowly.

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Looks like everyone's given you great advice Laura!I've just started keeping bettas about a month ago and I was surprised how sweet and active they are....I'm sure you'll find a betta that will steal your heart :heart Good luck!Will be looking forward to see pics :D

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