Jump to content

How To Set Up A 10 Gallon Betta Tank?


number20121

Recommended Posts

  • Regular Member

Seeing my tanks and how pretty my fish are, Steven's mom now wants a betta tank. I thought this will be a nice, early Christmas gift (even though I know that I will be the one to maintain the tank, but that's alright :D ), I will let her have my old 10 gallon tank which I currently use to quarantine Vanille. I will get myself a cheap, used 15 gallon tank off craigslist as new quarantine tank instead, so there is more room in case I ever have to hospitalize Hugo, after all she is already almost nine inches long and the 10 gallon tank would not do much good considering this tank is only 10x20 inches...

Anyway, she looked at 5 gallon starter kits at the LFS yesterday. I know it is just my used tank but it was in use for only 7 months or so, it is in great condition. I'd just have to get some stuff for it, aside from the fish, and here comes my question:

I never had a betta myself, but I know a lot of you do. How do you set up a 10 gallon for a betta, what all does he need. I believe he will need a heater. We live in the south, so most of the year the tank temperature is above 74 degree, but during the winter months it might drop to 65 without a heater. No good.

Plants are good I guess. Any plants bettas prefer? I personally am a sucker for amazon swords. Might get a bunch of those if they work well. Driftwood is ok? Clay pot as deco and hiding spot?

In case she would like to have a couple other fish in there, what kind of fish and how many? The tank has a HOB filter with 80gph. As an air breather I guess I don't need a bubble stone? The water surface is in constant movemend from the filter. That thing is small, but strong. Well, unless there are other fish that aren't air breathers. I thought a couple guppies or neons would be nice, but I'm not sure if the betta would like those since they're kind of colorful. Probably would need something that takes care of algae though, something that stays little enough for a 10 gallon tank.

How much aquarium salt for them, do they even need it at all? What pH range and temperature is best for them? Gravel or bare bottom with some river stones? What is the best food for them? I know my mother in law will have severe problems with live food. She is totally grossed out by any kind of worm that is still wiggling. I even doubt she would be able to feed him frozen bloodworms, even though they are dead. I didn't even tell her that I got freeze dried blood worms for mine because she'd be totally paranoid that one of them might come back to live or so LOL

Also, the hood with the lights has two bulbs in it, but one of those has a loose connection and only one light is working. It is still bright, but not super bright. At day time it shouldn't be too much of a problem, since the tank is going to be close to a window without direct sunlight.

I hope you guys don't think I'm lazy for asking you instead of googling, because in fact, I did do that.

But I find so much contradictory information about how to keep them.. and I really trust you guys a lot more. Especially after I just read on a website about changing the water in the BOWL once a week, and that even though they don't like to eat flakes too much, they will still do the job.....

Oh oh! And cycling: This might be a very stupid question, but after Vanille is done with her quarantine, can I theoretically just use her filter media if she turns out to not be sick? Or would this be a problem since it was used by goldfish. Not sure what difference it makes especially if the fish is healthy, but I rather ask and look stupid than accidentally doing some harm. :rolleyes:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

I would splatter paint the bottom outside of the container to look like sand/gravel. Much cleaner than real gravel.

How much maintenance is she willing to do? Willing to hook up a python or carry plastic pitchers full of water back and forth ten times, dripping water...

I keep my bettas in 1 to 2 gallon containers and just net the fish into a fresh new set up twice a week. Light enough to carry to the sink and wipe and rinse clean. I find that plants without a filter make the set up dirty.

My last set of Bettas ate only hikari gold pellets. They lived three years and a few months. (I know now a variety is better).

I think you are heading for a full set up though?

Let her pick the betta color that most fascinates her. I adore my opaque powder blue male. I like my little red female.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

:goodpost

You'd probably be better off with a smaller tank. A betta really doesn't need that much room. A 2.5-5 gallon would be much better. Out of my 5 bettas they really don't which plants they get. They do like them for coverage so a soft or leafy plant to rest on would be great. In my 5 gallon I have a bit of hornwort floating at the top and 2 water Wisteria thta have grown like weeds and are multiplying. He likes to use the hornwort for nest building.

My 5 gallon doesn't need a heater as the light keeps the water at 78 degrees and it gets to about 76 overnight which isn't too bad.

No air stone is needed if you've got a filter agitating the water either.

You can technically leave bettas in bowls but the roundness will most likely confuse them. Hidr used 1 gallon jars for her bettas before. Like Texana said you can just get them into a new set up twice a week by having multiple jars if you decide to do it that way.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

I don't see any problem with using a 10 gallon. I mean, naturally bettas can be found in acre-long rice patties... I think the space does them well. You could go barebottom, although I tend to reserve that just for my goldies as opposed to trops which I usually pull out all the stops for. Your choice. I would, though, add lots of live plants to the setup. Honestly I think they like perusing and patrolling their territory and searching through/under the plants. My guys have always been kept with Java Fern. I don't care for the moss as I'm afraid as they get older they could get tangled in it and drown :( Just my paranoia. :D Hikari pellets coupled with frozen bloodworms-or if your mother in law can't take it-brineshrimp would be a good rotational diet. As for pH, my kids are doing just fine in my more alkaline range of 7.8-8.4, though I do believe they originate from much more acidic waters. Think Tetra water, perhaps. I'm sure he will adjust fine to whatever water is available. A heater is always in order, just to keep the temp. stable so as not to induce finrot and such. Keep him toasty at around 85F. I keep my boys and girls at 85-87F. Driftwood and/or a clay pot for hiding is just fine, and would probably be enjoyed. I think you could get away with adding Neon Tetras/Cardinals to the aquarium, as I've housed some of my Bettas with such, but I'd stay away from guppies considering their more flashy appearance and flowy fins. I'm not sure what to suggest when it comes to a algae eater. I'm not familiar with most, just apple snails. ;)

I hope this was of help and good luck!

Edited by Kateana
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

I see. The thing is my mother in law wants an actual tank. The maintenance would be done by myself, I am sure. As of now I have to run with buckets to clean the 20 gallon and 55 gallon tanks, so using a pitcher for the 10 gallon would be like a vacation :D

She'd also like a couple other fish in it (which is another reason for 10 gallons), but I don't know which fish you can keep with bettas.

I guess I'd go with river stones for the bottom then. Just a hand full, so it would be mainly bare bottom but with some stones as decoration.

The thing HAS to have a lid too because of the three cats living in our house, which is another reason for the tank.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

A ten will be GREAT for your mother in law's betta :) It will actually be easier for a beginner to take care of. Corys can be kept with bettas and are good bottom cleaners. Any danios too, just stay away from fish with flowing tails - like guppies.

Silk plants are better for bettas, since they are less likely to rip their tails. If you find a plastic plant you like, see if you can rip a pantyhose with it. If it can rip pantyhose, it can rip their fins.

You would also want to try to buffer the current from the filter. Because of their fins, they can get whipped around pretty easy. You can have whatever kind of substrate she wants. Bettas are no where near as messy as goldies and I only vacuum their substrate once every two weeks but I do two water changes a week.

I think it would be better to get new media for the tank. You never know :rolleyes:

I don't know about keeping the temp at 85 though, I've heard that the higher temp ages them quicker :idont but I wouldn't know that personally. I keep my guys at 82.

I wouldn't suggest any algae eater except for snails. The smallest algae eaters still need 20 gallons each because of how messy they are.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

Thanks everyone! I guess I'll set her up with the 10 gallons, fishless cycle first, with some gravel, live plants, clay pot, heater and a few neon tetras and corys.

How many tetras and corys could I keep in 10 gallons with a betta? I don't want to fill the tank to its full potential with fish, just a few. Tetras are schooling if I remember right, but what bout corys?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

I see. I just wonder if a betta and six neons isn't too much for the tank. Then again the tank will have filtration and neons grow only to 0.85" ... having three corys with them.

I can't think of it right now... my dad used to have those little fish that I think looked basically like corys. They were light with a couple thick stripes and I THINK orange or red tail fins. Are those corys? I tried googling for them, but to no avail.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member
I never had a betta myself, but I know a lot of you do. How do you set up a 10 gallon for a betta, what all does he need. I believe he will need a heater. We live in the south, so most of the year the tank temperature is above 74 degree, but during the winter months it might drop to 65 without a heater. No good.

Plants are good I guess. Any plants bettas prefer? I personally am a sucker for amazon swords. Might get a bunch of those if they work well. Driftwood is ok? Clay pot as deco and hiding spot?

Bettas are not fussy about their plants but at least, provide floating plants since they dwell the top most of the time creating bubblenests whenever they can. Amazon swords are out of the question for a 10g. They can easily outgrow your 10g. I'd get plants that fit the tank snugly. Anubias, Java ferns, Java moss, Egeria densa, duckweeds, hornworts, Cryptocoryne wendtii are a few you can consider.

Driftwoods, clay pots and any other hiding places are fine. Plants remain the best choices however.

In case she would like to have a couple other fish in there, what kind of fish and how many? The tank has a HOB filter with 80gph. As an air breather I guess I don't need a bubble stone? The water surface is in constant movemend from the filter. That thing is small, but strong. Well, unless there are other fish that aren't air breathers. I thought a couple guppies or neons would be nice, but I'm not sure if the betta would like those since they're kind of colorful. Probably would need something that takes care of algae though, something that stays little enough for a 10 gallon tank.

No guppies. Bettas are prone to mistaking them especially males for rivals because of their flashy fins. This will prompt them to destroy your guppies in a flash.:(

Neon tetras will work just fine. You can keep at least 6 of them in a 10g. Your other options include cherry barbs, glowlight tetras, flame tetras, Corydoras hastatus, Corydoras habrosus and Corydoras pygmaea.

A couple otos will work if you have adequate supply of algae beforehand.

How much aquarium salt for them, do they even need it at all? What pH range and temperature is best for them? Gravel or bare bottom with some river stones? What is the best food for them? I know my mother in law will have severe problems with live food. She is totally grossed out by any kind of worm that is still wiggling. I even doubt she would be able to feed him frozen bloodworms, even though they are dead. I didn't even tell her that I got freeze dried blood worms for mine because she'd be totally paranoid that one of them might come back to live or so LOL

They don't need aquarium salt.

And captive bred bettas are very tolerant of any pH although their natural habitat has acidic pH ranging at 4-6.5. The ones we can get are Betta splendens. There are a hundred other species you can get but all species thrive in acidic water especially with the presence of Indian almond leaves in their habitats. Asian countries often have this kind of trees near ditches, rice paddies, canals, etc.

As for the temperature, try maintaining it to 26-30 degrees Celsius. They do prefer very warm water.

If you have no wish keeping bottom dwellers other than a betta, there is not much use of the substrate unless you have plants you want to add that do require substrate in order to thrive. Doesn't matter whether you're using sand or gravel. If you have to use sand however, you have to make sure it is frequently stirred to avoid dead pockets from forming and even choking the plants.

Bettas also prefer meaty foods. Bloodworms, daphnia, mosquito larva...These kinds they love to eat. I sometimes drop dead mosquitoes, ants and other nontoxic insects I find.lol

Oh oh! And cycling: This might be a very stupid question, but after Vanille is done with her quarantine, can I theoretically just use her filter media if she turns out to not be sick? Or would this be a problem since it was used by goldfish. Not sure what difference it makes especially if the fish is healthy, but I rather ask and look stupid than accidentally doing some harm. :rolleyes:

No difference. You can use their filter media.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

Thank you, Lupin! I really think I got a decent setup in my head now for the fish. Simple, but nice. With the plants I got to look, so far I only bought the tubed live plants at Pet$mart.

Every place I go to where they sell live plants in a tank they seem not so nice looking. Full of algae, dead leaves etc. Or is that normal?

I love anacharis, I had those in my goldfish tank when I was little. Would they be alright for the betta tank? I think they grow fast though, if I'm not on crack I had to trim them back a lot. I could use the trimmings in my goldfish tanks, and if they eat them I could call it my salad farm :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

Well maintained plants should not have much algae. A few dead leaves here and there...normal but if the whole plant looks like it's about to die, I'd avoid that. Maybe order online?:unsure:

The anacharis is fine. It's what I meant by Egeria densa.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

Well maintained plants should not have much algae. A few dead leaves here and there...normal but if the whole plant looks like it's about to die, I'd avoid that. Maybe order online?:unsure:

The anacharis is fine. It's what I meant by Egeria densa.

You have to keep in mind that I am a total n00b. :D

Thanks!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
  • Regular Member

As we are getting closer to the setup of the tank I gotta ask a few things again:

I'm still thinking about what would be the best tank mates, as mother in law wants to have a bit more than "just" the betta. I still think a small group of neons is a nice choice. What critters would be good as clean up crew and maintenance?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

Ramshorn snails will do well. Blue, white, red and leopard are available aside from the boring brown. You just have to look harder in the market.;)

As for fish, I'd say neons definitely fit well. Glowlights or even cherry barbs. And then pygmy corydoras or hara hara.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

Lol I looked them up, they look cool!

Say, Lupin, you're so smart. :D If I have a betta and as you suggested earlier six neons and then a couple of whatever algae eaters (snails, small catfish etc) I guess I should use the small filter for the 10 gallon tank, or not? But won't the current bother the betta? If so, what's the best way to lower the current? I don't think it is very strong, especially not when the tank is filled to the top and the water just flows back into the tank instead of splashing into it.

Air stone recommended or not? It causes water movement again, but the fish are so much smaller than goldis, so having a bunch of plants in there might be enough for oxygen supply?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

Sponge filter or HOB works just fine but you know your betta won't exactly be happy if a little too much surface movement keeps breaking his cozy bubblenest.lol Using floating plants help break the tension though especially if you use HOB.

No need for airstones if your filter moves the surface gently just fine. Your tank isn't going to be overstocked to require even a single airstone.

And if you wish to try otocinclus catfish, better establish algae growth first. They starve to death without it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest HideAndGeek

I didn't see this mentioned, but if you want to use the filter you were talking about, if you see the current is too strong you can use a sponge rubberbanded to the filter to reduce the current, or if you have a taller decoration you can put that by the filter to break the current. =)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
  • Regular Member

I use either a sponge stuck on with a rubber band wrapped around my HOB filter to diffuse the water - or a plastic bottle contraption that's popular among betta owners. Ghost shrimp will work as well I've read, for the bottom.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

Freshwater shrimp would work well...but some betta's won't tolerate them. And some betta's are just picky....my betta killed all the cherry shrimp - except one. And he never tried to eat that one cherry shrimp. :idont:

Apple snails work great for betta tanks, I had two in my ten gallon. :)

If she wants something other than "just" a betta, you could possibly make a tank divider and get her two bettas! :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...