Alright. I've recently become interested in getting a Betta Fish as a pet, however I don't know as much as I'd like about how to set up an aquarium for one.
I've heard they can live up to 5 years in the right conditions, and that they are quite intelligent and friendly when treated right.
Does anyone own a Betta? Any suggestions/guidelines for an aquarium? Or any other things I should know about Bettas before getting one?
I breed bettas ;)
2.5 gallons MINIMUM. Those lies about them living in mud puddles are rubbish. You'll need to do a complete water change once per week. If you want to get a 5 gallon or even a 10 gallon tank, you can cycle it. Google info on cycling a tank and you'll get loads of info.
78-80 degrees. You'll for sure need a tank heater.
You'll need a filter (especially if you cylce!) and you'll also have to baffle the current, it's often too strong for bettas (google; DIY filter baffle)
LOTS OF DECORATION! They are smart fish, and the more you have for them to play with, the happier and more entertaining they'll be.
Sometimes you can house 'room mates' with them if you have a 10 gallon - nothing like a guppy, they're too flamboyant for the males. Tetras, and quick moving fish will do well. I've heard of them getting along with shrimp, and some of them nomming the shrimp! It all depends on your bettas personality.
5 pellets per day of quality food (hikari is great). Freeze dried bloodworms are OK for treats, but they carry a higher risk of parasite infestations. Frozen foods are much better as treats. Gross for us, but so yummy for your finned friend!
How can you tell if a fish is healthy? I'm looking to get one from the pet dept. at Walmart, as its the only store with them under 30 min. away and I don't want to put a fish through 30 minutes of driving if I don't HAVE to.
What're good decorations for them? I've read that rough decorations will tear their fins, but not sure what would be ideal for them in a prob. 3-5 gal. tank.
And any idea how much total it'd cost for the setup?
30 minutes is fine actually. I get fish shipped to me all the time, and when it's done right, the fishes should be fine. Of course, it's about $40 for express 8S
But, look for a fish that is 'active', which is not likely to happen in walmart. A lot of them will be listless and at the bottom, but if you find one that's just giving everyone around him a lot of hell (flaring, swimming around like he's awesome), that's a healthy fish and you should snap him up!
For plants, stay away from the plastic crap. They make silk plants now that are better for the bettas, and prettier. If you can get with flourescent lights, and get an average of 2 watts per gallon, you can use live plants which are SO good. They use up the bad stuff and put out oxygen for you feeshes, and help keep algae down. Good plants for bettas are numerous, just google - I'm sure there's a list.
Walmart actually has 5g and 10g starter kits - they come with the filter, the hood and lights - but I think the lights are incandescent. Which is fine if you want to use silk plants, but the flourescents just give off a cleaner light. The 5g kit is about $30, and the 10g is about $40 - well worth the price, and comes out a little cheaper than buying everything separately. You'll need a gravel vacuum to siphon out the nasty poo($3-9), a thermometer($1-3), food ($1-3), and decorations - which you can go as high or low on those as you want. And get at lease one cave. They seem to love caves.
Gravel is easier to use as a substrate, I prefer sand but it's a pain in the arse to get it clean enough to go into an aquarium! You'll want to cover the bottom with about 2" of gravel, more if you prefer but 2" is a good depth. I can't remember how much it is at walmart.
It'll probably be $60-120 depending on where you get your stuff from. OH AND A HEATER!!! Don't buy the walmart heaters. They SUCK. They'll do in a pinch if it's freezing, but it's worth the money to get a good heater.
This place has amazing prices;
That Fish Place
PaintsPwn has given you some great advice!
If you're interested in joining a betta forum to pick up info about them, I'm a part of UltimateBettas and even though I'm not very active on there the people are always super friendly and helpful when I have questions about my fish.
I have my betta in a 23 gallon tank with 6 cories and a few apple snails. He has no problem with the filter current, the only time he seems to have issues is when the filter is "waterfalling". Other than that he seems to actually enjoy the current (he'll intentionally go straight through it and get thrown around, silly boy).
The one thing I do want to caution you about is tankmates. If you intend to get him some buddies of other kinds of fish, I'd suggest not getting the most feisty fish you see. I got Gideon (my betta) because he seemed super feisty in the store but he's turned out to bee a little too fiesty. He seems to get bored and decides to chase the cories all around the tank (and it's 23 gallons so it's big!) and basically traumatize them. I ended up having to get the cories tons of hidey spots that he can't get into so that they could get some relief. On the flip side, I had a school of cherry barbs (which were reccomended as good betta tankmates all over the web) and they would not leave poor Gideon alone. They nipped at his fins continously. I ended up having to rehome them. I guess basically all you can do is try to use good judgement if you get a tankmate for your betta and be prepared to change stuff if they don't get along.
But yeah, have fun with your betta! =)
Sorry for the double post but I hope that's not "illegal" to link to another forum... I realized after it was too late to edit. =/ Hopefully it's alright...
Thank you both!!! =) I now know a bunch more about the little fishies. :D I'm going to get one sometime, but I realize now that I may need to shop around to find 'THE' fish I want, and accessories and aquarium and whatnot.
I'll be sure to post back here again if I come up with anymore questions. :lol:
Do you have any fish for sale right now? I might be interested.
Not right now Maura, I will later this spring though. I'll keep you in mind and PM you when I have a spawn ready!
-highfives wallaby- UB is of win.
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