A Few New Tank Questions...

  • #1

First time posting here I've been browsing around here for a bit and decided to directly get a few questions answered.

General Info:

Looking into getting a single betta
Nitrogen Cycle Method: Fishless; Dr. Tim's and Stability; using Thunder's method
Foods: Omega One plus soaked freeze-dried shrimp and bloodworms

All of these have not been purchased yet (not planning on it for another week or so) so if you have any suggestions let me know

On to my questions (sry if any of these are really easy to find on here lol):

1. How do bettas like their tanks stocked? Many plants? More live or fake? More open?

2. I've heard any gravel works, is that correct? Atm I'm just planning on getting some regular natural-looking aquarium gravel from my LPS.

3. Still kinda confused on using Prime with BB starters. Can you add it at the same time as BB? Do you put in Prime first then wait a day? Do you even use Prime when cycling?

4. Anyone know how many drops of Dr. Tim's it takes to get a 10 gallon to ~8ppm? It'd be a huge time saver lol

5. How long can you wait from the time your tank is cycled until you put your fish in? I've heard your parameters can become a bit shaky if you leave it cycled w/o a fish for too long.

6. For acclimating, I'm planning on getting a large critter keeper and slowing adding the cycled water tbsp by tbsp or something like that, then putting the fish in via net. Any recommendations on better ways to go about this?

7. Adding on to the last question, I hear it's a good idea to see how similar tank parameters are before buying the fish. However, I think this would be a bit difficult with bettas seeing as they're kept in cups, whose parameters vary from cup to cup and the cups have so little water I fear I'd be taking too much out with testing. The list goes on, but do you think it's worth it for a betta, especially since they're so hardy anyways?

Super excited to hear any feedback; I'll add to this post if I think of anything else!


Just thought of another question!

8. I'm going to be adding some driftwood and Indian almond leaves into the tank. Should I add these in before or after cycling? Just curious if the tannins will affect anything.

Garrett Michael
  • #2
I think you can add those in before the cycling,Betta's don't care to much rather there plants are real or fake mainly just personal preference.they defiantly like a open foreground but you could have a heavily planted background.I recommend just acclimating the in their cup just more out half the water and use some airline tubing to drip acclimate water into the cup.As for substrate I suggest going to a hardware store ie. Lowes or Home Depot if based in the US and getting either pool filter sand or play sand as this looks more natural and can be better for the plants if you choose live plants.

Peter M
  • #3
As for plants, there are many benefits to having live plants. The betta would appreciate a few at least. Plus, I think live plants just look a lot better. As said above, that's just a personal opinion though.

And as for acclimating, I think that might be a little overkill. That's probably the proper way to do it by the book, but bettas are hardy and will be fine with just a 20 minute float as long as your parameters are fine/the fish isn't weak to begin with.
  • Thread Starter
  • #4
Thank you for the reply!

Setup noted. I was just wondering due to the bare nature of a lot of the betta tanks on here, and, with owning and researching hamsters and other rodents, I kind of figured they'd want a busier set up as well. Good to know, though.

I think I've heard of the drip technique before, I'll give it a read then

I'm not 100% sure about using sand since I've heard bad stuff about bettas mistaking it for food and such (source: Warning about use of Fine Sand as Substrates in Betta Tanks ), and none of the plants I'm looking into need to be rooted in the ground, but, then again, that article is 10 yrs old, so maybe I'll look into it
Peter M
  • #5
I have read that betta's get bored quite easily, so I would think a busier set up is probably preferable. I've got a 20G with a betta, some tetras, and a clown pleco that's quite busy with plants and driftwood, and the betta is doing very well.
  • Thread Starter
  • #6
Thank you for your recommendations!

Yeah, I've seen topics about live plants doing some great things, like taking down the nitrate levels a bit and such. I'll definitely looking into going more live now

I've seen multiple methods of acclimating, and most of the ones I've looked at say "this is great for sensitive fish!" and I was always kind of like "bettas are a bit hardier than that, so I'm not sure I need -all- of this", but good to know it's not as time consuming as I thought!

As I said in my other reply, I think this makes a lot of sense, seeing as bettas are more intelligent than other types of fish and would need more stimulation. Thanks for the confirmation!


  • #7
My Betta is in a tank with 8 platy and 6 Cory. Two lots of bog wood and heavily planted. They don’t like heavy water flow though as they are not the strongest swimmers.
  • #8
Welcome to the forum RobinIsACattto .

It looks like your are performing all of you're due diligence so you can have a healthy and happy betta.

The Top Fin 10 gallon Essentials kits are a great deal. We bought our first tank this time last year and it was a 20 gallon version, and it's still up and running.

Here is a link to a thread on the forum for adding DIY media to your filter. It gives ideas and examples of inexpensive and effective ways to boost the mechanical and biological filtration of your filter.

A Top Fin 20 filter is used for most of the examples in that thread, so it will be readily applicable to the Top Fin 10 filter that will be in your kit.

A very good feature of the Top Fin filters is their flow control valve, perfect for betta tanks!

You mentioned Omega One fish food, I don't have a betta so I can't comment on their diet, but Omega One is a very good brand. Omega One is one of the brands of fish food I use and my fish appear to like it a lot and they are a quality brand.

To answer some of your questions. ....

#3. Treat the tank with Prime and wait 24 hours before adding your cycle booster. (I recommend finding a plastic 1mL syringe to dose your Prime. It is more accurate that way and you don't waste any. 1.0mL of Prime treats 10 gallons of tank water. They are available at pharmacies and usually used for dosing oral medications) . Once the tank is cycled and the betta is in it, you will not have to continue to add the cycle booster during water changes (even if the bottle advises to, that is their marketing dept increasing sales revenue)

4. I have used Dr. Tim's ammonia and the directions are on the label. I would tell you what it says, but I gave my friend the bottle. Their website should give directions also. As for the Stability, I haven't used it. I have used though Tetra Safe Start + on 2 different tanks and it appeared to work fine.

5. Every tank is different. I suggestion buying an API freshwater master test kit. They can be found online for $15-$17. The prices on Petsmart's website for their aqaurium hobby supplies are almost always cheaper compared to in-store pricing. Cashiers will price match their own website (I think Petco and Chewy's site also).

#7 The store's water should have the same pH as the water in your home, unless you have different municipal systems or you have a well. So it shouldn't be to big of a concern. Petsmart will pit fresh water in the betta cups. They are not in the same water they shipped in. It would be different though if you're having fish overnight shipped from an online breeder, and their water is the total opposite as yours

My I suggest something to add to your list.

* Top Fin gravel vac siphon

* 5-gallon bucket (ones from Home Depot, Lowe's etc)

* a 2 quart container

The gravel vac makes cleaning the substrate and performing water changes easy.

The bucket is always good to have for water changes.

The 2-quart container is good for transferring water from the bucket during water changes, topping off the tank due to evaporation or to temporarily housing the betta. If you have to move the tank or you're doing some big maintenance on the tank, relocating the betta to a container dedicated for aquarium-use only, is an easy way to keep it safe
  • #9
1. Live plants are best. Fake plants can test the betta’s fins (unless they are silk). Mine likes his heavily planted tank compared to take with little hiding places.
2. Any gravel is fine since bettas usually don’t spend much time on the bottom.
3. I think it’s best to wait at least 24 hours between adding prime then the bacteria booster, but I am not sure about adding prime after.
4. It should have instructions
5. Use a test kit. When ammonia and nitrite are 0 you can add fish. I recommend the apI master test kit.
6. I would first add a drop of prime because there is probably ammonia in the cup. Then just acclimate for about 30-60 minutes and replace 100% with tank water by the end.
7. Just acclimate the fish and replace all the water
8. I had driftwood when it was cycling. No difference that I noticed

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