Beginner Betta

Discussion in 'Betta Fish' started by thewanderingunicorn, Jun 7, 2016.

  1. thewanderingunicorn

    thewanderingunicornNew MemberMember

    Hey there!
    I'm fairly new to fish, and I've been doing some research on bettas. (I had one, but had him in a tiny 1gal tank and gave him to a friend who had a 10gal)
    I'm wanting to do a 10gal planted tank, with a Betta and some shrimp, but I have no idea where to begin other than that!
    Feel free to link to other threads, blogs, etc.!
    Just trying to learn as much as a can before I start buying things.
  2. Lchi87

    Lchi87ModeratorModerator Member

    Welcome! :)

    First thing is to read up on the nitrogen cycle for sure.

    -Get a good testing kit and dechlorinator (API master Test Kit and Seachem Prime are highly recommended)
    -Decide how you want to cycle your tank (fishless, with fish..?)
    -Start that cycle!

    In the mean time..
    -Research what plants you'd like so you purchase the correct substrate, lighting and supplements

    That should be good to start off with; keep us posted!
  3. jdhef

    jdhefModeratorModerator Member

    Welcome to FishLore!

    On my computer screen (I don't know if this will be the same for others) your screen name is broken into two lines at a very unfortunate location. Luckily, you're a female, a guy would never live this one down.

    But for those who don't have the screen name broken in two for me it looks like the following:

    Anyway, you got a good answer above, but of course feel free to ask any and all questions you may have. This is a very friendly, respectful forum and no one will make you feel stupid for any question you may have.

  4. Silister Trench

    Silister TrenchWell Known MemberMember

    Okay! A ten gallon betta tank with live plants is a good start. As mentioned above you're definitely going to want to do some reading on the nitrogen cycle, and probably more so on "how to fishless cycle". It can be daunting at first glance, but there is probably more correct information regarding the nitrogen cycle out there than anything else in the hobby. Disregarding most pros and cons on any of the ways to cycle a tank this "fishless cycle method" I've found provides the least amount of stress and maintenance to YOU, which in all respect, will become what keeps a tank alive in the long run. To help it along maybe ask your friend for some of their current filter media or gravel if they have extra to seed your tank.
    As far as betta and shrimp, try to look up betta compatibility information. I'm thinking while you will probably find that some people have kept the two together, most will report unexpected missing shrimp as betta'spick at them.
    Next up you're going to want to look into a tank, plants, equipment, lights. You can buy it all separately or as one of those kits they sell in most stores. You won't be able to use the lights that come with a kit most likely, and will have to purchase separately anyways, unless you buy something like a Fluval Edge (12 gallon? I think last time I was in a store they were over a hundred bucks, though.) which comes with lights, filter, tank and looks pretty sleek. I'm sure there are other options, but that was what came to mind when I looked at my 5g Fluval Chi.

    Tank: Chain pet stores sometimes have $1 dollar a gallon deals so you might be able to pick a glass tank up for $10 bucks.

    Plants: before much else you're going to need to figure out what plants you want. I recommend low light plants because the tanks are often easier, the set up cheaper. Java fern, Java moss, Anubis are all undemanding and low light plants. Most plants will grow in low/medium-low light but not all, and not always the way you want them to grow. These plants will do fine, but you can also search for alternative low light plants

    Filter: I don't like most kit filters, but they work. You'll need a filter if purchasing separately rated for an equivalent sized tank. I don't like internal ones and have never used one on a planted tank. A hang on back for a 10 gallon should be good enough. I've picked up one at Walmart in the past and it's worked just find. External canister filters are ideal in popular opinion but will run you almost as much as the Fluval Edge.

    Lights: low light plants get by with much cheaper fixtures. I've red the Finnex Stingray LED clip on Light is a good fit for ten gallon tanks and should grow plants well. For 25 bucks you there aren't many other options without spending a bit more.

    Substrate: Probably as important to low light tanks as Co2 injection is with higher lighting. If you pick up a bag of miracle gro organic soil and lay a 1" layer across the bottom, then cap with gravel or sand you'll be able to save money and time because of the soils nutrients. Look up natural planted tank soil substrate or even the Walstad Method for continued information on how and why. If you take time to set up a nutrient substrate you could get by with very little nutrient dosing (probably micros only), or maybe not need them at all. More light will require more nutrients.

    - somewhere I missed something but, someone else will probably point it out.

    Kind of an afterthought, but I've only used the soil layer in low light tanks that I've then planted a ton of plants in, such as a carpeting plant across the bottom with heavy rooted plants. If one Java fern plant is all you want you won't want it, but if you want to spend some $$ and get a large number of plants it's totally recommended. A heavy root feeding plant here and there will get by with root tabs.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 7, 2016
  5. OP

    thewanderingunicornNew MemberMember

    Thanks for tips! I'll make sure to post as it comes along!!
  6. velveteentuzhiNew MemberMember

    For bettas, be careful of filters with a really strong intake. Some tail types (esp half-moons, crown tails) can get their fins shredded by filters. My poor betta ripped good chunks out of his tail due to my filter.
    I don't know what best filter to use for bettas in big tanks, but you may need to baffle your filter to adjust the flow rates for bettas...

    Sent from my HTC One M9 using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum mobile app
  7. Saphirae

    SaphiraeNew MemberMember

    I personally like the Tetra Whisper 10i. The intake and output aren't too strong, but you could easily baffle them if you wanted to. It's also very quiet and doesn't disturb the surface much.
  8. Flowingfins

    FlowingfinsFishlore VIPMember

    Welcome to the forum:)
    Warning: Bettas are addictive, you will be highly susceptible to an incurable disease known as the betta bug. Proceed with caution.
    Here's a care sheet I wrote up, it's still in the editing process but it covers the basics.

    Some good low light, easy to grow plants are java fern, anubias, java moss(these three need to be attached to rock/driftwood/decorations), moss balls and crypts.
    I prefer sponge filter in my betta tanks because they don't catch betta fins.
  9. Annie424Well Known MemberMember

    Welcome the the forum! I love that you are doing your research beforehand - makes things much easier if you have a good idea of best practices and compatibility before you bring home supplies and fish. :) This is a great place to learn, there are lots of very knowledgable folks here always willing to help. I've learned quite a bit!

    I have 2 10G tanks with a half-moon betta in each. They do have tank mates - ghost shrimp and several types of snails (2 types of nerites, mysterys, and 'pest' snails). My bettas don't bother any of the snails, but I hear some might. If you want snails, see if you can find nerites first, as they don't have the long eye stalks that mystery snails do. If you can't find them, you can try a mystery snail and see what happens. If your betta doesn't bother it, you can get a few more. I've never seen my bettas kill the shrimps, but admit that about once a month I have to replenish a few of them as they 'disappear'. I don't know if it is because they were not healthy when I got them (most ghost shrimp are shipped and kept in poor conditions before making it to the pet store as they assume they will be 'feeders' for something else), or whether my bettas are having a bit of a successful hunt while I'm at work. :) If they are, that's fine with me as I figure I am providing them with some environmental enrichment by giving them the opportunity to engage in a natural behavior. My tanks are planted, and I have a Tetra Whisper Power 30 filter on each tank. I also put a pre-filter sponge over the bottom of the intake tube because I had 2 mystery snails get stuck in them. The sponge does slow down the flow, although my bettas weren't bothered by it being up full blast before I added it. The filter flow is adjustable, which I also like as I can turn it down at feeding time. Plants are java moss, a few types of java fern, a few types of swords, moss ball, and hornwort which I let float. The hornwort is the only 'stemmy' plant I have gotten to live in my tanks, and it lives well...actually it grows like a weed and I had to take a bunch out as it was overtaking the tanks. It's good for nitrate reduction (which I already have in my tap) so if you research and decide you want some, only get one bunch as believe me it will grow quickly. I've tried ludwigia, elodea, and a few other stemmy plants several times over the course of almost the first year my first tank was set up, but they all melted and messed up the tank pretty quickly. I even tried fertilizers. But I think I am in the minority there as I know lots of people grow them successfully. It most likely has something to do with my source water. Hope this helps you! :)
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2016
  10. PythonTheBetta

    PythonTheBettaValued MemberMember

    Have you considered snails instead of shrimp? I don't have experience with shrimp or snails but I know a lot of people love their snails. (and there's a lesser chance of a snail becoming a snack!)

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