Betta fish do they like live plants?

Discussion in 'Betta Fish' started by Jeffhvacr02, Feb 17, 2007.

  1. Jeffhvacr02New MemberMember

    Hey guys I'd like to scratch you Betta pros minds a bit if you don't mind.  My wife bought Wilbert a purple Betta from one of those box stores i wont mention any names petco.  They told her a Betta is great for small spaces like those small 1/2 gallon tanks.  I look at the poor guy with sympathy that he needs more roomlike a 5g or 10g tank.  I don't know much about bettas but i do know they are territorial and like to be loners and not share so well.  I would like to plant the tank for Wilbert so i feels more like the real deal.  My question is what kinds of plants do bettas do well with?  The reason that I ask is cause Wilbert has a plant in his little world that he loves.  He lays in the plant an watches me blog and post on the net all the time (he's a cool dude).  I've never seen anything like this its like a Betta hammock.  Also what kind of tanks mates could be with a Betta especially the cleaning crews like algae and bottom feeders.  I think cories would be cool they are calm and good vacuums(i like them guys)would a snail or a shrimp be cool for algae.  I don't care for snails much though. :-\  I was wondering about other fish like small guys like neons and such.  I heard the the fish don't care fore other with long flowing fins such as theirs.  I want the focus of the tank to be Wilbert though. ;D

    Thanks for any help or suggestions, plus the more convicing the better so I can sway my wife for an other tank without starting world war 3.  That petco guy really ruined Wilbert's chances of getting a bigger place to stay by saying that is all a Betta needs is a 1/2gal tank it is huge to them. :mad:

    Thanks for the Help
  2. PhloxfaceWell Known MemberMember

    I refer to those 1/2 gallon Betta kits as "Betta Killers" because everyone I've ever known that had one never had a fish survive very long. The gravel that comes with it has a coating that melts off in the water and I doubt that's healthy! The ammonia level in a tank (bowl) that size reaches very stressful toxic levels in LESS than a day. Even with daily 100% water changes (which itself is stressful) the fish will be living in ammonia constantly. He won't live long that way.
    Why on earth would your wife object to her Betta having a larger tank? Want to convince her? Tell her the Betta will die of ammonia poisoning, finrot caused by stress and parasites caused by cool water. I give him a month...
    Those pet store employees know absolutely NOTHING about Bettas and any advice they give you you can forget about right now. 
    He NEEDS a 5 gallon or larger tank with filter, heater (the temp should be between 80-82F, NO LESS) and the tank should be cycled. I would cycle the tank with him in it and do daily 50% water changes. Use cycled filter media from your other tanks to speed up the process or buy some BioSpira and cycle instantly. He cannot stay in that 1/2 gallon container (sorry I just can't call it a tank) while the tank cycles fishless. By that time he could already be dead or sick.
    If he has a 5 gallon tank he can have about 3 Otos as tankmates to clean algae, if he has a 10 gallon he can have Cories. I wouldn't put in any tetras or fish like that as they can be fin nippers and Bettas are VERY prone to finrot. A shrimp would likely end up being Bettas dinner sooner or later. Bettas are absolutely fine all alone. Live plants are infinitely better than plastic as they help reduce the nitrates in the water and they won't slice up the Bettas fins like the sharp edges of plastic plants. In fact it is inadvisable to have plastic plants at all. Silk plants may be okay if they have no rough edges but live is always better. Java Fern is an excellent low-light plant and almost impossible to kill. A well planted tank is Betta heaven! Some sort of ornament that he can swim through (but not small enough to get stuck in) and has no sharp or rough edges is also good.
    I hope you can convince your wife. I fear for the fish if you cannot. Please tell her to come here and read this forum. Everyone here FIRMLY believes in keeping Bettas in tanks, not bowls and there is a lot of information here.
    Best of luck.
  3. Jeffhvacr02New MemberMember

    Yeah Wilbert has been in that tank for about 5months :'(. She got the fish for her office a while ago and brought it home a couple weeks ago before she took a vacation. He is in good shape though for living in crapped quarters i change the water 100 percent every other day. Which is stressful to me and the fish. Yeah I also noticed that gravel getting very slimy and squishy so I took it out and put some extra gravel I had into the container. I not so much upset with my wife though cause her deal is why now change it if he's been in there this long now and since you change the water so much it pretty fresh all the time. If i didn't wash the gravel and container every time i changed the water i bet theses levels would be bad I not saying they are great either. I've coaxing her into the ideal of getting Wilbert in a new tank and she is warming up to it. The part that sucks is she like the fact she can easily move Wilbert in that container and the only part that needs power it the lamp that keeps the water warm at about 76. This what keeps her dragging her feet a little. I would like to gather i move that is informative and helpful in a persuasive non abrasive way to ease her mind into the move. I like the 5gal ideal because it is not so big that she could move it back to her office (after the renovation to the bldg). ;)

    The part that upsets me are these so called experts at these big box stores. Once in a while you might bump into a person that knows something. Also I see hundreds of those fish in the small cups for sale every where with the not much bigger 1/2gal containers next to them that has the one lamp, gravel, and a suction cup plant(thats the one he's in). You know the deal get the fish and the set for like$20. It's the misinformed experts that misinformed the public which ends up to bans on fish from stupid actions from hacks of hobbyists. :mad:

    So anyways the Java fern is cool for the Betta cause i have a large plant in my 20g i think I'll just grab a shot from the mother plant; were i think I'm gonna place a sponge in there to harvest some baterial for Wilbert's move ;),before i work on the tank part with her.

    Thanks for those facts though they shall be helpful in the battle of Wilbert, I'll keep you informed of the out comes hopefully good one. :)

  4. chickadeeFishlore VIPMember

    In a 5 gallon tank, Otocinclus catfish are really cool little fish and unlike cories they will eat algae. Cories are really nice but need more room than 5 gallons. I would say 10 to 12 gallons is a minimum for cories. The otocinclus has their own website if you want more info or we have a Otocinclus Board under Catfish. The oto website is  

    The plants they love are broad leaved plants with some height to them so they can get to the top of the tank to breathe as they breathe air through their Labyrinth Organ. It is a small organ on the top of their head and when you see him go to the surface and butt the surface with the top of his head he is actually breathing air into a type of lung. Speaking of this, do not ever let a salesman tell you to medicate the little guy with Melafix or Pimafix as those meds do irreparable damage to the Labyrinth Organ and will eventuall kill the betta most horribly. (I and one other member just lost a bett that way before we were aware of the dangers)

    The lamp takes the temperature to 76 you say, well bettas need 80 to 82 to keep from getting the cold water diseases like Ich, Velvet and fin rot. If he does not have the start of one of these unbeknowst to you or your wife now he will have. The temperature is bound to fall lower than this at night and she cannot leave the light on 24 hours a day as that is even worse. The tiny heaters made for the small tanks only raise the tank temperature to 4 degrees above room temperature and are basically useless.
    He is going to need a proper tank and some proper environment for a Tropical Fish which is what he is after all. Pe-co and Wa--rt and the other box stores are not experts and most of the employess are not given much training in the care of bettas.

    Here is a small guide written after many hours of study and practice in the care of bettas.

    Welcome and I do hope that some of this has been helpful.

  5. cherryroseWell Known MemberMember

    Welcome Jeff and Wilbert. I hope all is going well for both of you.

  6. Jeffhvacr02New MemberMember

    Well finally Wilbert is in his brand new tank that I got just for him. He's in an Eclipse Hex 5 tank. It is so huge from the old tank he was in, and it looks like Wilbert loves it. I think the 3 ottos were great additions to the tank,. there isn't any algae yet so the deit is supplemented with algea wafers. Wilbert is getting used to the tank right now he's been in there for about 16 hours and is all over the place. He likes the big rock at the bottom, just chillin ontop of it. Its a cool piece of sand blasted marble that is smooth and without jagged edges so his fins don't get torn. I will say that i like these Marineland products the are great stuff. The filter has a bio wheel that I cycled in my other community tank(with one cycled tank its easy to cycle others). I like how the filter system is totally concealed in the top of the tank, except the intake of coase that was easily hidden by a plant. Now I'm just tweaking the water temp to 80 right now its 78 but getting there.

    Tanks for all the advice and educating!
  7. poefoxWell Known MemberMember

    Congratulations, I hope you enjoy your new setup and that Wilbert does supremely well.
  8. PhloxfaceWell Known MemberMember

    I am so happy that your wife gave in on this one.  :)  He will be so much happier and healthier in the large tank. Please keep us updated on how he is doing.
  9. EskielvrValued MemberMember

    Speaking of plants, I'd like to get a Java Fern, or two, for my 5 gallon Betta tank, but I already have a mystery snail in it now. Will the snail eat the Java Fern?
  10. 0morrokhFishlore VIPMember

    That would be very unlikely as long as you are feeding the snail his own food.
  11. PhloxfaceWell Known MemberMember

    I had a Mystery snail and he didn't eat my plants at all. He did crawl on them sometimes but he never ate them.