Betta for 7 year and 10 year old grandchildren Question

Discussion in 'Betta Fish' started by pyradorgirl, Mar 21, 2010.

  1. pyradorgirl

    pyradorgirlNew MemberMember

    I just upgraded my 5 gallon aquarium to a 20 gallon. I would like to give the 5 gallon to my grandchildren and give the a betta. My 7 year old granddaughter wants goldfish but I know they will outgrow a 5 gallon and I think the bettas are beautiful. I would put only 1 betta in the tank.

    First question: do you think that the betta would be a good choice for kids of that age?

    Second: Should I keep the 5 gallon set up for awhile and get it through the nitrogen cycle first, then bottle up the aquarium water and pack up the tank to take to them? They live 2 hours away from here. I would love to take them out to pick out the betta but I know they won't want to wait through the cycle. Has anyone done something like this before?

  2. wonton55912

    wonton55912Valued MemberMember

    welcome to fishlore!

    the betta sounds good to give to them
  3. peacemaker92

    peacemaker92Well Known MemberMember


    You could cut about half of your filter media from your established tank and put it in your grandchidren's filter. That way, you don't have to wait. After starting their filter, you can add fish straight away :) But make sure that the filter media from your established tank is always kept in water during the trip so that the bacteria doesn't die.

    I gave my 10 year old sister a betta for Christmas and she's been taking care of it really good till now because I taught her. So I figure your grandkids can learn too. So yeah, a betta would make a great gift for your grandkids.

    Best of luck! :;hf
  4. Lucy

    LucyModeratorModerator Member

    What a nice grandma!
    First, thanks for not choosing a goldfish. Even small ones create too much waste for a 5g. The parameters get out of whack too quickly.
    Bettas make great companions because they're so personable and love their owners.

    You can cycle the 5g with out fish. Here's link to

    After the cycle is finished, and you're ready to make the 2 hour trip, keep the filter media warm and wet.
    Used water doesn't help the cycle, but since their water may be very different than your (pH etc) I'd take the water also.

    When you get to their house, fill the tank with the used tank water. Put in the filter and heater. Give the tank time to warm up.

    Go shopping for a beautiful betta baby.
    If you're not planning on going shopping on the same day, add a couple flakes of fish food too feed the bacteria.

    You might want to give the kids (their parents an API Master test Kit). Be sure to explain the nitrogen cycle to them. Printing it off might be a good idea.
    It shoud be almost an instant cycle, but have them keep an eye on the parameters for a good week or so.
    You could also include a small syphon and show them how to use it.

    Here's our

    Good luck!!
  5. uprightandlocked

    uprightandlockedWell Known MemberMember

    The betta sounds like a wonderful present. I know I wouldn't argue with a 5g with betta for a present!

    Be sure to stock up on some silk plants (plastic ones can tear their fins) and double check that all tank decorations (such as caves, castles, etc) contain no soft edges which can harm your new betta.
  6. Lucy

    LucyModeratorModerator Member

    I'd be wary of doing that just yet. The OP just recently upgraded, the bacteria in the new tank may not be established enough to handle the additional bio load of fish in a 20g as well as being cut in half.
  7. bassbonediva

    bassbonedivaFishlore VIPMember

    My son has his own betta and he just turned six. When he's visiting me, it's his responsibility to feed Gordon and if it's water change time, he helps me clean Gordon's apartment (it used to be Gordon's tank, but I ditched the tank he was in because it was not a very good home for Gordon). He bought Gordon with his own allowance money (that he got for helping me around the house and helping me care for my other tanks). It has definitely given him a sense of responsibility when he's at my house.

    I would definitely suggest letting your grandchildren pick their own bettas (if you hadn't already planned on that). My son likes my bettas, but he LOVES Gordon because he got to pick him out. :)
  8. midthought

    midthoughtWell Known MemberMember

    Uprightandlocked means rough edges! Rough edges are bad because of the fin snagging...
  9. OP

    pyradorgirlNew MemberMember

    I'm going to let the 5 g tank run for several weeks before taking it out to them. I have the tank running with the old filter and kept some of the previous water and old gravel (mixed with some new) in the tank to let existing bacteria run through the system. The family are going on vacation to Florida in a couple of weeks and I'm going to wait until they get back. I'll keep testing the water parameters regularly.

    I want the kids to pick out their own betta. Just is that they have to understand that they can only choose one between them. I have read on this blog that some people put a snail in the tank with the betta. Can I do this or put a ghost shrimp in with the betta in a 5 g tank?
  10. OP

    pyradorgirlNew MemberMember

    Yes, I also plan to get silk plants. The blog on bettas is great and I've learned alot. I wanted to learn as much as possible before getting one for the grandkids. I also want to get a decoration that the betta will be happy with in the 5 g.:;dogrun:;fb:;wv
  11. bassbonediva

    bassbonedivaFishlore VIPMember

    A snail would be fine. I would be worried about the betta (depending on his, or her, personality) harrassing the ghost shrimp and/or eating it, though. I also had a friend who had ghost shrimp in with one of his male bettas and the ghost shrimp grabbed and ripped the betta's fins to shreds. I could see that happening with some of my guys who are more sedate, but I could also see the betta eating the ghost shrimp with at least two of my other boys (particularly one of my veiltails who is being a MONSTER right now!).
  12. bassbonediva

    bassbonedivaFishlore VIPMember

    Silk or live plants are great (I prefer live, but that's just me ;) ).

    As for decorations, I have a castle in one of my betta tanks (hate the tank, love the castle) that my betta just LOVES. He was sleeping in it this morning when I turned on the lights.

    (Forgive the cloudiness...I had just barely set up the tank when I took this's crystal-clear now that everything is settled)

  13. OP

    pyradorgirlNew MemberMember

    I like live plants, too, but I'm think silk might be easier in the tank. I would like a floating plant, though. Bettas seem to like them. What kind of floater? My daughter-in-law will most likely be taking care of this so I don't want to make things too difficult for her. :;dogrun
  14. midthought

    midthoughtWell Known MemberMember

    Some floating plants, depending on what you like:

    Riccia (aka crystalwort)
    Banana plants (my favorite!)
    salvinia minima

    Riccia looks like moss and is often attached to things in the tank (see )
    Banana plants can be planted (partially) or just float (see )
    For frogbit and salvinia minima, harpua2002 has some good pictures in this post: . The larger ones are frogbit, like lily pads, and the smaller ones are the salvinia.

    There's also the aquarium lily, which is a dwarf lily that sometimes blooms a pink flower with strong lighting. But most people appear to not favor it for some reason (still figuring that one out myself)...I've only ever seen it sold in bulb form in any case, so you'd have to grow it yourself. (see )
  15. Akari_32

    Akari_32Fishlore LegendMember

    for live plants, i use bamboo. its tough, and it reaches the surface, as well as providing exrta places to swim through (Cornelious absolutly love the curly peice!) and maybe even snack, depending on the fish >.<
  16. midthought

    midthoughtWell Known MemberMember

    Lucky bamboo (which is usually what is sold) will need to come out and over the water line though, as it's not really an aquatic/fully submersible plant. Also it's not real bamboo, but I don't think that's ever mattered to anyone but pandas. :)
  17. Akari_32

    Akari_32Fishlore LegendMember

    lol probly not! all the petstores use it here, and i've used it since i started keeping fish. its cheap, and looks nice. and u can cut the longer leaves off, or make a hood to fit your tank with acrylic, with a spot to let the plant grow out. thats what i do, but i have a Kritter Keeper that lost the "feeding door" on the top. same concept tho! =)
  18. midthought

    midthoughtWell Known MemberMember

    That's true, lucky bamboo is really cheap and much more "zen" than the others I mentioned. And they're often sold with the top parts of them "curled" which is cool. Just beware of keeping part of the tank lid open for such things (at least with high water levels), as bettas can jump out.
  19. OP

    pyradorgirlNew MemberMember

    Thank you for all the great advice! I will definitely look for those plants. I like the banana leaf and I love the salvinia and frogbit looks adorable. I will only get one type of floating plant as I know it will grow quickly. The lighting on the 5 g is pretty bright so I think any plants will grow well in the tank. I can't wait to see the grandkids when I come out to visit and set up their tank. It's going to be alot of fun!

    Thanks to all!:;wv
  20. Lucy

    LucyModeratorModerator Member

    Have you been feeding the tank some source of ammonia? Otherwise the bacteria dies off.

    Not all bettas will accept snails. One of my girls attacked mine. Poor thing, I didn't test him with any of my other bettas.