Hi Everyone, My Name Is Gainsborough!

LZ Floyd
  • #1
HI folks.  Met a few of you over <a href=" and thought I’d join you in the Betta section. 

Anyone interested can click on the above link; otherwise, I’ll make the quantum leap here:

chickadee said:
The easy way to get the necessities is to get a kit like at Walmart.  The Marineland Hex 5 tanks there have run about $29.95 for a year and they include everything but the gravel, plants, decorations, and heater.  You will need to get a bottle of dechlorinator.  (Prime or Amquel or StressCoat will work during the process called the Nitrogen Cycle)  The tank will probably come with enough to start the tank but you will need some for mixing water for water changes.  It would be my recommendation to get a new plastic bucket to mix water in as you cannot use anything that has been used with detergent.  Then you have a clean one just for the new water and can use any bucket for the water you are taking out of the tank to change.  I also have a really cheap set of plastic measuring spoons and a measuring 1 cup size that belong just to the fish, they are never washed with dish soap and only rinsed in dechlored water.  It is important for some things to be measured and on the dechlorinator it is wasteful to try to guess, costs a lot.  He will be a different fish when he has a heated and filtered tank and may even change color on you.  It has been known to happen.

Oh, and the bubbles, they are a "thank you"; they build them when they are happy.  He was probably so thrilled that you gave him that attention yesterday that he wanted to show his appreciation.   

Welcome, Gainsbourough!  I do believe that you have the honor of having the longest name on the Betta Board!  We will probably do like your dad did and call you GB.  Mr. Floyd and Mrs. Floyd are sure going to surprise you!  Thank you for joining us.  Keep us informed of how you are doing.

Thank you for letting us know how things are progressing.  I would really appreciate getting progress reports.  He sounds like a little trooper.
I checked the Wal-Mart site, the Marineland Hex 5 was not shown as available.  I’ll run by the local Wal-Mart this a.m. to see if they have any in stock (or something similar).  If their stock is not impressive, I’ll give PetSmart the business.

I plan to acquire, set up, and get the tank operational by the weekend so as to get the temp up to 78+ degrees.  And, I’m thinking of going the Bio-Spira route.  (If we didn’t already have GB, I would consider trying the no-fish approach to cycling the tank.)

Yesterday, I perused the site and forum threads, and developed a list of items to get at PetSmart.  Some of the items may only be available through specific vendors, though (i.e., Visi-Therm Stealth Heater).  I intend to order the Bio-Spira through .  If there are better places to get it, I would appreciate the advice.

Not exactly sure how we’ll get GB acclimated to the temp of the new tank when the time comes.  But I think we’ll put him and a cup of his current water into a rinsed out zip-loc freezer bag and let that assembly float in the new tank until the temps are equalized.  It seems to make sense to then start acclimatizing GB to the new water by adding a quarter to a half cup of the new tank water to the freezer bag, let GB acquire a taste of the new water for 10 or 15 minutes, then dump the Bio-Spira into the tank along with GB.  I’m wondering, though, to help the Bio-Spira bacteria survive, does it make sense to also add the water from GB’s old tank (about 2 to 3 liters) to the new water?

A lot of the accoutrements like measuring spoons and whatnot I may already have from my previous fish-keeping days.  I do recall that a lot of that stuff was acquired across time - with increased knowledge, new items became necessary.

As far as de-clorinator, we have some that seems to be okay.  (The brand escapes me for now, but is noted on the aforementioned link.)

I think GB will like his new digs.  For now, I'm changing out 25% to 50% of his water every few days to keep the ammonia level to a minimum.

I'm sure we'll have more questions as time passes, and we appreciate the help and friendliness we've gotten from the folks on the site.

  • #2
Hey, welcome. I hope you enjoy having your betta as much as a lot of us here do. The great thing about this site is that a lot of people contribute helpful advice and some are serious veteran betta keepers in particular.
  • #3
Sorry, I should have mentioned that Walmart only has them in the stores. They do not have much for a pet area on their website. I think that the Bio-spira route is the greatest. Since you already have him, it will be the easiest on him.

Now one more thing. Do you have a Master Test Kit? Most of us use the one from Aquarium Pharmaceuticals and if you do not have one, you are going to need one. They do not have them at Walmart but if you want to order online I will suggest that you go to the link below as I hunted through all the sites I could think of and it was the cheapest. Also if you decide to buy it at the Petsmart store, be sure to look it up on their site (you will have to use the search) and copy the page to take with you and they will honor the online price (much cheaper) instead of making you pay the store price.

(this place also sells Bio-spira the price is higher but the postage is less and so it works out the same in the end for next day delivery actually less because with the other vendor it is 2nd day I believe)

Petco is having a sale on aquariums until Christmas :

Hope you do not think I am butting in but I have one more suggestion:

These heaters are made by Marineland and they have a LIFETIME warranty. Most others are lucky to have a year. They look really nice in the tank, blend in behind plants and you can hardly tell they are there at the back or side of the tank. They make them WELL because they do not want to have to replace them. They hold a temperature well and they have automatic shut-off if you forget to unplug when you change the water and let the level get too low. (below the line on the heater) They are made of a hard material somewhat like bowling balls feel like, not metal or glass that could be a hazard to fish or humans. The 25 watt or 50 watt size would be okay for a 5 gallon sized tank. If you think you will ever expand to a larger tank I would get the 50watt. I use 25 watt heaters on all my tanks and they are all the same tank I have shown you above. (If you find another tank that you like better though for heaven sake get it, they make a lot of similar set ups. The only reason I recommended the Marineland ones is because they have the Bio-wheel filters which are quiet for the betta to have a calm surface and one of the easiest to maintain)
One other thing you may want to look into is a small airpump and an airstone and some tubing. It just adds a bit of oxygen to the water. He may do okay without it but it also keeps the water temperature more even.

Feel free to disregard anything that you are not ready to listen to. Just things that I thought I could throw out there.

LZ Floyd
  • Thread Starter
  • #4
HI all!  Thanks for the Welcome and all of the help.  GB is doing really well.  It's amazing, two days ago he was at death's door.

Finding him ill was a fluke.  Typically I don't go into the room where he was initially kept.  I only went in there Tuesday to open the curtains and shades I'd closed a few days earlier due to the high winds and tornadic activity expected from the storm that still has folks without power.  When I found him on his side floating at the water's surface, I thought he was already dead.  It was only with close inspection I saw gill movement and began to try to bring the little guy around.  Hopefully that's all behind us and, with luck, there was no permanent damage.

I swapped out half of his water this a.m. using a turkey baster which allowed me to clear out the waste without aggravating GB too much.  Then, it was off to Wally-World and PetSmart.

I picked up the Aqua-Tech Hex 5 (it's the Marineland Hex 5 under a different name), a thermometer, and some gravel at Wal-Mart, then, headed to PetSmart where I found that they, too, have the Hex 5 for $29.99.  Wal-Mart only had the one I purchased, but PetSmart had quite a few.  At PetSmart I picked up the AP Master Test Kit, a Seachem Ammonia Alert, and a 16-oz. bottle of AmQuel+.

Eventually we'll go with the drfostersmith heater, but to get things going, I got an Aquatic Gardens 50-watt submersible (it's the only thing they had that looked like it would work).  I'll need to do a quick alteration to the aquarium lid for the heater, but that's nothing more than popping out a 1-inch hole in the lid somewhere in the rear.

For manual cleaning, I got a siphon vac.  Though they didn't have Liquid Gravel Vac, I got a Nutrafin product called Waste Control.  I wonder if anyone here has used it and is able to give it a thumbs-up or thumbs-down.

It's been a long time since I was in a PetSmart and I can't remember the last time I looked at their live animals.  Looking today, I could see that some of their Bettas are in pretty rough shape.  And seeing the volume and type of customers they had (most buying dog food and going nowhere near the live animals/fish), I can't see most of their Bettas surviving more than a couple of weeks.  I think that's pretty sad.

Well, I know one little guy that'll at least have a chance at a full life and that's about all I can do for now.
  • #5
If the tank has a set up like mine. I put the cord through the U slot on the back and submerge the heater under and to the side. That way it saves a bit of work. You can also put it to the side in one of the triangle cutouts under where the light sits (opposite side) and see if that gives you good access.

I am not familiar with the heater you are using but I am sure that it will be fine. The Visi-therm is just popular since it is warranteed so well and it is so accurate. If this one works for you, it is a good idea to go with what looks like it will work in your set up. The important thing is to get GB in some warm water, not which heater makes it .

He is going to think that he has gone to a big lake or something so do not be too surprised if he just floats for a few minutes trying to take it all in. You may just get another bubblenest when he gets to feeling a bit better. ;D

I used the Waste Control before I found the Liquid Gravel Vac. As far as I know the only place I have found it was at:

It has to be refrigerated after opening (as does the Waste Control), but even though there are some who say that it is bunk, I find that it makes the tank vacuuming much easier. You can watch on the sides of the tank to see the gravel remains fairly clean as opposed to how hard it is to keep it that way with syphoning alone. It does say to only syphon a couple times a year. NOPE. You still need to do a gravel vacuuming on a regular basis. It just makes it less difficult and messy.

Let us know how it is going and especially how GB takes to the new place. I can hardly wait. Just remember to let it run for 24 hours before adding anything. That will also let the temperature settle. Have fun!!

I do commend you for the effort you are making to make GB's life as pleasant as it can be. As you said, the lot in life of most bettas is not good. Christmas is coming and many, many people who buy bettas are going to be talked into putting them into Betta Bowls or the cutesy little night lights. I am so sorry for them. :'(

  • #6
A big welcome to you and to GB. I am happy that you found poor little GB in time to save him.

LZ Floyd
  • Thread Starter
  • #7
HI All -

GB is still in his fish bowl, hopefully not for much longer. The Hex 5 is set up with gravel, artificial plants, an ammonia alert, thermometer, and heater. The pump is running and the lamp is lit. The Bio-Spira should be here by tomorrow afternoon. If the heater can acquire and maintain the tank temperature over the next 48 hours, then it's Bio-Spira time.
  • #8
Gainsborough, you are a very handsome young man! You look like you are recovering quite well from your ordeal. You are a beautiful color of blue and have lovely markings, now do not get all flustered I call all the boys beautiful. Be a little gentleman and show your parents a big thank you when you move into your new "digs".

Boy, do you have a surprise coming.... ;D !!

Seriously, he is a very nice looking betta and really does seem to be well after the shape you found him in. The only thing to watch for is ICH or white spot since he was in unheated water. Sometimes after they get into warm water, it shows up for some odd reason. Bettas are particularly prone to it and if he starts to have little salt looking spots, just start to slowly raise the temperature (a degree every couple hours or so) until it hits 85 F or 30 C and leave it there for 14 full days. If he needs a water change during this time just be sure that then new water is at the same temperature so you are not cooling him down and letting the parasite resettle on him. I know it hasn't happened, but it happens often and I thought I would let you know that no medication is necessary, just the heat.

I am so happy for all of you. He is a fine young man and should now do fine for a nice, normal lifespan.

(don't be too concerned to see the ammonia indicator change color in a few days after the bio-spira is added, that is normal. It will not hurt him. This is just the Bio-spira settling into the filter. Just do not do a water change for a full 7 days or you will water the Bio-spira down and disturb it.)

LZ Floyd
  • Thread Starter
  • #9
Thanks Rose.  We're keeping a good eye on him.  His fishbowl is sitting on the upper shelf of the armoire in the master bedroom.  On the shelf directly below him is our TV cable box, which emits a great deal of heat even when it's turned off.  Though I've not gotten a reading of his water temp, it has to be near 75 and he seems pretty cozy.

Unfortunately, I've determined that the heater from Petco for the Hex 5 is no good.  So, I've ordered one from drsfostersmith.  I hope the 25W will be okay (as that's the one I ordered after rereading one of your earlier posts).  After submitting the order, though, I recalled your "Meet Sonny" post, which identified miamiaquariums as your source for the Betta, and got to thinking that, if you're in Fla. and a 25W works for you, I should probably get a 50W for ours up here in Massachusetts where the weather gets brutal in the winter.
  • #10
Gainsborough is a very handsome young man. I hope you will enjoy him. Welcome to fishlore. You will find this site very helpful. I'm sure you already have. I love this site. The members on here have helped me out tremendously. Natalie

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