In A Bit Of A Dilemma...

  1. AmethystSkye Initiate Member

    Hi everyone.

    As the title states I'm in a bit of a dilemma here, but I'm willing to do what I need to do to give these fish a proper home. Today is my birthday and I was gifted two betta fish. I didn't ask for any fish or show any interest in them other than occasionally admiring them at the pet store. They're beautiful though and definitely are on their way to stealing my heart.

    The problem is that what they were gifted to me in is not large enough to properly house them (been doing some googling!). One of them is in a GloFish 1.5 gallon aquarium with no filter or heater, has two potted java ferns, two lava rocks, a small cave, and gravel. I'm aware that the ferns need taken out of the pots and tied to something or planted and that will be done tomorrow. The other is in a 1.5 gallon API betta globe which I hate with a passion. All he has is gravel, a fake plant, and two lava rocks. I also have food and water conditioner for them both.

    I just had surgery three days ago and I'm strictly non weight bearing for three more weeks, so driving to a pet store right now is out of the question. What I would like to know is on Amazon can you help me get together a list of things that I should purchase for them? Any aquariums/tanks that you'd recommend? Heaters? Food? Water conditioners? Live plants? Etc? Any suggestions would be great because I'd like to place the order tomorrow, so the stuff can be on the way here sooner rather than later.

    While I'm waiting on their new things to arrive, how often should I be doing water changes and how much should I change? I keep my house cool, but luckily I have a new addition added onto my house that is not yet hooked up to central air, so I will be keeping this room warm and the fish in it until I can get them heaters. It's not a perfect situation, but at least they won't freeze.

    This was all thrown on me out of the blue and while frustrating, they're so beautiful! One of them is a veil tail, a Cambodian maybe? The pictures don't really capture his colors fully. The other is all white and it's tail and fins are nearly see through. Not sure of the tail type though. Any ideas? Name suggestions would be wonderful too! Also, if there is anything else you think a new betta owner should know, please pass on the knowledge!
     

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  2. BHK3 Well Known Member Member

    Approximately what is your budget? I could easily spend $1000 on two bettas, but we could also get them both outfitted for well under $100 total. :)
     

  3. BHK3 Well Known Member Member

    Also, do you want separate tanks for them, or would you prefer a bigger tank with a divider in the middle?
     
  4. AmethystSkye Initiate Member

    Separate, preferably. As for a budget, no more than $500 or so.
     

  5. 2211Nighthawk Well Known Member Member

    Oooooh to be able to spend 500$ on fish.... miss broke/cheapskate over here... drool...

    Ideally the size of tank you want is 5g each. Heater and filter for both. Sponge filters are the best because they have such low flow so you'd need an air pump to run them. If the tanks are side by side (darken one side so they don't see each other) then a big air pump with a splitter should work. (Maybe? That's what I did)

    What are you naming them?
     
  6. MissRuthless Well Known Member Member

    Oooooh man, with that kind of budget you could HOOK these fish right up. I think you should check out the smaller fluval tanks, like the chi and spec, they come in a couple different sizes I think, at least the spec does. They're pretty nice, modern designs and have the light, filter and (possibly?) heater built in... they look nice with a few live plants, a small piece of driftwood or one nice ornament and a bit of sand on the bottom. Perfect betta homes.

    My advice is to start posting and conversating with members on here as much as you can, get up to 50 posts and go check out the buy, sell, trade, free forum. There you could find a member to send you a nice package of plants for a good price and pay via PayPal.
     
  7. MongooseALaMode Well Known Member Member

    So I did some amazon shopping. Most of this is what I use for my bettas.
    I also added two 10g tanks with LED but you could definitely pick something else. I don't know much about the newer ones since I use the standard glass with tube lighting.
    Also, the hides you can pick whatever you like. My bettas have coconut huts and one has the ceramic betta log which he enjoys. He also has a ceramic cup/vase thing my sister made which he likes also. You could really use anything. My first betta had a glass votive cover(open on to and bottom) and he loved to swim through it.

    I added it all up in amazon cart(2 items where appropriate) and the total $336.19 before tax (all free shipping)
    Items liked below :)

    PS: I have a bunch of willow hygro(my favorite!), christmas moss, some anubias, and maybe some hornwort I could part with

    Filter

    Amazon.com: XY-2831 Air Pump Sponge Filter for Aquarium, Tank Size 10-gallon: Pet Supplies

    Air pump
    Amazon.com : Tetra 77853 Whisper Air Pump, 40-Gallon : Aquarium Air Pumps : Pet Supplies

    Tubing
    Amazon.com : Penn Plax Airline Tubing for Aquariums -Clear and Flexible Resists Kinking, 25 Feet Standard : Aquarium Air Pump Accessories : Pet Supplies

    Splitter
    Amazon.com : Jardin Aquarium Airline Air Tube Tubing Connectors Filters, 10-Piece : Aquarium Air Pump Accessories : Pet Supplies

    Check valves
    Amazon.com : Jardin Plastic Aquarium Fish Tank One Way Air Check Valves, 2-Piece, Clear Black : Aquarium Air Pump Accessories : Pet Supplies

    Thermometer
    Amazon.com: Marina Floating Thermometer with Suction Cup: Pet Supplies

    Heater
    Amazon.com : Aqueon Pro Heaters 50W : Pet Supplies

    Food(also should get frozen food from somewhere)
    Amazon.com : Hikari Bio-Pure Freeze Dried Blood Worms for Pets, 0.42-Ounce : Freeze Dried Bloodworms : Pet Supplies

    Amazon.com : Omega One Super Color Flakes, 2.2 oz. : Pet Food : Pet Supplies

    Hides
    Amazon.com : Zoo Med Ceramic Betta Log Small : Pet Supplies : Pet Supplies

    Amazon.com : SunGrow Betta cave: Natural habitat made from coconut shells: Soft-textured smooth edges & spacious hideout for Betta fish to rest and breed: Maintains water quality and pH levels : Pet Supplies

    Amazon.com : UP Aqua Imitation Resin Roots, Small : Aquarium Decor : Pet Supplies

    Prime
    https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B00025694O/ref=pd_luc_rh_sim_01_02_t_img_lh?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1

    Stability
    https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B0002APIIW/ref=pd_luc_rh_sim_01_01_t_img_lh?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1

    Water test kit
    https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B000255NCI/ref=pd_luc_rh_sim_01_03_t_img_lh?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1

    10 tanks
    https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B0173I55JM/ref=ox_sc_act_title_9?smid=AH7PBPHZ85HL3&psc=1
     

  8. sfsamm Well Known Member Member

    My bettas have been in many setups over the years, $500 for two bettas the sky is the limit.

    Personally I'd do something like this.

    Modern tank style would definitely be fluval spec v or chi. I like the spec v myself, they include filtration that is next to no maintenance required and you can hide the heater from view by placing it down the side the pump is on. Plus the light is fantastic for viewing and growing plants, also has the blue "moonlight" setting.

    Live plants : I've successfully grown many many different plants in my Spec V tanks. I'd avoid any sword plants (they get too big, look for crypts and maybe a stem plant or two you like. May be a Ludwigia or moneywort both are fairly easy if you get a plant substrate (I'll get there) and the light from the Spec V is plenty to grow them like crazy.

    Heater stick with name brands, at least 50w :) API, fluval (watch size on fluval if you want to hide it), Aqueon, Eheim, Cobalt (another size watcher for sure) are a few and all over the price scale.

    Substrate - if you get plants look into something like flourite (any variety, any of their sand requires a LOT of washing or get a second sand from something like Caribsea again any variety to cover the flourite sand) Caribsea isn't exactly made for plants but I like their substrates and often use them to cap flourite. If you go with a non-plant substrate pick up some root tabs and stick a couple near your plant roots. Also if you get non-plant substrate consider a live sand which will already be housing the necessary bacteria to jump start your cycle in the tanks. (I'll explain in a minute)
    Since your fish will be added immediately I'd avoid Amazonia or eci-complete, both release Ammonia for a bit, works great for a Fishless cycle though. Fluval shrimp stratum is very very lightweight and difficult to clean but grows plants like no tomorrow, if you cap it with sand you can still syphon up waste without sucking up the stratum. A cap will cause stratum to break down more quickly though and look "muddy" under your cap (doesn't bother me but some hate it)

    Decor if not live plants - boo.... OK but seriously get silk plants if you aren't getting real ones.

    Other "hard" decor - I'm an all natural materials person so get some driftwood. Spiderwood and manzanita wood are easily available and don't leach tannins. Malaysian driftwood, bog wood, and mopani wood also easily available leach tannins and the tannins are actually beneficial but they turn your water yellow for varying periods of time and a lot of people don't like that. Also stones, get some large or small that don't have points or sharp edges (not fin friendly).
    Any resin or ceramic decor you get be sure there's no sharp edges. If it can snag a nylon it can snag a betta fin.

    Health stuff
    API liquid test kit. Just consider it mandatory. It's going to be a life saver, it'll help you more quickly learn when and how often to do water changes especially if you have to cycle from scratch. Your fish will thank you by living long healthy lives with much much less headache and stress on your part and much easier diagnosis when something goes amiss in tank. Also Seachem Prime at least, Stability is also a good one to have on hand

    Food, I do almost solely frozen food. I also have several tanks if various fish many of which require one so this works best for me. Frozen shelled peas or a starve day about once a week is recommended to keep their digestive tract from getting backed up and causing bloated bettas. High protein diets will do that. :)

    A Marina thermometer, they are like $2 on Amazon, and I use them on all my tanks.

    A syphon / gravel vac of some sort, a five gallon bucket and two 1 gallon pitchers (gotta do water changes and you can syphon water and waste this way, plus two pitchers, pour one while the other fills. :)

    Alright and read these articles and Google the topics so you know what all this cycling stuff is about and can decide how you want to do it. Plus PLANTS! seriously though you should have real plants not fake ones. And as many as you can imo :)

    Everything you didn't know you needed to know about the nitrogen cycle.
    Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle

    Why you want real plants!!
    Freshwater Aquariums: Are Live Plants for Your Aquarium?
     
  9. MongooseALaMode Well Known Member Member

    I forgot to add a siphon and substrate to the list.
    As far as siphons go I use a larger one(about an inch across) with a bulb in my 10g and it works great. I don't know how well the smaller ones work but I feel like they would clog easily. I wasn't able to find a good one with a bulb on amazon but I found some stuff on the petsmart website.
    If you get the vac, heater, and substrate it would be around $85
    Vac that I have
    Top Fin® Aquarium Gravel Vacuum | fish Vacuums | PetSmart

    Heater its actually cheaper here because its on sale right now
    Aqueon® Submersible Aquarium Heater | fish Heaters | PetSmart

    Substrate
    CaribSea African Cichlid Mix Aquarium Substrate | fish Gravel, Sand & Stones | PetSmart
    or
    Flourite® Premium Aquarium Plant Substrate | fish Aquarium Substrate | PetSmart

    I use white(ish) silica sand in my tanks. It can be kind of expensive online because of shipping so if you can get someone to stop at a place like Lowes or Home Depot it will be much cheaper($12-$15 for 50lbs)

    Look up some pictures of tanks with black and white sand and see which you like better. I like the lighter because it looks more natural. I also add rocks and pebbles.
    OOH forgot I have a photo of one of my tanks!
    This is Rosario's home. Don't mind the 1000000000000000 mystery snails -_-
     

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  10. 2211Nighthawk Well Known Member Member

    Holy crud that's a lot of snails...
     

  11. MongooseALaMode Well Known Member Member

    Lol thats not even half. I have another 10g and a 29g also.... :banghead:
     
  12. 2211Nighthawk Well Known Member Member

    Deliberate or typical breeding like rabbits? :p
     
  13. MongooseALaMode Well Known Member Member

    Both actually. I got a couple clutches(which I wanted) and moved the males to a different tank. I kept an eye on the usual places for clutches and removed a few.... but two were hidden behind the filter outflow and the heater in the back corner....
     
  14. goplecos Well Known Member Member

    I personally do not like sponge filters because they do not have carbon. A small internal filter is great because it does not produce much flow and you don't need the extra expense of the air pump.
     
  15. 2211Nighthawk Well Known Member Member

    I don't use them either, I have a diy med bottle turned filter but that's what most people suggest. I don't use carbon though so that's the other thing.
     
  16. MongooseALaMode Well Known Member Member

    I have regular hob filters in all of my tanks with bettas. My large tank with females has a strong flow and they are fine with it. I also have a sponge filter in there as well. My 10g with a female betta has a smaller filter and she is ok with it-it took a bit of adjusting. My other 10g with a male rosetail o have a hob but used a water bottle to baffle the flow and I also have a sponge filter in there too. It all depends on the individual fish and what they prefer
     
  17. MongooseALaMode Well Known Member Member

    I hope we have helped you figure some things out! Let us know how things go!
     
  18. MissRuthless Well Known Member Member

    I would like to know about this med bottle turned filter...
     
  19. 2211Nighthawk Well Known Member Member

    I'll get a picture. But just one of those white plastic bottles (mine happened to be an old Advil bottle) and made an air line driven bottle filter. A pop bottle like King of DIY used was too big. Hole punched in the neck of the bottle for the air line, fill it with media, I used ceramic pieces, and then holes punched at the top (bottom of the bottle) so the air can escape. Rubberbaned a chunk of sponge over the bottle opening, flip it upside down and you got a little filter. The air flowing through the bottle pulls water through the sponge then up through the media and out the top.
     
  20. 2211Nighthawk Well Known Member Member

    I'll get a picture. But just one of those white plastic bottles (mine happened to be an old Advil bottle) and made an air line driven bottle filter. A pop bottle like King of DIY used was too big. Hole punched in the neck of the bottle for the air line, fill it with media, I used ceramic pieces, and then holes punched at the top (bottom of the bottle) so the air can escape. Rubberbaned a chunk of sponge over the bottle opening, flip it upside down and you got a little filter. The air flowing through the bottle pulls water through the sponge then up through the media and out the top.