New Betta Keeper, Need Advice

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by Britny, Apr 16, 2017.

  1. Britny

    BritnyNew MemberMember

    Hello everyone,
    My name is Britny. I recently inherited a male betta from a friend who moved to another state. He was being kept in a small "fish clock" that was very dirty and bare, without a heater or filter. I have been considering getting a betta for some time now, so I decided to go all-in and get him a proper tank. I am hoping I can give folks a quick run-down of what I have done so far, so that I can get some advice and constructive criticism. I used to have a 10-gallon tank with guppies and mollies as a poorly-informed teenager, but I am totally new to betta care.
    I am limited on space, so I decided on the 3-gallon Tetra cube aquarium. It is currently furnished with a very coarse sand substrate (size is somewhere between traditional gravel and beach sand), the Whisper filter that came with the tank, a Hydor Theo 25w heater set to 79 degrees Fahrenheit, a small ceramic hideaway hut, four Marimo moss balls, a moss cactus sculpture that I purchased from Etsy, and a few of those floating lilypad-looking plants.
    I allowed the tank to cycle for about 10 days before adding Mister Smish (which he has been affectionately named by my boyfriend). I added the appropriate amounts of water neutralizer and discus buffer, as well as the "special blend" brand of bacteria as directed by my LFS owner. The pH of the tank never quite came down past 7.6, and the clock water was 6.8, so at the advice of the LFS owner, I floated him in a ziploc bag clipped to the side of the aquarium and gradually added tank water over a period of about 3 hours until he was acclimated, then dumped him into the new tank. He seemed to get on just fine, and swam around exploring actively for the first few days.
    He is still doing well. He is eating, pooping, and active (which, as a veterinary technician, I know are the important three!). I just want someone else to virtually "look over" my setup to make sure I haven't made any unforgivable mistakes. Thanks everyone!
  2. Asaflame

    AsaflameValued MemberMember

    it seems everything is covered
  3. Little Tank of Happiness

    Little Tank of HappinessWell Known MemberMember

    Sounds great!
    May I suggest some more live plants? I know you have a small tank and don't want anything over-running it! I recommend java fern and/or java moss as well. Also, some bettas use the Zoo Tech or Zoo Mech (forgot what its called lol) betta hammocks. Some bettas use them but some don't. They are cheap so it's worth a try. :) Hope you love your new finned friend! Could you post a pic? I'd love to see.

    And, welcome to the forum, Britny!
  4. Da_MOJO

    Da_MOJOValued MemberMember

    I second what @Asaflame has said, looks like you got everything covered.

    My Betta loves his little Leaf Hammock, as well. Or a Betta Log.
  5. FishL:))

    FishL:))Well Known MemberMember

    Hello and welcome to FishLore!!
    You are doing a great job for a first time Betta owner! I'm glad you are doing a nice job at researching. It seems like you pretty much have everything you'll need for him! :) OPTIONAL: you can add live plants to your aquarium, my Bettas LOVE live plants. :)
  6. -Mak-

    -Mak-Fishlore VIPMember

    I have the same tank, and I've turned it into a moderately planted tank for my betta. Reading online reviews about the tank before I got it showed that a lot of people didn't like the filter, so I bought an azoo mignon 60 and replaced the stock filter.

    I also have the adjustable 25 watt hydor heater, but you'll want to get an aquarium thermometer to check if it heats it to the right temperature. Mine overheats a few degrees above what I set it to.
  7. fjh

    fjhWell Known MemberMember

    Sound like a nice setup for him!

    2 things occur to me though:
    1) 10 days sounds like a short time for a tank to cycle. Do you have anything to test your water parameters?
    2) bettas like to rest on things, so if you can get some wide-leafed plants or tall, smooth decor your guy will probably appreciate it. Alternatively, they make "betta hammocks" but I've heard of them rusting (no idea why they haven't changed that yet... stupid product design :/ )
  8. MaddieTaylah

    MaddieTaylahWell Known MemberMember

    Seems like you have done everything correctly, what are your water parameters though? 10 days is quite a short time for a cycle to be completed.
  9. OP

    BritnyNew MemberMember

    Thanks for the suggestions, all!
    I did forget to mention that there are two betta hammocks stuck to opposite sides of the tank, one near the heater and one on the opposite side of it. The heater is directly under the filter flow so it gets circulated well. Also, there is a thermometer in the tank that verifies the water is around 77-80 degrees (it seems to vary a bit throughout the day, I have the heater set to 80 but it was 77.7 this morning when I checked).
    I have not had my nitrate/nitrite/ammonia levels tested, but I plan to take a sample to my LFS this Thursday. I know it's not the most ideal timeline, but I just couldn't stand to leave him in that little tiny clock any longer, and my LFS owner said he should be okay... So far, so good on that front.
  10. OP

    BritnyNew MemberMember

    Also! I am planning to buy more live plants when at the LFS Thursday, and I have heard good things about the java fern and moss. I'm just a little concerned about crowding the tank too much, as my little guy is very active and he always seems to be swimming around the tank and through his cave and whatnot. But in addition to the moss cactus, the duckweed, and the marimo balls I would like maybe at least one corner to be a java fern perhaps.