New Bettas

BettaLover1984

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HI Everyone!  The name's Renee and as of April 13, I have two new members in the family, Neptune and Mars.  Neptune is a Crowntail and is a very deep blue color but his tail and fins have a major flashings of teals and reds and even some purple I believe.  Mars is just your general betta and is, well, red, like the planet. lol.  I actually named them for the Roman God aspect but you could go the planet way as they match the planets colors.

I have them in separate 1 gallon tanks and I know a lot of you are probably booing my choice or tank right now but I didn't prepare as much as I should have as these buddies were kind of a spontaneous buy. What's even more sad is I do not have enough room for bigger tanks.    So, my questions are:

1. I have gravel and I'm not sure about the siphoning process as in the past I've had a 20 gallon tank (when my room was different) with a big siphon, do they make siphons that small and I've read on another forum of people using a turkey baster?? And if that can be done, what is the exact process of using it properly? (Yes, I know how to use a turkey baster but I would just like to see if there is a special way of doing it. lol)

2.  Mars seems absolutely thrilled in his tank, while Neptune is a bit calmer and doesn't like the pellet food.  Tonight, I observed him picking thru the gravel and it looked like he was eating something but I can't see anything.  Do Crowntails prefer something else or do they get their name just for the look of the tail and are essentially the same as a regular betta? Is Neptune just being picky? lol.

3.  Is a 1 gallon tank going to be okay for them, honestly?  Let me again say, I feel terrible about the tank size so please don't hate me, I'm doing the best I can for them and it's frustrating for me right now as I can't provide them with larger homes.  I didn't know I should have a 5 gallon or bigger and after reading all of these forums I feel really bad. I thought that even having a 1 gallon tank would be better than what most people keep them in, those little glass bowls.  I just don't have the space or the funds for an elaborate set up. So, that would mean another bad thing, no heater but Mars seems unaffected by it.  Neptune isn't as active as I'd like him to be so I'm not sure if it's the temp or just his personality.  I sometimes remove the divider so they can see each other and "glass spar" now and again as it keeps them active and Neptune is quite the feisty fish when I do this so I think it might just be his fishy way. Any thoughts on that?

My thoughts are a little jumbled and I apologize for such a large post but I didn't want to seem bothersome by constantly asking questions. Thanks ahead for all your help!
 

COBettaCouple

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For 1 gallon tanks, I think maybe the turkey baster is best every few days.

Crowntails are named for their tails and like any other type of bettas, some are more finnicky than others and will prefer bloodworms to other foods. You can try getting him to accept the pellets and see if he'll give in and eat them or if he just won't, then you can feed him bloodworms. If he only eats bloodworms, he'll need a pea dinner 2x-3x a week. Take a frozen pea, thaw it, peel it & mince half of it then feed him the little pieces one at a time. Both bettas would benefit from the pea dinners.

Our bettas also do the picking thru gravel thing.

yea, 1 gallon tanks really are too small for them long term, you'll need to do more frequent partial water changes to keep the water clean and when you can get them each at least a 3 gallon tank that would be good for them. You could also look at a 10 gallon kit (if you can find the basic 10 gallon kit at walmart, it's $30) and divide it with dividers from petsmart so each betta could have 1/2 of the tank. When you can upgrade their living quarters, a heater will be a sure must-have. is a good place to find heaters, etc. Just try to keep them clean and happy until you can move them to a larger heated home. Talk to them whenever you can and let them be in a place where they can watch as much activity as possible.

I'd not remove the divider - the flaring and all is stressful to them and keeping stress to a minimum is important, especially while they're in the small tanks.

If possible, I'd recommend an airpump, some hose, a t-valve, a couple regulators and a couple air stones to give them some air bubbles.. but that's not as important as getting them into larger homes so it would be a later thing if you need to save up for the tanks. Keep an eye out for used tanks for sale in the paper or yard sales, etc.. just try to check them good for any cracks or damage if you buy a used one. Also be sure to read the documents here on the nitrogen cycle and setting up a new tank so you'll be ready to get your little guys in their best health.
 

genie

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OK-- I want to say first-- I am glad that you are doing your best for these new babies.

But-- you will find that the fish will be more apt to get sick in a cold tank, because the temp will not be constant because the water volume is so small.

I do have a betta in a 2 gallon, but with a heater and filter. I was unaware of the 5 gallon rule when I bought Cobalt.

There are small gravel vacs-- I got mine at petco for $4.99 and it works great.

You might find that one 10 gallon with a divider will be easier for you to maintain, and space wise than that of two 5 gallon tanks. It will also be cheaper because you only have to have one of everything (heater, filter, etc.)

Do your best with what you have and when you can-- upgrade. Small tanks require much more work than larger ones, and when you can upgrade, you can use the small tanks as quarantine or hospital tanks.

Good luck!!
 

trishjc

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Hi!
When I first got my betta I had him in a 1 gallon too, but then I inherited the brother in laws 10 gallon (luckily!)
I found the best way to keep him warm while in a small tank was to actually put him on my window sill above the heater (make sure you have a thermometer so you know what is the best temp to have your heater at)
My betta wouldn't eat the pellets either so he was spoiled with blood worms for the first week until I could get to my lfs (1 hr drive) to buy him flake food, which he eats ok, but would much rather have the blood worms, he doesn't eat the tubefex worms either (spoiled brat
Depending where you are you may find a cheap tank online or in the paper to upgrade your fishes!
In canada we have kijiji.ca I've noticed Calgary has LOADS of fish tanks for sale (I wish I knew that before we bought ours at a pet shop!)
Enjoy your new babies!
Trish
 
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BettaLover1984

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Okay, first, thank you FLBettaCouple, Genie, and Trish for responding, I really appreciate it. 

FLBettaCouple, Genie, and Trish:
I made my trip to Pet Smart today and I spent 2 1/2 hours in that store looking for the right products for my boys.  I spent an extremely long amount of time on tanks alone.  I opened the boxes on some of the 5 gallons and they were still too big so I opted to look for  a 3 gallon tank.  I was just about to give up when I go down the reptile supply aisle and low and behold I find what's called an All Living Things Critter Tote.  Now, it said it was a critter tote for small furry pets but works as a home for small reptiles and even fish.  It looked about 3 gallons but didn't say and was only $10 so I bought two.  They even have a hole at the top for filter tubing when I decide to do that but I didn't opt for it today. When I got home I checked the Tank Calculator on this site and it's 3.1 gallons so yay!!  ;D  Here's my first question for both of you or anyone.  I haven't checked Fosters and Smith yet (love that site for my cat) but does anyone make heaters for plastic tanks? Is that a silly question?

Second thing, I bought those stick on thermometers and after being in room temp for an hour without either of my boys in it the temp is staying at a nice 80 degrees.  I have the tanks on my computer desk which is definitely a high traffic area, lol, and the monitor is the closest thing to them and I think that is helping maintain the temp of the tanks.  Don't worry, I checked the sides of the tank and the monitor doesn't throw off that much heat but since they are closer to my computer I think it helps heat this part of my room as when I have it on for long periods of time, it can get hot in here. Thoughts on that??

Third thing, I bought a 2 pack of Kordon NovAqua+ and AmQuel+.  I've seen this suggested on this site a few places so I thought it would be good to buy.  Now, I hope this is okay, but I added the NovAqua+ to Mars' tank and let it sit for an hour before adding him.  He's been in the tank for about 40 minutes and I can already tell he's seems content and has been swimming nicely.  He doesn't even seem phased by the tank change today.  He really likes the silk Green Tiger Lotus plant I bought him.  It has nice big flat leaves for him to rest on near the top of the water, which I read on this site is also good for them for sleeping so they are closer to the top of the tank for air.  Back on track here, I didn't add the AmQuel+ because of what it said on the bottle about "always maintain good water circulation/aeration".  I don't have that and didn't want to use it as the bottle also says "AmQuel+ can moderately reduce oxygen levels in the water for the first few hours after use. Be sure circulation/aeration is adequate." So, that made me nervous and I didn't add it, even tho that's the one that removes nitrate, nitrite, ammonia, chlorine & chloramines from the water.  My question is, do you think that will be okay to add without the circulation/aeration? I don't want to stress out my boys. And if it is okay to add it, can I put it in with them already in the tanks??

Fourth thing, food.  I wanted to get freeze-dried bloodworms as they are more likely to be free of parasites and bacteria than the frozen ones (what I read on here), but I read the bottle and I once again, got nervous about the fact that some people may be allergic and it can cause flu like symptoms, I didn't want that.  I opted for the HikarI Brine Shrimp.  I opened it up and its in large cubes.  Surprisingly, it doesn't say how to feed it to them on the bottle. Do I make it crumby?? Any suggestions on breaking up the cubes?  I also bought TetraMin Tropical Granules - The Rich Mix that says kind of big on the front "Good for Bettas" and even has a  pic of one.  I figure I'll try those later with Neptune as he's the picky eater. Mars, I don't think will be a problem. lol.  I also bought frozen peas.  Now, if Neptune doesn't like the food I bought him and Mars, but only likes peas, is that healthy to give him just those?? Or the more obvious answer being, I should keep trying everything they have for bettas right??

Genie:
I bought the last minI gravel cleaner at Pet Smart today! WooHoo! lol.    And I liked your idea about quarantine/hospital tanks. I didn't think of that. 

So in closing of my long update, lol, I have 2 more minutes before I put Neptune in his new home and I will be posting pics of them as soon as I can for everyone to see.  I will also keep in mind the 10 gallon idea with the divider for later when I do have the space to upgrade.  I'm just happy I made a better choice and the water temp is staying well for them.  One more question, if the water temp stays nicely at 80 all the time, should I still buy a heater??

Okay, I'm done, I'm done. lol. Sorry for being so longwinded.  Thanks again for everything!!
 

COBettaCouple

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On the heaters, I've put a 25w submersible heater in a small 1.5g tank that we had for our platy fry - it sounds a lot like what you got and was ok with the heater. The DFS site has the visitherm stealth heaters & I think petco carries them too. Just make sure they'll fit in the tank. If not, you can find a small submersible heater, like one at walmart that's preset for 78F. Definitely get a heater for when the tank will get below 78. Anything you can do to keep the temps more consistent is a good thing.

Most PCs can put out enough heat to raise the temp in the immediate area, but the only way to tell how much would be to keep the AC constant and see how a day with and a day without the computer and/or monitor on affects the tank water temp. It shouldn't be a problem though.. should you notice things getting too hot in the tank you'll probably have to rearrange things, but it doesn't sound like something that you'll have to worry about.

You'll want to get a filter going in each tank as soon as you can to help get your tanks cycled and the air pump setup I'd mentioned earlier to help with the aeration. NovAqua+ is a good conditioner for your tap water, but see what others say about how much to use it while cycling a tank. You'll want an API master freshwater test kit when you can get it to keep an eye on your water parameters & monitor the nitrogen cycle. I'd wait to use the AmQuel+ until you have either the filter or air stone running since you've already conditioned the water with the NovAqua+. Either product is fine to add to tanks, but mainly I put the appropriate amount into some gallon jugs that we use to put tap water in, treat it and then use when we do the weekly partial water changes.

Use round-tipped tweezers to feed bloodworms (either freeze-dried or frozen cubes thawed in a cup of cold water) to the Bettas to avoid the skin contact that can make us itchy. The cubes are more of an occasional treat for our bettas as they don't get fed a LOT of bloodworms and mostly get the freeze dried ones. Betta pellets for color or with vitamins can be good, along with daphnia, krill or betta flakes. I've not tried those cubes actually, but we do feed the bettas a betta flakes food that has small freeze dried brine shrimp in it. Try to find at least 2 food that they'll eat, any 1 food could end up leaving their diet lacking. Even the finnicky bettas (like our Sora) seem to like bloodworms, peas and daphnia.

Hope this helps. Best of luck with your boys.
 
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BettaLover1984

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It's me again.

FLBettaCouple:
I checked out the Visi-Therm submersible but it says the 25w is for an 8 gallon tank, will it work in a 3 gallon, but it also doesn't say anything about plastic containers. The MinI Heater I like because its for a tank that's 2-5 gallons but yet again, it says its for glass or acrylic, my tanks are actually PLASTIC, not acrylic so I don't want to melt them. I apparently can't win. lol. I really don't have the space for two 5 or even one 10 gallon tank. I feel like such a bad owner now for not thinking ahead.

After being in room temperature now for 3 hours, the tanks are both at 78 degrees. I will monitor them over the upcoming week like you said to see the temp changes with the computer off, on, and so on. I don't have AC atm as it's too early in the summer for it but once that season kicks in I will. I'll also start looking now for a better solution to the heating problem I'm having. Thanks again for your suggestions and well wishes! Hope your bettas are well!

~Renee~
 

COBettaCouple

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As long as it fits into the 3g, it should work. 8 gallons is the max size for that heater since it's relatively low power. That little 1.5g tank we had ours in was this one:
- it's plastic and the submersible heater that we got at walmart didn't do anything at all to it, so a better-made visi-therm should be fine if it fits your 3g, otherwise look for the smallest heater like this:
at walmart - that's the heater we had in the 1.5g plastic tank for a few months, so you can heat your plastic tank too. The Tetra heater's nowhere near as good as the visitherm, but they do have a pretty small one.
 
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BettaLover1984

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Phew! Thanks again for such quick replies FLBC.

I'm glad the descriptiong actually said PLASTIC in it. lol. That makes me feel so much better now. I didn't want to come home to find one or both of my bettas dead with water everywhere and my computer ruined bcuz the heater melted the plastic. I like lots of confirmations on things like this so thanks so much again!

I did look at the Tetra one because I liked how small it was and if the Visi-Therm was in that tank, I'll know it will fit in my 3g. If you don't mind answering so many of my questions, what type of filter do you recommend for the small tanks? Thanks again for all your help. This board is the best one I've found yet on quick replies and brilliant information!!
 
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BettaLover1984

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P.S. I'm going to go with the Visi-Therm as I didn't actually state that before.
 

COBettaCouple

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I believe Tetra makes a small model of their whisper filters for tanks in the 2-5g range. it's kind of like a sleeve & I find them at walmart. they use the S filter media (small) and aren't too expensive.

glad to help out.
 

COBettaCouple

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you're welcome. best of luck with setting everything up & we'll look forward to pics. Anytime you have questions, just post away.. we're fairly new to Bettas and fish keeping, but there are people here with so much experience, they've taught us so much in the last month or 2.
 

chickadee

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The 25 watt is for UP TO 8 gallons and I have used one in a 2.5 gallon before with lovely results and for a long time in a 3 gallon.  When pressed I even had to use a 50 watt and it did not fry my fish as it just turns off when the water temp is met.  I have used the same type of tank that you got for a quarantine tank many times and given them as gifts and the folks I have given them to are still using them successfully so I know they are sturdy and healthy homes for fish.  You are going to need to get aeration but you can use one airpump and just get a T connector and some connectors that allow you to adjust the air flow through the airstones and save youurself a lot of money.  The link of the cheap set from Drs. Foster and Smith is below as well as the QUIET air pump.

You also need to get a filter for each tank so the tank can cycle and get rid of the ammonia and keep your little guys healthy.  I will show you a great one for small tank of 2 gallons or less down below..

Rose

AIR VALVES
 The cheapest one (Model 10) is the one


You will need to buy some airline tubing too but might get it cheaper locally and just need the smallest amount 15 feet or so.

FILTERS
  This is a better filter than the one I told you about above and does all the chemical, mechanical, and biological filteration.  It is a great filter and you need the MINI filter.   You can set the rate of fiow to almost nothing so the little guys do not get upset and turn the flow to go toward the wall so they don't have to swim in it. No cartridges to buy for a long time. Spong filters just need to be washed in used tank water and replaced in filter. (one at a time not both at the same time)
 
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BettaLover1984

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Thanks for all the wonderful info Rose.  BTW, I got your email also and thanks for that as well!!

FLBettaCouple:
I monitored the temp in my tanks and the computer being on or off does make a difference.  The tanks were holding nicely at 72 before I went to bed and when I woke up they were at 70.  When I got home from work they were at 68, big bummer. I immediately turned my computer on and it's been on since 430 p.m. and it is now 1130 p.m. and both tanks are holding nicely at 74-76 degrees. lol. For now, the computer will have to do for a heating device as it does in fact heat up my entire room and not just this corner of the room. Seeing as my room is only 8 x 10 it doesn't take very long to heat up everything. And there's a more accurate answer as to why I don't have space for bigger tanks, my room is too small! lol.  Add that and the fact that my computer is a gigantor XPS 600 with a 20" flat screen from Dell, major heat increase. lol.  The tower is on the opposite side of the desk that my fish friends are on as it was too big to fit in the space the desk provided for a tower, how bout that.

Anywho, just a little update on my guys. They absolutely love, love, LOVE the silk green tiger lotus plants I bought them.  Neptune spends most of his time there and Mars has started to as well.  As soon as I opened the lid tho to feed Mars tonight, he knew what I was doing and came zipping out of there. Neptune is being more picky than I thought he would and apparently Mr. Picky goes to sleep after 930.  He didn't even budge one bit when I tried to feed him except for a little tail wag, other than that, he wouldn't come out to eat tonight. All he did was turn around in a circle and he now seems to be asleep again.  Mars looks like he's done for the night as well, so is my cat Sassy is no more than a foot away sleeping on the computer chair and is pretty much eye level with the both of them and he doesn't give two shakes about em. lol.

Alright, I need to learn to shorten my posts. I'm done for the night.  Thanks again for all your support and help!  Best of luck with you and your fishy friends!
 

COBettaCouple

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Your posts are fine. Yea, that's a new use for a computer - fish tank heater. Sounds like your little guys are doing well and showing character already.
 

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