New To Bettas - Beginner Tips?

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Demeterite

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I have a 10-gal that is "supposed" to be my hospital tank, but I'm tired of looking at it empty. I have extra plastic buckets and totes that can be a hospital tank if I ever need one.

I'm thinking to get a betta for this 10 gallon aquarium. It'll have a sponge filter, gravel bottom probably, and a few vertical-stem type live plants such as Java Fern.

What else does a betta need? I see things online like betta leaves - are these necessary? They say they are for the betta to rest - what are other things like that different for bettas than other fish?

I plan on tossing a couple nerite snails in with him.... I know they live a solitary life, but in a 10-gal could he also have a handful tiny, non-bright, non-pretty fin fish friends? I have a divider I could throw in if it became a problem.

Thoughts on doing a blackwater or otherwise high-tannin tank with a betta? Yes? No?

The aquarium shop I'm buying my betta from doesn't store their bettas in cups - each has their own 1-2 gal bowl in the shop - so I'm glad to give them my business, but they didn't have a lot of additional information when I asked. They also have a LOT of tail type varieties and colors that you don't see in big box pet stores.
 

Aegnis

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A 10 gallon is perfect for a betta. Sponge filter, gravel, and those plants will work great as well. Betta leaves are totally not necessary -- you can get toy leaves for them to rest on, or you don't really need to get anything. Bettas just generally like to rest places, so it's nice to get them something, but definitely not a requirement.

I wouldn't risk any fish in the tank with him, especially in a 10 gallon. But you could give amano shrimp a shot! Mine tolerated amanos for a few weeks before slaughtering them all, but if you plant your tank and give your amanos some hiding spots, they might be ok. Or you might have a calmer betta.

I don't know much about blackwater or tannin tanks, so I don't want to give the wrong advice there.

Good luck with your betta!
 

DutchAquarium

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If your willing to go live plants all the way, think about some foating plants like lettuce, azoalla, or salvina. These are favorites of bettas. Black water is recomended for bettas. Add in some dried oak leaves or, indian almond leaves are even better. As for tank mates, i would limit your fish to bottom dwellers. Bettas don't like alot of high active fish in the water column with them. Now, you also said blackwater which is very natural, do you plan with going with the betta splenden and the many morphs, or a wild species of betta?
 

WanhiBetta

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Hi!
A betta in a 10 gallon is a very good idea. Do you have a heater? They need water at 78-80 degrees. The betta leaves aren't an obligation, many don't even use them. There is no problem with the snail but you can't put other fish with him. Betta community can be done in 20 gallon minimum, and even there it will not always work. I don't think high tannins would be a problem but I'm not an expert of blackwater tanks.
 

Aegnis

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DutchAquarium makes a great point -- wild species of betta tend to be very different from betta splendens and can tolerate tankmates much better (generally).
 
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Demeterite

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DutchAquarium said:
Now, you also said blackwater which is very natural, do you plan with going with the betta splenden and the many morphs, or a wild species of betta?
I'm assuming my LFS only stocks betta splenden.
 

Aegnis

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Demeterite said:
I'm assuming my LFS only stocks betta splenden.
I'd say if you're new to bettas and doing a 10 gallon, I'd just stick to the betta and some inverts. Success in community tanks with bettas is usually achieved by people who have larger tanks (20+ g, and even then some still fail) who are good at monitoring betta aggression and behavior. Since it sounds like you have another tank, you can always get the betta, put one of your other fish in a clear cup or plastic bag and dip the in the water, and gauge your betta's reaction to understand how he would respond to tankmates. You can also put a mirror in the tank to see if he responds aggressively (although don't take that as an absolutely measurement -- my betta will ignore mirrors but attack guppies). If you find that he ignores tankmates, or seems fine with shrimp and snails, you can try something else (although I wouldn't recommend if you can avoid it). Just be prepared to have a backup plan in case things take a turn!
 

Algonquin

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Also be sure to provide a few nice hiding places for him - you can buy a 'Betta Log', which comes in both a floating and a sinking format - consensus seems to be that they love both of those.
Putting some driftwood and Indian almond leaves in the tank will look nice and provide some of the tannins Bettas like.
Please post some pics when you are all set up!
 

dwarfpufferlover

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I don't see it mentioned here but leave the water line a bit lower for your betta. Helps them breathe when they want to come up to the top.
 

lizcateyes

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Another betta tip: once they recognize you as a source of food, they will do their best to beg for more feeding...overfeeding bettas is not that hard, given that their stomachs are not that big to begin with, so my advice is resist the urge to spoil your betta with food!
 

AJ34

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It’s awesome you are using a bigger tank for them! So much easier to maintain, I have a 2, 3, and 15 gallon. I’m constantly in the smaller tanks, my husband called me a crazy fish lady this morning, haha... my intent was to split the 15 gallon for Bettas but then somehow I ended up with three gouramis in there anyhow I don’t have live plants or black water so can’t comment on that. I use betta logs and some horizontal suction leaves, they like those a lot!
 

Kamaile

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Demeterite said:
I have a 10-gal that is "supposed" to be my hospital tank, but I'm tired of looking at it empty. I have extra plastic buckets and totes that can be a hospital tank if I ever need one.

I'm thinking to get a betta for this 10 gallon aquarium. It'll have a sponge filter, gravel bottom probably, and a few vertical-stem type live plants such as Java Fern.

What else does a betta need? I see things online like betta leaves - are these necessary? They say they are for the betta to rest - what are other things like that different for bettas than other fish?

I plan on tossing a couple nerite snails in with him.... I know they live a solitary life, but in a 10-gal could he also have a handful tiny, non-bright, non-pretty fin fish friends? I have a divider I could throw in if it became a problem.

Thoughts on doing a blackwater or otherwise high-tannin tank with a betta? Yes? No?

The aquarium shop I'm buying my betta from doesn't store their bettas in cups - each has their own 1-2 gal bowl in the shop - so I'm glad to give them my business, but they didn't have a lot of additional information when I asked. They also have a LOT of tail type varieties and colors that you don't see in big box pet stores.
I agree with lots of the people that have already commented. I would not advise putting other fish in with him but would encourage snails, shrimp, and/or African dwarf frogs if you're set on putting something in with him.

If you are willing to look at a somewhat murky looking tank, I say to go for a high tannin tank! Bettas evolved in slow moving waters filled with lots of leaf-litter and other decaying plant material, so the lower pH in blackwater aquariums is much more like their natural habitat.

As for the betta leaves, I've only ever had one betta that used them frequently. They are a great idea and I encourage getting them if you find a good deal, but not all bettas like to use them.
 

Kamaile

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Aegnis said:
I'd say if you're new to bettas and doing a 10 gallon, I'd just stick to the betta and some inverts. Success in community tanks with bettas is usually achieved by people who have larger tanks (20+ g, and even then some still fail) who are good at monitoring betta aggression and behavior. Since it sounds like you have another tank, you can always get the betta, put one of your other fish in a clear cup or plastic bag and dip the in the water, and gauge your betta's reaction to understand how he would respond to tankmates. You can also put a mirror in the tank to see if he responds aggressively (although don't take that as an absolutely measurement -- my betta will ignore mirrors but attack guppies). If you find that he ignores tankmates, or seems fine with shrimp and snails, you can try something else (although I wouldn't recommend if you can avoid it). Just be prepared to have a backup plan in case things take a turn!
While I agree that gauging your betta's reaction first is a good idea, it's not a tell-all method. one betta may not even show interest in other fish until they've been set loose with him, whereas another may endlessly try to get at them while they're in the cup, chase them for a bit once they're in the tank, and then mostly leave them alone.

Either way, though, I think 10 gallons is too small to keep bettas with other fish; it doesn't provide much room for escape.
 
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Demeterite

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Great information!

Thanks everyone!
 

LucineT

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I do have one fairly aggressive betta who lives in a community tank. He was the last to be placed in the tank to reduce the chances of aggression. I remember reading somewhere that if the tank is heavily planted with lots of hiding places and enough to break line of sight, it helps lessens the fighting
 

Dch48

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This is just my opinion but I don't think it matters much what the natural conditions are for a wild Betta. The ones we buy are the product of a lot of selective breeding and they have been raised in tanks for generations. They are used to much cleaner environments than in the wild.

Having said that, I think the best tankmate for a Betta is a Mystery snail. They are very active and make excellent scavengers because they eat virtually anything and everything. I have a fairly big one in my 3.5 gallon Betta tank and he and the fish get along great. The snail fully extends his feelers and the Betta just ignores it. He actually seems to like the snail and follows it around when it is on the bottom and will try to steal food from it. When the snail is resting at the waterline, sometimes the Betta will remain stationary along side of him for a period of time. He has never once nipped at the snail.
 
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