5 Gallon Tank What should I add to new Betta tank?

Shadoweliterecon

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I got a male crowntail from petsmart a few days ago and set him up in a 5 gallon that had been running for about a week. I'm aiming to cycle it with him in it. Besides some mishaps with the filter and sand, no problems so far. What I would like to know is what should be added to make him comfortable. Right now I just have a moss ball in there that I picked up because I heard it can thrive in low light. I would like to know if any other plants like these would fit, but perhaps ones the betta would enjoy ( he ignores the moss ball entirely, although half the reason I bought it was just to help with the water a bit). Recommended sorts of decorations or hiding spots would also be welcome. Right now the tank feels bare and empty and he just stares at me, seemingly for lack of something better to do. Thanks.
Photo Mar 25, 11 26 46 PM.jpg
Photo Apr 04, 1 09 50 AM.jpg
Photo Apr 04, 3 26 14 PM.jpgPhoto Apr 04, 3 26 43 PM.jpg

The dirty looking pic is from when I first got him, I didn't know about dust with sand substrate and just kinda dumped it in, which also destroyed a filter >.< it's nice and clear now
 

TJBender

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First question, how are you cycling the tank? Tetra SafeStart is the best option available for a fish-in cycle, and it'll work quite nicely in a five.

Unfortunately, your pictures aren't showing up. Try the "Add to post" button beneath the reply box.

In general, bettas love tall, thick plants, floating plants to swim around the roots of, and hiding places. Lots of hiding places. I use mason jars to make caves covered in java moss, and my bettas love them. The biggest thing to remember with betta decorations is that they can't be sharp or pointy at all, or they'll catch onto fins and tear them. File down driftwood (which I highly recommend adding to your tank), don't add plastic plants, and avoid rock decor and any castle-y stuff with very small openings.
 

Acereaux

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My Betta actually doesn't like caves that much, he prefers to swim through the tops of all his plants and rest on his hammock. I would recommend tall plants and places for him to rest near the surface so he doesn't have to swim to far to breathe if he's tired.
 

utkgreg

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Great info above! Once your tank is settled, you can also look at giving him a pet or two... mystery snails typically do well in these set-ups. Some people also keep ghost shrimp, etc. (I've heard mixed reviews, it seems like some bettas totally ignore them and some bettas consider them an expensive treat.)
 

Beeker

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My betta likes his cave for sleeping in, his live plants to rest on, and his snails to snack on.
But, I don't think he prefers any of these things over his tv. Let him watch tv... But in moderation or else he will become a total couch potato!
 

utkgreg

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Beeker said:
My betta likes his cave for sleeping in, his live plants to rest on, and his snails to snack on.
But, I don't think he prefers any of these things over his tv. Let him watch tv... But in moderation or else he will become a total couch potato!
And definitely don't leave him with the remote. You don't want him watching anything too graphic.
 

Boeing250

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Fishy Friends said:
Mine love bubbles so perhaps an air stone - also helps with water movement & oxygen☺
I read online that an air stone that bubbles can make them sick.
 

TJBender

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Boeing250 said:
I read online that an air stone that bubbles can make them sick.
My bigger concern with an air stone would be surface disruption. Bettas like a very slow current with minimal surface disruption, and bubbles are probably the strongest form of surface distruption available this side of overfiltering. Granted, I've never tried an air stone with a betta before, as they don't need oxygenated water, so I can't say for sure whether it's a good idea, a bad idea or a non-factor.
 

Fishy Friends

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I respect the opinions regarding air stones - I guess I was surprised as well my first betta in a 55 gal community tank went straight for the bubbles as did my second in a another 55 gal (& now in a 180 gal). My latest (3rd) betta has a 10 gal to himself - I am still in the process of figuring a set-up for him & have not given him an air stone yet. Perhaps in a smaller tank he won't care for it - if he doesn't I will certainly remove it☺
 

TJBender

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In a tank as big as a 55g, I wouldn't see any issue with an airstone. Unless you've got a huge one hooked up to a large air pump, there would probably be plenty of slower, less-disturbed surface area. Also, how the heck do you have a betta in a 180g? lol

I'd be curious to see what happens in your 10 gallon with a small airstone, actually. I've only got bettas in 5 gallon or smaller tanks right now, and there's no way I'd try even the smallest airstone with them, given how little surface area there is available.
 
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Shadoweliterecon

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Thanks for the advice everyone I fixed the pictures, although they're not very good. My Ipod doesn't focus well in water I guess, and he's very active. I also noticed a few white specs on him that I was worried was ich, but they're falling off as quickly as they're appearing. They're only on his head and they honestly look like bubbles to me (he messes with the bubbles that form on the top of the water) but I don't really know... hard to get a good look since he's always moving around. I've never dealt with ich before so I don't know what it looks like. Like I said it's disappearing all the time and sometimes he doesn't have any so I'm just keeping an eye on him for now, but maybe you guys can give me information so I can confirm whether it's harmful or not. Thanks again.
EDIT: Looking closely it actually looks like dust, which would make sense since there's still a film of dust over the surface from when I put in the substrate; it's very hard to remove so far... It might be getting stuck to him when he breathes?
 

alyymarie

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I use an airstone in my betta tanks, because I have the filters so low that they don't really move the water, so the surface gets filmy. They don't seem to mind at all, it doesn't push them around like a filter outflow does. And I turn the airstones off at night so they can rest better.
 
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Shadoweliterecon

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Good to know, I'll consider adding a bubbler if I can find an outlet that will reach xD. I was also debating mystery snails, and saw that someone else had mentioned it as well. Should I wait until after the cycling is complete to add a snail? I know they produce a good amount of waste.
 

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