Would You Move A Happy Betta To A Bigger Tank?

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newbettagus

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Hi, I just got my fish Gus (short for Augustus) yesterday and he's in a 3.5 gallon tank, which I discovered after he was in it is a model inclined to breaking and leaking. So today I bought a 5.5 gallon tank for a backup and I have it filled with water to check it for leaks.

Gus seems to be quite pleased with the 3.5 gallon one, a Top Fin Bettaflo (in which the filter is supposed to agitate the water less). The water movement from the filter doesn't seem to bother him since he swims at a relaxed pace all over the tank. He's already learned where the feeding flap in the lid is and when I come in the room he swims over there and waits just below the surface.

But since I keep hearing he'd be happier with a bigger tank and I understand it could well be healthier for him, do you think I should fully set up the new tank and move him in there ASAP, or just watch the situation? The larger one has a standard filter.

(Gus is my first betta.)
 

12Cin12

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Yes, he would like the 5 gallon much better!
However, you do not have a cycled tank at this point. To cycle your tank instantly, you could use bottled bacteria or you could follow the advice in this article. This will insure the safety of your new fishie friend!
Fish In Nitrogen Cycle Simplified
PS Welcome to Fishlore!
 
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newbettagus

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Hi... Thank you. The day I got Gus I asked someone at the pet store and they said bettas don't need that. Yikes. Looks like I need to put some of the bottled bacteria in now, and learn some more about this.
 

LayneeFritz

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12Cin12 said:
Yes, he would like the 5 gallon much better!
However, you do not have a cycled tank at this point. To cycle your tank instantly, you could use bottled bacteria or you could follow the advice in this article. This will insure the safety of your new fishie friend!
Fish In Nitrogen Cycle Simplified
PS Welcome to Fishlore!
Yes. Betta fish, or any for for that matter, need their tanks to go through the nitrogen cycle before placing them in there to prevent them from going through ‘new tank syndrome’. I think a larger tank is best. A larger tank will not only be easier to maintain, but it will make your little fish happy and healthy. And if you don’t already, you should definitely consider testing the water quality 1-2 times a week. This will ensure he remains healthy!

any fish for that matter** ^^
 

hanra85

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newbettagus said:
Hi... Thank you. The day I got Gus I asked someone at the pet store and they said bettas don't need that. Yikes. Looks like I need to put some of the bottled bacteria in now, and learn some more about this.
In the future, when you're an experienced veteran fish keeper, you'll look back and realize a lot of advice pet stores tell you is, well... terrible. I ask them questions a lot of times to entertain myself with the responses, then I pull out my phone and Google the correct information... Lol.

Of course he doesn't "need" a 5 gallon tank. He's been living in a plastic cup for a few months until you rescued him from fish jail... Would he enjoy a bigger tank, yup no doubt. Would a bigger tank be easier for you to maintain, absolutely... Personally I don't think any fish should be kept in anything less than a 5 gallon if not just for fairness to the fish, at least for providing more stable water parameters, it's shame they're marketed as beginner tanks, really should be left to advanced keepers but they usually know betta...
 

KaptainStache

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In my experience all fish are better with more space/water volume. I had my Betta "Smoot" in a 10 gallon by himself. He was fine in there. I moved him in to my sump about a month ago. He is much more active in there. The volume of the area is about 5 gallon of swimming space (although he does like to swim under the baffles and into other sections of sump). He May have a smaller area but he is swimming in 100g worth of water.
 

12Cin12

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newbettagus said:
Hi... Thank you. The day I got Gus I asked someone at the pet store and they said bettas don't need that. Yikes. Looks like I need to put some of the bottled bacteria in now, and learn some more about this.
It can be confusing when you get conflicting info! LFS employees are a varied lot - sometimes they know what they’re talking about and sometimes they don’t. But to reiterate - Bettas are fish that produce ammonia when they poop. If this ammonia is not taken care of by good bacteria in a cycled tank (or daily water changes) the Betta will suffer and die from ammonia burn to the gills - just like any other fish.
You’re doing the right thing by searching out this info for yourself! Gus will thank you!!
 

Dch48

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It has happened that Bettas who live in a tank for an extended period get very stressed when transferred to something bigger. If he is doing well in the 3.5, which to me is big enough, I would leave well enough alone. If it's only been a few days though, it probably won't matter much but still will be additional stress.
 

Dch48

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newbettagus said:
Hi... Thank you. The day I got Gus I asked someone at the pet store and they said bettas don't need that. Yikes. Looks like I need to put some of the bottled bacteria in now, and learn some more about this.
Bettas can be less sensitive to ammonia and lower oxygen concentrations because they don't exclusively use their gills for breathing. Having said that, anyone who says they don't need a cycled tank with a filter to circulate the water is wrong.
 
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newbettagus

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Hi.. thanks. When the nitrite level in the smaller tank went very high and I couldn't get it down, I switched Gus to a 5.5 gallon tank. After a couple of days, the nitrites were high in there too (magenta, using API test kit, somewhere between 2 and 5 ppm.) I kept up the water changes and now, several days later, the level is way down, lavendar color, maybe .5 ppm now or maybe less. (Before I transferred him to the larger tank I squeezed the filter from the old tank into the new tank water near the filter. Got that tip right here! I also moved in a lot of the gravel.)

8-23-19 8pm update: Nitrite 0.25!!!! :smug::smuggrin:

He seems happy in the new tank too. In fact, Gus has been happy with everything--I think I picked a good 'un at the pet store. He even seems to enjoy daily water changes! It takes some care to not suck him up in the vacuum, since he has to be right there supervising, and he sits right under the water I'm pouring in, not liking strong currents be darned.

From reading some of the problems other caring fish owners have posted about on this forum, I feel lucky. I'm posting this in case someone else with a similar question is reading this thread, in case hearing about how this turned out helps. One tip: It's easier to vacuum a larger tank because you're not always bumping into the fish.

Maybe a shyer fish would have suffered from the change.
 
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