My Betta setup, any advice/ opinions?

Discussion in 'The Fire Hydrant' started by LauraLeigh, Feb 27, 2013.

  1. LauraLeigh

    LauraLeigh New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2008
    Messages:
    3,751
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Brighton Ontario
    Tank is just getting settled, won't add fish until Sunday at the earliest, looking for any advice...

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Psyfalcon

    Psyfalcon Fishies!

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2006
    Messages:
    2,434
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    Dog, Dog, Cat, Fish
    Location:
    Oregon
    Not too bad.

    I'd add a background. I've spray painted some (on the outside, of course), used wrapping paper on some (green, blue) and even used paper bags. Brown gives it a nice river bank feel, but with the blue gravel you might want to use some black construction paper.

    Try to find a tall plant or two. Bettas like the top of the water so give them some structure up there too. Even a way too long piece looks nice as it lays along the top.

    If you're not planning on cycling the tank, I'd just add the betta, and let the good bacteria develop for several weeks, depending on whatever else you're planning on.
     
  3. Fran101

    Fran101 Resident fainting goat

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2008
    Messages:
    12,546
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Location:
    Boston
    I think it looks lovely! Most Bettas ever get that I ever see are tiny bowls.. that looks like a fish mansion!
     
  4. katielou

    katielou Slave to the Aussie

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2011
    Messages:
    1,278
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    5
    Location:
    Washington State
    Home Page:
    Nice!

    I would add some tall plants, maybe a hammock.

    My Betta really likes to hide and swim through a jungle so maybe you could look at planting the tank a little more.
     
  5. Xandra

    Xandra Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    Messages:
    3,806
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    I agree with the above. Mine seem to love wriggling through the weeds. They will go out of their way to turn on their side and squeeze between a clump of weed and the bottom of the tank, or breech the water wriggling over top of floating plants, and they like to rest on big broad leaves. They really seem to dig "jungle" tanks, which makes sense as I believe they come from rice paddies and other ditch/swamp/overgrown puddle type environments.

    Whoever comes to live with you is getting way better than probably 99% of bettas, and I'm sure he'll be just dandy in there the way it is. If you want to do something special, buy a betta hammock and/or a clump of java moss... the moss will cost $5 or so, is easy to keep, oxygenates the water, eats up nitrates and the fish will probably like snooping through it, especially when it grows.

    And definitely add the fish in slowly, or you could turn the tank toxic.
     
  6. LauraLeigh

    LauraLeigh New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2008
    Messages:
    3,751
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Brighton Ontario
    I'm hoping to add live plants but I will get a taller one for now, a hammock? My novice is showing.... Lol

    It's a ten gallon, thought of splitting it but couldn't find any screen or divider that was not fully see through, and I would think that would just stress him out!

    My son does graphics he's making me a background, I just have to pick a scene for it!

    I'm going to add a few tropical once I figure out for sure the best to house with a betta, and was advised to add them first, then the betta and not the other way around..
     
  7. Xandra

    Xandra Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    Messages:
    3,806
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    One brand is called "betta bed" but I think there are others. They're like this:
    [​IMG]
    So he can lay on the leaf.

    For some reason I thought you were going to add the betta first, but yeah... I've had males that were territorial toward zebra danios and other bland looking fish when they were added in later, which is why I recommended adding the betta last.
     
  8. Psyfalcon

    Psyfalcon Fishies!

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2006
    Messages:
    2,434
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    Dog, Dog, Cat, Fish
    Location:
    Oregon
    On the other hand, ammonia can be an issue. Bettas seem somewhat tolerant being that so many are kept in bowls, but some tropicals are... not.

    It would be best to do a fishless cycle, especially if you you're going to try anything like neons or rummynose tetras.
     
  9. LauraLeigh

    LauraLeigh New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2008
    Messages:
    3,751
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Brighton Ontario
    What would you guys recommend to add and get along with the betta? And when you say cycle you mean emptying part of the tank and refilling it? Sorry if I'm being a pain, I kept fish before but was totally uneducated about them and wound up frustrated and gave them to a more experienced friend..
     
  10. Xandra

    Xandra Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    Messages:
    3,806
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Basically, when you put fish into a new clean tank, their poops and uneaten food produce ammonia. Ammonia is pretty toxic and will burn and kill the fish. However if there is a reasonable supply of ammonia, bacteria will start to grow. They eat the ammonia and produce nitrite. Nitrite is also poisonous. But when there's a good supply of nitrite in the water, another kind of bacteria grows. They eat the nitrite and produce nitrate. Nitrate is only a little bit poisonous... it has to buildup for a while before your fish are harmed. Plants eat it. When the ammonia-eaters and the nitrite-eaters are established in your tank, the poops and and food just get swapped to the nitrate.

    To summarize:

    Ammonia-->Nitrite-->Nitrate

    That's what's called biological filtration... that's the main reason your filter works... it has a sponge with lots of surface area for the bacteria to live, and then pulls the water over the sponge so they can gobble up all the badness and make nitrate. The bacteria will also live in your gravel and on the glass, so it's important not to scrub your tank out. And you'll still need to do a little water change ever week or the nitrate will build up to toxic levels.

    But as you can see it takes a while for the ammonia-eaters to grow, for them to make a supply of nitrite, then for the nitrite-eaters to grow.

    So when you're just setting up a tank, it has nada, and to get it properly set up you need an inital source of ammonia. You can do this with fish, a non-fish ammonia source, or bottle bacteria (maybe).

    If you use fish, whatever fish you first put in is going to have to sit in ammonia-water, then nitrite-water before the tank is nice and comfortable. Some fish can withstand the toxic stages but for others its insta-death. Bettas are pretty tolerate... so are zebra danios and some others (if you go to a good fish store they should help you out).

    Your other options are store bought bacteria in a bottle (my fish store says it works, but I've heard other people say it doesn't), or you can do a fishless cycle where you just put fish food or ammonia from the store in your water for a while. The bottle stuff works pretty quickly (if it works), doing it with eg fish food will probably take weeks.
     
  11. LauraLeigh

    LauraLeigh New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2008
    Messages:
    3,751
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Brighton Ontario
    Gotcha, I'm really going to try and check around, locally I can pretty much only source fish at petsmart or a couple small pet stores, but being only a bit over an hour from Toronto there has to be a good fish dedicated store around!
     
  12. Saintgirl

    Saintgirl New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2005
    Messages:
    941
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    4
    I am totally not a fish expert...but hubby is. I showed him the pic and the very first thing that he said is why bother setting up a nice tank and not doing a proper cycle? The number one reason that novices get out of fish is because they lose too many fish because of poor tank conditions. He said that while it is certainly better than most betta tanks and many people would dump theirs in now, a little patience would go a long way and give you years and years of additional life on your betta. The bacteria in a bottle is a marketing gimick...that adding regular ammonia in your tanks is the fastest AND easiest way to properly cycle a tank without killing fish. You can certainly do a cycle with your betta and it would most likely survive but the life expectancy of it would be heavily reduced. With that said, many people cycle tanks with fish but typically something a little cheaper than a betta!

    Right now we have 4 tanks running in our house. We have 2 35gallons, a 10 gallon, and an 80 gallon. Right now hubby is planning his 120 gallon...
     
  13. DJEtzel

    DJEtzel New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2010
    Messages:
    3,266
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Kalamazoo, MI
    With a Betta, it would be much safer to go with only real plants. Hard plastic tends to catch and tear Betta fins.

    I have a Betta and two albino corries in my ten gallon in the kitchen. :)
     
  14. katielou

    katielou Slave to the Aussie

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2011
    Messages:
    1,278
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    5
    Location:
    Washington State
    Home Page:
    This or silk.

    I think the rule I was told was if you run a pair of rights over it and they snag it will tear up your betta.
     
  15. CharlieDog

    CharlieDog Rude and Not Ginger

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2008
    Messages:
    9,419
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    2
    Location:
    Georgia
    That's what I've heard as well. I like the silk plants for the realistic movement, if not exactly realistic looking-ness, lol. I really liked the Betta hammock! That's adorable.
     
  16. LauraLeigh

    LauraLeigh New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2008
    Messages:
    3,751
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Brighton Ontario
    Maybe I'll get a couple real and a couple silk plants today, and take out the fake ones, and I'm going to look for a hammock as well
     
  17. Greenmagick

    Greenmagick New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2011
    Messages:
    3,199
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    9 not counting ducks, chickens, and fish
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    Just a quick mention...if you are thinking of doing real plants in the future, I find it much easier to start a tank with real and let everything work itself out before adding fish. I actually do low maintenance planted tanks (just use dirt at the bottom under the gravel and no co2 or ferts or anything).
     
  18. LauraLeigh

    LauraLeigh New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2008
    Messages:
    3,751
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Brighton Ontario
    That sounds like a good idea, I am not adding fish until I am sure the tank is ready... I don't want to sentence my fish to death lol
     
  19. katielou

    katielou Slave to the Aussie

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2011
    Messages:
    1,278
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    5
    Location:
    Washington State
    Home Page:
    My hammock was like $1 at petco.
     
  20. katielou

    katielou Slave to the Aussie

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2011
    Messages:
    1,278
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    5
    Location:
    Washington State
    Home Page:
    This is my tank, the plants are taking over and bob loves it!

    Most of my plants I grew from super cheap bulbs from Walmart. I think a pack of 4 bulbs was less than $2.

    [​IMG]
    Bob2 by AussieHike!, on Flickr
     

Share This Page