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How to Properly Keep a Betta

PostPosted: Tue Mar 28, 2017 1:26 pm
by RoHawks
Soon I will be getting a Betta from a friend who is moving and cannot take it with. It is currently in what I think is a 1 or 1.5 gallon tank with an under gravel filter and no heater. I know there are a lot of misconceptions about how to keep a Betta properly and I want to do this right. So what is a good set up for a Betta?

Re: How to Properly Keep a Betta

PostPosted: Tue Mar 28, 2017 1:30 pm
by lucasgg
Id just go the classic setup that you'd put any fish in. 10 gal, canister or HOB, heater, plenty of plants


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Re: How to Properly Keep a Betta

PostPosted: Tue Mar 28, 2017 2:50 pm
by ScottFish
Cover the tank! I had found the jumper on the floor, covered in hair and dust --alive!

Re: How to Properly Keep a Betta

PostPosted: Tue Mar 28, 2017 9:41 pm
by C. Andrew Nelson
I agree. Yes, you could go with a smaller tank, but why would you want to? The beauty of keeping a betta is to watch them swim about and spread out those big fins. A 10 gallon tank is the ideal size. Not to big, yet plenty of room for that betta to strut their stuff.

Re: How to Properly Keep a Betta

PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2017 4:09 am
by PVT-Kanaka
I'm going to concur...10 gallon tank and a tight cover! These fish really come into their own in a real environment!

Re: How to Properly Keep a Betta

PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2017 9:13 am
by Diana
And a bit warmer than room temperature. Mid 70s F will help the Betta be more active.
When you first move him he may not be ready to handle the current from the filter. Watch him, and if he is having difficulty remember that his muscles have not really been used much in a tiny tank with no water movement. Perhaps try the filter in different locations. Alter the water flow so there are calm spots for him.

Many Bettas are OK with fish that swim lower in the tank. You could try adding a school of something small, just make sure they are not nippers- the flowing fins of the Betta make a tempting target. Some dwarf Cories would be good in a 10 gallon.

Re: How to Properly Keep a Betta

PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2017 1:04 pm
by RoHawks
Do I need to slowly increase the temperature because he is currently at room temperature?

Re: How to Properly Keep a Betta

PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2017 1:13 pm
by Freshwater Tropic
That would be ideal. Usually 1 degree a day is acceptable. The end goal is to avoid shocking the Betta.

Re: How to Properly Keep a Betta

PostPosted: Sat Apr 01, 2017 12:05 pm
by Crazygar
What's the current temperature of the tank? Even a small Nano tank (6gals with a lid) would be much better than the cramped quarters it's currently living in.

Gary

Re: How to Properly Keep a Betta

PostPosted: Sat Apr 01, 2017 2:13 pm
by Diana
By the time he has been transported (I am assuming the Betta is moving to a new house) the temperature in the transport container (bag? jar? tank?) might have already changed. I would not worry too much about changing the temperature shocking the fish, as long as the rise is done slowly. Do not simply dump a fish from 68 degrees into 75 degree water.
However, 1 degree F per hour is not too fast. No need to go as slow as 1 degree F per day.

As for the final temperature, Bettas will handle a wide range of temperature. If you are adding other fish to the aquarium the temperature could be set to suit them. Mid to upper 70s F is a very good range, but lower is OK.

Re: How to Properly Keep a Betta

PostPosted: Sat Apr 01, 2017 7:44 pm
by RoHawks
I have a spare 7 gallon tank that I think I will put him in even though the light does not work. its LEDs attached to the hood and its a bow front tank that came as a kit, API brand. The person I am getting him from is just down the hall from my dorm room. would floating him in a bag until the temperature is the same be good? since his current tank has an under gravel filter, will putting the old gravel in media bag or something with an air stone under neath be enough to preserve the biofilter? how long should I leave it? remove it slowly or all at once?

Re: How to Properly Keep a Betta

PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 2017 7:54 am
by Crazygar
Fish honestly don't need lights. The only reason we have lights is to see them. If you had plants in there, I would suggest a light. 7GAL is fine, in fact, much better than the tiny container you originally were considering.

If it's a move down the hall, you should not have too many problems. See what the temperature in your room is before adding a heater, but as already noted, Bettas can live in temps from 68F to 80F. I usually aim for 75-77F, a bit on the warmer side as they are more active.

Gary

Re: How to Properly Keep a Betta

PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 2017 10:10 am
by Diana
To keep the beneficial bacteria alive:

1) Put the current gravel in 3 or more mesh bags.
2) Hang them in the tank or lay them on the bottom of the tank, on top of the new substrate. Good water flow is important.
3) Remove one bag per week. This is a slow removal of the old bacteria, giving them plenty of time to grow on the new substrate and new filter media.
4) Monitor the conditions and do water changes as needed to keep the ammonia and nitrite low.
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Alternate idea: Add bacteria in a bottle.
Look for Nitrospira species of bacteria on the label. Do not waste money on anything else. The correct species can be found in Dr. Tim's One and Only or Tetra Safe Start. There may be other products with the correct species.
Add this product before adding the fish- up to a day before or as short as an hour.

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If the water in the bag is a lot cooler (or warmer) than the water in the new tank (more than a couple of degrees) I would suggest it is better to change the water in the tank to match the water temperature the Betta is used to. Add some ice cubes to cool it off, turn off the heater, or whatever is needed to drop the temperature.
Floating the bag to equalize the temperature works fine for a few degrees, but I would not do this for more than a few degrees. Drip acclimation is the same. These methods are generally done over a period of an hour or less. 1-2 degrees of change over that time is not a problem. More than that is not a good idea.

Re: How to Properly Keep a Betta

PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 2017 7:49 pm
by RoHawks
I just got him a few hours ago. He is a gorgeous dark purple crown tail. I had set up the 7 gallon tank with room temperature water earlier today. I put some filter floss in front of the filter out put so the flow would not be as strong. I matched his old tank to my room temperature and put him in the new tank. I put the gravel in a media bag with an air stone under it. I only had one extra media bag, so I will just take some out each week. I am going to keep him at room temperature until I can figure out how to raise the temperature slowly because I don't have an adjustable heater. Any ideas? He seems to be adjusting to his new environment just fine. At first he is just hung out at the top of the tank but he is beginning to swim around more as he settles in. I think once he gets settled in and I raise the temperature he will be very happy. The previous owner had him in a .5-1 gallon tank with an under gravel filter but the water level was below the top of the tube, so it probably didn't do much. Poor guy!

Re: How to Properly Keep a Betta

PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 2017 9:04 pm
by Diana
Get a timer from a hardware store. Get the kind with lots of little built in pins that you can lift or depress to control the timing.
Set it for as short an increment as you can (probably 15 minutes) and set it to come on in the coolest part of the night and early morning.
A few days later increase the length of time it is on a little bit.
Then add more 'on' times.
Keep monitoring it so that you add either more 'on' times or longer 'on' times as needed.
In general you will need to heat the tank more when the room is cooler, usually at night.
Watch out for summer temperatures that may add heat to the tank, also. Might need to adjust the timing on the heater.