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Topic: Fish Homes  (Read 7305 times)
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elifante
« on: February 02, 2006 04:23:14 PM »

I received a Betta for Christmas. And Im keeping him a large vase, I dont have the money or space for a tank (or patience). But have any of you come up with cool, and safe ideas for environments for fish to live in? Im gonna post a picture later on of my current set up which includes bamboo, glass beads and colored shells. I really dislike just seeing bettas in little cups at stores, mine loves playing with shells, and swimming around the bamboo, when he sees my fingers to feed him, he jumps out of the water to kiss my fingers
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smrfchic
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2006 04:39:56 PM »

My betta (Slayer), lives in a 10G filtered & heated tank, with live plants, 7 ghost shrimp, and an otocinclus (dwarf sucker fish, kind of like a pleco, but these don't get bigger than about 1.5").  He has a large fake driftwood stump (actually from the reptile section of Petco!) to hide under, and loves laying on the leaves of the swordplant, or playing peek-a-fishie or where-do-i-fit in the other plants.  His water is changed 25% a week with Amquel+ & Novaqua+, and he has pellets & frozen bloodworms to eat. His gravel is a beautiful mix of blue, brown, black, and white.

Try posting on FreeCycle or Craigslist, looking for a nice 5 (or even 10 gallon) aquarium.  They really do a lot better with clean, heated water and lots of room to swim around in. They're tropical fish and prefer a temperature of 74-78*. 

If he's a jumper, you should really consider at least covering the top of his vase with some plastic craft mesh so that he can't jump out!

As for space... Slayer's tank is in my kitchen, on the counter next to my stand mixer & microwave, and a 5g would take up even less space.... or...

You could also look into getting a 2.5 gallon MiniBow.  They're a bit too small to hold a cycle, so you'd still have to perform 100% water changes, but probably not as often as you do on the vase.  When Slayer was in a 1g tank, his water needed to be changed every 3 days, because on the 4th day, ammonia would show up on my tests.  If you've ever smelled ammonia and know how it makes your eyes water, imagine breathing that in and having it all over your skin ~ not exactly the nicest thing for a fish to be forced to live in.

With a 5g or 10g, the tank is big enough to hold a cycle (where beneficial bacteria convert the toxic ammonia and nitrite to less harmful nitrate), and then you have to change the water less often... about 25% of the water volume per week (easy peasy!).  I know it can all seem pretty daunting at first, especially for a little guy that only cost a buck or two... but they're really great pets, and do deserve humane and loving treatment. Smiley
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elifante
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2006 05:14:09 PM »

well I have him in a large beautiful vase, it holds a gallon of water right now. but theres a long neck with no water, so he cant jump out.

Id been checking websites about the heaters, I dont mind changing the water, but I know hed like a warmer environment. I had read somewhere they dont like filters because they break the bubbles they create on the surface. Dont know if theyre just crazy talk or if it differs from betta to betta.

Someone was telling me to get one of those jellylike kids toys that stretch and have a little ball inside, they look kinda like anemones, but I think theyre toxic!

Id love to give him some friends, but I dont want him to fight, or eat them. So Im still waiting for the bigger tank. I had some other underwater plants before, but they died and rotted only after a week, and I got them from Petco too. So I just went with the bamboo. I do feed him though. Im not the kind of person who thinks they eat the bamboo or whatever. I had gravel in there before, but I took it out last week cause I realized it makes the water stink.

This is my work in progress, Im so excited to make my betta happy.
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smrfchic
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2006 05:30:03 PM »

well I have him in a large beautiful vase, it holds a gallon of water right now. but theres a long neck with no water, so he cant jump out.

Id been checking websites about the heaters, I dont mind changing the water, but I know hed like a warmer environment. I had read somewhere they dont like filters because they break the bubbles they create on the surface. Dont know if theyre just crazy talk or if it differs from betta to betta.

Someone was telling me to get one of those jellylike kids toys that stretch and have a little ball inside, they look kinda like anemones, but I think theyre toxic!

Id love to give him some friends, but I dont want him to fight, or eat them. So Im still waiting for the bigger tank. I had some other underwater plants before, but they died and rotted only after a week, and I got them from Petco too. So I just went with the bamboo. I do feed him though. Im not the kind of person who thinks they eat the bamboo or whatever. I had gravel in there before, but I took it out last week cause I realized it makes the water stink.

This is my work in progress, Im so excited to make my betta happy.

Because of how they have been bred for their long and decorative fins, the current of a filter can be distressing to some bettas.  You can get a filter with a variable flow setting and turn it down, or if you keep the tank well planted, perhaps with some floating plants to help break up the surface, then they can still happily swim around AND build their bubble nests. (Slayer actually likes to swim over to the filter and let it push him around, silly guy! And he builds his bubble nests in the corners of the tank.)

It's hard to find a heater that can reliably and safely heat such a small volume of water ~ you wouldn't want to accidentally cook him! (I used to have a betta named Sushi when I was a teen... devious.)

In a 1gallon vase, there really isn't room for him to have any friends - they're around 1.5-2", and the general rule of thumb is 1" of fish per gallon of water.  In a larger tank, many bettas can cohabit with snails (I have brown ramshorns & pond snails), sometimes neon tetras, zebra danios, cherry barbs, otos, ghost shrimp (small ghost shrimp may be eaten... but hey, they're a good addition to his diet, and pretty cheap too - around 10 for $ to 25c each), etc. It's generally recommended to establish the tank with the other inhabitants FIRST and then add the Betta, so he is more likely to see them as part of the environment, rather than intruders that need to be dealt with.

Try visiting the forums at www.aquamaniacs.net ~ lots of great articles on cycling, betta care, community tanks, and even easy to grow plants (like java ferns!).  One of the ladies there has a "kitchen tank" like I do... but she has hers decorated to match her dinnerware! Placemats for the backdrop, coffee mugs for the hidey holes, and even a plate! Such a pretty and unique tank.
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elifante
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2006 05:23:40 PM »


the picture is a bit blurry, but theres lots of pretty colorful shells on the bottom. Id love to find something else to put in there. Last time I had a rock, and the betta wouldnt even go near it.
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olivian
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« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2006 10:52:14 PM »

i have heard that betta fish need to be in a small space because they secrete some kind of oil that they need to live. in nature they block themselves in little spaces with rocks all around them-  ok thats not true.i just googled it. my friend told me that after i questioned him about the small ( and dirty) space his betta had. i think he is an animal abuser.
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lasandri
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« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2006 11:09:10 PM »

although some are really active, most bettas just sit around in one small area.

i believe that in labyrinth fish (fish with an extra organ that allows them to breathe air from a gland on top of their head), surface area is more important than water area (to an extent, i mean, you don't want to have him in a couple of inches of water, for example) and it looks like on your bowl if you lowered the water level a bit you might be able to increase your surface area, allowing the fish to access to breathing more easily.  also, if it were me, i'd take the bamboo out, so he can swim more easily but i don't see a big problem if you want to keep it in there.
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« Reply #7 on: March 04, 2006 02:53:29 PM »

When I read about bettas prefering a small environment, I thought mine might like to be spoiled... so I put him in a little 1.5 gallon hex tank. Yeah, well... he actually killed himself. He was happy in the little betta bowl I had, but when I put him in the tank, he never settled down. There was too much space and he never chilled out. He rammed his head into the side of the tank until the poor thing died of a concussion.
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« Reply #8 on: March 04, 2006 09:23:04 PM »

When I read about bettas preferring a small environment, I thought mine might like to be spoiled... so I put him in a little 1.5 gallon hex tank. Yeah, well... he actually killed himself. He was happy in the little betta bowl I had, but when I put him in the tank, he never settled down. There was too much space and he never chilled out. He rammed his head into the side of the tank until the poor thing died of a concussion.

Mine have been just the opposite; I've rescued three over the years, and each has been so ecstatic to have space....Mind you, I tend to choose bettas that show curiosity rather than fear at being looked at, and I make SURE they have a nice, dark cave-like space to retreat to while they get used to the new environment -- I think that may make a huge difference in their stress.

The best resource I've found for betta care (so far) has been The Betta: An Owner's Guide to a Happy Healthy Pet ISBN 1582450501

Also, some sites I've found useful or interesting:

http://www.petfishtalk.com  -- an internet site and radio show; I actually did call in when my current betta had problems I couldn't identify from any books; the guys were very helpful, kind, knowledgeable, and did indeed enable me to save my wee blue dude.

http://www.bettadreams.com
http://www.siamsbestbettas.com/care.html
http://www.bettacave.com
http://species.fishindex.com/species_127otocinclus_affinis_dwarf_otocinclus.html  -- (Otos and dwarf Corys have both been great cleaner/companion fish for my bettas)

 Smiley I like bettas!  Wink
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Never be afraid to try something new. Remember that a lone amateur built the Ark. A large group of professionals built the Titanic.Dave Barry
elifante
« Reply #9 on: March 05, 2006 06:14:23 PM »

wow thank you, Ive been looking for a "friend" to put in with my betta, but didnt know which were compatible. I didnt want to come back from work one day and find a dead fish in there.
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