Betta Care and housing. Opinions.

cellyJune 28, 2007

There are many opinions on Betta housing, of course bigger is better but people have mixed feelings about whether or not small is suitable. My Betta ÂMarbles is a medium sized red and purple male (not that it matters what color he is). He lives in a one gallon fish bowl (or a tiny bit above) with an inch of gravel and a plant. He is perfectly happy, he builds bubble nests, swims around, and rests from time to time, and eats like a pig! But I do not over feed him. It is summer time, so his bowl stays around 75 degrees (I test the temperature buy comparing it with my heated tank with my African dwarf frogs), there is no filtration but a remove I do 25% water changes every other day and a full clean weekly. He is very happy, though I wouldnÂt mind getting him a 1 ½ -2 ½ gal tank he seems happy as can be with his arrangement.

I feed Marbles two Betta bio gold pellets every morning and night and one blood worm for lunch. It might seem like a lot but the blood worms are small and the pellets are too, he is a good weight and eats all his food.

I have one small snail in his bowl, mainly to eat any uneaten food (he usually eats it all though), even though snails create waste I believe it is a good idea.

He is a couple months old now, about five and he has grown a little and makes even more bubble nests than before!

I mainly posted this to give people some hints on Betta care, IN my opinion a minimum Betta set up is a one gallon bowl, on inch or so of gravel or marbles, and by all means a resting plant! Marbles is very happy and a gallon is a good amount of swimming room. But, remember the smaller the more water changes, so if you would prefer spending a little more time, less often on cleaning a larger environment is a better choice for you. Bettas donÂt like strong currents, so if you have a bubbler, if it have a strength dial leave it on low, Marbles was in a gallon tank with a fast bubbler and he never made on bubble nest! (He had to move because my friend wanted to get a betta of her own and she was the one would have lent me the tank!)

If you have anything to say about my Betta info etc. Please post a reply!

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adamharbeck(WA Aust)

Hi Celly,

Your 100% correct about bettas needing room to stretch thier fins. They can "survive" in those tiny plastic cups but they can also survive on wet grass but thats no way to live!

At present I only have one betta (a red veil-tail male) which lives in a 1 gallon re-purposed salad bowl on top of the refrigerator. He has a small heater and a big clump of Java moss and a 100% water change is performed every week. Right now he is fed on frozen bloodworms and betta pellets but in the warmer months he is fed almost exclusively on live mosquito larvae collected from the garden.

I think THE most important thing for potential betta owners to realise is that they are tropical fish and need warmth. I have seen lots of bettas kept in tiny vases or bowls with no additional heat suffering from fin rot and other diseases which strike when conditions are too cold. If you do not have a home or office in which is kept warm 24/7 then it would perhaps be best to keep your betta in a small glass or plastic tank large enough to accomodate a small internal heater.

Betta set ups are beautiful and can be decorative, but make sure the welfare of the fish comes first.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2007 at 11:02PM
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I thought I should add, people have kept bettas in ten gallon tanks. Bettas actuly prefer a smaller enviroment, no more than 5 gal. This is because in a small tank they will feel less lonely, because they will feel sucure. With anything larger that a 5 gal, people have found they just sit in a corner, likly because they fear the other half of the tank is not their territory.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2007 at 3:26PM
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They also like hiding places, so plants are helpful. But I wouldn't trust a snail in the tank. One could easily lead to many and then to having to deal with that and upsetting the Betta.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2007 at 6:03PM
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woeisme(z7b NC)

To be bluntly honest, I am not trying to be confrontational, take it any way you want. The statement "Bettas actuly prefer a smaller enviroment, no more than 5 gal. " is a crock of ----! That also goes with they don't like bubblers or strong flow. I think they wouldn't like the flow or bubblers in a tank or bowl that is way too small and not heated because the lathargy from too cold water and presence of toxic ammonia make them too week to stand the flow. The statements also make me think it's a way that justify betta bowl keepers and retailers that it is OK. I have had bettas for the last 30 years in no smaller then 10 gallon tanks up to 75 gallon ones. They used every inch of all these tanks. They have "played" in strong water flow of filter returns and bubblers. They made bubble nests in the less flowing areas. they have lived from 3-7+ years and never complained that the space was too large.
My opinion of a ideal betta tank is a 10 gallon moderate to densly planted, filtered and heated to 78-80F. Keepeing a fish in a bowl with no plants or adequate heat and subjected to the presence of ammonia even at low levels make these fish less attractive. If not for the distortion of the bowl, there colors and fins don't appear to be as vibrant kept that way. Besides lathargy, a too cold bowl will make the fish more suseptible to disease, fungal diseases and parasites. Unless you live in Southern Florida or a location where it is always warm, the fish need heated water in the winter.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2007 at 9:03PM
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I thought I should tell you, that we are going to a pet store today to get a larger tank (I'm looking at 2.5-5 gallons) Mainly because he needs warmer water.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2007 at 1:11PM
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woeisme(z7b NC)

Cool, you will probably enjoy the fish more. If you want, you could always do a fishless cycle in the new tank before adding the fish from the bowl. If you never did one it is like science class revisited. Since you already have an established 10 gallon tank it should go real quick. this method is a little involved, but if you follow directions and ask questions if you are unsure, it will be a cool experience the first time. All that's needed is a free and clear ammonia, usually the no frills brand in the supermarket, and Ammonia, Nitrite and Nitrate Test kits. You can even skip the Nitrate kit if you want. Good Luck whatever you decide.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2007 at 3:52PM
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I just put my fish in his new home! The poeple at a trusted pet store (the know ALOT) said cycling would not be needed, it is only a one gallon, but it has a warming light, bubbler and filter. I put some water cress in and a few smooth plastic plants for him. He loves it!
I checked Ph, and it's great! Also I checks Ammonia, Nitrate and there great too. I also took the sanil out (I do NOT want babies) and got a moss ball (I think I mentioned that before).

    Bookmark   June 30, 2007 at 7:02PM
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