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New to the site, but not to fish lol

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New to the site, but not to fish lol
Old 01-18-2008, 12:31 PM   #11
Thanks Holly that would be great!
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Old 01-19-2008, 05:45 AM   #12
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Hi everyone, I will do my best to help here as much as I can, and yes, that includes the plants!

Let me start by saying please don't put females together. I have seen what they do to each other, and where anyone gets the idea that they are good together I just don't know. When I worked at the store my boss and I found conflict on this topic, and it was when I proved him wrong that he finally gave in. Breeders keep females together longer because the fight instinct isn't as fierce at a young age, but as they mature, the females can be just as nasty if not more so than the males. They chew each other's fins to bits, and it doesn't take much, especially in a small tank such as a 10 gallon. We couldn't keep 6 females together and healthy in a 40 breeder, though the boss insisted time and again we try it. I have no reason to believe it would be any different or better in a 10 gallon. Once the fins get chewed they are prone to bacterial and fungal infections which will usually kill all but the dominant fish. I got tired of seeing it happen so I had a good fight with the boss, pointed out the money he was losing on dead fish, and won my battle. For as much as the cups seem inhumane, they really are a lot better than being chewed to death. Because bettas don't rely on oxygen from the water to breathe, they are able to withstand some pretty stagnant conditions before they even become ill. No, this doesn't make it right, but if they have clean water and good food, and some kind of interaction regularly, they are pretty content. Space is not something they require a lot of. The long fins of a male fish make it dangerous to keep it in a very large or deep tank/environment. Those fins are not made for swimming, they are made for looking big and dominant to chase off other fish. The length makes them very weak swimmers by fish standards, and if they can't easily swim to the surface for air when they don't feel well for some reason, they actually can drown.

One other thing I want to touch on before I address your immediate situation. Bettas are notcommunity fish. There are very few situations where this can work, and is dependent on the personalities and habits of each fish as individuals. There are some bottom dwelling critters like ghost shrimp and dwarf frogs that work very well with most bettas, but other free swimming fish usually end up causing the early death of either the betta or the other fish. Other fish tend to also have other needs in a tank than what is normally good for the betta, such as circulation. With heavy circulation you create oxygen in the water, which the betta doesn't need and would have issues with. Take away that circulation and you create a dangerous situation for the other fish. So, you can see why there are good reasons to keep bettas alone and in semi small containers with little or no water current from filtration and such.

Ok, with that said, there is no reason why you can't house 2 males in a 10 gallon tank, provided it's set up properly. One thing that will be mandatory is a tight cover that prevents the fish from jumping into each other's sides of the tank to fight. They will be visible to each other, so the temptation will be there. Natural instinct for them is to jump from puddle to puddle or place to place to reach an opponent to defend territory. Expect this, and if together, expect one to die if not pulled apart fast enough. It only takes a few minutes for them to damage each other enough to cause death... whether by direct injury or secondary infection to a wound. Lots and lots of plants. They don't have to be live, but live will help keep water quality a little better. Live plants don't have to scare you. If I know what kind of light you will have over it I can make a few suggestions that would be easiest in your situation. Hornwort is usually tolerant of most lighting conditions in a small tank, and can handle the temp just fine. It grows fast, so you will need to trim it out regularly, but it's good for the fish to play and hide in, and it has no root structure that needs to be planted.
Make sure to heavily decorate the divider on both sides. This will prevent the most stress from seeing each other too often, and will create a barrier when one fish needs to get out of sight of the other. If you can also provide some small tunnel or cave type structure for each to call home, that helps a lot too.
Outside of that, keep them warm (78 - 82 is best temp range), keep them clean, (vac both sides to remove waste regularly) and keep them well fed (live brine shrimp, live black worms, frozen brine that is completely thawed for at least 15 - 20 minutes, betta pellet food, freeze dried brine or plankton, if they will eat it, offer it to them. I had one betta who ate frozen formula 1 food, and he was always healthy and with good color. Snails make good tank mates, although some bettas will eat small ones. This is a good snack for them if they do, healthy, and good cleaning for the tank if they don't. Snails win both ways. If you work with a mystery snail or 2 instead of ram's horns, you won't have the population issues to deal with. They are different in how they lay their eggs, and its easy to prevent them from hatching. I keep ghost shrimp with all of my betta tanks, they make good maintenance critters, are fun to watch, and don't bother betta or snail. Shrimp need seperate rock structures to hide under, but its worth the extra few chunks of rock for them to thrive.

I hope this about covers any questions you had... if you have more feel free to ask away.
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Old 01-19-2008, 10:27 AM   #13
Thanks alot for all of that info!! You really know you stuff about bettas. So you advice not to house any other fish with a betta in the 10g tank? also whats a good filter for a 10g if it was planted and had snail and shrimp in it?
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Old 01-19-2008, 11:49 AM   #14
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Just one more suggestion to add onto what she said. Bettas need soft plants and decorations. Silk plants if you are going fake, smooth round decorations are best. I had one plastic plant in with my betta and he tore his fins to pieces. Good luck!
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Old 01-19-2008, 11:56 AM   #15
sponge filter would probably be best. too strong a current can shred their fins.
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Old 01-19-2008, 12:03 PM   #16
How does the sponge filter work? Do I need to get a pump for it? Also what brand and model would you recommend for a 10g tank? I have NO problem upgrading the filter to a higher rate, I would like to oversize it.
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Old 01-19-2008, 02:30 PM   #17
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The way I see it, there is no 1 filter that is a standard or better for every situation. The filter should be determined by how you have the tank set up. If you add any filter, keep in mind that the divider in the tank would need to have enough spaces in it to allow the water to circulate the entire tank, pushed from one end to the other to completely clean the water. Most dividers will block water flow, so adding a filter to 1 side will leave the other side to go stangnant. If you add some type of filter it will need to be 2 filters, one for each side.
With that said, my favorite for this type of set up is the Whisper 10i filter. It is a small submersible, easy to just change a cartdige in it once/month (cartridges are widely available and come in economy pks to save you money) and this filter also has an adjustable flow rate, so you are able to turn it down if it bothers your betta. Because its completely submersible it is able to be put down almost to the bottom of the tank, which prevents the waters outflow from breaking the surface, thus slowing down circulation at the sufrace where most bettas spend the majority of their time. I have had great luck with these, they are sturdy when taken care of, and better than anything else I've tried yet.
A small sponge filter can work also, but you will want to use some type of valve in the airline, to control air flow. If this is not done, even splitting 2 lines from one small pump will be way too much water current for a betta, can cause stress to the point a fish will stop eating and leads to illness and death. It should be adjusted so that only a few small bubbles will be released at a time, not a constant steady flow or large bubbles. Getting this set can sometimes be tricky, noisy, and a burden. In such a small and confined space, the Whisper 10i is still the best I've found.
If you should decide to go the way of the sponge filter, let me then suggest the small corner filters that hold floss and carbon. These can be a better alternative and easier to control the flow rate, but monthly the floss and carbon must be changed. When I use these I always lay a lining of floss under the carbon, and this lining is not changed until it become really dirty. This will help to protect enough bacteria culture in the tank so that when you do the monthly changes, your water params won't spike.

As for the plant issue, I agree with the silk or live statement completely. Silk flowers are actually better than plastic in any tank with any fish. Silk lasts longer, is easier to clean, and is weighted on the bottom so they don't float to the surface. With this said, it's a good idea to put something small to float at the surface, as many males like to begin a bubble nest against it. Again I will encourage the live plants, and see no reason why that isn't possible. A standard light fixture for any 10 gallon tank is either fluorescent with a standard bulb or incandescent with 2 small bulbs. There are plants that can thrive just fine in that type of light, the higher temps, and low filtration. Again, hornwort is about the best, but java moss, java fern and a few others are just as easy. If you put a simple timer on your light fixture, then you can set your day/night cycle to go on/off automatically for the plants. The fish aren't going to much care if they have the added light or not, or how long/often its on. The plants will need a specific cycle of about 10 hrs of light/day.
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Old 01-19-2008, 03:17 PM   #18
So I can use a standard 10g light fixture and bulb to house the plants? Or should I get a special bulb for the plants? What would be a good filter if I house live plants?

If I go with getting 2 bettas, the divider I was considering being black ( what paint can you use that won't harm the water for the fish? ) and was going to dril many holes in it to allow as much water through it as possible. Does that sound good?

I was hoping I could get other fish so it would be just one fish I see cause my other bettas always would hide and it would be a little boring watching that tank...Is there any fish that I could give a try with the betta? Any to mostly stay away from?
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Old 01-19-2008, 03:29 PM   #19
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You can get a standard 10 watt bulb or you can go with a fluorescent 10 watt bulb found at walmart for 5 dollars or petsmart for 14 dollars. You could try an african dwarf frog in each side, some type of shrimp, or some type of snail.
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Old 01-19-2008, 03:34 PM   #20
Alright...I'm going check out my LFS hopefully this week and I'm going see what kinda silk plants they have, I want this tank to look realistic, so I'm going see how they look if not I'll go with live plants..

What do you guys think I should go with live or fake?
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