Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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Togiran 03-23-2008 02:04 AM

I've made a huge mistake...
Hey guys. I just recently found out about this website.

Let me get to my problem though...

I recently bought a new Betta fish. I have little experience in owning my own fish. Back when I was a child, my parents had fish, but I had little to do with maintaining the tank. So I was mostly left in the dark concerning proper care.

Two days ago, I bought this little tank which I regret horribly.

It's a Marina Betta Kit. As you probably know, it's a 1/2 Gallon piece of crap... Being an idiot, I bought it AND the betta without giving it much thought. I really regret this now. I fear that the betta doesn't have long to survive.
After reading about this whole "cycle" thing, which is very confusing (hint hint)
About bettas needing at least 78 degrees of water temperature (I had NO idea :( ...)
And about changing the water (25%-50% depending on the tank size) every week... But the list goes on.

I feel like I just gave him his death sentence the day I bought him. Pets have died before, but it was never my fault (a dog, a cat, a guinea pig), since I went into this so stupidly and impulsively, thinking that this little tank from hell would be fitting for him, I feel like he's already dead...

So I ask, please help me out. I need to know what I need to go out and buy Monday morning from a petstore to save this little guy's life, and hopefully have more beautiful fish in the future. I list with brand names would be amazing.

Any links to helpful beginner's guides would be great. Preferably a step by step guide of some sort.

Thank you. Please forgive me for being so stupid and ignorant about fish life. I feel horrible.

willow 03-23-2008 04:34 AM

hello and welcome aboard.
first......Don't panic,
a five-ten gallon tank would be Betta fish heaven,small pea size gravel
washed well(afew times)some plants,live or plastic,even better
silk.(they are nice and soft if your Betta wishes to rest)
a cave perhaps,as they do somewtimes like to rest/hide.
heater,to keep your buddy warm and active.
water conditioner.Prime i think you guys over the pond use
(someone speak up if i'm wrong here please)
and a HOB ?(hang on the back) filter.
do you have anyone you know who keeps fish ?
you could borrow some filter media from their filter,if not then
to cycle isn't that bad.we'll run you through it there is a sticky somewhere,
a water test kit API liquid test kit is the one you want,don't ask the fish shop to test your water,unfortunatly they are too unreliable.
hang in there you and you fishy friend will be fine.

Togiran 03-23-2008 09:50 AM

I actually don't have anyone I can talk to about keeping fish...

Do they sell water test kits like the one mentioned at pet stores?
What is a filter media? Never heard that word mentioned with filter.
Should I buy an Air Rock or something similar?

Thanks for the help.

okiemavis 03-23-2008 09:55 AM

Your betta will survive in the 1/2 gallon tank until you put together a better tank- don't get too worried. Remember the cups they keep them in at the store? Just keep up doing 50% daily water changes until you've got somewhere to move him to. Prime is the water conditioner I use and it is VERY good. It's also extremely concentrated, so even though it may be slightly pricier, it will last 10x longer.

Here's a link to some info on a tank's cycle:

A 1/2 gallon tank will never cycle- it is simply too small, so enough bacteria cannot build up. Also, a lot of the important bacteria is harbored in the filter, so if you don't have a filter that makes things more difficult.

My suggestion is to look on craigslist for a used 10 gallon tank. I see them all the time for about $20-30 including the filter, heater and light. There are also plenty of kits you can get. I wouldn't really recommend the 2.5 gallon bow front (you'll see this at every pet store) because the light is incandescent and will cause temperature fluctuations and it doesn't come with a heater, but it will do. You can get a mini-heater pretty much anywhere.

Togiran 03-23-2008 11:23 AM

I have a question about changing 50% of the water...

How would I go about conditioning it? Should I set it aside in a measuring cup and condition it that way? Or should I pour it in the tank and then add more conditioner?

I suppose this applies to all water changes. I'm in the dark about that right now...

willow 03-23-2008 11:25 AM

i personally condition the water in the bucket before it goes
in the tank,there are members here who do it after,
i guess it's up to you which you would prefer.

Togiran 03-23-2008 11:56 AM

I just now changed his water after conditioning it. He seems to be acting the same (floating at the top, hardly moving, not even his gills). He will only stir when I tap the tank.

Is there anything I can do for him now before I leave for an Easter party?

On a side note... Why the hell would they put a tank such as the one I bought on the market if the people who made it know that bettas can't survive in such horrible conditions? I mean, it even comes with a wall-mount thing. That's ridiculous. After I purchase a better tank, should I take it back to the store for a refund?

Also, take a look at this. I can't believe it. I found it last night.
How cruel. Take a look at the people's reviews. So misleading that it makes me sick.

willow 03-23-2008 04:28 PM

i woulod hazard a guess and say that he won't move much
because he needs heat,so he will stay rather lathargic,
one more night won't hurt him,he hopefully will pick up tomorrow.
no fish friend huh that's a shame,still don't worry.
when i said filter media,i should have said it's the stuff that goes
inside some filters,sponges, and ceramic rings,or filter floss.
and shops will sell anything that makes money,along with somegiving out bad advise just so they make a few quid.

Flashygrrl 03-23-2008 07:53 PM


Originally Posted by Togiran
On a side note... Why the hell would they put a tank such as the one I bought on the market if the people who made it know that bettas can't survive in such horrible conditions? I mean, it even comes with a wall-mount thing. That's ridiculous. After I purchase a better tank, should I take it back to the store for a refund?

Ohh, the almighty dollar, how it makes people do stupid things. You may or may not be able to take it back. Cycling probably will take longer than the return policy will allow.

Togiran 03-23-2008 08:35 PM

No haha, I meant take back the Marina Beta Kit tank. It was about $15, but that really isn't the point. I mostly want to complain.

Anyway, I'm worried about the cycle thing. Since I'm getting the tank tomorrow and setting it up, wouldn't I have to keep the fish in the Marina tank until it cycles? Or is it safe to cycle while I'm feeding(hopefully) the fish etc?

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