Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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geekchicklet 07-27-2008 02:54 AM

Ideal Home for Betta? -- Eclipse? Custom? I'm Confused!
 
I am looking to put together a new home for my male betta, Cornelius.

- I'd love to decorate it (with plants and coloured lights and all of those things), but want this to be a home he will appreciate and I don't know what is safe and ideal for him.

- I want it to be easy to maintain. I'm a fish noob!

- He absolutely hates current, but I want his water to be clean. I did buy an Eclipse 3, but have read mixed reviews about the current and one reviewer mentioned his betta's fins being caught in the wheel (eek!) I haven't started it, yet, so it can be returned if it's not the right solution.

- I'd like to keep it as small as possible (maybe 2.5/3 gallons?). I have this issue with needing to be able to carry it out on my own, in case of an emergency. I also travel once/year for work and want to be able to take it to someone's house for fish-sitting.

I have read so much here and appreciate all of the advice, but I am completely baffled. I don't understand everything. I don't know where to start. The idea of picking the right filter, cover and light(s) scares me so much, but none of the 'kits' seem right for my little guy.

Note: I have another thread in which I discuss that my male betta is recovering from fin rot and biting himself. This should be taken into consideration.

Also, if anyone can recommend the best way to move the betta, I'd appreciate it. He always fights me and I don't want to stress him out during moves any more.

Thanks for any help you can provide!

Flashygrrl 07-27-2008 06:10 AM

Re: Ideal Home for Betta? -- Eclipse? Custom? I'm Confused!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by geekchicklet
I am looking to put together a new home for my male betta, Cornelius.

- I'd love to decorate it (with plants and coloured lights and all of those things), but want this to be a home he will appreciate and I don't know what is safe and ideal for him.
Plastic plants will rip their fins so you should always purchase silk ones. Whatever kind of gravel is usually fine as long as it's not so cheap the paint flakes off 6 months into the whole thing.


- I want it to be easy to maintain. I'm a fish noob!
The bigger it is, the easier to maintain.

- He absolutely hates current, but I want his water to be clean. I did buy an Eclipse 3, but have read mixed reviews about the current and one reviewer mentioned his betta's fins being caught in the wheel (eek!) I haven't started it, yet, so it can be returned if it's not the right solution.
I would suggest one of the Mini-Bow's, they come in 2.5 gallon and 5 gallon. It also has an incandescent light so you'll want to replace that with one of the long skinny screw-in compact florescent ones they sell at the fish store (not the regular swirly ones, they don't fit well). Get one of the plant ones, not the 50/50....it will make your aquarium look kinda pink but you can stick a few beginner plants in there like water sprite. The Mini-Bows also usually come with a filter that moves water pretty gently. You also need a good heater to keep everything to 78 degrees. If you get a 2.5 they sell a nice preset one http://www.bigalsonline.com/BigAlsUS...d10wminiheater but if you get a 5 gallon then you'd want a 25 watt, I suggest the Hydor or Aqueon brands. I suggest looking on http://bigalsonline.com for everything since they're cheaper than the petsore and currently offering free shipping on most stuff (for purchases over $75) for the next 5 days.

- I'd like to keep it as small as possible (maybe 2.5/3 gallons?). I have this issue with needing to be able to carry it out on my own, in case of an emergency. I also travel once/year for work and want to be able to take it to someone's house for fish-sitting.
Anything bigger than a half gallon tank needs to be emptied to be moved safely. Otherwise you run the risk of some serious cracking. Have an emergency plan ready if you live in a high-risk area...I'm sure some other members can give you some ideas. As for fish sitting, how long are you gone usually? Taking down the tank and moving everything would be too much of a hassle if you are only gone say, a week but it might be worth it if you are gone a month. Or, have everything ready, premeasured, and prelabeled (and hide the extra food) and see if someone can come and take care of your betta.

I have read so much here and appreciate all of the advice, but I am completely baffled. I don't understand everything. I don't know where to start. The idea of picking the right filter, cover and light(s) scares me so much, but none of the 'kits' seem right for my little guy.
Make sure that you read about cycling. Moving him to a bigger tank will cut down on the water changes you need to be doing (or should be doing), but you need to understand the nitrogen cycle and how it applies to your aquarium water. Generally, if you get a 2.5 gallon tank you should usually either do a 50% change once a week or two 25% changes, and if you have a 5 gallon then you can do a 25% change once a week (remember, bigger tank=less work).

Note: I have another thread in which I discuss that my male betta is recovering from fin rot and biting himself. This should be taken into consideration.

Also, if anyone can recommend the best way to move the betta, I'd appreciate it. He always fights me and I don't want to stress him out during moves any more.
If you have a small cup that fits into his tank area try gently scooping him up...he must be able to fit in the cup safely though.

Thanks for any help you can provide!


okiemavis 07-27-2008 11:13 AM

You'll be able to safely carry the tank if it is acrylic, but flashy is correct in saying that a glass tank needs to be drained to be transported. The mini-bows are nice tanks, but make sure you're buying one with an undergravel filter, not a power filter. Another option would be the biorb- they make a 4 gallon version that would work perfectly for your guy, and they're another all-in-one system, so they're very low maintenance.

geekchicklet 07-27-2008 12:21 PM

Thank you, so very much.

I am usually gone for just a few days to a week, so maybe I won't have to move him.

My problem is that I always want to be prepared for anything and everything and I get myself kind of worked up about things that haven't even happened, but that's a whole 'nother topic for a whole 'nother forum hahaha. :D

I have looked at those orbs and LOVE them. I've also looked at the mini-bows. (I've been researching this since I got him, in April...but I just didn't know enough to make a good decision. I've spent so much money on the wrong things. I could have had the best setup in the world, by now...haha.)

I'd like to do a fishless cycle. How long to you anticipate that may take, in a 3-5 gallon? I've not been able to find any estimates for smaller tanks.

Tyyrlym 07-27-2008 02:42 PM

Is the current from an Eclipse set up too much for a betta? I'm thinking of an Eclipse corner 5 for my office to hold a betta.

Flashygrrl 07-27-2008 04:42 PM

*shrug* I've got a Whisper 10 in mine and it barely produces any current (I've got it turned wayyyy down). I dislike UGFs because it sucks the poo down where it's harder to gravel sweep. Don't know a whole lot of anything about how the orbs work, they look cool but are a bit pricy for me.

As for being gone, you don't really need any kind of caretaker if that's all your gone for. If you can get someone to come in and feed him once or twice while you're gone that's great but I wouldn't be too worried about him starving.

It can take a few weeks to cycle. It's harder to cycle anything 2.5 gallons and under because of the stricter water changes but it can be done. I'd suggest buying an API freshwater testing kit (the liquid kind with the test tubes and stuff), because you'll have to keep an eye on your ammonia and nitrites though if you do fishless you don't have to change as much. I forget, what size tank do you have him in right now?

geekchicklet 07-27-2008 05:54 PM

He was in a 1 gallon...then 2 gallon, filterless, while I decided on what to get for a permanent home. The ammonia, nitrate and nitrite levels always test at 0ppm (save one particular day when they spiked and I got him right out).

(At one point, I did have a small UG filter and pump, but the bubbles motion was too much for him. He seemed 'depressed' until I moved him back to a bowl.)

I was doing very frequent partial changes and weekly full changes, to keep the levels normal. I test using strips, each morning, to catch any changes and use the API testing kit to test every evening (or every other, at most). I've been very diligent in checking levels.

The other day, I put him in a 5.5 gallon with Fungus Clear and 1 T Aquarium Salt to treat for fin rot. His fin rot seems to be gone, but I have found out that he is a tail biter, so I expect the healing will take a while.

Now -- Here' the tough part. The 5.5 was only meant to be a temporary hospital, of sorts. I don't expect I can leave him in there without a filter, given the difficulty of water changes, but I don't want to cycle with a recovering fish in the aquarium. I already have the Eclipse and if I decide that is right I can get that started tonight. If I get a different aquarium, it won't get started until tomorrow. What should I do while his new home cycles? I have the 2 gallon bowl and the one gallon. For the one gallon, I do have the bottom with holes, an air pump and one of those little blue bubble thingies (air stone?) and the tube that connects to it. Would it be better to just give him a filterless temporary home and continue water changes until the new aquarium is cycled? I've been reading up on this all day and I'm still not sure.

Flashygrrl 07-27-2008 07:07 PM

I'd say put him in the 2 gallon and try to get him a heater (that mini-one I suggested would work and would be good to have on hand for emergencies). He doesn't need any kind of air supply since he's a betta, and has that organ that lets him breathe air.

okiemavis 07-27-2008 07:45 PM

If you're planning to make the 5.5 his permant home, you may as well cycle it with him. If you don't want to do that, keep him in the larger of the bowls and make sure to do 50% water changes at least every other day.

If you're just out of town for 2-4 days, he'll be just fine without food. In fact, a larger tank would be preferable as it is more forgiving of mistakes. It will cycle much more easily and will be less prone to ammonia crashes, etc.

geekchicklet 07-27-2008 10:03 PM

Thank you.

I do have him in with a Hydor mini heater. I will transfer him to the 2 gallon, tomorrow. His water levels are still perfect in the 5.5, but I want to cycle the larger tank (be it the 3 or 5.5) without him in it. I'll move just a bit of his water and his rocks with him to the smaller bowl. Then, I'll move him to his new, permanent home after it's all ready.


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