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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After seeing all these beautiful bettas I have decided that I want a betta tank. Right now I have a 33 gallon tank that is just finishing cycling with two blood fin tetras. They are the only ones that survived the "Great Filter Motor Burn Out of 2009".

I replaced the old HOB Aquaclear filter that my husband hated (too noisy, couldn't hear the game *#3 ) with a Fluval U2 underwater filter. So far it seems to do the job.

Is there anything a betta needs to be happy? I have a number of plastic plants in the tank because I'm not brave enough to try real plants!

Any suggestions would be appreciated!
Thanks!
 

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My advice is to try real plants.

They may seem daunting but you just shove them in the tank and they grow.

The worst that could happen is you kill a plant. Not the same as killing a fish. :)

As for the Betta, i'm sure somone with more knowledge will come along with far better advice than I could give.

Bis
 

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Rose(User-Name: Chickadee) is the forum betta expert. Look for her for help, but i can give you some advice:
1.Its a hit or miss, getting a "Community" betta. A betta's personality can vary greatly.
2.If u want a male, u cannot have ANY fin-nipping fish, and your tetras will need to be in a school before u can get a betta.
 
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Bettas are a little touchy for tank mates. Tetras can be fin nippers and the only ones I know that I have not had reports of nipping with are the Cardinals. But if you want a betta in a community tank let me just say this, be sure to have a back up plan. Some bettas take to it very well and some will not accept that well at all.

To understand you need to know what the betta is raised like. As soon as it is determined that the betta is a male it is seperated from all the others and put in a jar or container by itself. It stays totally in its own container with no other fish around it until it is sold to an owner to be put in a home at the pet store or from a breeder or dealer online to be shipped to a new home. Another words, it has not been around other fish since it was very young, and I am not sure it understands that other fish are allowed to be in its water at all.

They are not called Siamese Fighting Fish for nothing. While they do NOT resemble their wild cousins who actually live in the wild and are sometimes and frequently in parts of the world trained to fight for sport, they will fight other fish depending on the individual temperment of the fish you get. And there is no way of knowing ahead of time if you are getting a docile one or a tempermental, spunky one. Ideally you will get one that has some characteristics of both. The truly docile bettas can be not too fun to watch but the truly spunky ones can be heartbreaking when you are trying to keep other fish with them. They simply kill most other fish put in with them.

So yes by all means if you find the bettas beautiful, and who would not, get one but be aware that they take work and planning and you cannot just put any fish in with them. they do not live in mud puddles, they will challenge you to do things for them that you maybe would not for any other fish because they have some special needs.

For one thing, their fins are large and flowing so in larger tanks while they love the room the filter can sometimes be a challenge for them. Those fins are like sails on a sail boat and when they swim if they get caught in the filter outflow they can be tossed about so you need to dampen down the outflow or turn the outlet aside so it is not causing a lot of movement in the water. Another, the surface of the water has to remain unhindered. No floating plants in a betta tank. They have to go to the surface to breathe or they can actually drown. A tall plant is a nice gift for the betta as they will sleep in it at least part of the night so they do not have to continually swim to the surface from the bottom to breathe. When you see a betta rise to the surface and butt its head against the surface it is getting a breath, the labyrinth organ of the fish is in the top of its head and it absorbs air through this organ. It also uses gills like any other fish. This is the same system used by gouramis and perch and several other fish.

I have posted articles as stickied topics about bettas and betta care in the first part of the betta forum section and would encourage you to browse through them and see what you think about the thoughts I have given about some of the things I have picked up over the years. It will save a lot of space and retyping here and will be the same things I would tell you here.

Thank you for considering giving a betta a home and asking for its needs that shows me you would be a wonderful betta parent and I hope it works out. If and when your little one gets home, please do post a picture and let us know as we like to welcome them into our little society.

Rose
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you Rose.

I do have the filter set on a gentle setting. It's just a light current. It's one of the reasons I chose this filter. It can be set up a few different ways depending on your needs.

I was planning on getting a 10 gallon tank just in case he isn't a friendly guy. I'd like something bigger but we just don't have the space for it and to be honest I think if I tried to get anything bigger it may spell divorce! lol! At one point I had two 33 gallon tanks going at once, one with freshwater tropical fish and the other with 4 piranas (I can never spell that one right!) Anyway, they drove him nuts! I kept eyeing up a nice 75 gallon bow front one and he threatened to leave me! Haha!

Anyway, I'm going to the pet store today to check out some plants and maybe pick up a few more buddies for the tetras. Hmmmm, maybe I'll just keep this one as a freshwater tank and set up a 10 for a betta...This may be the perfect time to do such a thing as he has taken the kids to the lake for the next few days!
 
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I really think you may be happier that way but you can try the other way if you want to. I would not want you to fail to have the tank you want but I do try to keep people from having problems with their fish's fins as with a betta the fins are a large part of the package and when the fins are sick the whole fish is in trouble.

As I said I think you will make an excellent betta parent and I have seen bettas win over the hearts of even some pretty stolid "unfishy" people. Get them to talking to the betta and they fall in love with them. LOL

Rose
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks again. Now I just have to figure out where to put another tank! I'm running out of outlets in my living room! Hmmm, maybe the kitchen...
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
What about plants? Are there any that bettas prefer? And what do I need to grow plants?
 

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The actuall easiest ones that I have found that really are pretty foolproof and do not require a lot of light and the waste from the fish is plenty of fertilizer are the Crypts. They are tall enough to fill the bill and make a really nice looking plant in the tank. The leaves are wide enough for the betta to sleep on and they really have a nice color of green. I do not think you can go wrong with them. I would get a small container of Alum from the spice section of the grocery store though and put a heaping teaspoon in a quart of water and soak the plants in this solution for about 30 minutes before rinsing them well and putting them in the tank. This sterilizes the plants and gets rid of any "bugs" on them before you add them to the tank.

Other plants you can use that work but are much shorter are the Anubias family, the Java moss, Java Sword, Rosette sword, and Java Ferns. All are lovely and very low maintenance. The important thing with these though is not to bury the root in the gravel too deep or the plant will rot. So I generally just tie them to the decorations with fishing line and tuck the knots and loose ends under the rocks and the plant will grow in the water without being put in the gravel at all.

Rose
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks again for your help. I went to Petland today on my way home from work. I picked up some more tetras and checked out their betta stock. They all seemed to be quite frisky! They were in small containers but they all had clean water and were swimming around.

I'm definitely going to go with a separate tank for a betta, the only problem is where to put it! They had a great deal on 10 gallon starter kits but I just have no where to put it!
 
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