Life's Betta With A Fish

Graceful-Lily

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Hello, everyone!
Thank you for taking the time to open this thread and read my post - much appreciated.

I've decided that after years of being fish less, I'd really love to own fish again. More specifically, male betta fish.

I've made a list of supplies and everything is in order except for the tank.

I don't know if I'm overthinking this but I want to be a concious/cautious buyer. So, I've been checking out different stores and looking at all sorts of tanks. Problem is, most of them have TERRIBLE reviews. I'm talking water leakage, weak glass, pump failure, heater failure, light failure, etc. This makes me not want to buy those tanks because they retail for $100+.

Now, I did find an aquarium with almost perfect reviews but it's more deep than it is wide. Bettas (and other fish I think) enjoy long tanks.

I've been trying to find another tank with good reviews like that 10 gallon but I haven't been able to. So, it's either I compromise and buy a 5 gallon long or stick to the deep 10 gallon. Which I'm not sure the betta will enjoy since they like side to side swimming instead of up and down.

I'm lost at this point. The aquarium is the most important part because it contains the fish. I don't want to buy one that's going to be useless in a matter of months.

Please, help me. I'm in no rush though because I want this for my birthday and that isn't until December 1st.

By the way, the 10 gallon I'm referring to is the Top Fin Fascinate Column Starter Kit. It's almost 20 inches tall - 12.5 in width.
 

Sugar Plum

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I've never kept a betta longterm in such a deep tank. If you really like that tank, you could consider other fish, but IME most fish prefer surface area over water depth. A traditional 10 gallon works well. I've kept a betta long term in one, though most of mine are currently in 7.5 gallon cubes. I've also gone the traditional 5.5 gallon route.

Every column tank I've ever bought has sooner or later (usually sooner) been given away. There's a reason traditional tank dimensions are the way they are. This website may help you see your options: Standard Aquarium Dimensions Chart and Dimensions to Gallons Calculator
 
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Graceful-Lily

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I figured... welp, back to the drawing board.

Hmm, I'm wondering if it would be cheaper and better to buy a plain tank and buy the hood, lighting, filter, heater, etc separate?

PetValue has a 20 gallon tank for $64.99.
 
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LTS3

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Too bad you don't live close by. I have a brand new 13 gallon tank that has been sitting in storage for like the past 9 years. It's the one I mentioned in the other thread, the one I scored a deal on. I don't plan on having fish anytime in the future.

The betta forum has a classified section for Canadian members. Maybe give that a try for supplies someone might be giving away?
 

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I always buy filters, heaters, etc. separately. I really like Pet Valu! They tend to have quality stuff.

My current favourite small tank heater is by Cobalt, made in Poland. I loved the old Aqueon Pros; they used to be made in Italy. New stock is not and is unproven!

I have successfully kept some bettas with AquaClears on low (my all time favourite filter). Some have needed the little Aqueons.

Are you near a Big Al's? That's where I get most of my fish stuff. The staff are knowledgeable too, which is a bonus.
 
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Graceful-Lily

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I always buy filters, heaters, etc. separately. I really like Pet Valu! They tend to have quality stuff.

My current favourite small tank heater is by Cobalt, made in Poland. I loved the old Aqueon Pros; they used to be made in Italy. New stock is not and is unproven!

I have successfully kept some bettas with AquaClears on low (my all time favourite filter). Some have needed the little Aqueons.

Are you near a Big Al's? That's where I get most of my fish stuff. The staff are knowledgeable too, which is a bonus.
Yes! We have Big Al's here. I'm probably going to go there when my mom comes home to check out their stuff.

LTS3 LTS3 - I will look into that, thank you. So far, not having much luck finding anyone with functional equipment in the local classified.

Does this seem like a fair deal? I posted an ad stating that I'm looking for a complete aquarium set up and a betta fish if possible as well. Someone messaged me and is offering a 20 gallon aquarium + hood/light, 5lb blue gravel, 50watt heater, 2 pieces of driftwood, 1 rock, and a betta fish over 1 year old. However, it doesn't come with a filter because they said that "betta fish do not need aeration,". All of this for $160.
 
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Willowy

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I really think I could assemble all that new for under $150. But I don't know Canadian prices. Maybe see what it costs new at your stores and compare.
 
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Graceful-Lily

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I've literally been sitting at my computer all day trying that and nothing works. Either way, I'm going to end up spending at least $200.

I found someone online selling a 35 gallon set up. I'm going to go look at it tomorrow. They want $100 for it. That's more tank and much cheaper than the previous person.

I'll see how it goes tomorrow. If it's actually good and legitimate, I'm going to buy it and start cycling the tank.
 

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So, how are things going?

Not to hijack, but after your motivating me with your efforts and some researching, thank you LTS3 LTS3 ! I'm likely going to start with a 10 gallon bare bottom tank, maybe a couple silk plants or something, a small adjustable heater and thermometer, a lowflow filter or one rated for a smaller tank, a cover of some sort, seachem prime, a turkey baster and one Betta. :)
 
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Graceful-Lily

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We haven't left yet. Just confirmed with the person that I'm coming for viewing soon. I'm just waiting for my mom to come home.
They also decided to drop the price to $80 for me because the tank light isn't working and I'll have to buy another one. Hopefully everything else is in good condition. But regardless, $80 for a 35 gallon tank in my area is a steal.

I wasn't going to do a community aquarium at first because I thought I'd be getting a smaller aquarium but if this deal goes through, I'm definitely going to slowly start a community aquarium. I also want live plants like java fern and betta balls.

Honestly, it would be so cool if this thread inspired other people to get into fishing? Fish keeping? Fish hobbying?
 

Furballsmom

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They also decided to drop the price to $80 for me because the tank light isn't working and I'll have to buy another one. Hopefully everything else is in good condition. But regardless, $80 for a 35 gallon tank in my area is a steal.
Good for you, and good luck!!
 
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Graceful-Lily

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Things went pretty well!

He knew his stuff and the tank and everything else isn't in too much of a rough shape. Just needs lots of cleaning. Upon further inspection, I think I might need to reseal the tank with silicone. But I have no idea how to do that.

I'll also still have to purchase a light for it. Found a good cheap one on Amazon. I'll order it when I get things in order.

But I'm super happy I kept looking because now I have a whole 35 gallons to do anything my little creative heart desires and boy do I have some ideas.

Will keep y'all updated here of course!
 
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Graceful-Lily

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I've been doing a lot of research and planning for my aquarium. One thing I've discovered (I already knew, it's just reinforced every time I need something) is that Canada's product market is lacking. It's so hard for me to find certain things because they are only sold in the United States. I need silicone to reseal the tank but in my area, there aren't many options for aquarium safe silicone. So, I'm going to have to order some online for $20+! I don't have a choice because I really need it before I can do anything else with this tank.

Anyway, I've constructed a plan - not sure if I'll be able to get it finished in the next 25 days (my birthday is December 1st).
Here is a breakdown of what I'm going to do. Feel free to give suggestions as this is my first time actually planning out an entire aquarium like this!

Once the tank is resealed (I have to wait for the silicone to be delivered), I'm going to use pool filter sand as my main substrate along with gravel. I'll probably do a half and half like this:
Ef9SN1N.jpg


Or a sand path like this:
57fdc740278ede2c437b3b8c0319d6cd.jpg


Once the sand and gravel is added to the resealed tank, I'm going to attempt to plant live plants in the aquarium.

Here is a list of what I want (In no particular order):
  1. Hornwort
  2. Amazon Sword Plant
  3. Java Fern
  4. Anubias
  5. Ancharis
  6. Betta Balls
  7. Amazon Frogbit
  8. Java Moss
I had a hard time finding some because they are seasonal. Winter is coming so by the time I'm ready to add them, I'm afraid they won't be available. I've underlined the ones I'm going to start with first. I'd like to take my time to build my micro ecosystem (I think that's what it's called). Not 100% sure my choice in plants is good for a beginner but these are the ones listed when I was researching on the best plants to plant in aquariums with betta fish.

Moving on, after the sand and gravel is laid down and the plants are placed, I'm going to start cycling the aquarium. I'm not sure if I have to do that before planting the plants I want to plant.

Unfortunately, because of where I live, I do not have pure ammonia available to kick start the process. It's way too expensive to order online and the ammonia doesn't always ship well (leaking into the box) so I'll have to do it some other way. I was thinking about starting with ghost shrimp - maybe 6 to start. Just enough to get them excreting waste into the tank to raise the ammonia level. At the same time, I will be adding Seachem Prime to the aquarium water daily. I haven't been able to find a test kit for ammonia, nitrate and nitrite. It's really expensive online and not available for me in stores (only the test strips which I heard aren't accurate) but I know it's important. Hopefully someone can offer advice on this.

After the ghost shrimp settle, I'd like to introduce mystery snails into the aquarium along with clown pleco. Although, I'm having a hard time finding clown pleco - I'm only seeing the ones that grown to 24 inches. They are probably seasonal too but I could have sworn I saw some in the pet store when I went to look at fishes. I think I'll just have to physically walk into different pet stores to see if they have the things that I can't find online.

Then, after the ghost shrimp, mystery snails, and clown pleco have settled into the tank, I will add guppies! Hopefully the betta fish will not clash with the guppies. I think adding the betta fish to an already established aquarium last might help but I'm not sure. The plants might help with creating space for them to claim territory. Plus, it's a 35 gallon tank so there should be enough space for everyone.

Once all of that is completed, I'll look into decorating the aquarium with drift wood maybe and some aquarium stones.

FINALLY, I will add the betta fish.

When I read this all over, it seems like it's going to take at least 2 months to complete. I'm not really in any rush anyway. We'll see how it goes.

I have an air pump but only one side works. I'm going to take it apart and see what the issue might be. I'm also going to have to buy Seachem Matrix for the filter.

This is all I got so far! Let me know what y'all think!

Thank you if you read everything - I appreciate it.
 

LTS3

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Draco Draco can help you out with tank cycling and all that. I'm not sure if Draco comes to TCS often these days. You may want to also post on that betta forum if you haven't already done so.
 

Furballsmom

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Ask questions, I've been getting answers as has Draco too :) but they have a LOT of sticky posts and threads that are extremely helpful.
 

Draco

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The betta will most likely go after the guppies- or any other fish with larger tails- I'd be prepared for that.

Ghost shrimps will not really help with the cycling, they produce such little waste. Since you can't find ammonia, I suggest starting the cycle with a betta- they are extremely hardy and really do not need a cycled tank (I've never actually cycled any of my tanks for my bettas).Oh, and the betta WILL kill the ghost shrimps. Every single one of my bettas destroyed all my shrimps except for Japonica shrimps (ok, 50% of the time they leave japonica's alone).

People may yell at me for not cycling for bettas- I've bred bettas for years, kept them even longer and never lost them from lack of cycle. Heck, I find the most neglected bettas live longer than those with strict husbandry, ironically.

Your plant choices look great, just make sure you get a proper plant bulb and get Seachem's Florish which will feed the plants and help them grow if aren't going the carbon dioxide way.

As much as I love the half gravel, half sand look, it always eventually wind up mixing together when you do water cleaning and maintenance. I'd advise against that unless you don't mind the substrate mixing up.

I love driftwood! It helps keep the phosphate down in the water. When you do get it, boil it, then soak it for a few days as it leaches tannens and it will turn your water brown (it's not a bad thing, just makes the water brown and yucky)
 
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