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dd would like a betta, what are the min tank requirements and other questions.

9 replies

ditavonteesed · 12/09/2014 13:38

Have never had tropical fish so please excuse the daft questions.
What tank size would you recommend for a single betta? Would it be happy alone or do you need a pair? Can you put a heather in any tank or do you need a specifically tropical tank? Any other advice appreciated.
My fish care experience runs to a shabunkan that we had for about 10 years and 3 minnows that we currently have.

OP posts:
EauRouge · 12/09/2014 14:33

I would go for 40 litres or more. There are websites and shops that will say tiny tanks are suitable for bettas, but it's really hard to keep the water conditions good enough in a small body of water. Size is more to do with water quality than swimming space since bettas are small and quite lazy fish.

Bettas can be kept in community tanks or as a group (1 male to lots of females), but it's tricky to get it right. So if it's just a betta she wants then one male will be very happy on his own- they are fighty little buggers Grin

You will need a heater- bettas are sometimes sold as coldwater fish (some people will say anything to sell you a betta) but they really prefer higher temperatures and an unheated tank can leave them susceptible to fin rot and other diseases.

A heater can be put in any glass tank, it doesn't need to be a special tropical one. I would have thought most plastic tanks would be suitable for tropicals too but you might want to check the manual in case it melts. You'd need a 50 watt heater for a 40-50 litre tank.

Filtration-wise, you won't need anything really fancy. You could probably get away with a large sponge filter because bettas don't like a strong flow of water anyway.

Don't forget to do a fishless cycle :)

ditavonteesed · 12/09/2014 14:48

thanks for the quick reply, so with 40 litres would it be ok for a weekly clean. dd would have the tank for her birthday in a coupple of weeks so would aim to get the fish aaround end of october. dd gets quite stressed and I think a betta would be lovely for her to watch to calm down. The minnows actually belong to her and she really loves looking after them. Other than the heater and a thermometer is there any other care that tropical fish need on top of normal fish? I want to arm her with all the information for her first proper pet (she will be 11 and I will make sure she looks after it properly).

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EauRouge · 12/09/2014 16:28

Yes, a weekly clean should be fine but you'll need to test the water to make sure.

Apart from the temperature there's no difference between cold and tropical freshwater- the fish get the same illnesses, need the same things and if you get the 'wrong' food by accident then it's not a massive deal, it won't kill your fish. I'd get a thermometer with an alarm so if your heater does cock up (rare but it can happen), you will get a warning.

This is a good basic caresheet that says a bit about what conditions they need, where they come from, breeding info etc.

misscph1973 · 12/09/2014 16:35

Good advice from EauRouge! In my experience, although 40 L would be adequate, it will soon seem to little. The better investment would be about 100 L so you can get a variety of fish. It's lovely to have a betta male and a couple of females, lots of activity. I really miss having a fish tank, and bettas were definitely my favourites.

EauRouge · 12/09/2014 16:42

Oh yes, defo larger if you want more than just a betta. They can be mixed with other fish and/or with females if you are careful about choosing tankmates. 40 litres would just house the one betta and nowt else.

ditavonteesed · 12/09/2014 18:13

ok so we have a slight plan, dd1 would like a betta and will have the tank for christmas, dd2 has decided she would also like a tank in her oom, she wants the minnows in it and they need a better tank anyway so that works so far. I am thinking that the tank the minnows are currently in would house some shrimp nicely. So could I immediatly rehouse the minnows with half the water and half the filter sponge? If I put the other half of the filter sponge in the betta tank would that help to mature it ready for the betta? I could put the other half the water from the current tank in there.

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EauRouge · 12/09/2014 19:16

How big is the current minnow tank? They need about 60 litres because they're active fish. They also like to be in a big group so in a 60 litre tank you could get 3 or 4 more and they'd be loads happier.

Shrimp are quite sensitive to water quality. I've always kept mine in tanks of 45+ litres. I've tried smaller than that a couple of times and it's a pain in the arse. Several species of shrimp can breed quite quickly so don't buy loads to begin with (and don't buy from a shop, you can get them much cheaper on Facebook or Ebay).

I would move them with the whole filter to start with and then wait a couple of weeks. You could always squeeze out the filter sponges into the betta tank instead of just cleaning them in a bucket, that will help move things along. Don't forget to keep adding ammonia to the betta tank to keep the bacteria going.

Hope that makes sense, end of a long week and all that Grin

ditavonteesed · 12/09/2014 19:23

cool so dd2 could get the bigger tank and another 3 minnow to keep our 3 company. I dont want to tell you how big their current tank i, it is most defiantly not 45 ltrs though so maybe I will just bin it and get myself anew tank for some shrimp. Going to be a fishy christmas. dd1 is so excited about keeping a tropcal fish and all the chemistry involved. (dont worry I will be supervising)

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EauRouge · 12/09/2014 19:35

Fishy stuff makes an excellent Christmas present Grin I don't know if cost is an issue but second hand tanks are fine, I've had 9 or 10 tanks over the last few years and only one has been brand new.

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