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betta fish tank question. Hopefully you guys can help me.


Well-known Member
Cavy Slave
Apr 19, 2011
Okay so I just got my first betta fish yesterday. He is a halfmoon male. He is mostly black with some blueish purple on his body and his name is Armani. I got an acrylic 2.5 gallon tank for him and I am currently letting the filter run without the fish in it and on the box it says to do this for 24 hours. I plan to let it run until I go to bed which will be longer than 24 hours but I just want to give it a few extra to be on the safe side. My question is if after that time the water is still cloudy is it okay to put Armani in or should I wait until it is completely clear? The tank I have is the aqueon mini bow.
Fun! I love fish! :) Putting him in while it's cloudy should be fine. As long as you know the water has ran through the filter for awhile OR you used a dechlor solution in the water, he should be fine. Did you use gravel on the bottom? You rinsed it first right? Also, are you using any live plants?
if you are on town water you might want to use distiled water in the tank or you can get some water soferne for his tank.. I us distled water in my bowl. and only do half water chages at a time.
Distilled water is dangerous for fish. You need to add the necessary minerals back into it to make it safe for fish. The fish needs these minerals for their survival. Use your tap water, and put the water conditioner in it. The conditioner removes chlorine and chloramines, and should detoxify heavy metals. If you rinsed the tank, and the rocks, and any plants, I'm puzzled as to why the water is cloudy. You also might want to add a beneficial bacteria to get the amonia cycle started. Otherwise, just feed a teeny bit every other day. Fish don't eat every day in the wild, and their stomach is the size of their eye-DON'T overfeed, or the aquarium will get toxic. Do 1/2 water change every 2 weeks, making sure to treat the water. BTW, congrats on your new fish, and for buying an appropriate size aquarium for him. Those tiny bowls are the equivelant of keeping guinea pigs in a store bought cage.
Congrats on your new addition! I just love bettas. Sounds like he's a handsome little guy. Did the tank come with any fake plants? I read that bettas love those, so I got some when I had my Gil (who has long since passed over the Rainbow Bridge), and he just loved sitting among the plastic leaves. I think the theory was that it reminds them of the rice paddies they like to hide among in the wild.
Congrats on your betta! I love fish, and jumped headfirst in the hobby several years ago.

Good thing you got a decent sized tank! Did you get a heater as well? Betta fish thrive on warm water...they have very small heaters that keep the water at around 76-78 degrees. They are flat and don't take any room in a smaller tank.

The whole thing you are trying to establish in a fishtank is the 'nitrogen cycle'. Basically this is the way that the bacteria are established in the tank. The fish excretes waste, the bacteria break it down into non-harmful things. You can add your fish now, but be sure to remember that you don't have the bacteria in your tank. You will need to do at least a 25% water change once a week to make sure the ammonia levels don't raise to high (thus killing your fish.. In my experiance Betta fish are more hardy seeing as how they breathe at the surface, but all sorts of other things such as fin rot etc can come from poor water quality.)

If you do not have one, the best thing in the world is a 'gravel vacuum' which siphons the water from the aquarium into the bucket (or a sink). You can dig down in the gravel to suck up the waste/uneaten food.

Your betta only needs 2-3 pellets daily. If he doesn't eat them all, you are feeding too much. Get a good quality brand. My favorite is Hikari or New Life Spectrum. You can find any at Petstores. I have only found New Life Spectrum at Petco though. Maybe every few weeks you can take a frozen pea and thaw it in a bit of water. Kinda squeeze it to remove the shell and feed that to your betta. This helps with swim bladder issues. Another note, make sure that none of your decorations in your tank are too sharp. This will tear up the fins of your fish.

Most importantly..get a water dechlorinator/conditioner. These are drops that you add to the water you are adding to your tank which takes out the chlorine present in most tap water. This will kill your fish. You can also let your tap water sit out for over 24 hrs, but I find it's easier to just buy a little bottle of water conditioner.

I belong to a great site for fish...check it out :)

Hope that's not overkill :) I love my fishies!)
Armani is in his tank now after letting run for over 24 hours and he is doing great swimming around and exploring his new home. He probably feels like he died and went to Heaven going from a tiny cup in the pet store to a 2.5 gallon tank. I have a whole house filter that takes out most of the chemicals and a separate one for drinking water that filters out everything so that's what I put in his tank. Yes I did rinse the gravel before putting it in his tank and I have one live plant the rest are fake. Although I used the filtered drinking water I put a little water conditioner in just to be on the safe side. I feed him 2 pellets twice a day once in the morning and then before I go to bed. Thanks for all your replies

Cavyluvr and Armani
@mufasa thankyou!! I love my little fishie and yes he is very handsome and he seems to know it haha. I named him Armani after a beautiful friesian horse at the barn I'm leasing at. He is tall,black and has a long wavy mane and tail so with my betta's flowing black fins I thought the name fit. He also matches my bedroom because he is black with some blueish purple and I have a black and white comforter and my walls are painted a royal purple!!
@beachgurl_1988 you definitely didn't go over kill. I want to have as much info as possible on betta fish since Armani is my first betta and first pet fish period. My brother has had fish and I helped feed them once in a while but until now I've never had one of my own. I don't have a heater but the light on the tank seems to be keeping the water warm. I purchased Armani at petco so that's where I got his food. Currently he is eating what the gave him in the store which is the Hikari betta bio gold. I also got some aqeon color enhancing betta food for 2 reasons. A) the bottle seemed easier to work with than the hikari plastic packet thingy B) it siad they used all natural ingredients so I'm guessing it would be healthy for him. I want to get him some dried bloodworms for some variety in his diet next time I'm at petco. I do have one question would a little snail or small catfish be okay to put in his tank to keep in cleaner? If so what types of snail or catfish would do best?

Cavyluvr and Armani
I dont know much about fish. I had a betta when I was three (I never touched it, I did not take care of it, it was my moms fish that I looked at that we called mine). This may sound dumb, but I would love to see pictures!!
@cavyluvr I love how you came up with the name. My betta was Gil after the fish in "Finding Nemo" because I had to think of something fast. Wasn't planning on a betta, but someone gave one to my niece and she didn't want it so I visited my brother and ended up coming home with a new pet.

It's surprising how much personality those little guys can have. Gil always got so enthusiastic over feeding time, and he hated being netted for tank cleanings. I owned him for several years and I still miss him sometimes. I'm sure Armani will have a happy life with you : )
Betta do best alone. They can see other fish as competition. You might get away with a cory cat to clean up uneaten food, but provide a hiding place, and be ready to separate if the betta attacks it. The betta will flare the gills aroung his head to appear larger, and fan out his fins if he's angry.
I have a question, not to butt in, (and no offense to anyone here) but do most people find buying fish at a store acceptable? I checked both petfinder and craiglist for betta and gold fish. The only thing that came up were pond fish. Would buying a fish from walmart be the same as buying a guinea pig from petco? I want to get a fish, but don't want to contribute to breeders and/or mills.
@go_ellie I will try to post some pics asap I was planning on it anyway;) @mufasa thankyou!! I hope he does like living with me he seems happy right now. I just checked on him a few min ago and he was happily swimming arounf his tank stilll investigating his new digs being he was just put in last night. @Squint96 Most people (that I know of ) get fish from pet stores. I know the petco where I live is super knowledgeable about the animals they sell especially fish. You can get bettas from breeders but I'm not sure about rescues
Your tank isn't cycled. Sorry..but you need to do more than run that filter for 24hrs. It takes at least 2-6 weeks to do a fishless cycle with seeded media from someone elses filter, and pure (non sudsing/scented) ammonia...testing religiously every day until the Ammonia, Nitrites are at ZERO..and Nitrates are starting to rise...

Just letting you know. Please keep a good eye on your tank paramaters and do daily water changes until your ammonia and nitrate load are at 0 to prevent poisoning your fish.

To find out more, head over to The Puffer Forum • The Puffer Fish Care Community They do more than puffers, but since they deal in seriously delicate fish, they know their stuff, and they also are against the big box stores like Petco/Petland and encourage people to buy from local fish shops who breed their own to keep wild populations healthy. (Captive breeding is better than wild caught...just letting you know)
I am on bettafish.com
And there are TONS of helpful users on there.
I have a question, not to butt in, (and no offense to anyone here) but do most people find buying fish at a store acceptable? I checked both petfinder and craiglist for betta and gold fish. The only thing that came up were pond fish. Would buying a fish from walmart be the same as buying a guinea pig from petco? I want to get a fish, but don't want to contribute to breeders and/or mills.

Wal Mart is awful with fish. A mom and pop store is best, but Petsmart has really healthy ones, too.

Actually, with fish, you want a breeder or an accidental breeding (like Mollies or guppies who reproduce wildly in tanks and become over-populated), because the only other option is wild-caught, which is bad. It depletes the natural reserves of these fish, & upsets the eco system. Fish require just as much if not more research than guinea pigs. Guinea pigs are guinea pigs, after all, but fish come from all over the world and have widely varying needs and requirements. Fish are living, feeling creatures, too, and deserve just as much care as any other animal.
I wouldn't get a catfish or anything like that, your tank is too small. If you wanted to upgrade to a 10 gallon tank with a heater you could do a few small dwarf Corydoras or something like that.

A snail..yes.. I like Mystery Snails because they don't breed. They will do fine in that tank. They are pretty nifty to watch as well.

You could also do some shrimp..they are neat too. But don't get expensive shrimp because your betta will eat them eventually. I use ghost shrimp (between 10 to 30 cents each).

Just be warned..some betta tolerate other things in thier tank, some just don't. I've had ones I can keep in a tank with 20 other fish and then one that attacked even a plant I had in the tank.. just depends. You can, before you add anything else, take him out, rearrange his tank, add his new friends and then put the betta back in. That sometimes helps :)
Corys CANNOT be put in a 10 gallon. They are a schooling fish and require atleast 6 members to live happy. I wouldn't put anymore than your betta in set ups 5 gallons and smaller.
You can try shrimps and snails. But that's the most I'd try.
Thanks for all your replies! Armani's water is now crystal clear and I have added a heater and thermometer to his tank as well.
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