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I just got a Betta fish as a Christmas gift and I have no fucking

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I just got a Betta fish as a Christmas gift and I have no fucking idea what to do with it. I haven't had any fish since I was a kid, and back then my parents did all of the dirty work for me. All I want is for the little guy to be safe and happy. I have a couple of questions.

1. Do all Aquarium filters use proprietary cartridges, or will any cartridge work? The filter that came with my tank doesn't appear to have a cartridge, for some reason, so I'm going to have to pick one up tomorrow.

2. The tank I have is 7.875" W x 6" D x 7" H. Is this an adequate amount of space for a Betta? Pic related.
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>>2284921
tank is too small. get at least a 5 gal. there's cheap complete sets available everywhere
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>>2284924
This. Bettas need some space, as well as a heater and filter.
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>>2284921
1) There are many kinds of aquarium filters, as yours came as part of a cheap piece of shit kit it's junk anyway. I like aquaclear hang-on-back filters for small tanks, but as bettas prefer low flow, a sponge filter like pic related would be ideal (they're also very easy to clean, just pull em up, dunk them in a bowl of tank water, squeeze around sponge, dump and repeat until it the water's clean; you don't even have to take it apart). Note that this would also require an air pump and some plastic airline to connect to the sponge filter, but these are all cheap.

2) That's about 1.5 gallons. He'll survive but it's quite cramped. Bettas usually get bored/depressed in tiny containers with no stimulus. I had one in my 75g tank (4'L x 1.5'H x 20"T) and he swam up and down every inch of it constantly. I suggest a 5g or 10g. You can generally find dirt cheap used ones everywhere and even new ones aren't much (lot of stores have $1 per gallon bare tank sales).

Other random tips/suggestions:

-I mentioned stimulus. Bettas benefit from having something to boss around and entertain them. In a 5g, a couple of amano shrimp (cheap and commonly found in pet stores) would be fine. In a 10g, you could otherwise fit a small school of peaceful schoolers, like one of the rasboras, smaller cories or kuhli loaches. If you see some other kind of fish you'd like to try, ask on here or research it first. Bettas sometimes pick fights with other anabantids or long-finned fish (like guppies), and nippy fish like tetras and barbs often shred betta fins.
-Don't trust the fuck at the fish store, they're either a dumbass full of misinformation, shilling bullshit products to you or both.
-Go with a shallow (~1/2") bed of substrate unless you want plants. With a needlessly deep substrate you'll have to deal with shit and uneaten food building up beneath it.
-Get a gravel vacuum. It's simple and cheap, a hard plastic tube with a soft plastic line attached to the end. You submerge the...
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>>2284968
...tube and suck briefly on the end to create suction, then drop the end into a bucket. Now you have water being sucked up through the plastic tube and you can rummage its end around in the gravel with enough suction to take fish shit, uneaten food and other undesirables without sucking out the rocks. This is a very quick process and lets you do a thorough tank cleaning very quickly. Filling one 3g bucket, I can do a 50% water change on my 10 gallons in ~10mins.
-Don't use soap to clean the tank or anything in it, use vinegar+water if you need anything scrubbed down. Don't put your hands in the tank if they have soap or any other chemical residue (lotions etc.) on them.
-Rinse the filter in tank water. Most of the bacteria that convert dangerous ammonia to dangerous nitrite to much less dangerous nitrate live in there and you don't want to shock them. Just dip some tank water into a small container and squeeze it in there.
-Don't let it go a long while without a water change. A 5g with a betta + 2 amanos or a 10g with a betta + 6 small schoolers is fine with a 50% weekly change and squeezing out the filter twice weekly. This is like 45mins a month. If you don't feel like committing that, give the fish away and save both parties some bullshit.
-Hard plastic decorations can tear betta fins (also I personally find them and clown puke gravel AIDS to look at, but if you like it you like it). If you want fake deco, stick to the soft papery plants and rounded objects. Aquarium driftwood and large decorative rocks are fine.
-I mentioned bacteria that process ammonia -> nitrite -> nitrate. These aren't immediately present and build up over time, so consider more frequent water changes (twice weekly) for the first month when decaying organic matter will be turning into ammonia and staying like that for your lad to breathe in.
-Oh, and get a heater if you don't have one, unless your house stays high 70s year-round.
-Take uneaten floating food out before it rots.
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>>2284968
>>2284973
Most of this still applies if you want to keep him in the 1.5g, but I'd take out most of the substrate and at least one of the plants (preferably both if they're as hard as they look). I can only estimate since fish supplies are cheaper in the US, but a 10g + heater + sponge filter + air pump would cost you maybe $35 unless you let yourself get ripped off, +~$10-15 if you want a canopy light, +~$5 for two amano shrimp or ~$10-15 for 6 schooling fish.

That's all the relevant info I can think of. Lemme know if you have any questions.
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>>2284968
>>2284973
>>2284977

Hey, thanks for the info. Those were very insightful posts, and they'll help me quite a bit. Another quick question: What's a good store for buying fish supplies? Are the big retail chains (Petco, Petsmart, etc.) going to carry all of the things you listed at the prices you listed, or is there should I look for a locally-owned pet supplies store?
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>>2284921
>>2284968
>That's about 1.5 gallons.
Just fyi the tank is an Aqueon Minibow 1 Gallon. The "bow" makes it harder to calculate volume using dimensions. It uses the Aqueon small filter cartridges. It was supposed to come with one included.

Something I'd like to add is to get high quality food. Omega One and Hikari are decent and easy enough to find. You can look at the ingredients list to compare brands.
If you have trouble finding amano shrimp, ghost or cherry shrimp will also work.
If you want to add more fish, it's better to wait until the tank is fully cycled. PetSmart and Petco can test your water and tell you if it is.

>>2285088
If you want new stuff and you want to get it all right away the best deal I know of is https://www.petsmart.com/36002.html
Followed by https://www.petsmart.com/16825.html if you get a cheap 25-50W heater on eBay.

If you try to buy stuff separately at a chain store, you're looking at $10-15 for the tank, $20-30 for a heater, $15 for an air pump and sponge filter (or $10 for a waterfall filter), and anywhere from $12-65 for a lid/hood.

On eBay you can get a heater for about $8, an air pump for $8 and a sponge filter for $2 (or an internal filter for $7). Amazon has 5 gal hoods for $10 and 10 gal hoods for $20. Fake plants can be had for $1-2 apiece.

For substrate you can use pea gravel or all-purpose sand ("play sand") from a home improvement store for $4, but you'll have to rinse it a lot to get all the dust out.

Feel free to check out any family owned stores if you like. My experience is that they're usually nor able to match chain store pricing, but it might be different where you live. Also look at the local classifieds for used stuff if you're okay with that.
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>>2284973
Reading over this I see I said squeeze the filter twice weekly, I meant every other week (every other water change).

>>2285330
This guy's right, though I'll add that sometimes they sell cherry shrimp small, so avoid any that might be small enough for your betta to try swallowing. Cherry shrimp will also breed prolifically, though your betta should take care of the offspring.

There are also some very easy live plants that demand nothing more than some light (anubias, java fern, java moss, cryptocoryne), if you fancied a natural-looking tank.

Make mention if you decide to go for a 10g with other fish and I'll give you a list of common names for schoolers that fit the bill.
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>>2284949
don't forget they get lonely, better add some extra beta's
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>>2284973
>not getting a hand siphon
Enjoy your mycobacterium marinum or vibrio infections :)
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what a shitty gift

kill whoever did this to you, op
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>>2284973
>>2287664
>>2284921
Submerge the vacuum and hose in your tank, then place a finger over the outlet hole. Be sure there's no air in the line by feeding in the hose starting from the capture end. Pull the hose and the water trapped in it to your drainage bucket without breaking the seal, just like holding water in a drinking straw. That should started your siphon. It's the most practical way I know and you don't have to buy anything else.
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>>2287665
I remember my little brother and I were given a betta each for his birthday, he was 7 and I was just a dumb prepubescent kid. My mother said fuck this I'm not taking care of them since she never ever wanted pets and I took over with feeding and cleaning. They lived miserably for 6 months, I'm sorry I didn't know better little guys.
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>>2289386
Yeah it's usually the moms who are the bad ones even though they are suppose to be compassionate. That's why single moms breed the most criminals.
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>>2289387
I can't really blame her famalam, she said a living animal should never be treated as an object much less as a novelty gift, neither of us ever wanted a fish since they're not a begginer pet and I stepped up to help since i knew work and children were enough stress for my parents.

If anything I feel like shit for never doing proper research like op is doing.
Thread posts: 16
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