Betta Questions for Eric Dockett

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  1. profile image61
    MashaSarahposted 12 months ago

    You are a hard man to find!
    Sorry for the whole saga, but . . . You've become my elusive betta guru and I want to "get it all out" while I can! smile

    So, my 10 year old brought her class pet home for us to babysit for about a month. Poor betta had been in a "betta tank" that's less than a gallon . . . Had nothing in the tank except for pebbles. Bought the little guy a hammock and a live plant and he's now making nests over the plant, sleeping on his hammock, dancing, etc. BUT I'm sick over the lack of space. He's been here for a couple of weeks already and I've decided that he's not going back.  I think he lost scales on his head from swimming up and down the edges of the tank before he came to our home. (I found him doing that once)
    You are the sole witness to this fishnapping. I hope that the weight of that responsibility won't keep you up at night.
    Okay, questions!
    1) A 5 gallon Fluval is on the way along with a heater for a nano tank and a sponge for the end of the filter. What thermometer should I purchase? What is the best way to transfer him? If I use his current water can I transfer as soon as the tank is warm enough, etc
    2) I've been using spring water to refresh the tank with. Should I be adding anything to the water before the tank comes?
    3) Where is the best place to purchase live plants?
    4) Any brand of "toys" or caves that are known to not have sharp edges?

    Thank you so much for your time and expertise, Eric. I'm so happy to have found you!

    Masha Sarah

  2. EricDockett profile image95
    EricDockettposted 12 months ago

    I'm glad you are moving him to a bigger tank! I'll do my best with these questions.

    1. I like to use a digital thermometer with a probe. The probe has a little suction cup on it that goes inside in tank on the glass, and the digital readout has a little suction cup that attaches to the glass outside the tank. Obviously a wire connects them. I like these because they are so much easier to read than the ones that fully submerge in the tank. There are a few different brands that make similar thermometers and they are pretty inexpensive

    You'll want to research the nitrogen cycle and be sure to cycle the new tank before transferring him over. Then, I would suggest something called the "drip method" for acclimating him to the new tank.  Both of those things are a little complicated for my response here but a little Google searching will tell you everything you need to know.

    2. Spring water is fine. I usually advise people to have their water source tested so they know for sure what is going into their tank. Since you may not be able to know from brand to brand, or even batch to batch, it wouldn't hurt to use a water conditioner.

    3. Good question! I used to have a wonderful local source but they went out of business. For me, online is the only option. If you can find a local pet store that has snail-free (hopefully) plants I would go with them.

    4. Just scrutinize anything you put in his tank. Even products made for fish tanks sometimes cause issues for bettas. Watch for sharp edges or anything that can tear his fins. It is tough to go wrong with river rocks and live plants.

    I hope this is helpful. If I think of anything else I'll be back. Let me know if you have any more questions.

    1. profile image61
      MashaSarahposted 12 months agoin reply to this

      Thank you so much, Eric!!!!
      Can you offer a brand for the thermometer so I don't make a mistake?
      I'm sure I WILL have more questions if you genuinely do not mind from time to time. Should I come back here to ask them or via email?
      Again, thanks a million.

      1. EricDockett profile image95
        EricDockettposted 12 months agoin reply to this

        The brand I've used is called Zacro but as I said there are a few different brands that are very similar. In testing I did it seems pretty accurate but there are more expensive ones as well which may be better quality,

        You can ask questions in this thread if you like. Once comments are reinstated in our articles, that is the best place to ask them so I won't miss them.

        Good luck with your betta!

        1. profile image61
          MashaSarahposted 12 months agoin reply to this

          Thank you!

    2. profile image61
      MashaSarahposted 12 months agoin reply to this

      Hi Eric!
      Is 1ppm an okay amount of ammonia to consider my 5 gallon ready to begin to cycle? I added twice and waited an hour but it seems to be staying around 1ppm . . .

      1. EricDockett profile image95
        EricDockettposted 12 months agoin reply to this

        Hi. When your tank is fully cycled you want your ammonia at zero. What did you add to start the cycle? Cycling a tank takes much longer than a hour. Typically, days or weeks.

        1. profile image61
          MashaSarahposted 12 months agoin reply to this

          Hi! I meant, is it okay that my ammonia is only at 1 to START the cycle for my 5 gallon tank or do I have to push it closer to 2ppm. (To start the cycle. smile )
          I used pure ammonia.

          1. EricDockett profile image95
            EricDockettposted 12 months agoin reply to this

            Any ammonia should start the process but I am not sure about the optimum amount. I have a few thoughts but  I've never used pure ammonia to kick off a cycle before so there may be better advice out there. I would find a good resource online that can walk you through it.

            1. profile image61
              MashaSarahposted 12 months agoin reply to this

              Okay, thank you!
              All the best


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