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Bettas Discussions about Betta Splendens

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Old 08-09-2012, 10:08 AM   #1
FRIENDLYFISHIES
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Default Do Betta need a filter?

A couple years ago I saved my moms betta for her. She had gone away for a week on a trip and when I went to the house I saw the betta sitting in a small plastic container full of green sludge. I was not impressed, my moms a good woman but so forgetful! Anyhow, long story short I saved him. He developed fin rot and puffy eyes and a curved spine but I hooked him up with a 2.5 gallon tank, a filter and and a heater, kept good care of his tank using salt and stress coat and he came back! His fins were never the same but the bulging eyes went away, only coming back periodicly and his spine straightened out almost back to normal. I think I extended his like another 6 months or so. He did eventually pass on, not sure why, probably just stress from what hed endured but either way I learned quite a bit about betta care during that time. I know bettas do best with a heater, filter and larger tank but I have to ask, do they need a filter? Is it a necessity? I see a lot of people have betta in smaller tanks without filters and when I mention politely that they may want to look into it they defend the old steriotype, oh betta are easy they dont need all that extra maintance (say the people with the betta in the vase at the drs office lol)...im not judging, ive been there too, but I just try and help them out. Right now I am doing a project on Bettas for college and I want to inform family and children on the proper care of bettas, but I want to give them all of the information I possibly can and all of the different ways you can keep a healthy and happy betta vs ways that they shouldnt be kept. It is a poster project that will include lots of photos and written direction. I am thinking of setting up my old 2.5 gal and getting a betta for the project (great excuse to get another betta lol) but I dont want to steer anyone in the wrong directiong...so do bettas need a filter/heater or air bubbles in their tank to live or are they alright in a smaller tank when just cleaned regularly? Also would live plants benifit a betta if their were no filter, heater or air stone or would it inhibit the bettas cleanliness? Any info would be fantastic! Oh and one last question, if I took the betta to the exhibit with me, he would be without all of those things for a few hours and jossled car ride, good idea or bad? It would be nice for the kids to see the betta and the proper way a tank would be set up but I dont want to harm my possible new betta. Thank you
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Old 08-09-2012, 10:55 AM   #2
daynadsmall
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Just speaking from my own experience here, no expert. I do believe that a Betta is BEST kept in a filtered and planted tank with a heater; that having been said, I have kept them in large bowls without a filter and just done frequent water changes. Plants will help with nitrates and so forth, and give the Betta places to hide, but they also contribute to the bio-load if not maintained, so they are best included in a filtered tank.

I don't think the air stones are a must, since Bettas take their oxygen primarily from the air and not from the water.

My two current Bettas are each in a 6-gallon filtered and heated tank. One has a couple of zebras and a couple of x-ray tetras plus a few snails for companions; the other has some crystal red shrimp.
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6g Eclipse:
1 Double-tail Betta
2 Glowfish Zebras
2 X-ray tetras

6.6 g:
6 African Dwarf Frogs
1 Otocinclus

6.6 g:
6 -- whoops, make that 9 fancy guppies

10g:
6 Female Bettas
Pink Ramshorn Snails
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Old 08-09-2012, 10:55 AM   #3
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What a "cycled" filter does is keep the ammonia and nitrite down to 0. Without a filter there will almost always be some ammonia in the water. So keeping the fish alive becomes a race to change water fast enough to keep the ammonia concentration below fatal levels. Many betta spend a lot of time in those little cups and they survive it. So do they need a filter? Strictly, not if 100% of water is changed frequently enough. But I believe living with even low-level ammonia is less than optimal. It can burn gills and fins, cause stress and make the fish more susceptible to disease.

Some plants do do a great job of eating ammonia. A fish in a large container of plants may be in ammonia-free situation. But some plants only eat nitrite and /or nitrate, so you'd have to research or test the water.
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Old 08-09-2012, 02:01 PM   #4
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bettas need the same things that other tropical fish need..a heater...a filter , regular water changes and a well balanced varied diet consisting of high quality foods...


unfortunately bettas are one of the most abused fish...they are tough little things and manage to suffer through a lot....take proper care of your betta and it will live for 6-8 years....
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if we ignore nature;maybe it will go away

10 gallon..nothing but air

10 gallon...just more air

10 gallon...stale air

just don't ask about the rest

Last edited by lohachata; 08-10-2012 at 04:33 PM.
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Old 08-09-2012, 03:28 PM   #5
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They don't have to have a filter. It's best if they have a filter and half of my tanks have filters, but it's not needed. They are some of the most abused fish out there. IMO, bettas are okay with taking oxygen from the air, and from the water. I have bettas in a tank that has double the filtration and they still come up for air. The water is oxygenated, but they still come up to the surface to get air once every few minutes. I am stating from my personal experience.
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Old 08-10-2012, 12:46 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by lohachata View Post
they do have a labyrinth organ that allows them to take in oxygen from the atmosphere when needed ; but that is not their primary source of oxygen.....
geeeesh...i wonder where folks get this idea......
Um, probably from articles like this: "Even though Bettas do well in waters low in dissolved oxygen, that does not mean they require less oxygen than other fish. Bettas have a special respiratory organ that allows them to breath air directly from the surface. In fact they inherently must do so. In experiments where the labyrinth organ was removed, the fish died from suffocation even though the water was saturated with oxygen. For this reason, Bettas must have access to the water surface to breath air directly from the atmosphere." -- http://freshaquarium.about.com/cs/an...s2/p/betta.htm

Differing opinions and experiences are fine, but no need to be snarky about it.
__________________
I love fish. And Corgis. Corgi hair in my fish tanks, not so much.

6g Eclipse:
1 Double-tail Betta
2 Glowfish Zebras
2 X-ray tetras

6.6 g:
6 African Dwarf Frogs
1 Otocinclus

6.6 g:
6 -- whoops, make that 9 fancy guppies

10g:
6 Female Bettas
Pink Ramshorn Snails
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Old 08-10-2012, 04:30 PM   #7
lohachata
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but the article says nothing about atmospheric air being their "primary source" of oxygen...
so i was a bit snarky about it..i am old...old folks get snarky..lol...i never stated they did not need the labyrinth organ ; only that their primary source of oxygen is derived from the water...
but then again i guess i shouldn't question the experts..my apologies...i shall remove the offending statement...
__________________
PLECOCAINE = feeding frenzy=PLECOCAINE


if we ignore nature;maybe it will go away

10 gallon..nothing but air

10 gallon...just more air

10 gallon...stale air

just don't ask about the rest
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Old 08-11-2012, 02:59 PM   #8
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I would agree that they are best kept in a heated and filtered aquarium of about 5g, but a lot of kids can't afford that, and many parents wont pay for something like that in case the betta dies early, or the kid looses interest. It is possible to keep the betta in a small container, but the betta wont be able to fully thrive in there. So I would go for a 5g with heater and filter. You can buy these of craigslist or kijiji for quite cheap.
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