Idea for a betta vase that isn't cruel? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-08-2007, 10:58 PM Thread Starter
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Idea for a betta vase that isn't cruel?

My girlfriend's mom's birthday is coming up, and I remembered she once asked me if it was ok to keep a betta in a vase because she saw one in a gardening shop and thought it was pretty. At the time, I said no, but now I am thinking about ways to make it work. The idea I am toying with is having a large vase running a sponge filter at the bottom. In reality, it's not an original idea at all; it's just a tank with a lily in it. Anyway, I was wondering if anyone had ever tried this, has any advice about sponge filters (I've never used one, is it basically an air pump, tubing, and a sponge?), suggestions about what I might be able to use as a container, or any objections about this?

EDIT: I forgot to mention, I don't like the idea of using a lily because it covers the surface and chokes off the air. Is there another plant I could use that would be able to have its roots in the water? Another idea I was toying with is having a center chamber made of acrylic sheeting for the plant planted in something like vermiculite or a spongey material with a couple holes in it for water absorption.

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post #2 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-08-2007, 11:22 PM
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bettas breathe at the surface. I've had them thrive in under a gallon for years.

They really do live in small spaces in the wild. A weekly water change will give the betta everything it needs. A sponge filter would be unsightly considering how betta tanks are normally displayed.
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post #3 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-08-2007, 11:24 PM Thread Starter
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Hmmm...alright. So are the betta vases actually as bad as people make them out to be, or are they only bad because the instructions say don't change the water and don't feed?

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post #4 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-08-2007, 11:26 PM
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Why not go with a nice stalk or 2 of lucky bamboo?

It will still allow for alot of space for the betta to get some air.

I have seen a couple setup and they did look good!

I woke up one morning and realized my living room turned into a fish store!!! HELP!!!!
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post #5 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-08-2007, 11:27 PM
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Their bad for all the reasons. Their bad because they say dont change the water. They like clean water just like all other fishes.

Not feeding them is like not feeding any other fish. After awhile it will find what it ever it can to survive.

I woke up one morning and realized my living room turned into a fish store!!! HELP!!!!
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post #6 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-08-2007, 11:30 PM
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I second the bamboo idea. If the vase is a 1 gallon at least with weekly water changes, feeding and kept in a temperature controlled environment since bettas like a little heat I would say that it's okay.

It's not okay to stick a fish in a vase with a plant and expect the plant to grow and the fish to live without having to do anything.

kara
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post #7 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-08-2007, 11:48 PM Thread Starter
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I was thinking like a 2 gallon mason jar with a heater. I was going to say sponge filter, but over_stocked says it's not necessary. The bamboo idea would work, but I was thinking something that had more color, maybe flowers.

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post #8 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-08-2007, 11:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by over_stocked View Post

They really do live in small spaces in the wild. A weekly water change will give the betta everything it needs. A sponge filter would be unsightly considering how betta tanks are normally displayed.

Biggest misconception ever uttered.

They live in rice patties. Have you ever seen one? They stretch for mile and miles.

They are capable of living in small puddles for a small amount of time because they can breather air but its not where they prefer to live.

You could live in a closet but its not what you'd prefer is it?

I wouldn't put a Betta in anything less than a 5 gallon tank. Even then you don't see the true personality. After I moved mine to the 55 he was 100 times more active and colorful.
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post #9 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-09-2007, 12:17 AM Thread Starter
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I am inclined to agree, I keep mine in a 5 gallon, and before he started going buck wild on my other fish, a 10 gallon. He definitely swims a lot more and doesn't mope like the bettas in cups at pet stores. So do people ever do nanos with bettas?

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post #10 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-09-2007, 12:47 AM
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Smallest tank I have for all of my 15 betta's is 3 gallons. Lightly planted with low lights.

I have a 20 gallon with dividers that I built. All the betta's in there are active and healthy. I keep the water flow on the surface low, but the on the bottom the current is mild. They love it.

I woke up one morning and realized my living room turned into a fish store!!! HELP!!!!
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post #11 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-09-2007, 01:48 AM
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Put Java Moss in bowl at least 1.5 gallons. The Java Moss doesn't need to be buried in substrate and it's requirements are very low. It makes the water conditions very healthy.
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post #12 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-10-2007, 12:45 AM
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I really think bettas are quite content in a gallon container. I wouldn't put them in anything much smaller. My three males are quite happy in theirs, sitting on the kitchen table where they get plenty of attention. I've had each of them in a ten gallon (at separate times of course) and only one of them seemed to like it ~ the other two seemed nervous, like they were afraid another fish was going to come from the other end of the tank and fight them.

Females on the other hand are fine in a ten gallon. I have two girls together in a planted ten g and they're happy as clams.

I also completely agree with putting plants in there with them, just not anything that covers the top completely. They must be able to come to the top to get a breath to fill their labyrinth organ or they'll die. Yes, you really can drown a betta! Java moss is a GREAT plant for a betta tank, as is Java fern. Keeping plants in with the bettas not only helps keep the water clean of course, but it also gives them somewhere to rest and just makes the whole thing look better imho. If you're going to get a crowntail betta, then Java moss isn't a good idea ~ the strings or "spines" of their tail gets caught in it quite easily, tearing up the fins and/or getting them just plain stuck to where you have to get them untangled. Java Fern or anubias would be a better choice for them.

The best food for them by far imho is Hikari Betta Bio Gold ~ just three or four pellets per day is plenty. Frozen bloodworms every now and again as a treat is a good idea, too. She should also keep some frozen peas on hand in case of constipation ~ just thaw one out, take the shell off it, crumble it up very tiny and feed it. But if she feeds only lightly and skips a day every now and again (no more than once a week), she shouldn't have any problem with constipation in the first place. Just tell her to look at the fish from the top every now and again to make sure he's staying full throughout his body and adjust his food accordingly. It's hard to tell if a betta is starving from looking at him from the side ~ but it's easy from the top.

I find that mine don't need heaters either. I keep my house pretty cool and they're just fine with it. Same thing with a filter. The plants will take care of that ~ that and water changes every week or two. If you have plenty of plants in there and a tank of atleast a gallon, you really shouldn't need to do it more than that. Changing it every couple days will stress the fish out, especially if you have to add a water treatment, so I wouldn't recommend it.

Some bettas like a buddy in with them. I have one who loves his apple snail (mystery snail ~ the smaller ones) and gets upset if I take it out. Yet I have another one who could care less about snails. He's still young yet, and still plenty agressive. The old man is the one who likes the snail and also happens to be the one who doesn't mind a ten gallon tank ~ that's probably because he's not so agressive anymore, now that he's aged somewhat.

I'd recommend getting the betta at a Petsmart if you have a good one near you who keeps their tanks clean and bettas in the filtered "barracks" (a long row of small, 5"x5"x3" or so individual "tanks" so-to-speak set up above the other display tanks, at eye level, that have water running through them). It's not the best thing to have them all hooked up to a central filtration system like that since obviously diseases can spread easily, but it's a far cry better than keeping them in the cups. As you probably know, the bettas gills get burned terribly from ammonia in those cups, so that shortens their lifespan. Even if you find the perfect one in a cup at Petsmart, it's still better than buying one in a cup from a petstore with less traffic ~ Petsmart sells them so fast that the ones you see on the shelf haven't been in those cups long. I haven't had such good luck with bettas from small petstores and I think it's for this very reason. I just lost a gorgeous crowntail a couple weeks ago that I knew better than to get ~ he was in a cup at a small petstore and I couldn't resist. Three weeks later and he was belly up.

Good luck! I think this is a thoughtful gift and that your "MIL" will love it! Bettas have quite the personalities!

~ Linda ~

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post #13 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-10-2007, 12:49 AM Thread Starter
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I'm still trying to find a plant that will work in this setup. Is there any way I could grow some terrestrial flowers in some kind of hydroponic setup?

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post #14 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-10-2007, 05:36 AM
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There was an article in one of the fish magazines a while back (maybe a year or so?) about how to do the beta vase thing right. It involved an airstone/pump and some tubing, to get air below the plant for the fish, One of those things that holds the plant up out of the water, and just lets the roots go in (air stone went through this) It was at least a gallon (more is better) and involved regular feeding/cleaning. The biggest misconception on the beta vases is "don' feed, don't clean". Yeah, they still need food and clean water!! Those who get them to live months that way are just getting lucky cause the fish is slowly starving to death, but because of that, it's not making much waste and the water isn't getting so dirty...

As for Betas in small spaces, yes they live in rice paddies in the wild. In the dry season, they have their own lil puddle (but it is still a pristine puddle, lots of natural filtration etc.), in the rainy season, they have lots more room, and may wander into a female or two for breeding. Small spaces aren't totally evil (though I wouldn't EVER do less than a gallon, and more is ALWAYS better), but you have to keep up with regular water changes to keep the water clean enough for them. I don't do bowls myself, I've got my beta in my 10g nano amano. (the amano part needs working on, but will get better after I move). Also, if you do a plant in the vase, make sure it stays nice and healthy. A healthy plant will help water quality. A dying plant will kill the fish.

I think the magazine was either TFH or Fish or FAMA not sure which.

Emily
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post #15 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-10-2007, 08:29 AM
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an lfs near me uses glass dishes that are not much better than the death cups but they do have an open top AND they grow bamboo in the dish for some natural filtration. they are some of the healthiest bettas i have seen in a store.

so far we have one going for a few months and quite happy.
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