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I'm looking for opinions, advice and any input you feel like sharing.

A few months ago I feel prey to the terrible impulsebuy-fluenza. That's the disease where you see a pretty fish and you buy it without forethought. I bought a male betta I saw at a store that I just loved. And then just a week or two after that I ended up with a female betta. Doh!

I have set up a 17 gal rimless riparium. It's all set up and I just started to cycle it. Meanwhile I have a 30 gal planted tank. In my planted 30 gal I have 6 ocelot danios, the female betta, the male betta hanging out in a breeder box in the tank, and and some huge [STRIKE]cocktail[/STRIKE] japonica shrimp. Oh and two cherry something or other snails that I caught doing the dirty deed this morning so... looks like lots of baby snails in my future. :eek5:

The plan was to put the male betta in the riparium once it's ready. The female was doing fine with the danios. They are super fast and nobody seemed to be having a problem. But for the past two weeks my danios have taken to hiding all the time. The water parameters are fine and normal. They used to always swim up to the top and go crazy at food time and now they are no where to be seen.

I'm thinking they might be afraid of the female betta. So I think I will have to move her. I was thinking about starting a nano tank--something like a 2 to 4 gallon bowl/vase. But I have a few issues with doing that. Perhaps you can address some of these concerns:

1) how do you heat such a small volume of water without it fluctuation like crazy? Does this mean the heater is going to be working over time and wasting a lot of energy? I feel bad enough about burning the energy to heat/light my "big" tanks...

2) is it really possible to maintain a nano bowl low tech and have it look nice without going high tech? I was thinking if I went this route maybe I could do a "carpet" of flame moss or riccia. Would either of them do ok with low tech/no CO2? And then maybe some other low light plants

But then I had an idea of instead of doing a nano, maybe just sticking a divider in my riparium. But I don't know if that will make it look really ugly. I was thinking of trying to make/find an acrylic divider so it might not look so bad. Then I could put the male on one side and the female on the other. What do you think about this idea?

The concern I have with that is they could still see each other. She at least seems to be very taken with him. She spends all her time around his breeding net and she's gravid--but not gravid because I know you guys don't use that term for egg layers so whatever the term you use for egg layers that means the same thing as gravid. So I worry about her health since she hasn't absorbed her eggs yet. He's made a nice bubble nest but he doesn't flare for her so I don't know if he's into her. I don't plan to breed them so...

So that would still be a concern if I had an acrylic divider. I guess I could look into a bigger tank, not a nano but again, I just feel bad about the energy use. Plus I just spent a lot of money on the riparium... not sure I have the funds to set up a whole new tank at this time.
 

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I tried nano tanks with bettas and it was sort of a pain to do water changes and all. A five or 10 gal is really better, and with a 10 gal you might even have a tankmate or two (not that bettas are easy to match to other species).

For just your one girl, I'd say a 5 gal is your best bet. They are small enough that a basic fluorescent strip is sufficient for most crypts, java ferms, mosses, marimo balls ... and bettas love plants so she'd be quite happy with her own little world.

I don't recommend dividing the riparium because a) it will never look right to you and b) dividers can easily fail when it comes to a determined betta trying to attack the one it sees on the other side. Males and females will absolutely savage each other, given the chance, and your girl may be interested in the male for very un-sexy reasons. Even with a succesful mating, bettas are typically only put together for a short period of time and then immediately separated after the event.

I can't really answer your other questions, but perhaps someone else will stop by who can. :)
 
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