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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have a delta tail male betta that I've yet to name in a two gallon tank. I'm going to upgrade him to a five gallon in the next few weeks and had a few questions.

First, sand. I've heard mixed stories on sand with bettas. I've heard that they're perfectly fine with it and others that they eat it and die. I would like to put sand in the new tank with a piece of wood and some Indian almond leaves, but I don't want to inadvertently cause my bettas problems. Your thoughts and opinions?

Second, to filter or not to filter. If I put a filter in the tank it'll be a sponge filter, but I wonder if the tank will be okay without a filter? I do water changes on the weekends and the tank will have a heater.

Third, name suggestions for the betta?
 

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Filter filter filter. A sponge filter is an excellent choice for a betta, but you need a filter. You need a heater, as well, to maintain temps in the mid-to-upper 70's.

I'd you're not filtering you should be doing 25% water changes ever other day or 50% twice a week. It's just easier and better to set up a sponge filter to keep your fish healthy.

Also, I've never heard of betta's getting impacted from sand. They usually don't Hoover around the bottom of the tank and they really shouldn't be eating it, if they're being fed pellets or flakes or other food at the top of the tank. Mine occasionally try to eat inedibles (including sand) but end up spitting them out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Filter filter filter. A sponge filter is an excellent choice for a betta, but you need a filter. You need a heater, as well, to maintain temps in the mid-to-upper 70's.

I'd you're not filtering you should be doing 25% water changes ever other day or 50% twice a week. It's just easier and better to set up a sponge filter to keep your fish healthy.

Also, I've never heard of betta's getting impacted from sand. They usually don't Hoover around the bottom of the tank and they really shouldn't be eating it, if they're being fed pellets or flakes or other food at the top of the tank. Mine occasionally try to eat inedibles (including sand) but end up spitting them out.
Okay, sponge filter it is then. I already have one running in my shrimp tank so I can just dig out my double outtake air pump and hook both of them up to that.

That's what I was thinking. I've never seen my bettas try to eat their substrate or other inorganic objects like that either.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I've seen my most enthusiastic betta pick up sand while trying to grab food, but he immediately spits it back out. Sand is fine with bettas, and in fact with most fish.
And I feed my bettas pellets that I watch to make sure they don't sink. So I'm guessing I should be fine?
 

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I have a delta tail male betta that I've yet to name in a two gallon tank. I'm going to upgrade him to a five gallon in the next few weeks and had a few questions.

First, sand. I've heard mixed stories on sand with bettas. I've heard that they're perfectly fine with it and others that they eat it and die. I would like to put sand in the new tank with a piece of wood and some Indian almond leaves, but I don't want to inadvertently cause my bettas problems. Your thoughts and opinions?

Second, to filter or not to filter. If I put a filter in the tank it'll be a sponge filter, but I wonder if the tank will be okay without a filter? I do water changes on the weekends and the tank will have a heater.

Third, name suggestions for the betta?
I use Black diamond 'sand' in all my betta tanks, and my husband has regular white aquarium sand in his betta's tank. There have been no issues with any fish here eating sand. My suspicion as to why a betta would eat sand would bee under feeding and they are looking for food or they are fed improperly and all food sinks so they have to eat off the bottom.


When using driftwood please know that bettas have extremely delicate fins that easily shred. Best thing to do is get 1: nylon stocking (can get cheap at grocery store or dollar store) and 2 wet-dry sandpaper. Rub the nylon stocking over every inch at every angle of the wood you intend to use. If if slightly snags or full blow rips that part will sherd a bettas fin. Go at it with the sand paper (wet-dry lets you rinse the wood off and repeat as needed without gumming up the paper(would happen with regular sand paper)). Get the whole thing sanded down and smooth, be mindful of long tips/branch-y ends as long fins can snag on those too. Now I'm not saying you can't do driftwood. I have it in a few of my tanks but I took the hour+ to make it betta safe.

When using IAL (Indian almond leave) you need to be aware of your tap's pH and hardness (buffers pH). Unless you have 'liquid rock' aka extremely hard water adding 1-2 whole leaves can plummet pH pretty quick. While bettas do tolerate a wide range of pH, no fish likes drastic swings. I'd advise adding 1/3-1/2 of a leaf at a time, give it a few days to start leeching and see how it effects pH before adding more. Be mindful when dong water changes of this pH difference and consider aging water out for a few days with a bit of IAL to get its pH to tank's pH.

Filter:always a good idea! While bettas might survive without one they are much more comfortable, active, and healthy with a filter (and heater ^^), a cycled tank is always better. Even in a planted tank ammonia builds up during 'lights off' as plants only absorb ammonia when they can photosynthesize. F
Best/easiest solution is a sponge filter run on an air pump (7 of my 9 bettas have sponge filters). I recommend Jardin brand sponge files (on amazon) as they are a soft sponge material.. I'd bought a different brand that had such a rough sponge it was not betta safe (failed the nylon test), so I had to wrap it in a shower scrunchie to protect the fish's fins.
But bettas don't do well with strong flow, if you want to use an HOB you need to stick with very low GPH. Azoo palm(also called Azoo Mignon) is used by a lot of betta owners, and its the filter on my husband's 5.5g betta tank, as far as HOB's go for small tanks I'd recommend it! I like that it comes with a pre-filter sponge to slip over the intake. I find that little add on is a must with hob, canister, or internal filters-the intake slots can suck fins n and rip them as the betta fulls away. Making a simple filter foam 'sock' to slip over circular intakes or cutting and tieing a strip of foam to internal filter intakes is highly recommended to save betta fins. If you use an hob you may also need a piece of foam stuffed into the outflow to reduce current depending on GPH. If you use an internal filter or canister I suggest using a spray bar for the outflow to disperse current so its not too strong (you can aim the spray bar holes against the wall the bar is agaisnt so water bounces off the closest wall and them spreads around the tank)
Some other filter options used and recommend by other betta owners (on a bettafish specific forum):
Amazon.com : Jardin Aquarium Fish Tank Mini Biochemical Sponge Filter : Pet Supplies
Amazon.com : Jardin Fish Tank 4 Layer Sponge Biochemical Water Corner Filter : Aquarium Filters : Pet Supplies


Aquarium Internal Filter IF-201
Aquarium Hang on Filter PFE-1 - 15 Gal Capacity, 45 GPH, 2W

There are some small gph HOBs on e-bay too but cannot link them here. You can also use aquaclear's smallest HOB but you will have to do the sponge /foam over the intake outflow and keep it on the lowest setting.
Note: if you have foam over the intake it will clog with time and need periodically rung out. Turn off filter during water change and take off foam to squeeze in removed tank water then put back on and start filter again. How often you have to do this depends on stock (if you add a snail9s) it will clog faster with poop), and uneaten food/dead plant matter left in the tank.
 

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If you had him in a 10g, you could easily go without a filter, using floating plants to do the filtering for you. Smaller tanks (bowls) are tricky. You would need a lot of floating plants in them to keep the ammonias at zero, which is where your ammonia should always read. Plants or not, small bowls (Less than 10 gallon in my opinion) are going to need more water changes. My sister has a betta in a large bowl, with a heater, but no filter. There is a peace lily with it's roots down in the water. Her fishes die every year, and she just replaces them. I keep telling her that she needs a 10gallon tank with lots of floating plants if she doesn't want to deal with a filter. She says bowls are easier to take over to the sink and clean, etc. So her bettas die regularly, and she just replaces them. I think Bettas are too big for even the larger bowls, and should be in a 10g tank minimum. Bettas are not like small fish, neons, etc., that can live more easily in small areas. But I totally understand why bowls are used instead of 10g tanks. They are easier to put on desks, clean, move around, etc. So I get it. But it can be deadly to a Betta.
 

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I'll pass on what I learned from an old wise betta guru: sand! And that most people don't use enough of it. The sand she used was kind of a larger grain. Similar to the sand on west coast beaches. Also she used a lot of it. At least 1/3 of the bowls she had were filled with it...maybe even closer to 1/2. She told me once that years ago when she first immigrated to the US from China that someone told her she was keeping too much substrate and not enough water. So she started using less and only then did she start to have losses. So she went back to her method. Of course she still has people telling her that all the time but now she just politely listens. I must say she had some of the most beautiful fish I've ever seen.
Also, betta fish avg 1-3 year lifespan and they can be close to a year old at purchase so don't get discouraged if they pass from old age.
 

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Also, betta fish avg 1-3 year lifespan and they can be close to a year old at purchase so don't get discouraged if they pass from old age.
I must say that under good conditions (good husbandry), Bettas have lived much longer. Even up to 7 years. I have female bettas going on approx. 5 years old now. (I've had them fours years as of this month) They are really big too. About three inches not including tail fins, and really wide/thick compared to other bettas I've seen. These are the regular, not giant, bettas. But I've taken good care of them. They are fat and happy! They have slowed way way down, however, and I can't keep younger females with the older ones. The younger pick on them too much. As far as male bettas, mine are all still between 6 months and 1.5 years old. So who knows how long they will be with me....if I don't kill them first ... :wink2:
 

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I must say that under good conditions (good husbandry), Bettas have lived much longer. Even up to 7 years. I have female bettas going on approx. 5 years old now. (I've had them fours years as of this month) They are really big too. About three inches not including tail fins, and really wide/thick compared to other bettas I've seen. These are the regular, not giant, bettas. But I've taken good care of them. They are fat and happy! They have slowed way way down, however, and I can't keep younger females with the older ones. The younger pick on them too much. As far as male bettas, mine are all still between 6 months and 1.5 years old. So who knows how long they will be with me....if I don't kill them first ... :wink2:

That's as long as I've ever heard them to live. I often find that those with as much experience as yourself do little things that may not even seem consequential to them..... A tiny pinch of salt in change water, feeding frequency, etc, etc. For the benefit of the thread poster, and mine as well, was wondering if you have any similar tips to share.
 

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That's as long as I've ever heard them to live. I often find that those with as much experience as yourself do little things that may not even seem consequential to them..... A tiny pinch of salt in change water, feeding frequency, etc, etc. For the benefit of the thread poster, and mine as well, was wondering if you have any similar tips to share.
I keep lots of floating plants, and feed frozen blood worms mixed with frozen brine shrimp at least once a week. My tap water does not have chloromines, but if it did, I would use RO water. I think chloromines are very very bad for people and for fish. Google your municipality water supply. It will tell you on the site whether your water uses Chloromines. If it does, it's RO water time! I have not used any medicines because my fish have never gotten sick. Knocking on wood like crazy right now.....I think not having a substrate or filter allows me to thoroughly clean my tanks every couple of months, and that contributes to a good environment as well. I suggest either a diatom filter be used every two weeks, or a uv light be kept on the tank. I wonder if anyone keeps a uv light on a fish bowl? LOL!
 
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