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Move to a 2 1/2 gallon Betta tank

Discussion in 'Talk to Tom Barr' started by suep, Jun 8, 2008.

  1. suep

    suep Prolific Poster

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    I'm really distracted right now (my Marine son just got his first posting, to Iraq) and I'm probably looking for something to occupy me more than anything else. And I'd like to reduce the work & number of tanks/lives that are depending on me. Anyway, I know I'm not thinking totally clearly and I don't want to harm the fish in this tank, esp the Betta.

    I have a 10 gallon low light, Excel tank sitting on my desk. I dose KNO3 and KH2PO4 a couple times a week, Excel and Seachems Flourish and Iron. It's got an Aqua Clear HOB filter, gravel, lots of misc plants. It's done well for a year, with a red Betta, 6 neons, a couple of surviving cories/algae eaters. It takes up more room than I'd like on my desk, and I'm seriously considering moving the betta to a 2 1/2 gallon tank (same 18 watt pc light). The other fish could go in my 46 gallon bowfront but the betta needs to either move to the 2 1/2 gallon or go to a friend of mine who might take him for her 10 gallon Mollie tank. (Would Black Mollies hassle a Betta?) I'd appreciate any comments on my plans.

    I'd probably use laterite, or could I wash and reuse the gravel I have? I'd reuse the smallest plants (I don't remember the names but I have some sag and several foreground plants that have stayed small for a year.) Can I use the Aqua Clear I have or should I look for a nano filter? Or can I get away with nothing? I can reuse the filter media, of course. Is this light going to be too much? I suppose I can use a pc desk lamp, if I need to.

    If I do this, I need to transfer everything at once, I don't have room/time/energy to cycle another tank. Is that possible, or should I call my friend and ask her to take the Betta?
     
  2. sheen&ieee.org

    sheen&ieee.org Junior Poster

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    I've put a betta in about every community tank I have ever had because I always feel sorry for the ones in the cups at the pet store. I think betas are one fish that can survive some level of cycling so if you put some of the old gravel and filter media in the 2 1/2 tank it would not only survive but thrive. Also, I would think it would survive with Mollys at your friends. It might also like your 46 unless it has another betta. I have had a betta with fairly big angel fish and it held its own. Also, they are too slow to bother smaller animals much although I assume they would eat any small fish/shrimp they could catch. Whatever happens to it, it has had a nicer life than 99% of betas. Typically they live short miserable lives and even with good care I think they only last a couple years.

    I would reuse the gravel and some of the filter media just because it has all the good bacteria and fish waste. I would not sterilize it because I think you want to keep that bacteria alive. I really screwed up a tank once by rinsing out all the filter media with tap water and the tank had to cycle again but with the added load of lots of fish. I think keeping the old filter is mostly a question of asthetics. If you want a smaller filter I would try to hang both the old and new filter on the tank for a while or use media from the old filter in the new one to minimize cycling. I think transfering every thing at one would work just fine as long as you keep that good bacteria alive (don't rinse gravel or filter media in tap water without adding declorinator).

    I would reuse plants that have thrived and use the new tank as an excuse to get rid of any plants I didn't like. I am very bad with plants and find them a lot harder to understand than fish. That is why I've been reading this forum a lot.
    -Dan
     
  3. suep

    suep Prolific Poster

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    You're the first person I've talked to that thought the Betta would do OK in the big tank. Interesting, that really would be easiest for me. If it worked...

    Right now he's still in the 10 gallon, the 2 gallon morphed into a saltwater tank with a pygmy geometric hawkfish. My desk is getting crowded... :)

    The 46 gallon is heavily planted, with cardinals, fancy guppies, and a pearl gourami female. There's some tank pictures at:

    Misc Pictures and Stuff

    I've had the betta since May 2007, and he looks great so I really do want to do whatever is best for him.
     
  4. sheen&ieee.org

    sheen&ieee.org Junior Poster

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    I did some searching on the web and some people claimed the betta might attack the fancy guppies because of the flowing tails. An article also claimed that the Gourami would attack the betta. My community tank has rummynose tetras, emperor tetras, Kuli loaches, otos, and cories along with the betta. I have had bettas before in other tanks with other fish and have never directly observed any problems.

    My problems have always been with african cichlids, oscars, and angel fish. I think they get big enough and mean enough to cause problems. My biggest problems occur when I have just one or two dominant fish. One dominant fish decides he needs to kill everything. Two dominant fish decide to fight to the death.

    With smaller fish there are so many in the tank that what little aggression there is gets spread out. I have eight emporer tetras. Three males and 5 females. The males look at each other and posture a bit and pester the females but it all gets spread out. I know with three males, a lone female might be abused. Similarly in a smaller tank I suppose there might be a fatality.

    Your 46 gallon tank is so thickly planted I would sure be tempted to try the betta in it. I suspect that the problems people report are when the fish are in closer quarters without a lot of cover. Maybe someone else will chime in who has specific experience with bettas, guppies, and gouramis....
    Good Luck,
    -Dan
     
  5. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi Suep,

    Your betta should be fine in the 46g. I see nothing in there that will not interact well. He will pretty much leave others alone.

    Any fish with trailing/long fins is like string to a kitten to a lot of fish. As long as each fish can get away from any bullying, they will be okay.

    Mollies and the betta will be fine as well.

    Dan,

    These are all cichlids which for the most part are more intelligent and more aggressive than tetras, rasboras, etc.

    Oscars and angels are not as aggressive as say even a Jewel cichlid, but when spawning, they will.

    Also, any fish small enough to fit in their mouth will get eaten if they can be caught. This is a good general rule for any fish.

    Some LONE gouramis can be a bully, but usually the blue one fits this bill. I have kept many others and none were hostile at all. They (and many fish) do well with companions of their kind.
     
  6. suep

    suep Prolific Poster

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    Thanks, guys. I may try it. I know the betta tends to chase the neons in the 10 gallon but they don't seem too bothered. I do tend to worry about putting different fish with long fins together...

    The 46 gallon has guppies, cardinals, 3 cherry barbs, a female pearl guorami, 3 hatchet fish, a couple cories... The male pearl guorami was an incredible bully and went back to the lfs. Sad, because he was really beautiful, but nobody else would come out and play. It's taken months, but the female is fairy tame these days and comes up and looks at me. She's really gotten a lot of color this month, maybe it's breeding season.
     

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