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my beta fish 'percy' has been getting sick ever since i left him with my husband over the summer. He keeps getting fin rot and now he has some little bumps on his fins.Ive cleaned his bowl out every week really really well and then done partial changes inbetween.
I want to upgrade his tank to a bigger one but I am reading so many contrary reports.hes currently in a 1.75 gallon bowl.
I want to get a 2.5 3 gallon tank but here are the problems i have
1) glass is better than plastic?
2) low flow filter yes or no? which one?
3) our house is not very cold but do I need a heater?
4) apple snails or not? I have 2 in there right now.
5) worry about cleanning, carrying a big tank.

I would like a set up that is functional and attractive, I don't really want to see loads of wires. I am scared to put him in this whole neew environment...and what if the filter is too strong, heater too warm?
help!!!

Answer
Hey there! A bowl is no place for a fish! Bowls cannot maintain water chemistry therefore they build up in toxic ammonia besides that they are cold and the water is stagnent. "Percy" is getting fin-rot from being in the bowl, he may also be getting burns from the ammonia build-up. Did you know Ammonia can produce in a bowl in less then 6 hours? This means to keep ammonia down you'd practically have to clean the bowl every 4-6 hours to keep it clean!

Betta Splendens need a 5 gallon aquarium to live happily. With care a Betta can live 6-8 years!

You should purchase a 5 gallon starter kit. Currently on Wal-Mart's website they are selling a 5 gallon starter for 20-30 US dollars.

1) All aquariums are made of glass or acrylic. Glass is cheaper then acrylic and acrylic is mainly used for much larger aquariums so don't worry about that. Glass is better because its cleaner, holds in the water pressure, and provides optimum viewing. They don't sell plastic aquariums...too flimsy.

2) You need a filter. The 5 gallon starter kit comes with one but I suggest tossing it. The flow is fast for the poor fish and they end up getting whipped around from the current. An in-tank filter would be better as it doesn't create that torrent.

Here is one that is good for 5 gallons.

http://www.petsmart.com/product/index.jsp?productId=4239991&lmdn=Fish+Filtration

3) 5 gallon starter kits unfortunately do not come with a heater. All Tropical fish need a heater set to the temperature of 76-82 degrees. A thermometer is a must or else you might end up boiling your fish! You should look for one that is made for 3-5 gallons.

4)No apple snails! Apple snails live up to their name, they grow to the size of an apple and they do more pooping then cleaning. They'll leave brown logs all over your aquarium that will quickly dirty the gravel. Besides this they have crazy breeding habits, they can lay clutches of 500 eggs or even larger and the babies will overrun your aquarium. I would donate both to a local petstore.

5)A 5 gallon aquarium is the smallest they offer out there! Fish are made for aquariums not bowls! To be blunt with you, your Percy won't live a happy or good life in a bowl. Of course aquariums need additional things so the water chemistry is maintained. The fin rot will go away quite quickly in clean water and so will the bumps. You'll definetly notice a difference in his activity levels.

You will first need to cycle the aquarium before you put Percy in. I suggest doing this with a bottle of StressZyme a product that will do the work for you. You'll need to follow the instructions on the back of the bottle. A tank normally cycles 4-8 weeks.

Checklist:

Heater
In-tank filter
Gravel
Hiding places or Live/Fake plants
Net (I am sure this comes with the starter kit)
StressZyme
Thermometer
Water Test Strips
Gravel Siphon
New unused Bucket

A gravel siphon basically cleans the gravel of the crud and leftovers that falls to the bottom and gets under the gravel. The water then pours into the bucket which you can dispose outside or in your sink. Weekly water tests and water changes (with siphon) of 25% are required.

The only wires you'll see its 3, which can be hidden in the back. The hoodlamp wire, the filter wire, and the heater wire. Make sure you look up a "drip" line so if water or moisture does collect it doesn't start a fire.

Don't worry about it too much, I have three 250, 300, and 400 gallon aquariums in my house and I've not set one thing on fire!

Its alright to make mistakes! Just do a lot of research and don't be afraid to ask questions! Percy will love his new enviroment and clean breathable water.

Hope this helped!

Ash

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Ash WolFF

Expertise

My knowledge of fish ranges from freshwater and saltwater fish compatibility and care from easy livebearers to monster fish. I can help you set up a simple freshwater aquarium to a complicated reef tank. I would be pleased to assist anyone who is new to the aquarium hobby.

Experience

I have been in the aquarium hobby for eight years mostly dealing with large and small aquariums. I keep mostly monster fish (Arowana's, Large Cichlids; Oscars, and freshwater/saltwater eels specifically) but now that I am in college I am keeping a 30 gallon tropical community and a 45 gallon brackish aquarium while my father tends to the big monsters I left behind.

Organizations
I'm on YouTube! My 30 gallon community posts are the only ones that are up so far. My Brackish tank is next! http://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3gedHZNmWY28o0-o40nEpA/videos?view=0&flow=grid I'm on Yahoo Answers: http://answers.yahoo.com/my-activity

Education/Credentials
I am currently in college aiming for a job in Marine Biology.

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