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Fish/Betta care in a 10 gal


Dear Richard,
I'm thinking of getting a betta for my 10gal tank.  My plan is to have silk plants and perhaps some smooth rocks over gravel. In the past, I've had a variety of tropical fish as well as goldfish, most of whom have lived for several years, but I've never had a betta.
My first question is: Should I keep a filter for 10gal? I keep reading conflicting information on whether filters are needed or not.  Mine is a silent filter; the engine is a small box that rests at the bottom of the tank. Also, currently the tank is usually at 75-78F degrees, with 4-6 hours of light but without a heater. Should I get a heater, or keep the light on longer? I live in the subtropics, so the AC is always at between 73-79F year long.
I want to prepare the tank and have everything running smoothly before bringing a little one home. Any other tips or advice are welcome.
Thank you! - Ana

Hi Ana

A Betta needs a heater and a filter. The heater should be set at 78 degrees. I would also leave the lights on for 10-12 hours a day.

Good idea to use silk plants, plastic plants can tear a Betta's fins. This is also true for rocks, never use rocks that have sharp edges.

I'm not a fan of the type of filter you have...I prefer bio-wheel hang on back filters. They are quiet, and can be purchased at Petco or Petsmart for about $15.

Feed your Betta Tetramin Tropical flakes. These provide a well balanced diet. Never use pellets, the pellets tend to expand and cause constipation. Also give him freeze dried bloodworms about once a week.

Hope this helps, good luck!



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Richard Hight


I own and maintain several freshwater aquariums from 2 to 180 gallon. I can answer most questions about freshwater aquariums, including setup, cycling, maintenance, compatible tank mates, feeding. Moving? I've moved fish both across town and across the country and can help you get your little aquatic friends to their new home safely. I know and have experience with most freshwater community fish, South American Cichlids and African Cichlids. I don't answer questions about Goldfish or keeping Goldfish with Tropical Fish. I also don't answer questions about keeping crustaceans (shrimp, snails, crabs etc) with Tropical Fish, nor questions about saltwater fish or aquariums. I'm not available to answer questions on weekends, this is when I do maintenance on my own tanks.


Many years of personal experience with fish and aquariums

HSG 2010-2011 prof

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