Do Betta Fish Need Filters? 0 455

If you do some research on the question ‘do betta fish need filters?’, you may find yourself getting more than one answer. The truth is that betta fish can survive in a tank without filtration… but this doesn’t mean that they should have to!

One of the main reasons why people assume it’s not necessary to have a filter in a tank containing a betta fish is that bettas are “labyrinth” fish. This means they have a lung like organ which enables them to take in oxygen straight from the air. They can go to the top of the tank and breathe in oxygen that can then be circulated through their bloodstream.

This means that betta fish don’t need the same oxygenation of their tank water as other fish. However, having a filter in the tank helps with far more than just oxygenation…

How can a filter be beneficial for bettas?

One important factor that you should take into account when choosing whether to have a filter in your betta tank is that filters can help to create an ecosystem that supports the growth and survival of micro-organisms. And these micro-organisms are really useful in helping to break down any waste that builds up in the tank!

If you have a filter in your tank then you should only need to do a 30% water change once a week. This should include cleaning the gravel and making sure you get rid of any algae.

You shouldn’t remove all of the water from the tank as this would also remove the micro-organisms that are helping to maintain a healthy ecosystem.

Betta fish and filters – points to remember

There are certain things to do with the physical make-up of a betta fish that mean you have to think carefully about filtration. One of these things is the long delicate fins they have, which can be damaged by strong filtration.

Here are some points to remember about using a filter in a betta tank:

  • Always use slow flow filtration that doesn’t stress or damage your fish.
  • It’s very difficult to use a filter effectively in a tank that is less than 2.5 gallons in size.
  • Opting for a larger tank usually makes management of the tank easier in the long run.

You can see that using a filter in the tank with your betta is a good idea. However, if you choose not to have a filter in the tank then you still have to ensure a high level of water quality is sustained. This means that you have to commit to doing a full water change twice every week.

Frequent water changes are time consuming, especially as you have to wait for the water to reach the right temperature before you re-introduce your betta. You should also remember that if there are any other fish in the tank with your betta then you have to provide a filter for their benefit.

In conclusion: the best way of maintaining the water quality for your betta is to have a slow flowing filter in the tank.

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5 reasons a tortoise is the perfect pet 0 247

Tortoises are adorable animals and they are great pets to keep in your home. Here we explore the top five reasons why you should consider getting a tortoise as a pet.

1. Low maintenance

With some space to enjoy and some lettuce to chomp on, a tortoise will be pretty happy. This low maintenance pet won’t need walking twice a day and will keep themselves entertained.

2. Tortoises are very affordable

Tortoises are very affordable to keep in your home. Once they are set up with a comfortable space to enjoy, there will be very little cost to upkeep them. Their food is cheap and their space remains clean for long periods without needing to be changed.

3. Tortoises live long lives

Tortoises will also be around for a long time. They can live from 14 to 30 years or more depending on the species, which means you will have a friend for years to come. Unlike most other pets, you will be able to enjoy your tortoise for vast periods of your life.

4. They’re harmless

Tortoises are far more harmless than cats and dogs. While they may bite your finger if you put it in their mouth, little damage will be done. A tortoise is a very safe pet to have in the home and is great when you have children too.

5. Tortoises are loyal

Tortoises are unlike most pets in that they are happy in the space you give them. With room to wander around, food to eat and occasional trips into the garden to play and eat grass, the tortoise will be happy. Tortoises will not try to run away from you like dogs, hamsters or guinea pigs.

Tortoises are adorable creatures to keep as pets and they are a very practical and affordable animal to have in your home. Unlike many pets, it is easy to keep a tortoise and to keep them happy for a long time. With a tortoise, you will have a friend for years and years to come.

Photo: Tortoise by snowmentality licensed under Creative commons 2

Keeping exotic fish as pets 0 374

Exotic fish

There’s something mesmerising about watching a tank full of brightly coloured fish swim around. Do they make good pets though? Is it hard to keep exotic fish? With the right pet care and pet advice, exotic fish make great, if unusual pets.

Tank size

Go for the biggest sized tank you can afford and have room for. The bigger your tank, the easier you’ll find keeping the balance of the water right. Your fish need plenty of room to swim too. Aim for at least a 20-gallon tank.

Tank set-up

You’re going to need a heater to warm the water. You’ll also need a filter to ensure clean, healthy water, which is crucial for fish to thrive. It’s advisable to add an air pump to boost the oxygen levels.

You’ll also need a light for the tank, and a timer for the light, so it’s not on all the time. Bear in mind a fish tank should be placed out of direct sunlight, away from draughts and heating sources.

On top of the things that make your tank work you’re going to need everything that goes into your tank; gravel for the bottom, plants, and decorative caves and tunnels so your fish can hide if they want to.

You can usually buy aquarium starter kits at pet food stores if you want help in pulling everything together.

Getting the water right

The filter will cycle your water to make it suitable for fish to live in, never add tap water directly to the tank. You need to de-chlorinate it first. You can also add a water treatment to help keep the water healthy between changes.

You should change about 10-15% of the water each week to keep it clean and healthy for the fish. Never do a full tank change once your fish are in the tank.

Choosing your fish

When you choose your fish, make sure you start introducing them slowly – this will help you identify if you’ve got the water balance right, and at this point, your tanks eco-system is still developing, so adding lots of fish can damage it.

There’s a wide range of tropical fish to choose from – Cichlids, Betta and Swordtails are good starter fish, and are nice to look at. Never mix goldfish and tropical fish together.