The basic recommendations for setting up a Betta water environment include the aquarium or Betta bowl (get one as large as practical for your situation - larger bowls and aquariums are more environmentally stable and easier to maintain), a non-toxic inert gravel with a granular size of 1/8" to 3/16" and a heater-thermostat (if your room temperature does not remain warm). For a single Betta, filtration and aeration are usually not needed, but are recommended if more Bettas or other types of fishes are present. Begin by thoroughly rinsing your bowl or aquarium, filters, gravel, and whatever else you are placing underwater. Avoid metal objects and rock with toxic minerals. Do not use soap or bleach or other cleansers. When finished, add to the aquarium the water you will be using, such as tap water or bottled water.
BE AWARE WHEN USING TAP WATER, BOTTLED WATER, AND NATURAL WATER SOURCES: Most tap water contains small amounts of poisonous substances and toxins that are safe for humans but harmful to fishes. These poisons come from the metal water pipes, decaying organisms in stored water, additives put in by water utilities, and from toxins occurring in the original natural water supply. The AmQuel Plus and NovAqua Plus water conditioners in this kit safely and quickly remove these harmful components. This Smart-Start KIt also successfully treats bottled water, distilled water, reverse osmosis water, and water from natural sources to detoxify them and add missing elements that are needed by fishes, aquatic invertebrates, and plants.
ADDING WATER CONDITIONERS:
Now add the right amount of AmQuel Plus and NovAqua Plus to the water. These Conditioners should be used for the amount of water being added each time to the bowl or aquarium. From each bottle add to the water 10 drops per gallon, or one-half teaspoon per five gallons. The bottles provided with this kit contain enough water conditioner to treat up to 60 gallons (227 liters) of water. Do not overdose. If it appears that more of the conditioners are needed than a regular dose, do them on successive days, not all in a single day.
Since the AmQuel Plus removes toxic nitrogen compounds that previously were impossible to remove without changing the water, the use of AmQuel Plus lessens the frequency for having to make water changes. It has been normal to recommend that 10 to 20 percent of the aquarium water should be changed weekly. While good advice, now this may be done less often, depending upon how crowded the aquarium is and the kinds of inhabitants. Larger-bodied animals consuming greater amounts of food will require more frequent water changes. Care needs to be taken to be sure that the water added is near the same temperature as the water in the bowl or aquarium. Some water from the hot water tap may be needed. Use a thermometer to determine the proper temperature. Water for Bettas and other tropical fishes should be between 72º-78º F (22º-25.5º C). Avoid placing Betta bowls close to heat sources such as furnaces or stoves, or cold and heat from windows. In aquariums over several months old long-term maintenance is needed, which is supplied by Kordon's Tidy Tank™ that removes sludge and organic debris from the substrate and filters, keeps tanks and gravel clean, and reduces odors. Tidy Tank also should be used to take care of overfeeding. Fish should not be fed more than 2-3% of their body weight per day in food. It is easy to overfeed, causing pollution. Do not feed more than the fish will eat in a few minutes. One or two feedings a day should be adequate. Fish can safely go for days without eating.
THE MISTAKE MOST BEGINNERS MAKE: This is when adding new fish to a bowl or aquarium, particularly one that already has fish in it. The chance of introducing infections is high. When introducing fish to a community aquarium with other fish - always isolate new fish in a separate quarantine aquarium for 3-4 weeks. Observe them carefully for infections before putting them in your community aquarium. Use Kordon's Prevent Ich® as a preventative, both for starting an aquarium and when adding additional fish to an existing aquarium. Only when it is clear that they are infection free should you add new fish in with your other fishes. If the fish already have Ich when you put them in your bowl or aquarium, use the moderately stronger Kordon's Ich Attack®, or increase the treatments with Prevent Ich®.