View Full Version : Bamboo question

01-11-2006, 01:03 PM
This is not cichlid related, but its water related so I figured I'd post it here.
I have my new betta in a jar thats growing 3 huge stalks of bamboo. You can see in the picture that his substrate is roots :)
Question - Does anyone think that I will still have to do any water changes? Or just top off for evaporation & what the plants drink?


01-11-2006, 01:54 PM
Just my 2 cents - I swap out all the water on my bamboo weekly to rechange the minerals, thinking to invigorate the bamboo. Of course, that might not be necessary.

Now, for the little guys perspective - never kept beta's (although I have bamboo, hmm...I might just copy you!!!) so I'm going to be watching this post for sure.

Do the plants use ammonia though? I thought they used nitrates and minerals. You wouldn't be getting any cycling in there, so intuitively I'd say the ammonia is going to start to hurt him.

Pure speculation on my part (never stopped me from posting before!:D )

01-11-2006, 02:11 PM
Really good question. I would think that the plant will suck up the nitrates with the normal amount of water almost faster than that one little guy can emit waste, judging by the amount of roots in it. :) I think as long as you try to keep the level the same I think both the plant and him'll be in good shape.

Also, I'm guessing here that the bacteria will colonize on everything and with little to no circulation may concentrate itself higher in the water than you would normally see in tanks where the water is pushed through media. Changing out that water might actually not do either of them any good. Occasionally I'd change it out only because it'll get ucky looking...

Hmmm... Maybe my husband wouldn't notice another fish if I followed suit......

01-11-2006, 02:48 PM
Cool - so you say only evap. top off and it's goign to be self susatianing? Cause I have 3 shoots and a ball of roots too.

Off to google betta basics!

01-11-2006, 03:25 PM
I'm guessing so - I don't know for sure. Looks like a lot of roots for a little fish though.

01-11-2006, 03:49 PM
I suppose that instead of doing this the lazy way (asking you guys :) ) I should actually test the water now that he's been in there for 2 weeks.
I just figure the plant has got to use at least the number of nitrates he produces & I'm not positive, but possibly the ammonia??? So that leaves any trace minerals in the water that would normally build up over time, but I would think that the plant would use those too....
Anyway, that's my dilemma & hence the question.

BTW cichgirl & Neo - If you want to get a betta for your bamboo I totally recommend it. This is the healthiest most active betta I've ever had. He loves to burrow down in the roots. He won't eat off the surface anymore because I feed him frozen bloodworms or brine shrimp when I feed my puffer he loves to dive into the roots after it. I'm always afraid he'll get stuck down there, but he doesn't.

01-11-2006, 04:05 PM
I'm thinking I will. My husband won't even notice. :)

01-12-2006, 06:39 AM
Unfortuantely my vase is a little small....and I googled they do best in 3+ gallons? I do have a 5 gallon tank that would fit beutifully inbetween the supports under my 75 gallon, so he'd be in the view of the main tank.

Are they fun fish to have? I mean, sounds like sometimes they are rather sendentary...and you can't have a female in with a male without risking having all hell break lose....

Still seriously thinking about it though :D

01-12-2006, 09:05 AM
The jar my betta is in with the bamboo is slightly less than 1 gallon. I don't think I've ever kept a male betta alone in anything more than 2 gallons. They can be somewhat sedentary as they get older. They will never be as interactive as cichlids, but alot of it depends on you. I used to have a betta in a bowl on my desk at work, and one of my coworkers actually trained it to be hand-fed. It would breach the surface to take a food pellet off your finger. They make bubble nests if they are in spawning condition and having 2 male bettas in adjacent jars can result in some pretty displays. They will beat the crap out of a female that has no escape from them, unless in a relatively large tank. I'm not sure how much territory males need to coexist, but it is not nearly as much as most cichlids.
Again though they're not cichlids. In the wild they live in puddles, so yeah, alot of the time they're content to just sit there. There is a reason that I haven't kept a betta in about 4 years, and that now I only have one because it can share a jar with my bamboo.

01-12-2006, 09:43 AM
I used to hand feed my gf's old betta. I would say that one should change the water once a week or more to replenish nutrients at the very least.

01-12-2006, 10:57 AM
Not needed.... Remember in the wild these fish live in FILTHY water, often highly polluted. They breathe air being chamber fish, and have very little concern about thier water quality. Not that they should live in a cesspool (like in the wild) or anything, but as long as the water is clear, it shouldn't matter to the fish.

I keep one at work, and he regularly travels home with me in a thermos when I go on vacation! I share my desk with 2 other shifts, so I can't leave him out, instead, I have to place him in my locker between shifts. (Next to desk) and the night shift guy regularly brings him out on his shift. Everyone loves him!

01-12-2006, 11:15 AM
I don't want to rain on anyone's parade, and I'm just passing on what I've been reading since yesterday - it's seems there's quite a disconnect between how bettas are kept, and how they should be kept. One common theme is that a miimum temp of 73 is required, but closer to 80 is ideal. And as in most fish, stability is important.

Rusty, nothing against you, but I would think your little dude might be getting some swings in temp? That's why if I get one I'll keep him in a 5 galon spare I have - I'd love to have him in a vase, but my appartment doesn't have great insulation - I think the temp might swing too much, plus I've also read they thrive once the space gets 3+ gallons, or at least 8" in lentgh (again, just second hand info of the common points online - never kept them myself...)

01-12-2006, 11:21 AM
I'm gonna get one of these for betta for my house. He can be outside in the summer and inside in winter!

Also, can double as a water dish for the dog..... :D

On Ebay (http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=5583004388&ru=http%3A%2F%2Fsearch.ebay.com%3A80%2Fsearch%2Fse arch.dll%3Fcgiurl%3Dhttp%253A%252F%252Fcgi.ebay.co m%252Fws%252F%26fkr%3D1%26from%3DR8%26satitle%3D55 83004388%26category0%3D%26fvi%3D1)

*edit* item#5583004388 I don't know why the page isn't responding.

01-12-2006, 11:33 AM
That looks really cool.
I did worry about my bettas on days that it would be cool in the house, but it never seemed to bother them. I would not keep my betta in filthy water, my question was intended more to find out if the bamboo would likely help keep the water quality really high for one fish, not just good enough to survive.
The jar that I keep my bamboo in is about an 8" rounded square plus the lip on top.
Neo - I'm sure that as with most fish, the more space you can offer the better. If you did the 5 gallon would you still include the bamboo?

01-12-2006, 12:53 PM
I don't think the bamboo would be a pleasing in there - so basically, I've just gone ahead and decided to set-up another tank. Geez, doesn't take much, does it? :D

01-12-2006, 12:54 PM
I am not sure on temperature swings as I have no thermometer at work.... But the office is always warmer than the other areas. I don't have my guy in a bowl, I have him in a "Critter Cage" which is about 12" x 4" x 8" which is triple the room many people allow.... And its as big as I can have at work and still get tucked away when needed. I transport in the thermos during my vacation periods to help keep the temps stable....

Remember I work in a prison, so I am extremely limited....

01-12-2006, 12:59 PM
I've always wanted to do large tank with lots of bamboo planted in it & no hood, for angelfish.

01-12-2006, 01:09 PM
I'm thinking I'm gonna do a bunch of bamboo in a ten gallon with a betta and a bunch of neons. The neons won't nip at his fins, will they?

Nope, doesn't take much...

01-12-2006, 01:22 PM
Rusty - not bashing you dude - I know everyone on this site loves fish and takes great care in keeping them. Just passing along what I've 'found' out on the net for consideration is all. Sounds like your guy is doing fine.

Cichgirl and CFL - sounds cool. That would be awesome. How would you keep the bamboo upright? Or would it be propped against the edges?

01-12-2006, 02:40 PM
I might tie the roots to some driftwood or rocks. Haven't completely thought it through yet....

Of course there's always the possibility of drilling holes in pots filled with gravel to let the roots grow out of.....

01-12-2006, 03:29 PM
Originally posted by NEO_72
Rusty - not bashing you dude -

I never felt bashed... I took it you were concerned and trying to help... No harm and maybe someone learned something!

01-12-2006, 03:41 PM
Neo I hadn't completely figured that out yet :)
Maybe an eggcrate top with so holes enlarged to accomodate the bamboo, and only in the back half of the tank.
Would also need a likely window, so that the tank is below the window level to avoid temp fluctuations & algae, but the bamboo leaves would need plenty of sunlight.
Shrug - one day....

01-13-2006, 06:42 AM
Obsession will overcome the details :D

01-13-2006, 07:29 AM
... it always does. :hehe: