Hi there! I'm brand new to bettas. Until a week ago, I was one of those people who believed they like tiny spaces and lived in cool water.
Yes, I believed the pet shop lady's spiel and brought home a lovely little veiltail fellow with no clue how bettas are actually kept.
Then I googled 'betta care' and got a terrible shock.
Luckily, it's high summer here (32 to 40C lately), so he isn't freezing cold.
I had my newly-purchased betta in a 1 gallon barrel vase with plants and gravel, water conditioner and proper betta food, no heater or filter, which I was told bettas liked. Bzzt, wrong. I changed his water every two days until I could afford a better set up, which must have been quite stressful for him, poor fishy.
Now he's in a 2.5 gallon tank with more plants, a filter -- the heater I bought was broken so I have to go back to the store and replace it. I got some Stability (rapid bio-filter stuff) and a ph test kit. The water's been neutral/slightly alkaline so far. I left the filter off, opting for frequent water changes because I'm a noob and would probably break something if I tried to reduce the filter flow.
Anyway, after being moved from pillar to post my fish was quite stressed and unhappy-looking, off his food and generally droopy (I feel pretty bad for buying an animal without properly researching it first..). Then I accidentally plugged the filter cord in -- and freaked out, thinking I might have scared my betta to death, to top off the disaster list.
But he seemed to really like the bubbles, and though I turned it off after a few minutes his mood has improved dramatically - his fins aren't clamped down, he's greeting me when I walk up to the tank, but still not eating.
The filter flow isn't extremely rapid but faster than I think is comfy for permanent use, and produces a lot of fine misty bubbles - I know it's not good to have part-time filtration, but if he likes the occasional burst of bubble mist, would it hurt to put it on for a few minutes every day?
This is a great forum, and I'm looking forward to reading and learning more about these amazing, beautiful fish.