G'day from Australia! - Betta Fish and Betta Fish Care
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-03-2012, 06:01 AM Thread Starter
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Location: Australia!
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G'day from Australia!

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.
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-03-2012, 07:03 AM
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G'day ! Well, been there, done that. I have noticed that Bettas spread their fins more with a little stimulation. That's what the bubbles are probably doing. It seems like a lot of fish like to play in bubbles. Your fish has had a lot of changes to go through so far. He should calm down and start eating. If not, try out some different foods. I'm not sure about the filter. I'd say that, if he can "rest" without being carried around the aquarium and comfortably get air at the surface, I'd leave it on. I'm no expert, so please read on for more precise info.
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-03-2012, 12:01 PM
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Hi and welcome to the forum.
Though it wouldn't hurt your boy, but you may want to permanently use your filter for water cycling purposes.
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-03-2012, 05:12 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, fish monger and indjo. I think the filter flow is too fast for him to find it restful. The little flow outlet is close to the top of the tank (fixed in place) which makes it hard to adjust, so he can't chill out at the top without his fins fooshing around and his body being displaced. I've wondered if covering the nozzle with something might slow the water down - I'm just nervous of doing something wrong!

So now he seems really hungry (he flips his swimmy fins really fast at me when he wants food, lol), but when I feed him he holds the food in his mouth for a little while before spitting it out. His water seems fine, I just changed it also. I have Bettamin flakes for him, and he seemed to like those just fine before the move to this tank. He still seems to like them now and really goes for them, but doesn't swallow them at all. Is he sick? He seems pretty bright compared to how he was in the smaller container. I read about dropsy, but his scales are fine. Maybe his mouth is sore?
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-04-2012, 12:34 AM
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Welcome to the forum, great to have you here and great to see how you folks down under keep your tanks!

And no worries, many of us here have made the same or simular mistakes in the past too. Im sure more than a few of us have had to learn while we burn. You live and you learn. Hopefully your fish can thrive in the new set up! Look forward to hearing more about it.

BTW...where abouts in Austraila are you residing? Havent been there in years and miss my time spent there in a major kind of way!

I remember when stupidity used to hurt...there was a lot less of it back then!
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-04-2012, 02:48 PM
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You can have the filter on 24/7 like is recommended if you "baffle" it. There are stickies around the forum on how to baffle a filter.

My method is to get a bit of aquarium sponge (not regular sponge as that has harmful additives) or some kind of filter media and stick it in the intake tube leaving just a bit of room at the top of the intake. If the flow is still uncomfortable for your little guy, I tie a peice of aquarium sponge over the outtake of the filter :)

1 Male ~ 5 Females
3 Bronze Cories
1 Hamster
Soon, 1 cornsnake!
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-06-2012, 05:50 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone for the warm welcome!

Good news-- with some unexpected extra monies I can now afford a shiny new 5 gallon tank for Sid. Squee! So I'll be getting that together some time this week. I can't wait!

LFI, I'm in Melbourne. :) Whereabouts were you?

bettafish15, I found a 'secret' (or just really easy to overlook? ) flow adjuster on the pump, so I'm trying it out on the lowest setting. I'll use the baffle technique when I get the bigger tank though, cheers for that info.

I've learned so much about bettas in a week, my head is swimming (pun intended) - they're wonderful little critters. I'd love to see them in their natural environment. Are there any documentary type videos on that, anyone knows about?
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-06-2012, 02:56 PM
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Good luck with your new hobby
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-06-2012, 09:14 PM
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Hey, I'm from Melbourne too. I think us Australians are starting a slow invasion of Bettafish.com

If you've got any questions about the best and cheapest fish stores, just shoot me a PM. There are a few dodgy/not so spectacular places around.

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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-07-2012, 03:23 AM Thread Starter
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Marlboroack - thanks! :)

LBF, awesome - yes, I'd really like a list. Also, Melbourne rocks. But you'd know that already. :D

I snuck out of my hospital-at-home incarceration today and went to the local aquarium. Good points and bad points:

- I saw some awesome native-looking betta in a lovely dark water tank. I forget what its species was, but I must look it up, amazing looking fishy, that one - and what a mug on it!

- after seeing lots of lovely clean display/stock tanks, I was directed toward the bettas. AGH. Aaaagh! Rows of sick-looking little fishies, sitting in tiny cups of their own filth? This is NOT what I expected from this store. The guy running that section also told me that it'd be cheaper to get a new fish rather than treat mine for parasites. Yeah, gonzo, way to lose yourself a customer. This store, I am suddenly NOT surprised to learn, is affiliated with the place where I bought Sid originally.. so I'm seeing thier attitude to bettas as 'disposable fish' now. Not good. Not good at all.

- I saw some insanely ugly/beautiful amazonian catfish. Omg, freakish, primitive looking things. I so want one. (can't have, but do want!)

- I bought a 3.5 gallon acrylic tank because it's light to lift and very pretty, and a huge pile of other assorted gifts for my Sid Fishus, including an artificial leaf hammock and some water wisteria, which I'm looking forward to learning about as a plant. Some other plants, a complete water testing kit aannd.. oh, some brine shrimp which I think I'll freeze as there's just too many in the bag and half will go to waste.

I'm setting the tank up with the plants tonight. Not sure if it's worth cycling a 3.5 gallon? I really wanted 5, but glass is awkward for me for several reasons right now. Sigh. Well, this is a tad bigger for him, so another step up I guess. :)
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