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Old 03-19-2012, 08:37 PM   #1 
Aside
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first time betta owner

my friend and I went to the pet store today. I was going to buy myself a couple of goldfish when I got distracted by the bettas. They looked so sad in their itty bitty cups and this one boy looked so gorgeous that I just had to bring him home. It was slightly impulsive I admit. I know that is never a good thing when it comes to animals but I couldn't help it. No one else seems to understand why I find my new fish so adorable.

Anyway, I wasn't totally irresponsible. I did talk to the store people about caring for a betta fish. He gave me what he said was the best food, water purifier. They were selling them with half gallon tanks which didn't seem fair. He's currently chilling in a one gallon tank.

He's currently chilling in his tank. He doesn't have a heater or anything at the moment. My plan is to go back tomorrow and get what I need for him. I take it from reading the forum that one of those things is a bigger tank. How big though? I want him to be happy (he doesn't have a name yet, I have to pick the perfect one) but I really don't have room for a ten gallon tank. What else does he need? I see a lot of live plants but is that a must?

Also how much should I feed him? The guy said every other day but the bottle of food says three times a day.

I know that this makes me seem really irresponsible for getting him without already knowing this, which I guess I am. But I just want to take as good care of him as I can and ensure that he has a happy life.

So yeah and advice or recommendations about tanks, heaters, or anything would be much loved.
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Old 03-19-2012, 09:34 PM   #2 
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Don't feel bad, my first one came home with a one gallon, no heater. Then I found this awesome board.


I would look for a 2.5-3 gallon tank at the least, a heater, thermometer, maybe a cave. Some of mine like to hide in the caves, some don't.

I don't have live plants but I have plastic and silk ones. Just make sure they are very soft with no sharp edges.

I feed twice a day, 4 pellets (they are very small) at a time, Sunday off.

I do a 50% and 100% water change every week, making sure to acclimate the fish each time.
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Old 03-19-2012, 09:36 PM   #3 
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Oh and make sure the tank has a cover. The glass ones sometimes come with a glass cover. Plastic Kritter Keepers are good too.

Bettas jump.
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Old 03-19-2012, 10:09 PM   #4 
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Welcome to the wonderful world of betta keeping. Be glad you didn't get a goldfish. They grow around a foot long and need 55 + gal tanks.

For a tank size anything between 1 and 5 gallons is a good beginner size. Personally I like 5 gal tanks because when I look at my fully-grown betta in a 1 gal hospital tank I think it's just too small for him. But there are people here who keep them in 1 gal tanks successfully. Kritter keepers make excellent tanks and are very affordable.

For a beginner live plants might be a bit much. Just try to get some nice silk plants and other decorations. The myth that betta don't like big tanks came about because people with large tanks don't provide enough cover. Fish are rarely found in the open. They like structure to make them feel comfortable. Many male betta like caves. Just make sure the decorations don't have sharp edges.

For a heater, get an adjustable one. Preset heaters often heat too much or not enough. Some other members may have recommendations about which brands. I keep my bettas in divided 10 gal tanks, so I don't have much experience with small heaters. Also with a heater, make sure you have a thermometer. Those thermostats on heaters aren't always very reliable.
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Old 03-19-2012, 10:19 PM   #5 
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Thanks guys.

Dahli is currently in a one gallon Kritter Keeper with just some gravel on the bottom.

If I get him a 2-3 gallon tank should I get a filter or will he be fine without it.

The food they sold me is aqueon. They're really small little balls. Is this okay or should I get something else.


Also, I'm a little worried. When I put him into his tank I didn't really think about acclimating him. I kind of just plopped him in. The tank had been sitting in the room with the little cup he came in so they should have been about the same temperature. He's swimming around now but is that going to have any effects on him later?
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Old 03-19-2012, 10:21 PM   #6 
Shirleythebetta
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And just to add, don't feel bad about impulse buys. Just about everybody on this website owns an impulse buy betta. You joined an educational and crazy forum. Lol. You found the right site with the right info so no worrys.
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Old 03-19-2012, 10:52 PM   #7 
djembekah
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just keep an eye on him. if he doesn't seem stressed, just remember to be careful during 100% water changes :)
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Old 03-19-2012, 11:26 PM   #8 
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Try Omega betta food if you can find it, but keep what you have. My betta has four different types of food and all he'll touch are the Omega Betta Flakes... I'm going to have to get another fish just to use up these pellets... Oh woe is me

A filter IS a great idea, just make sure you baffle it... there are two methods in which to do that... I just use pre-filter sponge over the intake valve and a bigger sponge in front of the fountain. This will decrease the water changes a bit and make sure your betta has better water in between changes.

For equipment, my fish loves his Betta Log, so try that. Bring some nylon's with you to the store tomorrow or whenever you go to get decor. If the decor scratches the nylons it can hurt your betta. Don't worry about lookign weird, you'll probably know more about betta care than the store employees once you read a bit on this forum and you shouldn't be the first customer whose done the nylon trick.

I recently had a store employee call me a fanatic... but this was the same employee who told me bettas don't need heaters and will eat plants. Sure dude... sure. Watch your betta swim around and tell me it's not happier with a heater.

If your betta is a jumper, do not let them talk you into bamboo. The bamboo must stick OUT of the water. My betta doesn't jump- thank goodness- but you never know. What else? Since your fish is new, treat him a bit like he's sick. Change the water very frequently- just let him adjust to the PH and temperature from now on - and put maybe a teaspoon per gallon of epson or aquarium salt into the water changes. To do this you need a water jug filled with conditioned tap water. Add the salt. Cap the bottle and shake it. Let it sit and then shake it again. Let it sit. Then change the tank water.

I say to do this because betta behavior lets us know if they are ill, but this fish is new. What is new behavior in a brand new fish? You do not want to medicate, but keeping the water hyper clean for 10 days shouldn't hurt. Plus, if you prepare for him to get sick, you'll be prepared if it happens.

Protip: Keep the cup he came in. It's a great little cup.
My betta never goes into the fish net (I just use it to remove food particles). When I change the water:
I first turn off the heater, then I use the cup to take water out of the aquarium and into a fish bowl like your 1-gallon fish bowl. Then I lower the cup into the tank and snag him that way. Then I just float that cup in the fish bowl (if he jumps out of the cup, he'll only land in a 1-3 full fish bowl. No harm ^_^ )
Then put the thermometer in the cup with the fish, I empty the tank, clean the gravel and the heater, put the heater back, dump in the pretreated water about 1-3 of the way, add the gravel back, put in the rest of the water and then plug in the heater. If the water in the fish cup has cooled down too much, I'll pour about half of the water out and float the cup in the tank with the water that is heating up. I give it about 15 minutes and add water from the tank to the cup so it's 3/4 of the way full. After another 15 minutes I pour out half of that water (into the bowl so if the fish jumps or falls he's safe), and replace the lost water with water from the tank. Again, float for 15 minutes. By this time the water is usually up to a good temperature. If not, just repeat. I remove half the water from the cup and replace it one more time, float, then slowly tip the cup. Keep some air in the cup in case the fish wants to breath, and wait for him to swim out.

That's just my method. It seems to stress out my fish very little and he's very cooperative when it comes time to change the water.

Your fish should be okay, if not a bit shell shocked from the abrupt change of not acclimating him to the ph and temperature of the bowl water, and you really only added a lot of ammonia to your bowl water by dumping in the water from the cup, but he should be okay.
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Old 03-29-2012, 11:53 AM   #9 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shirleythebetta View Post
And just to add, don't feel bad about impulse buys. Just about everybody on this website owns an impulse buy betta. You joined an educational and crazy forum. Lol. You found the right site with the right info so no worrys.

I totally agree. Lol. Most of mine were impulse buys. :)
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Old 03-29-2012, 02:19 PM   #10 
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Welcome to betta keeping!

I agree with the others on pretty much everything.

As a pet betta you only need to feed once a day with a few pellets. Now keep in mind foods like HBH Betta Bites or Omega are good but not the best. I use, HBH Betta Bites, Wardley's Betta Food, Wardley's Essential, Atison Betta Pro, Betta Min (for any fish that will actually eat them) and the best food, frozen blood worms. Using several foods provides something new for him and better nutrition. I feed breeding and growing bettas up to four times a day since they need more food. Again your boy will only need one feeding a day.

Bettas are tropical fish and need to be maintained at 80 degrees F. If you have a heater and I missed it in the post I apologize.

Like all fish bettas require lots of good clean water. I do large water changes almost every other day. Sometimes everyday. For one betta in a small tank, a 50% and 100% changes once a week are fine.

I recommend you buy Indian Almond Leaf online. They are extremely beneficial for your betta!

As for a larger tank, you don't even need to buy a 3 gallon tank! You can make one! I use a 3 gallon plastic Sterilite tub for one of my boys with about an inch of gravel, live Amazon Sword, duck weed, an almond leaf, and some styrofoam for his nest site. This was much cheaper than buying one for him!

Good luck with your new boy!

Last edited by MrVampire181; 03-29-2012 at 02:23 PM.
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