Wow...petshops give out the worst information. :(
Originally Posted by indybetta
Hi. We are new at this and took our 5 year old yesterday to the pet store to get him his first pet fish. Since he wanted to go home that very day with a fish, we could not go about buying the larger yanks and setting them up for 5-6 days before putting in the fish.
Don't let this worry you. Running a tank with no fish in it does nothing. It's a perversion of the nitrogen cycle - I suggest you read the sticky on that to clear up what it really is. :)
Hence the petstore guy suggested a betta fish. Said they were hardy lil' guys that needed no fuss to care for. Just simple water changes 50/50, feed him once every 3 days with 3-4 bloodworms and remove any uneaten remanants after 5 minutes.
Lies lies lies. I hate petshops. You need to feed a good quality betta pellet (Omega One, New Life Spectrum, Hikari or similar). 2-3 pellets twice a day. You can give him 2-3 bloodworms once or twice a week as a treat, but as a staple diet they will give him constipation.
In a one gallon tank you need to change 50% of the water once a week, and also do a 100% change at the end of the week.
The tank we bought is a betta tank 1 gallon with light and filter.
1 gallon is fine short-term (indeed, many members use a one gallon as a permanent home), but for a normal, healthy adult betta I would recommend a bigger tank if you can get it.
A light and a filter are both all well and good, but what is far more important that either of those is a heater. Bettas are tropical and need heat.
We put the gravel, after rinsing it, the conditioner, 1 tsp for the 1 gallon water in the tank, and the lil guy was left loose. All was OK yesterday evening. This morning we noticed the fish was kinda wrapped around the filter nozzle. It seemed odd but hey it was a tank made for betta fish by a known brand.
Sadly, most tanks "designed" for bettas are actually nothing of the kind. They are frequently too small, unheated and have filters that are far too powerful.
This evening when my son came home from school he was devastated to see the fish was dead........was it the filter that killed him??????
In just one day.....!!!
Long story short, it sounds to me like he was probably unhealthy when you bought him in the shop. A combination of the shock of coming into a new home, plus a filter that sounds like it was too powerful (bettas in cups often have atrophied muscles at first and cannot fight to filter flow) sounds like it was just too much for the poor little guy.
Don't be discouraged. Bettas are great fish. I would strongly recommend trying again. :) Before you do, though, make sure you get him some good food and a quality heater (I've heard the Hydor 7.5 watt and the Elite 25 watt both recommended for one gallon tanks, but check with other USA members). :) You want the temperature to be 78-82F. Acclimatise him carefully. :)
Bettas also appreciate some decor in their tank as they are highly intelligent fish who love to hide, play and explore. A silk plant and a terracotta pot or a coffee cup would make a great cave for him. :)
Good luck with future bettas, and I'm sorry about this little guy!