i have a new male betta that I'e had for a week now. I'm really scared that I'm not taking good care of it. I feel that he's lonely and sad. He stays at the bottom of the tank sometimes.
I cleaned its tank today, it doesn't have a filter. The pet store said I didn't need one. But I'm starting to think I do. today I cleaned it's tank. I put bottled water in its tank and I think it was a little too chilly. Does cold water affect the betta a lot :(
You always want the temperature of the water you're adding to be the same as the water that's already in the tank. Cold water (to a point) will slow a betta's metabolism and make it lethargic; cold enough water will just kill it. What temperature is the water in the tank? Do you have a heater?
Also...why are you using bottled water? Most water conditioners make tap water perfectly safe for aquarium fish so in most cases tap water is fine. Sometimes people have particularly nasty tap water, though. If you use tap water, you can control the temperature better to avoid temperature shock to your fish.
A filter is definitely beneficial for your betta. Bettas don't really like strong currents, so many filters are a little rough. However, an undergravel or sponge filter is often a good choice for a betta. Without a filter, you'll have to do water changes much more often.
One last thing: are you doing 100% water changes? With really small aquaria, you can often get away with doing 100% water changes with conditioned water every couple of days. The idea here is that you never have a cycled tank and instead literally just remove all the waste on a regular basis. However, this can be quite stressful to the fish. A much better option is to let the tank cycle for a while, develop some beneficial bacteria, and then only do partial water changes.
Bettas do well in 78-80 degree water so a heater is kind of important. How big is your tank? Bettas aren't thier happiest unless in 2.5+ gallons with somthing for him to hide in/behind. Another thing that will be helpful is a liquid testing kit (no strips, they aren't accurate) so you can know your water params, which in relating the information to us will help discern if there is something else wrong with the betta besides the cold water.If you can't afford the test kit (they can be kinda pricey) you could take a water sample to your fish store, they usually test for free.
i also recomend getting a heater. my fish was like yours- sit at bottom all day, then when i got a bigger tank and heater he was like a new fish. and he'll probly live longer too. remember 5watts per gallon
If you do get your water tested at the LFS, make sure to get them to tell you the actual numbers, not just "it's fine". Also, make sure they use liquid tests, not test strips, as the strips are very inaccurate. This also applies to buying a test kit yourself. The strips are going to end up being a waste of money, even if they are slightly cheaper.
Well i have bettas, i live in nj so the summer and spring are pretty warm but we have cold winters.
I have my bettas each in 2+ gal bowl, they have a tiny wisper filter that filters 1-3 gal and fits easily in small bowls. (which is $10 at walmart or online with the filter cartridges)
I have a thermometer and w.o a heater it stays at 72-76 which is fine for bettas.
BUT in the winter i put my bettas each in a large breeding net in my regular heated tank in the winter. If you dont have that option i suggest you get a heater for winter (depending upon where you live)
ok let me correct myself, 72-76 is about as cold as it gets sometimes on a cold night itll get that low. Usually it stays like 75-78 on average.
Which in nature where bettas originally come from (like rivers near asia and actually africa too) the temp range is abt 70 -90 which is too broad for the "pet store" betta. I've had em for years now (same 2), they're never lethargic, they jump when i talk and feed em so they're very responsive.
I have had my betta for over a year now, and i change his water once a week, with tap water. I add conditioner from a petstore with the water change, and i add a bit of warm to the cold. (like the water he had in the bowl before i changed it). I guess what i been doing is good, hes lasted for over a year. So, give that a try, hope that helps :D .