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Old 09-19-2012, 09:55 AM   #1 
FlyingFish47
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Is a Betta Right for Me?

Hey Betta lovers!! :)

Been reading a bit about the bettas here and how much fun you guys say they are. Seems like they are little characters all right!

Anyway I kinda got bittem by the Betta Big in Thailand, looking at all the fish and seeing how they show off when someone comes by (Cute)

So since I am still setting up my tank and have not yet selected fish, I am considering maybe getting a betta instead of some neon tetras.

I' m just wondering if a Betta would be right for me.

I work i nthe travel industry, which means shifts and sometimes up to 6 days away (leaving on day 1 and arriving early on day 6) I have a housemate who would be happy to feed my fish when I'm away. I also have auto feeder which I just bought in Bangkok.

When I am not working I am almost always at home, certainly every night, maybe between 2-5 days at a time, so plenty of off time to do water changes etc.

I'm just not sure if a Betta would be right for me, if I am not there ALL of the time to look after him/her.

Of course all going right it should be fine, but if something were to go wrong with tbe tank while I'm gone, I guess is real possibility that my fish could die :(

So, on the whole, would you recommend a Betta or not? Reasons for.against would be great. Any 'tips' I should know? (I did read the Betta Care/FAQ thread)

Thanks!
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Old 09-19-2012, 10:15 AM   #2 
OrangeAugust
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Hello and welcome!
If your tank will be cycled then you could go for a week between water changes. So that should be fine if you're traveling for 5 or 6 days at a time. Also, having a roommate who will feed the betta *properly* is a must- which means they can't just put a bunch of pellets in the water and walk away. They have to make sure the fish eats them and remove the pellets the fish doesn't eat before they sink to the bottom... which is also why an automatic feeder is sometimes not a great idea. I actually only feed each of my bettas two pellets in the morning and two at night, and I put one at a time in their tanks, wait for them to see it and eat it, and then I put the other in and make sure they see that one and eat it. Uneaten food will contaminate the water with ammonia.
The only thing I really wonder about is your betta might not get enough attention while you're gone. These fish actually interact with humans a lot, and I think they can actually miss you when you're gone. I think someone here said that her fish would start biting his tail anytime she went away for more than a couple of days. But every betta is different, so yours might not have a problem. It would also help if your roommate could spend some time with your fish for a little while each day while you're gone or even just sits by his tank while your roommate watches TV or uses the computer or something.
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Old 09-19-2012, 10:32 AM   #3 
Pogthefish
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Well, I think it would be good :) how big is your tank? neon tetras need at least 15 gal and at least 6 of them. A betta is a solitary fish.

pros-

- fish of all kinds are awesome :D
- bettas are beautiful
-bettas are not schooling fish, so you only need one
- bettas can go days without eating
-bettas are simple to care for and do not need specific water conditions

cons-
bettas need someone to feed them because if the auto feeder malfunctions the betta will die. they do not feel "full" they can literally eat themselves to death
bettas need constant socialization (with you, NOT other fish)

neon tetras:

pros
- interact well with other fish
- small
- easy to care for

cons
- poor immune systems
- need alot
- not very intresting
- nto tolerant to ammonia at all
- die easily
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Old 09-19-2012, 10:32 AM   #4 
RedRaz
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I agree with what OrangeAugust said. I know I am new to the betta world but it's so important to know what you are getting into. Since it seems you may be gone more then you are at home and your housemate will be doing most of the feedings and spending the most time with the betta I would make sure they would want a betta as well. Part of being a betta owner is to do feedings properly and paying attention to any sudden changes in the betta's behavior. If you aren't there as much then you kinda miss out on these things. Maybe ask your housmate if she or he would like a betta and you can be co owners. That way you both are invested in the betta and will care for it properly. Also give your housemate a betta care sheet so they are also education on the new betta. I hope this makes sense and it helps. Good luck on whatever you choose. :)
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Old 09-19-2012, 10:39 AM   #5 
FlyingFish47
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Good points, thanks.

Well, I know she would feed it properly, since she has owned fish before, and we were talking about tank cycling etc the other day... there is actually another housemate who was cool with the idea of me having a tank (I made sure to ask before I bought one) so maybe she would also be open to co=owning. Between 3 of us I'm sure we could manage. She is also home more than the other house mate so between us it would probably only mean the fish would be alone perhaps 1 day at the most before 'someone' is home...

If the Betta were used to me going away, do you think it would make a difference? I mean, if it is me coming and going from day one, the fish wouldn't know any different, right?

I was thinking to maybe get a specific tank for the betta and keep the neons in the one I already set up (which is in the lounge) but you're right, wouldn't be a good idea to keep a Betta in my bedroom since they can't access when I'm away (we live in a company building and have to look the rooms when we are away)

Might do some more reading. I am really finding that Bettas are way more appealing since I saw some in Thailand, way more interesting than schooling fish, even though the schooling looks pretty cool too :)

Orange, whe nyou say pellets, what size are we talking? Like sprinkles small, or bigger than that?
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Old 09-19-2012, 10:40 AM   #6 
FlyingFish47
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Oh btw the tank I have is 8 gallons, with a heater and a Hang On filter (300gal per hour flow which is probably too much for Betta, but I can lower it)

Our room temp is always around 23-25'C without a heater, as well.
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Old 09-19-2012, 10:51 AM   #7 
LadyVictorian
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I would say you should be fine. I too travel a lot and though I haven't had to travel yet recently I have been put in a position of being gone most of the day due to music video and recording a single. Being in a band I can be gone on tour for up to a year if it happens which is why I have a backup plan for all my pets. (My rats would come with and my fish would go to a friend in Minnesota for that time to be cared for, she keeps saltwater fish and a community tank of freshwater fish.) It's good to have someone who can care for your fish while you are away, feed them, and hopefully if you are gone long enough change the tank. I say if you teach your room mate a little about betta's they will naturally just be more curious about your fish and who knows. xD Maybe they will get into them as well and get one of their own. I know the betta bug is infectious. I live with the other members of my band and since I got Aquarius now one of the guys really wants one so he can have a pet to take care of.

The nice thing about having a betta is it's not as time consuming as other animals. You don't have to worry when you are at work late and hope your betta doesn't pee on the rug because you were not home in time to take it for a walk. You don't have to worry about them messing up the house or destroying your stuff, and you don't have to worry about handling them to make them social and friendly. Compared to a cat or a dog betta's are easier to work around when leaving for a while. I mean if you leave a cat or a dog for 6 days someone has to take it, a dog has to be let out to go potty and be taken for walks or you will come home to poop, pee, and destroyed furniture. A cat can do well with just someone throwing it food and water while you are gone but some cats actually will pee on your bed is you leave them for too long (like my cat does >.<)

The work for a betta? Well you do have to keep the tank clean so at least weekly water changes in a fully cycled filtered tank, normally 50% changes and then scrum down any junk growing on decor and such. Planted tanks also help you too. Feeding, betta obviously have a feeding scheduled that someone else would have to learn with one day of fasting in it. I think the hardest thing would be trying to convince people your fish does NOT need a lot of treats. I have that with my friend, every time Aquarius does something cute she wants to give him a treat and he does cute things almost every hour...that's a lot of treats for one fish. Tanks and equipment can be expensive but then again vet bills for cats and dogs get up there as well. Fixing a dog and getting all the required shots puts a dent in the wallet, even my rats are spendy as hell considering both females are spayed to help prevent mammary cancer in them. With fish you don't have to worry about spaying or neutering and yearly shots so it's a load off. They can however get sick and you need to know how to treat their illnesses when they do and be prepared for it. I say myself back when I kept mice I had $200 put away in a special savings for vet emergencies. With a betta I wouldn't say he will ever have a $200 bill attached to him getting sick but it's still nice to have that chunk of change if say he got sick or maybe his tank broke and you need to get a new one and then a week later he got sick again. That isn't likely to happen but you would know you had money set aside for emergency situations with your fish.

Benefits of having a betta. They are not a cat or dog, you can't snuggle them in your arms but you know what. You still feel the love from a betta. When you come home from work you have an understanding animal to talk to, you have something to spoil, and for a brief moment every day when you are with your betta you can focus on something you love and enjoy. For being fish they are very exciting and fun to watch and interact with. Few of my fish aside from betta's have ever been so happy to be around their people and show off for them. I notice every day my fish does something new and hysterical to interact with me. The best by far was when I blamed him for something and he shook back and forth like he was saying no. I just about wet my pants it was sooooo funny and soooo cute. Betta's a great pets for someone who doesn't have the time for say a dog or for someone who wants a pet but their appartment or renter does not allow cats and dogs (like us). Best of all betta are beautiful and wonderful fish that just never get old and learning new things about them is exciting. Their personalities remind me of my mice. Tiny bodies, BIG personalities that you wonder how so much fits in such a small body. Also compared to some of the other fish I have kept they are easier and more exciting to take car of. I have never had much luck with my sharks and big exotic freshwater community tanks. Someone always ate someone or got someone else sick. With betta they are happy alone and thus you don't have to keep more than one fish thus decreasing the chances of some odd illness getting to your fish. They also live long but not as long as other fish. My friend who keeps aquariums has a tank full of goldfish, some are 15 to 17 years old, they can make it to 20 years old, even 40. That is like raising a human child up xD. Betta live on average 5-7 years and some can make it up to 10 so it's a little more like owning a dog on the time frame wise. Depending on dog breed of course, some breeds make it to 17 and some only about 8 or 9 like Great Danes. However that short life can also be a drawback because then you only have a short time with your fish. I guess I don't consider it so short myself seeing as my other pets of choice only live 3 to 4 years, 5 if I am REALLY lucky. (rats)
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Old 09-19-2012, 10:59 AM   #8 
FlyingFish47
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Wow thanks for the huge post! Lol I know what you mean (former cat lady here!) about dogs/cats... I suppose if I had the Betta, even if my roommate was only on 'feeding duty' the fish would at least have someone IN the apartment with it when I am not there (she generally either watching tv, playing music or having friends around) so it shouldn't get tooo quiet... however Futture Betta will have some 'alone time' which might be a good thing to switch off for a bit...

I totally see what you mean about Betta persnality. One of the fish I was looking at in Bangkok was flaring its fins at me, and when I went to move to the next one, it would nudge the glass and do it again, kind of like "Hey wait, no I'm better than that next fish" LOL :)
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Old 09-19-2012, 11:15 AM   #9 
LadyVictorian
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xD sounds like my betta. When I pay attention to my rats and play around with them on the floor he starts to flare so I'll pay attention to him as well. It's so cute. If they could survive out of water he would sit on my shoulder all day, but sadly they can't so when I'm not in my room he just has to entertain himself.
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Old 09-19-2012, 11:19 AM   #10 
FlyingFish47
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Lol... can you tell me what kind of setup you have for him? Do they get less bored if there are lots of decorations in their tank?
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