My son ''won'' a betta fish at the fair yesterday, so I've had a crash course in fish care, and specifically, caring for bettas.
I've set up a 5 gallon tank, some live plants (they're soft, won't tear fins), aquarium gravel, and a couple of ornaments (again, no sharp or rough parts on those either). I bought a 10W aqueon mini heater, which I've turned off because it was getting hotter and hotter (it reached 83) -- it doesn't have any sort of temperature gauge apparently. But the ambient temperature is 80 degrees, and the fish bowl currently reads 82. There's a filter, and the fish doesn't seem to mind it. I added a water conditioner that reduces chlorine, ammonia and chloramine(?).
The nitrates are fine (0), and so is everything else according to the test strips except the nitrites. Those are .5. But here's the problem, when I tested the tap water straight from the tap, the nitrites in that were too high. So I can't bring the nitrite level down to normal by adding more water!
I don't know what to do. I can't afford to constantly use special betta water to fill the 5 gallon tank, and even bottled water adds up.
Any ideas? My fish is very active. I don't know whether it's because he's not used to such a big space, or whether he wants to get out... he's not coming up to the top all the time though, just occasionally to breathe.