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Old 10-09-2012, 09:46 PM   #1 
Rocky12
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Talking Our very first Betta - Advice!

My girlfriend and I bought our very first Betta fish today! Upon some research on the site, I believe we have a male, multicolored veil tail Betta (correct me if I'm wrong)! We call him Rocky :). He'll be living alone in a 1.5 gallon bowl with a few decorations inside (the plants are NOT live). I just want to go over everything we have done, and get advice from the pros, things we should change or keep on doing. We cleaned his bowl with just a clean papertowel and water. We filled it with SPRING WATER, which I am now finding out is a relatively bad choice; should this change? We have decided to keep him on a feeding schedule of 4 pellets a day, feeding between 9-12AM (EST) daily. However, the pellets are quite small and he seemed to gobble up the first four, should we give him more pellets (see pictures)? We will fast him on Sundays and also preform a 50% water change every Sunday; is this satisfactory? Let me know if you need more details! Pictures below :)
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Old 10-09-2012, 10:28 PM   #2 
Onlyonagoodday
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He's s pretty! I use the hikari bio gold pellets too. First of all, are the plants plastic? If they are I would suggest changing them for silk plants as he's in a pretty small tank and swimming around plastic can easily rip up his lovely tail. I don't know anything about spring water, but I highly suggest buying conditioner. It's not too expensive, only a few drops will be needed to make his water nice and clean. Prime and stress coat are both good options. Feeding schedule sounds good, its the same schedule I use, but you may want to up it if you feel like he really needs it. Be careful not to overfeed because uneaten food cause ammonia build up and can be a real problem in a small tank. Remove the pellets he does not eat. If you do up it, maybe 5-6 pellets a day, do not let him eat until he's 'full' as bettas will gobble up almost anything you put in front of them until they get bloated and sick. Also, you will need to look into a heater if you do not have one. You can find an under gravel heater at petco for under $10 that can be plugged into the wall and will be invisible under the pebbles. As for water changes the advice on old fish lady's sticky is: "Twice weekly-1-50% water only and 1-100%" for a tank your size.
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Old 10-09-2012, 10:29 PM   #3 
LizzyP
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Congratulations on the newest addition to the family. He's a pretty boy, that's for sure :) Just a couple things first;

A bowl that small will need to be cleaned 3 times per week. 2 50% changes and 1 100% change. In small tanks ammonia builds up quickly, even the slightest trace of ammonia is harmful to your fish. I recommend a tank that is 2.5 gallons or larger. You can find many tanks this size and bigger at Petco and Petsmart. Many members on here have fish in Kritter Keepers (plastic, square tanks with lids). The medium size is a little over 3 gallons and you can get it at Petsmart for around $11-$12.

Good for decorations, if you decide on a larger tank you will want more. Bettas like places to hide and to rest, especially those long, heavy finned boys like what you have. Rub all decorations with a piece of panty hose before using. Anything that snags or tears will tear your bettas fins. Silk plants or live plants are best.

You're right, spring water is not the best. Tap water with water conditioner is much better, and it's free ;). Conditioner is the most important thing, it takes out all the heavy metals that are okay for us to drink, but toxic to fish. Prime conditioner or API Stress Coat are very popular ones on this forum. I use API. Prime will last you much longer since it's only 2 drops per gallon. Whichever you fancy.

Heater, heater, heater. It's getting to be that time of year where it's getting cold. Bettas are tropical fish and like water temperatures of 76-82F. Get a heater that is adjustable (with a thermostat so you can adjust temp), the preset ones are not reliable at all. You will want a thermometer that goes inside of the tank as well, not one of the stick on ones.

The food you are feeding really isn't doing him any good. You want a pellet that is high in protein. I feed my boys Omega One Betta Buffet. New Life Spectrum is another popular brand on the forum as well. You can feed frozen or freeze dried bloodworms and brine shrimp as TREATS (1-2 times per week) to keep them interested :)

I believe those are the basics. Good luck with Rocky and keep us posted :)

Lizzy
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Old 10-09-2012, 10:38 PM   #4 
jeremywadejunior
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocky12 View Post
My girlfriend and I bought our very first Betta fish today! Upon some research on the site, I believe we have a male, multicolored veil tail Betta (correct me if I'm wrong)! We call him Rocky :). He'll be living alone in a 1.5 gallon bowl with a few decorations inside (the plants are NOT live). I just want to go over everything we have done, and get advice from the pros, things we should change or keep on doing. We cleaned his bowl with just a clean papertowel and water. We filled it with SPRING WATER, which I am now finding out is a relatively bad choice; should this change? We have decided to keep him on a feeding schedule of 4 pellets a day, feeding between 9-12AM (EST) daily. However, the pellets are quite small and he seemed to gobble up the first four, should we give him more pellets (see pictures)? We will fast him on Sundays and also preform a 50% water change every Sunday; is this satisfactory? Let me know if you need more details! Pictures below :)
Congrats on your first fishy!

Spring water is not your worst choice. It has much more essential minerals in it (you will see this if you ever test for General Hardness) than Distilled Water. My fish lived in spring water for the first month of his life with me, then I switched to tap water. I'd go ahead and make the switch to tap water, since you're going to be using a lot of it with an unfiltered bowl. However, do this switch slowly, as change in water quality can shock a fish if it's too sudden. When you do water changes, start with adding about 1/4 of tap to the spring water, and slowly increase til you're using all tap. With tap water, you'll need to buy a water conditioner (I use Betta Bowl by Aqueon) and add that to the water so that it neutralizes any harmful chlorine. The water conditioner I use also claims to have minerals that are especially beneficial to bettas.

You're probably going to hear that "1.5 gallons isn't enough for a betta!" but this is controversial. My first betta was housed in a one gallon container for the first month of living with me. He was fine; I even was able to fit a filter in his tank. However, he now lives in a 5 gallon and loves it. It is very rewarding to see him have so much room to swim and I love watching him explore around his tank. It just depends on what you want to do for your fish. If he seems fine in his bowl, then don't worry.

Also, a heater is usually a must for betta fish, since they are tropical. They do best in water temps from 76F to around 82F. Aqueon's Mini Bow 10 W heater is good for a small, cheap heater ($16). It stays at a constant temp, but with a heater, you'll always want an aquarium thermometer in your tank so that you're sure the water temp is correct!


Oh, and with the food, bettas gobble up food; they will eat forever if they could probably! However, it is important to remember not to overfeed them. A betta tummy is only about as big as one of his eye balls. If he eats too much it could cause problems so judge off of the phrase above.

Good luck and enjoy your fish! Feel free to ask any questions.
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Old 10-09-2012, 10:53 PM   #5 
Rocky12
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That plants are plastic, I will for sure look into something softer, such as silk. We love his extensions and certainly do not want him to be hurting. I will bump up the feeding to 5 pellets a day, but that is certainly it! I will also look into a meatier pellet for him and maybe a few treats here and there (are they available at pet stores?) I think its funny how they gobble up everything they can :). I will also look into a tank heater for the little guy. I will also be making the slow change to tap water and PRIME conditioner when I do his water changes (following the schedule). I do not think he needs a bigger tank at the moment, he seems quite content with himself, and swims pretty rapidly when he gets excited :D. Also another question, I don't believe so, but do Bettas grow to be a large size?

Thank you for all the replies and advice! Keep em coming!
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Old 10-09-2012, 10:57 PM   #6 
jeremywadejunior
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Originally Posted by Rocky12 View Post
That plants are plastic, I will for sure look into something softer, such as silk. We love his extensions and certainly do not want him to be hurting. I will bump up the feeding to 5 pellets a day, but that is certainly it! I will also look into a meatier pellet for him and maybe a few treats here and there (are they available at pet stores?) I think its funny how they gobble up everything they can :). I will also look into a tank heater for the little guy. I will also be making the slow change to tap water and PRIME conditioner when I do his water changes (following the schedule). I do not think he needs a bigger tank at the moment, he seems quite content with himself, and swims pretty rapidly when he gets excited :D. Also another question, I don't believe so, but do Bettas grow to be a large size?

Thank you for all the replies and advice! Keep em coming!
I use Aqueon's betta pellets and they have a good source of protein. Also, yes, you can buy frozen bloodworms and/or brineshrimp at the petstore, just ask where their freezer is!

Bettas do grow and change over time! I have one who is super tiny and I look forward to seeing him grow in size. They also tend to change their color patterning! When I first got Junior, he was all light blue. Now he's a light blue/green with red fins! It's very fun to watch them grow.
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Old 10-09-2012, 11:11 PM   #7 
laynisample
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Originally Posted by Rocky12 View Post
That plants are plastic, I will for sure look into something softer, such as silk. We love his extensions and certainly do not want him to be hurting. I will bump up the feeding to 5 pellets a day, but that is certainly it! I will also look into a meatier pellet for him and maybe a few treats here and there (are they available at pet stores?) I think its funny how they gobble up everything they can :). I will also look into a tank heater for the little guy. I will also be making the slow change to tap water and PRIME conditioner when I do his water changes (following the schedule). I do not think he needs a bigger tank at the moment, he seems quite content with himself, and swims pretty rapidly when he gets excited :D. Also another question, I don't believe so, but do Bettas grow to be a large size?

Thank you for all the replies and advice! Keep em coming!
Be very careful. Bettas are incredibly jumpers. You really need a lid on your bowl. You can make one by using some craft mesh and putting a rock on top. I use Omega One Betta Buffet for my fish. My fish all love them! I also give treats of blood worms (I have one fish who actually hates blood worms) and I feed them freeze dried daphnia once a week as their meal. They don't get fed on Sundays to allow them to clean out their systems and get another week of spoiling.
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Old 10-09-2012, 11:15 PM   #8 
jeremywadejunior
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Be very careful. Bettas are incredibly jumpers. You really need a lid on your bowl. You can make one by using some craft mesh and putting a rock on top.
+1. Definitely put something over it that will allow air in (since they breathe air), but will keep the fish from jumping out. You can also use saran wrap and poke air holes in it
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Old 10-10-2012, 08:44 AM   #9 
OrangeAugust
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LOL The first few pics I couldn't find the betta. I was just like, "Um, ok that's a buddha".
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