I stick plastic wrap over the top of my tanks to keep out cat hair and keep in fish lol I have card bord in a corner taped to theplastic wrap so I can punsh holes in it for air. my cat kept laying on the cardboard and fell through one day I got walked in the room to find a cat in the fiush tank and a totally freaked fish. So I went to plastic wrap because it is less stable so he doesn't lay down on it the little bugger lol.
Oh okay. I see now; will his clamped fins... unclamp eventually with better water conditions and such?
And alright, when I'm not around I'll try to find a lid to keep on top.
I'm going to go out shopping tomorrow so I'll try to get the heater and a larger tank for him.
Should I be alternating between pellets and the "treats" food every other day then?
Thanks so much for your help, guys!
Congrats on your fish! Bettas are so much fun to care for.
Yes, his fins will unclamp as he gets used to and comfortable with his new home. Most bettas have clamped fins for the first few days after they come home from the pet store.
A heater is pretty important, and I would recommend getting an in-tank thermometer too so that you can be sure the heater is working.
As far as feeding, I feed my guys pellets and flakes (normal foods) for a couple days and then I'll give them frozen brine shrimp or bloodworms (treats) a few times a week.
Also, since he is new, I would recommend buying some Aquarium Salt from the store, too. With new fish, to get them healthy from the harsh conditions they were in at the store, I do this. Use 2 tsp per gallon of water, and keep him in the solution. Aquarium salt will help with external problems, and keeping him in it for no more than 10 days at a time can help him adjust to his new environment and get him healthy (just in case something is wrong, not always noticeable).
He can live in the 1 gallon his whole life happily.. all that matters is he is kept warm and the water is regularly changed. Sometimes larger tanks (such as 5 gallons) can actually be more stressful to them than a 1-3 gallon would. So keep that in consideration.. purchase what you are able to afford, have room for, can keep up with. You can find heaters that will fit a 1 gallon..
You also do not need a filter, a filter will replace the 100% water changes, but it won't replace water changes all together. Make sure the filter is adjustable, or one you can easily baffle as most filters create too strong of a current for these guys. I personally never use a filter in anything under 5 gallons.
Good luck! And he's a cutie!
Oh, and please don't place him in AQ salt... he does not need it, the water changes and such will stress him out quite a bit, he is stressed enough at being in a new place. AQ salt is ONLY used when medical attention is needed for external issues.. over exposing and unneeded exposure only increases the risk to harm his liver/kidneys and to make certain bacteria immune to it. He does not look to have external problems, and AQ salt won't help anything internal.. so why put him through the daily 100% water changes, along with the stress on his organs?
If I'm not wrong, the whitish clear edges are the opposite of fin rot - they're new growth. It's odd that he would lose colour instead of gain it after the move, but maybe he's a true Cambodian betta (nude-coloured body + red fins) and he's starting to show it.
You should only start to worry if he still refuses food after a week. Bettas can go for a long while without food and often don't feel too comfortable eating when they've first moved into a new home.
Some of the articles can be a bit confusing, it's true ;)
Keep offering the pellets until he takes them. If you offer the bloodworms, he may take even longer to become adjusted to eating pellets, because it's most likely that he was eating flakes or freeze-dried bloodworms at WalMart, or even nothing at all. It's not terrific for a betta in the long term. It would be like giving a small child only candies for dinner. Plus, some bettas become terribly constipated after eating freeze-dried foods, and that is not any fun to deal with.
If he's fully grown, any size of pellet shouldn't be an issue, but if after a week he is still refusing them, it may be because his mouth is too small and the pellets are too large. In that case, you'll have to chop the pellets in half or buy a new brand, but don't worry about that yet.