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Old 12-24-2012, 05:34 PM   #1 
gregwegmann
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New Betta Owner Concerns

I mentioned to my girlfriend that I wanted a fish for Christmas, and I thought she'd think I was joking but yesterday she decided to give me my present early and lo and behold it was a stunning navy betta fish. I am very excited but after reading a lot of articles and forums (including this one) I've figured out that I don't have the necessary materials for the betta to be completely happy.

My girlfriend bought the betta fish with a 1 gallon bowl, an artificial plant, a spongebob pineapple house thingy, colored gravel, Topfin betta water cond., Topfin betta pellets, and fish flakes.

I tried feeding him for the first time last night to no avail, it didn't so much as touch the 2 pellets or single fish flake I put in. I took these out in the morning and put 3 pellets in and Thunder (that's him) still didn't touch them. This is my main concern, any suggestions to jumpstart his appetite?

He hardly moves at all unless I put my finger in front of him or a mirror up to the bowl at which point he swims around pretty rapidly or sometimes retreats slowly. I've read that betta fish are usually active but he's just not. He hovers around the top of the bowl and moves very rarely. Is it possible that he just isn't as active as other bettas have been known to be?

I make sure the water hovers around 80 degrees and I made sure to put the correct amount of water treatment for one gallon. Any ideas as to why he's so inactive? I've read that when put into a new environment they can become "depressed" and/or stressed.

From what I've read online, I would assume he was sick if I hadn't only had him for [i]one day[i]. How have your bettas acted when first put into a new home?

Notes:
1. He flares up and really shows off his fins when he sees himself in the mirror and he occasionally spreads his fins out while staying still
2. I have no way to test the PH of the water.
3. He's in my bedroom, my house is kept at a constant 77 degrees but my room is warmer with my space heater and the water has stayed around 80 + or - .5 degrees.
4. He's breathing steadily judging by his gill movement
5. There is no obvious discoloration from how he looked when I got him
6. I know a LOT of people disagree with Betas in bowls and I will be upgrading to at least a 2.5 gallon as soon as possible.

I know this all may be normal but I just wouldn't want to get off on the wrong foot with my new companion and I certainly wouldn't want to ruin his health in a matter of days even if that means changing the water out each day or eating his fish food to make sure it tastes good

Thanks
-Greg
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Old 12-24-2012, 05:48 PM   #2 
Kithy
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Don't worry too much about him not eating. He's likely just stressed out.

Give him a couple of days to warm up to being in a new home.

How did you acclimate him? Slowly or just dumped him in?

If you live near a Petco or Petsmart, I know that they will check your water for free if you bring in a small sample.

http://www.petco.com/product/12351/A...arium-Kit.aspx
This is a good deal, take out the divider of course.

http://www.petco.com/product/114078/...m-Heaters.aspx
I have a large one of these in my 55gal and it does a good job.

Good luck :) He'll be okay, just keep him warm. If he doesn't eat the food, take it out after five minutes. In the one gal you're doing to need to do changes pretty frequently.
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Old 12-24-2012, 05:51 PM   #3 
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Okay, first things first, he is probably settling into his new home, hence the poor appetite and inactivity. It is not uncommon for new fish not to eat for a few days after being brought home.

You really need a liquid water test. pH is not really important. Fish store employees will tell you it is the be all and end all of water testing but it is not.

Ammonia is what is important. This is toxic to your fish at very low levels and is invisible. So while your water may look and smell clean, it could actually be very harmful to your betta. In a 1 gallon tank, ammonia can build up surprisingly fast. This is why you want to have your own test kit so you can make sure that whenever it reaches above 0ppm (even 0.25ppm is too high) you know to do a water change to bring it back down.

Prolonged exposure to poor water conditions causes stress, increases the risk of your betta becoming sick and can drastically shorten his lifespan. This is why it is so important to read up and be familiar with at least the basics of the nitrogen cycle, in particular the dangers of things such as ammonia and nitrite (you won't have to deal with this in an uncycled tank such as yours).

The reason you want to get a heater is not just to keep the water warm, but to ensure that it is consistently warm 24 hours of the day. Temperature fluctuations are what you want to avoid and in a 1 gallon bowl they can be quite rapid. While a healthy betta may be able to handle small changes in water temperature, if your betta is not particularly healthy, or the swings in temperature are quite drastic, it can create problems and usually leads to outbreaks of disease such as ich and velvet. Both of which are a headache to get rid of.

Hope that helps some. Sounds like you are doing the right thing by coming here first.
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Old 12-24-2012, 05:52 PM   #4 
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Well, he's probably adjusting to his new environment, give him some time. :D I think it depends on the fish. When I put Rain into his new 5.5 gallon tank, his color got a a bit more vibrant. At first he would float around the top of the tank, but after a while he swam around to explore his new home. He didn't have any problems eating.

You could not feed him for a few days and then offer the food to him again. They can go a few days without food, so don't worry about starving him. I heard something about soaking the pellets in garlic juice to make it more appealing to the fish. I personally use New Life Spectrum betta formula, which has garlic already in the pellets. It's a really good brand, with great ingredients, in case you wanted to try something different.
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Old 12-24-2012, 06:00 PM   #5 
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I believe I dumped some of the water I prepared into his prison cell of a cup that I got him in then after several minutes I scooped him up and into the bowl. I probably should've let him warm up to it for a bit longer first off. I appreciate the fast responses, I'm glad that it seems normal for him to not be moving around or eating too much just yet. I'll be sure to post again with any other issues or just an update if he starts moving a lot or eating.
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Old 12-24-2012, 06:11 PM   #6 
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It's been pretty well covered, but in addition, the food can make a big difference. Once I switched over to the New Life Spectrum, my guys turned up their noses at *anything* else, and they'll even prefer the pellets to freeze dried blood worms.

The NLS seems to be the tastiest to them, so maybe try switching out his food. Also, make sure he's not eating from the bottom (not that it's a bad thing, but it can freak you out until you realize what's happening). I have one in particular who will *only* eat from the bottom. He waits for the food to sink, then cruises down and vacuumns it up. I can drop it in directly in front of his face, and he still waits for it to drop before eating.

I freaked out for the first month I had him thinking he was going to starve himself to death (He was an awful rescue, his ammonia poisioning was so bad his body scales were sloughing off and his water was *yellow*, so I was afraid he'd die anyway...and then I thought he wasn't eating...ugh.) until I realized that the next morning there were fewer pellets in the bottom of the bowl than there had been the night before... ;) (Due to his poor condition, his first home was a wide, shallow bowl so that he could easily reach the surface.)

Good luck to you!!

Oh, and they can go up to a month, even slightly longer without food. He can go quite a bit before you really have to get worried. :)
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Old 12-24-2012, 08:17 PM   #7 
gregwegmann
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I went to play with Thunder a bit more and he bolted away from my finger as usual and a little chunk fell down from him. Upon further inspection I found it was feces, I literally scared the poop out of him. Will leaving it in there affect him at all? Is it just a natural part of the water's cycle to leave it?
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Old 12-24-2012, 08:54 PM   #8 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gregwegmann View Post
I went to play with Thunder a bit more and he bolted away from my finger as usual and a little chunk fell down from him. Upon further inspection I found it was feces, I literally scared the poop out of him. Will leaving it in there affect him at all? Is it just a natural part of the water's cycle to leave it?
In a larger tank it would be what feeds your bacteria. It isn't going to hurt anything but you'll want to siphon it out with a small air tubing or something when you do your water changes. For awhile I was taking goldfish waste everyday @_@ But I'm obsessive lol Pooping is good though!
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Old 12-24-2012, 10:32 PM   #9 
ANHEL123
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It common for betta do not eat when you just bring them from the store but it worries me when they are not active. When you bring betta from the store they are kind of skittish. But they will not hide behind the plant or lay on the bottom , or hand in one comer on the top if they are healthy. So watch him try to give him food , scoop it out if he don't eat it.

One suggestion abut water change. It will be easier for you. If you have him in the room temperature use aged water to change him. When you change betta you need to make sure new water approximately the same temperature as him so you don't shock him with drastic temp change. So if you use aged water it will be the same temp as his water. Just take one gall jug. You can take it from he spring water put water conditioner in the water and let it sit for about 12-24 hrs. Do not cover with a lid.
How his poo looking is it brown color? Not white or clear stringy,wormy looking?
You saying that he swims around pretty rapidly, make sure he is not darting around like crazy or trying to rub his body on objects.
You can do 1-50 and 1-100% water changes a week , even better i would suggest 2x50% and 1-100% water changes a week. Keep eye on him if there is any changes in his behavior or any new visual symptoms on his body let us know.

Also just in case i would buy aquarium salt at the pet store in case you need to use it. Aquarium salt will help as first aid if he is sick.

Also i would wait until you make sure he is not sick before you upgrading his tank. And i think if he will continue to be not active then i would be really concern if he is sick.
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Old 12-24-2012, 10:54 PM   #10 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gregwegmann View Post
I went to play with Thunder a bit more and he bolted away from my finger as usual and a little chunk fell down from him. Upon further inspection I found it was feces, I literally scared the poop out of him. Will leaving it in there affect him at all? Is it just a natural part of the water's cycle to leave it?
Since you have a small tank with artificial plants, there won't be a 'cycle' in your tank. There are no live plants or a filter, so waste will remain in the tank until it's removed.

I use a turkey baster to remove feces (and other visible debris) in between water changes. I got it for $1 at Dollar Tree.
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