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Old 01-23-2013, 09:27 PM   #1 
heavenlolwut
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Florida
Exclamation Multiple Questions about a little fish!

Okay so I've kind of lurked here before and I also lurk the Betta tag on Tumblr but I've finally caved in to making account and looking for help. I have so many questions and I'm kind of honestly terrified of the betta community (well at least nervous xP)

Basically I have some basic questions about my tank/future tank/water changes/ect.
For starters he lives in a 2.5 Gallon tank with some gravel and places for him to hide. He is normally a pretty active guy (especially when I sit next to the tank) He has a pretty basic heater (I'm looking into an adjustable one, but he does pretty well with this one I just want to make him a little happier) When I got him I was told he was three months old and if that is correct then he is currently 8 months old. I change up the water changes but normally he gets 2-4 a week. I feed him two small pellets at the beginning and end of the day, but I'm thinking about doing two once day. And I also normally skip a day here and there.

So to start:
1. Is 2.5 gallons okay? : I honestly like to keep my little guy in his 2.5 gallon I currently live in a dorm room and he fits perfectly on a little night stand next to my desk but there are so many mixed reviews I read. I read some things that say he MUST be in a 5 gallon but then others that say 2.5 is fine.
2. Can I get a filter for the 2.5? : This is another thing I've heard mixed reviews about. I heard there are some small filters (I'm looking into this http://www.petsmart.com/product/inde...ductId=2752355 ) but I heard some times it isn't a good idea and other times that it's fine. Also would I need to cycle it? I'm so scared of cycling because I'm terrified of losing my little guy and afraid of ammonia spikes (My friend lost a fish that way D: )
3. Can some one point me in the direction of a good cycling instruction page or video or something? Also a good 5 gallon filter & Heater? I know these kind of border the more of wrong forum stuff but I am thinking of upgrading to a bigger tank. Is there any suggestions for maybe good kits to get with the filter and tank combo? Also a good heater? And good suggestions for cycling?
4. If I get a filter is there can I still transport my Betta? : Soon this won't be as big as a deal because I won't be going back to my home town that often. But occasionally I do go and I bring my guy with me and set him up at my fiance's house. would I still be able to do this?
5. With the above description of my little guy, am I doing okay? I want to make sure I'm not doing this downright wrong D:
6. Fin rot/tearing? I'm going to include two photos but I've always had a fear of fin rot and as i'm reading more I'm afraid my guy has had it for a while now but I'm not sure. I feel like his bottom fin has always had a bit of a pink tint to it and the other day I read that might be a sign of fin rot. But I'm not 100% sure. It hasn't progressed and it hasn't made his tail worse. If you look at the pictures his tail is a little more "Torn" then when I first got him but that is kind of my fault (Around finals I was slacking a little and I think he was nipping at his tail for a little and the stress of traveling across the state didn't help! But he came back around and seems to be doing much better. I'm just worried, and if so how do I go about fixing this? And how can I improve the way his tail looks? (If I can, it some times looks as if he's having a "Bad tail day")
7. Coloring Change? : If you look at the below pictures he... has seriously darkened over time. He isn't really aqua blue anymore but a light/dark blue with more "Freckles" Is that normal? I know he was younger when I got him and I think he's okay but I just want to check


Here he is!
When I first got him 5months ago (Apparently at 3months old)

Currently (About 5mins ago!)



Super sorry about the long read! I'm hoping that I can get some answers/guidance. :]
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Old 01-23-2013, 10:25 PM   #2 
sainthogan
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1. I think 2.5 gallons is fine as long as you keep it clean which it seems you are. I personally prefer 5 gallons for each of my fish. The general rule for all fish is a minimum of 1 gallon per inch of fish, so unless yours is a giant and very large, I see no problem with the tank you have.

2. A filter isn't necessary and from what I understand about the cycling process, any tank under 5 gallons is difficult to cycle, so I wouldn't worry about trying to do it. There are some good filters out there, but you'll if you get one, you'll want to make sure it has a low flow, or the flow can be adjusted, as most Bettas don't like the strong, and fast flow of the filters. I have the micro whisper filters in my tanks that come with a kit and they have adjustable flows. But the whisper filters that you buy individually don't have adjustable flows, - so you could buy a kit (mine is marineland crescent 5, and my old one is marineland hex 3) that comes one that is adjustable.
3. There are some really good stickies on this forum about cycling that will help you out, but again, it's difficult to hold one in a tank that size. There are lots of good heaters out there, however, if you get a preset, make sure it's preset temp is not below 76 (keep in mind, they usually go by the room temp, so even though they say they maintain 76 or higher, they might not actually do that). They are tropical, and anything below 76 can compromise their immune systems. Adjustable heaters are better, that way you can put the temperature to where you want it and figure out what works best for your fish. My male likes temperatures above 77, while my female freaks if her temperature is anything other than 76.
4. Transporting shouldn't be an issue if you're not taking the whole tank. I wouldn't do that though, because that can compromise the seals on the tank and cause it to break or leak. Transporting should be done in a small cup like container. If you are taking the whole tank, it should be completely drained (again, since you have a small tank, don't worry about the bacteria since your tank won't likely be cycled), unless you have live plants, then it should be drained to a minimum level for the plants. Then when you arrive at your destination, just set everything back up. Another option that many college students use, is leave a tank set up at home (or wherever they go), and then just transport their fish in the small traveling cup and acclimate them to the other tank when they arrive at their destination.
6 & 7Color changes are normal, however, your fish's fins seem a little droopy and clamped to me, with what looks like tail and fin biting. Fin rot is usually defined by black or red edges on the tail or fin. I don't see any of that in these pictures. What kind of decorations does he have? Most times the decorations are too sharp and can tear and rip their fins and tails.
Also, what is the current temperature of your tank? That could be contributing to the fins looking droopy if it's not warm enough.

Sorry if this got long and I hope this helps.

Last edited by sainthogan; 01-23-2013 at 10:26 PM. Reason: added info
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Old 01-23-2013, 10:37 PM   #3 
babystarz
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Welcome! We don't bite... hard :P

Quote:
Originally Posted by heavenlolwut View Post
1. Is 2.5 gallons okay? : I honestly like to keep my little guy in his 2.5 gallon I currently live in a dorm room and he fits perfectly on a little night stand next to my desk but there are so many mixed reviews I read. I read some things that say he MUST be in a 5 gallon but then others that say 2.5 is fine.
2.5 gallons is generally accepted as the minimum amount of space, so yes, he's fine in there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by heavenlolwut View Post
2. Can I get a filter for the 2.5? : This is another thing I've heard mixed reviews about. I heard there are some small filters (I'm looking into this http://www.petsmart.com/product/inde...ductId=2752355 ) but I heard some times it isn't a good idea and other times that it's fine. Also would I need to cycle it? I'm so scared of cycling because I'm terrified of losing my little guy and afraid of ammonia spikes (My friend lost a fish that way D: )
A 2.5 gallon tank would be very difficult to cycle, so I personally wouldn't worry about it if I were you. I also don't think an HOB filter would be advisable; if the filter flow bothers him there isn't anywhere for him to go. It sounds like you're doing enough water changes (how much water are you changing at a time?) that a filter isn't needed. If your system works for you, no need to change it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by heavenlolwut View Post
3. Can some one point me in the direction of a good cycling instruction page or video or something? Also a good 5 gallon filter & Heater? I know these kind of border the more of wrong forum stuff but I am thinking of upgrading to a bigger tank. Is there any suggestions for maybe good kits to get with the filter and tank combo? Also a good heater? And good suggestions for cycling?
If you decide you'd like a tank upgrade, steer clear of kits. Most of them are made for goldfish or other fish with needs very different from bettas. The best tank you can get is a plain old glass or acrylic tank with no extra frills. This way you can pick and choose what you want. Bettas do best with air-powered sponge filters anyways, and those don't come in kits. If you'd like specific product recommendations, let me know and I'll give them to you. Good adjustable heater brands are Aqueon, Fluval, and Eheim. As far as cycling goes, this is a good overview: http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/aquarium/cycling.php

Quote:
Originally Posted by heavenlolwut View Post
4. If I get a filter is there can I still transport my Betta? : Soon this won't be as big as a deal because I won't be going back to my home town that often. But occasionally I do go and I bring my guy with me and set him up at my fiance's house. would I still be able to do this?
Yes, your filter shouldn't be turned off for more than 24 hours though because the beneficial bacteria will die. Under that amount of time though, is ok.

Quote:
Originally Posted by heavenlolwut View Post
5. With the above description of my little guy, am I doing okay? I want to make sure I'm not doing this downright wrong D:

6. Fin rot/tearing? I'm going to include two photos but I've always had a fear of fin rot and as i'm reading more I'm afraid my guy has had it for a while now but I'm not sure. I feel like his bottom fin has always had a bit of a pink tint to it and the other day I read that might be a sign of fin rot. But I'm not 100% sure. It hasn't progressed and it hasn't made his tail worse. If you look at the pictures his tail is a little more "Torn" then when I first got him but that is kind of my fault (Around finals I was slacking a little and I think he was nipping at his tail for a little and the stress of traveling across the state didn't help! But he came back around and seems to be doing much better. I'm just worried, and if so how do I go about fixing this? And how can I improve the way his tail looks? (If I can, it some times looks as if he's having a "Bad tail day")
I see no rot, but I agree that he's been nipping. Stimulation is usually the best cure for this, and making sure he has clean water will keep fin rot away. His tail will grow back in if you're able to keep him from biting further. Clean water is the most important element to healthy fins.


Quote:
Originally Posted by heavenlolwut View Post
7. Coloring Change? : If you look at the below pictures he... has seriously darkened over time. He isn't really aqua blue anymore but a light/dark blue with more "Freckles" Is that normal? I know he was younger when I got him and I think he's okay but I just want to check
Yes, color change over time is pretty standard with bettas. What kind of pellets are you feeding him? I ask because some pellets contain color enhancing ingredients, so you might want to try one of those.
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Old 01-24-2013, 11:27 AM   #4 
heavenlolwut
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Florida
Quote:
Originally Posted by sainthogan View Post
1. I think 2.5 gallons is fine as long as you keep it clean which it seems you are. I personally prefer 5 gallons for each of my fish. The general rule for all fish is a minimum of 1 gallon per inch of fish, so unless yours is a giant and very large, I see no problem with the tank you have.

2. A filter isn't necessary and from what I understand about the cycling process, any tank under 5 gallons is difficult to cycle, so I wouldn't worry about trying to do it. There are some good filters out there, but you'll if you get one, you'll want to make sure it has a low flow, or the flow can be adjusted, as most Bettas don't like the strong, and fast flow of the filters. I have the micro whisper filters in my tanks that come with a kit and they have adjustable flows. But the whisper filters that you buy individually don't have adjustable flows, - so you could buy a kit (mine is marineland crescent 5, and my old one is marineland hex 3) that comes one that is adjustable.
3. There are some really good stickies on this forum about cycling that will help you out, but again, it's difficult to hold one in a tank that size. There are lots of good heaters out there, however, if you get a preset, make sure it's preset temp is not below 76 (keep in mind, they usually go by the room temp, so even though they say they maintain 76 or higher, they might not actually do that). They are tropical, and anything below 76 can compromise their immune systems. Adjustable heaters are better, that way you can put the temperature to where you want it and figure out what works best for your fish. My male likes temperatures above 77, while my female freaks if her temperature is anything other than 76.
4. Transporting shouldn't be an issue if you're not taking the whole tank. I wouldn't do that though, because that can compromise the seals on the tank and cause it to break or leak. Transporting should be done in a small cup like container. If you are taking the whole tank, it should be completely drained (again, since you have a small tank, don't worry about the bacteria since your tank won't likely be cycled), unless you have live plants, then it should be drained to a minimum level for the plants. Then when you arrive at your destination, just set everything back up. Another option that many college students use, is leave a tank set up at home (or wherever they go), and then just transport their fish in the small traveling cup and acclimate them to the other tank when they arrive at their destination.
6 & 7Color changes are normal, however, your fish's fins seem a little droopy and clamped to me, with what looks like tail and fin biting. Fin rot is usually defined by black or red edges on the tail or fin. I don't see any of that in these pictures. What kind of decorations does he have? Most times the decorations are too sharp and can tear and rip their fins and tails.
Also, what is the current temperature of your tank? That could be contributing to the fins looking droopy if it's not warm enough.

Sorry if this got long and I hope this helps.
YAY! No fin rot which makes me really happy!
@Sainthogan: I know that he normally likes it more when it's 80 Degrees and right now it's a little closer to 78. So I think that is why he is pretty upset and there is clamping. But at the same time to take that picture I was trying to get him to flare (Which he doesn't do like a normal betta with a mirror, he was being difficult). But I'm trying to figure out if I should just get a new heater (One that will maybe work in both 2.5 and 5 just incase I upgrade soon) but I'm not sure what to get. I'm really protective over him and the ones that have been suggested to me the one or two bad reviews make me really nervous.
And I checked all of his decorations. :] There isn't anything for him to tear his fins on. I know the bottom ones have been torn from when I first got him, he had a plastic one in his tank that he LOVED cuddling with, but now he doesn't have anything hard.
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Old 01-24-2013, 11:30 AM   #5 
heavenlolwut
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Quote:
Originally Posted by babystarz View Post
I see no rot, but I agree that he's been nipping. Stimulation is usually the best cure for this, and making sure he has clean water will keep fin rot away. His tail will grow back in if you're able to keep him from biting further. Clean water is the most important element to healthy fins.

Yes, color change over time is pretty standard with bettas. What kind of pellets are you feeding him? I ask because some pellets contain color enhancing ingredients, so you might want to try one of those.
He has been getting extra attention, I've been making sure to spend a good amount of time next to my desk where he can get attention and also trying to keep the water clean as often as I can.
I'm feeding himmm these
http://www.petsmart.com/product/inde...AvailInUS%2FNo

But if you have any suggestions that would be awesome! : D
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