Hey! Today I'll be getting a new betta fish. My question is, should I use TetraMedica General Tonic first so he would be generally better? What about the water temperature? Also, how should I move him? I was indecisive whether to buy a prettier betta or the one that seems the most miserable. What do you think? One more thing, I have flakes for bettas that contain the following (by order): Krill, fish meal, fish protein concentrate, wheat flour, corn meal, squid meal, oatmeal, wheat gluten meal, freeze dried bloodworms, dried seaweed meal, soybean flour, soy protein concentrate, fish liver meal, dried yeast, salmon oil (ethoxyquin used as preservative), cochineal extract, squid liver meal, shrimp meal, vitamins, folic acid, inositol, niacin supplement, riboflavin-5-phosphate, calcium, vitamin A acetate, thiamine hydrochloride, vitamin B supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin E supplement, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of vitamin K activitty), yeast extract, fructooligosaccharide, lecithin. Is it any good? Also, how do I feed flakes to the fish?
Flakes generally aren't good for Bettas as the can cause constipation. Plus very few Bettas will actually eat flakes. Yours are very low quality and contain tons of fillers (wheat, cornmeal, soy, oatmeal). You'll want to find a high quality pellet that contains very few fillers. Bettas are carnivorous and need lots of protein from meat sources.
As for temperature, they are tropical and need a consistent temperature somewhere between 76 and 82, so you'll need a heater.
I know nothing about that medication, but I don't see a need to use it unless he is already ill. The only thing you should need when getting a new fish, is clean, warm water (tap water is preferred) and a good quality water conditioner that removes the chemicals such as ammonia, chlorine, etc.
When you move him in, you'll need to acclimate him slowly so you don't shock him, there's several ways to do this. My preferred method is to take his bag or cup or whatever he came in and float it in the tank for a few hours (make sure he can get air) to get the temperatures normalized, then I slowly add water from his tank into his container until I'm fairly confident he has adapted to the new water parameters.
What tank size are you using?
Personally, I wouldnt recommend buying a sickly looking fish or feed him flakes. It's just a bad combo. Pick out a fish that is swim, fins without finrot, and flat scales. Pellets are always the best, and buy frozen or freeze dried bloodworms for a TREAT. For the tank have plenty of hiding spots, and a roomy tank. Buy the medicine, but buy it just for emergencies. Hope you love your new Betta!
I've used flakes in the past, but I definitely like pellets better. It's easier to feed them just the right amount, they don't make the tank as messy if the fish don't eat them right away, and they don't have such a strong smell. I personally didn't notice a change in my fish's health after switching from flakes to pellets, but I've heard it said pellets are better for them as well.
If you do decide to rescue a sick Betta, be aware that some illnesses are very hard to treat. If you get one with finrot, it won't take much to take care of that, but a bacteria infection or parasites are much harder, and definitely don't buy a fish who looks like he might have dropsy. So basically, make sure the scales and eyes look okay.
Yay! A new fish! You'll have to post some pictures to show him off.
If this is your first Betta, I recommend going with the pretty and healthy one. (Yes, I understand the desire to rescue a betta, but it can be difficult to figure out what's wrong with them and treat them. On the other hand, if you have a lot of experience with Bettas, then, by all means, go with the one who could most use your help.)
I would not bother using a General Tonic, or any medication. Fish are tiny, and medications can be tough on them. It's better to only treat them if they need medications. In general, warm and clean water are the major requirements in terms of keeping them healthy.
For water temperature, aim for 78-80 degrees F. This means you'll probably need a heater. (Unless you're lucky enough to live in the tropics!)
I recommend feeding pellets, rather than flakes. Flakes are messy, and as others have pointed out, don't always have 'quality' ingredients. The two foods that I've seen recommended the most on this site are: New Life Spectrum (NLS) pellets, and Omega One Betta Buffet pellets. If you get one of those brands, let us know, and we'll tell you how many to feed each day. (NLS is smaller so you need to feed more than with Omega One.)
Once you bring your new guy home, you'll need to acclimate him to his new water. Don't just toss him in! The acclimation process needs to be done slowly, so that he can become adjusted to the different water.
There are different ways to acclimate fish, but this is the basic procedure that I use:
Leave him in his cup and let him float in the new tank for at least 20 minutes. More time is OK.
Add a SMALL amount of water from the new tank to his cup. Let him float for another 20 minutes. More time is OK.
Remove a SMALL amount of water from the cup. Discard it.
Repeat steps 2 and 3 a whole bunch of times. Keep discarding a small amount of water, then adding a SMALL amount of water from the tank to his cup, and let him float for another 20 minutes (or more) each time.
Do not rush the process! I've learned to acclimate slowly. The way I see it, there's no such thing as taking too long to acclimate him. (But rushing the process can really stress him out.)
While you're waiting for him to acclimate, take pictures and post them on this site.
Last edited by LittleBlueFishlets; 01-25-2013 at 04:13 PM.