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Old 01-24-2013, 04:04 AM   #1 
Queentzie
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Red face Confused and have questions!!!

So let me start off by saying, I'm sorry if why of this had been answered elsewhere or if I'm posting in the wrong area.

Anyways, I was one of the people that got suckered in by the pet store. I asked millions of questions, just to make sure I could give my betta the proper care it deserved. I read their pamphlets and asked multiple employees, only to discover when I went online, that everything they said was wrong. So now I'm stuck with not having prepared for my Lil buddy as well as I thought I did. I just don't want him to die, and I want to ensure he is happy.

I read as much as I could online, only to find that the more I read the more confused I got.
And now Im left with questions, and lots of them.
But first I'll tell you about the setup I have and about him:
-His name is Lee
-He's a blue half moon
- I have him in a 1 gallon globe with led lights
-i feed him 2ce each day, about 1 our 2 each time
-i have 2 fake plants in there
- I put rounded stones from the pet store on the bottom


Ok, my questions are:
1. I read about "sponge filter: how and why", so now I need some recommendations as to which one to buy on amazon. I found the sponge filter depicted in the picture, but don't know what air pump to buy for it. (keep in kind please that I can't afford anything too costly) Any recommendations on the filter and air pump that work together would be appreciated.

2. I think I'm stuck having to do do the fish in cycle, since I already have him. However I do have another container that can hold 2.5 gallons that I would like to move him to.. Any recommendations as to where to go from here? Should I move him into the new container and continue with the fish in cycle? Our should I leave him where he is, and start a fishless cycle in the 2.5 gallon container and then move him?

3. The 2.5 gallon container has no led lights. Are led lights a necessity? If so how can I set them up on this new container? What kind is recommended?

4. I read somewhere that betta fish need a place to last on and rest? Is that true? If so, what is recommended? I saw a l leaf like thing that has a suction cup attached to it on amazon, would that work?

5. The lady at the pet store said, that when transferring him, I could just pick him up by hand. Is that true? Our am I hurting him? I also read that nets can cause damage?
Then I read that I could use a cup to transfer him. But that would put old water into the new water? Really really confused on this...

6. If, and when I do get a cycle going, when I put in new water, it should be treated with the conditioner for ammonia and chloride, correct? How much water should I change for a 1 gallon bowl? How much water should I change for a 2.5 gallon tank?

7. Should I get gravel instead/also? How much should the gravel be covering? How do I clean it if I'm only making partial water changes once I get a cycle established?

8. I'm making sure the room temperature never goes below 74F. Is that enough to make sure he is at a good temperature? I am going to buy a thermometer, but until it gets here, I want to make sure he is ok. If I should get a heater, which one is recommended? (Preferably name specifics that I can get on amazon)

9. Should I get him companions once he is moved to the 2.5 gallon tank? What kind? He looks so lonely...

10. Are the pellets that I'm feeding him enough for his diet? Am I feeding enough? Because it seems that if it were up to him, he would eat more... Probably much more...




Thank you in advance for your time. I'm sorry if any of these questions seem dumb or whatever. It's my daughters and my first fish, and I didn't realize that pet stores are so unknowing.
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Old 01-24-2013, 05:40 AM   #2 
MollyJean
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Queentzie View Post
1. I read about "sponge filter: how and why", so now I need some recommendations as to which one to buy on amazon. I found the sponge filter depicted in the picture, but don't know what air pump to buy for it. (keep in kind please that I can't afford anything too costly) Any recommendations on the filter and air pump that work together would be appreciated.
With a small tank (1 gallon, 2.5 gallon, what you've said you have) a cycle isn't going to hold, so a filter isn't needed. You will do much better to keep up frequent water changes. A filter in such a small tank will only serve to agitate the water and betta tend to prefer still water rather then a current.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Queentzie View Post
2. I think I'm stuck having to do do the fish in cycle, since I already have him. However I do have another container that can hold 2.5 gallons that I would like to move him to.. Any recommendations as to where to go from here? Should I move him into the new container and continue with the fish in cycle? Our should I leave him where he is, and start a fishless cycle in the 2.5 gallon container and then move him?
Again, the cycle won't hold. The tank is just too small. But if you can set him up in the 2.5 gallon tank, you and he will both be much happier. He will have more room to move around, and you won't have to do water changes as often. You won't need to even bother with a cycle unless you get a tank over 6 gallons.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Queentzie View Post
3. The 2.5 gallon container has no led lights. Are led lights a necessity? If so how can I set them up on this new container? What kind is recommended?
A light is necessary. Be it a table lamp, an LED or bulb fish lamp or room light. You need to keep him on a day/night lighting scheduled. This will reduce his stress a great deal. I've rigged a few lights up over the years from this and that, but you have to be sure the light is safe around water, or far enough away from it that it won't get wet. And always make sure your tank has a lid. Bettas are jumpers!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Queentzie View Post
4. I read somewhere that betta fish need a place to last on and rest? Is that true? If so, what is recommended? I saw a l leaf like thing that has a suction cup attached to it on amazon, would that work?
A leaf, a tall rock, a heater, a plastic or real plant that raises to near the surface.. Betta DO like to lounge on things. But a betta leaf or hammock isn't NECESSARY. If you want to make him happy, get him something he can chill out on when he sleeps. he'll also appreciate hiding places. Hollow decorations meant for fish to go inside, castles and caves, rock formations that he can scoot under. If a betta gets scared, having a safe place to hide will do wonders for him. Happy bettas make happy betta owners!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Queentzie View Post
5. The lady at the pet store said, that when transferring him, I could just pick him up by hand. Is that true? Our am I hurting him? I also read that nets can cause damage?
Then I read that I could use a cup to transfer him. But that would put old water into the new water? Really really confused on this...
You can use a net, it won't hurt him, but it might bend or nick a fin. I tend to use the cupping method. And a little bit of old water won't hurt the new water. Pour as much of the old water out of the cup he's being transferred with before he goes into the new tank, to minimize the water exchange, but don't stress if you get a little in there, it won't do any damage. Oh, and just a tip, make sure you're doing betta transfers over safe surfaces. Over a sink where he can go down the drain is a bad idea. :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Queentzie View Post
6. If, and when I do get a cycle going, when I put in new water, it should be treated with the conditioner for ammonia and chloride, correct? How much water should I change for a 1 gallon bowl? How much water should I change for a 2.5 gallon tank?
Before you do a cycle, if you do one (on a larger tank of course) go look up the process on cycling a tank on the forums. It should be easy to find. For small tanks I would do 2-3 50% water changes a week and one full (100%) water change a week. This might seem like a lol, but remember these are small tanks, so a few cups scooped out, a few replaced, it's not that bad. Keep the water changes up, though, or you'll end up hurting your fish. Amonia can build up fast if you're not paying attention.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Queentzie View Post
7. Should I get gravel instead/also? How much should the gravel be covering? How do I clean it if I'm only making partial water changes once I get a cycle established?
Marbles are fine. Gravel is fine. Whichever you prefer. I go for one inch on most of my tanks, but I like a little depth to play with (stick things in like plants and rocks) you can do more or less, up to you. You can clean your gravel (or marbles) with a gravel vacuum. These can be picked up at just about any pet store, or ordered online. If you're doing a 100% water change, you could always take that chance to clean up the gravel/marbles as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Queentzie View Post
8. I'm making sure the room temperature never goes below 74F. Is that enough to make sure he is at a good temperature? I am going to buy a thermometer, but until it gets here, I want to make sure he is ok. If I should get a heater, which one is recommended? (Preferably name specifics that I can get on amazon)
74 degrees is a minimum. The general accepted range is about 74-82. Some keep it high, some keep it low. Mine are at 76-78 via heaters. Remember your betta boy is a tropical fish, he likes it warm. Get a small heater and a thermometer and keep an eye on it. There are a lot of brands and I am not really the type to spout about how much one is better then another, as I haven't tried them all. You can do a search on these forums for some good suggestions. But I will say that I have had a lot of success in small (1.75 gallon) tanks with Tetra Submersible Aquarium Heaters. They're inexpensive and small. They're not adjustable, however, and most people prefer adjustable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Queentzie View Post
9. Should I get him companions once he is moved to the 2.5 gallon tank? What kind? He looks so lonely...
Betta like being alone. If he needs a friend, he has you! If you want to keep him active, let him see himself in a mirror every now and then (only 5 minutes at a time) or let him chase a pencil eraser (Hold it to the tank and move it around) for a few minutes a day. There's also the fact that a 2.5 gallon tank is way too small for any other fish. 2.5 gallons is considered by most to be the minimum for a betta fish, though some experienced owners keep them in smaller. For a new betta parent, I'd suggest at least 5 gallons. Don't worry if you can't get him in a big roomy 5 gallon just yet. You where obviously given some bad information at the pet store, which happens a lot. Just learn what you can and fix things as you're able.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Queentzie View Post
10. Are the pellets that I'm feeding him enough for his diet? Am I feeding enough? Because it seems that if it were up to him, he would eat more... Probably much more...
Betta pellets are fine. 1-2 for each feeding, 2 times a day.As a general rule, look at your betta's eye; that's how big his stomach is. Yes, he would eat more if you gave him more.. and then he would get sick. Over feeding can put pressure on the swim bladder and cause him to float or sink.. his buoyancy can be messed up. And extreme over feeding can even kill him. So yeah, he looks like a ravenous little monster.. but keep his diet strict. If you want to give him a treat every now and then, frozen bloodworms are yummy and lots of fun to feed to bettas (mine jump to get them). There are also freeze-dried bloodworms, but these tend to cause buoyancy issues with my fish, so I stay away from them.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Queentzie View Post
Thank you in advance for your time. I'm sorry if any of these questions seem dumb or whatever. It's my daughters and my first fish, and I didn't realize that pet stores are so unknowing.
These are not dumb questions! It's very nice to see a new owner who cares enough about their fish and are willing to learn how to care for them. Witht he right care a betta can live a very long life and with the proper home, they have amazing personalities. Please, ask all the questions you like, we'll do our best to help you!

Oh, and we love pictures :)

Last edited by MollyJean; 01-24-2013 at 05:45 AM.
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Old 01-24-2013, 05:51 AM   #3 
veggiegirl
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Hey there,

Yes it is very common that pets hops feed us a lot of misinformation when it comes to betta care. Also the internet provides a lot of conflicting info.

I'll see if I can help, lets go through your questions......

1. Okay so I don't really shop from Amazon when it comes to fish equipment but I can give you some general advice as far as filters go. I use corner/box filters and yes they are a bit unsightly but they are cheap and suit bettas because you can adjust the air flow. I haven't really used sponge filters but the general rule with bettas is avoid filters that create a strong current (for example some internal power filters). Bettas have large heavy fins and are not the best swimmers because their fins weigh them down. Also a bettas natural habitat is usually in relatively still water so any filter where you can adjust the air flow on a low setting will be fine.

2. When you say you have a 2.5 gallons container is it glass, and if not is it designed for fish? If it is a glass container then as long as it is clean and free of contaminates then it will be fine. If it is plastic, is it specifically designed for fish as some plastics are not fish safe. If your container is either glass or a plastic fish safe container then definitely move him into the 2.5 gallon as he will be much healthier and happier. Cycling betta tanks is a much debated topic, some people swear by it and others, like me have never cycled a betta tank and never had any problems due to not cycling. The choice is really up to you but I would want to get him into the 2.5 gallon as soon as you can so I probably wouldn't bother with the cycling..... as long as you perform regular water changes then you should not have a problem with ammonia spikes.....I never have.

3. There is no real need for led lights, I don't have any lights on my tanks and never have. They do look good but really not an essential.

4. Betta fish do like to rest on things, I think the leaf thing on amazon contains a metal part in it that will rust and cause problems, I would put a silk plant in his tank, my boys like to lay on the leaves and they are nice and soft.

5. It is true that nets can cause damage to your betta, I always avoid using them and rarely ever do. Again as you mentioned using a cup means transferring some of the old water to the new which is not always a good thing. The lady at the pet shop is on the right lines you can pick them up with your hands but there is a knack to it so that you don't injure them...... you can't just grab them with your fingers as you could scratch him with your nails or even just your fingers could damage/bruise him. You need to make a cup with your hand and gently scoop them up. It takes a bit of practice to get perfect...they can be fast at times and escape your hand but the key is to be patient and gentle. Once your betta is in your hand carfully close your fingers over him as he is likely to flip about a lot and may jump out of your hand easily as they are quite slimy. Just make sure when you close your hand you are not actually putting any pressure on his boy..... you certainly do not want to squeeze him by any means. I only even use my hands to catch my bettas... the biggest risk is scratching them with your nails but as long as you are careful I really think it is the safest way to catch them.

6. You always need to add water conditioner to new water because tap water contains chlorine and other harmful chemicals/heavy metals that are toxic to fish. The only real way to make it fish safe is by adding water conditioner... it is essential to add this. As for water changes.... a one gallon bowl I would say two 100% water changes a week but this would not really be suitable long term. A 2.5 gallon tank would need maybe two 50% changes a week or one 75% change.

7. Okay I don't keep gravel in my tanks for ease of cleaning..... however because your tanks are pretty small the easiest way to clean it would be to use a tube to syphon some water from the top of the tank (50%). This water keep in a clean bucket. Then pour the remaining water in the tank down the drain and rinse gravel under the tap and stir until all the waste is tipped out of the tank. Then pour saved water in bucket back into the tank. Then get some clean tap water, add conditioner and adjust temperature and Ph to that of the saved water and top up his tank.

8. You will definately need a heater.... bettas are tropical and can't tolerate temperature fluctuations as they cause the betta stress and lowers their immune system putting them at risk of all sorts of terrible illnesses. To prevent this you need to supply your betta with a constant water temperature and the only way to do that is with a heater that has a thermostat. All my heaters are 'Aqua One' brand... they seem pretty reliable and come with a decent warranty. So yes he will definatly need a heater in order to remain healthy but until you can get one wrap his tank up with blankets and towels at night and when it is cold... also put him in the warmest room in your house.

9. A 2.5 gallon is really the smallest tank that a betta can remain healthy and happy in long term. A tank of this size should not have any other fish in it because it would be overstocked and would cause a lot of problems. A tank of this size is only suitable for a solitary betta. Bettas are by nature solitary creatures so your boy will not be lonely. Just pay him as much attention as you can and he will remain happy. You would need a 10 gallon or bigger to be able to add other fish.

10. I would say t give him 4 pellets twice a day. My bettas get probably 12 or more once a day but I get hikari betta bio-gold pellets which are really tiny. The average betta pellet is larger so four twice a day would be suitable, he probably isn't really getting enough at the moment but in saying that don't go overboard and over feed him either. Pellets are the only way to privide a balanced diet for your betta..... you ay offer frozen foods as an occasional treat but pellets should be his stable diet and frozen foods can be offered occasionally but can cause health problems if fed too often. I have tried many feeds over the years for my bettas but I have had the healthiest fish that have lived the longest when fed nothing but pellets. I would recommend a good brand though like Hikari.

None of your questions are dumb..... you cannot learn without asking we all were beginner fish keepers once and asking lots and lots of questions and reading reading reading is the only way we learnt how to care for our bettas correctly. I hope you find betta keeping as enjoyable as we do and good luck with your little guy. Need any more help or advice no probs just ask away Oh also if you can get some we would love to see photos of your betta!
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Old 01-26-2013, 02:10 AM   #4 
Queentzie
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Thank you, that helps a lot! I feel much better now having answers. :) I appreciate your time too!
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Old 01-27-2013, 11:26 PM   #5 
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No problem
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