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Old 04-14-2013, 11:49 PM   #1 
BettaLover1313
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Question New Betta Owner-Advice Needed

Housing
What size is your tank? 1 gallon
What temperature is your tank? N/A
Does your tank have a filter? No
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No
Is your tank heated? No
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? None

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? BettaMin Tropical Medley
How often do you feed your betta fish? Once a day (around noon since he seems to want to eat then from what I've noticed.)

So as the title says, I'm a new Betta owner. I tried to keep a Betta my freshmen year of college and he only lasted a month. I realize now, this was due to my own misinformation on Bettas, and I want to be sure I do the best I possibly can for my new Betta, Merlin, a red Spade Tail.

As you can see above, I do realize from just reading the forum topics that some things like his one gallon tank are not the best for him, but his tank water (50%) will be changed every other day and then cleaned thoroughly once a week. I also use BettaSafe for his tank water.

As for his environment, the bottom of his tank is "rainbow gravel" and he currently has a little cave that he sometimes hides behind (I think the entrance is too small for him :/). I do intend on getting him some fabric plants too with my next pay check.

This leads me to my questions/advice needed:
-Do you recommend buying aquarium salt? I have read that its beneficial, but is it necessary if I have the BettaSafe, or do I need to use it with the BettaSafe? Kind of confused on that one.
-Is there a small, fairly inexpensive heater that I could get to heat his 1 gallon tank? (Merlin is very active in his tank)
-Dealing with the heater question, if I could get a heater for him (college student on a budget), is their a specific type of thermometer I should get?
-Is it normal for Bettas to "scoop out" the bottom of their tank? This is a recent behavior he developed about a day after I bought him, and he seems very interested in the gravel.
-Is making bubbles at the top of the water just a sign that Merlin is ready to breed (have no intention of breeding him) or is it also a sign that he's happy in his environment, or both?
-Also, I've noticed these transparent "tendrils" hanging off of him tonight, is this his slime coat coming off or something else? (These tendrils tend to hang off his fins before eventually falling off.)

Any help would be greatly appreciated, I've grown very fond of Merlin in the three days that I've had him, and I really don't want to lose him anytime soon.

Merlin:
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Old 04-15-2013, 12:22 AM   #2 
ryancalif
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As for must-haves, I'd get heater, thermometer, and a water conditioner.

They make special betta tank heaters which are very small and meant to heat up to a couple gallons (I saw them at Petsmart not long ago). I can't vouch for their accuracy or reliability, but they are quite cheap... like less than $10. Thermometers are around $2-3 for a floating bulb. Water conditioner is also cheap at around $2-6 depending on the brand. A simple bottle of Tetra AquaSafe should be all you need. Walmart also has a selection of heaters and water conditioners, but I'm not sure how much they cost there.

As for nice-to-haves... I'd probably get a small bag of aquarium salt, and a small bag of epsom salt (epsom salt is around $0.99 a carton, and aquarium salt is a few bucks). A bottle of broad-spectrum medication is also not a bad idea... Since you're on a budget, Walmart sells tablets for fungal/bacterial, and parasitic infections. If you have a little more money later on, Maracyn is a good all-around medication.

Last edited by ryancalif; 04-15-2013 at 12:32 AM.
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Old 04-15-2013, 01:38 AM   #3 
bahamut285
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BettaLover1313 View Post
-Do you recommend buying aquarium salt? I have read that its beneficial, but is it necessary if I have the BettaSafe, or do I need to use it with the BettaSafe? Kind of confused on that one.
I strongly recommend getting aquarium salt (they come in small boxes too, so you don't need to get a huge one). Think of it as the advil or tylenol for fish. It's the go-to natural medicine for them and is usually one of the first recommendations for illnesses that occur on the skin/fins of your fish.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BettaLover1313 View Post
-Is there a small, fairly inexpensive heater that I could get to heat his 1 gallon tank? (Merlin is very active in his tank)
-Dealing with the heater question, if I could get a heater for him (college student on a budget), is their a specific type of thermometer I should get?
I am not sure how easy/stable/safe it is to heat a 1 gallon, I believe they sell very low wattage heaters for this size of tank. Thermometers are usually fairly cheap (at my store they are $2.99)

Quote:
Originally Posted by BettaLover1313 View Post
-Is it normal for Bettas to "scoop out" the bottom of their tank? This is a recent behavior he developed about a day after I bought him, and he seems very interested in the gravel.
He probably thinks he sees something interesting under the gravel (usually food)

Quote:
Originally Posted by BettaLover1313 View Post
-Is making bubbles at the top of the water just a sign that Merlin is ready to breed (have no intention of breeding him) or is it also a sign that he's happy in his environment, or both?
A lot of the times it is more of a territorial instinct (in my experience). When my bettas build nests they don't move for HOURS unless they need to breathe.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BettaLover1313 View Post
-Also, I've noticed these transparent "tendrils" hanging off of him tonight, is this his slime coat coming off or something else? (These tendrils tend to hang off his fins before eventually falling off.)
I didn't see any tendrils on the picture you provided (cute boy by the way!) but if you feel that it's getting worse then try some of that handy dandy aquarium salt (1 teaspoon/gallon, mixed thoroughly in water before adding)
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Old 04-15-2013, 08:21 AM   #4 
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Thank you for the help!
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Old 04-15-2013, 08:29 AM   #5 
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bahamut285, thank you very much for the help! Also, thanks for the compliment to Merlin :)
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