Hi guys! This is my first post on here, so please bear with me.
After falling in love with my college roommate's betta fish, she encouraged me to get one of my own. The issue is that she gave me a lot of information on betta care, which I've now realized was a little misguided. Because she'd had her betta fish for 2 years, I didn't think to research a lot of what she told me (like that bettas can live in super small tanks, no heater, etc.).
Anyways, I was hoping that I could post my betta fish's situation, and then the fine members on here could give me some advice on how to make him happier. I've had him since Sept 2012, and he used to be very happy, blowing bubbles, etc., but he's become a lot more lethargic.
1gal tank with a light and small submersible heater
has a plastic (but beta-friendly) plant, and cave for him to hide in
weekly 70% water changes
Please let me know what I should be buying to make his setup better. I've never had a fish before him.
I recommend changing the water more often, one 50% and one 100% a week. What temperature is the tank? The heater should be keeping the water 75-85 F. What brand of food are you feeding him? IMO 1 gallon is pretty small, but as long as you maintain the water quality and the tank is heated, your betta should be fine.
Eemmais - Thanks for the advice! I have one of the stick-on thermometers, like this one: link. The tank stays around 75-76, though I've heard those thermometers aren't very good.
MattsBettas - I'd appreciate any help I can get :) I do indeed use water conditioner. I fed him BettaBuffet pellets for most of his life, but he seemed to lose interest, so I recently switched to BettaMin flakes which he seems to enjoy better. I would very much appreciate instructions on acclimating him - I've read some very conflicting advice on websites online.
... I fed him BettaBuffet pellets for most of his life, but he seemed to lose interest, so I recently switched to BettaMin flakes which he seems to enjoy better...
Hey there! So if you want some really good food that he'll never resist get some New Life Spectrum Betta Pellets! They have garlic in them which Betta's absolutely love! Also Omega One Betta pellets are great too. The things you want to watch out for are fillers like wheat, grains and corns, those are bad and can cause a lot of constipation issues.
Also stay away from Freeze-Dried stuff, though they maybe be high in protein, they lack everything else Betta's need. They are like every other animal, a varied diet keeps them happy and healthy ;D You can feed Freeze-dried stuff once a week because it's basically the equivalent to feeding a child chocolate all the time otherwise lol
Good to know about the freeze-dried food! I'll see if any local pet stores have the New Life food. There are about 4 pet shops in my immediate vicinity, but unfortunately they all stock the same limited things... rather unhelpful, if you ask me.
Yeah, all my petstores stock the same thing as well! I had to order my NLS off the interwebs since it's not carried even in this state. But Omega one is at my Petco/Petsmart so that's good too.
I feed my boys and girls a mix of NLS, Omega One, sometimes NLS Flakes if I'm feeling it and they do get the Freeze-Dried Bloodworms on Saturday as a treat. They only get one or two each though.
Live foods are through too, or frozen even. If you got Frozen bloodworms, that would be a real treat as well ;-D usually after a big, high protein meal it's good to fast them for a day so they don't get bloated/constipated at all.
I fast all my guys/girls every week for two days (it's mostly a forced fast because I'm not homes those days) but it works great. I feed them a big meal on Sunday morning, they fast Monday and Tuesday and get fed again on Wednesday.
Even though I'm sure he's happy in his 1 gallon and if you keep good care of it, it will be good, I encourage you to get at least a 3 gallon tank. If there's a Wal-Mart around you they have a nice 3 gallon Cube tank, it fights nicely on my side table with room to spare ;-D but it comes with a Tetra Whisper 3i filter and the light is pretty decent. But the thing is, the larger the tank, the easier it is to maintain.
When you think about it, one betta poo is going to containment the 1 gallon much faster than it would in the 3 gallon because there is more volume. But of course, that's completely up to you.
I'm also a sucker for live plants which are a great benefit to your tanks so I'll just go ahead and throw those out there :D Not only do they help regulate ammonia/nitrites/nitrate levels they give a great place for your Betta to hide and play in. And you don't generally have to worry about it tearing your Betta's fins!
lilnaugrim - Ultimately I'd love to get a 10gal tank with a partition (one betta on either side) with plants. I've read a bit about planting, and it seems like such a great option. Where do you get the live plants, though?
Also I'm wondering what type of filter is okay. I'm worried I'll buy a bigger tank that includes a filter, and it might have too high a flow for my betta. How could I avoid that?