Hi there! I've been trying to read as much as possible on everything I can do for my Betta, but I figured I'd start a post to get some help on my particular situation. I'm a newbie when it comes to Betta care. I just took home a Betta a few hours ago from my job, I was worried the fish would end up dying in a pet store or get flushed. I assume hes sick due to the way his fins look in comparison to some others Bettas I've seen, maybe I'm wrong. I was going to get a 2.5-3 gal aquarium kit with a heater and all that. Then, I saw some posts on cycling, and I'm not quite sure what to do. Do I wait and cycle the tank, or can I put him right in? I feel guilty not putting him in a nice aquarium all ready, but I don't want to make matters worse. Any input would be much appreciated!
Cycling a tank that small is a personal preference. Myself, I don't cycle anything under 10g. I would set up his tank with fresh clean treated heated water, slowly adjust him to the change and put him in :) He looks alright to me, but unsure about the black around his fins. Someone with more experience on fin rot should see this and comment. He's a beautiful boy though! Congrats.
I do think it's partially his color, but I also think he has the beginnings of fin rot. At this point, I'd just treat it with clean, warm water. If you notice it beginning to spread over the next couple days (keep comparing him to this picture here as a reference point) I would do an aquarium salt treatment. But, I think clean warm water should do the trick. If you get a 2.5 g - 3 g make sure do water changes at least twice a week to keep the water clean and him healing.
So I actually ended up getting a 5.5 gal tank, and a few necessities. I'll be getting some more decor and what not over the next few days
He will be very happy in that. Make sure you get a heater and a thermometer. Those are very important in ensuring your betta's health and happiness. He is a beautiful boy by the way.
At the bare minimum you need something for him to hide in to feel safe and secure as well. Make sure you can fit your thumb in it, if you can't he could get stuck. Also, make sure it's smooth on the inside as well. I bought a decoration once, that I had many others of, and I always run my hand inside, there was a really sharp piece of the decoration that would've impaled my little guy if he'd gone in there. I pulled it out stuck in my thumb.
Sometimes when you first get a betta, they won't eat for the first few days. My girl, Winter, didn't eat for about five days when I brought her home. Just keep offering him food, and if he doesn't eat it in 3-4 minutes then remove it so it won't polute his water.
I would also like to recommend API Stress Coat+ water conditioner. It contains aloe vera, which makes fish less stressed. If he does have fin rot, it may also speed the healing process. Whatever you do, avoid BettaFix.