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Old 07-04-2013, 07:09 PM   #1 
TheTrojanBetta's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Texas
New Betta, questions and help?

Hello! I apologize in advance for the length of this post, sorry about that!
First let me start off by saying I am a complete beginner with fishkeeping. I've done a lot of research for the purpose of taking a fish with me to my first college dorm this fall, but there's a whole lot I still don't know. I love animals and have always had pets; the only animals allowed are fish, and a betta seemed like it would be a nice companion. My sister has also has a betta, along with a trio of zebra danios (by the way, is this an okay combination? Danios like groups, right? That's why we added more. The betta was alone with one danio until recently and they were fine), since about January.

I got a tank set up today:

There is a filter, and the appropriate amount of Top Fin Betta Water Conditioner was added. The tank is a Top Fin 5.5 Gallon Starter Kit, if that matters at all. I do have a Tetra Submersible Heater, but the stick on thermometer (I understand a glass one for the inside is probably better, and will be getting one) has been giving a consistent reading of 82 degrees.
The strip tests gave readings of I think 0-20 nitrate, 0-.5 nitrite, a hardness of around 150, an alkalinity of 80, ph of 7.2-7.8, and ammonia of around .5. (My colorblindness might have put the numbers off just a little, it was pretty hard to tell). How are those readings?
I know now that live plants are better and will be getting some in the next few days; they'll help with water quality, right? Any reccomendations or tips?
The food I have is Omega One Betta Pellets, with a seperate container of Omega One freeze dried bloodworms. Is this alright?

On to the betta, the most important part!
This is Odysseus, who I got from WalMart earlier today.
I have looked at other fish before, but when I saw Odysseus, scraggly fins and all, it felt like there was an instant connection. Is that silly to say?
He's in the little cup he came in until tomorrow, when I will put him in his new home. Would this be alright? Any tips on cycling the tank or acclimating him? I know I have to make water changes when the ammonia reaches a certain point, right? I figure at this point anything is better than his little cup, it's filled with waste and kind of dirty.
Otherwise, does he look alright? He's a crowntail, but his fins look a little ragged. I'm hoping that will heal with fresh, warm water and that he'll gain some more color. He's fairly active, and swims to the surface to get air fairly frequently. He's gotten a little less skittish when I approach him now, and ate the bloodworm I put in his cup. Anything I should be looking for as far as behavior? He seems like a sweet little guy so far.

If there's anything I'm forgetting or any advice you may have, please let me know! I really appreciate the help, the last thing I want to do is kill him, and you all seem so knowledgeable! I've visited this forum before a little and I am excited to be a part of it. Again, sorry for the length and thank you for your help!
Here's a couple pictures. (I love the last one, his little face!)
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Old 07-04-2013, 07:25 PM   #2 
sainthogan's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Red River, NM
I would add some more places for him to hide. Bettas LOVE to hide. They also love to explore, so caves he can get into and larger plants to hide behind and swim through.
With a 5 gallon tank, filter and live plants, you will need to do a 50% water change once a week, unless your test kit says you need to do it more often. Even after the tank is cycled, you'll still need to one water change weekly.
Acclimating him is fairly easy, float his cup in the tank, allow the temperatures to match over a few hours, during that time, slowly exchange the water from the tank and the cup until there is a 100% exchange. This can take several hours.
You should get an in tank thermometer, they are much more accurate. I have a stick on and an in tank thermometer side by side and right now, they're fairly close 75 - stick on, 76 - in tank. But in the winter, the stick on was reading 71 - 73 or lower, and the in tank was reading 76. We had a major heat spell a few weeks ago and the stick on was reading 85 and the in tank was reading 76. So keep in mind there is a good chance in inconsistency with the stick on thermometers.
Once you get him in the tank, don't be surprised if he quits eating for a week or so. That is completely normal as they get used to their new surroundings, especially when going from something so small to something much larger, he may hide a lot at first as well. But as he gets used to you and his surroundings, you should expect him to get excited when he sees you and possibly follow your fingers. He should be fairly active (unless he's like my male who apparently stays awake all night making bubble nests and sleeps during the day).
He's a good looking guy. :D
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Old 07-04-2013, 10:42 PM   #3 
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Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Texas
Thank you for your reply! That's good to know about the eating, I might have thought something was wrong. I do plan on getting a more accurate thermometer soon. Your betta sounds cute, I look forward to seeing a bubblenest of my own! I do hope he'll look a little healthier in the tank, but I'm glad to know he doesn't look sick. He certainly doesn't act it!
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