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Old 07-20-2013, 10:30 PM   #1 
ajnozari
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New Betta Baby, help!

So I have had a lot of loss lately.

Bertha my apple snail (or mystery IDK which) either died and went into hibernation which prompted my shrimp to eat her. I say hibernation b/c when I would spray water at the foot there would be a retraction then it would pop out a bit.

That was last week. Then today my betta flare passed. He was fine this morning but around 2pm I saw him caught in the filter dead. I had done a water change two days ago and the filter was just changed this month.

He was an odd Betta that would like to rub against you if your hand/finger was in the bowl. I would say that was fighting but there was no flaring.

I decided to go ahead and get a new one to stop the guilt of loosing him so I headed off to petco to get a fish, gravel, and some plant food (plant wasn't getting enough light apparently and I always replace gravel when a fish dies).

I took everything out of the bowl, except for gravel. Cleaned it with a touch of soap (rinsed 10+ times until water ran clear) then removed some of the gravel and replaced it with new (to 1 inch). I then let it cycle for 30 minutes with the filter on and plant in place (+ plant food and conditioner).

My issue is I purchased a baby betta (I found out the horrid practices after purchasing) who I believe is a male, and I know is a doubletail (distinct shape). He shines bright blue under a light and is black with dots on body (may be camouflage lines from female so gender may be wrong).

I was told to leave him in the little container I bought him in and change the water at least three times a week (and feed him once a day). I now know this isn't enough. My house get cold at night (69) and I'm afraid I'll loose this fish before I even have a name.

I am tempted to put him in the larger tank (after acclimating him) but am worried the shrimp will try to eat him b/c of his size. Please note I am ok with flushing the shrimp, it was supposed to be a bottom feeder but if it has to go it has to go.

I know that the betta community frowns on baby purchases but I didn't know that when I purchased him, only when I realized he was too small to survive the cold and IDK what to do to keep it alive. I know I can float the bowl in the larger tank but is that enough?

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Last edited by ajnozari; 07-20-2013 at 10:32 PM.
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Old 07-20-2013, 10:42 PM   #2 
lilnaugrim
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Camoflage lines are found both in males and females so that's no way of telling gender. If you wanted to know for sure you'd have to find the ovaries and then it'd be a girl, if it's just a circular stomach then it's a boy.

As for the shrimp, your baby will attack them before they get the chance to even think about it lol but I've had babies and shrimp coincide and live just fine together before so I don't think really that's a worry. Betta Babies love to nip so it'd be the shrimp I'd be worried about Also don't flush anything, that can potentially block your drains and otherwise contaminate your water system if the animal was ill. It's also not humane to let them die down there, there are other ways to euthanize an animal.

And basically you can put him in the biggest tank you have if you want, that's really not going to bother him. But large open spaces won't be good, so like plants fake or real would be good for him the play in and rest on. Something like a 5 gallon up to 10 gallons would be awesome for a baby.

Also you'll definitely need to keep him warm and steady around 78-80 and do at least 50% water changes every other day on the bigger tank. If you keep him in the cup then do a 100% every day. The reason being, not only ammonia build up, but because Betta babies actually excrete a Growth Stunting Hormone that can stunt their own growth so he could grow extremely slow or not at all with just weekly changes. So 50% every other day is usually a good starting point if you can.

It's not that we frown on you buying Baby Betta's!! It's more like we just don't like the fact that they actually sell them and they have to get them from a breeder and, yes that breeder has to make money, but by selling their Betta culls? It's just sad is all. but we're happy when people rescue them and want to give them a good life!!

Also feeding, you need to feed them /at least/ 3 times a day, if not right up to 5 times a day. Small meals but frequent meals is what's going to make your baby grow like a weed! Try not to gut them, basically start with a super tiny amount of food and feed until their stomach starts to poke out a bit and then stop and eventually you'll know how much to feed them so they don't get super large tummies because then it's harder for them to metabolize it; same in humans ^_^

Think I got it all. Any other questions, please don't hesitate to ask!
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Old 07-20-2013, 10:48 PM   #3 
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Thanks for the information. Just as a thing the shrimp (betty) is fairly large (much larger than the baby) so I was just worried about it attacking the betta.

As for the water changes, will the frequent changes hurt my plant/assasin snail/shrimp?

And finally, to transition him, should I just float him in the tank (in the container) for a while then slide him in or should I acclimate his water as well.

Thanks
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Old 07-21-2013, 12:45 PM   #4 
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Well just keep an eye on the shrimp is all but shrimp usually really don't care about the fish. And no the frequent changes won't hurt anything and will actually provide more minerals and nutrients for your plants, the snail won't care either way lol.

And to transition him, you need to acclimate him to the water as well since each tank in the house can be different water chemistry. For example, my tap comes out at a pH of 6.5, my sorority tank which is 33 gallons is at 7.6 and my 10 gallon was at 5.5 sooooo always acclimate to the water chemistry.

For babies, I'd take care and at least acclimate him about 30-45 minutes up to an hour if you can. They're hardy little fish but it's still a baby so you want to be careful still of course he probably won't die if you just plop him in but best to avoid that ^_^
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Old 07-21-2013, 05:52 PM   #5 
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I've started the acclimation process today. To keep his water warm I floated his container (with some room for air and holes) and it floated nicely. This kept his water warm and he seems to be very active.

I changed his water today with some spring water (Cl free) and will use that to fill the tank for a few days until he gets acclimated. Then I'll Begin to switch back to the tap water (our pH is around 6.8 to 7 which is good the water is just hard so I try to keep additions like salt to a minimum. Right now he needs daily water changes to keep the hormones low and he's been in spring water so I can't just dump him in the tank which is (now) 50% tap/ 50% spring.

I currently have the tank cycling (new filter new substrate) and just replaced 50% of the water with spring. I have him floating in it still to keep the temp stable but I'm going to wait another couple hours for the tank to settle before I start transitioning him.
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Old 07-21-2013, 08:54 PM   #6 
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Oh you use salt? Don't use salt unless you're curing a disease. But long term use of Aquarium salt will actually cause liver/kidney damage to Betta's so I really don't recommend using it for more than 3 weeks and the recommended length of duration is 2 weeks.

and usually you don't need to acclimate that long but I'm certainly glad you're taking care of him!! He'll be just fine ^_^
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Old 07-21-2013, 09:18 PM   #7 
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I did not know that about the salt. I was told to add a 1/8 of a teaspoon with water changes to keep parasites and bad bacteria away.

Last two questions,

1. Should I keep my filter on when I add him to the tank?
2. A worker at petco who owns betas said to add a drop (literally no more) of this "good bacteria" liquid to the water with changes of water, filter and vacuum to keep the good bacteria present. It seemed to work as my last fish (flare) never saw a parasite I think he was just old.
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Old 07-21-2013, 11:03 PM   #8 
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I think if it's a sponge filter yes, or if you think he won't get sucked in go for it! I'm not sure about the bacteria stuff though.
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Old 07-22-2013, 09:18 AM   #9 
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Okay for the bacterial stuff.

So when you cycle a tank (and this is me assuming you know about the Nitrogen Cycle, if you don't then skip this bit and feel free to ask about it lol) you grow a colony of beneficial bacteria. These BB are what turn your ammonia into nitrites, and nitrites into nitrates which are then slightly eaten by live plants but mostly taken out of the water by a water change. So in short, they keep your fish safe from toxic levels of ammonia and nitrites.

When you first cycle a tank, there have been products put out that is basically live bacteria in a bottle and I think that's what you're talking about. Now, these have directions on them that should be followed such as Tetra Safe Start or TSS. The directions are the turn off UV sterilizers and dump in the whole bottle to any tank right up to 30 gallons. So even if it's a 5 gallon tank, it all goes in. These products are to help kick start your colony of BB. So it's kind of like trying to populate a different plant but growing humans say from evolving other animals or would you rather dump a bottle of humans onto that plant to start your colony? Dumping the bottle is theoretically faster! So that's why you use them.

However some of these bottle contain dead BB because it's been on the shelf too long or they weren't quite alive in the first place. So there's always a risk and you really have no way of testing this to make sure they are still alive.

But long story short, if you have already grown your colony of beneficial bacteria which mostly thrive in your filter and on other surfaces (they are microscopic and you can't kill them by rubbing off the ornament/gravel/tank walls/filter/filter media, etc.) then you will always have that colony of BB, unless say if your filter cartridge broke unexpectedly and you have to replace it right away. Most of your colony is living in that cartridge because it has the most space to colonize on, so if you take out 80% of your colony, you're going to experience a Mini-Cycle. Basically your colony has to regrow again and repopulate your filter to keep converting ammonia to nitrites, nitrites to nitrates. So in that time you'll see a spike of ammonia when the BB first are removed and then in a few days they will have grown enough to accomodate your fishes waste and all (ammonia). Hence it is a Mini-Cycle because it only takes a few days as opposed to a month or about that a regular Cycle needs to grow your colony of BB.

So anyway, you can chose to use the bottle of bacteria or not. It won't help your fish to keep away parasites or anything like that. To keep parasites and other nasty's away, we do water changes to take the bad things out of the water and replace it with good things like more minerals since fish also get their minerals from water like we do

And to answer your other question, your filter should always be on because your colony of Beneficial Bacteria can be killed if you let your filter dry out, there will still be some water in there but you'd be killing off a lot of your BB by doing that. Always keep your filter running unless you need to shut it off for a water change. I always just keep mine running during a water change, but that's me lol.

There are ways you can baffle your filter too so that your baby isn't blown around everywhere. Let me know if you want the links to the two different kinds of baffles you can do!
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Old 07-22-2013, 09:57 AM   #10 
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Salt is fine to use in that amount - most breeders keep their fish in salt all the time, more than what the poster said. The shrimp may not like it, but it's fine for the betta.

If the shrimp is fairly larger than the betta then keep a close eye - shrimp will go after something smaller than them.
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