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Old 09-07-2013, 01:37 PM   #1 
LittleRose
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Beginner with questions

Hello everyone! I got my first betta a few weeks ago and have been lurking for a while. This site has been so helpful :) I have a few questions though that I would like to ask...

I have a little female crowntail, I named her Rosie and am already about 50x more smitten over her than I thought was even possible (I've never had fish before and frankly never understood why people liked them so much) she's very inquisitive and eats like a little swimming pig! Which leads me to my first question...

I'm a little unsure about her body condition...whether or not she's at a healthy size. I cannot tell if she looks bloated or not, or too chubby or not.

Last week I fed her more heavily than I had been because I knew I was going to be gone for 4 days for the long weekend and I wanted to make sure she had enough meat on her bones before going 4 days without food. I think I might had overfed her too much though because she looking alot more round and bloaty than before... she fasted for 3 1/2 days since I was out of town and I came back and she is still looking rounded. I usually feed her 1-2 pellets per day, last week I fed her 2-3 pellets per days (in 2-3 meals, still 1 crushed pellet at a time). Since being back and her still being round I've been feeding her just 1 pellet a day and she still seems rounded. She's acting normally and she has pooped, so I guess its not constipation/bloat...right? I've been looking at tons of pictures of fish described as overweight and trying to compare them to her but I can't seem to draw any conclusions...does she look overweight or bloated to you guys?







These 2 pictures are from the day I got her, she's definitely more plump (and colorful)now...but I know know if she was thin then and healthy now, or healthy then and chubby now...





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My 2nd concern is about water quality. Her bowl is small, only 1 gal, so I know its important to keep clean because ammonia, etc can build up very quickly. I've been doing a 100% change every 4 days or so, and ~25% water change every other day. I use API stress coat as a water conditioner (1/8th tsp). I want to make sure that I'm not keeping it too clean though; I know some bacteria is beneficial. Am I changing her water too much?

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A 3rd question I have is about lighting. How important is natural light? I ask because I have heavy curtains over my bedroom windows to help insulate/keep out the heat of the sun. This also makes my room very dark. Is this bad for my beta? I have a lamp near her bowl, it has a regular tungsten bulb in it. I don't have it on all the time, but when I'm here (and awake) I turn it on. Is this ok? Or should I switch to a different type of light bulb?

That's all my questions for now!
Thanks!
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Old 09-07-2013, 02:31 PM   #2 
TakingthePlunge
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A lot of members here feel that at least 8 hours of light from a Compact flourescent would be best for most bettas. I am sure someone will be along in a moment with answers about her weight. ^_^

ETA: If she is very full (which she appears to be) fasting for a week probably wouldn't hurt her. They can go a fair bit of time without feeding and still be fine. someone will probably say that the type of food you feed matters, as well. Certain foods with high amounts of fillers will swell after benig eaten, and that can make her bloat too. Hope this helps.

Last edited by TakingthePlunge; 09-07-2013 at 02:35 PM.
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Old 09-09-2013, 05:54 PM   #3 
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Ok, cool. I actually have a CFL bulb in another lamp I have, I'll just swap them :) Oh and just an update I just bought her a bigger bowl. I found 2gal cookie jars at walmart for only $9.97 so I got her one. I wish I would have known about them before getting her original 1gal bowl, double the amount of space and only a few more dollars.

I am now wandering if her food is the problem, or at least a contributer. I'm not sure why I didn't at least glance at the ingredients before buying it (I do all my other pets foods) but now that I'm looking at the back of the container it looks like a bunch of filler... "wheat flour, fish meal, wheat gluten, soybean oil, potato protein, corn starch, corn gluten, shrimp meal, dried yeast....." I don't know anything about fish food but I'm guessing would like to see more fish meal and shrimp meal and less wheat and corn. Any suggestions on a good food thats cost efficient?
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Old 09-09-2013, 07:41 PM   #4 
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You've got the betta bug! You'll start wanting more and more and more of them. Like you, I wasn't a fish person and didn't understand why people had them as pets, but bettas have such personality. I started with one a year ago and now I have 12!

One question I have is how are you heating her water? Do you have a thermometer in the tank to make sure the temp is stable? If you've been lurking you probably have it covered since it comes up a lot, but I wanted to make sure!

A couple of foods that people here recommend are New Life Spectrum Betta Formula and Omega One Betta Buffet.
I have both and I actually prefer Omega One because the pellets are larger and float better. However, since your girl is small, you might be better off going with NLS. Both of them are pretty cheap - You can get Omega One at Petco or Petsmart and it's less than $5 for enough to keep her fed for months. The NLS is a bit more difficult to find - I've seen it at Petco. Don't remember the price, but it wasn't very expensive.

Your Rosie is such a sweetie! Her color is much improved though she does look a bit bloated. Like the TakingthePlunge suggested, I would fast her for a week and see if that helps.
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Old 09-10-2013, 08:06 AM   #5 
Hallyx
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She doesn't look bloated, just a little "eggy." Not eggbound but with eggs. Her body proportions are about right. Upgrading her food quality is well-advised.

Don't bother with CFL lights unless you're growing plants or like the look. The fish don't need additional light at all. In fact, they like it dark. And, just like you, they should have around 8 hours of total dark everyday to reinforce their circadian rhythm.

An adjustable 25W heater should be your next purchase, and a thermometer to monitor water temperature.
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Old 09-11-2013, 02:41 PM   #6 
LittleRose
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I ordered the Hydor 25W on amazon last week so it should be here any day now...when it does get here, I guess I should take her out of the bowl while I get it set up and to temperature and then acclimate her to the water? Or could I turn it on with her in and monitor the temp starting as low as possible and slowly turning it up closer to 80? I have a thermometer I picked up at walmart and her water has been around like 76 or 77 (its kind of hard to read) so it shouldn't be that huge of a temperature change if I start the heater very low.

Im definitely going to upgrade her food, her food now is too big of pellets anyways, so I have to crush them before I give them to her and if she doesn't get every little speck I'm sure the dust left dirties her water faster. So its a win-win if they're also small enough she can fit them in her mouth. I'm hoping my Petco has the NLS, its a very small petco :/
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Old 09-11-2013, 03:03 PM   #7 
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Petco sells 10g tanks for $13
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Old 09-11-2013, 03:08 PM   #8 
Melodica
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleRose View Post
I ordered the Hydor 25W on amazon last week so it should be here any day now...when it does get here, I guess I should take her out of the bowl while I get it set up and to temperature and then acclimate her to the water? Or could I turn it on with her in and monitor the temp starting as low as possible and slowly turning it up closer to 80? I have a thermometer I picked up at walmart and her water has been around like 76 or 77 (its kind of hard to read) so it shouldn't be that huge of a temperature change if I start the heater very low.

Im definitely going to upgrade her food, her food now is too big of pellets anyways, so I have to crush them before I give them to her and if she doesn't get every little speck I'm sure the dust left dirties her water faster. So its a win-win if they're also small enough she can fit them in her mouth. I'm hoping my Petco has the NLS, its a very small petco :/
I would suggest getting your new home set up and at a stable temp (78-82 - I usually keep mine around 80) and then scooping her into the cup that she came in and floating the cup in the tank. I usually do that for at least a couple of hours before releasing into the new home because I'm paranoid. If you check the temp of the water in the tank and in her current home and they are the same, you could add her and slowly increase the temp to 80. You just don't want to shock her.
I actually lost a fish because I didn't acclimate him to the temp - and the difference was only a couple of degrees. It doesn't take much.

If your Petco doesn't have NLS, I'm sure you can order it online.
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Old 09-11-2013, 03:55 PM   #9 
LittleRose
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Originally Posted by marshallsea View Post
Petco sells 10g tanks for $13
I'm aware, I actually own one its buried somewhere in my parents basement (it would need to be re-sealed though, my gerbil did a number on it), but thats a lot bigger than I'm comfortable going at this point due to living situation, etc. One day though I would love to use it!





Melodica, thanks! I'll make sure I take her out and float her, I'd rather be safe than sorry! :)
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