I will soon be receiving my very own betta fish! Since I will become a first time owner I have some questions regarding general care etc. First, my parents are only allowing me to get a two to three gallon fish bowl or tank (pleased no hate, saying I'm cruel). How can I lengthen the life of my betta fish in these conditions? Also, what kind of food should I feed my fish? Can I add decoration to his habitat? Also, my house is usually on the colder side (67-70 degrees), will this be a major problem for my betta fish? Thanks for your help!
2 or 3 gallons is a perfect size for a single betta! But the temperature will be an issue. Bettas are tropical fish and need their water to be heated to between 78-82F. Can you get a heater?
A good brand of betta pellets would be Omega One, or New life Spectrum. Omega one can be found at petsmart, I've only found nls online for sale.
Your betta would definitely love some decorations! But if you are getting plants, I'd suggest silk or live plants so they don't tear your bettas fins. And when picking out decor, stay away from any shiny painted stuff, the paint tends to bubble up once it's been under water, and may or may not be toxic to your fish. And they will have a strong chemical smell.
Once you get some pics of your fish, it'll be easier to help with names!
Congrats on getting a betta fish, they are great pets, and very entertaining!
Glad you came to us for help before getting him set up!
A tank that size isn't awful, it will just require a bit more maintenance, and if you get a not-as-energetic fish, he probably won't have any problem with it. However, bettas like very clean water, so in a tank that size, you should probably be doing two 50% water changes a week (no less than one a week) to keep ammonia levels at a minimum.
As for food, Omega One Betta Buffet pellets or NewLife Spectrum are the most recommended here on the forums, since they have the most protein and the least filler (bettas are carnivores, after all!).
You can absolutely add decorations, and you definitely should. Bettas love having places to hide, so make sure you have something that offers some cover. Live plants are the best, but if you get any man-made toys, make sure there aren't any sharp spots on them. As a general rule of thumb, if it will tear pantyhose, it can tear a betta's fins.
As for temperature, you're going to want to get a heater in a house of that temperature. Bettas do best at around 78-82 degrees Fahrenheit. As for what kind of heater to get, that's going to be a bit more difficult, because many of the more affordable ones don't do their job well, either not keeping the water warm enough or keeping it way too hot. Adjustable is best, but I've had success with these: http://www.amazon.com/Tetra-26447-Su...e+heater+tetra (of course, you'll certainly want to monitor the temperature, at least at first, to make sure your fish is safe and comfortable).
As for cool names, I suggest being inspired by your fish! You want the name to suit him, don't you?
Thankyou! This really did help! I was just looking at a mini heater, especially made for bettas, called marina betta mini heater, I would like to get another personal opinion on this brand from someone more experienced, such as yourself. I'm so sorry for the bother! Thanks again!
Hi Treytot, I'm also new to betta fish but I just did a quick look at the marina betta mini heater and it says for tanks up to 1.5 gallons. I don't think it will be powerful enough for your tank. I've got about a 2.5-3 gallon tank for my betta and have a 25W adjustable heater for him. It warms the water nicely.
I'm always skeptical of stuff that's marketed specifically for bettas, because the market is so misleading about proper betta care, and there's a lot of harmful stuff out there. Like anjelita said, a 25W adjustable (submersible!!) heater is just what you need, if you can find one. And you're hardly a bother; it's why I come to the forum!
The cheaper mini heaters that are not adjustable just basically raise the water temp by a few degrees. So if room temp water is 75F one day, the water will be at about 80F. If the next day its cold and drops the room temp water to 65F, the heated water will only be around 70F. This is how the 7.5 watt mini heaters for 1-5 gal tanks work. There are some preset Nonadjustable heaters that heat to a predetermined temperature, usually around 78 or 80F depending on the type. Like there is a 50watt one at walmart for $15, I use this one in my 5 gallon and it keeps the water around 80F so it works out for me. The heater was given to me by a friend, I didn't buy it, so that's the only reason I have it. I do use the 7.5 watt heaters in my 2.5 gallon tanks, because my room temp is always between 75-80F, so those tanks stay at 80-82F with those cheap heaters and it works for me.
But because the OP says their house gets down to 67F...you definitely need a good heater. 25 watt should work good in a 3 gallon tank. In my opinion, EHEIM Jager heaters are the best there is. Ive never had a problem with them in the past, EVER. Never had one break, never had one over heat, they always keep the water PERFECT. And they are able to be recalibrated, but they are a bit expensive.
When picking out a heater, take into account the dimensions of your tank, and be sure to get one that will actually fit in there. Some heaters are quite long, and some are nice and compact.