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Old 05-05-2010, 11:24 PM   #1 
Jawsh
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Looking for tips/help/advice. (New to this)

New to bettas, and other than giving the goldfish flakes when I was little, I'm also new to caring for fish in general. So umm, please excuse the following wall of text. X_X

I went to a little pet shop near my house last friday, picked up a betta, he appeared to be all black, or very close to it, and he was in the way back, behind all the others. Something about him stood out, so I picked him, and brought him home.
I've been keeping him in a two gallon, plastic, hexagon tank, and he's shown a ton of improvement, in both activeness, and color. Turns out, he's blue (Blackish near nose, lighter blue at tail fin), my favorite color, imagine that. ^^

However, despite the improvement he's shown, I'm still worried, as he still seems... I dunno, I wanna call it tired. He'll swim around for a good amount of time, then sit at the bottom of the tank for a bit (usually no more than a couple minutes) then swim around again. I know they're supposed to be active, but is it constant, or do they take breaks? Also, he seems to swim near the walls of the tank every once in a while, with his nose facing the wall, and he swims up and down, repetitively. Should that be worried about?

Lastly, just a few tank questions:
1. I was told plastic + heater = bad, possibly deadly... huh? I "took their advice" only because they didn't have anything that looked like it would fit the tank very well (I was hoping for a flat heater, to place under the gravel, only had the "pipe" kind of heaters.) so I've been using the light source for heat during the colder parts of the day. So should I get a heater? And would petco (the other store closest to me) carry the kind you suggest?

2. Other than NovAqua+ Plus water conditioner, I've been putting no other chemicals in the tank, what else should I put in, if anything, and what would be recommended to test the resulting water composition?

3. The tank, as small as it is, came with no filter, and I bought no filter. How often should I change the water, what percentage of the water should be changed, etc?

4. I've heard bettas dislike air stones, but I've also heard they're helpful in some way, in keeping a smaller tank clean? Should I keep the stone in and functioning, or should I just get it out?

5. I've been feeding him freeze dried blood worms, he seems to love them, but should I be feeding him other things as well? I have those "betta pellet" things, two different brands, yet he rejects both. So for now, it's been just worms. What other foods would be a good choice? (preferably freeze dried as well, if possible)

Nothing else I can think of right now, but any nooby tips, common mistakes, useful tank tools, etc is more than welcome, and don't hesitate to sugar coat anything you have to say lol, I'd rather hear it plain and simple, offensive or not, so I can do a good job caring for my little fishy. Again, sorry for wall of text, and thank you in advance for any help you can offer.

Edit: http://www.hawkeyeaquarium.com/prod_...hp?cat=20&p=27 < That is the tank I have, if it's useful information.

Last edited by Jawsh; 05-05-2010 at 11:28 PM.
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Old 05-05-2010, 11:35 PM   #2 
1fish2fish
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His activity seems fine to me. Running up and down the tank probably means he can see his reflection. Give him some time to adjust and that should subside.

The plastic tanks and no heater thing is a myth. I have 4 of the exact same tank as you have and I've used heaters with no problems. If you want a flat heater I would go with the hydor mini 7.5 watt. But a regular "pipe" shaped heater is better and more reliable IMO.

On a two gallon you don't need a filter or an air stone. Just do 100% changes twice a week and you should be good. If you want you can put an air stone in there but IMO you don't really need it and it will just take up extra space that the fish could use to swim.

Freeze dried worms are good for a treat but you should only feed them 1-2 times a week (they're sort of like fish candy.. tasty but not exactly good for them LOL). If he's not eating the pellets just keep giving them to him. Eventually he'll eat them.. it seems harsh but believe me he'll learn to eat them quickly :)

You don't need anything besides water conditioner. If your fish gets sick you may need to get something else but as long as he's healthy thats all you need.

Also.. when you get your heater make sure you get a thermometer as well. I prefer the glass ones with the suction cup.. they seem to be more accurate than the stick-ons and they're pretty cheap.


And Welcome to the betta addiction!
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Old 05-05-2010, 11:37 PM   #3 
xxabc
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Welcome, welcome, welcome to the fish forums and addiction :)

Now, let's begin.

However, despite the improvement he's shown, I'm still worried, as he still seems... I dunno, I wanna call it tired. He'll swim around for a good amount of time, then sit at the bottom of the tank for a bit (usually no more than a couple minutes) then swim around again. I know they're supposed to be active, but is it constant, or do they take breaks? Also, he seems to swim near the walls of the tank every once in a while, with his nose facing the wall, and he swims up and down, repetitively. Should that be worried about?

Mine do that pretty often. They SWIM, SWIM, SWIM, and then stop. That all looks very normal to me.

Lastly, just a few tank questions:
1. I was told plastic + heater = bad, possibly deadly... huh? I "took their advice" only because they didn't have anything that looked like it would fit the tank very well (I was hoping for a flat heater, to place under the gravel, only had the "pipe" kind of heaters.) so I've been using the light source for heat during the colder parts of the day. So should I get a heater? And would petco (the other store closest to me) carry the kind you suggest?

Did an employee tell you this? Plastic + Heater does not equal bad. It will definitely work. I would say definitely buy a heater. I know you'd like one that sticks under the gravel, and there IS one: Hydor Mini Heater. But I wouldn't suggest it. It only keeps the tank a few degrees above room temp. I would recommend the Tetra 2-15 Whisper Heater. Bulkier, but still small. Does fine in smaller tanks. Make sure it's completely submerged. A heater is very important for a betta - Try to keep temps 77-80F. Using a light source isn't the best idea. Once you turn it off (they need a day/night cycle) the temp will cool down and cause a big temp. fluctuation. Which does not equal good.


2. Other than NovAqua+ Plus water conditioner, I've been putting no other chemicals in the tank, what else should I put in, if anything, and what would be recommended to test the resulting water composition?

I don't put anything else in my tank except my conditioner. However, I have aquarium salt as a backup. In case they tear a fin or get a little sick. Aquarium salt usually helps them get better (as does clean water) so I never have to buy medications. If anything, go buy some back-up aquarium salt if you have a few bucks to spend. It's not very expensive.

For testing, (this will be expensive) I would recommend the API Master Kit. It comes with nearly EVERYTHING, and is a very, very good investment. Highly accurate. Strips are not so accurate. They're about $30 (ew, I know) but last a VERY long time. Unless you lose them like I did. Don't lose them, haha.

3. The tank, as small as it is, came with no filter, and I bought no filter. How often should I change the water, what percentage of the water should be changed, etc?

No filter is fine unless you want to cycle (which is not "simply" putting in a filter). I would recommend doing water changes perhaps every other day? I'm not good at assigning schedules. I'm sure someone else can give you a better water-change schedule.

4. I've heard bettas dislike air stones, but I've also heard they're helpful in some way, in keeping a smaller tank clean? Should I keep the stone in and functioning, or should I just get it out?

If anything, they're only helpful to other fish. To bettas, they're near useless. They won't help "clean" the tank in anyway, I can't imagine... even if they do, it would be more of a nuisance to your dear fish.

5. I've been feeding him freeze dried blood worms, he seems to love them, but should I be feeding him other things as well? I have those "betta pellet" things, two different brands, yet he rejects both. So for now, it's been just worms. What other foods would be a good choice? (preferably freeze dried as well, if possible)

You should force feed him those pellets. Pellets are much higher in nutrition and are a betta staple food (the food you feed him 80% of the time). The bloodworms are big treats, and very small in nutrition. Force feed him, or buy new pellets for him. It will be a little hard, since eating candy every single day seems so good.

Also, pre-soak any kind of dry food (pellets, freezedried) so they won't get constipated. If they eat a dry food, it will expand in their stomach, which can lead to constipation. If you pre-soak, the risk goes way down. Just get some tank water in a small never-before-used medicine cup and soak for at least 30 seconds. Sometimes bettas don't like it if you soak too long. Mine simply don't like it after 3 minutes of soaking. Also, they seem to love garlic, so go ahead and pre-soak it in garlic juice if you'd like to. Your choice.

Nothing else I can think of right now, but any nooby tips, common mistakes, useful tank tools, etc is more than welcome, and don't hesitate to sugar coat anything you have to say lol, I'd rather hear it plain and simple, offensive or not, so I can do a good job caring for my little fishy. Again, sorry for wall of text, and thank you in advance for any help you can offer.

How do you do your water changes? Are they hard for you? When I first started out, I did water changes COMPLETELY wrong. Haha. Just want to make sure water changes aren't a nuisance to you. In a 2 gallon, they should be nothing.

Last edited by xxabc; 05-05-2010 at 11:39 PM.
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Old 05-05-2010, 11:42 PM   #4 
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If you want a picture of the tetra heater in a tank similar to yours let me know. I have one in my two gal hex and it hardly is noticeable .
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Old 05-05-2010, 11:57 PM   #5 
Jawsh
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Thanks for the (very quick x3) responses, didn't expect much at midnight lol.

I will be removing the air stone here shorty, and the pipe it rests in most likely tomorrow, as it will involve a lot of movement in the water, and I don't really wanna bother Ryu this late at night. :(

I'll (hopefully) be able to pay a visit to petco tomorrow after school, to pick up a heater, and I think I'll get the regular kind, since they're more reliable. And maybe some aquarium salts if I can find them. (I've never heard of them to be honest ._.)

$30 for the master kit doesn't sound that bad, if it lasts very long, and will help my fish live, so I'll be picking that up when I have $30 extra to spare.

I'm gonna force (I assume that means giving him ONLY those until he learns to love them?) the pellets on him, but how long does that usually take? And if he rejects them for a long time, how many days should I wait to "cave in" and give him a worm or two just so he doesn't starve? >_<

As for water changes, I've very confused on how to do it right. D: I've done a few 50% changes, just taking the water out cup by cup, then adding it back in and adding conditioner (just enough for the new water), and I've done it that way just to avoid putting him into shock from me trying to catch him to take him out, and then catch him again to put him back in. >_<

So for a tank that size, what should I do to change it 100%?

Again, thanks for the help you've given me, and thanks for any further help. And @ 1fish2fish, a picture would be appreciated, but if you don't have one ready, no need to go and get one that soon, as I'm gonna sleep soon. But I would like to see what it looks like in your tank when you get a chance. ^^
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Old 05-06-2010, 12:07 AM   #6 
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For water change, google up
Gravel vacuum (or) gravel cleaner (or) siphon. If you go to Petsmart, find a BiUbe one. It's very easy to figure out. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SC6BhvjUWts This is a really good demonstration on how to use it (doesn't include how to start it). It's actually an advertisement, but the display is good. I learned how to "correctly" siphon with it. I think he verbally explains what happens through the meanwhile.

When you put in new water, make sure the new temperature matches as closely as possible to the old tank. For 100% change, take him out in a small cup (you can just put the cup in, and cup him out. Don't expose him to air, it will be VERY stressful for him. CUpping CAN be a challenge), siphon out a good amount of water until it's light enough to just dump out the rest of the water. Fill with tap water, and dump. Fill with tap water, and dump. The fill it up the full amount, put in the correct amount of conditioner, and put him back in. Or that's how I did it for a friend of mine.
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Old 05-06-2010, 12:08 AM   #7 
Mister Sparkle
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If he doesn't like the pellets, try flake. They make flakes specifically for bettas...some of them even have some bloodworms in there, too!
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Old 05-06-2010, 12:11 AM   #8 
1fish2fish
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Hmm... I thought I just posted in this tread but I don't see it.

Anyways.. just in case it didn't show up here is a picture of the heaters in 2 gallon tanks.. they're kind of blurry but you can see them.
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Old 05-06-2010, 12:23 AM   #9 
Jawsh
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Hmm, well, the heaters seem like they'd be nice for my tank, so I'll definitely be getting that kind, along with glass thermometer, etc.

Thanks for the tips on how to change the water, I suppose I'll be doing partial changes using the gravel thing every other day or so, and a 100% change once or twice a week. I'll see how it works out. ^^

And I tried to find some flake betta food, with no success at that small shop near me, so hopefully petco will have it.

Oh, and I removed the air stone... It would appear he's very happy with that change, it's as if he's suddenly gained three times as much energy as he had before. xD

Thanks again for all the help, looks like I'm off to bed for the night. Once I get my tank a bit more situated, I'll most likely be adding Ryu to the list of pictures soon. ^^
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