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Old 12-19-2010, 07:57 PM   #1 
NeptuneBlue
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Question New Betta Help

Hello I am a new betta fish owner. I received Neptune as a christmas present this year and I have been so excited to have him as part of my family. Posted below are the pictures of him in his first tank and his new tank. I felt so bad for him being in a small 1/2 gallon tank that we found a 5 gallon on sale and put him in a new one. He swims a lot more in the 5 gallon than he did in the half gallon. The first few days I had him he just layed at the bottom of the 1/2 gallon all sad . When we put him in the five gallon he plays in the bubbles (which we moved to the back of the tank recently) and he will fluff his fins out on occassion. I do have a big question about his eating habits. He isn't really eating that much. I tried the flakes (he ate a few) I tried the pellets (he ate a few) and I tried meal worms (he eats more of those). I don't want to spoil him on mean worms though. Should I continue with the meal worms or keep with the pellets?


His first day in the tank.
Kind of blury but you can see his pretty colors


He is hiding in his sunken ship


Another good one of his colors, This was his first day in the new tank.


Lestat likes Neptune too! He just watches him swim and never pokes at the tank.
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Old 12-19-2010, 08:02 PM   #2 
kelly528
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Welcome Neptune! You're already way ahead of the game in getting your betta a 5g tank... I have the very same one for mine actually! You will want to add a heater as bettas are tropical fish and actually prefer warmer water than most tropicals (about 78-82 degrees).

As for feeding, bettas can be very picky and it takes a lot of patience. They can easily go for a week without food... just be patient, don't give in to his hunger strike, try feeding a few times a day and be sure to scoop out any uneaten food.
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Old 12-19-2010, 08:08 PM   #3 
NeptuneBlue
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Kelly,

Thank you for the information. We keep our house pretty warm and put a thermometer on the tank so we can check is temperature all the time. We are planning on getting a small heater for his tank tomorrow. We hoped keeping the light on his tank would help with the heat but it just keeps it the same temperature as our house...sigh...we have a filter on the tank and are going to use it once a week.

He is MUCH happier now that he is in a bigger tank! :)
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Old 12-19-2010, 08:09 PM   #4 
Oldfishlady
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Hello and welcome to the wonderful world of Betta keeping...my you have found such a beautiful fella and you cat seems to think so too.....my cats love to play with mine too...lol....love what you did with your 5g tank...it looks great.....

Sometimes it can take a new fish several days to weeks in some cases to adapt to their new home...so offer him food every day and be sure to remove what he doesn't eat so you don't foul the tank

Since this is a new setup and it need to establish the nitrogen cycle-this can take 4-8 weeks-you need to make twice weekly 50% water change...with one of the twice weekly water changes be sure and vacuum the gravel and one just needs to be water only to maintain water quality during the nitrogen cycle...
Once the nitrogen cycle is completed make 1-50% weekly water change and gravel vacuum
Give your filter media a swish/rinse in old tank water a couple of time a month to get the big pieces of gunk off it to maintain good water flow...you want the filter media to look dirty...this is the good bacteria...

Maintain the water temp in the 76-80F range

Do you plan to add any shrimp, snail or live plants......
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Old 12-19-2010, 08:21 PM   #5 
NeptuneBlue
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Hello,

We thought about adding some friends for him but we want him to get accustomed to his new home first. We have moved some stuff around, since the picture was taken, and the bubble wall is in the back of the tank now. I thought he was getting caught in it, but he actually likes to play in the buble wall. We keep the wall on at all times, and are going to filter him once a week, or for about an hour every two days (he doesnt really like the filter ).

We are removing the food when he doesn't eat it, we want the water to stay nice. We do not have vacuum for the rocks, would it be better to clean the whole tank 75% once a week since we can't vacuum the rocks? Or just do the 50-50 twice a week?
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Old 12-19-2010, 08:42 PM   #6 
Oldfishlady
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The thing with turning the filter off is that when the bacteria die off in the filter box and they will convert to ammonia and every time you turn the filter on you will be dumping ammonia in the tank and this can build up and cause some problems for him

There is a sticky post that give some good instruction on baffling the filter so its not too strong for him-or just leave it off and use the bubble wall only-that will be fine too and you can still get the nitrogen cycle going with that. I don't use filters on my Betta tanks because the water flow tend to cause fin problems and I also have lots of live plants too and they help to keep my water quality perfect for them.

Until you get a vacuum you can do the stir and dip method to clean-give the gravel a stir with something (I use a chop sticks) to get the mulm/waste up in the water column and dip out half the water with a plastic cup, you can't get it all and that is okay-the tank should clear in about and hour or less-do this a couple of time a week to maintain the water quality to prevent any health or fin problems...you don't have to remove him to make the water changes and make sure to try and keep the water temp within a couple of degree from new and old water so not to cause any temp related problems-also if on city water supply always use a good dechlorinator with any water you add to the tank.....
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Old 12-19-2010, 08:47 PM   #7 
kelly528
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Oh, also you can grow live plants in that tank if you unscrew the light it comes with and screw in a 10 or 15 watt compact fluorescent bulb... heres what I grew under 15 watts in mine:

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Old 12-19-2010, 11:51 PM   #8 
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Wow kelly! That's amazing. I have the same tank for breeding them. Anyway I'd turn off the bubbler (bettas prefer calm water). Like others said they prefer warm water (I keep mine anywhere from 75F to 88F depending on age, fragileness of strain, purpose of tank).

As for eating...a few years ago I bought a blue VT betta and he didn't eat for almost a month after going into his 5 gallon....though now a days none of my fish have the luxury of a 5 gallon anymore and now a days most of my bettas eat as soon as I get them out of the shipping box. You can starve him for about a week (it's fine trust me) and then throw in some food. He should eat it.
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Old 12-20-2010, 01:16 AM   #9 
NeptuneBlue
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Thank you everyone for the wonderful advice! I really appreciate it. He seems to like the bubble wall. It is not set to high and he just swims in an out and around the bubble wall. He is sleeping now, finally, he has been swimming around in the tank all day long having a grand time. :)
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Old 12-20-2010, 11:41 PM   #10 
dramaqueen
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Hello NeptuneBlue and welcome to the forum.
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