On your tank: The general rule for fish is a gallon of water per inch of fish, so your betta will do best in a tank of at least two gallons. The tank you have now is pretty small, and will require full water changes every other day to keep the water clean for him, if you are unable to upgrade to a bigger tank right away. ((To change his water - gently place the cup he came in into his tank, and scoop him into it with some of the water. Take the tank to your sick and swish water around inside a few times, dumping the water out after each swish, to remove uneaten food or fish poops. Then fill the tank back up with water between 72 - 80 degrees, add your water conditioner to it, and then set the cup hes in back in the water, so the cup is floating in there. This allows him to adjust to the temperature of the new water because it slowly evens out with the water he's already in. Then add a little new water into his cup with him before releasing him back into the tank.)) I would also recommend filling the tank up the rest of the way, leaving a thin layer of air at the top so he can breathe. Unfortunately most chain stores don't have good information on betta care and make a lot of money selling those small, cute tanks. 2.5 gallon tanks at petsmart are around twelve dollars, and looking at goodwills and salvation army's is a great place to look for a big cheaper tank. Craigslist often has tanks too! Bettas are tropical freshwater fish, and need water between 74 - 82 to be at their healthiest. Even if the room temperature is warm, the water is always about 10 degrees cooler, so it might be colder than you think. Checking the temperate of your bettas water is easy with a cheap (2 dollars or so) thermometer from a fish store or chain store like petco.
On illnesses: Did you get water conditioner for him? This will remove toxins from your tap water and make it safe for your fish. Listed below are a few cheap items to have on hand in case your betta ever does get sick!
Betta Revive (2 dollars at petco) - a medicine to help with fungal infections or exterior issues a betta might have.
Epsom salt (4-ish dollars at grocery stores, beauty supply places, etc) - in case your betta gets bloated/constipated from too much food, or has issues with his swim bladder.
Aquarium salt (3 - 14 dollars depending on size purchased - available at petco, petsmart, and fish stores) - this is great in case your betta cuts a fish, gets an infection, or in case of a stressful event.
On food and feeding: How big are the pellets? Bettas stomachs are only about as big as their eyes, so really they only need a few pellets a day, 2 - 4 unless they are a bigger breed of betta, and depending on the size of your pellets. Some other good foods for bettas are daphnia, bloodworms, and frozen brine shrimp, all of which you can probably find at petsmarts, petcos, or a local fish store (lfs.)
It's great you created an account here now to learn, hopefully your betta won't get sick and will live a long and healthy life! I had a betta that lived to be 6, but they usually live between 2 - 4 years. I hope this information has been helpful, I tried to cover all the essential basics.
No problem. If you keep in that small tank, I would fill it up the rest of the way, leaving just a little air at the top so he can breathe, and change all of the water every other day, so 3 - 4 times a week. The bigger the tank, the less water changes you have to do! :)
It's good for them to have a day/night cycle. So darkness is good! So is light. It's not important they have sunlight necessarily, just light in general. They don't grow from light or anything since they're fish and not plants.
No they do not eat their own poop :) They might grab it and spit it back out thinking its food every once in awhile but no they won't eat it.
He might nip your finger if he is very aggressive, but they can't hurt you! They don't have teeth that can cut you or anything.
If the music is very loud it is possible it will stress out your fish. Some people say their fish seem to enjoy the vibrations though! I don't have personal experience here. Some ways to tell if your boy is stressed are - if he looks pale or has visible stripes, if he is swimming rapidly and/or hitting sides of the tank, and breathing heavily.
Oooooo What a pretty steel blue boy! He is a veiltail =)
What pellets are you feeding him? I prefer New Life Spectrum Betta formula ( petco ) as it contains many helpfull ingredients for health and boosts the pigments of guanine crystals making bettas vibrant! =3 Anything that " floats" is ususally soy or wheat based and is junk food!! Bloodworms and daphnia are great treats.
Id make a betta first aid kit as fish in small tanks can easily get sick from bad water quality. Epsome salt, AQ salt, bettafix, betta revive, aquarium nets, small bowls, stress coats, water chemistry testers, betta anatomy keys, betta disease diagnosing charts, ani-fungals, anti-bacterial, maracyn I & II, ect etc extra supplies are good to have on hand!
I hope you have a filter....
1. How many times a week do i clean the small tank?
depends on your tank size! The bigger the tank, the less water changes. A one gall I suggest at least a 20% water change a week. Anything smaller may need a daily change to decrease ammonia from spiking up. Make sure your water is dechlorinated with a conditioner, at least 75-82 F, and I usually keep at least half an inch of air between your water level and the lid. They breathe air with a labyrinth organ so give them a lil extra air! Im my opinion, you neeed to ad more water to that tank! the whole " bettas live in a puddle thing" is false 0.0 They live in rice paddies that are quite spacious. A good rule is at least a gallon for one adult. Petco and Petsmart have a good selection of tanks.
2. My room is super dark at night, will darkness effect the fish? it shouldnt :/ Most living creatures need some sunlight but bettas dont like direct sunlight or anything too harsh. A little to a generous amount is of light is ok. At night or when its dark they rest on the bottom or the top water level of the tank to sleep. You can keep the curtains open, im sure they enjoy a lil sunlight, but if you have live plants excessive sunlight can cause algea problems in small tanks.
3. do they need sunlight?
4. do they eat there own poop? if so, is that bad?
LOL well, some do if they think its food but they usually spit it out. Uh... kinda depends on their personality!!! They usually wont eat it. If they arnt pooping in like a week your betta could be constipated or sick! 0.o
5. will he bite my finger if i put it in the water (my gf said he is a meat eater)
Bettas are carnivores which means they eat meat. Humans arnt in their diet. They like to eat various bugs, protozoans, and sometimes beefheart ( for breeding) Now whether they nibble at your fingers or not depends on their trust or curiousness for you! They arnt piranhas so they wont chomp at your hand LOL. Your betta will get to know you as " the food giver" and may respond to your hand by getting excited! Then they might nip at you if you stick a finger in the water! Some even flare at fingers and wont try to bite at all ;)
6. i have a big bass system in my room, will playing music affect the fish?
As long as its not so loud to where its vibrating everything in the tank ( decorations, water, glass, etc ) then your bass shouldnt disturb your fish. If your fish is hiding only when you play your guitar then I would turn the bass settings and volume down. Id prefer to keep the noise down, especially if they are asleep =3
thats all i can think of for now.
if you have any more questions, all you need to do is ask!
1. How many times a week do i clean the small tank?
depends on your tank size! The bigger the tank, the less water changes. A one gall I suggest at least a 20% water change a week. Anything smaller may need a daily change to decrease ammonia from spiking up. Make sure your water is dechlorinated with a conditioner, at least 75-82 F, and I usually keep at least half an inch of air between your water level and the lid. They breathe air with a labyrinth organ so give them a lil extra air!
In a 1 gallon tank (which if you look at the photos is not what he has) you need to change the water a minimum of once 50% and once 100% a week. In the small cube he has, every other day is probably best to be safe.