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Old 10-14-2011, 05:57 PM   #1 
tf1265
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Join Date: Jul 2011
first male betta!

So i've always had female bettas. Not sure why, I think I just felt called to them because, generally, people prefer males and they get forgotten. So many people have seen my females and asked me why it's so small, what's wrong with it, etc. They don't even realize that female bettas exist.

I just got my first male betta. I ended up with an extra 2.5 gallon tank, so I decided to get a male and build him a beautiful home. He has black sand, a big cave, some silk flowers to hide in, as well as live java fern and some wisteria. He has a mini heater that so far doesn't really seem to be doing a great job (so that might get upgraded if it doesn't kick in) so his water is around 74 degrees. I'm not filtering it because I odn't have a filter small enough and it's such a small tank that I don't mind doing a lot of water changes.

I'm not sure what kind of behavior to expect from him in the first few days. I got him yesterday afternoon, so it's been about 24 hours that he's been in his new home. He doesn't really seem to be eating yet, and he'll mostly hide in his cave or stay very still somewhere in the tank. He's still pretty skiddish when I get close to him. I did discover when I got home from work today that he's already made quite a bit of progress on a bubble nest, which surprised me because I've never had males so I've never dealt with bubble nests before. Is this normal? It seems pretty quick to have started one. I'm taking it as a sign that he actually is quite happy in his new home, and isn't eating because he's still adjusting?

I'm mostly just looking for some reassurance that his behavior is on the good side of adjustment and I shouldn't worry.

Thanks!
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Old 10-14-2011, 06:17 PM   #2 
Myates
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His behavior sounds normal, some take longer then others to adjust. Bubble nests are a good sign as he is starting to claim that as his home.. either that or a storm is coming your way hehe.
You will be doing 1 50% and 1 100% water change per week unfiltered in that size of a tank. Unsure how to do it with sand.. as well as be very careful you don't have air pockets in the sand as it can build up toxics.

Fine sand often gets compacted together tightly enough that water does not circulate through the sand, so the sand becomes an environment that is very low in oxygen. Then, when organic matter (fish waste, food, plants, dead animals) is trapped in the sand, it is broken down by anerobic bacteria, which, as waste products, produce some toxic substances, especially hydrogen sulfide. All this has been known to occur in some gravel substrates, but it is much more likely in a sand substrate. These pockets of poison gas will eventually escape from the sand and, if there is a large enough amount of the gas, can poison the fish. The gas also smells really bad (something like sewage or rotten eggs).
You can prevent the buildup of this gas by making sure the sand isn't too deep (not more than a couple of inches deep), and by stirring the sand frequently.

Unsure if it affects the same in non filtered tanks as with filtered tanks. But it's worth being careful.
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Old 10-14-2011, 07:10 PM   #3 
tf1265
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Thanks! A storm in fact did come my way, it's so windy out that I'm sadly stuck in the house on saturday night for fear of the wind and rain. So maybe he's not comfortable....

I did get some instructions on how to properly maintain sand, so I should be all set. He's already getting more active, I need to get him a brighter light, but I guess at the beginning he'll probably be just as well off with dim lighting until he's more comfortable.
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