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Old 01-14-2012, 12:34 PM   #11 
Onyx Knight
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Join Date: Jan 2012
@Kfry - I used to fed them once a day but larger amount. But with the last 2 bettas I feed one pellet 2-3 times a day, particularly the current one and because I want to monitor their eating. He just ate a pellet not to long ago but its been a few days since he's touched anything else. I will give bloodworms once in awhile just 1-2 for a treat.

@sena - No, actually have no clue how to test the water. I know you buy some sort of strip and put it int he water and I think it changes color to let you know the levels in your water, but I have no clue what would be good or bad levels. I know the city has had issues with the water in the past and has alot of chlorine (the odor is overpowering) but I do let the water stand for 2 days and use conditioner before putting fish back in.

I put the salt in when I do the water change but I let it dissolve for 2 hrs before betta is put back in tank and I haven't been using it that much anymore.
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Old 01-14-2012, 12:46 PM   #12 
Sena Hansler
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Better than test strips, is a liquid kit.
That is the one I have and I LOVE it. Strips are good too... just the humidity, water damage, age, etc all change results. This kit comes with cards to tell you what each color says.

Ammonia, nitrate, nitrite preferably should be 0, however, ammonia shouldn't reach .25 (it actually should always be at 0 but that isn't very common for uncycled tanks to be at 0). I believe nitrate and nitrite shouldn't pass .25 as well? (someone correct me)
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Old 01-14-2012, 02:03 PM   #13 
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I would start by acclimating them to both the tank water temp and chemistry by dumping half the water out of the holding container they came in and over 10-15 min add small amounts of the fresh, dechlorinated tank water-repeat if needed...don't add any of the water from the fish store to your tank...dump it either down the drain or in a house plant....

Another issue that can happen and even cause problems with the acclimating process with fish that come in really bad water is a natural process that the water degrades the pH can start to drop and this can cause the ammonia to convert to ammonium that will not harm the fish-but once you add higher pH water the ammonium converts back to harmful can test the water-but most of the hobby grade testing products can't tell the difference between the two....then not only can you have pH changes you can have ammonia related bypass the ammonia risk-add a dechlorinating product to the holding container-like Prime by Seachem, Ammonia lock type products...etc... that also covers ammonia to neutralize it during the acclimation to the pH....Bettas are pretty tough and can generally tolerate a lot of issues-but you may be getting some poor stock with compromised immune response from the get-go......and this can make things even more frustrating.......

If the fish looks like he had been at the store for awhile without any care-and you can see lots of fecal matter, fish food...etc.....more care in the acclimation process may be needed.....

Double check the dechlorinator label-some require double dose if you have chloramines and chlorine in the source water....

While I highly recommend water testing products-you don't have to have one in order to successfully keep Bettas long as you make the needed water changes correctly-generally you shouldn't have water quality issue.
And since you are keeping Bettas in an unfiltered tank your not going to be establishing the nitrogen cycle anyway...

FYI-water prams for a cycled tank ideally should be:
*Ammonia and nitrite 0ppm
*pH-can vary-Bettas usually will adapt to the source water pH-when acclimated properly-its the sudden changes that can be deadly
*Nitrate 5-10ppm-under 20ppm-high nitrate can cause health related problems, stunt growth-and with some species of fish and inverts too high nitrate can be fatal-and then with sudden changes in nitrate can sometimes kill some species of fish and where a couple of myths come from "water change killed my fish" and "fish shop sold me sick fish"...usually this can be traced back to nitrate and pH related issues......
Fish will tolerate the gradual rise in nitrate and be fine-its that sudden change that will cause problems with some species.
Nitrate is also what we look for to help tell us nitrogen cycle stages and completeness of the process.......anyway.....

Water temp can sometimes be a really big issue with this species since they are a tropical species....they tend to do best in a somewhat stable temp in the 76-80F range....gradual, short term too cold or hot is usually tolerated by a healthy Betta, however, long term, sudden or an already compromised Betta can cause problems even death

Water quality and water changes are important and in a 5gal unfiltered without live plants....
I would recommend 50% with substrate cleaning weekly and 100% monthly to maintain water quality-provided the the Betta wasn't overfed and uneaten food removed within a reasonable time

With water changes it is important to try and keep the water temp within a few degrees between new and old water by checking the replacement water temp with a doesn't have to be exact-but you want to try and keep the temp within 5-8 degrees of each other

When you make 100% water changes and remove the Betta-always re-acclimate to the temp and chemistry- just like you would with a new Betta...

Dose the dechlorinator for the full volume of the tank even with the 50% water changes as a general rule-its hard to overdose these products and best to have too much than too little-especially since city water supply can sometimes vary......Always use dechlorinator with any fresh water added to the Betta when you need to top off the water due to evaporation.

Live active growing aquatic plants can be helpful to water quality-but proper lights are needed to ensure plant health so not to become part of the problem....

Aquarium salt is a great product to use for treatment when used for the right reason, dosage and duration-its not needed or recommend for long term use especially in non therapeutic doses.
Its best to treat in a small QT container and premix the treatment water too-this gives you more control.
Its a good idea to keep the small temporary cup and lid the Betta came in-these work great to use to cup for water changes and to use for QT if treatment is needed.

Nutrition-a good quality varied diet fed in small frequent meals

Can you post a pic....

Last edited by Oldfishlady; 01-14-2012 at 02:05 PM.
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Old 01-17-2012, 11:52 AM   #14 
Onyx Knight
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Thank you very much for the info OFL, great tips. I didn't know that about the water degrading and changing so I do what you recommended. I don't have a way to take a photo of the fish as my camera has been on the brink (dropped it on concrete several months didn't appreciate that....) ;)

He is still alive but still acting strangely. He's terrified of any movement. I took out all the caves/decor so he has an empty tank because he was hiding so much he wasn't eating at all, but now he just hangs out at the bottom of the tank where the rocks are, pushing himself between the rocks and glass to hide.

I'm going to put the decor back in when I do the next water change so he has somewhere to hide again, just wanted to see how he was without it.

I do save the little containers they come in, always have. Love those they do work great!
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