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Old 05-02-2012, 12:32 AM   #1 
kikireneross
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Betta seems unhappy in his new upgraded home :(

I need help, or advice, please! I hope I made the right decision, or did the right thing. I have a male beta who was in a 2.5 gallon glass bowl with a tall plant, and he was really happy, and always had a bubble nest. I have only had him about three weeks, but he has never puffed out at me in the past, and seemed really sweet and content. I read on here that a 5 gallon with a filter is much better for them, and so we upgraded him to that with his plant, and a rock arch with more foliage, and a filter, and a light. I have a thermometer in there to monitor the heat and keep it in the ideal temp range. He just does not seem to enjoy the water movement from the filter. He has not made a single bubble nest since his upgrade in the last five days. Granted, I had to leave town for a few of them. But, now today he has seemed ticked off at me, and has actually puffed out at me a couple times! He has NEVER done this! Is he happy, or mad, or just pissed I left. He is always very engaged in my activities around the house. My husband says I am being ridiculous, I know he isn't a dog, or a kid, or anything, but they certainly seem more in tune than other fish. I just hope he isn't unhappy with the moving water. I want him to be healthy and content. What should I do??? Any suggestions? Also, my kiddos would really like one of those sucker fish for the sides, but I told them that I think the beta would try to nip at his/her fins, is that right? I didn't think it would be a good fit...

Last edited by kikireneross; 05-02-2012 at 12:35 AM.
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Old 05-02-2012, 12:39 AM   #2 
Micho
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First off, bubble nests =/= happiness.

Kay, we got that cleared up now. If he's flaring he's probably seeing himself because of the reflection due to the glass tank walls, don't worry.

Yes Bettas do not like strong currents, I suggest you baffle the filter to reduce the current made by it, if you can turn down the filter's output power do so, but that'll probably still annoy him. So baffling it is always a good idea.

Sucker fish, you mean an Oto or a Pleco? No to both, for various reasons. Otos need bigger, stable and heavily planted tanks, while Plecos will grow too big for the tank, they need like 20 ~ 30 gallons. Hope that helps.
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Old 05-02-2012, 12:53 AM   #3 
kikireneross
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This might be a totally stupid question to you professionals, but how do I baffle the filter? I cannot find a way to turn it down... And, now I am really going to seem like an idiot, but your =/= lost me. I am not tracking! Are you saying a bubble nest is not necessary to indicate happiness? I just want to do right by him. This filter is necessary, right. I was doing water changes every four days...I just don't want to stress him out. I really don't even want to venture into the whole "other fish" realm, but I promised I would ask, so I am thankful your answer is no! So on baffling the filter, I think it is a pretty basic filter, not sure it is possible.
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Old 05-02-2012, 01:00 AM   #4 
Micho
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Baffling can be done many ways, taking a piece of aquarium sponge and shoving it in the intake of the filter will reduce the flow. Or putting a piece of aquarium sponge at the output/waterfall will also reduce the flow.

And =/= means "does not equal". xD

People don't really know why Bettas blow nests, they blow nests when they're mating but other than that, doing it when they're not, no clue why.
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Old 05-02-2012, 01:11 AM   #5 
kikireneross
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Ok, awesome! I will try the aquarium sponge idea! Thank you SO much! Sorry for being so dense on the symbols! Are the fake plants ok in there? Or, should I get some real ones for him. I cannot for the life of me keep plants alive. I had a beta in high school that had a ten gallon to himself because i thought he should, and ha lived three+ years and I had NO clue what i was doing. Just got him great food, and changed his water weekly and did the water treatments. he was amazing, actually swam up to get pets, and would rub against your finger, I have two healthy pups, and three young boys, and my husband is deployed half our lives, but for some reason i am terrified i am doing everything wrong for this betta!!! Our water here on base is horrible, so we have a water softener installed on our house, and then a reverse osmosis drinking water spout, and every water change I just stare at my options and can't decide what would be better for him! I usually end up doing a bit of both...what do you suggest. I know I need to get some of those aquarium salts too. I think with the soft water I am having a hard time keeping his alkalinity balanced. So far his ammonia has been fine. Sorry, for the 20 questions!!!
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Old 05-02-2012, 01:23 AM   #6 
Micho
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Live plants are hard because they need: the right lighting, and fertilizers. But once you have those two things live plants are easy, for a 2.5g I would suggest sticking with fake plants, but if you really want live plants you could try some low-light plants like Crypts, moss, java fern, or Marimo moss balls.

To be honest Bettas can tolerate a wide range of hardness and pH in water, using water from the tap won't be an issue just add the water dechlorinator and you'll be fine. Also don't use AQ salt in the water, Bettas are freshwater fish and prolonged exposure to salt can damage their internal organs. AQ salt is used only when you're fighting certain diseases, or when you're trying to prevent infection at times (i.e. his slime coat is gone due to some reason).

Other than that it seems you're doing fine.
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Old 05-02-2012, 01:30 AM   #7 
kikireneross
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He is in a five gallon now, he was in a 2.5 before. Could that be part of the problem. he is just a little stressed out with the size difference? Ok, I will stick with the fake ones, easier for me! that is good news. maybe i will just look for one more for him while I pick up the sponge for his filter. How long would it take for him to adjust to the tank size difference, and shape? He went from the 2.5 bowl to this five gallon rectangle. Thank you so very much for all of your help!!!!
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Old 05-02-2012, 01:36 AM   #8 
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As for flaring (puffed up), it is good exercise for their system to do this for short periods. Some people will put a mirror next to the tank so they will do it to their own reflection or if they have another better they can put by the tank they will do that for short periods (I've never done it over 5 minutes, mostly just a couple of minutes). I sometimes sit one next to anothers tanks when I'm doing 100% water change on an uncycled tank. Daddy O will flare when I put my finger next to his tank sometimes, guess he thinks it's an ugly worm.

As for the bubble nest Daddy O was big when I got him and is the only one that has built bubble nests. He doesn't do it all the time though probably because it's a lot of work that gets disturbed with water changes. Also I think the amount their fed affects if they build a nest or not, a breeder would know that for sure.

As for the filter I have in a 5 gallon cycled tank I bought some Rite-Size U Bonded Foam Sleeve (Blue) 3pk by Marineland $3.83+shipping. I will end up with 4 cycled tanks in the long run. I rinsed the sleeve and put the whole thing on the outflow place on the filter and held it in place with a rubber band over it. Later I decided it stopped the flow too much so I cut it in half. Now with a different better in the tank (Blue was in it and he's the type that looks like a female so it's easier for him to swim) it seems like the flow is a little strong for him so I'll probably use a whole sleeve for my 3 long finned Betta's. So far I don't have anything I've put in front of the filter to hide this since I'm seeding filters for the other tanks. If you use the search option at the top of the page, select this forum area (Care) and use baffle there are a lot of pictures and ideals of what others have done depending on the type filters they have.
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Old 05-02-2012, 02:40 AM   #9 
Thunderloon
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Most my boys seem happy with about 4 gallons of volume.


Generally preparing the filter shipped with the tank for Betta use involves intake protection AND outflow retardation. Some filters like the larger Tetra are designed to make ANY amount of flow jet into the tank.

The preferred intake filter sponge for half inch intake pipe filters (5g 10g, marineland 2,3,5,6g, Aqua-Tech and Aqueon to 30g) is a Fluval Edge's intake pre-filter sponge but you can get away with a cut section of non-treated scrubby pad and a baby sock twist-tied onto the intake. Its usually good to put some kind of protection over the intake because betta like to perch on things, even just the sock will keep them from being wrapped around the intake area.

Out-flow on these filters you can usually cut a block sponge from wally world to fit the "chute" of the filter return shelf. My preference is to use nylon bolt and nut through a hole in the return chute to stick the baffle on with. Most people are fine with rubber bands and I have seen fishing line (if you're good with knots) and you can also use a nylon stocking that has the sponge in the bottom then gets hung over the filter. Some of the more ornate baffles involve cutting water bottles and sometimes superglue.

To be honest your best long term solution for a happy boy is a "H-0" from http://www.jehmco.com/html/hydro-sponge_filters.html Sponge filters need air stones, tubing and an air pump. All of which come to about $13.00 at Walmart. The sponge will last most of a decade and doesn't need carbon or fiddly bits. If you order online a "Hawkeye" brand air-pump is the preferable one for a H-0. Hawkeyes can be adjusted by unscrewing the top cap a little at a time.

An alternate to that is a little Lee's/Tom's sponge filter. They're small yellow things and need the same air pump but don't need a stone.

Another option is an Aquaclear20 filter (petco should have it) run at its lowest flow setting. Don't use the carbon bag and don't bother replacing the ceramic nodes. (The Aquaclear20 will still need a baby sock over the intake.)

It depends on whether the $15 to $25 these methods costs is worth it to you vs the time it takes to baffle the filter you have.

If the 5g you bought is an Aqua-Tech there's one more trick you can do.
The design series of that filter was originally made so that a small lift to the intake pipe (upwards inside the filter) could reduce the overall flow by allowing recirculation around the impeller - thus the slots in the sides of the impeller housing's intake funnel. You can tie a rubber band around the intake pipe up where it rests and get some rise out of it. This isn't a highly reliable method and it can be pretty random with water level changes due to evaporation but it DOES work for the Aqua-Tech brand filters (originally Regent, now a Marineland bargain product)

If the tank has a Tetra Whisper internal filter there's a much simpler solution. The newer Whisper 5 seem to be coming out with adjustable pumps attached. The older ones can be slowed way down with a couple layers of nylon stocking over the bottom intake grill.

Aqueon filters can be slowed down much the same way as well as by inserting a piece of cut down vinyl hose into the top of the intake tube to create a flow restriction. Make sure any blockage you put in the intake pipe is wedged in snugly, you risk jamming the impeller.
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