My daughter has been begging me for a pet, so for her birthday (she's 6 tomorrow) we got a betta fish, which she's named Ariel. I've attached some photos of him or her. I think he is a split tail? But, I'm not sure. If anyone knows please let me know. He/She wasn't as big as the other's in the store, so I'm thinking it is a young fish. It's about an inch long from its nose to the base of its tail.
He/She looked so happy to go into the 1 gallon tank we got and come out of the little bowl. It's been swimming non stop since it got put into the new tank. In the store he/she was pretty still.
Some tips for a new fish-keeper: Be sure to keep the water pristine. A 1 gallon tank is actually a little small for this to be easy for you. The reason for this is that fish poop (obviously), and when that poop starts to break down, it makes the water ammonia-filled and highly toxic to the fish. In a 1 gallon tank, you'll probably need to change the water at least twice a week to keep the fish healthy, if not three times. When you do change the water, be sure to use a good water conditioner so that the new water is safe for your fish. I recommend Seachem Prime; it's all I've ever used. There are other good brands out there, though.
Despite what pet store employees may say,feed your fish every day. Betta-specific pellets are better than flakes, in most cases. Don't over-feed him, though! He only needs about 6 pellets a day. If he is prone to bloating, fast him only one day a week. Keep his water warm. Bettas are native to Thailand, where the temperatures are warm and tropical. Keeping his water at around 80 degrees will make him a much more lively, happy, and healthy fish.
Congratulations on your new pet, and good luck! :)
Last edited by inareverie85; 07-25-2012 at 02:50 PM.
Oops.. they told me I didn't need a heater. Will he be ok a few days without one? I can order it through amazon, but the pet store doesn't have ones for small tanks. The tank does have a light. It uses a regular bulb (C7).. the kind that normally goes in a kids night light. I could keep the light on in order to help the tank get up a few degrees. I also didn't condition the water. I got told I didn't need that because I have well water and not city water. Should I run out and get some to add? I don't want my poor daughter to have a dead birthday fish! Lastly, I can't really afford to go out and by a 2nd tank to be larger.. especially with the heater and thermometer I now have to buy. Other than having to change water 2x a week because the tank is only 1 gallon is there any other reasons why 1 gallon is to small? I thought 1 gallon was huge next to the little bowls I usually see bettas in! Sorry if any of my questions are silly.. I'm very new to this!
He's cute :) A bigger tank is needed, Walmart has complete tank sets (hood, lights, filter) for $30 for a 10 gallon. Also, Amazon has 2.5 gallon bowls for cheap, if you need something smaller. He needs a heater so his water stays at the right temperature. Get a thermostatic one so you can set the temp. While he is in the 1 gallon bowl I would change the water 100% once or twice a week, but do daily changes. Maybe take out 30% of the water and add fresh. This forum is a lot of help for new betta owners, and don't be afraid to ask questions! There are so many informed betta owners/breeders here who can help with literally everything! Good luck!
Welcome to the forum and to the wonderful world of Betta keeping...Its a great hobby for the whole family....
Lots of different ways to keep this species successfully and with the Long fin males and in your case a lovely Doubletail. IMO/E a 1gal unfiltered tank/bowl is fine for long term keeping, provided that you maintain water quality and temp.
In a 1gal unfiltered without any live plants-Twice weekly water changes of 1-50% and 1-100% should maintain water quality.
Betta don't produce as much byproduct as some think-most water quality issues stem from poor quality food and/or overfeeding.
You may or may not need a heater, however, its a good idea to have one on hand-your goal is to maintain a somewhat stable temp in the 76-80F range.
You do need a thermometer to monitor both the tank temp and temp of the replacement water used for water changes.
While a healthy Betta can tolerate some degree of difference in water temp of the replacement water-you need to try and avoid the extremes.
When making 100% water changes and/or with new Betta-It is important to properly acclimate to the chemistry and temp by adding small amounts of the new dechlorinated water to their holding container over 15-20min or to tolerance. Often it is the chemistry change that can be more stressful on them than water temp as long as it not too extreme.
The only chemical additive needed is a good dechlorinator that covers chlorine and chloramines in the source water. If you are on well water usually you will not need dechlorinating products.
Nutrition-good quality varied diet fed in small frequent meals is best.
IMO/E-filters are optional for this species-especially in the smaller tanks since the water flow can sometimes be the cause of fin damage and stress for the long fin males.
If you don't have live plants-lighting will be for your viewing-but I would recommend that the light be on at least 6-8h a day-Off at night so the Betta can rest since they don't have eyelids.
Wow, he's pretty. It sounds like you've already gotten a lot of advice, so I'll just say - I hope you and your daughter enjoy him!
First trick to teach him, works best with betta pellets: stick one on the tip of your finger, hold it just at the surface of the water. Your betta will quickly learn to come grab it off. Once he learns to grab it at water level, you can probably work on training him to jump up a little to get it.
Does your daughter like/have any Squinkies or Zinkies? One of our bettas loves to flare and bat at the little ball they come in. Zinkie balls are the perfect size to be a betta toy. We let him play with it for a few minutes at a time (don't want to get him bored with it).