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Old 08-07-2012, 07:03 AM   #1 
mbuchan7
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Question Habitat Complications

Hey everybody, I am a first time poster but I have been stalking the forums for a couple weeks now. I just got my first betta, well my first fish friend for that matter. I got her a 2 gallon bowl for right now. I know that is not the ideal size for a betta but its the best I can do being in a college apartment.

I went and got her a 7.5 watt heater to go under the gravel yesterday so that she wouldn't freeze anymore. I introduced it (buried it about an inch under the gravel) and switched out the water while I was at it. I have been monitoring it since I put it in, as I hear these type of heaters are infamous for boiling your fish. Anyways, the temp has stabilized at about 82-83 F. So my question is how I can drop the temperature a couple of degrees to get it to the optimum temp. Will burying the heater deeper help? I'm stuck at a crossroads now because it is either this high temp or too low... She went from lethargy yesterday to swimming around more and coming up for air more often today. Still not eating, but that is probably because she is trying to get used to new surroundings. I can't tell if she is happy this morning with the temp or just over-active from the temp being too high. Currently she is sitting at the top of the water near the power cord of the heater.

I'd appreciate any insight on the temperature problem, and, if you can spare the time, maybe some advice on getting her to start eating (It has been a couple days of not eating.) I have never seen such a finicky fish, but I guess that's what I signed up for getting a female... haha
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Old 08-07-2012, 07:14 AM   #2 
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That temperature is fine :) she is coming up for air more because she is more active and there is less dissolved oxygen in the water due to it being warm. My water temperature right now gets to the same temperature because it is summer. Not eating right now is normal, just let her acclimate to her new environment. if it has been 3 days, it is timw for tour first water change, makesure the temperature is the same going in as that going out :) today you should change 50% if you haven't done so alread. females tend to be more active, give her a few days more. dont turn the heater off any more! large temp fluctuations can give bettas a shock

congratulations on your new fish!
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Old 08-07-2012, 07:29 AM   #3 
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Congrats on the new set-up! The temperature is fine, 82-3F is ideal for bettas.
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Old 08-07-2012, 07:31 AM   #4 
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My halfmoon survived when his tank was 93-97 degrees for about 2 days before I noticed he was acting WEIRD.

Last night when I transferred my most damaged betta into the guppy tank for the first time, she sort of freaked out. Wouldn't stop swimming & exploring the tank for over 2 hours. She went up for air every 5-7 seconds from all the exercise.

There was nothing wrong with the water, just a lot of new tankmates she never seen before. She's perfectly fine now.

I've never been a fan of those 7.5 watt heaters. I'm not sure how much you paid, but for $15 you could have bought a real 25w-100w submersible heater with a adjustable thermostat.

  • A floating thermometer is another piece of equipment you'll need to buy for the tank.
  • what brand & type of food are you trying to feed her?
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Old 08-07-2012, 07:46 AM   #5 
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Yeah I think the one I got was the Zoo-med. It has terrible reviews but it was the only one they had that I could put under gravel. The other submersible ones didn't really seem like they would work too well in a bowl, plus I feel like they would take up too much room and limit her motion. I really may try to figure out how I can fit a bigger tank on my desk, because this heater makes me nervous.

The only food I picked up was the tetrabetta pellets. She ate them as soon as I got her back (in her stupid Walmart tupperware scheme), but as soon as I transferred her to her bigger bowl she stopped eating. I was thinking of getting some tetrabetta freeze-dried blood worms?

Hopefully, she will calm down and get comfortable as fast as yours did, but she is making me nervous because she has been sitting at the top of the water for a while now. Maybe the bottom is too hot? Okay... I think I'm coming down with a some paranoia here... haha
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Old 08-07-2012, 10:44 AM   #6 
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Don't buy any more tetra food. Their ingredients are horrible. Also if you start feeding her worms, you may not eat pellets again.

Pellets are better. If you can catch live insects, that would be a better treat.

I hope you only bought the small cardboard packette of pellets & not a WHOLE can.
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Old 08-09-2012, 08:10 AM   #7 
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Unfortunately I did buy the WHOLE can. Perhaps I should have done more research beforehand. Luckily I am learning things pretty fast thanks to you guys.

So, I am fairly certain I am getting the new tank bacterial bloom. The water is getting cloudy and the water seems thick. I have been doing 25-40% water cycles the last couple days. Anything else I could be doing? I feel terrible that she has to deal with this, and I just want to get her water clear soon. It seems as though she is having a hard time breathing. (Spends a lot of time at the top of the water blowing air bubbles.) I'm thinking about rewashing the gravel this afternoon just to make sure that isn't it.
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Old 08-09-2012, 08:29 AM   #8 
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You have her in a 2 gallon bowl right?? Without a filter I presume. There will be no bacterial cycle!! It's healthy that some bacteria survives in the gravel and on the wall of the tank but I think you should do a 75%-100% water change to control the bloom.
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Old 08-09-2012, 08:37 AM   #9 
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O ok, thanks for clarifying the bacterial cycle. I have been confused on if it applies to me or not. Should I wash the gravel really well or will that just cause the bloom to happen again? I was thinking maybe it was the gravel not being washed well enough, but would that actually make the water thick?
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Old 08-09-2012, 08:47 AM   #10 
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Welcome to the forum you are in the right place to learn about proper Betta care.
I bet your little girl is adorable. What type of water conditioner are you using ? I have never heard of bowl that size cycling. Did you rinse the gravel good before adding it to the bowl ? If you are interested in getting a really great Betta food you should get some New Life Spectrum Betta Pellets, I bet she would love those, my little guy does. I have a hexagon shaped 5 gallon tank that doesnt take up that much room they also come in a 3 gallon size. Its a Eclipse Hex made by Marineland, they are on sell right now on amazon if your interested in getting a tank that doesnt take up much room check it out. I love mine and so does Perseus
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