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Old 08-04-2012, 01:47 PM   #1 
MeganJo215
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Brand new male Betta owner, and I feel lost... help??

Hi all!

I'm so glad I found this forum. I just got a male Betta yesterday for my birthday from my mom. I've been wanting a Betta for a long time and just never got around to getting one, so I'm super excited to get started! I think I've decided to name him Reggie. :)

Here's what I have right now:
1 male betta
1 5.5 gallon tank
1 small, live plant
1 filter
betta food (do y'all prefer flakes or pellets?)
gravel for bottom of the tank
1 bottle of water treatment

My problem is, other than knowing not to put more than one male betta in the same tank, I feel like I am completely clueless! I've been reading on this forum since yesterday, and I'm seeing things like "cycling" and they make "bubble nests"... and I really have no idea what any of it means. lol Can someone please point me in the right direction? What is cycling? Oh, and I read about building up good bacteria in the tank. What and how? lol I know, I probably sound hopeless, but I learn fast. I just need some direction. :) lol

I am hoping to go to the store today to get a few more decorations like caves and plants because I've read that they like places to hide and swim through, but do you have any other recommendations? Do I have to have a thermometer? I have some ph testing strips to make sure that's okay, but nothing for nitrate/nitrite?

Also, he's been spending most of his time at the top of the water in the left-hand back corner of the tank (the filter in in the right-hand back corner of the tank.) Every once in a while, he will swim down to the bottom of the right, front corner of the tank for a few seconds, and then goes right back to his "home" corner at the top. Is that normal? I've noticed he almost never goes around the filter. Right now, the water level in the tank is full and goes to the bottom of the filter where the water comes out. Is that okay?

Thanks in advance!
Megan Jo
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Last edited by MeganJo215; 08-04-2012 at 01:55 PM.
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Old 08-04-2012, 01:55 PM   #2 
LebronTheBetta
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Cycling is the term for the filter to build up 2 special bacteria to eat ammonia and nitrite. It takes a month for this to happen, and you have to do water changes.

Making Bubblenests is an instinct for Bettas to make. It means that they're ready to breed or they're marking their territory. There have been myths about them being happy, but that's not the case. It's an instinct.

You do need a thermometer for knowing the temperature as they're tropical fish and if the water is cold, they'll be vulnerable to sicknesses. If it is, you'll need a heater.

You don't need those strips since those are pretty inaccurate. Liquid tests are better and accurate.

Your fish's behavior seems pretty normal since the filter might be too strong. He may also stay a the top of the water because of his labyrinth organ. Pretty fish...

Last edited by LebronTheBetta; 08-04-2012 at 02:00 PM.
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Old 08-04-2012, 02:22 PM   #3 
Oldfishlady
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Welcome to the forum and to the wonderful world of Betta keeping....

LTB has covered some, however, let me expand on that a bit....

The nitrogen cycle will happen without you doing anything as long as the needs are met for the beneficial bacteria colony-Here is a sticky to help you understand it more-ask question on what you don't understand
http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=107771

You do need a thermometer to monitor both the tank temp and temp of the replacement water used for water changes.

You may or may not need a heater-Your goal is to maintain a somewhat stable temp in the 76-80F range.

Since your tank has a filter-you may need to baffle it, however, if he is inactive and/or hiding right now you might want to turn if off for now and once he adjust-then re-start it later in the week.

What kind of live plant did you get-can you post a pic of it....

How did you acclimate him to the new tank, what is the current water temp, type of dechlorinator and source water info...well water, tap water...etc.....and is the source water used-does it go through a water softening unit on the house that uses salt, if so, can you bypass it for the water used for the Betta.

Bettas generally will adapt to your source water pH as long as extremes are avoided-Its best not to try and change the pH using any chemicals-usually you end up with pH swings and this can be more stressful.

Nutrition-good quality varied diet fed in small frequent meals-Its not uncommon for them to not eat for a few days to weeks when you first get them-Keep offering food and remove any uneaten food within a reasonable time.

Lovely fella by the way....
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Old 08-04-2012, 02:31 PM   #4 
MeganJo215
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thank you!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldfishlady View Post
Welcome to the forum and to the wonderful world of Betta keeping....

LTB has covered some, however, let me expand on that a bit....

The nitrogen cycle will happen without you doing anything as long as the needs are met for the beneficial bacteria colony-Here is a sticky to help you understand it more-ask question on what you don't understand
http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=107771

You do need a thermometer to monitor both the tank temp and temp of the replacement water used for water changes.

You may or may not need a heater-Your goal is to maintain a somewhat stable temp in the 76-80F range.

Since your tank has a filter-you may need to baffle it, however, if he is inactive and/or hiding right now you might want to turn if off for now and once he adjust-then re-start it later in the week.

What kind of live plant did you get-can you post a pic of it....

How did you acclimate him to the new tank, what is the current water temp, type of dechlorinator and source water info...well water, tap water...etc.....and is the source water used-does it go through a water softening unit on the house that uses salt, if so, can you bypass it for the water used for the Betta.

Bettas generally will adapt to your source water pH as long as extremes are avoided-Its best not to try and change the pH using any chemicals-usually you end up with pH swings and this can be more stressful.

Nutrition-good quality varied diet fed in small frequent meals-Its not uncommon for them to not eat for a few days to weeks when you first get them-Keep offering food and remove any uneaten food within a reasonable time.

Lovely fella by the way....
Thank so much for your help! And yes, I think he's pretty great! :) I am about to go to the store to get some more things we need for him, and I will post everything I get and answer your questions. I live in a small town, so I'm not sure they will have everything I need at the store here, so I may have to wait until Monday to get everything else, when I go to work (in a larger city, lol).
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Old 08-04-2012, 03:34 PM   #5 
MeganJo215
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In answer to your questions, the water for the tank is just tap water. I used TopFin Betta Water Conditioner to treat the water. To acclimate the betta into the tank, I got the tank ready (gravel, plant, water) and started the filter and let it get to room temperature (the cup from PetSmart had been sitting by the tank and was room temp as well), and I tested the ph levels in the tank and the cup he was in, and they matched perfectly. Since the ph and temperature levels matched, I just put him in my 5.5 gallon tank. I've only had him since about this time yesterday, so I'm still getting decorations for the tank. It turns out that our small-town store doesn't really have anything I need, so I'll have to wait until Monday afternoon to get more plants and decorations. :( I was able to get a tank heater though, and it automatically sets to 78 degrees, so I figure if I keep an eye on the actual temp of the water, that should work pretty well. Here's a picture of the plant as well.
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Last edited by MeganJo215; 08-04-2012 at 03:46 PM.
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Old 08-04-2012, 04:12 PM   #6 
Spazzfish
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Pellets are better IMO i have actualy heard breeders say never to feed flke but i forgot who.... Omega one betta buffet are my favorite realy brings out the color :) and freeze dried blood worms are awesome :)
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Old 08-04-2012, 04:23 PM   #7 
MeganJo215
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spazzfish View Post
Pellets are better IMO i have actualy heard breeders say never to feed flke but i forgot who.... Omega one betta buffet are my favorite realy brings out the color :) and freeze dried blood worms are awesome :)
Freeze-dried blood worms? Sounds gross! LOL I'll have to try the Omega one betta buffet. Right now I have "Aqueon Betta food" and he's been eating it pretty well.

Thanks!
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Old 08-04-2012, 04:41 PM   #8 
Spazzfish
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Its,not that gross just make sure you wash your hands realy well after messing with them :)
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Old 08-04-2012, 04:42 PM   #9 
LebronTheBetta
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Yeah, Bettas eat those in the wild. Except they're alive... Remember, those worms are treats!
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Old 08-13-2012, 06:05 PM   #10 
ChoclateBetta
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You need to make sure the tank stays around 80F degrees 5.5 gallon is a great size my male lives in a 10 gallon and my female lives in a 20 gallon community.
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