I've owned birds for many years. This is my first experience with fish except for some guppies when I was little. I need advice from people who know what's up!
Yesterday I got a nice 2 gallon tank and a young beta from the pet store (was labeled "baby" but I think young is a more accurate). I put one small live plant in the tank, as well as a couple bulbs. I filled it with purified drinking water from the store (reverse osmosis), put in the drops of water conditioner and let it run overnight before I put the little guy in.
He/she has been doing great all day. Ate the 3 crushed pellets this morning and a few crushed flakes this evening. Seems very active.
Now I've been reading all kinds of info about bettas and have found wildly varying info. Some of it makes me wonder how this little guy is still alive. I need some clarification.
1)First off, the lady at the pet store said I should only feed bettas every couple of days, and that most deaths occur from overeating. The bottle of food says several times per day. I've read twice a day. I've read about mixing food. I've read about the 3 minute rule. I just want a happy, healthy fish! I crushed and fed it 3 pellets this morning and some flakes this evening. Is that ok for a young betta? What should I change when it gets bigger?
2)Secondly, putting hands in the tank. Wash first? Is there such a thing as putting your hand in too much? Would'nt even a trace amount of soap left on your hand be dangerous?
Today I went and got a ten gallon tank because the 2 looks depressingly small for the fish and where I have put it. I did the same steps as I outlined above for the 2gal, but haven't got plants for it yet. Haven't put the fish in either...then I read about cycling.
3)The importance of cycling sounds a little questionable to me. I'm sure 99% of betta owners (probably all fish owners) have no idea what that is, and very few fish have died from not doing so. If it was THAT important, I'd think more fish would be dying and it would be more well known. No one does, nor wants to, wait 3 weeks to put fish in their new aquarium. Isn't the filter supposed to take care of waste? I plan on putting lots of plants in the 10 gal so I should be fine anyways right?
4)Live plants. What do I need to keep them alive besides sunlight and water?
5)Since I have a young Betta, is this a better or worse time to introduce it to the appropriate tank mates, or does it not matter?