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Old 09-01-2012, 08:52 PM   #1 
Kayiko
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Unhappy A quick question from a betta sitter

i have owned Betta's in the past.. and worked in a fish store that sold Betta, however, I am in no way an expert in Betta fish like I am finding you guys are.. So I wanted to ask a question.

I am fish sitting my friends Betta for the next 5 months. I have done this before, but We have always just kept the same tank. This time my friend wanted to get him a larger tank. So he moved from a 1.5-2 Gal tank to a 5 Gal tank with a filter. It is normal for betta fish to act a little lethargic when transferring into a new, larger tank? When I owned them, I always kept them in the same tanks the entire time.

The new tank he is in is a 5 gal, square, Top Fin tank with a filter. I noticed that the filter speed was way to fast and thanks to these fourms, learned a trick to cut down on the water flow so that it's not pushing him around. It was been about 24 hours now since he was placed in the new tank, and he has barely been active. The tank has a heater, however, I am a bit worried because I forgot to grab a thermom at the fish store. (I am so used to fish tank kits always coming with them. This one didn't, so that was a mistake on my part) It will be a little bit of time before I can make my way up to the fish store again to get one.. so should I keep the heater on or no? It is one that turns off and on. It is made for 2 to 5 gal tanks. I just worry that with the bigger tank, if the heater is off.. the water will get to cold for him. Yes I acclimated him to the tank before putting him all the way in it. And treated it with water con before and a lil bit after I put him in. Should I be worried? Or are betta's usually a little inactive after such a big change like a tank upgrade?

Any insight would be so helpful. Thank you! =D
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Old 09-01-2012, 10:10 PM   #2 
ChoclateBetta
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He is in the Betta tank minimum without heater they are lethargic make sure there are plenty of hiding spots giving him a varied diet helps 80 degrees Fahrenheit is good remember they are from rice Paddies 1000s of gallons with territories 3 by 3 feet when in a new tank they need to adjust my male has lived in 6 tanks he does not seem to care when in a new tank aquarium thermometers are vary cheap some cost a dollar in a tank of of there liking they are very active do not forget a 50 percent water change per week if not cycled I keep my male in a 10 gallon with an apple snail and plants and my female in a community tank with plants.
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Old 09-01-2012, 10:33 PM   #3 
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Hey there Kayiko. :)

It is very likely he could be a little stressed from the change, some bettas don't take upgrades and such as well as others. Baffling he filter was a great call, that will definitely help lesson the stress on him.

Everything sounds pretty good....you've got your baffled filter and heater and whatnot, just definitely be sure to grab a thermometer ASAP so you can monitor the temp properly and make sure his lethargy isn't due to being too cold or too warm.

The only other thing I can think of is what sort of decor do you have in there? Bettas come from a very heavily planted natural environment and feel the most secure with a decent number of plants and at least one cave of some sort to hide in. A lot of the time bettas will become much more stressed and lethargic when moved too a larger tank without enough cover.

Besides that....it may help to keep the lights off for a bit, let him settle in for a couple of days.
Hope I could help a little, and best of luck! :)
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Old 09-02-2012, 12:14 AM   #4 
Kayiko
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Thank you both for answering me! Dragon. His set up is two long plastic plants with a rock formation in the middle. However, I don't think these provide a good cover for him. He does have this glass thing that he had in his other tank, that he loves to lay in. However, I don't think he has been able to properly find it in the big tank.. Since the tank is 3 times the size it used to be.

Right now the light is off. It's the 2nd day and the tank is starting to set itself up as the water is getting a bit cloudy. I do plan on getting to the fish store as soon as I can. It's a bit of a drive away, but I will go get a thermometer right away. Is there anyone else I can do to help him feel better? He is just laying down at the bottom gasping in and out. I hope it's just from being stressed cause of the move to the new tank. He has been in his older one for over a year. So the new one might just be a bit scary for him. I feel him flakes, and sometimes when he sees them, he does try and go for them. Sometimes he just ignores them. I am iffy about the pellets because last time I watched him, he got bloat from the pellets. So I try not to give them to him to much. I also have blood worms as a treat. I really hope he is ok. I'd hate for my friend to lose her fish while she is away.
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Old 09-02-2012, 12:34 AM   #5 
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It sounds as if hes probably just stressed from the move and lack of cover.
When you head out to your LPS next, look for some leafy silk plants and snag a few of those if you can, that should help with the cover.

If you haven't already, you'll want to do a bit of research on the Nitrogen cycle, as for the next month or two that is what your tank will be going though. There is TONS of info about cycling all over the forum. ;)
You'll need to watch your water levels though, which will require a test kit(API Liquid brand)which I highly suggest picking up if you can since your LPS is a bit of a drive away and, I assume, you can't bring in regular samples for testing....and you'll also be doing quite a few water changes over the next couple of months, so if you don't have a siphon, may want to pick that up too.

I very highly recommend switching from flakes to a good pellet brand like Omega One Betta Buffet or New Life Spectrum Betta Formula. Flakes tend to be messier and more difficult to proportion out...and once they take on water, which they do really quickly, then they loose what nutritional value they have. If you feed properly, about 2-3 pellets twice per day, you shouldn't have any sort of bloating issues.
What kinds of Bloodworms do you have? Freeze-dried or frozen?
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Old 09-02-2012, 12:35 AM   #6 
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He will get used to it do not forget the water changes.
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Old 09-02-2012, 01:21 AM   #7 
Kayiko
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The blood worms are freeze dried.

I do know about the cycle of fish tanks. I worked in the fish department of a pet store for two years. So the tests on the systems I am comfortable with doing. As well as siphoning. So I do know the types of things all non-salt water fish tanks go through. I'm just not an expert in all things Betta, So I just want to make sure there isn't more I could do for him besides my basic knowledge I was taught at work. And work taught me mixed info about Betta's. It's hard to tell people they should be in something bigger then a bowl, when the store sells whole betta kits for them in bowl size tanks.

The pellets he has are Tetra Betta brand. The flakes are BettaMin brand. I do worry about the pellets because they did give him bloat before. He used to eat them whole.. then I noticed he had a hard time staying horizontal. Whenever he stopped swimming he always started to tilt vertical. I switched to flakes and after the pea treatment, he was back to normal, happy, and swimming around. But I will go back to pellets and see how he does with them again.

Thank you so much for the helpful information!
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Old 09-02-2012, 01:49 AM   #8 
Kayiko
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sorry no. i didn't do the pea.
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Old 09-02-2012, 09:59 AM   #9 
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Ahh yes, fantastic....I did forget about that bit in your original post. xD My apologies.
I know what you mean though.....I can't tell you how frustrating it was when I worked at my LPS and they even went and got little half gallon bowls, set them up with gravel and plastic plants, then tried to sell them as kits for like $20 8/ As if the commercial 'betta kits' weren't bad enough. Ugh, marketing companies....always just looking to make a few extra bucks even if it means promoting all kinds of misinformation and truly terrible conditions....
Mini-rant over..sorry....^^; But I understand. There is so much misinformation out there in places we assume know best and so many marketing scams targeting all that misinformation that its sadly difficult to know the truth unless one looks for it. :/

Anywho, Tetra isn't the best of brands when it comes to food. Looking at the ingredients, the first one is Wheat flour and there seems to be a lot of wheat and starch, thats probably why you had bloating issues. What you want is a pellet brand where the first ingredient is some kind of Whole fish or shrimp or fish meal, and the Min. crude protein around 42%(no less then 35%). Omega One Betta Buffet, New Life Spectrum Betta Formula, and Hikari Bio-Gold are all great pellet brands that are very popular and have high recommendations from the different keepers here. I personally feed Omega One, but the forum-favorite seems to be NLS.
I've fed pellets to all my bettas for years and have never had any sort of SBD or bloating issues so long as I fed them properly. I really do encourage you to try pellets again with a better brand.
Also, may want to consider ditching the freeze-dried.....theres a lot of controversy over it, and most keepers will tell you it really has no nutritional value at all. Plus, it actually has a reputation of causing bloating and SBD problems itself. I'd suggest switching to frozen bloodworms and/or brine shrimp as a treat a couple of times a week to offer him some variety.
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Old 09-02-2012, 10:01 AM   #10 
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I agree with eveyones replys.
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