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Old 09-20-2012, 01:53 PM   #1 
starmiss
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Exclamation what a bit of research can do... newbie betta owner

hey everyone! i'm a newbie to this msg board and also to bettas, so i figured i'd introduce myself, and let you know how the worst betta mommy can evolve when we know the real facts! i must have made every rookie mistake in owning a betta, and thought i'd share my experience.

this is the first time i've ever had fish! all my past experiences as a kid ended up with the poor fishies floating belly up in their tanks within the first few hours. the longest living of the fish lasted 3 days before it died. i'm sure it didn't help that they were "fair prize" feeder goldfish, but i certainly didn't know anything about de-chlorinating water, amonia, ect...
after finding a fish bowl at a yard sale i convinced my boyfriend to let me get a fish for our apt, and i impulsively went out and bought a male betta fish we named Sushi :) thankfully the girl at the petstore advised us to buy water conditioner and the right kind of food, because we had no idea!
here is what his initial set up looked like!


i was very happy with the initial set up - i had a pretty fish in a pretty little bowl, and as far as i could tell he was happy and had a much better life outside of the little cups at the petstore. once he was at home and settled, i went online to do some research - things like cycling a tank, plastic plants being bad for bettas, and the fact that bettas don't actually live in puddles were all new info to me! i felt terribly guilty, and went out the next day and bought him a more appropriate habitat!

in that pic, i hadn't yet installed a heater(25w w/ adjustable dial), but it is now there. his tank is a 5.5 "top fin" tank that came with a filter (which pushed the water too fast into the aquarium, i ended up putting a small piece of sponge in the uptake which slowed it down for him), hood w/ light all for 34.99$! great deal, and it gave him loads of room to swim and i feel great about him living there (no more guilts!). he now has all silk plants, and a cave to explore and hide in.

within a few hours i could tell how much happier he was in this tank - in his bowl he could only swim circles around the plastic plants (which did in fact tear his fins). in his tank he could swim high and low, explore all of his "territory" and was much more active and looked much more "alive" than he had in the bowl.

now, cycling was my biggest problem! i still hadn't fully researched the cycling progress, and instead had just talked to a lady at the petstore. she was actually very knowledgeable, explained fishless and fish-in cycling process, but with my situation had suggested i try a bacteria suppliment to speed things up. i ended up buying Nutrafin Cycle and a water testing kit and followed both of the instructions. i've tested the water multiple times (2x per week for 3weeks) and all the levels have been normal! no ammonia or nitrate spikes, and no dead fishie! i definitely had a good experience with the nutrafin cycle, although in the future i will definitely go the fishless cycle way :)

all in all, i'm very happy with my new fish, and i feel like i'm a much better betta mommy now! he's such a little character, and i'm so happy i got him out of that cup, and from the bowl into a proper tank and set up! his tank is right beside our couch in the living room, and he hangs out in the corner closest to us when we're watching tv - i swear to god he's watching tv with us! lol. he loves his cave and spends alot of time swimming through the tunnels, but most of all he loves his red silk plant - he has built all his bubble nests close to the leaves, and sleeps between the leaves to make a little sushi sandwich :)





i can't wait to get another tank and another betta - i'm thinking my next betta will be a halfmoon marble.

my exprience just goes to show how big of a difference it can make when a new owner has all the correct info required to take proper care of a betta! why don't pet stores post the correct info in their stores and keep betta in a larger cup/tank to display them? i felt so bad for some of the bettas in the store, sushi was by far the healthiest, the others looked half dead. :(

http://www.petsmart.com/product/inde...26amp%3B+Bowls sushi's tank (print out the web page, as they will try and charge you 45$ in store!!)
http://uk.hagen.com/Aquatic/Watercar...plements/A7595 nutrafin cycle that i used to cycle the tank
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Old 09-20-2012, 05:39 PM   #2 
teeneythebetta
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How awesome! What a great betta mommy you are! I bet your betta is so happy and he is lucky to have found you!
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Old 09-20-2012, 07:08 PM   #3 
katydidmischief
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What a lucky little fish!
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Old 09-20-2012, 07:11 PM   #4 
teeneythebetta
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Btw... I just wanted to make sure you knew that the nutrafin cycle doesn't automatically cycle the tank, just helps jump start it...
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Old 09-20-2012, 07:17 PM   #5 
toad
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Beautiful, and I love his name! You are a very good mommy, Sushi is lucky to have you :)
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Old 09-20-2012, 07:20 PM   #6 
LebronTheBetta
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This is great!! Your Sushi is really lucky, :) This is how research pays off, you don't have as much as mistakes and the animal feels even better... BRAVO!!!
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Old 09-20-2012, 08:01 PM   #7 
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Hahhaa sounds like that pet store lady is good at her job XD She got you, the customer, to buy more products, and you, in return, got good information and a happy fish (:
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Old 10-18-2012, 05:53 PM   #8 
starmiss
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hey everyone ! thank you so much for your replies, and i'm sorry for the delay in getting back to you!

teeneythebetta you're right - after testing the water over the last few weeks i've noticed that the levels are still not stabilized and i've had a few ammonia jumps :( seems to have leveled out now, and Sushi doesn't seem to have been too bothered.

at least i know for next time i get another tank! :)
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Old 10-18-2012, 07:16 PM   #9 
Friendlyfishies
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Youve done a great job! I too have made years of mistakes and had short lived betta's all my life til now. This site and other reputable betta sites have been a great help...I have spent soooo much money in the past 2 months setting these guys up the right way and fixing mistakes Im still making lol...but its great when you have this kind of opportunity for education. I never knew there were forums for fish! I still have a lot to learn, but thanks to this site and everyone on it my new bettas will have a much better life :)...I still feel terrible about the past bettas I had though when I didnt know any better :/ poor things.
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Old 10-18-2012, 07:54 PM   #10 
Kuronue
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Location: Chautauqua County, NY - My mind is in my fish tank usually
Congratulations :] He's probably quite happy! Research is a starting owners best friend ^^
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