Hey guys! I am brand new to the fish keeping life and have two questions.
I like to think I "rescued" my new betta, Zeta, from Walmart 2 days ago. She is a red veiltail and when I got her, she was in a vase with no pebbles and only about and inch and a half of water. I went there with the intention of buying a betta and she was absolutley beautiful. The guy at the store said that she shouldn't have been kept like that and they gave her to me for free!
Anyways is it completely normal for bettas to just kind of sit at the top of the tank inactive? She seems to have been doing this since I brought her home. She is in a 1 gallon tank (largest size the college would let me have) with a small tunnel and a plant that I am growing. There is no filter (but I intend to do frequent water changes) and no heater (even though the room stays pretty warm). Just want to know if inactivity is normal?
Second question: Is it ok to leave her in the tank when I do weekly ph balances? I bought Tetra EasyBalance and it says to use weekly. Just want to know if I should take Zeta out of the tank when I do this or if she will be safe enough in the tank.
Thanks for the help! My roommate thinks it's stupid that I'm in love with my fish so much. I think it's pretty cool
Hey there. :) Welcome to the forum and wonderful world of betta keeping! Congrats on your new little rescue girl! She sounds lovely. :)
To answer your question.....no, it isn't normal for a betta to sit around and be lethargic. Bettas are a very active species, and a female in a 1 gallon should be all over the place.
I'm going to guess your main problem with her is temperature. Bettas are tropical fish, even if you live in a warm area and your room stays 'fairly warm' you still need a heater. Not only is water temp usually a few degrees bellow room temp, but room temp often fluctuates frequently and temp fluctuations can be stressful for your fish. You will need to pick up, as soon as possible, a 25 watt fully submersible, adjustable heater with a thermostat(while cheaper, the 'present' and pad/under gravel heaters aren't very reliable and generally over or under-heat the water)for your girl along with a thermometer so you can keep her temp at a steady 78-81 degrees F. I can promise you will see a huge change in her activity level once her water is properly heated to the correct temp. ;)
Are you completely positive that your College won't allow anything above a 1 gallon? No wiggle room? No one you could talk to about it? No sneaking in something like a 2.5 or a Medium-Large Kritter/Pet Keeper?
While the one gallon is the bare minimum recommended, something like a 2.5+ gallon is much more ideal, especially for a short-finned active female. 1 gallons can also be difficult to stability heat/fit a proper heater into. You'll also have to preform frequent water changes(at least two 50%s and one complete 100%, removing your fish, rinsing everything, and then refilling, conditioning the water and re-accumulating her per week)......but if there is absolutely no wiggle room with the tank size, you are prepared to preform those water changes, and you can wiggle a heater into your tank then it can be done. I'd highly suggest looking to see if there is possibly any wiggle room with the tank size though if you can.
Also, its generally not a good idea to mess with the PH.....bettas are hardly little guys, they can handle a decent PH range so long as said PH is stable, PH fluctuations, which are often caused by 'PH stabilizers' and other such products, can be very dangerous. All you should be adding to your tank is a good water conditioner(I recommend Prime)to any fresh tap water.
If you feel like your PH/water is a little on the hard side and you're really worried about it, you can look into getting some IAL(Indian Almond Leaves) or Oak leaves to add into your tank. They leech tannins and will turn your water a tea-ish color, but they'll naturally lower your PH and soften your water a little.
Good luck, and feel free to ask any more questions that come to mind! :)
Thanks for the help! I talked to one of the Residential assistants at school and he said as long as he doesn't "see" me when I walk into school with it. He won't have a problem with it. Unfortunatley I can't do anything until tomorrow afternoon :( I can't thank yall enough for yalls help! Can't wait to see her swimming again!
Lol. xD Time do test your ninja skills!
She'll be alright for a day, no need to worry. ;)
For larger tanks, Medium-Large Kritter/Pet Keepers are generally about 2-5 gallons respectively, really don't take up a ton of space, are a little on the cheaper side, can be safely heated with the same kind of heater I suggested, and are light and easy for water changes. They'll also be the easiest to sneak in probably.
However, look around at the 2.5-10 gallon kits at your LPS, see what you feel you can get away with sneaking in without being seen with. The bigger he better of course!
Also, just a suggestion....since you have a little time, it might be a good idea to sit and make a list of everything you think you might need when you go out tomorrow so you can get it all at once. At least, I often find that helpful even after all these years when I'm going out to make a new setup so I don't forget anything. xD
Take a look around he site, read our stickies if you haven't already....and/or if you like I'd be more then happy to list out a few things for you. :)
Hey fellas! Just got back from walmart about an hour ago. Was able to sneak in 3 gallon tank. I got a 50w heater and 3 fake plants and one real one. Zeta is loving it. She is swimming around with much energy and she seems to love her new home! Thanks again for all of yalls help! Will post pics soon