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Old 11-20-2012, 11:44 AM   #1 
stellar981
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My new betta... question

First of all... Some may remember me, I am fairly new here. Just got my betta last weekend (11th). I have done two water changes, per recommendation. A few tests. And the levels all seem fine, hoping I'm reading them correctly. I have the API test, and test strips. And actually the two tests appear to match. No ammonia, nitrites or nitrates.. However the pH is about 7.4. Also on the test strip it tests for hardness, and it comes back "Hard." I hear hardness won't harm a fish.. But pH? I was told not to use any chemicals in the water besides conditioner. I am doing the recommended tests and water changes (50% twice weekly while cycling).. which is another question - when do I know the tank is cycled? Anyhow, back to the original question... pH.. should I worry, should I do anything about this? He is very active, healthy appetite (I normally feed about 6-7 pellets a day?). Steady 79 degree temp. The only thing I am not sure about is his fins don't seem completely "open?" The top one is curled a bit, and the back one a tiny on the top part. I read somewhere this could be due to hard water. But how do I change that, is it worth it to change? Is it harming him? Sorry for all the questions.. I am going to post some pics so you can see him, and the fins for yourself. Also a link to a YouTube video I uploaded from my phone. Am also still trying to think of a name, suggestions welcome!! :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kIQ2JuqxRqE
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Old 11-20-2012, 11:59 AM   #2 
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Let me add this... he hasn't flared at me once. I put up a mirror to him and he showed no sign of aggression. Is that a good sign, that he's not aggressive, or a reason to worry?
He had started what appeared to be a bubble nest.. but instead I guess a bunch of random bubbles all over the surface of the water in the tank. But once I did the first water change, he stopped. Hasn't given me anymore bubbles. Just in case this info is important...
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Old 11-20-2012, 12:35 PM   #3 
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Hey there Stellar. :)

Sounds to me like for the most part you've got all your ducks in a row. Looks like you have a nicely-sized tank, a good temperature, all your testing equipment on hand and a very stunning and healthy looking little guy! Over all, everything looks quite fantastic. ;)

Your PH is perfectly fine, and the hardness really isn't anything to be concerned about. You do have the right idea about not messing with it, just to reassure you. Bettas are very hardy fish, they can adapt to a wide range of PHs and hardness levels. Generally so long as is stable, its nothing to worry about.

I did notice your guys belly seemed to be a little on the large side. What brand do you feed? Are the pellets spread out through a couple of feedings or just all at once?

Have you taken a look at this sticky yet? http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=107771
It should explain the cycling process/tell you what to look for when your cycle has been completed.

As far as flaring and aggression goes.....that is a personality thing. Nothing to really be concerned about. I have had fish who flare at the drop of a hat, and ones who were so placid and shy I'm positive they were completely unaware that they were Fighting Fish.
Not all bettas react to mirrors. Some don't care for their reflection at all, but might react to another actual male(these, in my opinion, are the slightly smarter ones) or sometimes even weird random objects like pens or figures or cups. They're strange little guys with their own unique personalities, you never know. xD
Its the same with bubble nests as well. Its an instinctive territorial behavior, something they just....do. Some do it more then others. Some obsess over making massive stacks of bubbles taking over their tanks, some never blow a bubble in their lives....they're just funny like that. ;)
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Old 11-20-2012, 12:37 PM   #4 
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I think hes just scared. Take him out of that big tanks and put him in a jar or A 1g ank for a few days please do this and see wat happens let me know if he starts to flare. I know you might ask why take him out of big tank with nice planted deco and put him in a smaller tank? Well some bettas like smaller tanks especially show bettas. Wild type like big planted tanks more cause thats where they came from. Please try my method it might help you and your betta let me know the reaults if you do try it

Last edited by Setsuna; 11-20-2012 at 12:40 PM.
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Old 11-20-2012, 12:43 PM   #5 
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The tank is cycled when you have 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites, and readable nitrates. This will take about 6-8 weeks if you've not seeded the filter with bacteria. During the cycle you will see the ammonia rise, and then the nitrites rise - this is when conditions are dangerous for the fish and you have to be diligent about testing and water changes.

PS - you don't need to check for nitrates until you have seen a rise in both the ammonia and the nitrite - there will be no nitrate reading until those 2 things have happened so don't bother wasting the testing supplies until then.
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Old 11-20-2012, 12:49 PM   #6 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DragonFish View Post
Hey there Stellar. :)

Sounds to me like for the most part you've got all your ducks in a row. Looks like you have a nicely-sized tank, a good temperature, all your testing equipment on hand and a very stunning and healthy looking little guy! Over all, everything looks quite fantastic. ;)

Your PH is perfectly fine, and the hardness really isn't anything to be concerned about. You do have the right idea about not messing with it, just to reassure you. Bettas are very hardy fish, they can adapt to a wide range of PHs and hardness levels. Generally so long as is stable, its nothing to worry about.

I did notice your guys belly seemed to be a little on the large side. What brand do you feed? Are the pellets spread out through a couple of feedings or just all at once?

Have you taken a look at this sticky yet? http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=107771
It should explain the cycling process/tell you what to look for when your cycle has been completed.

As far as flaring and aggression goes.....that is a personality thing. Nothing to really be concerned about. I have had fish who flare at the drop of a hat, and ones who were so placid and shy I'm positive they were completely unaware that they were Fighting Fish.
Not all bettas react to mirrors. Some don't care for their reflection at all, but might react to another actual male(these, in my opinion, are the slightly smarter ones) or sometimes even weird random objects like pens or figures or cups. They're strange little guys with their own unique personalities, you never know. xD
Its the same with bubble nests as well. Its an instinctive territorial behavior, something they just....do. Some do it more then others. Some obsess over making massive stacks of bubbles taking over their tanks, some never blow a bubble in their lives....they're just funny like that. ;)
Thank you for all the info! I actually feed him the Omega pellets, 3 when I get up. 2 midday, then 2 later before bed. He was looking bloated that day. RIGHT after I took the pix and video, he pooped :) And went back to normal. The day of or day before I took the pix, I had changed his food to Omega. Since the kind I originally bought turned out to be low quality. So that may have factored into him being a bit bloated.
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Old 11-20-2012, 12:56 PM   #7 
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Originally Posted by Wendyjo View Post
The tank is cycled when you have 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites, and readable nitrates. This will take about 6-8 weeks if you've not seeded the filter with bacteria. During the cycle you will see the ammonia rise, and then the nitrites rise - this is when conditions are dangerous for the fish and you have to be diligent about testing and water changes.

PS - you don't need to check for nitrates until you have seen a rise in both the ammonia and the nitrite - there will be no nitrate reading until those 2 things have happened so don't bother wasting the testing supplies until then.
Thank you! I did not seed the filter with bacteria.. didnt know I could. Should I? I did add that bacteria to the tank when I started. But thats it. I have the Aquaclear filter. It comes with a carbon and biomax cartridge. Someone told me to remove the carbon, but not the biomax. Any input about that?

Thanks also for letting me know about the nitrate test. I will wait to use it until I see any levels of Ammonia and nitrites!

Do you think it would be beneficial to my betta to add an indian almond leave? I've read a bit about it.. I think I even read somewhere that it can reduce hardness in water. But has anyone found in beneficial in other ways?
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Old 11-20-2012, 12:59 PM   #8 
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You're very welcome! :)
Ahh, I see! Well you've got a great brand there, so I'd say so long as he appears to be doing well on that feeding schedule, keep it up! Sounds like you're doing a fantastic job with him. :)
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Old 11-20-2012, 01:00 PM   #9 
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Originally Posted by Setsuna View Post
I think hes just scared. Take him out of that big tanks and put him in a jar or A 1g ank for a few days please do this and see wat happens let me know if he starts to flare. I know you might ask why take him out of big tank with nice planted deco and put him in a smaller tank? Well some bettas like smaller tanks especially show bettas. Wild type like big planted tanks more cause thats where they came from. Please try my method it might help you and your betta let me know the reaults if you do try it
He doesn't act even a tiny bit scared of anything.. he comes to me and greets me when I walk by. I don't know how I feel about changing his environment to something so small. He didn't have curled fins at the store, in his small tank.. I do find that ironic. But I just cant see reducing his space again. Does anyone have a similar experience with the bettas fins curling when added to a larger aquarium? I read more about it being the water conditions (hardness) that causes the curling...
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Old 11-20-2012, 01:29 PM   #10 
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He doesn't act even a tiny bit scared of anything.. he comes to me and greets me when I walk by. I don't know how I feel about changing his environment to something so small. He didn't have curled fins at the store, in his small tank.. I do find that ironic. But I just cant see reducing his space again. Does anyone have a similar experience with the bettas fins curling when added to a larger aquarium? I read more about it being the water conditions (hardness) that causes the curling...

Some bettas just aren't aggressive. It doesn't sound like he's scared. If he was, he would spend most of his time hiding, even if you came by. Also, depending on his age, he might not be ready to aggressive and territorial yet. Young males sometimes don't show aggression until they are older. My male isn't very aggressive at all, but he's still young. My female, on the other hand, is very aggressive and if they were ever to end up in the same tank together, she'd eat him for breakfast!
I don't think you need to put him in a smaller tank at all.
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