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Old 01-27-2014, 11:36 AM   #1 
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Join Date: Jan 2014
weird film in bowl, sometimes spits out food

Hi, I'm new here. This is my first time owning a betta, and my first time owning a fish since I was probably 3 years old (those poor fish...never leave young children to feed the fish...that responsibility is best reserved for slightly older children).

I did not buy this fish. I hadn't planned on getting one because I live 1500 miles away or so, and go home for winter and summer breaks. So I'll probably have to leave him with someone over breaks.

I actually rescued the little blue guy. Some heartless person (or possibly it was an accident, or an international student who had little choice/didn't know better, I don't really know) left him in our shared dorm kitchen area. The kitchen gets very, very cold and he was on a cold countertop. The water was over half evaporated and so murky brown that you couldn't see the fish. He had sat in there for over a week, possibly two but I'm not sure. Due to the conditions he had been found in, I guessed that he probably hadn't been fed in a long time, either.

I knew he had been left there over a week because I had passed by the bowl many times, and because I couldn't see the fish, I assumed it had died and the owner was just leaving the dirty bowl for someone to dispose of. But the night I was leaving for winter break, I was cooking dinner with my boyfriend and he noticed some movement near the side of the bowl. I panicked when I saw the fish, upset that he had been abandoned, and did a 10% water change (unfortunately tap water, I know this is bad) because I didn't know what else to do.

I knew our dorm used to have a betta, so I asked the person in charge of the dorm if there was any way I could get the betta's old supplies since I wasn't prepared to take care of a fish. She did more than that--she took him in for the duration of the break, fed him, cleaned his water with the treatment stuff, everything. He was pristine and was feeling much better, although in the dirty bowl he'd still had a surprising amount of energy.

He lives in a standard-sized silicone-like plastic-ish fish bowl, with blue glass bead things instead of gravel and a pink plastic plant.

I don't know what betta poop looks like, but I haven't seen anything come out of him (I also don't watch him all day). I assume that the gross film that's developed on top of the bowl is poop. It's like soup skin, but really thin and doesn't come apart in a single mass. Bubbles stick there and stay. I have no idea what that's about.

He also sometimes spits out his food. Though, after a couple minutes, he decided to eat it up again. He started doing this last week, when I accidentally dropped in two pellets stuck together (oops...I immediately removed them after he spit them up...he ate them before I could get them the first time).

Normally he's a little beggar with a healthy appetite. I have conflicting info on how much to feed him. The lady told me to feed him three pellets at once, just once a day (he eats 3-4 in a minute, is why) but the other pellets I got say to feed him the same 3 times a day and they appear to be the same kind and size of pellet. So I vary how much I feed him. How much should I feed him? The kind she gave is in an unlabeled bag, and the others are Omega One pellets for bettas.

I don't have any treatment stuff, so I have to buy it, but I'm unsure of what kind to buy. I'm going to the pet store today.

I'm in college, and I can't afford a nice tank...also, I'm in freezing cold Minnesota, so naturally heating won't be entirely even (unfortunately).

I love the little guy. I'm coming up with names. I don't want him to get sick and die...since his rescue in late December (a week before Christmas, or less) I've grown fond of him. I'm not like I was at age 3--I feed him every day and watch him sometimes to make sure he's feeling okay. :)

Please help...I have no idea how to take care of this fish, but I want to learn!

What size is your tank? standard fishbowl size
What temperature is your tank? Room temp, fluctuating sometimes (I know this isn't good)
Does your tank have a filter? Not a tank
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? A what?
Is your tank heated? No
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? Nobody, though I may buy him a little scuba guy or other decoration ;)

What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Omega One pellets for bettas
How often do you feed your betta fish? 2-3 times a day, 1-3 pellets at a time but I always do 3 in the morning...I try to gauge how he's feeling to see how much to give


How often do you perform a water change? Haven't yet, but will tonight. How do I do it?
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? see above
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? see above

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters? No, no idea


Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Nothing noticeable
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? He always perches on his plant, he's always been sort of lazy at night. But lately he spits out his food sometimes.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? Last week
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? No, but I may have him fast tonight and try dried worms or something from the pet store if they have it.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? No idea, since I rescued him, but I'm willing to bet he's getting over the shock of abandonment.
How old is your fish (approximately)? No idea, since he's a rescue.
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Old 01-29-2014, 03:54 PM   #2 
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Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Canada
I dont no what that film is, one of my bettas(who since passed, SIP) was living in a bowl and had that and also my betta Charlie has that film on top, I read up that its just cause the water isnt moving and it isnt harmful, however I looked at another site and read its toxions and is harmful, so IDK what to believe either, however charlie seems to be 100% perfectly fine, so i thinkits just cause theres no movement in the water, however Id recomend asking someone of higher knowledge, but for the mean time hoped this put you at ease. Also a water change is taking a partial part of water out and putting new clean water once its set(for you since you dont have a heater, to room temp. this will take a few hours) also dont forget to put either "prime" or "aqua safe" in it to declhoranize it & then put it back in the tank. And since you have a small tank, cups work good, so just tip over the tank slightly to get water out(if your tank is square this works good, but round I might suggest taking him out ot remove water.) Then putting him back in and getting another cup with same amout of water and let it stand to get to room temp. put some declhoranizer in it and put it back in. If you get him a bigger tank youll need a water siphon and bucket. Either way hopes this helps! :)
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Old 01-29-2014, 04:26 PM   #3 
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Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Texas
Also very limited knowledge of fishies here, but I had a guy who was super crazy about blowing bubble nests, and when they would dissolve or whatever, it would make a gross film. Has he made a nest at all?

Also, if the bowl is smaller than a gallon (think milk jug) I would try to get him something a little bit bigger... you can get a gallon one pretty much anywhere for pretty cheap, and it will make everyone's life better. For anything less than a gallon, I would do at least daily full water changes...

To do a water change, make sure you have water conditioner. Scoop him into a little cup (I use the pet store ones they come in, good size, or a little juice glass) and pour out the water that's left in the bowl. I rinse the gravel out till I can't see any debris or anything, like 6 or 7 times usually, then fill the bowl up, pref with warmer tap water so it's not ice cold. Put the conditioner in, and then float your little buddy in his cup for at least 15 mins. Then, allow some of the water in the bowl into the cup, 3 or 4 times, waiting 15 min between, so eventually his cup is pretty much totally bowl water. Then gently decant him into his little home.

I would also really recommend a heater, they're like $15 and he will perk up drastically...
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Old 01-29-2014, 05:28 PM   #4 
Join Date: Dec 2013
I normally feed my betta 3 pellets in the morning and 3 pellets around dinner time. Unless they are not acting right my betta started not acting right after he ate some of an algea pellet and hasn't acted right since then. So I feed him in the morning if he is out and in the evening when he is out of his pirate ship
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Old 01-29-2014, 08:50 PM   #5 
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Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Newcastle Australia
Betta waste will sink so dont worry about that. Likely the film is water film- the mineral particles in your water floating to the top. You can cut down on these by putting the water you plan to use in a bucket and letting it sit for several hours before changing the bowl.
Now when you say standard fishbowl, how big a fishbowl? A betta bowl the size of your hand or one you can wrap your arms around? A fast way to tell approximately how big is just to use a measuring cup to put in the clean water and see how many it takes.

the film isnt a concern for your fish as long as it isnt extremely thick- also I am happy you are the new parent of this little gentleman. He deserves someone that can appreciate him.
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