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Old 12-26-2012, 02:09 AM   #1 
Slytheridor
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New Betta help

I'm getting my first Betta tomorrow. I've got a nice tank, and will be buying some supplies when I go to pick him out tomorrow.

I want to know everything there is to properly caring for Bettas. I've heard that they do well with meaty foods. Which food brands are best? What decorations do you like to keep in your tanks? What heater is best?

Any and all advice is much appreciated. :)
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Old 12-26-2012, 08:51 AM   #2 
shellieca
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Welcome to the Betta addiction. The heater size depends on your tank size, brand wise well I have an Aqueon (46g tank), Top Fin (10g & 5.5g tanks), Fluval (10g tank), & Petco (2.5g tank) heaters. The heater should be adjustable, he or she will need plants either real or silk & a cave or two. Are you getting a tank with a filter? If so, you need to read up on nitrogen cycling, you will need to test your water daily (preferably with a liquid water test kit) for ammonia, nitrites & nitrates & do appropriate water changes to keep the water safe your Betta until the tank is finished cycling. Don't hesitate to ask questions.
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Old 12-26-2012, 07:19 PM   #3 
Slytheridor
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Thank-you!

Is it better to grow your own plants?

How can I tell if he's eating? I put three pellets in there when he was first put in his tank today, and he kept sucking them in, and then spitting it back out. Do they bite their food? I know that Goldfish usually just gulp it down.

I got a nice 5 gallon tank, with a heater and a filter. The heater's built to keep it at 78 degrees. I've never kept a tank by myself, so my parents are going to be helping me test the PH balance later on tonight. I didn't put any of the Petland water in his new tank, and put Ick medication in right away.

I need to babysit at another house for the night, which means that he'll be all alone. I'm leaving both his tank light, and the heater on. Will the light help keep the water warm? Is he going to be alright? I'll only be gone from 9 tonight, to 5 or 6 in the morning.

He seems to stay at the top of his tank, but he races from side to side, and bottom to top. He went from the smallest of plastic cups, to a big tank today, so is he just exploring? Or should I be worried?


Anyways, here's my little Loki:

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Old 12-26-2012, 07:24 PM   #4 
bettaluver14
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Talking

my VT male did that when i first got him.... he was like what the heck is this?!?! yours should get used to the food eventually; congrats on betta!
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Old 01-07-2013, 02:43 PM   #5 
Slytheridor
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First off- Loki's doing well. He's eating right, and is very active.

I just tested his water with an Amonia/Nitrate test. Is this the same as testing the PH balances?

What are signs that his PH is too high, or too low?

Does an aquarium light stress Bettas out? I only leave mine on at night.
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Old 01-07-2013, 03:02 PM   #6 
Rosso1011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slytheridor View Post
Thank-you!

Is it better to grow your own plants?

How can I tell if he's eating? I put three pellets in there when he was first put in his tank today, and he kept sucking them in, and then spitting it back out. Do they bite their food? I know that Goldfish usually just gulp it down.

I got a nice 5 gallon tank, with a heater and a filter. The heater's built to keep it at 78 degrees. I've never kept a tank by myself, so my parents are going to be helping me test the PH balance later on tonight. I didn't put any of the Petland water in his new tank, and put Ick medication in right away.

I need to babysit at another house for the night, which means that he'll be all alone. I'm leaving both his tank light, and the heater on. Will the light help keep the water warm? Is he going to be alright? I'll only be gone from 9 tonight, to 5 or 6 in the morning.

He seems to stay at the top of his tank, but he races from side to side, and bottom to top. He went from the smallest of plastic cups, to a big tank today, so is he just exploring? Or should I be worried?


Anyways, here's my little Loki:

Hi and welcome to the wonderful world of bettas. Let me start off by addressing the food issue. Bettas will sometimes suck in a pellet, chew on the pellet and spit it back out and repeat as part of the eating process. Bettas have small teeth in their mouths that allow them to chew and it is not uncommon to see bettas spit out their food.

I am curious as to why you put ick medication in the aquarium if you do not know whether or not your betta is sick. You want to be careful of using any unnecessary medications in your aquarium when your betta is doing well. It's the same principle for bettas that it is for humans. Do not treat what you do not know is there.

As for staying near the top of the tank and racing side to side, he is probably a.) exploring and b.) having a slight issue with swimming. You have to imagine going from a small pet store fish cup to a big 5 gallon tank. Bettas are not strong swimmers and may be having some issues acclimating to higher water levels. There may be more of a problem if the filter is too strong for his tank. You'll want to keep an eye out for apparent issues with swimming and if they persist you will want to baffle the filter or find a filter that doesn't have a strong output.
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Old 01-07-2013, 03:44 PM   #7 
Myates
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You will want to turn the lights out in his tank at night.. they sleep off and on, but it gives them time to relax. They are like all living creatures and do better with a day/night routine. Room light is fine to leave on, but the bright tank light should be off at night. The only way you can get away with it is if his tank and the room he is in is really dark during the day.. it's backwards, but it gives him some down time.

The food may be a bit too big for him - can always use your thumbnail to cut the pellet in half before feeding it to him.. or he is adjusting to the new food. Usually though when you see them spit it back out a couple times it means they are trying to bite pieces off with their tiny teeth. If he continues to spit out with the smaller pieces, then you know he is still learning to eat the food you are offering.. he will get the hang of it in time. Not uncommon for it to take a couple weeks for a fish to adjust to their new home and food.

Don't need to worry about the pH - bettas will adjust to whatever pH you have normally and it is better to not mess with it, causing it to fluctuate could cause him to go into shock. There is no need to worry about the pH - no harm will come to him if it is high or low.

You definitely want to do a large water change to help remove the ick medication, if your filter is a carbon filter you can use that to help remove the rest of the medication.. otherwise I would do 50% water changes over the next couple of days. Fish have such small organs and are pretty fragile.. no need for medication if he isn't sick - and if he does become ill there are ways to treat that are less harsh.
The medication can cause him to become ill..

He seems a bit clamped in the picture, does he generally hold his fins closed like that all the time? It may be stress from the medication or from being placed in a new, larger home.. make sure there are lots of plants for him to swim around through to give him some mental stimulation and to feel secure to hide in.
Also would place your heater sideways towards the bottom of your tank.. don't want that one to stick above the water line, the water evaporates quicker than you think.. it's fine to have the cord in the water.. if that is the Tetra preset heater, then definitely want to fully submerge it.

The racing could easily be him just exercising himself and enjoying the space :)

Good luck!
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Old 01-07-2013, 04:04 PM   #8 
AyalaCookiejar
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I will disagree on the pH. Anything over 9 is a little too high and anything under 6 will kill off the beneficial bacteria.

However, its not likely that your pH is either of those and the API master test kit only goes from 6-8.8. I would only really worry about pH if you are moving him to a different tank with water from a different source as large pH changes are stressful. Other than that, no, you don't need to worry about pH :) oh, and the medication and other certain factors can change the pH... I only test for pH when doing water changes where the previous or new water contains something that affects the pH like medication or salt.. My tank that had medication and Epsom salt in it for awhile had a pH of 8 and the tap water was 7.2... So I was careful doing water changes to get rid of the salt and meds.
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Old 01-07-2013, 07:11 PM   #9 
Slytheridor
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Thank-you so much! I didn't think about that with the medication. I noticed some white areas on him when I brought him home, which is why I treated the water. But looking closer, I think that it's just natural spots that he was hiding when I bought him. I'm pretty sure that my filter's carbon, so that should, if the information is right, help remove it. The last thing I want is for my baby to get sick. :(

I only leave the lights on at night. He's in a dark corner of my room, which is already poorly lit, so he has the entire day for down times.

My mom gave me a piece of driftwood that she used to keep in her tank about 8 years ago, and then used for decoration. I've heard that that lowers the PH balance, but considering the fact that it's almost 8 or 9 years old, I'm not sure if it would do that, or just act as a decoration. What do you think?
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Old 01-07-2013, 07:47 PM   #10 
minkymink
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Many people love New Life Spectrum betta formula. I have an Aqueon Submersible heater and it works beautifully, it's also really nice because you can adjust the temperature.
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