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Old 12-28-2012, 07:56 PM   #1 
Angelafish
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Feeding behavior? sorry, another 'new betta owner' post :)

Hi everyone! First off I'd like to say I'm new here, and thanks a lot everyone for the awesome, fun, and informative site.

I'm new to betta owning (although I did have a few goldfish as a kid, and later a butterfly koi) and just brought my blue/red veil tail (still thinking of a name!) home two days ago. So please be patient with me if I ask dumb questions! I have several, but the main one is about feeding, so...

So far my little guy seems to be doing pretty well- his colors are nice and he's pretty active. I'm keeping him in a 2.5 gallon with a 3i filter. My first question then is about water temperature. I have been researching a lot about these fish, and there is SO. MUCH. conflicting info out there! Some say "YES get a heater!!!" and others say they're not necessary. So far I do not have one, the water has been consistently 70 degrees (read somewhere that that's on the low end of tolerable...), and my betta is active and not slow or lethargic. So if he's comfortable this way, should I get the heater? Or do you think it might be better to leave it as is?

Second question: Even running the Tetra 3i for two days the water is already somewhat cloudy... is this normal for a new tank or do I need a better filter/pump? I do know that water changes for a 2.5g should be fairly frequent (planning to do one tomorrow) but is it normal for the water to cloud that fast under these conditions?

Ok, 3rd, and most important question: having read all the panicked thread posts by new betta owners who can't get their fish to eat at first, I'm not too freaked out that mine, like theirs, doesn't eat much yet. However, there are certain things about his behavior that I don't understand. Ok, I did get him to eat a few blood worms today... but as far as regular food goes, I'm not sure what to do. He will bite a pellet, chew on it, then spit it out several times before proceeding to completely ignore it. I tried soaking pellets in garlic (which I read they like) but he won't even go up to those. Now, is this because he needs a different kind of food? I'm currently trying the standard TopFin betta pellets, which was what the pet store uses for their bettas.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 12-28-2012, 08:06 PM   #2 
bettaluver14
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Lightbulb

1. definitely get a heater.... they will just feel better in warmer, more comfy water.

2. the cloudiness is probably caused from the garlic juice. it's funny; i have a 2.5gal and a tetra 3i filter too! my water stays crystal except the one time i gave my male veiltail gralic soaked pellets, i have to do a full water change and clean everything becuase my water got cloudy from it and it was nasty -_-

3. i'm not sure if it's normal you're betta isn't eating those pellets.. how long have you had him? and also, maybe try a different pellet brand like Aqueon(at least that's what i use).
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Old 12-28-2012, 08:12 PM   #3 
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Thanks for the reply! Yeah, it was my instinct that the water is too cool, but he seems happy so I wasn't sure. Will probably be buying a heater tomorrow. Any recommendations for that size tank?

Actually the water was cloudy before I tried the garlic... but in other feeding experiments over the last 2 days maybe I forgot to take a piece out and that caused the problem... Anyway, I brought him home on Wednesday, 2 days ago, so it's possible that he just needs time to adjust... but he did eat the bloodworms so I'm confused! We'll see, I'll probably pick up a different kind of food next time I'm at the store.
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Old 12-28-2012, 08:21 PM   #4 
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Hey there and welcome to the forum!!!

Now I will see if I can help you with your questions,

1. Heating

Ignore any information that tells you that bettas don't need heaters, they most defiantly do!!!!! Bettas, like all tropical fish need a stable water temperature to remain healthy, fluctuations in water temperature lowers their immune system putting them at risk of all kinds of nasty illnesses and diseases. The only way to provide your betta with a stable temperature is to heat his tank using a heater. Many pet shops tell us they don't need a heater just because it helps to sell the fish if the customer thinks there will be no other equipment set up costs. I keep heaters in my tanks all year because it only takes one unexpected cold snap to make your betta ill.

2. Filtration

New fish tanks sometimes go cloudy because there is a lack of good bacteria in the water. I have never had one of the filters you have but I would think it would be sufficient if the betta is the only fish in your tank. All I can suggest is giving regular water changes may help, also there are some Bio-start products on the market which contain live 'good bacteria' to kick start the biological cycle in your tank. Also be sure to remove any uneaten food from the tank as this can cloud the water quite quickly and cause a 'bad bacterial' bloom.

3. Feeding

It is quite normal that your betta is not eating much yet, new bettas are usually stressed from the ordeal or transportation and being in the petshop so it can take a few days to a week to get them eating properly. Some bettas are very fussy/stressed the second betta that I owned ate nothing for the first 2 weeks but it is important to offer it to them every day whether or not they eat it. I would not offer your betta anything except pellets at this stage otherwise he may become spoilt and refuse to eat anything other than live/frozen/freeze dried foods. If your betta really seems to dislike your pellets try a different brand. I use Hikari betta bio-gold floating pellets and none of my bettas have been able to resist them-even my new fish so you could give them a go they are available online.

Goodluck with your new boy, I hope you enjoy owning bettas as much as I do, just give him time to settle in and I am sure he will be fine, also get a heater as soon as possible and keep up the regular water changes.

If you have any more questions don't hesitate to ask, that is what we are here for
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Old 12-28-2012, 08:30 PM   #5 
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Thanks for the good advice! Yeah, it occurred to me that he might get spoiled if I feed him too much of the bloodworms... :) So for a 2.5 gal would a 25w heater be appropriate? I know they sell smaller, like 7.5 or something like that... but I would want one that is adjustable with a thermostat and all.
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Old 12-28-2012, 08:45 PM   #6 
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As long as it has a thermostat a 25W heater will be just fine

Yes they can get spoilt and also too many blood worms are not good because the fish cannot digest the casings of the worms, so, if they are fed a lot at once the casings can become stuck in their stomach/intestines causing a blockage and possible death. Blood worms are better as an occasional treat
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Old 12-28-2012, 08:59 PM   #7 
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Ahh good to know... I did notice that he spit out what looked like a casing. :) I was just thrilled that he ate SOMEthing...

Anyhow I just went and ordered a heater and some of that hikari food you recommended, so they should be here in a few days. In the meantime I suppose he should be all right as long as it doesn't get any colder... And I'll just keep offering food every now and then and hope he takes it!
Thanks again for your help! (this site is awesome... :) )
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Old 12-28-2012, 09:57 PM   #8 
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He should be OK until the heater gets there. However, he will probably brighten up a bit and may even be more active after you get the heater. It is so very, very important that you slowly adjust the temp up to 78 degrees. Large temp fluctuations are stressful. He will be much happier in warmer water, but he still needs to slowly be introduced to it..
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Old 12-29-2012, 06:48 AM   #9 
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Hey there,

No problem, always happy to help I hope your boy likes the Hikari food, all my bettas love it and since I have fed them that my bettas have had a longer average lifespan.... coincidence? I don't know but they seem happy so I keep them on these pellets. Also I have fed other pellets in the past (different brands) and had trouble with the bettas getting constipation and bloat. I have never had trouble with any of these complaints with the Hikari.

I am sure your boy will be much happier when he gets his heater, If the temperature gets too cold and you are desperate ensure his tank is sitting in the warmest place in the house and wrap his tank in towels and blankets to help with insulation, surprising how much that can help, though is only a temporary solution, nothing keeps a tank temperature as stable as a heater.

Keep us posted about your boy
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Old 12-29-2012, 09:57 AM   #10 
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If it's freeze dried worms you are feeding, I would stop that until you can get him to eat healthy food.. if he gets what he likes, it will be harder to get him to eat what he should eat. Freeze dried should be fed sparingly, if at all.

Try using your finger/thumbnail and break the pellets.. what you are seeing is him trying to eat it, but it may be a bit too big for him so he is attempting to use his tiny teeth to take bites out of it.. and then giving up. Smaller pellets would be helpful - break them up or get another brand - New Life Spectrum Growth formula are nice and tiny.
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