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Old 12-27-2012, 10:24 PM   #1 
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Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: massachusetts
Question New Betta Mom Seeking Advice..

Hi I'm new to owning a betta. I've wanted one for a long time, and my mom bought one for me for Christmas. It is a Half Moon Betta, I'm not sure if it is male or female. At the moment I have a 1 gallon tank, at some point I will upgrade. I have an under gravel heater because my house is always cold, and it was recommended by one of our local pet stores. I have read numerous places that they can picky eaters, which the local pet store doesn't seem to know.
My fish will go to eat her pellets and then spit them right back out at me... It seems hungry but it refuses to eat the food. I am wondering are flakes better? We called the pet store and they told me that she was probably sick. Its fins are fine (no rot from what I can tell) and its swimming around all the time. Any advice would be greatly appreciated
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Old 12-27-2012, 10:31 PM   #2 
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Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Red River, NM
It's possible the pellets are too big for her to eat. You can crunch them up to make them smaller. You can also soak them in garlic juice to see if she likes them better. My girl was extremely picky too and would only eat flakes. It took me a while to find a pellet she likes, they are small and apparently quite tasty. I
Flakes usually aren't better, but if you can find some with mostly protein sources in them and very little fillers such as wheat, barley, etc, you could try those. The problem with flakes is that they are messy and make you need to clean the tank more often.
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Old 12-27-2012, 10:36 PM   #3 
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Location: Dartmouth, NS
Hi and welcome!!
You probably have a male HM since female tails are much shorter. If the tail is a large D shaped tail then you have a male. Most people buy males so I'm willing to bet you have a boy.

You will want to keep him separate from other bettas for his entire life, unless you research breeding. The ONLY other thing you can add to the tank while he is in a 1 gallon is a nerite snail or some shrimp. But him being alone is fine.

You should pick up a floating thermometer asap. Those "under gravel" heaters tend to either burn up or burn out. My under gravel heater burned out after only a few months so the water was as cold as without. A thermometer will ensure your role in maintaining it to be as close to 80F as possible.

With a 1 gallon tank you should clean it twice a week. One of those times just take out half the water and replace with fresh water of the same temperature and conditioner. The second water change you will want to remove your fish from it and clean 100% of the water and decorations.

A mug or small silk plant will give him something to swim around and hide in. The dollarama's around me now carry small tank cave decorations for 2$.

don't offer food for 2 days. After 2 days offer him a pellet. He might just be stressed from the purchase. Bettas can go up to 7 days without food so don't worry about him starving. Don't feed flakes. Pellets are good. What brand is the pellets? The main ingredient of betta food should be meat protein. I love feeding Omega One buffet pellets, Aqueon betta pellets (which are smaller for smaller mouths), Attison's Plus (it was a sample sent to me from a member here, it's not availabl in stores) and frozen bloodworms. Remember, variety is key.
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Old 12-27-2012, 10:36 PM   #4 
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How long you had it for? Betta usually take about 1-2 days to actually become active and eat. I have 9 bettas (yea, i know) and every single one of them act sick a first few days, refuse to eat any pellets. However, now, every single time i come close to the tank, they would come swimming.

I would advice you to buy more than just pellets. Broaden the food choices to frozen/freeze dried brine shrimps, blood worms, peas so your betta will not get sick of one type of food.

And you mention you have a heater in a 1 gallon tank. I hope you make that upgrade soon because heaters don't do too wel in a tank less than 2.5 gallons.
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Old 12-28-2012, 12:20 AM   #5 
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Mine does the exact same thing... He's active and everything and goes to the food like he's hungry, but he spits it back out... But I think mine just has an infection that I am in the process of treating. That may not be the case for yours, though. :)

Let me know how your little one comes along!
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Old 12-28-2012, 01:09 AM   #6 
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Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Florida
I wouldn't add anything with him in a one gallon. You'd need at least a 5 gallon tank to add a snail.

Many bettas take a few days to start eating after adjusting to a new tank. However the pellets generally are too big for them if they chew them up and spit them out. Omega one pellets are small, and new life spectrum pellets are even smaller. They are also nutritious! I have noticed that the Walmart brand pellets (TetraBetta) are very large and its difficult for my adult Betta to even eat them, and he's a little pig when it comes to food.
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Old 12-28-2012, 11:35 PM   #7 
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Location: Plano, TX
I just got a halfmoon as well. That looks like the pictures below then yes you have a male. If his tale doesn't look like this then either he bit it off or its a female.
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