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Old 01-01-2013, 05:25 AM   #1 
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: USA
Hello! Brand new pet owner & betta keeper with many concerns. Plase advice, ty!

First of all...Happy New Year! :) I hope everyone's off to a great start. Sorry for the long intro post, but I do have a little story to tell, if you don't mind. I'm really concern with my pet, and any help would be thankful. 8'D

((((((((((If you don't want to read, can you please look at the pics to look at my fish's health. I've received him in this condition from a friend as a gift, and I have no prior experience as betta keeper. I'm a first time pet owner too. I'm planning shop in-store necessary products for him starting tomorrow since it's living in only a .5 gallon tank(part of gift)))))))))))

I've just received a small/young male elephant ear betta fish as a late gift from a friend a few days ago. I was so shocked because I have no prior pet experience of any sort nor have I thought of taking of a pet in my current state (full-time student with 30+ hours of homework every week plus freelance).

It was super kind of my friend to do this for me because I always wished to be a pet owner. It didn't matter what pet, I just want to cherish one. My friend is a dog owner but thought that a betta fish would be acceptable for my parents(they don't like pets orz), and that it would be 'easy' enough for me to raise. I believe she bought a .5 gallon tank, pellets, and a water conditioner. At first I really didn't know what do with him. I thought about giving it away, but after examining it closely, he didn't look healthy at all. That made me change my decision because I want him to grow and live properly. I felt like it's my responsibility to raise it to the best of my abilities. Plus, he's very beautiful.

So far I've fed it everyday and cleaned the water once, but I've just started to do my research today. I'm so horrified with all the bad conditions it's in, especially that he's an elephant ear. From what I've read, it's the new bad big fin trend(?). I took some pics of him before I realized that plastic plants are terrible for him(I took it out). That's why his fins are getting shredding/cut/damaged...I'm so sorry my betta boy OTL

I will be doing my shopping starting tomorrow. It seems that it's essential to have a (at least) 2 gallon tank. I think I can fit a 5-gallon tank at my place if that's the best for him. Do you guys think an acrylic or glass would be better? Then I would need a filter and heater(it's so cold here...I'm so sorry for hurting him). Would you guys recommend some heaters and filters? The recommended ones I found from this forum are unavailable in many places I checked. Plants would be a nice touch. What particular ones do you recommend?

If there's anymore super essential items I've missed, please help out. I will buy them in stores asap while the rest of the items I'll buy them online. I just really hope it doesn't die soon. OTL

It doesn't help that I've never raised another living being. ><; Thank you for your time! This community looks wonderful!
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Last edited by toda; 01-01-2013 at 05:31 AM.
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Old 01-01-2013, 08:41 AM   #2 
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Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Poconos,PA
Hi! Welcome to the site and Happy New Year! Congrats on deciding to keep your betta. He's a beauty and they can be lots of fun. I too am new to the betta world. I just got my betta on christmas eve. I bought a 1gal tank w/filter trusting the info the pet store gave me and ended up back in the store a few days later, after doing my research, to buy everything else he needed that the pet store ppl failed to tell me. I don't know much about betta illness yet but I can help out as far as tanks and stuff :)

I upgraded my guy, Leonard a VT, to a 5.5 gal tank with a filter and 50W heater by aqueaon.

I think most tanks are glass. I would recommend buying a kit. You need a lid for your tank and buying it separately the lid will cost almost as much as the tank if you buy the hood w/light.

This is what I purchased
along with this heater

From what I have read 2.5 gal is the minimum. I think the general saying here is Bigger is better. If 5 gal is too big for you, you could always go with a 3.5g and then you would only need a 25w heater.

As far as plants...some ppl do live plants. Me personally I'm not ready to try that yet so I got silk plants. My guy loves them and they're soft so they don't cut his fins.

At the end of it all it comes down to personal preference and what works best for your budget. Good luck !
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Old 01-01-2013, 08:42 AM   #3 
Sena Hansler
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: CANADA
Hey! I like my big eater betta

First off, I feel the 0.5 is too small. Try finding a 2.5 gallon, since it is easier to heat. That's right - heat! Betta fish are tropical. He will perk up and look healthier once he has a heater. I recommend an adjustable heater, to get the water to a stable temperature of 78-80 degrees Fahrenheit.

Right now, you need to clean the tank every day. Ammonia is lethal to fish... Which is why a 0.5 won't do you any good especially if you become busy and are unable to clean every day.

Food: pellets are better than flakes. Less messy, more nutrients, and does not cause SBD (swim bladder disorder) as much. And easier to count how many you are feeding. Try finding some variety for your fella. I feed my bettas thawed bloodworms, which you can find in pet or fish stores in your area.

You don't really need a filter, as some bettas are ushed around by it and can become stressed. If you get a 5 gallon, I would say a filter would be fine if you can baffle it... Plus then you can cycle the tank, making it easier on you.

Hardy live plants: moss ball, java fern, Anubias, duck weed... Otherwise go for silk and fabric plants since they are less likely to snag your fish's fins, like plastic can.
Hope that kinda helped ^_^
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Old 01-01-2013, 08:51 AM   #4 
Join Date: Jul 2010
He is beautiful! What a great friend! He is a marble betta, which means his color will change over time. He will probably get more blue. That's natural so don't worry when it happens.
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Old 01-01-2013, 06:19 PM   #5 
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: USA
Thank you for the warm welcome! I realized that I told my situation but didn't introduce myself properly. I guess I'm kind panicking because I wasn't mental or physically prepared to take care of a betta all the infos I've been reading on sound so complicated to me. lol;

luvmybetta21- Thank you for all the info! I live near a petsmart, so I'll head over there. Thank you for the recommended brands since I'm most confused about which to buy. I'll look into them in person. I think I read your post about your fish and that tank looks awesome!

sena hanslar- Thank you for the advices! I'll do my best to take care of him as I transfer him to a bigger environment. I got a marimo as a gift from another friend, and I put them in together. Hopefully they're ok together? lol

registereduser- Thank you! Interesting, that store container my friend gave me says 'elephant ear male' so I just assumed that it's just that. Lol All bettas are beautiful, so it's nice to know it could be a marble betta.
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Old 01-01-2013, 06:35 PM   #6 
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Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Iowa, USA
Hi and welcome to the forum, I can't recommend any heaters or filters but I will tell you I like moneywort as a plant because it's easy and looks nice in my opinion, also you don't need a filter as long as you can do a 10% water change a week if you get a 5 gallon, which I would recommend. And you're betta is beautiful and he is an elephant ear marble is just a type of coloring.
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Old 01-01-2013, 08:09 PM   #7 
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Join Date: Nov 2012
Welcome to the forum! Your elephant ear (EE) marble betta is adorable!

Since you live near Petsmart, here are a few options for you:

Tanks: Either glass or acrylic is OK. "Kits" are more expensive, but usually come with a hood/lid and a filter. Filters are optional for bettas as they breathe air, but it will help keep the water clean. If you use a filter, you'll need to adjust the flow so it doesn't push him around....

If you decide not to go with a kit, you can pick up a 3 gallon critter keeper (acrylic tank) with a lid for about $16, or a 5 gallon glass tank (probably without a lid) for about $15. You do need a lid or hood over the tank though, since bettas are really good jumpers!

Heater: No matter what type of tank you get, you'll need a heater (unless your house is around 80F year round). A lot of people recommend ones that have adjustable temperature controls. I use ones that are preset, and so far, I haven't had any issues with them - but I do see how having an adjustable one would be useful - if my guys get sick, I'd be able to raise/lower the temp (depending on what's wrong with them). The preset ones won't allow you to do that.

Conditioner: Water conditioner is a 'must have.' There are a lot of different types, but you need one removes chorine and chloramine, at a minimum. A lot of people here recommend Prime conditioner, which helps neutralize ammonia, too.... I use the Top Fin (Petsmart brand) conditioner which removes chlorine/chloramine - I do frequent water changes and test for ammonia, so I'm not worried about that building up in the tank. I also have API Stress Coat, which contains aloe and helps promote healing. (One of my guys bites his tail, and I don't want it to get infected.)

Food: Pellets are the way to go. From what I've seen on this site, two brands are highly recommended: New Life Spectrum (NLS) and Omega One Betta Buffet. I wasn't able to get NLS at Petsmart, but my local store does carry Omega One, so I feed my guys this. There are a lot of different feeding 'strategies,' but basically, you should feed him about 4-6 pellets per day. Ideally, I try to give my guys 2-3 pellets, twice a day.

Plants: The marimo moss ball is perfect for his tank! Silk plants are good, as they're less likely to tear his fins. If you opt to use plastic, make sure they pass the 'panty hose' test: run the panty hose over them. If they snag, don't use them, as the sharp edges could just as easily snag your fish's fins. If you want to go with live plants, there are a lot of options. (I'll let the plant experts tackle those questions!)

Water changes: The size of your tank, and whether or not you have a filter and/or live plants will affect how frequently you need to do water changes. It's important to keep up with these though, as you don't want ammonia building up in the tank. Check out OldFishLady's (OFL's) recommendations on water changes. The thread is stickied at the top of the forum.

Again, welcome!

Last edited by LittleBlueFishlets; 01-01-2013 at 08:15 PM.
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Old 01-03-2013, 01:45 PM   #8 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: USA
Welcome to the forum and to the wonderful world of Betta keeping....

Nice to meet you...

Be sure and post questions in the proper section for best response from our members and by starting a new thread we can share and learn from each other.
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