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Old 04-04-2013, 10:25 AM   #1 
Channa
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Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: I currently live at the University
New Here, and I've Come with Questions :)

hello! my name is Channa, and I have a beautiful Betta named Donatello.

I've had him since September, and he is my first fish. I am still fairly new to this; but I can say that I love that fish with the same enthusiasm as a five year old with their first puppy. With this enthusiasm comes constant worrying, so I was hoping that you lovely members could give me some advice?

I keep him in a 1 gallon tank with a suitable filter. I also have an airstone in there that he LOVES to sit on. I have a couple plastic plants (all tested to make sure that they are betta safe) and a floaty jelly fish and a decoration. I keep the room Im in really warm so that the water is also very warm. I feed him a combination of Nutrifin Flakes, Omega One flakes, and bloodworms.

QUESTIONS:

1. Am I feeding him the right things? Should I add anything to his diet? He has a really good appetite and is very active. He loves to try new food, so I make sure to change up what he eats every day so he doesnt get bored.

2. Every so often his fins get tattered. I'm never sure how as I never see it happen (maybe flaring?), I keep checking the plants... What can I do about that, or to help it heal faster? I keep the water very very clean, is there anything I can add to the water, or add to his diet to help him heal faster? As I type this his swimming around with tattered fins, something he did to them last night I guess.

3. His tail is curled. I think I bought him with a slightly curled tail, and it hasnt straightened. Is it a problem? Again, how can I fix it?

4. LAST QUESTION: he loves the filter. Its on really low, and he keeps swimming up to it and facing the tiny current, or putting his head right on the lip of the filter. He finally progressed to swimming so that he is cradled right in the mouth of the filter or right INTO the filter. Is this okay? Why does he do this?

I have posted some pictures of him, I just took them today. They arn't the best quality, but I thought it should give you something to work with.

Thanks for reading!
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Old 04-04-2013, 11:56 AM   #2 
Xeek
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1. Am I feeding him the right things? Should I add anything to his diet? He has a really good appetite and is very active. He loves to try new food, so I make sure to change up what he eats every day so he doesnt get bored.

I would avoid flakes with bettas. I have friends that started with that and ended up with constipated bettas, one had dropsy. Betta pellets are a good choice, but they need a variety of food. Blood worms are good (just one and not every day!). They also will love brine shrimp if you can find some frozen. That will give them fiber (insect parts have that). A really good option is flightless (wingless) fruit flies, live ones. Main thing is variety and fiber. Many get away with just the betta pellets and nothing else though. The wingless fruit flies can be found at Petco, they come in just a small jar. I hate insects, but you can easily get some tweezers to serve them with and not have to touch them. These flies do not fly so don't worry about it. Drop them on the surface (1) and your betta will enjoy it. That is very close to what they eat in the wild. My female bettas have also been known to eat any bug that drops into the tank as the tank is near a window. I usually have the top on so they don't get this to enjoy often, but they love live food the most!

2. Every so often his fins get tattered.

Even if those plants are betta tested I would not use plastic plants. I only keep real plants in my tanks. If you can go by a Petco or Petsmart and get a single anubias, he would love that! The large leaves are great resting spots and my bettas often enjoy hanging out under the leaves, an anubias will live well without any special care and they aren't in need of too much light. If you don't do a real plant get silk ones. The plastic plants you have there look like the same ones I used to have and since got rid of. There is something you can put in the water to help his fins but I do not remember what it was, maybe someone else can chime in.

3. His tail is curled.

I'm not sure that I would worry much about that.

4. LAST QUESTION: he loves the filter.

My bettas have different likes and dislikes. My males HATE CURRENT! Now a very small current some of my bettas actually enjoy! They're very curious animals. My small female betta (Wookie) enjoys high current. I'm not sure why, but she is smaller than the other females I have and is a extremely good swimmer. She seems to handle the current as well as my corys. My male bettas cannot swim in current, it just pushes them around. Large fins make for poor swimmers. One of my males has a small current near the filter (which I baffled some with mesh), he likes to swim up to it. I imagine he feels a bit of it and it's somewhat entertaining to him. All of them have unique personalities.

Last edited by Xeek; 04-04-2013 at 11:59 AM.
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Old 04-04-2013, 01:29 PM   #3 
VJM
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Do you have a liquid test kit (not strips) in order to check the water? You didn't mention your water change schedule, so what follows is just a guess.

In a 1 gallon tank, it is VERY easy to get high levels of ammonia very quickly. There are certainly people who successfully keep their bettas in 1 gallon homes, but you really have to keep on top of water quality.

Fin problems are frequently tail biting, environmental damage, or fin rot. Without knowing your water change schedule and methods, it is hard to rule out issues from ammonia.

Sounds like you love your baby very much, and he sure is beautiful!

Let us know some more details and maybe they will shed some light on the problem.
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Old 04-04-2013, 02:09 PM   #4 
waterdog
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Personally I would ditch the plastic plants and get either silk or real. I tend to think that is your fin problem. You say they are tested betta safe, but I still have a weeks pay that bets they are the fin problem.
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Old 04-04-2013, 02:45 PM   #5 
Blue Fish
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One other thing, if you can, you might really consider getting him a bigger tank. Bettas can be happy in a 1 g, but most are much happier in a bigger space. Your guy looks pretty big, and you mentioned he was curious. More space means more room to swim and more opportunities to "do their thing" than a smaller tank.

Since you've already got the filter, you can upgrade to a 2.5 or 5 gallon plain tank at walmart/petco/petsmart for about 7-12$, so not much monetary outlay for something that will really make his life better. :) Also, you can cycle a bigger tank, which is great for your fish and makes your life easier since you won't have to do water changes nearly so often. :) Don't get caught up into buying the kits, they've got stuff in them you don't need, and they end up costing quite a bit more than just a plain tank that does the same job.

Also, I know that you are living at the University, but it seems that most universities allow up to 5g's for aquariums. Just check with your dorm. :) (They used to allow 10, but I've read on here from others that they've lowered that a bit over the last several years since my friend kept fish at school.)

Also, you said your room was warm, but do you have a thermometer for testing his water? Sometimes you may feel warm, but the tank is still too cold. (I've got that problem in my house.) If he's under 75 degrees, he needs a heater. :) There is much debate on heaters, and the best ones are adjustable, but if you're in a monetary pinch, and since you keep your room warm *already*, the little $15 tetra heaters at walmart will work great for you. :) Basically, these heaters heat the water to about 5 degrees above room temp. So, if you live in a cold area or if your ambient temp is cooler, they can have some trouble heating. But, if you're ambient temp is warmer and you're using them in a smaller tank, they keep the water warm enough to keep the fish happy. :) Oh, and they're safe for a 2.5 g, I've used them that way in my quarantine tanks and never had a problem. :)

He's a cute guy! :)
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Old 04-04-2013, 03:35 PM   #6 
Channa
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Location: I currently live at the University
Thanks for all of the replies.

I will go up tommorow and check out some real plants to put into his tank. I rubbed pantyhose on these plastic Betta ones, and it didnt snag; but if thats what you think the problem is then I wont chance it with him :)

Also, I change the water (about 90% of it) once a week. OR if I notice that there is more poop or even a few flakes I didnt pick out in time sitting around the bottom then I change it about 50% twice that week. I make sure to pick out any food that he doesnt eat as soon as he swims away, as to keep the water clean.

Thanks for the compliments on him! He gew over twice what he was in the pet store over this year in body mass alone!
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Old 04-04-2013, 04:01 PM   #7 
bettacrazygirl86
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It might be the fake plants that are tattering his tail. It really doesn't take much to do it, and typically, if I don't like the feel of the fake plant, I don't buy it.

Flakes aren't the best for bettas, even if they say they're betta flakes. Pellets are best, in my opinion. I feed my bettas 6 pellets a day, divided into two meals. They get a weekly freeze dried bloodworm or two too.

What size is his tank? I don't know if you mentioned it or not. I didn't see it. Depending on the size, you could do different water changes and percentages. If the tank is small (3 gallons or less, typically), you could get a turkey baster to pick the food and poo out with. I had 3 gallon tanks before I upgraded, and I changed the water 50% on Mondays and 100% on Fridays. It was usually a bit more than 50% though, I must admit, but it was still pretty close.

I don't see a problem with him liking the filter. My girl betta hates the filter current, but my male likes it and he swims against it all the time. He likes to do laps around the heater and against the filter current for like, 5 minutes straight before he decides to go do something else. At least he isn't bored, right? :)

If you choose to get live plants, you'll need a special kind of light bulb. Typically the rule is 6500k color temperature and 2 watts per gallon. Walmart has mini florescent bulbs that are 6500k and 10 watts. They're about $5. Corkscrew Val plants are pretty, and so are Water Wisteria. :) I have those, and my bettas love them.
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