Betta Fish Care  
Go Back   Betta Fish and Betta Fish Care > Betta Fish Care
Check out the eBook Betta Fish Care Made Easy
betta fish
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 01-19-2013, 09:02 PM   #1 
lf0210
New Member
 
lf0210's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Exclamation Help for a Newbie?

I have recently rescued my first and new Betta fish, Skittle, from Walmart. I'm worried about his health and things I can do to prevent against his demise. Currently all I have is a 1/2 gallon tank, with some BettaMin flake food and pebbles along the bottom of the tank.
I've been hearing that the fish like the plants for sleep and fun, but I'm not sure what kind to get, if they have to be real, etc. Also, about the water chemicals you add to keep it alive.
Skittle's fins aren't nearly as bright as others, and slightly... sag? Because of the grimy water he was in at Walmart, I'm worried about his health and if there is anything I can do to keep him safe and healthy, let alone alive.
Any advice from some pros'?
lf0210 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-19-2013, 09:15 PM   #2 
Caii
New Member
 
Caii's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Near San Antonio, Texas
Having just rescued my betta, Bo, from a bad owner just a couple of days ago, I'm by no means a pro! However, I've learned quite a lot from the good people here, and from what I've experienced so far...

In terms of space, larger really does make a hugely better difference in a betta's health: I just upgraded to a 2.5 gal from Craigslist. The temperature is more stable when there's more water, and too much temperature fluctuation can cause the poor fish a lot of stress. As per food, protein-based pellets are the best. I've heard that flakes are no good, even when they say 'betta' on them!

I just got Bo a live plant today from PetSmart for $8- it's an Anubias Nana. Beautiful and healthy, it doesn't require a lot of light and it's already helping Bo relax. Live plants are supposed to be better because they help alleviate ammonia levels in the water and because they provide more oxygen! (If you must get fake, though, make sure they're silk or equally as sotf as not to damage the betta's fins!)

As "chemicals", I think you're referring to water conditioner! This makes new water safe for betta fish by removing chlorine and other bad stuff... it's a non-negotiable purchase! I use Tetra Betta Safe, though in all honesty I'm not sure if it's the best...

Get a thermometer too! If the water's warm enough for your tropical friend, perhaps he'll heal better and faster. I have Top Fin's Floating Thermometer that also sticks to the side via a sucker cup: $2.99 at PetSmart and amazing!

Once again, I'm just a beginner as well, but I hope that you and Skittles can lead a long healthy and happy life together. Take care and good luck!

Sincerely,
Bo and Caii
Caii is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-19-2013, 09:20 PM   #3 
Laki
Member
 
Laki's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: St. John's NL
Hi and welcome to the site!! You came to the right place.
I bought my first hobby betta with a "starter" .5g tank and betta flakes too. My fish was fine in that for a few months until I found this site.
To improve the life of your Skittles, you will want a tank that is at LEAST 1g. And you will need a heater to make the water warm and steady to about 78-79F. A thermomter will become handy for this.
Secondly, for his plant- you can buy a silk plant (not those grotesque thin plastic ones) and just place it in the tank. He can swim around it and rest on it and it will make his tank look more natural. Bettas like to hide sometimes so a small terracotta flower pot can be added.
In a 1g tank you do not want to add too many things for decorations because they will take swimming space away from your fish.

Finally, his fins are "drooping" and his color is not bright because his water is probably too cold. Trust me, a heater is a small investment and necessary for betta life. You will see an immediate change.

For health, check his external body. Check for black/red edges on his fins or red inflamed gills. Check to see he swims fine and can flare, you can acheive this by showing him a mirror. Only let him see the mirror for 2 minutes, and take it away again.

Good luck!! I know this new-pet anxiety will loosen up soon. This site has a good community of people :)
Laki is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-19-2013, 09:24 PM   #4 
veggiegirl
Member
 
veggiegirl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Queensland, Australia
Hey there,

Congrats on your rescue As soon as you can afford it your boy really needs at least a 2.5 gallon tank to remain healthy long term. Until then regular water changes are the key to success. A tank that size would need 100% water changes every 2-3 days.

It isn't essential to have a plant in your bettas tank however it will make him feel more secure and keep him happy. Artificial plants are fine but avoid the plastic ones as they tear betta fins and scratch their sides so stick to live or silk plants. If you decide on live then something simple like Java Fern are a good plant to keep. They require little care and can survive without artificial lighting.

As soon as you get your larger tank the first thing you need to buy your boy is a heater. Bettas are tropical fish and cannot tolerate temperature fluctuations as they cause extreme stress to the fish and compromise their immune system putting them at risk of all sorts of terrible and sometimes fatal diseases. The only way to prevent this from happening is to provide a constant temperature for your fish (26 degrees Celsius being ideal) and the only way to achieve this is with a fish tank heater with a thermostat.

Bettas also require filters, box filters are ideal because you can adjust the flow of air, bettas are not the best swimmer because their fins are so heavy and large which means that they do not like a strong current in the water.

Another extremely important thing you need to purchase is water conditioner which removes toxic chlorine and heavy metals from the water making it safe for your fish, this is an essential thing to have in order for your fish to survive.

It is also good to have a PH test kit because too high or too low PH can permanently damage your fish.

Hope this info is some help for you, keep us posted on how he is doing
veggiegirl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-19-2013, 09:36 PM   #5 
Laki
Member
 
Laki's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: St. John's NL
Opinions differ but I would not use a filter for a betta in a tank smaller than 5g. The frequent water changes twice weekly to combat ammonia alone would not be worth running a filter. A filter does not really clean the water, it just makes people assume less water changes are necessary. A tank smaller than 5g is hard to keep a stable cycle in so a filter is not necessary.
Laki is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-19-2013, 09:53 PM   #6 
veggiegirl
Member
 
veggiegirl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Queensland, Australia
Hey there,

I agree a small tank is better without a filter but if you decided to go for something bigger then I would use one because they do help with water quality, however this does not mean that they are a water change substitute.
veggiegirl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-19-2013, 10:11 PM   #7 
lf0210
New Member
 
lf0210's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by Caii View Post
Having just rescued my betta, Bo, from a bad owner just a couple of days ago, I'm by no means a pro! However, I've learned quite a lot from the good people here, and from what I've experienced so far...

In terms of space, larger really does make a hugely better difference in a betta's health: I just upgraded to a 2.5 gal from Craigslist. The temperature is more stable when there's more water, and too much temperature fluctuation can cause the poor fish a lot of stress. As per food, protein-based pellets are the best. I've heard that flakes are no good, even when they say 'betta' on them!

I just got Bo a live plant today from PetSmart for $8- it's an Anubias Nana. Beautiful and healthy, it doesn't require a lot of light and it's already helping Bo relax. Live plants are supposed to be better because they help alleviate ammonia levels in the water and because they provide more oxygen! (If you must get fake, though, make sure they're silk or equally as sotf as not to damage the betta's fins!)

As "chemicals", I think you're referring to water conditioner! This makes new water safe for betta fish by removing chlorine and other bad stuff... it's a non-negotiable purchase! I use Tetra Betta Safe, though in all honesty I'm not sure if it's the best...

Get a thermometer too! If the water's warm enough for your tropical friend, perhaps he'll heal better and faster. I have Top Fin's Floating Thermometer that also sticks to the side via a sucker cup: $2.99 at PetSmart and amazing!

Once again, I'm just a beginner as well, but I hope that you and Skittles can lead a long healthy and happy life together. Take care and good luck!

Sincerely,
Bo and Caii
Thank you so very much! I'll try to find a heater soon, and hopefully a bigger tank, at least to one gallon. Do you think theres anything I can do to keep Skittle warm till then?
lf0210 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-19-2013, 11:33 PM   #8 
gbose
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
If0210:

I would suggest a 2.5 - 3G tank, rather than a 1G. To keep him warm until you get a heater, maybe just keep him in a room where the heating is turned up. It isn't as good as a heater -- bettas like high 70's and few rooms are kept at that level. But he'll be OK for a while.

Good luck!

Gbose
gbose is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-2013, 08:00 AM   #9 
lf0210
New Member
 
lf0210's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Laki View Post
Hi and welcome to the site!! You came to the right place.
I bought my first hobby betta with a "starter" .5g tank and betta flakes too. My fish was fine in that for a few months until I found this site.
To improve the life of your Skittles, you will want a tank that is at LEAST 1g. And you will need a heater to make the water warm and steady to about 78-79F. A thermomter will become handy for this.
Secondly, for his plant- you can buy a silk plant (not those grotesque thin plastic ones) and just place it in the tank. He can swim around it and rest on it and it will make his tank look more natural. Bettas like to hide sometimes so a small terracotta flower pot can be added.
In a 1g tank you do not want to add too many things for decorations because they will take swimming space away from your fish.

Finally, his fins are "drooping" and his color is not bright because his water is probably too cold. Trust me, a heater is a small investment and necessary for betta life. You will see an immediate change.

For health, check his external body. Check for black/red edges on his fins or red inflamed gills. Check to see he swims fine and can flare, you can acheive this by showing him a mirror. Only let him see the mirror for 2 minutes, and take it away again.

Good luck!! I know this new-pet anxiety will loosen up soon. This site has a good community of people :)
I attempted the flair test with the mirror, but it didn't really go so well. Skittle swam up, looked at it, his pelvic fin spread out, but them he just swam away. Thhat was pretty much it. ?
lf0210 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-2013, 08:31 AM   #10 
Laki
Member
 
Laki's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: St. John's NL
If you got a rise out of him at all then chances are, when the water is warm enough he will give you a full display :)

The others are right about the 2.5 g requirement, since I am a poor student with limited means I think it is okay to gradually upgrade your fish tank-tank :) I merely meant, 1g is bare minimum. Even then I would feel bad using it long term. No big deal, every one has different means and worldviews. Also, yes- a filter in a larger tank is ideal. As long as it is not a water change substitute nor disturbs the water surface too much. Bettas come from, and prefer, very still water.
Laki is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
betta, fish, health, newbie, worried

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Newbie in the forums, newbie to betta keeping AmayaSasaki Meet the Betta Keepers 4 02-12-2012 10:12 AM
Newbie.. Mikey1973 Meet the Betta Keepers 5 01-07-2012 07:46 PM
Help a newbie!!! LoveSGSE Breeding Betta Fish 24 08-27-2010 10:43 PM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:51 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.