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Old 01-09-2013, 03:27 AM   #1 
BrittanyAndIroh
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Question My first Betta...some questions...

Hey guys, I just recently got my first Betta. My younger brother bought him for my 2year old daughter for Christmas(who does that?!), and while I was sketchy at first I fell in love with my fish after only having his tank set up for an hour. But as he is my first ever Betta (first ever fish, for that matter) I have a few questions

  • How often should I be changing his water? He is in a 1gal at the moment until I try to find space to put a bigger tank. But if I'm being honest, I love having him at my computer desk. This is where I spend most of my time, and I like the keeping company with him so often. I am at the moment changing his water every Wednesday, should it be more often?
  • Is room temperature the right temperature for his water?
  • What should he be eating? Right now he's eating TetraBetta floating mini pellets. Is that alright? It says to give him 3-4 pellets twice a day. Is that over-feeding?
  • He has just gone to work on his first bubble nest(I can't even explain how much I feel like a proud mom over this ). Should I feel bad for having to destroy it when I change his water later?
  • And last, but not least; Flaring. I exercise him a few times a week, for 1-2 mins at a time. Which I heard is a healthy amount. But the thing is, he only ever flares his gills. He'll stretch out the fin on his underside a little, but not much at all, and never his tail. Normal? Should I be concerned about something?
Sorry this post is so crazy long, but I've grown weirdly attached to Iroh, so I figured I should double check that I'm doing everything I can to keep him healthy.
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Old 01-09-2013, 05:33 AM   #2 
Julio1983
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Wow those are like some of my questions, I'm new to keeping bettas also.

The only question I can answer is that you will need to get a heather for his tank as the water has to stay at a certain temp for him to stay active and healthy.

Sorry I can't answe any more questions... You really have come to the right place though everyone here is very helpful :)
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Old 01-09-2013, 05:55 AM   #3 
Phaydra
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I recommend reading this for water change questions. It will tell you all you need to know now and later when you upgrade tanks.
http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=115758

I keep all my Bettas near my desk or my husband's desk as that is where we spend most our time.
76 to 80 is where your tank temp should be. If it stays there from room temp then it is fine.
Pellets with a bi monthly treat of frozen brine shrimp and blood worms is my recommendation for food. I feed shrimp once the first two weeks of the month then blood worms once the last two week of the month.
I keep air stones, snails in tank, and floating plants for simulation in my tanks. You will want to wait till you upgrade for snails. I keep a mirror on hand as well.
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Old 01-09-2013, 09:46 AM   #4 
DragonFish
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Hey there, welcome to the forum and wonderful world of betta keeping! :)
Sounds like you've already discovered what wonderful and fantastic little pets these guys can be! Beware! They're also VERY addicting....almost like potato chips, you can't ever have just one! ;)

Haha, anyway....to answer your questions...

A 1 gallon is pretty small. Alright for a temp home, QT, or in special cases a heavy finned male or disabled fish....but IMO/E for most normal healthy bettas that extra 1/1.5 gallons even really does make a difference.
Personally, I would recommend an upgrade in he near future...if you go with something 2-3 gallons you could probably sill fit it on your desk. For the most part, the footprints of most of those tanks aren't too much larger.
For water changes....a 1 gallon is going to get dirty and start building up harmful ammonia quickly, so based on my own experience I would recommend three water changes per week; 2 50-70%s and 1 100% as regular maintenance.

Honestly, I would recommend a heater.....unless the room you keep him in stays in the low/mid-80s at least(water is always a little cooler then room temp)and fluctuates no more then a couple degrees day-night/seasonally then you need a heater, if only to keep the water at a stable temperature as frequent fluctuations of more then a couple degrees can be stressful.
You want to keep the water at at the very least 76 degrees F, but 78-81 is a little more ideal. I would suggest a good adjustable heater, those present and 'pad' like heaters tend to be unreliable and often under/over heat your tank.
A good adjustable 25 watt heater will get you up to 5 gallons when you decide to upgrade, though those can be difficult to locate in stores sadly so you may need to order online. Hydor THEOs you can get on Amazon, I've heard nothing but wonderful things about them. I do believe here is also The Elite 50 watt, which states its a present heater but I've heard is actually adjustable, and is really no different from their 25 watt(which last I checked they had stopped selling)on Amazon also....I haven't checked recently though, so I'm not sure.

As for food...TetraBetta is really quite a low-quality pellet, lots of all kinds of fillers in there. I would recommend picking up a higher quality pellet like New Life Spectrum Betta(or Small Fish)Formula which has more meats and meaty proteins, which is much better for a carnivorous fish like a betta. It also includes garlic(which is one of my favorite things about it), which entices the appetite and I believe also has some anti-parasitic properties.
Here is a nice little thread that explains a little better what to look for in a commercial pellet food(they use Omega One as an example, but there has been a lot of controversy over the brand lately so I'm hesitant to recommend it): http://www.bettafish.com/showthread....99#post1263699
With NLS pellets, I would suggest feeding 3-4 pellets twice per day, supplementing a meal 1-3 times a week with frozen foods like brine shrimp and blood worms for a little variety. If you can get your hands on some live foods, like mosquito larvae, blood worms, brine shrimp, or even flightless fruit flies those would also be good to feed as well.

Nah, don't feel bad for destroying his nest.....hes not really going to miss it, lol. Nesting an instinctual behavior, just something they do when they're at the age to breed. Probably after you destroy it, he'll make another one anyway....though if he doesn't don't be alarmed. Its all about the personality of the fish, some nest all the time, some never nest....and some nest a few times and then stop. Just depends on the fish. ;)

In the exercise/flaring department....that all sounds find to me, both your schedule, and how he flares. Individual personality plays a part here too....some bettas are a lot more enthusiastic about flaring and the mirror then others, some will only flare a certain objects....and some could care less about flaring period. It just depends is all. ;)
Also, since you don't have a heater, hes probably a little cold and not quite as enthusiastic. It might change once you get him a heater. ;)

Lets see....I think I covered everything...xD Hope I could help! Good luck! And I adore your guys name by he way. ;)
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Old 01-09-2013, 02:37 PM   #5 
OrangeAugust
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Looks like all your questions got answered. One little note on the flaring- my betta, Fishie, was in a 1 gallon when I first got him, for about a month. I didn't know whether he was a halfmoon or super delta because when he flared, he only flared his face- not his fins. But when I moved him to the 5 gallon, it was as if he finally had the room to stretch out, and he would flare his fins whenever he flared, and that's when I was able to see that he's a halfmoon. So maybe he doesn't flare because he feels like he doesn't have enough space. Or he could just be really chill. Some bettas just don't flare. I have another betta who also only flares his face, but he was upgraded to a divided 10 gallon and he still doesn't flare his fins. I started exercising him with a mirror just last week, so maybe he'll start fully flaring more often. So it could be just your fish's personality, or it could be the smaller space.
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Old 01-10-2013, 05:08 PM   #6 
BrittanyAndIroh
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Wow, thanks so much guys. Just a few sub questions, then...
Should I wait to get a heater until I put him in a bigger tank? It'll probably be a week to a week and a half from now.
And where can I get the brine shrimp and blood worms?
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Old 01-10-2013, 07:13 PM   #7 
Rosso1011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrittanyAndIroh View Post
Wow, thanks so much guys. Just a few sub questions, then...
Should I wait to get a heater until I put him in a bigger tank? It'll probably be a week to a week and a half from now.
And where can I get the brine shrimp and blood worms?
There are other ways you can heat the tank without using a heater and a heater is not necessarily needed in a one gallon. Sometimes, heaters can cause the water temperature to fluctuate up and down in smaller tanks, which is not healthy for your Betta. I've heard of people keeping their bettas in warm, stable areas of their residences or using blankets wrapped around the tank (not sure of all the details there) to help keep the tanks warmer. I just hope you have a thermometer to help monitor the water temp. in the Bettas tank.

Brine shrimp and blood worms can be found in most pet shops. You will want to try to find the frozen variety (just ask), as they are better quality than freeze-dried.
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Old 01-10-2013, 08:15 PM   #8 
DragonFish
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While its true a smaller volume of water like a 1 gallon is more difficult to heat stably, so long as you have a good reliable adjustable heater(probably no more then 25 watts however)you should be able to heat it alright. It is a little more risky then heating something even a gallon or two larger, but it IS doable, plenty of people have done it successfully. Just keep an eye on things with a little glass in-tank thermometer(I knew I forgot to mention something in my first post....always monitor temps with a thermometer! The thermostats on adjustable heaters tend to be a little off)and don't use any present/pad-like/non-adjustable heaters as they run a bigger risk for over-heating such a small volume of water.

With that said....to answer your question, it really depends. If you plan on upgrading to something more in the 2-3 gallon range, then you could go ahead and order/pick up a 25 watt heater and stick it in your 1 gallon for now, then just move it when you upgrade. If you're thinking maybe you'd want to go for more the 4-10 gallon range, then I'd say go ahead and wait and pick up a 50 watt(though a 25 watt could also work for something 4-5 gallons)heater when you upgrade and just go ahead and, as Rosso suggested, just try and keep the 1 gallon in a warm area of the house(If you have a shelf in a warmer room you can keep him on, that should keep his temp a little more stable)and maybe wrap a towel or blanket around his tank at night when it gets the coldest for the next couple of weeks.
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Old 01-10-2013, 09:08 PM   #9 
AyalaCookiejar
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IMO the 25watt Hydor Theo heater is worth the wait even if you have to purchase it online. I don't think the temporary room temp will hurt him much, since he's likely been at room temp for awhile now, in the pet store and such, although a heater IS needed (as well as a thermometer) and it will make him very happy. It's important to remember that heating the water too quickly could cause more issues than not heating it at all. The temp needs adjusted gradually... Maybe even longer than 24hours would be needed.

DragonFish has given you some great advice. I love my Hydor Theo heaters and my Seachem Prime conditioner and my bettas love their Omega One and New Life Spectrum pellets... And they DEFINITELY loved their upgrade to larger 5 gallon heated tanks! I've spent a lot of money on my boys and they were well worth it, but beware... Bettas are addicting! I had one when I joined a month and a half ago and now I have 2 males, three girls on the way and four tanks, plus all the necessary supplies for live plants. :)
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Old 01-11-2013, 04:26 AM   #10 
BrittanyAndIroh
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Thanks for the advice, guys. I think I'll wait on getting him a heater as I'll be buying his new tank on friday. He's getting a 3.5gal. It seems a little big for just this little guy, but I figured if I'm gonna upgrade him, I might as well give him the presidential suite. As he sits right now, he's right above a heat vent in my house, so I think that'll keep him relatively warm for the time being. Since I am upgrading him to a bigger tank, can i get some decoration recommendations? Right now he has a plastic (fairly soft) plant that he seems fond of, but he likes to swim through it and I'm so paranoid of him tearing a fin. How much up keep do live plants actually require? What are some good plants (artificial or live) for him to rest in/on?
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