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Old 02-06-2013, 05:16 PM   #1 
LoriKeet
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Question Betta Care Critique -- Looking for Feedback

Greetings,

I'm new to care taking for Bettas, and was hoping this experienced and knowledgable community would be as so kind as to give me a critique in regards to my current care and future considerations.

I'm afraid I don't have a lot to offer yet in regards to contributing to the community (I only have experience raising fancy rats and large dogs) but in time I hope to give back. :)

Betta

I have one half-moon, mostly black Betta male. His name is Luna, and I've had him for nearly two weeks now. He was purchased from Petsmart and seems a bit smaller than the other Bettas on display (still young, maybe?) He's active, has a healthy appetite, constantly looking outside the tank, has built a bubble nest.


Current Tank Set Up

I wasn't intending on buying a Betta when I went to the store, so his current set up is rather minimum. Here are his current specs:
  • 1 gallon desktop tank
  • No filter
  • Marina C10 Submersible Aquarium Heater (10 W, heats up to 2.5 gallons)
  • Stays within a temperature range of 74-78 degrees.
  • White gravel substrate
  • 1 hammock leaf
  • 2 live moss balls (was one, but broke off into two)
  • Adhesive thermometer


Maintenance

As I don't have a lot of experience with Bettas, I bought a book and read through it. From talking to others in the group, I've discovered that putting a half a tsp of salt in the water is a no-no, despite the book claiming that they have a reasonable salt tolerance. This is part of what's prompt me to get this critique.

Here's the current care regiment:
  • He gets 50% to 60% water change every week with the gravel vac pictured below
  • I get a gallon filled with conditioned water every two weeks from the petstore, that's what I use as oppose to water conditioner
  • I use a glass thermometer to make sure that the water is a good temperature before the change
  • He gets fed roughly 3 times a day; one to two flakes or blood worms each feeding



Future Plans

I'm interested in investing in a filtered, 5 to 5.5 gallon aquarium for my next paycheck. Here are the tanks I've been considering:

http://www.petco.com/product/12788/M...um%20Kit-12788

or

http://www.petsmart.com/product/inde...AvailInUS%2FNo

And, although expensive, I hear nothing but rave reviews about this particular heater:

http://www.petco.com/product/113622/...ed-_-Product_1

I have no idea what to look for as far as filters; I'm hoping the filters that come with the two kits listed above will suffice. I'm also going to be doing some research in regards to plants. My little fish enjoys hanging out above his heater like a perch, so I'm also thinking about buying him one of these for the bigger tank:

http://www.petsmart.com/product/inde...AvailInUS%2FNo


Thank you all for your time and feedback, I really appreciate it! :)
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Old 02-06-2013, 05:39 PM   #2 
AquaticGirl101
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I'm no expert, but if I were you, I would switch the food over to pellets, like the Omega or New Life Spectrum. I've heard flakes can lack in nutrients, and most bettas prefer pellets. And for the thermometer, I would get one with a suction cup that can be adhered on the inside of an aquarium because those ones that stick on the outside aren't always accurate and they can start measuring room temperature.
Once you get your 5 gallon aquarium, you will have to cycle it. I know there is a couple of stickies about it, they will help a lot! I believe they are in the Habitat and Accessories.... Also, the changing water temperature can be quite stressful for a betta, so its good you are getting a different heater. You want the water to stay at 78*F at the least. And only feed blood worms as a treat once a week. I think there is a metal piece in the betta hammock you own, and it could get rusty, so I would try to take the metal thing out.
But it seems like you are doing a pretty decent job so far with betta care! :) I hope that this helped you!
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Old 02-06-2013, 05:48 PM   #3 
Bombalurina
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Welcome! :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by LoriKeet View Post
Greetings,

I'm new to care taking for Bettas, and was hoping this experienced and knowledgable community would be as so kind as to give me a critique in regards to my current care and future considerations.

I'm afraid I don't have a lot to offer yet in regards to contributing to the community (I only have experience raising fancy rats and large dogs) but in time I hope to give back. :)
Don't worry, you'll learn fast. :) Tell me more about your rats! I'm also a ratter. :)

Betta

I have one half-moon, mostly black Betta male. His name is Luna, and I've had him for nearly two weeks now. He was purchased from Petsmart and seems a bit smaller than the other Bettas on display (still young, maybe?) He's active, has a healthy appetite, constantly looking outside the tank, has built a bubble nest.
He is STUNNING. I love coppers.


Current Tank Set Up

I wasn't intending on buying a Betta when I went to the store, so his current set up is rather minimum. Here are his current specs:
  • 1 gallon desktop tank It's the bare minimum, but it's doable and definitely better than being in a petshop. :)
  • No filter That's fine - in a small tank, a filter can sometimes be bad as it blows them around. Water changes a-plenty will make up for it. :)
  • Marina C10 Submersible Aquarium Heater (10 W, heats up to 2.5 gallons) Tick.
  • Stays within a temperature range of 74-78 degrees. That's good. It could afford to fluctuate less, but small tanks do that as part of their nature. :)
  • White gravel substrate
  • 1 hammock leaf
  • 2 live moss balls (was one, but broke off into two)
  • Adhesive thermometer Not as accurate as the glass ones that go inside the tank, but defnitely better than not having one. :)

Maintenance

As I don't have a lot of experience with Bettas, I bought a book and read through it. From talking to others in the group, I've discovered that putting a half a tsp of salt in the water is a no-no, despite the book claiming that they have a reasonable salt tolerance. This is part of what's prompt me to get this critique.
It's a bit scary when published books are inaccurate, hey? I have one telling me that bettas make ideal goldfish tankmates. Um...sure they do.

Here's the current care regiment:
  • He gets 50% to 60% water change every week with the gravel vac pictured below Because of the size of his tank/lack of plants/filtration, one 50% change and one 100% change is really needed for him. :)
  • I get a gallon filled with conditioned water every two weeks from the petstore, that's what I use as oppose to water conditioner In the long run, conditioner is going to be much, much cheaper. I'd suggest Prime. :)
  • I use a glass thermometer to make sure that the water is a good temperature before the change This makes you a much more dilligent owner than me. Keep up the good work!
  • He gets fed roughly 3 times a day; one to two flakes or blood worms each feeding If you can, switch him on to a pellet based diet. These are generally better than flakes. :) As for bloodworms, these are very fatty and can cause constipation or bloat, so give them as treats once or twice a week. :)


Future Plans

I'm interested in investing in a filtered, 5 to 5.5 gallon aquarium for my next paycheck. Here are the tanks I've been considering:

http://www.petco.com/product/12788/M...um%20Kit-12788

or

http://www.petsmart.com/product/inde...AvailInUS%2FNo

And, although expensive, I hear nothing but rave reviews about this particular heater:

http://www.petco.com/product/113622/...ed-_-Product_1

I'm in the wrong country to comment on these particular tanks/heaters, so I'll leave it to someone with experience of these brands. :)

I have no idea what to look for as far as filters; I'm hoping the filters that come with the two kits listed above will suffice. They should be fine. I'm also going to be doing some research in regards to plants. My little fish enjoys hanging out above his heater like a perch, so I'm also thinking about buying him one of these for the bigger tank:

http://www.petsmart.com/product/inde...AvailInUS%2FNo
Many people have these and love them. :)

Thank you all for your time and feedback, I really appreciate it! :)
One thing I would suggest for your tank is another hiding spot. Put in a clean mug or pot or something for him to hide in. :)

All in all it seems like you are doing a wonderful job and with your past animal experience, you definitely have the right attitude to his care. Best of luck! :)
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Old 02-06-2013, 05:51 PM   #4 
LoriKeet
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AquaticGirl101 View Post
I'm no expert, but if I were you, I would switch the food over to pellets, like the Omega or New Life Spectrum. I've heard flakes can lack in nutrients, and most bettas prefer pellets. And for the thermometer, I would get one with a suction cup that can be adhered on the inside of an aquarium because those ones that stick on the outside aren't always accurate and they can start measuring room temperature.
Once you get your 5 gallon aquarium, you will have to cycle it. I know there is a couple of stickies about it, they will help a lot! I believe they are in the Habitat and Accessories.... Also, the changing water temperature can be quite stressful for a betta, so its good you are getting a different heater. You want the water to stay at 78*F at the least. And only feed blood worms as a treat once a week. I think there is a metal piece in the betta hammock you own, and it could get rusty, so I would try to take the metal thing out.
But it seems like you are doing a pretty decent job so far with betta care! :) I hope that this helped you!
Thank you so much for the wonderful feedback. :) I will make sure to add pellets and a glass thermometer to the shopping list. I'll also make sure to limit the amount of bloodworms Luna gets in his feeding regiment.

I did hear about the metal piece in the hammock, if I can't get it out I'll probably just toss it as soon as he switches to a new aquarium. Thanks for the heads up.

As it currently stands, Luna doesn't have a filter in his current one gallon; is the once a week water change enough? I get his water checked once a week at the pet store down the street, they say the ammonia and nitrate levels check out fine. So long as they say it's fine, once a week is enough, yes?

Thank you again for taking the time to read through my post, I appreciate it immensely. :)
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Old 02-06-2013, 06:02 PM   #5 
LoriKeet
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bombalurina View Post
Welcome! :)

One thing I would suggest for your tank is another hiding spot. Put in a clean mug or pot or something for him to hide in. :)

All in all it seems like you are doing a wonderful job and with your past animal experience, you definitely have the right attitude to his care. Best of luck! :)
Thank you so much for the critique! :D You're feedback's terrific. You're a rat owner too? How excellent! My most recent pair passed away last year, and with my current job being so time intensive, I've decided to forego adopting more rats until later.

I use to have two standard females; a black and white hooded down under named Reowna and a blueish gray and white hooded named Shiloh. :) They were the best, I just loved them to pieces -- such characters!

You mentioned in your post that I should have a 50% and a 100% water change; is that all in the same week? Or should I do a 50% once a week and a 100% once a month?

Thanks again for the feedback!

P.s. - Wow, a Betta book would claim that they're ideal tank mates for Goldfish! What a rip, even as noob I know better than that!

Last edited by LoriKeet; 02-06-2013 at 06:10 PM.
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Old 02-06-2013, 06:07 PM   #6 
AquaticGirl101
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LoriKeet View Post
Thank you so much for the wonderful feedback. :) I will make sure to add pellets and a glass thermometer to the shopping list. I'll also make sure to limit the amount of bloodworms Luna gets in his feeding regiment.

I did hear about the metal piece in the hammock, if I can't get it out I'll probably just toss it as soon as he switches to a new aquarium. Thanks for the heads up.

As it currently stands, Luna doesn't have a filter in his current one gallon; is the once a week water change enough? I get his water checked once a week at the pet store down the street, they say the ammonia and nitrate levels check out fine. So long as they say it's fine, once a week is enough, yes?

Thank you again for taking the time to read through my post, I appreciate it immensely. :)
Your welcome!! ;) Oldfishlady has a water change recommendations sticky in the the betta care forum area. And Bombalurina is right, another hidey spot would be good! (1-4gal tank without a filter or live plants
Twice weekly-1-50% water only and 1-100%)
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Old 02-06-2013, 06:24 PM   #7 
LoriKeet
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AquaticGirl101 View Post
Your welcome!! ;) Oldfishlady has a water change recommendations sticky in the the betta care forum area. And Bombalurina is right, another hidey spot would be good! (1-4gal tank without a filter or live plants
Twice weekly-1-50% water only and 1-100%)
Excellent! I'll go check the sticky out. :D I'll also be sure to give him a little hidey spot. Thanks again!
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Old 02-06-2013, 06:48 PM   #8 
Bombalurina
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LoriKeet View Post
Thank you so much for the critique! :D You're feedback's terrific. *blush* You're a rat owner too? How excellent! My most recent pair passed away last year, and with my current job being so time intensive, I've decided to forego adopting more rats until later.

I use to have two standard females; a black and white hooded down under named Reowna and a blueish gray and white hooded named Shiloh. :) They were the best, I just loved them to pieces -- such characters!
I love blue rats! I have two black berk twins (Richelieu and D'Artagnan - their baby photos are my avatar) and two unrelated black hoodeds, Willoughby and Darcy, who are both rescues. I lost my oldest two boys, Jekyll and Hyde, last year. Having a rat die/putting them down is awful, no? :(

You mentioned in your post that I should have a 50% and a 100% water change; is that all in the same week? Or should I do a 50% once a week and a 100% once a month?
Both in the same week. A one gallon is such a small space that ammonia just builds up too quickly for a single change. :) Don't trust petshop testing - they tend to use strip tests, which are not that accurate. It's worth spending out for your own liquid test, like the API Master Kit. :)

Thanks again for the feedback!

P.s. - Wow, a Betta book would claim that they're ideal tank mates for Goldfish! What a rip, even as noob I know better than that!
I was so shocked when I saw a published book daring to suggest a betta-goldfish combination (in a 5 gal tank, no less!) that I nearly tore it up right there and then.

Hope to see more pictures of Luna soon! :)
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Old 02-06-2013, 06:58 PM   #9 
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i feed my bettas those same flakes. switching between flakes and pellets is what i do, and my boys and girls love it.

personally, i'd get more, taller plants. the moss balls are great, but HMs are picky, ime. all of mine have bitten their tails, and i've only been able to stop them with decoration switching..
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Old 02-06-2013, 07:04 PM   #10 
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I have mossballs in my tanks and my fish like them. I don't feed flakes because they're too messy and one of my fish got swimbladder problems after eating them.
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