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Old 02-06-2013, 09:27 PM   #1 
PFCniikcole
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Exclamation i am scared to..

Change my fishes water.. I don't want him to die. I have the tetra easy balance drops for weekly use but it says not to usewith low oxeygen. He lives in a big vase with a bamboo stick and I didn't realize I need to get the stuff.to.get rid of. Chlorine. I have the betta pro water in water bottles but I am scared to use it. I got him last a little over a week ago and his water was just changed. Its not foggy or anything. Any tips I'm scared..
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Old 02-06-2013, 09:35 PM   #2 
sainthogan
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If you don't change his water, he will die. You need to change it. In a container that size, you need to change it 4 - 5 times a week. Fish waste produces ammonia, ammonia is EXTREMELY deadly. And yes, you need to use a conditioner to remove chlorine, because that too is deadly. Please, please, please, change his water at least 4 times a week. If you don't he could become ill and he could die.
Also, he needs a heater, they are tropical fish and thrive best in temperatures between 76-82 degrees. A bigger tank will be easier to heat and will not need as many water changes a week. Please consider getting him something bigger.
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Old 02-06-2013, 09:50 PM   #3 
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There are a couple of issues with your set-up that you might want to deal with. :)

1) How big is the vase? If it's smaller than one gallon, it's too small. Vases are also not ideal homes as they don't provide a large amount of swimming space. If you want a decorative home for him, a 2 gallon bowl is a much better plan, and a tank is even better.

2) It doesn't sound like he has a heater. Bettas are tropical fish, whatever petshops may tell you to the contrary, and like to be in temperatures between 76 and 82F. 78-80F is a nice happy medium. A heater will help achieve this and also keep the temperature stable. In small containers like a vase, the temperature can fluctuate a lot, which is as dangerous as the wrong temperature.

3) Be careful with bamboo. It is not aquatic and may rot in the water. There are a number of beautiful plants you can keep underwater that won't rot, such as java fern and java moss (two very easy, low-light plants).

4) Changing water is absolutely vital. Otherwise, the water becomes more and more toxic. Imagine breathing in bleach fumes all the time - the same burning you get from breathing bleach is what can happen to a fish's lungs and gills in dirty water. In a container less than a gallon, change 50% every second day and 100% once a week. In a container of 1-2.5 gallons, change 50% once a week and 100% once a week. Let me know if you need instructions on how-to. :)

I've never heard of these Tetra Drops, so I can't really comment on them, but yes, you do need a dechlorinator. Prime is fantastic - very powerful and really good value for money. It will save you from having to buy that gimmicky BettaPro stuff, which is just dechlorinated water sold at a premium.

For now, to change his water you need to put him in a secondary container, such as a clean, empty margarine tub, empty out his vase and fill it with the BettaPro, then gently re-acclimatise him to the new water (float his container in the vase for ten minutes to let temperatures equalise, then put a scoop of vase water into his tub, then wait five more minutes, then release him).

I'm going to give you a little shopping list of stuff that you will need if you don't already have it:
- A proper container for him. A tank is the best shape, and it should have a lid, as bettas like to jump.
- A heater, roughly 5 watts per gallon (though for a gallon tank, a ten-watt heater is fine)
- A glass thermometer that goes inside the tank, not one that you stick on the outside
- A good dechlorinator (Prime or API Stresscoat)
- Some hiding spots. Bettas are very curious fish that love to play and hide in things. These can be clean mugs or cups, silk plants or real plants. :) You can even build something out of lego!

One big thing to remember: water doesn't have to look dirty to be dirty. The biggest killer of fish is ammonia, a natural byproduct of fish waste, and that is totally invisible. By the time the water looks dirty, a water change is long overdue.

Don't feel bad that you don't have the stuff he needs yet. So many of us were given awful information by petshops and made far worse mistakes than you. :) Ask about anything you are unsure of and please post pictures of your fish! :)
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Old 02-06-2013, 09:50 PM   #4 
PFCniikcole
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I know I.need to change his water. I can't have huge tanks I know I want to get him something bigger. I am going.to but he is very healthy looking. He has been.living like this for months with a change every week or so from where I got him. He makes large bubble nests. I am.not allowed to have a heater in my barracks room. And I know I.need to purchase the chlorine remover. I was wondering about that water I bought for him. My room.is small and is always very warm. I always have the heat on.
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Old 02-06-2013, 09:54 PM   #5 
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I am on my phone haha but.I.have pictures of him on my profile
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Old 02-06-2013, 10:04 PM   #6 
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Bottled water gets very expensive, so if you switch to tap water, chlorine remover will be just fine for your fish. Is your room around 80 degrees all the time, if so, it's possible that it's warm enough for your fish. The heater would be in your tank, not in your room, they are very small - so unless you're not allowed to plug things into the wall - a tank heater would not be a problem.
Bubble nests are NOT a sign of health or happiness, they are simply a sign of breeding readiness. And just because he has been living like in small cramped conditions for months, doesn't mean he was thriving, simply surviving. Signs of health include lots of activity - they are actually very active fish when they are healthy and have lots of room to move, vibrant colors, full fins that aren't kept close to the body, and a healthy appetite. If you notice a change in any of those, he is no longer healthy.
Frequent water changes - more often than once a week or so - are essential to keeping him healthy. As I mentioned before, Ammonia is deadly, and ammonia builds up every day. Any levels above 0.25 are dangerous (you would find out the levels with an ammonia indicator stick or a water testing kit) and potentially fatal to your fish. The ONLY way to keep those levels down is frequent water changes. A tank smaller than 2.5 gallons needs 3 or 4 water changes a week and anything smaller than 1 gallon needs 4 or more water changes a week. And as PP stated, just because the water looks clean, that doesn't mean it doesn't have dangerous levels of ammonia.
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Old 02-06-2013, 10:09 PM   #7 
PFCniikcole
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Well is very active. I do need to.get him a bigger bowl but I.can't really keep.things plugged in. Its considered a fire hazard. My 1sgt would flip out. But what can I so to tide him.over in his home now until I can get to the store? Can I dump.some of his.old water put the new water in? I need to get a net.
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Old 02-06-2013, 10:12 PM   #8 
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Ok, I saw the pictures. Your fish looks like he has fin rot or is biting his tail and he looks like his fins are clamped - so he is not as healthy as you think he is. His fins should be full looking, like in the first picture of his tail. They should look like that most of the time - except not as raggedy, his tail is quite torn up. In the second picture, it looks as if he's keeping his fins and tail closed up - these are clamped fins. Cold, dirty water will cause this, eventually leading to illness.
Also, he has no hiding places, this is extremely stressful - they love to hide and need to hide to feel comfortable with their surroundings.
I do see a bubble nest, but as I mentioned before, this is not a sign of health and happiness, simply a sign that he is ready to breed. I know this from experience - my friend's sister had a Betta many, many years ago, and kept it in an 8oz cup and very rarely changed the water. He had completely lost his color, and his fins were so clamped they looked like ribbons, yet he had a bubble nest that overflowed the cup. He only lived about 2 or 3 months. Bettas kept in good conditions can live 3 or 4 years or more.
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Old 02-06-2013, 10:20 PM   #9 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PFCniikcole View Post
Well is very active. I do need to.get him a bigger bowl but I.can't really keep.things plugged in. Its considered a fire hazard. My 1sgt would flip out. But what can I so to tide him.over in his home now until I can get to the store? Can I dump.some of his.old water put the new water in? I need to get a net.
You can keep a lamp over his tank to keep him warmer. Also, you'll need to get a thermometer, so you can make sure he's not getting too cold. You can wrap towels around the tank to keep him warmer. I'm not sure, but there might be battery operated heaters out there somewhere, that can keep the tank warm enough. Maybe you can find one.

There are several ways to change the water.
One way is to take him completely out. You can put him in a cup. Then you'll need to completely empty his bowl, and rinse everything really well. Then you'll need to add the treated water back into his bowl. Then put his cup back in his bowl, and slowly add the new water to his cup, until there is a 100% exchange between the water in his cup and the water in his bowl. Then you can release him back into his bowl. Reacclimating him back to his bowl is important so that the temperature differences, and water chemistry differences don't stress him.
The other way, and less stressful way for him, is to siphon out most of his water using an aquarium water hose. Keep enough in to allow him to swim. Suck up his waste with the hose if you can, or use a turkey baster to suck up the waste. Then, slowly pour in the treated and same temperature water or use a siphon to put it back in. I have done a double siphon technique on my tanks before, where I siphon water out at the same time as siphoning back in. You can do a 100% change this way for a small enough bowl without taking him out or lowering his water too far.
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Old 02-06-2013, 10:28 PM   #10 
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Can I put a little of his water out and our some new water in until I can change it completely?
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