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Old 02-23-2013, 08:16 PM   #1 
LyraDove
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My Fish Is Doing Great, um, I Think...

We have two Bettas. They have less than 1/2 gallon tanks. Lefty is male and lives in an aerated but unheated plastic mini-aquarium; she is in a novelty fishbowl directly beside his, and they have become used to the sight of each other. Because they don't have heaters, I visit them every morning with coffee cups full of hot water, put the cups by the bowls' sides so they are close but not touching, and watch the fish bask in the warmth. Before bedtime, I also 'charge' glow-in-the-dark stuff beside their bowls to give them moonlit nights, and occasionally put my headphones on their bowls for a few minutes to let them hear music (btw, they snuggle against the glass adjacent to the little headphone speakers...It's cute) Uh, I'm a new at being an aquatic parent. Am I enriching their environment, or torturing my fish?
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Old 02-23-2013, 08:22 PM   #2 
callistra
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Torturing. Sorry.

Bettas, like all fish, are very sensitive to noise and vibration. I would not put headphones on the tank at all. My bettas do seem to enjoy soft meditation type music, and it actually helped one of my biters, but on the whole most mainstream music they would not love.. definitely don't shove it right against their tank.

The need black out at night.

In the size of tank you have ammonia would build VERY quickly. I would do daily 100% changes in that, but you can’t keep them in there for long

Bettas need to be kept in 2 gallons minimum. In these twice weekly water changes of 50% and 100% are needed. Bettas kept in 1 gallon containers live an average of about 2 years compared to double that+ in larger containers. The 1 gallon would need 3 weekly water changes of 50%, 50% and 100%, and even then they will be subjected to ammonia. In what you have, I would not expect your bettas to live much past a year.

The 50% changes the betta can be kept in the bowl and use a turkey baster to remove half the water and as much of the debris as possible. For the 100% you need to remove him - scoop him out with a plastic solo type cup and set aside while you thoroughly rinse the bowl and gravel to remove the debris. Then he should be acclimated to the new water by floating for an hour while you slowly add a couple tablespoons of new water to the cup every 10 minutes. When you release him, try to let as little of the old cup water back into the tank as possible. All water changes should use same temp water, matched to running tap using the in tank thermometer and the water needs to be premixed with conditioner before adding it to the betta tank. If you don't already have anything, you can use gallon water jugs from the grocery store - rinsed thoroughly in hot water but no chems.

Bettas are tropical fish and must be kept at a temp between 76-82, with 78-80 being ideal. The temp must be stable and not be dipping or jumping around. In a 2 gallon you can get an adjustable 25w heater. Any new heater should be tested for 24 hours in similar size container with in tank thermometer to make sure it will hold a constant appropriate temp between 78-80F. Then the betta must be acclimated to higher temp either by floating in a cup inside the main already fully heated tank for an hour, or by adjusting the heater to increase the temperature of the tank no more than a degree per hour and 5 degrees per day.

I don’t know what you’re feeding, flakes aren't good nutritional value, and especially with something this small they muck up the water quickly causing excess ammonia. You should look for a good quality pellets whose first two or three ingredients are whole fish, not fish meal or wheat. He should be fed two small meals a day (how many depends on the pellet you pick up) and one fast day a week.
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