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Old 03-07-2013, 01:59 PM   #1 
Powhatan
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Exclamation Newbie already in trouble! Advice?

Hi, all. My wife and I, along with our 4yr old daughter and 2yr old son, are writing from Central Virginia. On Monday, we purchased from our local "pet box store" a beautiful male deltatail, who we have named Rocky -- as well as a Minibow1 "aquarium," a bag of multi-colored glass stones, a plastic broad-leafed "plant," and a small jar of Omega Beta Buffet food pellets.

I had initially gravitated toward the larger Minibow options; however, the fish guy told us that "since betta live in the wild in the puddles of elephant tracks," the Minibow1 was more than enough space for our new lil' guy. I owned a betta fish 30 years ago, when I was 8 -- and he (or she?) lived for five years in a hexagonal aquarium (must have been ~15" in "diameter" and 15" tall, with a "bubbling" filer and orange gravel) that was situated atop my nightstand. Probably a 2.5er... As our daughter is quite mature for her age, we thought that adult-supervised care (...feeding and naming...!) of a fish would be an excellent responsibility for our daughter. And, $50 was a pittance to layout for such a "first pet."

Rocky has not appeared very happy, and my concern has led me to you all... After a bit of research, I'm afraid that the Minibow1 is much too small of a tank for Rocky. Furthermore, Rocky has not eaten any pellets since we brought him home... And, he generally has sulked at the very bottom of the tank. Speaking of the tank, I am very concerned re: the "filter" (which is hardly a filter), which, even after rinsing in advance with very clean well-water, appears to have clouded the water considerably... In my current humble opinion, a piece of junk, all-together!

This morning, in fear of Rocky's demise, I removed all items from the tank, rinsed the glass-button rocks, and re-filled the tank (without accessories) with un-conditioned slightly-warm tap well-water. For the past several hours, Rocky has acted lively, and has flirted between darting around the tank and resting near the surface... Thinking that he might enjoy a spot to hide out, I carefully rinsed and inserted the plastic "plant" into the tank, under which he currently is nesting... I've turned on a strong incandescent lamp, pointing into the tank, to keep him warm until we devise a solution.

Not sure what to do. First, I think the Minibow1 is too small and its leaching charcoal filter is absolute J-U-N-K. Second, I'm not sure whether or not Rocky will even thrive in a larger or different tank, as he has yet to eat any of the $6 pellets we purchased (and no one wishes for him to suffer) -- that is, hopefully, no damage has been done, but he was in poor shape this morning... Lastly, was mainly wondering what y'all would advise that we do... That is, while I can return the tank and food (or so I think), now that we've assumed Rocky's responsibility, I don't want to see him perish... Is there a particular tank and setup that y'all would recommend as being available THIS AFTERNOON for purchase or other in the Powhatan County area of Virginia?

How long can we keep rocky in an unfiltered Minibow1 -- with a plastic plant?????????

Is anyone local, and in need of a rescue Betta????? We want him to thrive, and am just sick re: the state of the "big box pet industry."

Thank y'all so much in advance for advice!
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Old 03-07-2013, 02:23 PM   #2 
Fishy Mom
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Well, in a 1g you don't need the filter so you can take that out. A quick fix for water temp is to get the small preset heater they sell next to the bettas at petsmart. It's only $12 & has worked well in all my 1 gallon qt tanks. It doesn't work in anything bigger or smaller though. Also, I do 100% water changes every other day for a 1g when I bring fish home due to poor conditions in those cups they were in at the store. For food try soaking it in garlic juice if you have some minced garlic handy. It might get him to eat & it will boost his immune system too.

If you get these things worked out it will be less stress while you shop around & cycle a bigger tank because he'll have a cozy temporary tank to live in.
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Old 03-07-2013, 02:48 PM   #3 
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Originally Posted by Fishy Mom View Post
Well, in a 1g you don't need the filter so you can take that out. A quick fix for water temp is to get the small preset heater they sell next to the bettas at petsmart. It's only $12 & has worked well in all my 1 gallon qt tanks. It doesn't work in anything bigger or smaller though. Also, I do 100% water changes every other day for a 1g when I bring fish home due to poor conditions in those cups they were in at the store. For food try soaking it in garlic juice if you have some minced garlic handy. It might get him to eat & it will boost his immune system too.

If you get these things worked out it will be less stress while you shop around & cycle a bigger tank because he'll have a cozy temporary tank to live in.
I don't understand. Are you being euphemistic? Are you in VA?????
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Old 03-07-2013, 02:58 PM   #4 
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I don't understand. Are you being euphemistic? Are you in VA?????
Oh I'm sorry. No, no ephamisms in my comment. I thought you were stressed about the current condition of your tank. I read your op again & realized your actually looking for someone to take your betta. Is that right?
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Old 03-07-2013, 03:17 PM   #5 
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Powhatan,

Do you want to keep Rocky, or do you want to have someone adopt him from you?

If you want to keep him, you could get a tank made of acrylic, that tends to not be very expensive, and use the same gravel in the bottom. My personal tank is 3.5gal without a filter, and I do one 100% and one 50% water change every week. The betta I currently own came home sick from the pet store, and has recovered marvelously under those conditions. Since Rocky seems to be lively, if you wanted to keep him I think that setup would be useful.

You could also try taking the tank setup you currently have back to the store and getting a refund since the filter inside it was clearly not functioning, or it wouldn't have turned Rocky's water filthy so quickly. Good luck with him!
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Old 03-07-2013, 03:33 PM   #6 
Bombalurina
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Welcome back to the hobby!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Powhatan View Post
Hi, all. My wife and I, along with our 4yr old daughter and 2yr old son, are writing from Central Virginia. On Monday, we purchased from our local "pet box store" a beautiful male deltatail, who we have named Rocky -- as well as a Minibow1 "aquarium," a bag of multi-colored glass stones, a plastic broad-leafed "plant," and a small jar of Omega Beta Buffet food pellets.
The tank is good, the substrate is fine, the plastic plant is iffy, the food is ok. If you can replace the plastic plant with silk or live, that would be great. Adding a little cave for him would also be good. When you run out of your Omega pellets (or even before!) see if you can get New Life Spectrum. :) They are full of meaty protein.

I had initially gravitated toward the larger Minibow options; however, the fish guy told us that "since betta live in the wild in the puddles of elephant tracks," the Minibow1 was more than enough space for our new lil' guy.
I heard this ridiculous myth once before (except this person thought they were from Africa, of all places) and I have no idea how it got so popular! Of all the bettas every found in the wild, I highly doubt more than one or two have been found living in footprints. Mostly they live in small, still, shallow pools, slow-moving rivers or rice paddies and klongs. Not footprints. What a strange man.
A one gallon is definitely not *more* than enough space, but it is certainly workable. It is less stable in terms of water quality and temperature, but all that means is a little bit of extra diligence. :) Many members on here keep one gallon tanks or bowls and their bettas are as healthy as anyones'. It's not my personal preference, but hey, I'm not going to deny it works. :) And if you decide to upgrade later, a one gallon makes a great hospital tank.

Rocky has not appeared very happy, and my concern has led me to you all... After a bit of research, I'm afraid that the Minibow1 is much too small of a tank for Rocky. Furthermore, Rocky has not eaten any pellets since we brought him home... And, he generally has sulked at the very bottom of the tank. Speaking of the tank, I am very concerned re: the "filter" (which is hardly a filter), which, even after rinsing in advance with very clean well-water, appears to have clouded the water considerably... In my current humble opinion, a piece of junk, all-together!
Step one is to ditch that nasty filter. In a tank that small, you don't need it and it may even cause your fish discomfort with excess water movement. Step two, buy a heater. The temperature is quite possibly the reason he is lethargic. Don't worry about the eating yet - it can take bettas a few days to start eating after a move to a new home. :)
As I said, a one gallon can provide enough space when utilised well, but if you want to upgrade, go nuts. :)

This morning, in fear of Rocky's demise, I removed all items from the tank, rinsed the glass-button rocks, and re-filled the tank (without accessories) with un-conditioned slightly-warm tap well-water. For the past several hours, Rocky has acted lively, and has flirted between darting around the tank and resting near the surface... Thinking that he might enjoy a spot to hide out, I carefully rinsed and inserted the plastic "plant" into the tank, under which he currently is nesting... I've turned on a strong incandescent lamp, pointing into the tank, to keep him warm until we devise a solution.
All good, except for one thing: NEVER use unconditioned tap water. Tap water can have all kinds of awful nasties in it, from ammonia and chlorine to heavy metals. I would strongly advise getting hold of some Seachem Prime, which helps deal with all of these things and is extremely concentrated (0.1mls will treat your whole tank) so is great value for money.

Not sure what to do. First, I think the Minibow1 is too small and its leaching charcoal filter is absolute J-U-N-K. Second, I'm not sure whether or not Rocky will even thrive in a larger or different tank, as he has yet to eat any of the $6 pellets we purchased (and no one wishes for him to suffer) -- that is, hopefully, no damage has been done, but he was in poor shape this morning... Lastly, was mainly wondering what y'all would advise that we do... That is, while I can return the tank and food (or so I think), now that we've assumed Rocky's responsibility, I don't want to see him perish... Is there a particular tank and setup that y'all would recommend as being available THIS AFTERNOON for purchase or other in the Powhatan County area of Virginia?
Don't give up hope! If you are keen to get a larger tank, I'd suggest looking at anything between 2.5 gallons and 10 gallons. 10 gallons will allow for tankmates down the track. MY personal favourite size for a single betta is 5 gallons: I just think the tank size looks great with one fish, plus it is easy to maintain. :)
If the tank doesn't come with a filter and you want one, I always suggest sponge filters. You can buy or make these and attach them to an airpump with a gang valve. This allows you to control the flow to get a perfect level of water movement for our long-finned friends. Sponges have a huge amount of colonisable surface area for good bacteria, which are the things that make a tank work. If you get a 5 gallon tank, I'd suggest reading up on the cycle - if it all seems too daunting, PM me and I'll be happy to break it down. :)
The most important piece of equipment for your new tank, barring water conditioner, is a heater. Go for one that provides 5-10 watts per gallon: 50 for a 5 gallon, 25 for a 2.5 etc. If you don't buy a new tank, get the Marina 10watt submersible. If you can, I'd go for an adjustable heater.
Make sure you grab a thermometer too.

How long can we keep rocky in an unfiltered Minibow1 -- with a plastic plant?????????
If you get a heater and water conditioner, potentially permanently. Filters are not that important to this species, and you can make up for the lack with the right number of water changess. Will happily advise about that once you'd decided on a permanent tank. :)
Don't give him up!

Thank y'all so much in advance for advice!
In summary, a quick list of things you need for a happy betta:
- a tank, one gallon or larger
- an appropriate heater
- water conditioner (Prime being the best)
- a good food (New Life Spectrum being the best)
- fun things for him to explore and hide in - avoid plastic and metals

Optional: substrate, a filter

Some good toys: the Zoomed Betta Hammock or Floating Log, live or silk plants, little caves, such as sake cups or mugs :)
If you are interested in some live plants, go for a tank with a flourescent light. Live plants help to absorb ammonia and nitrates, helping water quality, and provide a safe, natural hide-out for bettas. Let me know if you'd like to know more. :)
Best of luck and keep us updated!
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Old 03-07-2013, 03:37 PM   #7 
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Welcome to the forum and sorry you are having so much trouble with your first Betta.

How did you acclimated him to your well water when you first added him to the new tank, what was the water temp difference between the water on the second water change-since you used warm water.

If he wasn't properly acclimated to both chemistry and temp-it could be osmotic shock related and not much can be done

Its not uncommon for a new Betta to go off food for several days-especially when they are added to a larger volume of water with water movement. Often these fish have never seen more than a few cups of water from the time they are 6-10 weeks of age and rarely if ever with any water movement. Sometimes they need some time to adjust and will come around within a week or so. Until then, I would keep the filter off and even totally remove it all together, lower the water level if he seems to be struggling to swim to the surface, keep the temp somewhat stable in the 76-80F range and limit water changes to 25% every 3rd day for now-leaving him in the tank for the water changes-Turn off the light for 24h and hold food. Tomorrow- offer a pellet-remove it if he doesn't eat it and try again later.



IMO/E- 1gal unfiltered is fine to keep a long fin male Betta long term-provided that water quality is maintained. That being-twice weekly-1-50% and 1-90-100%-Best leaving him in the tank for the water changes-unless you have live plants.
Most water quality issues are related to poor quality food, overfeeding or leaving uneaten food long term.
IMO/E-filters are optional for this species-especially with long fin male and smaller tanks-Often the water movement can be a cause of stress and cause of tattered fin with these delicate Long fin male Betta-assuming he is a long fin male

Don't give up on him or keeping a Betta....not yet anyway....
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Old 03-07-2013, 04:15 PM   #8 
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Thanks all!
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Old 03-07-2013, 04:44 PM   #9 
Fishy Mom
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Sorry, if read things wrong too! I tend to be very blunt, but if I misunderstand a question it just comes across all wrong. Let us know how Rocky is doing.
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Old 03-07-2013, 04:59 PM   #10 
Laki
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Another thing to add to what's been said (VERY good info above)
A delta tail betta is burdened with the extra weight from that tail humans gave him. It's critical to remove the filter in a small tank. DeT's are not unknown to be notorious tail biters when given the environment which induces the behaviour (to the dismay of the owner). These include: water current, not enough plants to rest on and no sufficient cave or driftwood log.

Furthermore, if I was to have a heavier finned betta I would always keep indian almond leaf in the water to keep the best possible proactive health. These can be supplemented with oak leaves locally, but are usually bought on ebay for dirt cheap. (don't worry about IAL yet, get a heater first)

Omega one are a great pellet. I have been feeding it since owning bettas, along with Aqueon, tetramin, Attison's and frozen bloodworms.
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