First a little introduction. I'm new to fish but have loved bettas from a distance. A friend bought me Gandalf knowing I really liked bettas & thinking he would keep me company. Unfortunately, he didn't read up or research bettas & their care. Was told they are an easy fish & purchased the basic setup. I've been trying to do a bit of reading to learn how to give Gandalf a long, happy life with me. I'm on a limited budget but want to get Gandalf setup in the right housing & environment for a long life with me. As time goes on I would like to expand & make things even better but for now I'm limited.
Could someone give me a list of the basic things required for keeping a healthy betta? What housing setup is needed, etc? Currently he is in a large fish bowl which I know isn't a good home. He is also on the pet store betta food. I know there is allot of info here but I'm having a hard time going through it all & I want to know how to do things right now before he dies of improper care. I know he isn't an expensive fish but I believe in taking care of the living creatures you take into your home & life. I know most people would think it silly but I've already grown to love the little guy! Thank you for your patience, understanding & help to get Gandalf in the proper home with the proper care while I begin doing the homework/research that should have been done before Gandalf came to live with me.
Welcome! My personal preference is at the minimum a 5g tank BUT if you do the proper water changes you can successfully keep a healthy Betta in as small as a 1g, he definitely needs a heater preferably an adjustable one; the water temp should be 78-80F, you'll need an in tank thermometer to monitor the temp, a good water conditioner such as Prime, foods such as New Life Spectrum (NLS) & Omega One pellets are recommended most often; both are a little more expensive but they will last a really long time. Bettas like cover such as silk or real plants & a cave or two. If you leave the tank unfiltered you'll need to probably do 2-3 water changes per week depending on the tank size. Those are the basic things needed IMO. Keep asking questions!
LOVE the name! Here is a simple list for you. Brands will depend on your location.
2. Good quality betta pellet like Omega One Betta Buffet pellets or New Life Spectrum betta pellets
3. A good water conditioner. I like Stress Coat+ by API, many ppl swear by Prime
4. Min 2.5 gallon home this can be a rectangular glass tank which are fairly inexpensive, or a med-large critter keeper, also inexpensive.
5. Silk plants for him to hide in. Bettas like lots of places to hide and explore. They are curious creatures
6. glass thermometer that sticks inside of your tank.
7. Turkey baster for sucking out debris.
Thank you for your quick & helpful reply! Starting to check on the items you mentioned! Any & all advice is welcome! I'm not planning on becoming a fish enthusiast but want my betta to be happy & healthy!
The easiest way to keep you Betta happy is to keep him in clean, warm water with some soft places to hide and good food. Pay attention to him and he'll love you. If you give them what they need, Bettas are easy to care for. Do you know how big the bowl is that he is in now?
Thanks, Jexx! I appreciate the reply! Printing out the lists of the things Gandalf needs & hope to get them tomorrow! I know its sounds silly but I really do love him! Thank you, I'm a big Hobbit/Lord of the Rings fan & Gandalf just seemed the perfect name for him!
I'm not sure as I threw away the paper stuck in the bowl. It currently has over a gallon of water in the bowl plus the small thing of decorative rocks & cute plant/play things for him to swim around & hide under. Unfortunately, my camera isn't working so I can't take any pix.
Oh it is not silly at all! I can guarantee everyone here loves their betta! I have 3 that are the loves of my life. Galileo, Esmeralda, and my newest, Lord Sesshomaru. I love the Hobbit and my husband is a HUGE fan of LOTR. unfortunately none of my fish have looked like Gandalf so I couldn't use that name :(
Do you have any pics of him?
Welcome, Gandalf! One thing you needn't worry about is that people will find you silly for being so attached to your Betta buddy - at least not in this forum! Everyone here is the same way!
I got my first Betta as a gift from a co-worker five months ago or so. It was a random thing - I'd never mentioned wanting a fish, but one day when I came back from lunch, there he was in his little plastic cup. I immediately started doing some crash course research on what I needed to have and do to keep him healthy, and as it turns out, even some of the early research I did turned out to be incorrect. The folks here set me straight, and I read all the posts for months before posting.
I now have three Bettas - Murray, my male veiltail, a baby Betta that I don't even know yet whether he/she is a boy or girl, or what tail type he/she is (I'm waiting on choosing a name until I'm sure), and then a female crowntail, Sumalee. The latter two are very new to me, but I am quickly growing very attached, so I can certainly understand how much you love your guy!
As others have said, clean, warm, conditioned water, a healthy base diet of Betta pellets (you can always add to this diet with frozen brine shrimp, bloodworms, etc.), and some hidey spots are pretty much all your guy will need to be happy. (Suma's favorite place to hang out is inside a tiny flower pot I got for 39 cents at a craft store and turned on its side - she's still in a temporary tank because I'm waiting for the tank divider I ordered online to come in the mail, and then she and the baby are going to be roommates in a 10 gallon tank I'm splitting in half).
And you know, as much as you love him now, just wait until he's been with you awhile. They really do have a ton of personality, and you will get to know your boy's personality, habits, likes and dislikes, just as he will become attuned to you. When I have had to be out of the office and have my assistant feed Murray, she reports that he always stays at the back of the tank and doesn't come up to eat until she walks away. While on the other hand, when he knows it's me, he comes immediately to the front and waggles around like a puppy, looking for attention, food, etc. And even though he has a five gallon tank to swim around in, he does spend an awful lot of time hanging out on the side closest to my office chair. Enjoy your Betta!