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Old 04-04-2013, 11:14 AM   #1 
xokristen14
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Baby Betta Fish

Hello,
I bought a baby betta fish not realizing how much work it actually is. After reading about how to take care of her, I realized it is a lot of work. I was wondering what i should be feeding her, how often and how much. Also if i should get a snail or anything else for her tank. Right now its just some rocks on the bottom and the water but should i get a plant?
any suggestions would be appreciated (:
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Old 04-04-2013, 11:43 AM   #2 
Xeek
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Was this one from Petco? I bought one of these several months ago, because I knew I could help her survive, I feel bad for the rest I left there in the store. Taking care of one isn't too difficult.

I kept her in a breeder box because I was not comfortable with a fish that tiny in the tank of any substantial size. Her box was kept in a 16 gallon tank along with her future sorority sisters so she could go ahead and get used to them being around and them her. This made it easier to take care of her. This box must be kept clean and it will build up algae rather quickly. She also poops amazingly a lot. I used a turkey baster to keep her box clean and occasionally dropped a nerite snail in the box to take care of the algae - the snail would always get out of the box on it's own. I suppose you can do this without a breeder box, but I would prefer it not be a nano tank and a small tank with no other tank mates other than large snails (they'l pick at small snails by nature).

The food I used was micro pellets. She didn't eat them at first but eventually got used to them. Don't feed a baby normal betta pellets (they're too big). If you get a regular beta pellet in there by accident like I did you will find yourself chasing her around the box with tweezers as she holds onto it in her mouth (like a dog with a toy), it was rather cute, but way too big for her. She also enjoyed baby brine shrimp and she would eat those even at first. She also liked small sinking shrimp pellets. Variety is best. Another important note, FEED IT OFTEN. I fed my baby 2 - 3 times per day when the other bettas I only fed once a day or every other day.

I kept her in that box for a very long time since she was small and her next home would be with other female bettas. You can let him/her free as soon as you feel it's big enough for the tank she's going in (which won't be long if it's a tank just for her/him).

She's doing well right now many months later and getting along well with her sorority sisters (3 other bettas). She's healthy and a very fast swimmer! One problem is that she remained smaller than the other bettas and has stopped growing. I imagine I still didn't have the proper diet for her but I had enough to give her a good life. The pet store was feeding her regular betta pellets and she would have starved. Her name is Wookie and is my betta with the biggest personality!

NOTE:
On the feeding, 2-3 times per day, but don't feed her too much in one serving. For micro pellets she would get a small sprinkle (maybe 5 or 6 tiny pellets). She often didn't eat them all. I suppose she was still getting used to them, but occasionally she didn't notice them or hadn't realized to keep an eye on the surface of the water during feeding time. Her attention span was the same of a human child! She would forget about the food at the top if something got her attention - like a small pond snail on the glass she couldn't get to.

Last edited by Xeek; 04-04-2013 at 11:47 AM.
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Old 04-04-2013, 11:52 AM   #3 
xokristen14
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yea she is from petco. right now i bought a 1/2 gallon tank which came with flakes of food which i have been crumbling up. She seems to be doing good. She follows my finger around and swims alot but i was not sure if i should transfer her to a larger tank, maybe 5 gallons? i do not have a heater or filter right now. What do you think i should do
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Old 04-04-2013, 12:08 PM   #4 
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Originally Posted by xokristen14 View Post
yea she is from petco. right now i bought a 1/2 gallon tank which came with flakes of food which i have been crumbling up. She seems to be doing good. She follows my finger around and swims alot but i was not sure if i should transfer her to a larger tank, maybe 5 gallons? i do not have a heater or filter right now. What do you think i should do
Well one point to make, it could be a while before you know if it's a he or she. For a long while I wasn't even sure what exact color or tail type she would be! She ended up being a dark blue (nearly purple) veil tail, but with shorter fins than my other girls.

1/2 gallon is just fine for her! When she gets adult size I would bump it up to at least 2.5 gallons, but she will find 5 gallons even better + it'l give you a reason to get some tank mates.

I would go get some micro pellets. I'm really not a fan of feeding them flakes. They can get along ok on flakes for a while but I just don't think those were designed for this type of fish. They're meat eaters. They need protein and fiber.

Getting a heater depends on the room. Honestly the room my tanks are in stays at around 80F during the day due to the computers in the room. I have heaters in all the tanks (just in case). I live in a warm climate (southern US). I really don't need heaters here.

Always have a thermometer. Do you know what the water temp is? My bettas are comfortable above 78F. They don't mind cooler temps that much but they do seem to be much more active and happy in warm water. My boys like 80F. It's hard to get a good heater for a tiny tank which is why I kept my baby in a breeder box in a larger tank. I only buy heaters I can adjust because the ones for tiny tanks are usually going for 5 degrees more than the rooms temp or something like that, with no control.

I would not put her into a 5 gallon until she is closer to adult size. You may find she doesn't go after food, or doesn't notice it. If you can go ahead and buy a small breeder box put her in that and into the 5 gallon. That's what I would do. My 5 gallon has 2 boys with a divider I made. I often alternate them (swap them) on each side so they stay entertained.
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Old 04-04-2013, 12:50 PM   #5 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xokristen14 View Post
Hello,
I bought a baby betta fish not realizing how much work it actually is. After reading about how to take care of her, I realized it is a lot of work. I was wondering what i should be feeding her, how often and how much. Also if i should get a snail or anything else for her tank. Right now its just some rocks on the bottom and the water but should i get a plant?
any suggestions would be appreciated (:
You will need 75%-100% WC every day to get rid of the stunting hormones, a recommendation I read here. I use AmQuel and notice that my babies grow faster than if I had used PRIME. I am raising 3 babies, 2 are big enough to swim with the big bossy momma Curious Grace and Nano is still growing. AmQuel claims to remove phermones in the water which I think improved the growth for the bigger one.

I fed NLS small fish formula and they love it.

I keep them in a 1.75g Critter Keeper with a heater and plant and they like resting on the big leaves of the amazon compacta sword from PetSmart, anacharis, and plastic betta leaf.

It will take at least a week to see some color changes is you get them really small, as in shorter than 1". Try to train them to swim into a cup when you do WC. This will be helpful when you introduce them to the big tank, easier for you to feed them and inspect them for illness as they associate cup=food.
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Old 04-04-2013, 12:54 PM   #6 
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Yup, keeping the water clean is a must.

I've only thought this growth stunting hormone only affected others, a single baby should be fine.
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Old 04-05-2013, 10:44 AM   #7 
xokristen14
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So I need to change the water every day?
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Old 04-05-2013, 10:53 AM   #8 
ao
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The hormones stunts the betta itself too. I wasn't around for during a period of my betta's growth phase and he was under someone else's care for about 6 weeks. during that time his water was not changed as much and wasn't as warm, he is permanantly stunted as a result and is smaller than adult bettas from the pet store.
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Old 04-05-2013, 10:59 AM   #9 
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Hi!

I would put her in the 5 gallon, if you have it. That way you don't have to do daily water changes and there won't be any question about the stunted growth issue. 5 gallons would be plenty big for her to grow in. Also, she needs warm water to grow and you cannot put a heater in a 1/2 gallon tank at all whatsoever. A 25 or 50 watt heater is perfect for the 5 gallon. The temp should be kept around 78-80 and checked daily to make sure it doesn't get too high or low.

NLS grow pellets are what I feed my babies, they're very good quality and small enough to fit in their mouths. If you can't find them at Petco or a similar store, you can order it online. She needs to eat a small amount at least twice a day, depending on how big she is you can increase how much you give her during feeding time. Just keep an eye on her and make sure she doesn't look too bloated after she eats.

And definitely a baster to remove waste every day if you put her in the 5 gallon. Make sure it hasn't had soap on it or else it's dangerous for them. I got mine for $1.99 at walmart or the grocery store.

Does she have a cover on her tank? Bettas are great jumpers so they always need to be covered at all times.

Do you have any pictures of her? :)
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Old 04-05-2013, 04:57 PM   #10 
Xeek
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I really think the size of most of these babies is too small for a 5 gallon if they're not in groups. They aren't initially trained to come to the top for food. I recommend a breeder box in the 5 gallon. Mine was as big as a penny and almost looked like a tadpoll.
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