What size is your tank? 1 gallon
What temperature is your tank? N/A
Does your tank have a filter? No
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No
Is your tank heated? No
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? None
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? BettaMin Tropical Medley
How often do you feed your betta fish? Once a day (around noon since he seems to want to eat then from what I've noticed.)
So as the title says, I'm a new Betta owner. I tried to keep a Betta my freshmen year of college and he only lasted a month. I realize now, this was due to my own misinformation on Bettas, and I want to be sure I do the best I possibly can for my new Betta, Merlin, a red Spade Tail.
As you can see above, I do realize from just reading the forum topics that some things like his one gallon tank are not the best for him, but his tank water (50%) will be changed every other day and then cleaned thoroughly once a week. I also use BettaSafe for his tank water.
As for his environment, the bottom of his tank is "rainbow gravel" and he currently has a little cave that he sometimes hides behind (I think the entrance is too small for him :/). I do intend on getting him some fabric plants too with my next pay check.
This leads me to my questions/advice needed:
-Do you recommend buying aquarium salt? I have read that its beneficial, but is it necessary if I have the BettaSafe, or do I need to use it with the BettaSafe? Kind of confused on that one.
-Is there a small, fairly inexpensive heater that I could get to heat his 1 gallon tank? (Merlin is very active in his tank)
-Dealing with the heater question, if I could get a heater for him (college student on a budget), is their a specific type of thermometer I should get?
-Is it normal for Bettas to "scoop out" the bottom of their tank? This is a recent behavior he developed about a day after I bought him, and he seems very interested in the gravel.
-Is making bubbles at the top of the water just a sign that Merlin is ready to breed (have no intention of breeding him) or is it also a sign that he's happy in his environment, or both?
-Also, I've noticed these transparent "tendrils" hanging off of him tonight, is this his slime coat coming off or something else? (These tendrils tend to hang off his fins before eventually falling off.)
Any help would be greatly appreciated, I've grown very fond of Merlin in the three days that I've had him, and I really don't want to lose him anytime soon.