hi, i just got my first betta, i got it at my cousins wedding on saturday the 7th of june 08 (she had a betta in a bowl at each table as a centerpiece and was giving them away) so rate now it (i dont know if its male or female) is in the small bowl i got it in, i was wondering is anyone can help me get started, i was thinking he look sad in the little bowl :(, thanks
p.s. i cant figure out how to put a picture of it on here so if someone can help me with that that would be appreciated
I always thought that was cool to have bettas as center pieces, except that it would be too difficult to give them proper homes once the wedding is over in most cases. But anyway...
You're right about the betta not being happy in that little bowl - contrary to the petstore myth, bettas need a minimum of 2.5 gallons to be healthy. Keeping it in a small bowl would also require that you changed the water daily, which can become quite a nuisance. They also require a heater to keep the water temp. at a constant 78-80*. My bettas don't need heaters in the summer, but when fall/winter roll around they become quite necessary. A small filter is also highly recommended, and will keep the tank much healthier. He'd also appreciate a couple silk plants or a cave to hide in or behind. Don't let all this get you down on the new fish - once you set up a nice enviroment for him, it's very easy to maintain with once or twice weekly water changes. He'll live for several years given proper care. It shouldn't cost much to get these couple things - you can buy them seperatly or try to find a 2.5 - 5 (or more if you'd like - there's really no limit) gallon kit that includes them.
Water conditioner is also necessary if you have city water - it removes chlorine that could be very harmful to, or even kill, your fish.
Hikari Betta Bio Gold pellets are a great staple food. There are other pellet and flake foods out there for bettas, but this one is highly recommended my many people. A $6 packet will last you forever! You can also supplement that with bloodworms, brine shrimp, or other live/frozen foods.
I also have a well, and I've never thought it necessary to add water conditioner to my water. Until he's in a larger tank/bowl, frequent water changes will be needed to keep the ammonia under control. I don't know if you've read yet about the ammonia cycle, so hears the condensed version. Fish waste and excess food produce ammonia in the aquarium, which can be deadly to the fish in high concentrations. It can actually burn the fish like it pure ammonia would burn your skin. Beneficial bacteria eventually form in the tank (altough a bowl is generally thought to be too small for this to happen), and convert the ammonia to nitrite & nitrate, which is less toxic but must still be removed with regular water changes. Since your bowl is new (and small), there will be very little bacteria to break down the ammonia, so you'll need to do very frequent water changes to keep it in check. Using a turkey baster to remove uneaten food and waste from the bottom of the bowl, while removing water, is a good way to do a water change in such a small container. If it were me, I would do it every other day while he's in a small bowl.
To post a picture, upload it onto a photo sharing site like photobucket or pichostonine.com. I use PicHostOnline, which you don't have to sign up for, and it's easy, free, & quick. After uploading the picture, copy the url and paste it into your post on the forum, with "[img]" before the picture's url, and "[/img]" after the pic url. (No quotations) That's the easiest way I know of.
Well water can be as tricky as city water because there tends to be more minerals and stuff in there, plus it's not as regulated. You should have an API master test kit on hand (it's a liquid test kit, test strips are always a load of junk) and make sure to test your water coming out of the tap regularly. Also, you should read up on the cycle of a tank because it'll apply to your bigger tank when you get it.
Just in reference to the gender thing, there are short finned male bettas as well. You probably have a male veiltail, as those are generally the cheapest and therefore wedding centerpiece material, but here's another posting that will help you confirm:
ok thanks everyone, its 10 55, i just got home from the city, i got a tank kit, i didnt get much just the kit, i figured i could make some stuff (caves ect) for it after i get Zabimaru in there, witch leads me to my next question: how should i introduce him into the new tank? my dad said that he would probly go into shock if i just through him in there so does anyone have any suggestions? thx =)))