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Old 08-11-2008, 05:27 PM   #1 
Vio
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New Owner - Several Questions!

I'm getting my first Betta tomorrow, and I have a few questions:

-I read that distilled water isn't good, is this true? Could I just use water from my sink instead?

-How much sunlight do they need? My room is fairly dark, but I could definately keep the blinds open during the day.

-I heard that marbles are the best thing to keep on the floor of their aquarium, but I don't have any. Are the brightly colored pebbles alright?

-Is it true that Bettas learn to recognize you from your voice or looks? I read that on some site, seems crazy, but definately cool!

Thanks for looking!
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Old 08-11-2008, 05:49 PM   #2 
iamntbatman
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Quote:
-I read that distilled water isn't good, is this true? Could I just use water from my sink instead?
Distilled water lacks a lot of the nutrients that fish need to stay healthy. Unless you've got big problems with the quality of your tap water, plain tap water that's been treated with a good water conditioner (I use Tetra's AquaSafe) should be just fine. If there's something fishy going on with your tap water (like excessive hardness, very high or very low pH, or even things like ammonia) then bottled spring water is a good option.

Quote:
-How much sunlight do they need? My room is fairly dark, but I could definately keep the blinds open during the day.
They shouldn't get any sunlight. Sunlight can cause huge temperature swings in a fish tank that aren't good for your fish. It can also cause big algae breakouts. You're much better off with some type of fluorescent aquarium lighting or even a desk lamp. Avoid incandescent bulbs (or halogen desk lamps) as these produce a lot of heat and can cook your fish.

Quote:
-I heard that marbles are the best thing to keep on the floor of their aquarium, but I don't have any. Are the brightly colored pebbles alright?
Marbles would be fine. Some of the brightly colored gravels from pet stores have been known to cause problems due to their paint coming off into your water. A natural colored gravel will help to avoid this problem.

Quote:
-Is it true that Bettas learn to recognize you from your voice or looks? I read that on some site, seems crazy, but definately cool!
Hard to say if they specifically recognize *you* but they certainly respond to a lot of stimulus. Noise will perk them up. They'll definitely beg for food from you. Don't give in! 3-4 betta pellets twice daily is plenty.


Have you read up on general betta care and the aquarium cycle?

Here's a link to general betta care:
http://www.fishforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=17558

And here are a few covering the aquarium cycle:
http://www.fishforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=343
http://www.fishforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=3738

If you're setting up a brand new tank, it means you are putting your betta in an uncycled environment. To prevent your betta's death due to ammonia poisoning, you have two options: you can either change 50% of the water with new, conditioned water very frequently to keep ammonia levels down, or you can cycle the tank so that it has a proper biological filter in place. In my opinion, the second option is a much better one, as it means a much healthier fish and less work for you, the fishkeeper. If you have any more questions, feel free to ask!
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Old 08-11-2008, 06:22 PM   #3 
Meatpuppet
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be sure to get a tank at least 2.5 gallons (or more) with heater and filter. or else the theres less space for benificial bacteria during cycling and after wards your fish will be much happier which means long life with the big warm enviorment
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Old 08-11-2008, 06:31 PM   #4 
okiemavis
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There's lots of fish that are very smart, and I've definitely known bettas who will come out only for their owner. It really depends on the fish though. I'd say get 'em young and teach him that you're the place that food comes from. They can easily learn to eat right out of your fingers, which is adorable.
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Old 08-11-2008, 08:11 PM   #5 
Vio
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haha, thanks very much everyone!
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Old 08-11-2008, 09:07 PM   #6 
dramaqueen
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Bettas have the most wonderful personalities. I had one that "played" with the thermometer, pushing at it until it made a clinking sound against the side of the bowl. He made it clink several times. He only did it that one day, though. I never saw him do it again.
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