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Old 08-14-2008, 07:09 PM   #1 
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Newbie here...

Hello! I have just jumped back into the Betta game! I think that they are just amazingly lovely fish. I had them when I was in College, but never really knew how to care for them properly. I researched here before going to Petsmart to snap up my lovely Red/Purple Betta named Ernesto. I have a couple of questions to keep the fishie family happy.

1. I have a 2 gallon tank with an undergravel filter plate, an air pump and a waterstone. I put natural gravel on the tank floor. The small digi thermometer I got reads at 76-77 degrees, and he seems to be happy. I am a little nervous to get a heater for such a small tank (lack of room prohibits a bigger tank)...I do not want to cook the fish! All seem active and well adjusted. We live in an apartment, and our thermostat is set to 72-75 Degrees. Do you suggest heating the water further??

2. I thought that the tank looked lonely with just Ernesto, so researched here again what kind of other fish I can house safely with him and introduced 3 neon tetras to the tank today. The gentleman at PetSmart advised to not get more because of the size of the tank. So far, so good. He seems interested in them and has been chasing them every so often (non flared), but he has relaxed a bit. They leave him alone and seem to be happy. When do ppl think we are "out of the woods" as far as Ernesto killing the other little guys?

3. Feeding Ernesto has been a bit of an issue. I gave him some pellets (4) for the first time yesterday (I got him on Tuesday), and he would gobble them up and immediately spit them out partly digested. Part of me thinks he might just be a brat (as Bettas are sometimes wont to do), but I am wondering if I should grab some bloodworms for him or if he might be sick. Again, he is active and swimmy, and does the "Hungry Betta Cha Cha (which always kills me). What is the opinion here?

TIA for your help!

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Old 08-14-2008, 08:35 PM   #2 
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First off that tank is way to small for all those fish. 2 gallons is pushing it for just the beta. 2.5 being the recomended smallest tank.

The heater would be a great addition due to the bettas needing to be around 78*-80* and temp fluctuations aren't good for the fiah. The heaters turn on and orr at set temps so you won't hae to worry about cooking him. I have a heater in my 2.5 betta tank it's small enough to not take up much room and keep the betta at a happy temp consistently.

Bettas can be picky eaters. Mine won't touch the pellets or freeze dried bloodworms but gobbles up frozen bloodworms, live blackworms, and betta flakes.
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Old 08-14-2008, 08:58 PM   #3 
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Thanks for your reply! All of the fish seem to be doing well right now...the neons are obviously tiny (.25 in). The gentleman at PetSmart was adimant that this was enough room for them (but no room for any more at all 1 gallon water/inch of fish). I have read conflicting things about water temp. On another betta page it states 75-80 degrees...I will probably get a heater to keep all healthy and happy.
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Old 08-14-2008, 09:00 PM   #4 
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Well, neons to get larger, about 1.25 inches. And bettas get 2.5 inches. You've got to calculate according to their full grown size if you don't intend on upgrading tanks.
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Old 08-14-2008, 09:03 PM   #5 
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Not to throw more grease on the fire, but I've also heard of adult bettas snacking on unsuspecting neons.
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Old 08-14-2008, 09:10 PM   #6 
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We had an aquarium years ago, when I was about 10 years old and our betta snacked on our neons. My Dad got rid of the betta.
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Old 08-14-2008, 09:36 PM   #7 
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i would recomend upgrading to a 5 gallon tank. with a filter 25 watt heater. the fish will have more room and the parameters will be more stable so you wont have to worry as much about ammonia poisning.
for the feeding, i fed my bettas 2-3 pellets twice a day. seemed to work fine. if he's not eating it at first just keep feeding him those pellets. nothing else until he eats them.
once he starts eating the pellets you could give him some frozen bloodworms/brine shrimp twice a week as a treat.
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Old 08-14-2008, 10:46 PM   #8 
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I have never been a fan of the pellets myself. My bettas have always died for the freeze dried blood worms and brine shrimp. Once a week I feed my guys pieces of cooked peas without the skin... apparently it's supposed to help their digestive track. One of my old bettas ended up developing swim bladder disease and it was apparently from too much feeding on the bloodworms. They're fatty for the fish, who knew?! I did research and they say that some ruffage like peas is good to help them digest, good luck!
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Old 08-14-2008, 11:33 PM   #9 
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Brine shrimp aren't very healthy for adult fish, so they're better as a treat once in a while than as a staple food. Bloodworms are much healthier, but I still wouldn't recommend them as a staple. They're not as nutritionally balanced as the pellets. Plus, bettas go *nuts* over the bloodworms so it might be difficult to transition him back to pellets after being spoiled on bloodworms for a while.
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Old 08-16-2008, 11:15 PM   #10 
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I'm confused. I always read that bettas only need about 2-3 pellets per day, but some people say that you should feed them 2-3 pellets per meal, two meals a day....
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