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Old 09-15-2008, 03:21 PM   #1 
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Betta environment ??s

I have a pretty blue betta in a 1.5 gallon tank at the middle school I work at. I had originally bought a beta bowl but took it back because it was stupidly small.

I thought I was being a good betta owner with 1.5 gallons and a filter. They say 1 inch of fish = 1 gallon and he fits well. Importantly for me, he fits into this environment with minimal fuss. It's large enough that kids can't lift the tank but small enough that I can deal with it.

My kids are in a "name the fish" contest and I'm not sure he will survive to be named. He HAS perked up more today than I've seen in a while. I gave him a water change over the weekend.


1) food
he HATES the darn pellets I got him and I, of course, did not scoop them out so his tank got messy within a week. I found somewhere that a betta's stomach is roughly the size of his eye and that helped me remember how much to feed. Freeze dried worms also helped. Can he just eat those? Or should I rotate?

2) filter
I thought a filter would be a good idea so I got a tank setup with filter(Tetra care whisper filter from Walmart). It's pretty powerful and causes a lot of movement in the water. I now leave it off most the time in fear of wearing him out. Still, I'd like to have it to clean his water. Can I turn it off at night to avoid a fatigued or vaccuumed betta, but turn it on during the day to help circulate the water? I don't want to poison my betta either. I will only be able to do a water change on weekends, so I like to have the filter.

3) ich and tail rot.
I'm using QuICK Cure, which says it will cure ICK in 3 days. Um, not so. I removed the carbon from the filter in hopes it will help. ingredients: formalin

One drop per gallon per day.
Um, I have a 1.5 gallon tank and can't do half a drop. Will two drops be bad? One isn't cutting it.

Tail rot is new. I discovered it today. Crap.

4) I suspect these are all a function of:
my betta is cold.
I bought a thermometer yesterday and it reads a consistant 68-70

Other readings:
my Jungle Labs quick dip test strips (say that 10 times fast) showed me nitrate levels of about zero (new water) hardness of 75 or so (tending to go harder, not softer)
alkalinity of around 120 or so
ph between the 7.2 - 7.8 rating, so neutral, tending to alkaline. I am not sure how old my Ph reducer is so I'm afraid to use it at this point.

Poor popsicle betta. But now I'm stuck. I can only find heaters for tanks sized 2 gallons or larger. I don't really _want_ to invest in a new tank, plus the fact that his 1.5 gallon tank can be lifted safely above the grabbing fingers of middle schoolers (special ed middle schoolers). There is no way I could lift a larger tank.

But I refuse to let him freeze to death either.

Or cook betta and school with too-larger heater.

I think I know my answer. I will get a larger tank with a heater. there's no way to cheat safely with the 2 gallon heater, is there?

What do I look for, though, in terms of filter? This one is too large, I can tell that by how happy he is today that I've turned it off. I really want a filter because it's a school and changing the water here in a bathroom sink is MAJOR operation.

Thanks for the help.
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Old 09-15-2008, 04:12 PM   #2 
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hi i have my Betta with my tetras in a 14 gal i have bubbles and low to medium flow and he seem to do just fine i bought some thing called ick away at walmart turns the water blue it worked great i had to use one treatment only you may need to change the medicine your giving it and the ick away helps with other things as well Betta's like it a bit warmer then that and the warmer water the better the appetite they have the colder the less energy they use so then they dont eat as much being in a new environment may make him not want to eat right away he may need a day or two and you can always by a heater that you can adjust or a preset one i have one that get 78 degrees and then turns off i also got that at walmart if you need any thing else you can just re-post and also depending how aggressive he is you can always give him a fish friend i have mine with 5 different tetras, a balla shark and even fancy guppies and they get along just great
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Old 09-15-2008, 04:58 PM   #3 
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I've been to Walmart again and bought Mr. Betta a bigger tank with heater.

It's 2.5 gallon so it's still not excessively large. The filter / air pump looks HUGE so I'm going to just use the one that is in his 1.5 gallon tank.

Betta is pretty happy right now, swimming and playing, but his water is warmer now -- 72 degrees.

so I'm setting up his other tank and will do the switch tomorrow.

THIS is why I can't have kids -- if I end up buying tons of crap to meet the needs of my 1.5 inch of betta fish, imagine what will happen when I try to raise kids. :)
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Old 09-15-2008, 06:29 PM   #4 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Central Texas
I think a 2.5 gallon tank with a heater and filter is fine. Bettas like the temperature anywhere from 78 to 80 degrees. He can be fed either once or twice a day. I feed mine 2 pellets twice a day, once in the morning and once in evening. Since you are at school, you could feed him as soon as you get to school and before you leave. He'll be fine without being fed on weekends. Bettas can be picky eaters so it may take awhile for him to eat what you give him. You can feed him freeze-dried bloodworms or freeze-dried brine shrimp once or twice a week, as a treat. As far as medicine is concerned, I don't know anything about Quick Cure but if its working, keep using it. Maybe someone else on the forum can advise you better on this. Good luck with your fish.
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Old 09-15-2008, 06:30 PM   #5 
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It's good that you bought a new tank with a heater for your betta. The optimal temperature for a betta is about 78 degrees. You probably won't need an air bubbler, as your betta can breathe directly from the air, and as for the filter, the smaller one will probably be fine. You are right in that bettas don't generally do well with a lot of current. They are not strong swimmers, and are easily stressed out. Once he is in his new home, and the temperature is warmer he will probably be more inclined to eat. He does need a "staple" diet such as betta pellets or flakes for proper nutrition. Blood worms are an excellent treat though. I give mine a few bloodworms in place of his morning feeding every other day. Good luck with him, and you are not alone! I don't even want to think about how much I have spent on my fish!!

Oh, I almost forgot to answer your question concerning fin rot and ick. I have used quick cure with great success. As for the half a drop problem that you are still going to have in the new tank, I would do 2 drops, then squeeze the bottle enough so that a small amount comes to the tip, and dip it in the water. That way the drop is not so big. I would also do water changes more often in an uncycled tank. If the cleaner water does not clear up the fin rot, then get all the other medication out of the water (use the carbon and do several small water changes until it is all gone), and give him a day or so vacation from meds. If it is still getting worse, you may want to try fungus clear. It has worked wonders for my bettas fin rot (they came with it).
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Old 09-15-2008, 10:12 PM   #6 
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Thanks all!

I have his new tank ready with heater running overnight. Of course, I forgot to plan the mechanics of the switch very well -- his water will be almost a full 10 degrees hotter in his new tank.

So.... do I:

1) unplug his heater in the new tank, let the water cool to 68 (the current temperature of his soon-to-be former tank) and then do the switch?

2) dig out his betta cup from Walmart and fill it with his water from his old tank and then float it, plus betta, in the new tank for a few hours?

I'm still unsure about whether or not to use the air bubbler thingy that came with the tank. Betta seems to like it better without, but I really am not a fan of water changes. Anything that keeps his water clean is a good thing, imho.

Anyway, thanks for all the help. Betta may live to fight another day.

Although he's already mad at you all for clarifying the difference between the pellets and blood worms. He had me thinking that I could feed him the worms every day. :)

and this is his filter right now:

Maybe in the larger tank, he will like it better but I can't tell if it's adjustable. I will have to look tomorrow.
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Old 09-19-2008, 08:10 AM   #7 
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Sad development

Betta was happy. White spots gone. Black tail, clearing up. Looking a little pale but not bad. Swimming around.
Kids were happy.
Came in this morning, betta was in filter.


I had the flush funeral for Mr. Noname.

My water was alkaline according to the test strip but not bad.

I can't figure out what happened unless he swam into the filter and couldn't swim out. I turned the filter off overnight to not suction him in.
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Old 09-19-2008, 08:32 AM   #8 
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Was the water treated with dechlorinator to remove ammonia, nitrite, and nitrates? I failed to see any mention of water conditioner.
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Old 09-19-2008, 12:26 PM   #9 
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It was. Perhaps I didn't treat it as well as I should have. The water conditioner was a sample size and difficult to measure out correctly.

I want to find out why this one didn't make it before I attempt another one. :(
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Old 09-20-2008, 01:52 AM   #10 
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Bummer...kudos for trying to do the right thing though.

What pH does your water show up as exactly?

With your 2.5 gallon instead of doing a full water change a week it's easier if you have like, 15 minutes to do a partial change on Wednesday and the another partial on the weekend. It's also helpful to have a gravel vacuum to get the stuff out of the gravel like poo and any extra food, as long as you can suck start a siphon :)

Also...from what I've always tasted from school water it usually seems extra chlorinated so you might have to use a little bit extra conditioner...try Prime if you can get it. Very concentrated, you only will need a small bottle for one fish.
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