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Old 09-20-2008, 08:10 PM   #1 
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Join Date: Sep 2008
General beta info

Hi y'all.

My roomate at college is thinking about getting a beta fish. She's not sure whether we'd be able to take care of one responsibly, so I told her I'd do the research.

What exactly are the general requirements for having a happy, healthy beta fish?

How often do betas need to eat? Neither of us are ususally in for the weekend, so if they need to be fed daily it probably won't work.

How I know they need warm water, what is their range of tolorance? Our dorm has rather... inelegant heating. Basically, the air conditioning makes it freezing and the heating makes it stuffy, no matter the actual temperature outside. Last year I just turned off the thermostat all winter and relied on the heat from the rest of the building, but I'm not sure that would be so good for the fish.

Do they need special tanks and filters and whatnot?

As you might have guessed, I'm not much of a fish expert (something to do with all the cats in my house, I think), and if you tell me that this is a Bad Idea and I'm an idiot in matters piscine, I will pass the message on to the roomate. Thank you.
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Old 09-20-2008, 08:28 PM   #2 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Central Texas
A 2.5 gallon or larger heated, filtered tank is what is usually reccommended. Bettas can be fed once or twice a day. I feed mine twice a day, 2 pellets each time. You can feed it tropical flakes or pellets. If you feed once a day, you could feed it 4-6 a day. You can also feed it freeze-dried bloodworms or freeze-dried brine shrimp as a treat once or twice a week. As for being gone on weekends, it won't hurt the fish to skip a day or two. A lot of people fast their bettas one day a week, to clean out their digestive systems. I hope this info is helpful to you. Info on cycling a tank will have to come from someone else, tho. I know nothing about tanks.
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Old 09-20-2008, 10:41 PM   #3 
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Earth
here, read this

i dunno, i myself think its riskey letting a betta go two days a week without food.
they should have a betta flake/pellet food usally two portions daily. (two pellets or enough flakes that he can eat in one minuite is a portion)

and you do have to cyle a tank. that just letting it run with giving it an ammonia souce. this should be done before getting a fish. It could take about a month or a little less. you will have to purchase a master test kit that messures ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and perhaps PH
read these also, they're about cycling
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Old 09-20-2008, 10:45 PM   #4 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Central Texas
If you leave for the weekend on friday, you could feed him right before you leave, then feed him when you get back on Sunday.
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Old 09-20-2008, 11:09 PM   #5 
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Location: USA, Lafayette, OR 97127
Google fishless cycle for getting the tank started. You'll need tank conditioners as well to treat the tap water. I use "Jungle Fish Care Made Easy! Start Right with Allantoin".

One other important tip dramaqueen forgot...Betas are aggressive fish, male or female...thus you have to be real careful if you decide to give your beta a tank ("room") mate...Some don't like any other critters in their tank at all, others get alone ok. All depends...but it sucks to find out the hard way (lost my frog Ferggie recently :'S so sad).

Be careful about the decorations in the tank too, as plastic plants can cause harm to their fins, creating tares. Stick with silk, real plants, or soft plastic plants that replicate real ones.

I also noticed...I have found several fish caves with sharp edges inside. Be sure when picking caves, you give a look, and feel inside first.

Good luck with your new beta when and if you guys decide to get one...their great fish with neat personalities, and you'll soon find yourself infatuated with it ;D
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Old 09-21-2008, 02:38 PM   #6 
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Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: New Jersey
Ok, well I live in a dorm room now, and I bought my fishie with me.

I used to have him in a tiny tank, and by tiny I mean less than one gallon.

When I moved to school, I got a one gallon tank with an undergravel filter. I didn't get a heater because I know that dorm rooms are hot, and the water would be the right temperature without the heater. If your dorm had air conditioning (which most don't), then get a heater. It IS a necessity.

My betta seems VERY happy in his one gallon tank. A 2.5 gallon or bigger tank is recommended, but because you live in a dorm with limited space, one gallon should be fine, you'll just have to do more water changes.

Personally, I do 50% water changes at least 2-3 times a week. As for feeding, I just went away this weekend. I fed him a little bit more than I usually do on friday, and I fed him as soon as I got back on sunday. Fasting your betta for a day is good for his digestive system anyway.

Bettas are good pets to have at college, they're generally easy to take care of, and they're always a good addition to the room.

I love my betta fish to the max, and I wouldn't trade him for the world.

Just make sure you cycle the tank before you put him in there!
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