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Old 09-28-2008, 10:57 PM   #1 
burtosa
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Bought a Betta in a Beijing market: questions

I just bought a Betta fish at a market in Beijing and would like to educate myself. I have several questions :

1) The seller told me I need to add warm water to the bowl in the winter. Is this true?

2) What is the best method to changing water?

3) How can I tell what sex my fish is? (Blue)

4) Why is my fish hitting itself against the bowl? I woke up this morning to a low pinging noise!

5) What are some of the best Betta fish names anyone has heard of?
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Old 09-29-2008, 02:34 AM   #2 
iamntbatman
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1) The seller told me I need to add warm water to the bowl in the winter. Is this true?
Bettas are tropical fish, so if you're in Beijing, room temperature is not going to be warm enough when winter comes around. Simply adding warm water isn't going to help much since it will quickly cool down. You really need to get a tank big enough to be heated and an appropriate sized aquarium heater to keep the fish at 78*F.

2) What is the best method to changing water?
You can use a gravel vacuum or turkey baster to remove water and waste from the gravel at the same time. Don't change all of the water at once. 25% or 50% water changes are better. You should leave the fish in the tank while you do the water change. Adjust the temperature of the tap water until it's the same temperature as the water in the tank, fill up a container and add water conditioner. Then, slowly pour the water into the tank to fill it back up.

3) How can I tell what sex my fish is? (Blue)
Males generally have much more elaborate finnage than females, unless it is a plakat betta. Also, females will have an egg spot near their anus.

4) Why is my fish hitting itself against the bowl? I woke up this morning to a low pinging noise!
If the fish can see his reflection in the glass, he might be attacking it. Give your fish some hiding places (such as soft silk plants and caves) so that it can feel more secure. A dark aquarium background will help calm the fish and reduce reflections.

5) What are some of the best Betta fish names anyone has heard of?
My girlfriend has a female crowntail named Millard Fillmore. I thought it was a pretty silly name, but I like it.
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Old 09-21-2009, 07:26 PM   #3 
cbranste
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Which market in Beijing did you buy it at? Lady's Street? MaDianFuLiTe? or just a supermarket out somewhere? I am a fellow-Beijinger and have also had trouble with fish store owners who either did not know what they were talking about (because they were served by 17-year old girls) or else my Chinese was not good enough to catch their finer distinctions.
Also, how is your Chinese?
The reason I ask is because I have found people at the two above fish markets (yu2 shir4 in Chinese) who really are experts regarding fish and if your Chinese is good enough, they will give you good advice and not just tell you what they think you want to hear.
As for the heat problem, don't forget that many Chinese in BJ live in colder housing than you probably do. So when they give advice they might be projecting their own situation onto yours. I have found that when the heat comes on Nov 15, your house SHOULD be warm enough to keep your fish warm. At least I know that we have to open windows in our place to cool it down. When the heat goes off in March, it can be a little chilly, but pouring warm water will NOT do it because even boiling water cools to room-temperature within minutes.

As for a name, Millard Fillmore is an interesting name. He is a virtually unknown US President, who according to a childrens' book I read when I was young, is best known for accomplishing absolutely nothing.
But why not go with a Chinese name? Lan2 Mei3 means Blue Beautiful and has a nice ring also because it is a homophone with Blueberry lan2 mei2. Lan2 (Blue) is also a surname, so he could be Xiaolan Little Mr. Lan/Blue. If you gave him a three-character Chinese name he could be lan2 bao3 shi2 which means Sapphire. Both names are nice in each language. Lan2 Nong2 is the Chinese name for Lenin and also has Blue in it if you want to give him a Russian (or song-writer's) name. Lan2 ju4 xing1 is the Chinese for giant blue star, like in space. Lan2 jing1 ling2 is their word for Smurf, but Betas are far more majestic than smurfs, so I don't think that one is so good
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