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Old 05-18-2013, 11:19 PM   #1 
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Join Date: May 2013
You probably see this all the time...

Ok, so this is my first fish. Ever. Not just first betta, first fish, so I really don't wanna mess this up.
I've had my betta for around six months, but just recently stumbled upon this forum, and thought I would get opinions on how I could take better care of Vincent.

First off, poor fella was a Walmart find, so he wasn't in the greatest of shape when I got him. Has a bad eye (what convinced me to take him home; he just looked so pitiful) and what looks like some old scratches/scarring on his sides. Both of these things have been there since I got him.

I'd been slowly getting more information, upgrading him from his gallon bowl to a five gallon tank, getting him a heater, a small filter, etc.

The time I've spent browsing the forum has also given me a lot of ideas of how to improve his quality of life... I wasn't aware of the bloating problem freeze dried foods could cause, so I'm not using that anymore and am going to get live or frozen as soon as I get to the pet store with the spare funds.

His temp stays around 80... and the room itself stays 75ish ( I hate the cold) and he has a few plants, a betta log, some other decorations, an exterior light... I've got him set up as good as I know how in there.

Was planning on setting him up in a 10 gallon when I get my table cleared off (currently occupied by my room mate's gerbil) and have space to get it set up and cycling...

He's a lot more energetic than he was when I first brought him home, but I'm just paranoid and want to be the best betta mommy I can be. Any thoughts? Expert tips? Supplies I should probably invest in?
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Old 05-18-2013, 11:42 PM   #2 
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Only that if a gerbil is now in the 10 gallon, you'll want to clean it very well. Gerbils have very concentrated urine and so any white stains on the glass are actually patches of urine. This is pretty difficult to remove, you'll want to put a piece of napkin (tp, paper towel, scrap of rag) soaked in vinegar over it, soak for a few hours and then scrub. Possibly repeat if it doesn't come off in flakes.
Otherwise that innocent looking little "stain" will wreak havoc on your ammonia levels forever.

And then, get yourself a tube of aquarium/plumbers sealant and go over the inside edges with it. Little critters just love to chew off the silicone. Even if it's all chewed off you'd probably never have a problem, but better safe then sorry.
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Old 05-18-2013, 11:45 PM   #3 
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No, the 10 gallon I have stored in my closet... strictly for the fishy. I just need the table space that the gerbil is taking up while my room mate gets things sorted enough to find a place to put him.
Thanks for the tip, though! Might help getting my own gerbil's habitat properly clean!
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Old 05-19-2013, 12:25 AM   #4 
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Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Florida
Hi Nuij and welcome to the forums!

Looks like you've done some pretty good research on how to care for your betta. It was so good of you to rescue him as he surely would have died in that cup.

A 5 gallon tank is a wonderful size for a single betta. Their personality really comes out when they're in a 10 gallon though! My Maximus has a whole 10 gallons with natural plants, a cleaner snail, and several cleaner shrimp. They all live peacefully together. So this is an option for you once you get the 10 gallon tank up and cycled! It's very fun to watch them all interact.

Some good tips to consider: If you don't already, get a water conditioner. A company called Seachem makes a product called Prime. It takes a lot of the harmful metals out of tap water and also detoxifies some ammonia.

Nutrition-wise, you really can't beat the brands like New Life Spectrum Betta Formula or Omega One Betta Buffet, whichever your local pet store carries. They contain lots of good ingredients, including garlic, which increases appetite in sick fish and strengthens the immune system in healthy fish. You want to stay away from cheap betta foods. Also, if you can, try to pick up some frozen bloodworms. The frozen type retains more nutrition than freeze-dried anything, and the bettas love the variety!

As far as emergencies go, you'll pretty much always want to have aquarium salt and Epsom salt to treat your fish. Stress Coat is good for ripped fins as well. (Always good to have at least these three on hand. Never know when something might happen.)

When you get the 10 gallon together, I strongly suggest spending the extra moolah on an adjustable heater. 80 degrees F is perfect for a betta, but with certain circumstances, you may need to change the temperature and it just makes things so much easier.

Whew! Sorry for the essay, but I think I covered most of it. ^_^
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Old 05-19-2013, 11:36 PM   #5 
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Got frozen bloodworms and frozen daphnia today. I do have Stress Coat around since my roomie has it for her koi. The aquarium and epsom salt I'll get on payday, thanks for the assist. ^_^ Tank mates will also have to wait until I have more disposable income available, but he doesn't act terribly aggressive in any case, so hopefully there won't be attacking issues.

Yeah, learned my lesson pretty quick on not doing research, and just blindly believing the pet department folks. My poor roomie got a pretty little shubunkin that didn't make it through the night because of bad associate advice, so I've been checking into things as I go along.

In any case, I am happy for any advice I can get! I don't mind essays at all. XD
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Old 05-19-2013, 11:53 PM   #6 
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Location: Utah
Hello fello newbie. I totally second the adjustable heater. My 10 gal tank has my Ombré and he recently got Ich. Which needs head to help got rid of it. I had a preset heater and had to get a second one that would adjust. Yeah, which I would have spent the extra money and got the better one. But I guess I now have a back up and a heater for water changes bucket (where I age the water to help get rid of tap water crap).
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