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Old 11-11-2008, 11:32 PM   #1 
radiobath
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Advice for changing my ways...

Hi, I'm new here. A little background info: my father hates animals. I live with my father, for the time being. This means that I wasn't allowed to have any pets. One day, I came home with a Betta that I got from the pet store, and my father obliged. I have had multiple bettas, unfortunately living in terrible conditions. This, I just found out in the past few hours.

I currently have two obviously depressed bettas, Albus (pink, red, and blue CT) and Suzette (pink and red female, unknown type). I'm not going to go into gory details, but within a few minutes of reading, I feel terribly guilty about what I've been putting them through for years.

They currently live in a tiny tank. I was searching around for a 5 - 10 gal tank for them, but most of these are kits that come with filters. In the FAQ, it says they need a low flow filter, and I don't know how to tell if it's suitable for them.

Also, any advice (things to look out for when buying decoration, what kinds of plants are good, specific kinds of food, what to look for when buying a heater, etc) is extremely helpful. My sister bred Discus and Angels in the past, so I might get hand-me-downs from her. I just don't know what to look for.
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Old 11-12-2008, 12:15 AM   #2 
kritas
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As long as you know what you've been doing is wrong and you are willing to provide better conditions for your fish, then it is understandable.
I reccomend getting them AT LEAST a 5G each, and the filter is extremely important in a fishes tank. Without one, it means that detritus and fish food get left on the floor of the tank which you then have to thoroughly clean, otherwise your betta will die. Also, a heater is an absolute must for a bettas tank, because they are tropical fish. Meaning they come from hotter parts of the world, their tanks temperature must match their natural environment. The heater should be bought regarding the *5 watts per gallon rule*.
Just get a filter that has a water turnover of at least 2 times per hour.
I reccomend getting an Amazon sword or a Java fern for a plant or you could get both. They are both hardy plants and even a beginner plant keeper could grow them.

Hope that helps
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Old 11-12-2008, 07:40 AM   #3 
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A good solution for a tank is to get a 10 gallon from your local big chain store and then put in a divider. The 10 gallon will run you less than $20 bucks, I think the last one I saw was $12. A divider shouldn't be more than another $10. Voila, two five gallon tanks. Just be sure the divider isn't solid or else you'll need two heaters and two filters. A few holes or slots to let water circulate will be needed.

A good filter will be a necessity as well, but you want on that's not going to make a lot of current. A sponge filter would be a good choice in your case. You'll need an air pump to run it.

Finally you'll need a heater. If you go the 10 gallon route a 50W heater will be what you need.

If you want more details just ask.
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Old 11-12-2008, 11:38 AM   #4 
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Thanks for the advice. :D Hopefully by this weekend, Albus and Suzette will have a new, clean home.

Also, I have a question. My sister (fish connoisseur) pointed out that Albus' back was crooked, and said it was because of old age. It's not broken-looking, but looks like he's suffering from a mild case of fish scoliosis. He is an old fish, about a year or two, but I'm wondering if it's because of the tank he's in right now. If it is, will he be okay once he's in his new home?
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Old 11-12-2008, 02:19 PM   #5 
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Sorry for the double-post, but I couldn't find an edit button to my last one.

Albus always had a straight spine. Just recently in the past month or so, it started to get a little bent. It's not a defect. I don't know if it's disease, because he's lethargic from the cool water. But he doesn't have ich or fin rot, that's for sure.
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Old 11-12-2008, 02:36 PM   #6 
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It can be caused from water conditions I think if they are very bad. I am ashamed to say a couple years ago we had a ten gallon tank and one remaining blood fin tetra, who was 6 years old or so. The tank went uncleaned for... God knows how long, ... months. You couldn't see into it. When I cleaned it and saw him, his spine was bent.. and I think it was TB. He lived about a year after that, and that's a testament to how hardy they are.

A heater can't hurt and weekly water changes... get a thermometer to to make sure the temp stays steady. You can get stick on ones or just regular hagen ones. 2 bucks is about all it is.

Also, if you decide against live plants, try silk ones. plastic ones can rip fins pretty easy. they might appreciate a flat surfaced decoration also to rest on..
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Old 11-12-2008, 03:54 PM   #7 
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Yeah, there's a good amount of algae in the tank. I removed the plastic trees because of the algae build-up on them, and Albus was so thankful, he built a bubble nest immediately after it's removal. I have one live plant in there right now, no clue what it is. It came in a box at Petco, aptly named "Betta Plants". One bulb didn't grow, the other apparently wasn't meant for water as it got extremely mouldy and rotted (thoroughly cleaned the tank and put the fishies in little "bath" cups for an hour). The third is too big for the tank, leaving Suzette with little room.

I moved their tank up into my room, next to where the heat vent is. My room is about 70 degrees all over, but next to the vent, it should be around 75. It's not the greatest arrangement, but it already helped a lot. Albus is swimming around a bit, which is a good change.
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Old 11-12-2008, 05:46 PM   #8 
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Good. You should invest in a API freshwater master test kit. If you just have the two bettas, the tests will go forever. Well worth it for the price nad health of your fishies. :)
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Old 11-13-2008, 02:47 AM   #9 
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Alright, this is going to probably sound worse than it actually is, but the results are amazing.

Moving the tank didn't do anything. After a few hours, they went straight back into being catatonic. I filled up glasses of water (about 70 degrees, as the water they were in was 68 degrees), placed them on a plastic laundry basket that has a corner over the heating vent. The water slowly warmed up to about 78 degrees (the thermometer notches are very tiny, so I'm rounding it up) and is staying at that temp. While their temporary living quarters are tiny, they're doing much better. Albus's back straightened out completely, his color is noticeably more vibrant, and they're both moving around quite a bit. Albus even flared and danced for Suzette.

While they do look a little confused, and the cups are no Ritz Carlton, I think they adjusted fine and will be okay for the time. I'm doing temperature checks every 5 minutes or so to make sure they aren't going to boil while I sleep.
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Old 11-13-2008, 08:46 AM   #10 
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Well 68 degrees is very cold for a betta, any kind of warmth will be good for them, just be careful putting them near a dryer vent like that as the exhaust air can be over 100 degrees.

As for perking up in the cups, water quality, purely. Imagine being in a big house but the air is so thick with smoke you can't breath. Even if someone then tossed you in a closet but it had fresh air you'd perk up. The cups are definitely not a long term solution but they'll get by until you get better accommodations set up for them.
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