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Old 06-03-2013, 12:38 PM   #1 
kmas
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Question Confused New Owner

Hi,

I've had a read at so much information online about the care of Bettas and I'm a bit confused about what to do/what not do.

A little while ago I brought the 'office' Betta fish home and it was living in a tiny little bowl (not purchased by me).

I then moved him into a larger (still pretty small) tank that wasn't heated/lit in anyway.

I've now moved him into a 5 gallon tank with a filter, live plant, hiding places and heater.

Most of the time he is incredibly active, practically jumping out of the tank when I get up in the morning and feed him.

The past few days he has been curled under his bridge or lying elsewhere on the bottom of the tank. When I feed him now he eats normally after I give him a little shake on the glass.

The areas of confusion for me are that I've read that water changes are harmful for the fish and shouldn't be done and in other places I've read that they should be fully changed weekly.

I clean out the filter every day or so and also top up the water but I am so concerned that I'm doing something wrong. I've become so attached to the little blighter! Also, I don't actually know how I'd physically manage to change the tank.

His living conditions now, compared to what he had before, are like the Ritz compared to sleeping rough.

Also, I only feed him (and he has only ever been fed) flakes. He seems to like them and really goes for them when they go in in the morning. My husband is very squeamish about me giving him dead/live worms so I haven't done that.

Any advice on what I am doing wrong? Thanks! (I can post pics of his tank if needed).
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Old 06-03-2013, 01:13 PM   #2 
Freyja
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Welcome to the forum and yes you are doing something wromg, though due to misinformation. Fear not we are here to help. First of all you have to change your fish's water. A 50% water change weekly, with substrate cleaning, is enough for a filtered 5 gallon tank. Water changes will not harm your fish and you can leave him in the tank during water changes. They are essential to adequate water conditions. Remember to treat the water with a water conditioner to remove harmful chemicals. Seachem Prime is a good one. Read the stickies on the nitrogen cycle. Don't clean the filter pad everyday. Clean it only once a month by swishing it in old tank water. The reason behind this is that most of your beneficial bacteria -see nitrogen cycle- will be found in your filter pad.
Flakes are ok, pellets are preferred. Omega One pellets (Petsmart) and NLS Betta pellets (Petco) are the better ones. Omega also makes flakes, so you can mix it up as variety is key.

Last edited by Freyja; 06-03-2013 at 01:18 PM.
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Old 06-03-2013, 02:50 PM   #3 
waterdog
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Not knowing what kind of filter you are using, there can be several things going on here.
1) If this is a new setup your going to go through a cycling of the tank. Water conditions will change. DO NOT clean the filter daily. Your only dragging out the process.
2) What kind of filter? Some filters create too much water movement for bettas. If he was kept in such small bowls, he is not use to water movement of any kind. This is my best bet for what is going on from your description of his behavior.

Pictures always give us a better chance of diagnosing problems, but my guess is too much water movement.
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Old 06-04-2013, 03:58 AM   #4 
kmas
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Thanks for the advice so far, really helpful.
I'm going to go to the aquarium shop after work for some bits and pieces and will do a 50% water change tonight.
I've attached some pics of how things are just now.
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Old 06-04-2013, 08:46 AM   #5 
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Beautiful tank! I love it!!!!!!!!!!

You didn't say and I can only judge by the pictures as to what kind of filter you have, but it looks like a powerful one. Again I am suspecting too much water movement.

You say that is a five gallon tank. (looks bigger in the pics)
You should be doing one - 2 gallon water change per week. This will allow your tank to cycle and make the water quality the best it can be.
In a filtered 5 gallon tank you want it to cycle, so too many water changes stop that from happening.

You might want to consider getting a sponge to cover that intake so his fins don't get caught in the intake.
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Old 06-04-2013, 08:48 AM   #6 
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Just wanted to add that cleaning the filter often can be harmful because it's killing off the beneficial bacteria (BB) bloom on the filter. The beneficial bacteria are helpful because they eat the bad stuff like ammonia. You don't need to worry about this too much, but a 5 gallon tank will eventually do what is called a cycle where you have a lot of BB, and no ammonia and nitrates, but higher nitrites (it could be reversed on the nitrate, nitrite so please someone correct me if I'm wrong), and this is VERY good for your fish. But that doesn't mean you don't have to quite doing your weekly clean on your tank.
The best thing you want to do on your tank, is the 50% clean a week and when you're doing that, either with a turkey baster after you've drained the water or with a gravel vacuum while you're draining the water, you need to suck up the yucks at the bottom, his uneaten food and poop. Too much build up of those can cause your tank water to become toxic as they both release harmful chemicals as they break down. Don't worry about getting it all, because some will get stuck in the gravel and if you have live plants, some yuck is necessary to feed the plants.
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Old 06-04-2013, 08:51 AM   #7 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sainthogan View Post
and no ammonia and nitrates, but higher nitrites (it could be reversed on the nitrate, nitrite so please someone correct me if I'm wrong)
cycle = ammonia to nitrites - nitrites to nitrates.
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Old 06-04-2013, 08:52 AM   #8 
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Also, I agree with a previous poster that the filter current is too strong and that's why he's hiding under the bridge all the time. I made that mistake years and years ago with my first Betta when I was 13 and didn't know any better. I had to move my guy from a 15 gallon tank because the pet store told me he could live in a community tank, but he was much too aggressive, so I moved him to a 1 gallon with a strong bubbler filter. He sat in the corner behind the filter and quit swimming and rarely ate. He didn't live very long as a result. I've learned my lesson since then. You can baffle the filter to reduce the current. Some filters have an adjustable flow valve, if yours does, turn it to the lowest setting and see if that helps.
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Old 06-04-2013, 08:56 AM   #9 
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Thank you waterdog, I can never remember which is which.
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Old 06-04-2013, 10:36 AM   #10 
kmas
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Thanks all. I'm just back from work and stopped by the pet store.
They recommended a product called JBL Clynol to me http://www.jbl.de/en/aquatics-freshw...787/jbl-clynol and some different food pellets, Sakura for Fighting Fish.
After dinner (18:35 here) I'm going to start doing some work on the tank in the hope it cheers my little Betta up. He isn't his usual quirky self :(
Will update with how I get on.
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