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Old 03-29-2009, 08:51 PM   #1 
KLS1283
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Question Looking into getting a Betta!

Hello everyone! I am currently looking into getting Bettas for my children! They have been bugging me to get a fish tank. I want something that isn't going to take up too much room. I also want something that is relatively low maintenance! Since Bettas seem to live well in a smaller enviroment they were the obvious choice! My cousins have bettas that are kept in bowls and they seem to be doing just fine. I will be getting a heater because our house gets quite cold in the winter, but do I really need a filter?? I don't want to spend too much on these fish but I at least want to take care of them properly! Also, we go out of town almost every weekend in the summer, and I don't want to have to haul 2 fish with me, are they going to be ok over the weekend?? It also sounds like they need special food is this exspensive??
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Old 03-29-2009, 09:06 PM   #2 
dramaqueen
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Hello and welcome to FishForum. A 2 1/2 gallon, heated, filtered tank is usually what is reccommended for 1 betta. In your case, you could probably go with a 5 or 10 gallon with a divider. If you are going to cycle your tank, you will need a filter. I have a 4 gallon tank with one betta and it's not cycled or filtered. A heater would be great. Going out of town will be no problem because you could just feed them right before you leave and right after you get home. You'll need water conditioner to take out all the chlorine and chloramine from the water. As far as food goes, you'll need a pellet food for their staple diet. They'll also eat freeze dried or frozen bloodworms, brine shrimp and daphnia. You don't have to feed them ALL those things but they DO like a variety. These are to be fed as a once or twice a week treat. The food isn't expensive at all. I think the frozen food can be a little expensive. The frozen food needs to be thawed out before feeding and the freeze dried food needs to be rehydrated before feeding. Whew! I hope I answered your questions. lolPlease feel free to ask any more that you may have.
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Old 03-29-2009, 09:43 PM   #3 
Nataku
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Hello and welcome to Fish Forum!
I'll try to help you out with some of these questions and elaborate a bit more on the betta fish.
First off - yes, betta can survive in smaller tanks than some other fish, but this is not an ideal living condition. Imagine being locked in a room the size of your closet all your life. You could do it, but you wouldn't be too terribly thrilled about it would you? This is how it is for bettas and many of those so called 'betta tanks' they sell at pet stores 'specially made for betta' are really just a joke, they are way too small.
A miniumum tank size for a betta should be 2.5 gallons. This is still not all that big honestly, and you can easily fit a tank (or several) this size on a computer desk or clothing drawing.

A heater is more important to a betta than a filter. Bettas are tropical fish, and therefore like warm water. Water temperature in a betta tank should be kept between 76 and 84 degrees. Any colder and your fish will become lethargic, and will often spend most of the time laying on the bottom of the tank. Bettas also become more susceptible to some illnesses at lower temperatures.

Filters - do you need one? No, it is not essential. They are handy to help keep the tank cleaner,and essential if you plan on cycling a tank (but cycling isn't essential either) but bettas prefer water with very little to no water floaw anyhow, so it's not a huge deal if they are missing out on a filter. I don't keep filters in any of my betta's tanks.

Bettas can survive several weeks without feeding. Is this recomended? Not really, but its possible. If it's just going to be weekend trips and you're only going to be gone for two days, it's no big deal. Many people who keep bettas often give them a 'fast day' once a week anyhow (bettas, you will learn are little swimming pigs, if you will give them more, and oh will they ever beg for more food, they will eat it, to a point they can eat themselves sick). Just be sure you feed them twice a day when you are home. Although if these fish are for your children, I don't anticipate that being a problem, feeding bettas is one of the most entertaining times you can have with these fish, their begging antics are priceless.

The betta food - it may seem exotic at first, but modern technology has made proper, healthy betta food easy to get now. You'll want to get betta pellets from your local fish store, not flakes! Check the label for ingredients and make sure there are no color dyes, and that it contains fish meal and proteins, and isn't purely veggie matter. Bettas are carnivores, as opposed to many other aquarium fish which are herbivores. Bettas don't handle plant matter well, and this can make them constipated (which can and will kill your betta). In the wild, bettas eat bug larvae and other insects which fall onto the surface of the water, so the pellets are important because they float at the surface and mimic the natural prey of the betta.

Betta like treats (don't you?) but these are not essential to a betta's diet, they are just something you can give them on occasion which will make them dance like there's no tomorrow. Bloodworms, daphnia, brine shrimp, tubifex worms, mosquito larvae - these may not sound tasty to you, but to a creature like the betta, they are delicious snacks and a great source of protein. Bear in mind though, while a varied diet helps keep a happy, healthy betta, feeding them solely these foods can cause them to become very fat, and then fall ill. So they should be given as treats only, not a constant staple diet. These treats can be found at most pet stores, in convenient, freeze-dried or frozen forms.
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Old 03-30-2009, 12:28 AM   #4 
KLS1283
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Thanks for all the info! It was very helpful! The kids have already picked out what colors they want, even though my daughter is upset she didn't see one that is all pink!
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Old 03-30-2009, 12:40 AM   #5 
Virus
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I'd like to see pictures once you purchase them!
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Old 03-30-2009, 08:04 AM   #6 
dramaqueen
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If you have any more questions, feel free to ask. :)
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Old 03-30-2009, 10:53 AM   #7 
Livelifelaughlove
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If i am correct, many bettas that you get that are all pink will seem to change colors more when you get them home into good water conditions. Actually keep in mind that almost all bettas coloring changes at least some when you get them home since the water conditions at the store are generally very poor. Good luck, welcome to the forum, and we want pics!
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Old 03-30-2009, 12:42 PM   #8 
dramaqueen
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I have a female that I thought was white when I got her. She turned pink in a couple of weeks after getting her.
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Old 03-30-2009, 02:58 PM   #9 
Livelifelaughlove
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Which is strange, since the red in a betta is recessive as it gets older, why the bright red and true red bettas are more "valuable"
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Old 03-30-2009, 03:11 PM   #10 
dramaqueen
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I have never seen a really red betta at Petsmart. They've all been more rusty red. My first betta, Buddy, was a kind of rusty red with blue fins. He wasn't the most beautiful fish in the world but he was such a sweetheart and had the greatest personality.
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