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Old 04-13-2009, 09:35 PM   #1 
Robarie
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Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Fort Hood
Question New to Betta Fish


ok some background, young family, my husband deployed and two girls ages 2 and 3 both begging for puppy, well that wasn't going to happen so we talked them into a fish. So today at the pet store i asked for one low maintanence fish, like a starter pet for us. They recommended the bettas and once i saw them, they were beautiful. So next the tank, the assistant showed me this 1/2 gallon plastic betta kit, that came with everything to start (handful of rocks, decorative background, water conditioner, and food). We got him all set up in it and at first he was active and we gave him a few flakes that he ate up (they said a few a day was good). Now been a few hours home and he's either laying in the back corner like he's hiding or up at the waters edge being very very still. Now i've read on here about larger tanks and heaters and plants and other foods for them, so i'm lost.... i want to do what i can for this guy to last a few years with us, please help....
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Old 04-13-2009, 10:55 PM   #2 
dramaqueen
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Welcome to FishForum. A 2 and 1/2 gallon tank is usually what is reccommended but bettas can do alright in a gallon container. The water will need to be changed once or twice a week. His water temperature needs to be kept at around 76 to 80 degrees. There are mini heaters for 1 gallon containers. If the room he's in is warm enough, he may not need a heater. Mine are in gallon containers and have no heaters. IMO, pellets are best to feed him for his staple diet. You can also feed freeze dried foods such as bloodworms, daphnia and brine shrimp.Sometimes it takes a while for a betta to become used to his new home and he may hide and lay on the bottom. Some won't eat for a few days. If he's laying on the bottom for long periods of time, then there may be a problem. By the way, my sister-in-law is stationed at Fort Hood. :)
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Old 04-14-2009, 12:57 AM   #3 
Robarie
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uuhhhmmm, okay well this one is a half a gallon, but i've shown to my husband now and he really likes it and wants more. He said to go and get him a big tank and more fish. I put this guy, we named him Tico, under a lamp for tonight and we are going back to petsmart tomorrow. So my new question is how many bettas can i have in a tank or since i read they fight, which kind of fish can go together??? Since i've had him by the light he's moved to the top and switches positions a little. oh and hi to your sister, we could be neighbors, this place is huge and people from everywhere!
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Old 04-14-2009, 09:11 AM   #4 
dramaqueen
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No, you can't put bettas together. They are very territorial and will fight. Males and females put together will fight, too. If you want to add more fish, I would suggest a 10 gallon tank. Don't get any fish that are nippy or have long, flashy fins.Someone else can tell you more about compatibility. I keep mine alone.The lamp is a good idea. It will definitely help to keep him warmer.
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Old 04-14-2009, 09:22 AM   #5 
Nataku
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Half gallon is too small for a betta. They advertise all that junk at the pet stores 'made for bettas' - don't listen to them, it's all rubbish. Would you like to be locked in your closet to live for the rest of your life?

Okay, if your husband said go get more, I'd say get a 10 gallon tank (they're cheap anyhow) and divide it. Betta fish aren't called fighting fish for nothing, do NOT stick two males together, they will fight, tear each other's fins to shreds, and likely kill each other. Likewise, females are not really much friendlier. Do not stick a male and a female in the same tank and think it will work (do not listen to the salesman at the fish store if he tells you this is okay! They are lying through their teeth!). There is no love at first sight with bettas. There is a lot of posturing, flaring and fin-ripping. They are 1 fish, 1 tank kinds of creatures. The way around this, I have found, is to take 10 gallon tanks, and put a divider (or two) in them and one betta goes in each section, while still giving the betta enough space to swim(10 gallon tank divided in two is 5 gallons per fish, divided in three is 3.3 gallons per fish). This way they can see each other and you will get to watch them flare and interact, without any of the nasty side effects of fish killing each other.

You can buy dividers at a petstore, but I find these are pretty poor excuses for dividers (the holes are tiny and don't allow good flow, the divider often will kink and not lay flat, and they form a poor seal around the edges and sometimes fish can slip through) and they are expensive! There is a cheap alternative instead, and that is to make your own tank divider - don't worry, it's really easy, and cheap!
http://www.fishforum.com/diy-aquariu...ividers-21866/
That should have all the info you need on making dividers.

If you get a 10 gallon tank, grab yourself a 50 watt heater, and that will work for the whole tank. Betta fish are tropical, and like warm water. You'll find a warm betta is a happy betta, and they are much more active when they're warm.

Bettas and other fish. Eh, this is a topic of much debate. Bettas are aggressive fish, as has already been said. This is not restricted to their own species. If another fish has long fins or bright colors (aka even vaguely resembles a betta) the betta fish is likely to attack it. Guppies, gouramis, angelfish, chiclids, goldfish etc are all a big no-no. There are stories out there of people keeping their betta with fish that are normally considered a horrible match and the fish not fighting. Personally, I wouldn't try it. These are rare exceptions to the rule and they were lucky (and probably a bit fool-hardy to try it in the first place). A lot of people like keeping bettas with Cory Cats (Corydoras Catfish), since they usually leave each other alone and get on well enough. If you go the route of getting Cory Cats, know that they are schooling fish, and you'll want at least four of them in the tank (10 gallon or more). If you go this route, the tank cannot be divided, as they will need the whole tank to roam, which means you can only have one betta in there.
You will find bettas are actually quite smart as far as the fish world goes, and they each have their own personality. This means sometimes a betta will get along with other fish.... sometimes they won't.
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Old 04-14-2009, 10:05 AM   #6 
Robarie
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ok thanks everyone, this morning tico was swimming around a little, i also sacrificed and turned the heater on in the house too. we are headed to the pet store, not sure if we are getting more bettas with a divider or 2 or if we get those cory guys, depends on what they look like, hehe. But i will take the advise to heart, i feel bad for my poor lil guy but i am going to make it better. i saw some of the other pics on here too and am excited about setting something nice up. Thanks everyone!
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Old 04-14-2009, 11:09 AM   #7 
dramaqueen
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If you get cories, you'll need sand on the bottom of the tank.
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Old 04-14-2009, 02:23 PM   #8 
Robarie
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alrighty everyone, i did it! i got 2 more bettas, males, and a 20 gallon tank with 2 dividers. should be enough room right?!? one is getting a tiki house, one a bridge, and one tiki statue thing, and plants for all. i ended up getting gravel rocks for the bottom, i didn't know which sand to get and the sales clerk said i didn't need that for bettas (they said that for everything i was getting). so i'm going to start set up, no names for the 2 new ones and my girls are out of ideas. i appreciate all the help everyone and anymore suggestions for my lil homies... thanks
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Old 04-14-2009, 02:29 PM   #9 
dramaqueen
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Sounds great! There will be plenty of room for everyone and the decorations sound great, too.
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Old 04-14-2009, 05:21 PM   #10 
Robarie
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Smile New Home

Their new home is all set, hope everyone approves! Thanks again for all the help.
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