Hello everyone. I'm glad I found this forum! Today I bought my first beta fish in years. The last one I had was when I was a teenager. My cat was, at the time, young and agile, and he knocked its bowl off the dresser and killed it. He's an old fart now, so no chance of him doing that again. I also had a beta as a kid. I got him when I was 11, and I kept him alive until I was 14.
So today, I decided to look at small pets for myself and my almost 2 year old daughter. We looked at birds and small mammals and I decided we don't really have the space or money for that at the moment. I looked at small reptiles and decided similarly. I considered goldfish or other fish, but I don't have the money to invest in a great aquarium right now, ultimately I'd love to have one though.
We also looked at hermit crabs and I briefly considered those, but I am not too familiar with their care.
So we arrived at the betas. I chose the brightest colored and most active one. We named him Frank.
I got one of those beta starter kit things that came with the gravel, fake plant, water conditioner, and food. I bought a thing of beta water. Please keep in mind I'm pretty new to the proper care of betas!
After reading the FAQ on here, I realize I need to go look for a heater for his new home. Eventually I'd like to get him a larger home as well.
Will he be OK for a period of time if I am keeping him in the smaller container? It holds only 1/2 a gallon.
I refilled a gallon jug of tap water and put some water conditioner in that. If I allow it to sit and become room temperature, will that be suitable for water changes?
When I change his water, how should I go about it?
Should I consider feeding him brine shrimp occasionally instead of just beta flakes?
I poured the beta water into his new home and then allowed it to mix with the water from the plastic beta jail he was housed in at the store. When should I clean his water? In a few days?
Any other advice would be appreciated, I want him to live a long time, I've really missed having a pet fish around!
Q:Will he be OK for a period of time if I am keeping him in the smaller container? It holds only 1/2 a gallon.
A: Alot of people will probably tell you no, but with frequent water changes and proper care it will be a much better temporary home than those small cups.
Q: I refilled a gallon jug of tap water and put some water conditioner in that. If I allow it to sit and become room temperature, will that be suitable for water changes?
A: Yes, that's perfect.
Q: When I change his water, how should I go about it?
A: In a tank that size I would do 25% changes every other day, and a complete clean out once a week. You'll probably get a few different answers for this one.
Q:Should I consider feeding him brine shrimp occasionally instead of just beta flakes?
A: Sure! Bettas love variety. You could also try bloodworms. Keep in mind that some are fussier than others, so he might not like some foods.
Q: I poured the beta water into his new home and then allowed it to mix with the water from the plastic beta jail he was housed in at the store. When should I clean his water? In a few days?
A: By betta water do you just mean you used the conditioner? I would give him a few days to get use to his new home then do a complete change. Afterward I would try and get on a regular cleaning schedule. But if he seems ill I would change a little bit everyday for the first week or two.
Hope I helped a little. Eventually you'll get your own methods for feeding and water changes. You'll find from the advice you get that everyone does it a little different.
I'm not familiar with the betta water product. In the future I would just go with tap water(cheaper I would guess) unless you notice some benefit using the betta water. Does your tank have a lid? If so fill to the top.Bettas can be jumpers so if it has an open top I would leave about an inch or so from the rim.
a half gallon is fine as a temporary home,, But you need to do 50% water changes at least every other day,
The more frequent water changes the healthier & disease free your fish will be,
Plus for a half gallons I'd say a complete water change at least once a week if not sooner,
You must remember that's a very tiny bowl and their living in their own pee and poop,
Ammonia build up will be rather fast, and I'm sure you know how bad ammonia is for ones health.
When you do full water changes use a small cup to dip him out gently,
I don't prefer a net as its more stressful to a fish when they leave water,
Really for a half gallon I would do full water changes every other day,
I have some here now that gets such and they love it,
I really don't like using any water that the betta came into,
Thats dirty cruddy stuff they have set into for lord knows how long,
Start him of with 100% fresh water,,
Be sure to add conditioner to all his water before you add it to his bowl,
Keep as much water in his bowl as possible, he needs all that space,
But remember, Bettas jump, so the lid is extremely important
i've heard a lot of bettas don't like flakes so you might try the Hikari Betta bio gold. It's a little expensive, but with one fish, it should run you about $3 for the little packet and last you awhile. I also like to treat mine with Hikari freeze dried blood worms. Since they're dried, they don't carry anything infectious.
The gallon jug is a great idea. I always keep 2 of them full under the counter for emergency water. As soon as you're finished changing his water, refill it again with cold tap water and put it back. Then it'll be ready for the next time you need it and you won't have to think ahead about filling it.
As for water changes, I have 3 gallon tanks and i leave my guys in there. I just scoop out the water aroudn them with a small cup and then replace it slowly over the period of an hour or two (i work at home, so it's not a big deal for me that way.) If you want to take him out, I agree with Chicklet: the cup is the way to go. YOu can just suck him right in and he's never out of the water. The net is a little more stressful and you can end up tearing fins.
Thanks for all the replies!! I'll change his water over tomorrow. I don't have any little hiding spots for him, so for the time being I draped a small cloth over about an eighth of his tank. The airflow is not restricted. I noticed once I put the cloth up, he swam out of sight and hung out for a while and then swam around.
he is so much more active than he was in the store. My daughter is highly impressed with him and continually wanted me to hold her up to look at him :)
i've heard a lot of bettas don't like flakes so you might try the Hikari Betta bio gold.
you know...my betta is quite the opposite! The little stinker prefers flakes over pellets, if he cant get his mouth on his favorite bloodworms! I even tried the bio gold to no avail. Guess they really do have their own personalities ;D
Don't bother wasting your money on that "betta water" stuff. It's junk. It's just 'bottled spring water' like the stuff people pay ridiculous amounts of money to buy and drink. You'll get better quality water from your tap. Trust me, I live in Florida where they get that "spring water" from - it isn't really 'fresh from the springs' guys, and it is not that clean. Tap water with the water conditioner will work far better, and be far cheaper.
On the topic of getting him a bigger tank - if you can't afford a bigger tank (or if the fish store isn't near you) then swinging by someplace like wal-mart, k-mart, target, home depot etc to pick up a 'temp tank' will work. Just go to their storage section and pick up one of those plastic storage bins. You can get ones that hold a gallon and a half for less than two bucks, so it would certainly be a step up from that little thing you've got him in right now, and will work just fine until you get a proper 'fish tank.'