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Old 04-27-2009, 08:39 PM   #1 
Clarke
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Question Beginner Questions

Hey everyone. I'm 16. I've been wanting a freshwater tank for quite some time but my parents say no, so I'm going to aim for a betta fish. I have a bowl that measures 12" x 12" (sounds small but it's a really large bowl). I live in Florida so I don't need a heater. They live in a cup, I think they'll live in a big bowl. I've read a lot but I've read conflicting things. Just some questions.

1.) Water changing. What do I do when I want to change the water, let some water sit a day then put it into the bowl? Add a little of this water cleaner stuff? How often?

2.) Cleaning the tank. Do I use soap? A mild sink soap and then wash thoroughly? How often?

3.) What's the best food or foods? Pellets, flakes, dried bloodworms?

4.) I'm thinking of putting a few rocks, a small cave thing, and a fake plant. Should be fine, right? (Of course I'll wash everything when I clean)

Last question... Where is the best place to buy bettas? I want a pretty one like these.







I realize I probably won't get one exactly like those, but where is the "prettiest" fish? Pet Supermarket's are kinda dull looking.

Thanks! Can't wait to get my first pet fish!
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Old 04-27-2009, 08:50 PM   #2 
Campbell
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Welcome to the forum!

1.) In a smaller bowl I would do a 50% change every two days. It sounds like alot, but once you get in a routine it will only tank a few minutes. I like to let my water set for at least a day before using it. I also add conditioner and aquarium salt. The fish can stay in the aquarium during the change.

2.) No soap! I would just completely clean it out every week to two weeks. That's so long as you're changing the water often. I just scrub with warm water and paper towels.

3.) Hiariki(sp?) pelllets are the best, plus they are pretty cheap. You can also give them bloodworms once or twice a week. Is the worms are freeze dired rehydrate them in tank water first. You might also to skip feeding one day a week to prevent constipation.

4.) Great, bettas love exploring.

5.) There are a few web sites like aquabid, but they will cost you a pretty penny. I see beautiful ones at the bigger chain store like petsmart. You just have to really look.
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Old 04-27-2009, 08:53 PM   #3 
Cody
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Read this for help:
http://www.fishforum.com/betta-fish-...are-faq-20058/

Also, you need a heater. I could care less if you live in Florida or if you live in Alaksa; you need a heater for these fish. They are not expensive.

1) Get dechlorinator. Change water every other day, 50%, in small bowls. Add the dechlor to tap water.
2) You should NEVER do a 100% water change, and never use soap.
3) Pellets.
4) Yep.
5) As stated, Aquabid.
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Old 04-27-2009, 09:30 PM   #4 
dramaqueen
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You dont HAVE to let the water sit but I think most of us do. I agree with Campbell on the water changes. Hikari betta bio gold is what a lot of forum members feed their bettas.You can also feed them daphnia and brine shrimp, either frozen or freeze dried. As stated, freeze dried needs to be rehydrated.You probably won't see bettas like those pictured in your post at any petstores but there are some nice ones at Petco and Petsmart.
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Old 04-27-2009, 09:39 PM   #5 
Clarke
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I saw one like that 3rd one I posted one time a while back.

I might get a small tank because I don't know how I'm going to stick a heater in a bowl. It's like $8 to $10 for a 2 gallon tank I think at Pet Supermarket. I'll see.

Thanks everyone.
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Old 04-27-2009, 09:48 PM   #6 
dramaqueen
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You can get a critter keepre instead of a tank. I have one 1 1/2 gallon and 1 2 1/2 gallon. The 2 1/2 gallon is getting a heater.
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Old 04-27-2009, 10:30 PM   #7 
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I think a heater is always needed. these fish shouldnt get chilled. their worth it to give them the best, the best of luck to you.
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Old 04-28-2009, 03:33 PM   #8 
Nataku
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On the topic of a heater:I live in Florida too. That is not an excuse to not have a heater. I have heaters for my tanks. Yes, I may turn them off in summer when I allow my house temperature to reach 85 degrees so as not to overheat the tanks, but really, I know most people do not keep their house that warm here in Florida. The water without a heater will be the same as your ambient room temperature, which for most folks with their ACs cranking in Florida is too cold for a betta.
And what about in winter? We still do get that here in Florida, as short as it may be xD A heater is necessary then, because the tanks just don't stay warm enough without them.

1.) Water changing. What do I do when I want to change the water, let some water sit a day then put it into the bowl? Add a little of this water cleaner stuff? How often?

I doubt it holds more than two-three gallons. That said 50% water changes at least twice a week. The smaller the tank the more quickly the water gets fouled.

2.) Cleaning the tank. Do I use soap? A mild sink soap and then wash thoroughly? How often?
No soap. Soap leaves a residue and it is extremely difficult to determine that you have gotten it all off. The soap residue is toxic to your fish (soap contains lye, if you were to breathe lye, your alveolar sacs would shrivel up, scream in agony and die, and you would suffocate yourself to death. It is the same for fish, their gills will cease to function, and they will die. It is not a pleasant way to go.) Use a wash cloth (preferably one that you have not used as a wash cloth for yourself which would contain soap residue) and clean water to scrub the sides of the tank, and then rinse, rinse, rinse... and then rinse five more times and then you should be good.
I break my tanks down and clean them once a month. Some people do it every week, every two weeks... some people only do it once every several months.

3.) What's the best food or foods? Pellets, flakes, dried bloodworms?
Pellets. Betta pellets. Bloodworms are a treat and not a staple food. Flakes often do not contain the required nutrients for a betta. Bettas are carnivores, make sure the pellets you get are specially formulated for bettas that contain meat (things like fish meal, brine shrimp, mysis shrimp, etc).

4.) I'm thinking of putting a few rocks, a small cave thing, and a fake plant. Should be fine, right? (Of course I'll wash everything when I clean)
Decorations are good, they help keep the betta entertained. Just make sure whatever you get does not have sharp edges or points that your betta can catch a fin on and tear.

Last question... Where is the best place to buy bettas? I want a pretty one like these.
Those bettas are show quality, and no doubt came from quality breeders. The first and third are halfmoons, the second is a Crowntail. Aquabid, as has already beens suggested is a good place to look for 'show quality' bettas like that. Unfortunately bettas from there, after you add in shipping fees, generally cost you an arm and a leg. A single betta off of there can end up costing as much as it would to set up a whole tank complete with filter, hood, heater and a much cheaper betta from an LFS.
You can also try visiting indiviual breeder's websites, many of them are out there. Again though, ordering fish off the internet and having them shipped to you is often an expensive endeavor, even if the bettas you get are of superior health and quality.

I recomend just going around to your LFS and looking at the bettas that are there. You don't have to get a betta the first time you go to a store. Look at them, observe. If none of them catch your eye and you don't scream "this is my betta!" then don't buy one. Either go to another store (if you live somewhere that has several pet stores with bettas) or go home and wait a week or two. Pet stores often get new bettas in every couple weeks.... around here, my chain stores (petsmart, pet co. pet supermarket.... wal-mart *hiss*) get in new bettas every week. You can find some real gems if you are patient, and have a sharp eye.

Remember, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Not everyone thinks the same of every betta. I have several bettas that are about as far from show quality as you can get. Would I trade them off for some show-winning DTHM black dragon? No, not at all, because I think they are just the most gorgeous fish all on their own. It is important for you to find a betta that YOU like, not one that someone else deems pretty.

Last edited by Nataku; 04-28-2009 at 03:38 PM.
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Old 04-28-2009, 04:13 PM   #9 
Clarke
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So I did a little test today. I filled up the fish bowl with water and put a thermometer inside. I wanted to see what the temperature would be after I let it sit all day. Got home... and it's at 73*. They should be around 78 or 80, from what I read.

So I looked up heaters and found this thing.

http://www.petsmart.com/product/inde...ductId=3184687

Now, my question, what is the best way of putting that into the bowl? The hole is pretty large, so I'm not worried about that. But do I run the cord along the inside of the bowl and have the heating pad under the rocks/bottom? Stick it on the top edge?

I'm also thinking of cutting a screen out that will fit over the top of the bowl. I heard these fish are jumpers but I don't want to plug the top (I want the fish to breathe).

And I realize that I won't get a show-quality fish. But I don't want to just get a betta. I want to get one that, like said above, screams PICK ME PICK ME.

Thanks everyone. You've really helped.
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Old 04-28-2009, 04:53 PM   #10 
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You could probably make a cover with plastic canvas.
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