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Old 11-08-2009, 10:37 PM   #1 
Sofis
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Question First time owner, I need some help!!

Ok so my brother got a Betta about a year ago. He used to work at a petstore and they gave him a 1/2 a gallon tank so he bought the Betta. Unfortunately he is not the most responsible person, so I decided to adopt the fish .

He was having constant problems every time we fed him, he would float in the tank and couldn't come down. We started feeding him less since I found that he could be constipated. I tried the pea trick and it worked, but I knew that getting a bladder malfunction every time he was being fed wasn't right. I started doing some more research and also found he had some fin rot (my brother was really bad about changing his water). He also seems to sulk a lot, so I thought that perhaps he's depressed and he needs a new, bigger, improved tank.

Anyways, I decided to take matters into my own hands.

-I changed his diet. I was feeding him Betta flakes but I changed to the pallets. He is still getting used to them but it says in the package it might take up to a week and it's only been 2 days. Is that right?

-I am planning on getting him more variety in his diet but I want him to get used to the pallets first before introducing anything else.

- I bought Bettafix for his fin rot. I've been putting it in his water every day just like it indicates. is this good for fin rot? how long should i wait to see any results?

- I also read that it's probably a good idea to get some water salt to help with the fin rot, but I'm a student so I didn't have enough money the other day. I probably will get some this week.

-I'm getting him a 2 gallon tank which i'm really excited about. I'm picking it up on wednesday . I'm also getting him some silk plants for him to hide. I know it's not a huge tank but I don't have room for a bigger one.

-I'm changing the water every 2-3 days while he has the small tank. How often should I change the water in the 2 gallon tank and how?

-I will probably get him a heater and filter soon, but like i said, I don't have much money, so i'm doing everything as I can
So ever since I started with these changes he seems a lot happier and more animated than before. He usually flares at you if you move your hand close to the tank, which he didn't use to before. He swims more and jumps a lot more, which I hadn't seen him do in months. I'm thinking the new tank will help him too.

Is there anything else you would recommend? The main question is the changes in water. Some websites say you need to change it 100% if you don't have a filter and others say only 50% every week or so and 100% once a month. I'm confused. Also some websites say you don't need a filter and a heater and others say you absolutely do.

thanks in advance!
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Old 11-09-2009, 11:49 AM   #2 
kelly528
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sofis View Post
Ok so my brother got a Betta about a year ago. He used to work at a petstore and they gave him a 1/2 a gallon tank so he bought the Betta. Unfortunately he is not the most responsible person, so I decided to adopt the fish .

He was having constant problems every time we fed him, he would float in the tank and couldn't come down. We started feeding him less since I found that he could be constipated. I tried the pea trick and it worked, but I knew that getting a bladder malfunction every time he was being fed wasn't right. I started doing some more research and also found he had some fin rot (my brother was really bad about changing his water). He also seems to sulk a lot, so I thought that perhaps he's depressed and he needs a new, bigger, improved tank.

Anyways, I decided to take matters into my own hands.

-I changed his diet. I was feeding him Betta flakes but I changed to the pallets. He is still getting used to them but it says in the package it might take up to a week and it's only been 2 days. Is that right?


Yupp. They're picky little guys. Sometimes the pellets are too big for them, which can clear up once they get used to the size. The gel coating also masks the taste of the pellet, so they have to crunch it and get past the coating before they realise just how tasty the pellets are. Just show him who's boss and he will eat when he's good and hungry. Bettas can last weeks without food.

Quote:
-I am planning on getting him more variety in his diet but I want him to get used to the pallets first before introducing anything else.
Good call. Pellets are an awesome staple. Lots of foods in just one little pellet. Of course, frozen and live foods are ultra-nutritious, but a diet of solely frozen food is like you living off of spinach, steak and bread. Sure, they're all healthy and make great supplements but they don't compose a very balanced diet unless fed in great variety. You should look into the frozen blister packs by Hikari... they sell bloodworms, brine shrimp, tubifex and many other frozen treats in convenient pop-out packs.

Quote:
- I bought Bettafix for his fin rot. I've been putting it in his water every day just like it indicates. is this good for fin rot? how long should i wait to see any results?

I know it's annoying to buy meds only to have someone tell you to stop using them, but I find bettafix to be a bit of a gimmick. It's actually quite the controversial medication for bettas... reports of instant death and damage. It is sold in a stronger concentration by API under the name Melafix, a medication capable of damaging the betta's labyrinth orgen. I would stop dosing so as not to stress him out.

The best medication for bettas fighting fin rot is good old clean water, heat, and aquarium salt. It may take a month for them to regrow, depending on severity, but you will know you have made progress when you see clear regrowth on the edges of the affected areas.

Quote:
- I also read that it's probably a good idea to get some water salt to help with the fin rot, but I'm a student so I didn't have enough money the other day. I probably will get some this week.
Yupp-- aquarium salt is number 2 behind clean water in your fishy medicine cabinet. You can use it to boost the results of multiple medications. Not only does it make the water more difficult for harmful bacteria to thrive in, it also replaces electrolytes much the same way as gatorade. If you want to cut costs, go for Kosher Salt, Rock Salt or any non-iodized salt. As long as the only ingredient is pure salt it's the same thing as aquarium salt.

Quote:
-I'm getting him a 2 gallon tank which i'm really excited about. I'm picking it up on wednesday . I'm also getting him some silk plants for him to hide. I know it's not a huge tank but I don't have room for a bigger one.
The 2 gallon will do fabulously. I am keeping my guy in a 2.5 with a snail and the water stays ristine right up until water change time. Bettas are pretty sedentary, not to mention solitary so anything 1.5g and up will suit them just fine. 2gs are nice because you can put a heater in without cooking it... you should look into the HYdor Mini Heater. Silk plants are also great and prevent a lot of of stress-caused conditions like tail-biting.

Quote:
-I'm changing the water every 2-3 days while he has the small tank. How often should I change the water in the 2 gallon tank and how?

First off, you should determine whether you would prefer to cycle your tank or not.

If you cycle it, basically what you do is let the ammonia peak until beneficial bacteria begin to multiply and break it down. Once you have established this colony, you will only have to do a small water change (25%) about twice a week.

When you leave the tank uncycled, what you do is leave bacteria out of the picture and take on all the ammonia yourself with a few 100% water changes. This is basically what you are currently doing, which is great. I would continue with this schedule and leave the tank uncycled for now, since your betta is fighting fin rot and won't take the stress of the cycling process too well. So don't even worry about it until everything else is taken care of. When you get the 2g you can scale water changes back to 100% twice weekly.

Quote:
-I will probably get him a heater and filter soon, but like i said, I don't have much money, so i'm doing everything as I can
So ever since I started with these changes he seems a lot happier and more animated than before. He usually flares at you if you move your hand close to the tank, which he didn't use to before. He swims more and jumps a lot more, which I hadn't seen him do in months. I'm thinking the new tank will help him too.
Well, what can you do... you're on the right track. Just wait until you get the 2 gallon-- it's so funny to watch them zoom around the tank for the first time since he was a teeny fry in a breeding tank!

Quote:
Is there anything else you would recommend? The main question is the changes in water. Some websites say you need to change it 100% if you don't have a filter and others say only 50% every week or so and 100% once a month. I'm confused.
I know... there's a lot of contradictory information flying around out there. Most of it is because they are not taking into account whether the tank is cycled or uncycled (which affects the water change schedule, if you remember). Cycling does require a filter. Here is a good link on cycling the tank: http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...ium-cycle-252/

I am an advocate of cycling, since it makes water change days a lot easier, but both methods are equally good ways to manage waste.

Quote:
Also some websites say you don't need a filter and a heater and others say you absolutely do.
Heater is definitely necessary... unless you live in the Bahamas! Bettas are tropical fish, but unfortunately for them they make a great craft idea, therefore a lot of inexperienced people are out there giving incorrect info on them.
Filters are great for cycling, and I also like them because they circulate the water, distributing the heat from you heater and adding a little oxygen to the water. Even though bettas breathe air, they are also capable of breathing through their gills so extra air flow is nice.

Quote:
thanks in advance!
No problem! I hope this answers most of your questions. Just get everything else sorted and then we'll look at cycling after he is all settled in.
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Old 11-09-2009, 08:35 PM   #3 
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this was really helpful, i finally got the record straight lol thanks Kelly.

I noticed his fins stopped looking like they're wearing and falling off at the ends, which is good, even if there's no growth, but I know I have to wait for that. Also they changed from a blackish color to blue :), now i'm excited

thanks again
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