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Old 01-05-2014, 01:26 AM   #1 
Brennaamorgann
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New to Bettas.. Need some help.

I will admit I did not do the amount of research that I should have, and now I am ashamed at that.

Whenever I was young my cousin owned two bettas at two separate times. They were both kept in the same aquarium (It was purchased whenever the first Betta was purchased, and then once that Betta died, the new fish went into it.) The tank was only 1 gallon, and to a 6 year old it was a pretty impressive tank.

I've recently been into fish and really wanted a Betta. I quickly did some "research" and found people saying that 1.5 gallons was OK, so I got a 1.5 gallon tank. Today I purchased my little guy and love him to death, I'm so attached to him already. I had his filter running the night before, preparing for his arrival, and made sure the water was conditioned with water conditioner and made sure the rocks were rinsed to get rid of particles.

Today I went to pick him up, and he is beautiful. His head is black and goes to a royal blue as it goes down his body. (I named him Louie.) and oddly enough, like I said, I already love this fish and want to take care of him and make him a happy little fish. After I put him in the 1.5 gallon tank, (after letting him get used to the water in his little petsmart bowl for an hour) he didn't look happy, at all. He had a black stripe going down his side that I didn't notice before, and I read that that means he is incredibly stressed out. I turned off his tank light and my bedroom light to help him relax more, and the stripe went away after a few hours but now his back fins are starting to look a lil white? they have white strands..like he's turning white. and it's scaring me. That's when I dipped a finger into his water and it was FREEZING! I quickly ran to walmart and got a heater for him and now the heater is heating up is 1.5 gallon tank. I did a bit more research and realized he needs a 5 gallon tank, and I feel horrible for not getting him one in the first place. I plan on getting a 5 gallon tank whenever I get my paycheck, hopefully soon. I've been sitting here with him (Close to tears, sadly.) waiting for his water to heat up. (I feel god awful..) He seems to prefer one corner of his tank..which scares me also. I gave him a few blood worms and pellets and he quickly ate those (not the last blood worm though..so I stopped feeding him after that since I don't know if the pet store did earlier this morning.) I just now noticed that his front fins (the ones under on his belly/chest) are infact red? Is this stress related also?

I'm so scared, I wont get enough money for the 5 gallon tank for at least two weeks.. I don't want Louie to die and I wont beable to live with myself knowing that since I poorly researched, I killed a fish.

I can post pictures if needed.. if I left out any information just let me know.
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Old 01-05-2014, 01:37 AM   #2 
Aus
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Awh, don't be hard on yourself... I made similar errors with my very first betta, because I believed the square ton of bull the shop lady told me.. I was just as horrified, LOL. It's all good! Your guy has a nice clean tank and a heater now.

Just a hint on the food - never feed a betta 'til it stops eating.. they'll eat until they 'splode. Two or three small pellets a couple times a day (sometimes once a day) is what my betta gets, and he's happy as Larry.

All fish gets stressed on a move (except the rare ones who are always cool about it, I had one of those, nothing fazed her at all..) and it can take a week or two for them to settle in. Not fussing on them every two minutes can help reduce stress, too, lol.. but that's a hard lesson to learn, when you're new and everything's scary.

The stuff on his fins could have been slime coat molting off (this can happen to stressed fish, and it'll stop when the fish is happy again), see if it's still there in a day or two. If so, it might be an annoying sapro fungus that's pretty easy to treat.

Don't sweat it, I am sure he'll be fine.

And while I am all for larger tanks, I also kept a fish in a 1.5 g for a couple of years, and he was just as happy as could be. Don't worry about it.. upgrade when you have the means to. The important thing is clean water, good food (not too much! lol) and a steady tropical temp.

Nice to meet you, and good luck with your fishy.

ETA: what sort of dechlorinator are you using?

Last edited by Aus; 01-05-2014 at 01:40 AM.
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Old 01-05-2014, 01:40 AM   #3 
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Thank you for the quick reply Aus, it helped me calm down a bit. Right now his plants are all askew from me putting the heater in there, but I don't want to put them in a better place right now until he calms down a bit more.

One more question, right now, would it be better for his tank light to be on and my light to be off? or his light off and mine on? or complete darkness? I'm un sure what a Betta is most comfortable with.
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Old 01-05-2014, 01:43 AM   #4 
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I'd probably keep his tank light off for a few days, til he settles in, if he's stressy. I wouldn't worry about the room light so much unless it shines right into his tank brightly.

Sorry, dunno if you saw my add to the post - I asked about dechlorinator, and what kind you're using?
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Old 01-05-2014, 01:44 AM   #5 
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He's new, he's cold and he's scared. Leaving the lights off is a good idea. Get his water up to 76* to 80*.

---Get Prime water conditioner by Seachem. Prime detoxifies ammonia, important in a small tank.

---Get a thermometer so you know when his temperature is right.

---Get New Life Spectrum Betta pellets or Omega One Betta Buffet pellets. Lay of the bloodworms for a while.

It's a good sign that he's eating already. Don't feed him too much. His ventral fins are red? That's probably his natural coloring. Very nice.

Important--- read this:
http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/b...h-care-232570/

Welcome to the forum.

Last edited by Hallyx; 01-05-2014 at 01:51 AM.
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Old 01-05-2014, 01:49 AM   #6 
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Didn't see your edit, here's all the brands I'm using:

- Tetra BettaSafe water conditioner
- Aqueon BettaFood (the only one that the store had that wasn't flakes, I read that pellets are better than flakes and these are like beads almost.)
- and Topfin bloodworms.

I got him a stick on thermometer but I don't really understand how it works, it doesn't explain very well. The temp turns green whenever it registers what the temp is, if that is correct right now it's 76 degrees, and theres a blue box around 72 degrees.

I'll turn my lights off for him, just in case it's bothering him.
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Old 01-05-2014, 01:50 AM   #7 
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And thanks for the link, I'm reading it now.
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Old 01-05-2014, 01:55 AM   #8 
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Sounds like the water's heating's nicely. Is your heater adjustable?

All those supplies sound good for now, but Hallyx gave good advice about the brands to buy for when you restock.. they might cost a little bit more, but they are very worth it.

What sort of plants do you have? The fish I kept in the 1.5g (he was small and sickly, and hated big spaces like death, much happier in his little tank) just loved his silk plant, and a handful of java moss I kept in there. Java moss will help with ammonia, too (it;s proven to do so!) as well as offering him a hidey place/hunting ground/feathery bed if he wants, for stress reduction. Plants to avoid are - plastic ones (they rip the fins) and ones not actually aquatic (because they rot).

But for now, try to relax and realise you're doing everything you -can- do, which is a whole heap more than many people ever -do- do for their pets. This is a hobby where experience teaches you a lot, so don't panic over small errors. They -will- happen! lol.
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Old 01-05-2014, 02:03 AM   #9 
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Aus, I got plants that almost feel like cloth, they are super soft and now that the water is heated I saw him laying on one of the leaves (he quickly swam to his corner once he saw me looking though!) He has one blue plant that is plastic but is soft, not like the ones that feel like cloth though. I want to get him some real plants whenever i get him a bigger tank. I'll take a few pictures of him and his tank right now, but be warned, it looks like a tornado striked after I put in his heater. It was very pretty before, though! He seems to be moving around a lot more, which gives me relief. His thermometer now says 74 degrees, not 76 (my mistake) but his little heater's red light is off.. it's one that manually adjusts and turns off once temps are right, by Tetra. It's for a 2 gallon tank so I'm hoping the water doesn't get to hot for him.
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Old 01-05-2014, 02:12 AM   #10 
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As long as it's got a thermostat (which it does) it should be just fine. :)
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