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Old 12-22-2009, 04:47 PM   #1 
3ltonWorri3s
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Something is wrong

My betta has been acting weird. I just got him last Wednesday. I have some gravel, and I did have a plastic plant that came with the tank, but I took that out because it tore his fins. Anyway, the tank is not even a gallon. I'd say maybe a half a gallon. He eats about three times a day. 10:00, 2:00, and 6:00.
Anyway, I'm not sure if this is expected of betta but he likes to stay at the bottom of a corner. He spooks a lot. Sometimes he runs up and down the glass in his corner, but not all the time. I'm not sure if he's fine or what.. I've never had a fish before so... yeah.
If anyone could help me that would be great!

Thanks-
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Old 12-22-2009, 05:04 PM   #2 
SmirffyLover189
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well i don't know if this could cause it but betta fish need at least a 2.5 gal. to live in with plants and ornaments...i dont think a half gal. is adequate and you should only feed your Betta abt 1 to 2 times a day 6X a week meaning on the seventh day he doesn't eat and only about as much as he can eat in 2 to 3 min.
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Old 12-22-2009, 05:06 PM   #3 
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He only needs to be fed 1 or 2 times a day, and he does needs a larger heated tank. Try to keep his area quiet and not too bright.
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Old 12-22-2009, 05:12 PM   #4 
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Okay, so twice a day and nothing on the seventh. Got it. The guy at the store said three times...

I wish I could get a bigger tank. I can't afford one right now but where I get the money I'm going to get a 2 gal. tank.

Why does it need to be heated? The room he's in is in the 70s all day, and maybe 60s at night.
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Old 12-22-2009, 05:16 PM   #5 
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Nope you are right on the mark in assuming this is not typical behavior. I see 3 major factor contributing to your betta's lethargy:

1) Small tank. To start, you are going to need a tank a minimum of 4 times the size of your current one (2 gallons) but if this is your first betta you will want to go with a 5 gallon tank. Why? Here is a quote from a similar thread I posted a while ago:

Quote:
Yeah. Unfortunately fish stores will sell you just about anything to get your money. And they make considerably more selling cheap tanks to a bunch of people than they do selling proper tanks to the few people who have actually done their homework on tank size.

Another common myth is that small tanks are lower maintenance. If you put three drops of red food coloring in your 1g bowl, it would probably turn the water bright red. If you put 3 drops of red food coloring in a 5g tank, it would only turn the water a light pink. The same goes for the waste your fish produces. The smaller the tank, the stronger the wase will be. So you have to clean it more often. If you are looking for a truly good beginner size, I strongly recommend you grab a 5g tank.

Furthermore, there are no heaters on the market that will heat a 1g to the right temperature. Since it is such a small amount of water even the smallest of heaters will often make the water too hot.
So basically your fish is getting sick because it is being poisoned by it's own waste. Which produces a toxin called ammonia. You may recognize ammonia as a main ingredient in aggressive cleaning agents and hair bleachers. Not good lol. In order to keep ammonia at a safe level in a 1/2g tank you would have to clean it twice a day! That's probably more time than you'd spend enjoying your fish!!!

2) No heat. They are tropical fish, silly! A water temp of 80 degrees is ideal, give or take 2 degrees. Maybe if you live in the Sahara you will be able to get away without a heater but for the rest of the world, well... you could always crank your heat up to 27 celsius or you could jsut get a heater. As stated above, the smallest gallonage you can safely run any heater in is 1.5g (and even heaters that low-powered are rare!). When they get too cold their metabolism will slow down, like an animal going into hibernation. And bettas don't hibernate so all it does is make them really lethargic and susceptible to disease.

3) Too much food. Assuming you are feeding your betta, say, 3 pellets at each feeding, you are feeding him too much. Remember, your betta is cold so he will not be a calorie burning machine and furthermore he has no swimming room. So all that food just sits in his stomach and sucks the life out of him. Try feeding him only 5 pellets (or even 4) per day until you can get him an executive suite.

Hope that helps, as mentioned, we all know pet stores will feed you all sorts of B.S. in order to sell you a fish and a cruddy little tank. They know it is way easier to easier to sell you a betta bowl than a real tank because of that aforementioned misconception that a smaller tank is easier to take care of!

The good news is you found us, feel free to browse around and ask questions. And don't forget that 5g Aqueon Mini-Bows are on sale for the holidays :)

PS. Here is a good place to start: http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/b...are-faq-20058/
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Old 12-22-2009, 05:30 PM   #6 
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Thanks sooo much guys!

Like I said, I'm trying to save the money for a bigger tank. I really don't have the room for a 5 gal. though... Will he be fine for a while though, just until I get a bigger tank?
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Old 12-22-2009, 05:52 PM   #7 
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Clean his water twice a day and he'll be okay.


A 5g tank usually only costs a few bucks more than a 2.5g of the same brand. Plus their 'footprint' is less than twice the size of a 2g. If you are really worried about space, get a 5g hexagonal tank.

Actually, this 5g hex (Eclipse, a very good brand) is 3 buck less than the 3g model at Petco:
Aquarium Kits: Marineland Eclipse Hex 5 Aquarium Kit at PETCO

Also, you will have to clean the 2g about every 3 days to keep it clean enough. The 5g will definitely survive for a week in between cleanings.
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Old 12-22-2009, 05:58 PM   #8 
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When you say cleanings you mean 100% cleaning, right?

That tank is nice, but I'm trying to stay under $20. >.>
I really don't want to put to much money into this fish.
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Old 12-22-2009, 06:29 PM   #9 
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Yup 100% cleanings. Unless you get a 5g, in which case it will be big enough to cycle and then you can do 25% cleanings.

Sorry but I am not joking when I say that there is nothing you can purchase for $20 that can house any sort of fish. And I am not exaggerating by any means.

But give craigslist a shot. You could easily get a 5g setup, everything included for about $25. If you have any local aquarium forums people frequently unload stuff for cheap on there too.
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Old 12-22-2009, 06:34 PM   #10 
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Okay, I'll check into that. Thanks a bunch for your time!
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