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Old 12-29-2009, 03:16 PM   #1 
MollyJean's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: East Tennessee
Red face New mommy, little advice?

I'm new, yay!

New to the site, and new to the Betta. My daughter, who is 8, got a Betta for Christmas (don't you love grandparents?) and I'm having just a little trouble with him.

We've named him Lunch. Because, if the cats ever get a hold of him, that's what he'll be. But he's in a safe spot, so no worries :)

He's a blue Vail Betta, with purple on his belly. Really pretty. I haven't had fish in.. oh.. 10 years, but I know the basics. We have him in a 3 gallon bowl with black gravel, no plants or toys yet, need some help with that. I'm useing conditioner for the water, and we have a little (loud) heater in with him (grandma provided it, I'll get a new one that's not as loud) and he seems to be doing great! He's happy and active and eating well (bloodworms, which I got, and these dried Krill things, that grandma got him. He seems to like those better.).

The problems are:

What do I PUT in the tank? A friend said bamboo would be OK but I want to be safe about this, don't want to hurt the little guy.

I'm keeping the temp around 72 right now, because the little container thing he came in when they got him had a sticker on it that said about 72. is this right?

The big problem. His water keeps clouding. After the first night, his water was really bad. I changed half if it out that afternoon, then again the next night. It's only been 4 days and I'm already preparing to change it again tomorrow night. It can't be healthy for him, all those water changes (I'm letting the conditioned water sit for 12 hours before putting it in),

I really hate seeing it like that. The local pet shop I called said they don't need a filter, but I really have no idea what to do. Any ideas?

I probably sound like a bad person; we weren't prepared at all. We really didn't want to get a fish, but now that we have him, I don't want him dieing on us. And my daughter is enjoying him. Needless to say, the cats love watching him, but that's neither here nore there.

Oh.. one other thing. Seems my mother in law (the grandma who gave us the fish) got it at Walmart of all places. They don't sell pets in Walmarts in my part of Tennessee. They haven't in about 10 years. I don't even know if it's legal here. Thoughts on this?

Basicly, point me to Betta for Dummys and I should be ok.. just need a little help getting started. I'm not planing on letting him die that easy, but it feels like grandma gave us a white elaphant gift. More expensive to take care of then the present itself. Should I put away a "fish fund" for this?

What I have:

3 gallon bowl
black gravel (very well washed btw)
conditioned water
blood worms AND dried krill for food.
really loud annoying heater
temp 72
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Old 12-29-2009, 03:25 PM   #2 
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Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Wisconsin
Congratz on the fishy!

You'll need to get a heater, the temp. should be 76 degrees to about 82 degrees. I suggest getting a glass thermometer also, they only cost under 2$ and they are closer to the original temp. The sticker thermometer can be off usually.

You need to get some betta pellets as well. The krill and bloodworms should be used as a treat, not as a normal daily food.
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Old 12-29-2009, 03:54 PM   #3 
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Location: East Tennessee
I have a heater, it's set a little low so I guess so I'll turn it up. And I'm using one of those glass floating thermometers with the red stuff in them, so I think that's what you're talking about. The heater is just really loud. I'm going to get a new one just based on that.

I didn't know about the food. he's been eating krill and bloodworms for the last 4 days, that won't make him sick, will it? I have flakes, but I'm pretty sure he shouldn't eat those >.< Pet store closes in 5 mins.

I live in a really remote area. (Smokey Mountains) The closest walmart is half an hour away, and the pet store here is locally run, so they close early and don't even open on weekends. Makes getting stuff a pain in the butt. But, again, that's neither here nor there.
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Old 12-29-2009, 04:10 PM   #4 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Central Texas
Hello and welcome to the forum. Yeah, you need to turn the heater to about 78. You can feed the krill and bloodworms once a week but get a good pellet food as his staple diet. Wardleys and Hikari betta bio gold are two good brands.
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Old 12-29-2009, 04:16 PM   #5 
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Location: Jacksonville
The blood worms and krill should only be a treat, and if he's not eating them all, the water will cloud quickly, make sure he eats everything. Try basically hand feeding him with tweezers or a toothpick (get the tip a bit wet). take one blood worm or krill, put it in the water, wait for him to eat it, repeat maybe 2 or 3 times. As for your flakes, make sure it's specifically made for betta's. Betta's are carnivorous and require a slightly different diet than that of other tropical fish. Taking care of a single betta isn't to costly if you know what to get. You might want to pick up some Bettafix for him though. Bettas do have a tendency to catch diseases easily if their water isn't clean or if it's too cold. Bettafix will help with most cases of parasites like Ich.
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Old 12-29-2009, 04:44 PM   #6 
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Location: East Tennessee
I've dealt with ich before. Last time I had fish was Angelfish about 10 years ago. 20 gallon, 3 fish and a couple of bottom feeders. We put a Bala Shark, a gift from a friend, and they all had ich within a week. Was lots of fun * sarcasm*

I'll pick up some betta food in the morning. That might be why the water is getting so cloudy. I have been feeding him one piece at a time, though. He'll take 2 bloodworms at most, and whatever is left gets scooped out. With the bloodworms I break them in half and he does just fine, the krill, it seems are actually baby shrimp, after reading the bottle. Same thing? I don't know. They're bigger and I have to break them into 3 pieces or more, but he eats everything.

I'll just keep cleaning out the water every day til I get the new food. Maybe that will stop the clouding. If not, should I get a filter or not? I don't think the noise is good for them, but I could be wrong.

Also, what kinds of plants should I put in there? are plastic OK?
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Old 12-29-2009, 04:49 PM   #7 
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Location: Jacksonville
plastic are fine as long as they aren't sharp, it could rip his fins. I use plastic plants in my tanks.

A filter in a small tank like that will stress him, not because of the noise, but because of the water moving. Bettas like still water. If you insist on getting a filter, maybe a sponge filter or an under gravel one, on low so the water is calm.
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Old 12-29-2009, 05:04 PM   #8 
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Location: East Tennessee
Thank you, that's very helpful.

I've been poking around a bit on the site and see that they need stuff to hide behind, so I'll be picking up a few plants and a suitable rock formation when I go out tomorrow. He has nothing in his bowl right now, and I feel bad for him! I had no idea. :( Poor Lunch.

Sounds a lot easier then I thought it would be. Just need some food and some toys. I was kind of expecting him to die the first night (being from Walmart and all).
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Old 12-29-2009, 05:14 PM   #9 
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Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Middlesex County, NJ
You could try this tiny filter:

From what I've read it does a good job clearing up cloudiness.

Cloudy water is pretty normal just after filling. Usually it clears up in a day or so. I used to have a 1.5 gallon and the water was always cloudy after a water change. Have fun!
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Old 12-29-2009, 05:29 PM   #10 
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Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Southern NH
Hi MollyJean,

Welcome to the forum and congrats. on your new friend Lunch (lol). I have all of my bettas in Aqueon mini-bow 2.5 gallon aquariums. Comes with silent filter and they will cycle properly which means water changes only once a week (nice).

Good luck.
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