I just got my betta Cabrio today and I was drawn to him at the store because of his super vibrant colors and he looked so sad in the bowl they were keeping him in. On the way home I noticed his head is really brown and colorless compared to the rest of his body and his tail fin appears to be twisted. I'm going to try and put a picture from photobucket here but I'm not sure it will work. I just want to make sure my fishys okay since he hasn't eaten since I got him home. Also I'm getting mixed messages from the food packages I bought. His pellets say to feed him 3 to 5 times a week while the flakes I got free say to feed him 3 to 5 times a day. The water conditioner and already conditioned water are also telling me conflicting things as well. Change the water once a week versus once every other day. Won't it shock him to have it changed every other day?
Last edited by cabriosmommy; 01-10-2010 at 10:15 PM.
Reason: link broken
Welcome to the forum! He should color up in a couple days. They're usually really stressed in the little cups at the pet stores and they lose some of their color. I feed my males 3 to 4 pellets a day and fast them once a week because it's good for their digestive systems. I don't use flakes because they can contaminate the water very fast. He might not eat right away so don't freak out. They'll eat when they're comfortable in the tank/bowl. What size tank/bowl is it?
Yeah I only put one flake in there because I'm not even sure he'll eat it, it came with the tank. It's the half gallon one from PETCO. I wish I could get him a big one but I'm in college so I'm restricted on space and campus pet restrictions. I'm going to have to go buy him something he can hide in but for now he seems to think he can hide behind a picture frame placed close to the tank. I was mostly worried about his tail because when I was looking at the other pictures all the tails are straight out and his is twisted, I don't know if you can tell in the picture or if I can just see it because I know where to look.
Welcome to the forum! Bettas should really be kept in a 2.5 gallon at least. A half gallon is not enough for spreading their fins and swimming. I agree with what was previously said that it is normal that they usually take a few days to eat while getting used to their new surroundings. Sometimes you have to try different brands of food to get them to eat because they can be so darn picky :)
In a tank that small, you need to change the water 2-3 times a week. The water can become dirty very fast small tanks.
Hello and welcome to the forum! :) What a lovely little boy you have there! With a little time and in proper conditions, he will definitely color up ;) As for his tail, try and hold a mirror up for him so he can see his reflection, then he should flare. If the fin becomes uncurled when he does, then theres no reason to worry. VTs(Veil Tails)fins tent to 'overlap' like that when unflared, in my experience.
For food, feed him twice per day, 2-3 pellets per feeding, and fast him once a week to help 'clear out' his system. You can feed the flakes as well for a little variety, but be careful not to give him too much. Feeding him too much could result in heath problems, and that wouldn't be good!
I understand how space can be restricting in a dorm, but its very important you look into getting him a larger home unless your dorm is a steady 78-82 degrees and your committed to doing dayly-every other day water changes(no, this on't shock him so long as you dechlorinate the water and accumulate him to the fresh water). In such a small tank, ammonia(a harmful and even deadly product of fish waste and uneaten food)will build up quickly, so you'll need to change the water more often. Also, bettas are tropical fish that require stable a temperature of 78-82 degrees. A half gallon is not only unsafe to heat(you'll likely cook your poor fishy!)and requires more maintenance, but there simply isn't enough room for your new friend to spread his gorgeous fins! He won't display his true beauty in such a small tank.
What I suggest for you is a medium 'Kritter Keeper'. They don't take up much more room, hold about 2.5 gallons, can be safely heated with a smaller watt heater, and make for easy water changes(which you'll still be doing 2-3 times per week, but unless you can get a 5+ gallon and cycle it then this is probably your best option). They're also not that expensive and come with a rather convenient, IMO, lid ;)
Hopefully this helps some and I didn't forget any of your questions :)
Ah yes I forgot about the critter keepers. I have a 2.5 gallon one that I used a 25 watt heater in also. And the great thing is that they are very inexpensive! I think we got mine for less than $10. You can even get a light for a critter keeper if you like that will fit in the opening in the lid that works as a great heater :)
Just an update I ended up going for a 5 gallon and I'm just not sure what I'm gonna do when I have to go home for spring break. Its gonna be a difficult 3 hour drive for sure. I actually just got Cabrio some tankmates today as well. I got 5 peppered cory catfish, 2 big ones and 3 small ones. I don't know how to tell if they're boys or girls but the big ones cuddle in the corner all the time. Even though they all look the same I can already tell them apart - Pepper and Salt are the big ones, peppers a little bit bigger, paprika is always by the big ones. Jacque likes to hide in my new live plant I've also added. He only leaves to go to the top occasionally and get food. And last but not least Colby who likes to scare the living daylights out of me by playing dead near the top of the water. Anyone else have any pepper corys that prefer the top/middle levels. Cabrio doesn't seem to mind because I haven't seen him nip any of the fish. They do brush past each others at times but it seems like Cabrio isn't very aggressive.
That many fish really should be in a larger tank. The corys are going to need more room, and your betta needs about 2.5 gallons for himself. If you can get a 10 gallon (15-20 would be better) now would be the time. You've over stocked your little 5 gallon for sure, and it's going to get messy fast, and your fish won't be very happy.
I understand you're in a dorm, which makes space hard to come by. I really would suggest reading more about your fish, all of them, before adding anything else to your tank.. and no new fish, there just isn't any room in that tank. By the way, I think the pepper corys get to be 3 inches long.
But I have good news.. You said your betta's head looked brown, like the color had been rubbed off? Well that's just fine. The color will come back, though it might take a while, and it's not a sign of any illness, just poor conditions at the store. Also, his tail being twisted shouldn't hurt him. When he's warmer (He NEEDS a heater) he'll perk up a lot. He needs to be between 78-82 degrees. I wouldn't go any lower then 76.. they get slow and refuse to eat when they're too cold.