Hopefully, I have read enough of the intro stickies so as not to repeat anything you wonderful hobbyists have read too many times in the forums. Unfortunately, I will probably still be writing a very long(perhaps epic) rendition of my current situation. I will start by giving you a history of my fish (Minakshi - 'Hindu fish-eyed Goddess; Mini for short).
Purchased Saturday, January 23rd from Petland. My almost-husband and I were looking to purchase our first pet together, and were looking for a fish that did not require a large tank or massive amounts of equipment and chemicals. The lady working the fish section told us to get a Betta. I can vaguely remember having a Betta in high school, but sadly, I was not a very qualified owner. We really did not know anything about Betta's when we purchased Mini.
From Saturday afternoon until Wednesday afternoon Mini lived in a VERY small fish bowl. Like maybe 16 - 24oz. of water? We did condition the tap water with the correct chemical before putting Mini in the bowl. There were purple aquarium rocks and one small green silk plant. We were told in Petland that the Betta prefers to be in this small space(this just makes me mad now). On Monday morning, I noticed that Mini was not doing anything. He sat behind his plant non-stop. He would not eat anything. We were told to purchase a Betta specific pellet for Mini because they said he would prefer to eat the same thing that they fed him at the store. They even went so far as to tell us that Betta's tend to die if you change their food from what they're used to.
As a new and very loving fish-Mom, I spent all of Monday at work thinking about my beautiful white and pinkish striped Betta. I worried a lot. After work, I researched Bettas online. That is when I found this forum. I read a few things about Ich, and swim bladders, etc. And then I read about the water temperature. We found a meat thermometer and discovered the water temp. to be 65 F. Eek. So, we wrapped Mini's bowl in a towel and placed her in a bathroom near a floor heater and kept the heat on 24/7. That was our quick fix, while I tried to work out getting her a larger tank and a heater. I also lowered the water level in the bowl, so Mini didn't have to work too hard to get to the surface for air.
On Wednesday, I managed to find a temporary 1 gallon tank from a family member. And I purchased a heater from Wal-mart. I conditioned the water and placed the heater in. Shortly after, we added Mini because I did not want to transfer him from cold water directly into heated water. I thought the gradual rise in temp. from the heater would likely be better. I also managed to snag some frozen blood worms from a family member. Mini ate those no problem!
Thursday night around midnight, we had to move back into our house. We had been house sitting. So Mini was transferred for 15 minutes from one house to another by car. He was kept in his 1 gallon tank for his transfer. For almost 24 hours now, he has been kept in his permanent location.
Alright. Now I will answer the questions requested from one of the Stickies.
#1. Current Tank Size = 1Gallon -->It has a plastic cover, and a black hood with light.
#2. H20 Parameters = I am stilling learning about what this means.
#3. Tap water treated with conditioner.
#4. Current tank has been up for 48 hours.
#5. Mini has been around for 6 days. I'm assuming he's a splendens. And he's 1-1/2 inches long.
#6. I can't answer the quarantine question?
#7. Currently, 76F.
#8. No live plants.
#9. In this tank there is an air pump thing. It has an air stone on the bottom. It doesn't create a disturbing current. But I don't really know what a filter is versus an air pump 'thing'.
#10. There is just the air thing and the heater in the tank. Decorations include an inch of purple aquarium rocks on the bottom, one small green silk plant, and a Spongebob pineapple house(which doesn't appear too rough).
#11. In the room the tank is set up in there is a consistent amount of daylight. But because of the time of year, it can be quite dark in the morning and early in the evening on. The tank has a light that I have not been using because I have been reading about the right artificial light, and I'm not sure what it is that I have.
#12. I haven't changed the water in this tank since I put it in Wednesday night.
#13. Mini refuses to eat the dry pellets. I tried to rehydrate them, but that didn't help. So far, he has always eaten blood worms given to him. I only give about 1/8tsp. in the morning.
#14. I haven't had the fish long enough to know what usual is, but I will describe the things that I am most worried about and would like advice on.
a) The tank seems to be very reflective, and I believe that Mini can see his reflection. He paces back and forth along the glass. When I got home from work he was rapidly swimming up and down along the glass. I think his fins are even torn from this behaviour. His pectoral fins seem to working awfully hard. And he wouldn't stop. I have now wrapped the tank in a dark towel, which stopped the behaviour. He seems to be clenching his anal and ventral fins up to his body.
b) Testing water...and water parameters. I want to buy the correct test kit. And know what to do to properly maintain the water in my tank. I have already read an entire Betta handbook from the library with addition of many threads on this forum. I just seem to be more muddled now, than when I started.
c) I want to get a new tank. This will take some time to acquire. I really wouldn't have room for more than a 2 Gallon. I want to avoid reflectiveness...possibly add a filter if recommended. And hopefully, get the water temp. up a bit more. Plus...I need more consistent light scheduling, so I need to entertain the possibility of a tank light.
d) I want to add more plants and things. I had some fake grass in, but I removed because it looked like his fins got caught on it when he swam downward. I don't know what is best. Would really like to keep the pineapple house....He did go in it for awhile.
e) Is the air pump thing good....is it different from a filter?
f) I keep reading that the fish have small stomachs...only feed them what they can eat in a couple of minutes. This just seems way too qualitative for me. I would really appreciate a more quantitative list of amount and types of food. I have read that pellets are better than flakes, and vice versa. I have read about frozen and freeze dried. And worms and shrimp and on and on. I need feeding advice.
g) Mini seems to have an area protuding or swollen. It is about |____| that long. And sort of clearish, yellowish.... Is that the swim bladder? I'm worried about it. I have not tried to treat the tank or the fish for anything because I've just been hoping this is all a matter of fish-stress and will resolve.
MANY MANY MANY apologies for this incredibly long overview of the 6-day journey of Megan and her Betta. I am truly in love with this fish, and I want nothing but the best for him. Please help me in my Betta journey.
I willingly welcome any and all advice, suggestions...stories..anecdotes.
Thank you so much for giving Mini a better chance by replying.