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Old 01-27-2010, 10:40 PM   #1 
Melscorp
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Worried about my two day old Betta.......Well my daughter's!!!

Hi everyone,

I am new to this site and new to Bettas. I bought one two days ago for my three year old daughter. Of course I am the one that is taking care of him, but I don't mind. He is a beautiful blue crowntail.

Yesterday I noticed he kept wedging himself up in the plant I have in his bowl. I kept releasing him, but he kept rewedging himself. Today when I returned home he had managed to wedge himself in the plant again. I managed to release him and then I bent the leaf (It is an imitation Peace-Lily plant), so he can no longer wedge himself in between the leaves. Then I noticed that he had managed to what it seems like damage is top fin to where 50% of it is gone. It is left a cotton wool like effect. I am really concerned about him. In addition to that, he keeps lying at the bottom of the bowl. Can anyone give me some advice please? He isn't even eating!

I was told by the fish store advisor to feed him once every three days, but I read somewhere else that I should feed him twice a day. Another place I read I should feed him once a day. At present I am feeding him once a day, but I am not sure if I am doing it wrong.
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Old 01-27-2010, 10:54 PM   #2 
truthequalslies
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three pellets a day or 2 pellets twice a day is the best way to go,,,bettas like a lil place to hide i would take that plant out for now is it plastic? plastic plants tend to cause alot of damage to a bettas fins you can buy silk or real plants for him and a good cheap hideing place could be a lil cup or terocotta pot ,,,how many gallons is his tank? a betta needs at the very least 1.5 gallons of wanter @ a temp of 78-80 degrees to heal his fins you may add half a teaspoon of aquarium salt per gallon and his water needs to be changed atleast 50% twice a week
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Old 01-28-2010, 12:00 PM   #3 
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I think some more details about the bowl would be helpful. How big is it? Is it heated? Your betta needs a hiding spot to feel secure. It could be that he's still adjusting to his home. It's normal for bettas not to eat the first few days you bring them home. Most people feed their betta 2-3 pellets twice a day (so 4-6 pellets overall). Be sure to scoop out any uneaten food, so it doesn't make your tank dirty.

As for a cotton/fuzzy thing on his fins, it could be fungus. Could you take a picture?
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Old 01-28-2010, 12:24 PM   #4 
kelly528
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Okay it sounds like you have been the vitim of pet-store misinformation. You will soon learn that most employees of pet stores have been trained with the intention of turning the highest profit for the store, not necessarily informing the owner. Good marketing does not equal good advice!

I suggest you read our Bible as a starting point.

Here is a bit of information on why a bowl will not cut it for a betta:

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 waste 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.

As mentioned above, you will probably want to go with a 5g if in addition to a pet fish you also have a pet 3 year old in your care. Maintenance will be far easier and quicker in a larger tank, and you have a lot of margin for error should something go off with the water quality, etc.

I suspect your pet store recommended feeding every three days because if your betta is living in an unheated bowl where his metabolism is frigid and he has no room to exercise, underfeeding the fish is a good way to reduce the waste it produces and thus exend it's life in such a small enclosure. This was common practice originating with the invention of the goldfish bowl years ago in China. When fed sparsely and kept below optimal temperatures, the fish would survive longer indoors. However while sparing feedings are a way of getting your fish to survive for a few years, he is by no means thriving which should be your goal as a fishkeeper.

Now onto your betta's actual health problem. It sounds like he has an infection due to scraping himself on the (plastic, I assume) plant. The rough edges found on plastic plants are likely to scrape or tear a betta's delicate fins... in fact, if it will tear a nylon stocking it will probably do the same to your betta! You may want to sand the plant's edges a bit and buy only live or silk plants in the future.

You will want to change the water daily and add aquarium salt to discourage bacterial growth until he gets better. Keep a close eye on it... if it spreads despite aquarium salt and clean water we have a problem. As I mentioned earlier, a heated 5g would make for an optimal recovery. Bacterial infections can become very aggressive if not nipped in the bud.

I know that was a lot of information but I hope it helped you a little!

Good luck and welcome to the forum!

Last edited by kelly528; 01-28-2010 at 12:28 PM.
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Old 01-28-2010, 02:45 PM   #5 
Betta Fish Bob
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Awesome post Kelly.
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Old 01-28-2010, 09:52 PM   #6 
Melscorp
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Thank you to all of you that took the time to respond. Unfortunately, this morning when I woke up I could see my Betta was worse for wear and quickly got my daughter out of the house. In between my classes I went back to the pet-store and bought another Betta. It was a good thing that I did, because when I got home I could see that my original Betta had given up the ghost. I was very upset, but I washed everything in hot water and then tried to introduce my new Betta to the bowl/tank (which is roughly 1 litre. It might be 0.75 litres). Luckily my daughter didn't ask any questions. I am concerned as I don't want the same thing happening again. I spoke to the people in the pet store and they said my Betta could have just been stressed, but if it happens again, bring the dead fish in, with a separate sample of the water. The imitation is made from material. The flower is of a softer fabric to the rest of the plant, but it is not a hard plasctic. The bowl itself is a cube shaped H= 12cm W= 12 cm Depth= 12 cm

I too feel I have been duped as I paid $20 for the small bowl described above, but I now know I could have bought a proper tank for $40 + tax.

Thanks once again.

Kind regards,

Melscorp
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Old 01-28-2010, 10:33 PM   #7 
Jupiter
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Yes, 1L is far too small for a betta. We recommend at least 9L for bettas. On top of that, bettas require a heater to keep their water at around 75-80F. He would also appreciate a plant and a hiding spot. Can you return the bowl? You would be able to get a bigger tank for around the same price.

Sorry about your betta.
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Old 01-28-2010, 10:35 PM   #8 
MollyJean
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Did the people at the pet shop tell you the small tank (WAY too small) would be OK? I would take the tank back and ask for a refund, tell them you know it's not big enough and you where misinformed. I don't see how a betta can move in that much water, let alone thrive.
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Old 01-29-2010, 12:47 AM   #9 
kelly528
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Yeah I have to agree with Mollyjean. The ammonia produced by a betta would escalate to an unhealthy concentration within a day in a litre. I would simply take the bowl back and explain that you were misinformed, according to your research you will have to clean a bowl of that size daily, which you can't do and that you would likeot purchase a bigger tank from them (I mean how can they complain then?)

And whatever you do don't listen to any crap they try to feed you... I have seen some people get duped over and over again by pet stores! Their fish gets sick because of a small bowl, they march back to the pet store demanding a refuns, wind upwalking back home having been sold a medicaiton they don't need... it goes on and on!

My personal motto is to never trust a pet store employee... even at my favorite stores I take everything they say with a grain of salt. And the more i learn about fish the gladder I am I don't take the advice of people who ultimately want my money!
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Old 01-29-2010, 11:33 AM   #10 
Melscorp
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Oh...I wish I had joined this site before!! I feel so STUPID!!!

Yes, this bowl was suggested by the pet store employees. Their logic was the Betta fish live in rice paddies and don't have much space anyway. This container was relatively bigger than the rest. When I went back they told me I need to make sure I am putting the correct amount of NUTRAFIN Betta Plus in the water. I feel like such a fool. I was looking at a much bigger tank, but my cousin said it would be too much work for me at the moment. I just wish I had gone with my gut instinct. I know they won't take it back as when I went to get the replacement for my beautiful fish that died, I was told that you only had 48 hours to return things and they had to be unused. They were all feeding me the blurb that Betta can survive in very small spaces and are the easiest fish to look after as they don't need filters, don't mind what water temperature they live in etc..

Guess I know a bit more now (from all of you) and I shall have to resort to changing his water every day to try to prevent what happened to his sibling (not biologically) from happening again. Would I be acting too extreme if I did change the water too often?

Once again I am extremely grateful to all of you.

Kind regards,

Mel x
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