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Old 02-26-2010, 12:54 AM   #1 
Laurent Proper
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I Need Help!

Hello and greetings from Austin, Texas!

I have recently developed a fascination with fish and as I was walking through the pet department in Wal-Mart, I noticed the amount of fish they have and sell. I approached the tanks and noticed they were completely filthy and decided to buy and "rescue" a Crowntail Betta. Needless to say, that didn't work out very well. Now, I've never owned any animals but thought these would be relatively easy to care for. I would later find out, I was sadly mistaken. I asked the employees about "how to get started" and they told me I need a gallon tank with some moderate decor and to keep the fish in purified water. I bought the tank, the decor, and proceeded to go home and get things rolling. I cleaned the tank with warm water, set up the tank accessories, set up the decor, and lastly added some purified water (as my tank manual said). I then lovingly placed my new Crowntail Betta into the tank and watched him appear so pleased with his new home! When I awoke, however, he was dead.

I did not let that discourage me and set off to buy another fish to "rescue". I asked for proper care and was informed I did everything right. So I went home (again) with my new fish and followed the steps with precise accuracy. Alas, my new fish is once again dead.

I need this community to enlighten me on proper care! I feel awful because I somehow managed to kill them when I was trying to do the exact opposite! What do I need? Is there a manual? Please, please help me, help them!

-Laurent.
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Old 02-26-2010, 01:06 AM   #2 
xxabc
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Never "assume" something is going to be easy, there's always something 'back there' that makes it hard :)

Let's start with the water.

"Purified water"? I'm actually not too sure what the specifics are. The main thing is: DOES IT HAVE CHLORINE? Chlorine will definitely kill a betta, from 15m - 1hr. In lower doses of chlorine, they can get chlorine poisoning. To TREAT the water, as in removing chlorine, buy something like "Seachem Prime." This will treat all chlorine and chloramines, and detoxify nitrates and ammonia. Very cheap, and lasts forever with those with not too many fish tanks. The smallest bottle treats 500 gallons. Now that'll last ;)

Now, STUDY THE AQUARIUM NITROGEN CYCLE. Study intensely. This is what so easily kills fish within about a month in more negligent owners if they don't care too much for their fish. I can't find the link on this specific website, perhaps someone else will come along and fill me in...

That should cover the "death" basics. But for a better betta, a more happy one, especially if you intend to keep one alive for a LONG time...

Please, please...get bigger than a gallon! Absolute minimum is 2.5 gallon for a happy betta. 5 Gallons and up is when they truly thrive, and begin to live years and years. Plus, it's so much easier and beautiful to decorate. And keep in mind, in bigger tanks, they need hiding places. If you plop a betta into a bigger tank and it "freaks out" for weeks, it's either: You didn't acclimate it properly, and / or WAY to much wide space. I just hate it when someone says "Yeah, my betta didn't like the new 10gallon too much. So he went into the 1gallon again." (Oh, and this is just for future reference. Lol. I'm pretty sure I won't be thte only one to suggest a much larger tank).

Decor. NO PLASTIC! No plastic. No plastic. Only silk plants, or real plants. Start off with silk plants, found easily in Petco! They have so much there. Perfect place to start. You can do real whenever you feel like it (but that requires care as well, too).

Betta needs: Heater. And arguably, filter. Betta's are tropical, they must need heaters, around 77-80. This means you need a thermometer too for him. Too cold = they don't move as much, don't eat as well... and yet someone people who just throw them in bowls (I'm not yelling at you, though!) say "they're so boring, they don't move." Bowls are generally colder than what they need.

And filter. Now, you don't NEED a filter, but it's just so...so much easier. Otherwise you'd be doing every day water changes. Yes, EVERY day water changes. With a filter, you could cut back on that (unnless you're cycling).

Hopefully, that helps you out!
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Old 02-26-2010, 01:07 AM   #3 
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Ah, I found the Cycling sticky from this forum.

http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...ium-cycle-252/

But, keep studying, and it helps to ask questions. And hey, we're both from Texas! Good luck with your betta :)
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Old 02-26-2010, 01:27 AM   #4 
Laurent Proper
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[1] The water - When in the store, the employee stressed "purified water". I asked him if that meant purified drinking water, and he quickly nodded. That is what I used. I have a water purifier and used it to fill the tank with clean water. He didn't mentioned anything, in regards, to chlorine.

[2] The tank and decor - Again, I bought what the employee recommended. He selected the tank and decor (plastic ). I assumed, he knew what he was doing, as I have never owned a fish and bought these fishes on a moments notice.

[3] Heater - I wasn't aware nor informed about this. In which case, I didn't buy one.

Anyway, I can see I was clearly misinformed. I just feel sorry that the fishes had to pay with their lives for my and the employee's inadequacies.

Thank you very much.

Last edited by Laurent Proper; 02-26-2010 at 01:31 AM.
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Old 02-26-2010, 01:34 AM   #5 
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A tip: Never listen to an employee. Of course, there are the bright ones who know what they're doing, but they're just so rare.... it's very sad. :(

I very much recommend Seachem Prime. And it's terrible he didn't mention chlorine! That's not a given fact everyone knows. That's a bit upsetting.

Heating is crucial for a happier betta, as is size.
Many assume plastic is okay. It may be for many, many other fish. But as you can see, a male betta's trademark is its color and finnage. Plastic rips these fins, and you just don't want that....
Don't blame yourself for this, you were misinformed (terribly, but not to be rude...)

Glad to help anytime.
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Old 02-26-2010, 08:46 AM   #6 
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Hello and welcome to the forum. I think xxabc covered everything. Tap water is just fine for your betta. Distilled water isn't recommended because it lacks trace elements and minerals that fish need. I'm not sure if that's what you meant by purified water. I also recommend Prime water conditioner. I'm so sorry about your first 2 bettas.
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Old 02-26-2010, 05:18 PM   #7 
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Dramaqueen, tap water WITH DECHLORINATOR is okay ;) Just wanted to make that a bit clearer, I don't need to question your betta skills.

And yes, distilled water shouldn't be used for betta. It's basically only water. There's no mineral, no nothing. Some people only recommend it because there's no chlorine. But, that's a weak base.

Also, before using tap water, try testing it (hardness, ammonia, Ph, etc.). Sometimes people's tap water is very, very poor quality. While there's the good minerals for fish, the Ph might be crazy, or there might be a large amount of ammonia in your water. It's only safe to test it.
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Old 02-26-2010, 06:05 PM   #8 
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xxabc, I was agreeing with your recommendation of Prime conditioner. I guess I didn't make myself clear on the tap water with conditioner. :)
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Old 02-26-2010, 06:07 PM   #9 
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Haha, no worries, good thing no issues happened again, and that's the important part :)
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Old 02-27-2010, 04:05 AM   #10 
Laurent Proper
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xxabc View Post
A tip: Never listen to an employee. Of course, there are the bright ones who know what they're doing, but they're just so rare.... it's very sad. :(

I very much recommend Seachem Prime. And it's terrible he didn't mention chlorine! That's not a given fact everyone knows. That's a bit upsetting.

Heating is crucial for a happier betta, as is size.
Many assume plastic is okay. It may be for many, many other fish. But as you can see, a male betta's trademark is its color and finnage. Plastic rips these fins, and you just don't want that....
Don't blame yourself for this, you were misinformed (terribly, but not to be rude...)

Glad to help anytime.
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Ha ha. That's okay. I obviously had no idea what I was getting myself into!

Just throwing it out there, I was using water purified by a BRITA water purifier. I thought that was good enough. I'm pretty sure they died because of the water dropping below their comfort level at night.

Thanks a million! I will probably give this whole experience another try and unless you people with knowledge say otherwise...
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