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Old 04-09-2010, 01:59 PM   #1 
JKfish
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Help with everything?

My little brother got his first betta fish almost two months ago. He named the fish Puffy, and now Puffy is staying in a half a gallon tank. He was supposed to have a 5 gallon tank, but when we got that out of storage, my family and I realized it was cracked. :(

But, I'm in charge of caring for Puffy, but I no close to nothing about betta care. I know Puffy needs a heater and a larger tank, but I don't have the money to buy all the equipment needed.

The little tank has a small place for him to hide, and just enough room for him to swim in, and I all the water once a week. I would do it more often, but he gets really stressed, and I know a stressed fish becomes a sick fish, and that's the last thing I need.

1) How often should I change his tank water?
2) Should I get a larger tank first, a heater first, or a filter first?
3)I noticed his fins are a bit ragged, but he's not tail biting, and there's nothing in there to nip him, and it is not fin rot, becuase his fins are still the right color and becuase I use the water conditioner. What's wrong with him?
4) Occasionally my little brother will get a small mirror and put it infront of Puffy to make him puff up and flare his fins. Is this alright or should I make my little brother stop?
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Old 04-09-2010, 02:09 PM   #2 
CataclysmKitten
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i'd say first of all get a bigger tank. That's just my opinion. Heater comes next. Then the filter. You may not even need a filter if you are cycling.

As for your little brother with the mirror, it's okay for a little while. Bettas need their exercise too. As long as it's not all day.

I'm sorta a newb, so that's the only advice i can give.
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Old 04-09-2010, 02:09 PM   #3 
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You need to change his water daily or every other day 100%. Don't worry about stressing him because to be quite frank he will die a LOT faster from high levels of ammonia then from stress.

There are no heaters for a tank that size so you need to get a bigger tank first, then a heater, then a filter.

His fins could be ratty for 3 reasons: Biting,fin rot,or tearing on a plastic plant. Its very likely that he has fin rot if your only doing weekly changes.

Flaring is very good for him. Its a great way to exercise the fish and keep him from being bored.
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Old 04-09-2010, 02:25 PM   #4 
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:) okay, thanks. I think it might actually be the ornament that lets him hide, becuase, thinking about it, it's far from smooth... So should I take it out, or leave it in?
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Old 04-09-2010, 03:04 PM   #5 
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If its not smooth take it out. Take some panty hose and run them all over it.. if they snag then its too rough for the fish's tail. If you have a large medicine bottle or a small plastic tumbler cup those can work well for temporary caves.. just make sure the fish is able to get out easily.
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Old 04-09-2010, 03:42 PM   #6 
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I did, and it caught, but my little brother and my mother absoultely flipped when I suggested that we replace it. Because the fish is my little brother's, his word is pretty much law regarding the fish. :P

Also, I asked my mom earlier about getting a bigger tank, but she said that we don't have much room for anything much bigger, so Puffy will to have to stay in the small tank with the decoration. Apart from cleaning his tank daily, is there anything else I can do to keep him healthy?

Last edited by JKfish; 04-09-2010 at 03:44 PM.
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Old 04-09-2010, 04:15 PM   #7 
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A heater would be best but I don't think there are any that wouldn't be too strong for that size tank. Unfortunately the lifespan for a betta or any fish is going to be lower in a tank that size versus a bigger, heated tank. Even a gallon tank would be better and I can't see where that would take up more room than the one he is in now.

You can also get 2 gallon hex tanks that are tall. They're big enough to have a heater and some even come with a filter.
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Old 04-09-2010, 04:28 PM   #8 
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If you have any large, clear storage bins, you could use those for a tank and focus on purchasing a heater. I few members here use them as tanks and don't seem to have troubles. Here's a thread I managed to find on them: http://www.bettafish.com/showthread....hlight=storage

Also, as you're the one caring for the fish, you should be the one calling the shots. And you're elder. Woo, superiority. :> (Remove / replace the plant)
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Old 04-09-2010, 06:10 PM   #9 
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Thanks for all your replies, but I'm beginning to think it isn't about space (my house is huge) but rather that the tiny tank was a bit on the expensive side, and that things are a bit tight, and that my mom doesn't want to 'waste' money (even though its my money) and also that my mom knows improving the tank will probably end up as a large tank with other fish.

I'll try to wear her down, but we have arguments like this, and they all seem to end in her saying "this is my house, when you have your own house, you can do what you want."


Quote:
Also, as you're the one caring for the fish, you should be the one calling the shots. And you're elder. Woo, superiority. :> (Remove / replace the plant)
as for that, I don't think I can pull rank, considering the fact that my mom is backing him....
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Old 04-09-2010, 06:41 PM   #10 
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Haha, do it in secret. Then hide it. But really, if the damage it does to your fish is visible and able to be proven, why hold onto it? Pros, cons, etc.

For a tank in a pinch, and when craigslist has failed, you could hit up some thrift stores. I got my first ~2 gallon drum vase which I used for a tank at a Ross' Dress for Less.
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