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Old 05-28-2010, 04:50 PM   #1 
Sizzlingtree
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Thumbs up First Time Fish and Betta Caregiver

Hello,

My husband and I just got our first Betta home yesterday and thus far he has been an absolute delight. He took off swimming and doing laps of the 4 gallon Biorb aquarium we put him in.

Our daughter loves 'Finding Nemo' so we started off thinking about a tropical community aquarium until we learned of the care involved. I have never had fish before and my husband did as a child, but ended up killing them all in a week because he didn't know what needed to be done.

I happened to visit this site while doing a search on Betta fish and I have been hooked ever since.

Tika, our betta (so named by our 15 month old), seems to be having a good time so far. I saw him swallow a food pellet so I know that he got something to eat. How often should I feed him? I've seen various versions from 'several small meals several times a day' to 'thrice a week'.

The aquarium is going to slowly get set up and we will attempt our first water change tomorrow. I'm just nervous because this is my first fish and half the time I feel like I have no clue what I am doing. Any tips for newbies like me?
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Old 05-28-2010, 05:33 PM   #2 
Welsh
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Tika is a cute name =)

Did you cycle the tank before you put in your betta? I feed my betta everyday of the week, but I use flakes and not pellets, pellets can constipate a betta so I often read people fasting their bettas for a day or two a week possibly more.
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Old 05-28-2010, 05:40 PM   #3 
mysquishy
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I usually feed my bettas pellets but sometimes they get flakes for something different. They get fed 6 days out of the week. I do fast my boys one day out of the week and the ones that bloat easily sometimes get a little bit of a pea (which is good for bloating).
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Old 05-28-2010, 05:44 PM   #4 
Sizzlingtree
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Welsh and Mysquishy,

Thank you so much for your responses.

Welsh, we did cycle the tank before we put Tika in and we got some kind of a betta conditioner recommended by the Petsmart associate to put in to the tank. So far, Tika seems fine- we will wait and see how he is a week from now.

Mysquishy, I didn't know that peas were good for bloating. How do you give them the peas? Do you have to boil them and mash it up? Tika's mouth just looks so incredibly small and the pellets just seem so huge- I was relieved when he did eat that one pellet.
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Old 05-28-2010, 05:50 PM   #5 
Welsh
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It's good your betta eat when you brought him home, my first betta didnt eat for a week and others on here longer. For the pea what I do is de-frost and then peel away the shell, I also cut it into bits but make sure if he doesnt eat it you take it straight out from the tank =)
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Old 05-28-2010, 06:25 PM   #6 
ashitaka6
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I saw this post and thought I'd post what I replied to on another post. It's everything I do.

Water Conditioner I use is Prime (Best in my opinion a bit spendy but it lasts for a while. Cost for a small bottle is about 6.99, Big Bottle 8.99. Bought at Petco.) Pour a couple drops into tank after every water change.

I also keep my bettas in 2.5 gallon glass tanks ($14 at Petsmart over where I live). (I have 4 of these guys.) Except for one that is in a 1.77 but he's a small male (wasn't power grown) eventually I'll be switching him to a 2.5 glass tank. (I read you kept your's in 4 gallon nice job he'll be really happy XD!

I have at least 3 SILK plants (never use plastic it can rip their fins apart) in the tank with plenty of silk leaves on the plant so it provides a good hiding spot for him. (They live in Thailands Rice Patty Fields so it's heavily planted as you can imagine.) If you want to get into keeping live plants. Like Java Moss do some research. Live plants are even better for these guys but silk plants are good as well. (Petsmart has a 3 pack. 2 - 6" plants, 1 - 8" plant. for like 12.99. Petco has some good single plants as well.) Java Ferns are also good as well ^.^.

I use marineland 10 watt heater uses for 2 to 3 gallon tanks ($21 Petsmart) for these tanks. It's submersiable and auto shuts off when the water reaches temp. 78 Degrees. (They should be kept at 78-80. 82 for when the fish is sick.) The brand is very high quality.

Gravel/Marble is optional but not a must to have in tank. Some people say differently but it's up to you. It's nice to look at though ^.^. 3 Tanks of mine don't have gravel the 1.77 has marbles in the bottom.

As for food: HBH Betta Bites DF uses, Top Fin Color Enhancing Betta Bites is what I use. Their happy as can be ^.^. Reason why I don't use flakes is because you can easily over fed your little guy. More experience people know how much to feed them. I feed my guys 2 pellets in morning 2 at night. I fasten them on sunday.

Oh yeah and when u do water changed float the betta in the cup you got from the pet store so he can get used to the water temperature. I do this for about 10 mins then pour some water out and fill in water from tank into cup (I pour about half the water out.) Do this twice. Let sit for 5 mins each then gently pour the little guy back into tank. (I remove my guys cause I dumped all the water out and wash everything then add new water in that way I know everything is clean and no fungue and such can grow which causes my fish to get sick.)

Also fish meds. I suggest keeping them on hand in case he gets ick, velvet, fin rot and a few others. I can give u a link that explains the diseases/fungue fishies could catch.

Anyways that's everything I do. If you'd like to see how my aquariums are setup I will gladly post pics from my 4 aquariums I own.

Last edited by ashitaka6; 05-28-2010 at 06:28 PM.
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Old 05-28-2010, 08:54 PM   #7 
Sizzlingtree
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Thumbs up Thank you, A****ak

A****ak,

Thank you for that detailed reply. It really helps.

We got some real plants for Tika. We then realized that the Roman coliseum set up we got to put in with the biorb wasnt working because of the way the aquarium is shaped, so we took that out and plan to get a third live plant at a Petsmart tomorrow.

We will also be doing our first water change tomorrow because we originally bought crystals to put at the bottom of the tank but the food keeps getting stuck in between these stones/crystals and Tika makes a go at whatever he can see. I read somewhere that betta can sometimes get caught between these stones and really hurt themselves so we decided to go with the gravel.

I was very influenced by what I read on this site which is why I got Tika a 4 gallon- space never hurt anyone, least of all a fish and I really want him to thrive and be happy.

So far he has already shown quite a bit of personality- coming up towards my daughter and I when we stand by the tank, gulping his food down and eyeing me expectantly (at least that is what it looks like to me), pushing at those stones/crystals at the bottom of the tank to get to the food.

I am so taken I think I am going to get another betta- but first we need to make sure that Tika survives this month. If he does I will know that I am ready.

Thanks everyone for all your help and advise.
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Old 05-28-2010, 10:08 PM   #8 
zoragen
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Welcome to the world of betta lovers

They can be little pigs! Freddy my guy at work gets 2 -3 pellets in the am & pm. Except for weekends & holidays. He's in a 3 gal w/ a few rocks, a pagoda & 2 silk plants. I do 100 % water changes on that.

Zed my guy at home is in a 6 gal eclipse planted tank.

So I only do 25% water changes weekly. Live plants are great! I use Flourite gravel but there are several types of gravel that are good for planted tanks.

The eclipse doesn't have a great light so I use fertilizer tablets (last 4-5 weeks) & liquid fertilizerafter every water change.

Zed gets fed daily. He likes his pellets soaked in tank water to soften them. I take some tank water & soak the pellets for a few minutes before I feed him. He's also pretty small so that may be a problem with him & the pellets.

Freddy - no problem - he can inhale anything!!
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Old 05-28-2010, 10:09 PM   #9 
ashitaka6
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Yes Gravel or the marbles like these (link: http://www.petsmart.com/product/inde...mdn=Fish+Decor ) works really well as the small gravel won't go down the drain. It's very easy to clean in your sink and such.

Good luck with your water change!
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Old 05-29-2010, 07:43 AM   #10 
dramaqueen
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Hello and welcome to the forum.
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