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Old 06-29-2010, 03:17 PM   #1 
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Join Date: Jun 2010
First betta - a few questions

Hello all! I got a male veil tail betta (not sure if that's the correct terminology!) about a week ago and moved him from a 1 gallon bowl to a 3 gallon aquarium with a filter yesterday. He swims around the whole tank and hides in the plants sometimes so I think he likes it. But he swims in a jerky motion a lot like he's irritated or something and he also shimmies his body a lot when he swims. Is that normal? He made a big bubble nest in the 1 gallon bowl I had him in so that means he was healthy and happy right? Could his behavior mean he's just getting used to his new tank? I gave him a blood worm yesterday and he gobbled it up right away so there's no problem with his appetite. I've never owned a betta before so I'm not sure what's normal for them. I just want to make sure he's happy!

I would like to get a heater for the aquarium but would like some suggestions. Its a 3 gallon plastic or might be acrylic tank and I would like an adjustable heater and preferably not too expensive. I've seen some inexpensive heaters but they're not adjustable, most of them say they will keep the water at 78 degrees but I would like the option to go higher. Any suggestions?

How often should I change the water in the tank? Oh and I have those glass decorative marble type stones in the bottom of my tank instead of gravel. Is this ok?

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Old 06-29-2010, 03:39 PM   #2 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Northern Virginia
Bubblenesting is not a sign of contentment or happiness--it is merely an instinct, some do it more than others, and it can be triggered by certain factors, but I would not interpret it as a sign of happiness. I have seen very sick fish make bubblenests.

Do you know your water parameters? (ammonia/nitrite/nitrate) I am assuming this tank is not cycled, and if that is the case, you should be doing 100% water changes every 4-5 days, if you can do partial changes in between, even better. Fish constantly excrete ammonia through their gills, and this ammonia can build up to a point that it begins to burn the fish, this may be causing the flashing you're seeing. The only way to get rid of ammonia in a closed system without any plants or bacteria is through 100% water changes--you must clean everything out with hot water with every change to make sure no waste is left over to rot and produce more ammonia. Large glass pebbles/marbles are fine, except that because of the size of the pieces, food and waste are more likely to slip through the cracks making cleaning more difficult.

As for the heater, I highly suggest ordering online. Ordering your supplies online is much cheaper, per item you tend to save around $10-15, which more than covers the shipping. I buy all my supplies through this site: they offer a variety of small heaters--I use 25 watt adjustable hydor theos. Smaller cheap ones are generally of poor quality, and may cause harmful temperature fluctuations. Also, if your betta ever becomes ill, you will want to adjust the temperature higher or lower depending on his illness.

Last edited by Adastra; 06-29-2010 at 03:42 PM.
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Old 06-29-2010, 03:45 PM   #3 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: USA
Welcome to the wonderful world of Betta keeping...

On the 3g with a filter I would make at least twice weekly 50% water changes and with one of the water changes clean the substrate with either a vacuum or stir the bottom gentle with something to get the waste up in the water and dip it out with a cup dedicated to the fish tank or siphon.
Turn off/unplug the filter and heater with all cleaning of the tank.

You will also need a dedicated bucket along with the cup and/or siphon for cleaning and to keep the cleaning products in.
I label my fish items so they will not be mistakenly used for something else. You can use a siphon made for aquariums or a plastic cup whatever works best for you.

The filter media need to be swished/rinsed in old tank water with a water change 1-2 times a month and when the water flow has slowed to get the big pieces of gunk off, you want the filter media to look dirty but still have good water flow.

Sometimes with the filter it is hard for the Betta to keep a nest built.

Remember to keep the water temp within a couple of degrees from new and old water with water changes so not to cause sudden temp change problems and always use a good dechlorinator with any new water added to the tank if you are on city water supply.

You do need a heater as you know already to keep the temp in the 78-80F area.

The behavior you are seeing could be related to being itchy from the water, some water has more heavy metals than other and they need time to adjust as well as adjustment to the water flow from the filter.

A good varied diet is best, avoid the freeze dried type foods as the staple diet, they are great as a treat fed 2-3 times a week in small amount.

Don't overfeed and this can be hard when they greet you wagging their tail begging for food...resist temptation....also, remove any uneaten food after feeding to help keep the water from fouling too fast.

Would love to see pic of your new wet-pet and set-up.....
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Old 06-29-2010, 10:06 PM   #4 
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Thanks to you both for the advice!
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Old 06-29-2010, 10:17 PM   #5 
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Join Date: Jun 2010
And here's a couple pics of Peixe. His coloring has started changing from blue to reddish purple, he's going to be beautiful!
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Old 06-29-2010, 10:18 PM   #6 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Central Texas
He's very pretty!
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