Hi! My daughter received two fish as a gift recently(Prince & Princess). I'm trying to keep them alive as I killed the first one she received - our poor dearly departed Bo. I've read a bunch of stuff on the boards, but I still have a few basic newbie questions.
When I do a 50% water change, do I take the fish out first? Or can I leave the fish in the tank?
We have one female and one male. Should Princess eat less? We're giving both of them either 3 or 4 pellets a day (either all in the morning or two in the morning and one or two at night.) I feel like since Princess is smaller, she should eat less? Correct me if I'm wrong.
I hold up a mirror for Prince to flare. Should I do the same for Princess? I've done it a few times, but I don't really see any flaring or aggressive action from her when I do it.
Lastly, I'm moving Prince to a bigger tank. I'm thinking of putting some marbles at the bottom of the tank (vs gravel.) How do know if the marbles that we already have are safe for fish?
Hi and welcome to the forums! ^_^ Hope you get plenty of information and help here =)
First of all, water changes are equivalent to the size of the tank. So right now I'm unsure what size of tank you have so I'll assume that its atlasta 2g for each fish. I'll go under the assumption that you also know how often and when to do water changes too, so I don't start writing a book, lol. If it is a 2g, as long as you add the water in slowly (I buffer the dropping power witht he palm of my hand) then it should be fine. Typically its said that keeping the fish in while water changing is less stressfull to the fish. Eventually it might just become accustomed to it. Also, more importantly if you DO have the fish in whil;e water changing, the new water should be the same temp and from the same source as the old water. If not either of these, it may cause an imbalance of some sort or the sudden temp shift will shock the fish. (So keeping a gallon of new water sitting at room temp somewhere will do the trick)
If you find thats to much work, then you can take the fish out, place it in a temporary bowl, add you new dechlorinated water into the tank, let the water adjust to room temp and you should be good to go!
2) Your somewhat right with this. The stumich size of each fish is closely estimated to the size of one of its eyes. Your current food rations are -probably- doing just fine =) Two pellets in the morning and two at night. Although take into consideration that these pelllets expand quit a bit! Its often suggested to pre-soak them before feeding to prevent bloating, but most of the time it wont kill to not do this (Just a little bit more helpful to the fish).
3) I'm not to sure about this. The mirror is a good thing (imo and knowledge, someone will correct me if I'm wrong) as long as its done in small portions of time. Exposing the mirror for long amounts of time will often produce alot of stress in the fish, but I doubt you're showing them it longer then a few minutes, if so you're doing good! As for the female, I don't see why it would hurt? The whole point of th emirror other for a little bit of excersize is to give themt he feeling that there are 'other' fish out there trying to move in. Females tend to be less agressive though to other females (which is what shes seeing in her reflection) although, just as a disclaimer to that statement, don't attempt to tank 2 females with each other!
As long as the subtrate is ment for aquarium use it often doesn't hard to have either type in the tank. Its more of a prefrence on what you like to see more! There are even types of sand you can buy for aquariums as well. So no, aquarium gravel wont hurt the betta's =)
I hope this helped a little bit! If anything was left out or mistaken I'm sure a more experience response will appear soon ^_^
What Kokonoko basically said was right--although I do have a few things to add. Often when people first get into this hobby they don't know a lot about the care needs of a betta, and they get tricked by the unethical products and marketing that goes on in pet stores, or by the ignorant words of a poorly-trained pet store employee. It happens to people all the time, and unfortunately we see the result of it in the failing health of a lot of bettas.
Could you tell us what kind of tank you've been keeping your fish in? How often and how much of the water do you usually change? Do the tanks have heaters?
Females can and do flare, but their reaction to something like a mirror depends on the individual fish. Females are usually less territorial than males, so they don't have as aggressive of a reaction, typically.
Thanks for the replies. Princess is a 2 gallon tank & Prince is in a slightly under 2 gallon vase, but I got a 2.5 tank for him that I plan on moving him to later today.
Right now the tanks are not heated, but I plan on getting heaters asap. I'm going to a LFS later and I'll either get one there, or one online.
So for Princess, I was planning on vacuuming the gravel, and I assume, about half of the water out. Then I'm going to pour in the new water. Right now, since the tank water is unheated, the new water should be the same temp. However, once I get the heater, do I worry about heating the new water?
At the sticky at the top of this forum, it says that 100% tank changes are never warranted unless working with medication. However, I've read in different posts that in an uncycled tank, 100% water changes should be done 1x/week. What should I go with?
The marbles I want to put in the tank are marbles from IKEA, not marbles from the pet store. I was wondering if there would be any problem with them.
I guess the male & female eyes look to be the same size, so 4 for Princess per day should be okay then. I just don't want to overfeed her!
We've gotten our 3 fish from my cousin, who is an avid Betta collector. He's got a wall in his garage dedicated to his fish. Unfortunately, I think his advice doesn't quite work for us casual fish owners. Luckily I've read up a bunch of good advice on these boards.
Unfortunately a lot of people, including myself, disagree with that statement in the sticky about not doing 100% changes. Fish constantly excrete ammonia through their gills as waste--in a closed system, there is no place for this ammonia to go and no plants or beneficial bacteria to absorb it or break it down into less toxic compounds as they would in nature. When you do a 50% change and then do another the next day, inevitably there's still some of the old ammonia water left over, plus whatever the fish added to that between changes. Over time, with only 50% changes, the ammonia will continue to be present or even build up. The only way to get rid of all of the ammonia and provide a safe environment for your fish is with 100% water changes.
Larger fish tanks with filters can undergo something called the nitrogen cycle--in which beneficial bacteria colonize the filter and other surfaces of the tank. These bacteria break down the ammonia into nitrite, which is then broken down into nitrate. Nitrate is much less toxic than ammonia or nitrite, and it's safe to maintain low levels of nitrate in the tank all the time, unlike ammonia or nitrite. Once the tank is colonized, you only have to do partial changes. However, in small unfiltered tanks, you don't have the luxury of this bacteria. That is why 100% water changes are necessary. As long as you slowly acclimate your fish to the new water, the stress will be minimal.
In a two gallon tank, I would do a 100% water change every 3-4 days. If you add live plants to the tank, they will help absorb some of the ammonia the fish produces and give you a little more leeway.
We are trying to get the information on that sticky changed--right now it's a bit outdated.
The 100% water change isn't to difficult to perform either! I feel alot of new owners see that "every x amount of days" and begin thinking its a major obstacle. In actuality, its not.
(Just a break down of 100%, hopefully without any mistakes!)
-Get cup (Like that of the cups they hold bettas in at stores)
-Scoop old tank water in cup
-Place betta in cup
2) =Near a sink or tub, etc.=
-Take all ornaments out
-Grab a sifter or noodle strainer, place subtrate (your marbles) in sifter/strainer
-Rinse subtrate thuroughly with mildly hot water
-Rinse bowl with mildly hot water
-Place Subtrate and ornaments back in
-Add new water (IMO Prefered: Tap water)
-Add specified amount of dechlorinator
-Let bow adjust to room temp for 30 minutes to and hour
-Acclimate your betta to new water
=) Hope this makes it look less intimidating! Of course, you may have never been intimidated to begin with... if you were a true warrior... ;P