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Old 09-05-2010, 10:47 PM   #1 
wildmagic713
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New Betta Fish?

I was at my cousin's wedding yesterday.

At her reception, they had Betta fish in fishbowls as centerpieces.

Afterward they were asking for people to gie them homes.

So I took one with my parent's permission.

From what I can tell it's a red veil-tailed male Betta (I can't see a white spot by the anal fin).

I have NEVER owned a Betta before. When I was little I had a goldfish that lived for 4 years.

I decided to read up on Betta fish today to make sure he's properly taken care of.

So, I have a couple questions:

I understand that they're tropical fish and need warm water. My room is always rather warm compared to the rest of the house, so the water should be fairly warm.

I have him in the fishbowl I got him in. I believe we still have the 5 gallon tank I kept my goldfish in. If we don't I'm buying him one tomorrow. But anyways- will he be okay in his bowl tonight?

Tomorrow I'm getting my dad to take me to the pet store (There's one near us that is a fish store mostly but still sells hamster stuff and crickets and things like that that I want him to take me to).

I'm going to get him a tank (If we don't have one, if I get one it will probably be a 5-gallon), some new gravel (The stuff currently in his bowl is black and red, my room is purple and turquoise, I want some that matches my room better so it doesn't look so ridiculous, plus he'll stick out better with different colored gravel), a heater, a thermometer, some tank conditioner, a few plants (Are fake ones okay? Because we tend to have snail problems when we get live ones because that store doesn't do too well with keeping live plants snail free (It's not a problem in our guppy tank because we have a snail eating fish in there)), a little castle or something like that for him to hide in, food, and a little filter to keep the water clean. Is that all I need for him, or do I need other things too?

I would like to change his water tomorrow, because I'm pretty sure he's just in tap water right now. How should I go about doing that?

I have the top covered because I read that Betta fish jump a lot. It's clingwrap with lots of little holes in it (It's really just like some netting but made out of plastic). Or will he be fine without the cover for tonight?

Basically, my most pressing question is will he be okay until tomorrow in his fishbowl?

Thank you!

By the way, his name is Mister Fishy.

Last edited by wildmagic713; 09-05-2010 at 11:07 PM.
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Old 09-05-2010, 11:18 PM   #2 
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Also- when I switch him to the other tank I'm going to put him in a bag with some of the water from his bowl and let him float in there for around 15 minutes. Will that work?
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Old 09-05-2010, 11:38 PM   #3 
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Well, your Betta doesn't really need a filter, a heater or a thermometer. They're really hardy fish, and they can actually breathe air from the surface if they need to. My Betta, Pinyin, lives in the basement with me, and the water is a little chilly, but he's very active.

Fake plants are fine, my Betta loves his. Just make sure that you rinse everything (plant, hidey hole, gravel and tank) with hot water, and NO soap. That's just to get the dust and manufacturing dirt and grime off.

Make sure that you read the instructions on your dechlorinator, because some brands are more concentrated then others.

When you float Mr. Fishy, you need to float him for 30 minutes total. So, start off with 10 minutes floating, then add a cup of your tank water to the bag. Float for another 10 minutes, and add another cup of tank water. Then let him float for another 10 minutes, and scoop him out with a net.

And as long as there is a way for air to come into the bowl, he'll be fine.

Oh yes, and feed him ONCE every OTHER day. Or, to make things simple, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

Have a good day!
~Renee
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Old 09-05-2010, 11:41 PM   #4 
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Thank you!

He's being really lethargic and kind of floating in one place and I'm getting kind of worried about him. Could the water be too cold for him? If I tap my finger on the glass he moves a bit but otherwise he just kind of sits there. Should I be worried about him, or do you think he'll perk up tomorrow after he's in a tank that's big and warm and that has stuff for him to do, and after he's fed?

I really don't want him to die on me the first night he's at my house. Cause that would really suck (For him and for me).

So basically any advice is welcome!

EDIT: I Just stuck my finger in his water and it's pretty cold. So I put him down on my actual desk by my lamp to warm the water up. And I'm thinking about filling up the hot water bottle and putting it by his bowl to keep the water kind of warm tonight. Because our house gets pretty cold at night even though my room is warmer then the rest of the house.

Wait..... Now that I've moved him he's starting to swim and move around and look at things. He's not just floating there anymore! PROBLEM SOLVED. For now. So I think I will do the hot water bottle to keep him warm tonight. Cause I don't want him to freeze his little fishy tail off.

And then he stopped again.....

And I turned his bowl. Apparently there's a spot that he really likes. Because he's above the same patch of gravel as before but I rotated the bowl 45 degrees and he's now at a different place in relation to the lamp, but the same place in the bowl.

Last edited by wildmagic713; 09-05-2010 at 11:48 PM.
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Old 09-05-2010, 11:51 PM   #5 
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Pinyin did that to me too, he didn't eat for a whole week. I think that the tank/ location change was stressful, so don't worry. They're lazy fish to begin with.
But he'll definitely perk up when there's things for him to explore. Pinyin swims aroound the same plastic plant for hours on end, and loves his angry German music that I play through the speaker on his tank.

Go crazy with the ornaments. Something where he can swim around, through and have fun, but don't clutter it. Make sure that there's enough room for him to move, but I find, especially with the customers at work, that bigger tanks are a lot more stressful... I don't know why, but it really depends on Mr. Fishy. He might like a bigger tank, or he might hide in one little corner, never to see the light of tank...
But whatever you do STOP TAPPING THE GLASS! Most annoying thing in exsistance is tapping. He's probably adjusting to his bowl in it's new surrounding. Pinyin does that still, especially after I change the water, because I have to take him upstairs to the bathroom, and back to the basement.

He's fine, as long as he's breathing.
^^
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Old 09-05-2010, 11:54 PM   #6 
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I never actually tapped. But I was kind of worried about him. So when I touched the bowl by him he would move. But otherwise he just kind of sat there.

I'm not one to bug my fish.

But okay, as long as you think it's just the change in place.

I haven't had a pet fish in forever so my fishy skills are kind of rusty.

Our guppies are super low-maintenance. My dad does a 25% change once every few weeks (We have maybe 25 guppies in a 20 gallon tank. So they have plenty of room). It's got a filter and algae eaters and a snail eating fish and the guppies and plants and stuff so they're plenty occupied. All we do is feed them once a day and they take care of themselves.

But I'm determined to treat my fish properly.
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Old 09-06-2010, 12:05 AM   #7 
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Unless your room is 78-82*F 24/7 all year long he DOES need a heater. They make adjustable 25 watt heaters that are good for 5 gallon tanks (you could also go for a 50 watt if you dont find a 25 watt). A betta can live in colder waters and they can take more abuse than many other tropical fish but they still do best with a STABLE water temp. Where I live the temo drops 20-30 degress at night. Thats a pretty drastic change for a fish. Thats why I have a heater to keep the water at a constant 80*. Plus, in warm water your fish is much more active. I hardly ever catch mine just laying somewhere. He's always swimming around and patrolling his territory except for when its dark. So investing in a heater and a thermometer is a good Idea.

You dont NEED a filter but it will sure make life easier for you. If you have a filter you can cycle your 5g and then you dont have to do 100% water changes. If you do opt to go without a filter I suggest changing the water at least 2x a week. For more information about cycling click here: [Link]

Plastic plants are ok so long as you clean them. Aquatic plants (real ones) are better as they help remove ammonia and nitrates from the water but they arent necessary. Plus if you do get plants you must meet their needs as well (lighting, fertilizing, etc...)

Keep the bowl covered ;)

You fish will be just fine staying in a bowl for a few days. Ive known fish who survived worse conditions.
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Old 09-06-2010, 12:08 AM   #8 
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Okay good.

I was planning on getting him a heater.

I just want to make sure he'll be fine tonight.

His water is pretty cool (I felt it, it's like the temperature of cooler tap water, like the temperature of water I drink) so right now he's got a hot water bottle and my desk lamp to warm it up a bit before I go to bed so that he doesn't freeze tonight.

I'm getting him a filter. It's easier, it's better for them, and it will make my life a heck of a lot easier.

I'm already really busy with school so finding time to change the water will be a pain.

I'll probably do it on weekends and then once during the week (Maybe on Wednesdays if I can make my schedule work).

I felt bad covering his bowl with plastic with holes in it so I got some fabric that's like a netting and it's on top now. Hopefully it's enough to keep him IN the bowl.
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Old 09-06-2010, 12:13 AM   #9 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex09 View Post
Unless your room is 78-82*F 24/7 all year long he DOES need a heater. They make adjustable 25 watt heaters that are good for 5 gallon tanks (you could also go for a 50 watt if you dont find a 25 watt). A betta can live in colder waters and they can take more abuse than many other tropical fish but they still do best with a STABLE water temp. Where I live the temo drops 20-30 degress at night. Thats a pretty drastic change for a fish. Thats why I have a heater to keep the water at a constant 80*. Plus, in warm water your fish is much more active. I hardly ever catch mine just laying somewhere. He's always swimming around and patrolling his territory except for when its dark. So investing in a heater and a thermometer is a good Idea.

You dont NEED a filter but it will sure make life easier for you. If you have a filter you can cycle your 5g and then you dont have to do 100% water changes. If you do opt to go without a filter I suggest changing the water at least 2x a week. For more information about cycling click here: [Link]

Plastic plants are ok so long as you clean them. Aquatic plants (real ones) are better as they help remove ammonia and nitrates from the water but they arent necessary. Plus if you do get plants you must meet their needs as well (lighting, fertilizing, etc...)

Keep the bowl covered ;)

You fish will be just fine staying in a bowl for a few days. Ive known fish who survived worse conditions.
Exactally you need need need a filter and you need a heater too I have two tanks without heaters but thats only cause they are in a very warm room and there tanks stay at 79.I think fake plants are ok but make sure they are not sharp they will rip your new buddys fins I only have plastic plants and a silk one and they work you can always get silk plants too they are safer.
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Old 09-06-2010, 12:32 AM   #10 
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Edit: I forgot to hit post and the others beat me to it. XD

I highly recommend a heater for your new Betta. Betta fish are most content at 76-80 degrees. They are cold blooded animals and need heat to help with digestion and metabolism, just like a reptile needs a heat source. Any animal can be taken into a cooler clime and survive for the most part, however they won't "thrive" so to say. I could live outside in fluctuating temperatures, but I can't say I would be very happy. With a heater you need a thermometer to keep an eye on the tank. The ones you stick on the side of the tank are usually inactive. A good old $2 one you toss in the tank is your best bet. (I like the ones with suction cups that keep them in place so I'm not chasing them around.) The best type of heaters are ones you can adjust yourself and not pre-set to 78 degrees.
As for feeding I feed mine 2 pellets twice a day soaked in tank water for a few minutes. Soaking dry food helps prevent constipation problems. Pellets are better than flakes as they can hold nutrients better. I switch between Omega One Betta Buffet Pellets and Attisons Betta pellets. Make sure the food you choose has a good protein source in the ingredients. I do fast them one day a week though. Usually Sunday. Betta's are piggies and will over indulge if you allow them. Their stomach is only the size of their eye, so 3-4 pellets a day is more than enough.
Make sure you use a good dechlorinator, I like Prime as it is very concentrated and saves me money in the long run as I use less product.
If you are going for a 5 gallon I would recommend getting a filter and cycling your tank. Some filters current may be too strong for a betta and may need to be baffled. Cycling your tank will make taking care of it easier once it completes with less frequent water changes. On that note a liquid test kit is a good idea too. The most popular one is the API freshwater master test kit. I would buy it off line as it is close to $14 cheaper that way.
As for decor, plastic plants usually tear a bettas long delicate fins. Running panty hose across any decor and making sure it doesn't snag it is the easiest test. Silk plants are usually the best choice for this. Petco has some awesome colors for gravel.

If he is just really in tap water without dechlorinator he may be being slowly poisoned by the water. =/ Not much you can do unless you have dechlorinator on hand. It also could be stress from the relocation and being cold. Hopefully he is just stressed out though. :)

If you have any other questions you can feel free to PM me, sometimes I loose track of myself.
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