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Old 06-21-2010, 04:45 AM   #1 
kres
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Question New to Bettas!

I recently inherited a Betta from an ex-coworker. I've never owned a fish and after doing some reading, I'm a little frightened about his conditions. She has been keeping him in a small fishbowl (maybe about 2 liters) with normal sink water (no filter or heater). He seems fine, and we even play games. Were totally in love. I want to at least start putting warmer water in the bowl, i don't think its anywhere close to what it should be. Is it ok to jump right to it, or should I gradually start warming up his water? What is the simplest way to keep a betta, and keep him happy? Since I'm at work more than I'm at home, I plan on keeping him here, and he already gets enough attention in a tiny fishbowl...
Any advice would be great. Thanks!
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Old 06-21-2010, 06:48 AM   #2 
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Originally Posted by kres View Post
I recently inherited a Betta from an ex-coworker. I've never owned a fish and after doing some reading, I'm a little frightened about his conditions. She has been keeping him in a small fishbowl (maybe about 2 liters) with normal sink water (no filter or heater). He seems fine, and we even play games. Were totally in love. I want to at least start putting warmer water in the bowl, i don't think its anywhere close to what it should be. Is it ok to jump right to it, or should I gradually start warming up his water? What is the simplest way to keep a betta, and keep him happy? Since I'm at work more than I'm at home, I plan on keeping him here, and he already gets enough attention in a tiny fishbowl...
Any advice would be great. Thanks!
The time to read up on fishes is before you purchase them or accept them from co-worker.
Your friend was not doing the fish any favors by keeping it in a unfiltered,unheated bowl.
The betta will need a heater (unless you live in the tropics) and a small sponge filter and preferably a tank of at least five gallons.
Until the tank has matured,(cycled) water changes of twice a week of 50 percent with dechlorinator added to the new water will be needed for the fish to thrive.Water temp should be consistent between 78 and 80 degrees.
After the sponge filter has established a bacterial colony to process the waste created by the fish and foods offered,then once weekly 25 percent water change is all that is needed.
Others will tell you that filter is not needed, or tank can be smaller, or that room temp is sufficient for the fish. I am suggesting what will absolutely benefit the fish rather than opinion of fellow members based on nearly 40 years of caring for numerous species of tropical fish.
Those that suggest otherwise ,often find themselves unable to leave their fish for holidays or vacations unless family member or friend is willing to care for the fish in their absence which in my view is unrealistic and irresponsible to expect others to care for the fish you may or may not choose to keep in unsuitable ,hard to maintain enviorments.
These same people claim to love their fish but are unwilling to provide them with same care that all tropical fish need, A heated,filtered tank of at least five gallons with healthy biological filter. These same folks often post here with all manner of health issues with their fish and attempt to cure the fish with all manner of medications ,often overdosing which creates more health issues.
It is estimated that 80 to 90 percent of all health issues with our fishes is directly related to water quality or lack there of.
Get the fish a tank of at least five gallons, place a heater and sponge filter in the tank after you fill it with dechlorinated tapwater. See that the temp is around 80 degrees F , then place the fish in the tank and feed sparingly once each day while performing water change of 50 percent twice each week with water that has been dechlorinated and is close to same temp in the tank.
After three weeks of this the filter (assuming you don't disturb it ) should have developed a colony of bacteria capable of processing the waste created by the fish. Then one weekly water change of 25 percent will be sufficient.
Don't overfeed the fish or clean the filter material with tapwater which may (prolly) contain chlorine.
Use a dechlorinator such as PRIME which will detoxify ammonia.
If you wish to cycle the five gallon tank without the fish, then feed the tank a tiny amount of food each day just as you would if fish was present. As the food decays ,it will provide food for the bacteria to feed on and a healthy biological filter will become established and after three or four weeks,the tank will be what is often called cycled.
If none of this appeals to you, you can always join the growing numbers of others who as mentioned post regularly with all manner of largely unnecessary health issues with their fish. Good Luck!
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Old 06-21-2010, 07:31 AM   #3 
kres
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hm...

Wow. Thanks for the input, but I think you need to get off your high horse for a second.
I was only here a few days when my co-worker was unexpectedly fired, and before accepting this fish I watched him sit on the desks of a few people that properly mistreated him. It was either me, or the guy that liked to throw staples in the bowl.
Like I said, I need everything to be as minimal as possible. I live in the middle east- different climate, but reaching the same temperatures as the tropics. I know that this fish bowl is tiny, and it breaks my heart to see him in it. Problem is, Even this seems big for my desk. I've read that 2.5 gallons with a lot of hiding places is sufficient, but will he be a depressed little fishy if he doesn't get 5 gallons? Can I keep him in warmer water and clean the tank often rather than filters and heaters? Also, I'm feeding him the flakes that she left behind- a couple each morning. Is that the right amount?
If you can offer any more advice, please keep in mind that I am not someone with 40 years of experience, I don't really have the means (but am definitely willing to do what I can) to invest loads into him, don't have too much space since my boss is already giving me the eye for this tiny tank and don't have anyone else to take him since no one I know can even take care of themselves, or throws staples at him. I am a 22-year-old, working a full time job and putting myself through school.
SO please, with your 40 years of knowledge, tell me how I can most properly keep little hatuli-fishface given my circumstances
OR
if anyone else has anything to offer, please let me know.
Thanks!
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Old 06-21-2010, 08:31 AM   #4 
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High Horse or not, Re-read above. What I have offered is basic care that all tropical fishes need in order to thrive,
You have observed that the tank is tiny , this results in temp fluctuations ,and water quality fluctuations which are stressful to fish. When fish are stressed ,their immune system can be compromised thus making the fish more suceptible to the myriad of health issues that they otherwise could fight off much the same way we fight off the effects of a cold.
You have admitted that you do not presently have the means to provide the basic elements needed to ensure that the fish remains healthy. So the fish has two strikes against it from the get go.
Frequent water changes assuming that temp of the building remains constant (does not fluctuate during the evening or weekends) can give the fish a chance but this care will be needed on holidays,weekends,and vacations. Best to keep the fish at home and if it's truly the fishes best interest you have at heart ,then provide for the fish as mentioned in previous post.
I too have a full time job ,and volunteer my time to this forum as well as others ,in an effort to help people enjoy the hobby rather than become discouraged by having to spend time medicating fishes for ailments that are often avoided through proper care of the enviornment that we place our fish in.

Last edited by 1077; 06-21-2010 at 08:40 AM.
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Old 06-21-2010, 08:41 AM   #5 
kres
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Cool. Thanks for the advice.
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Old 06-21-2010, 12:41 PM   #6 
sarbear
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Wow 1077 am I glad you've never answered any of my questions!

Kres clearly stated that he/she is concerned about the current conditions and wants to improve them. Kres is asking for help and advice on how to best do that.

He/she said that they don't have the means to "invest loads" into the fish, but wants to do what they can. That doesn't mean, as you misquoted, he/she doesn't have the means to "provide basic elements needed to ensure the fish remains healthy".

Every single word of advice that you've offered could have been provided in a much more civil manner. You don't have to be a jerk to someone asking for help to get your point across.

This person is helping a fish who was in poor conditions before, instead of letting people throw things at it. What a kind thing to do! Don't be elitist, it's a turn off.

Kres, I'm new to betta fish also, so I'm sorry that I don't have much info for you. But there are many helpful and kind people on this forum and I'm sure you'll get someone to answer your questions without the attitude. :)
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Old 06-21-2010, 12:44 PM   #7 
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heater is a must 2.5 is allright i would buy the bigger tank though
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Old 06-21-2010, 12:48 PM   #8 
sarbear
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Kres, the heater is very important to keep the water at the right temperature. I have one in both of my betta tanks, one is turned on because it's a new tank without fish and I'm cycling it, but the other one is not on because the temperature stays warm enough without it, since it's warm outside. So if you buy a thermometer, you may find that the temperature is warm enough for now and you can save up and buy a heater before the colder months. Mine cost $20 each.
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Old 06-21-2010, 01:02 PM   #9 
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IMO/E-there are more than one correct way to successfully care for this species provided that you are willing to make the needed water changes.
As stated by 1077, water quality issues are the biggest reason most fish get sick and die, there is a big difference in a fish that thrives-vs-survives in the little ecosystem we create for them.

IMO/E-you can keep this species so that it will survive in the container that you have, but you will need to make 100% daily water changes. Since he is in a 2L container without filtration or a heater, thats not a whole lot of volume to work with and the water will foul pretty fast and since you can't up-grade the size and have to work with what you got...you got to make this work......100% daily water changes is the only option and if you can add live plants that would help get him through the weekend or your days off unless you take him home with you, it is not safe to heat that size tank without risk of cooking him and you don't want to add warm water as it will just go back to room temp anyway and the stress from those temp swing and you can end up with a sick fish, you also need a dechloranator for the new water if your tap water contains chlorine and chloramine.

What 1077 stated is not wrong IMO, however, I think what you are doing is great and the only chance this fish has to live a little longer, maybe not ideal set-up for long term housing- but if this is all you can do for him...well...its all you can do...and 100% daily water changes can help keep him from suffering in foul water.
Feeding what you have once a day or go a look for a Betta pellet type food and add that to his feeding too, try not to overfeed and if you can remove any uneaten food all the better.
Good luck and I hope all goes well with your new unexpected wet-pet.
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Old 06-21-2010, 03:30 PM   #10 
kres
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Thanks Sarbear, 'she' is very glad to hear such kind words.
And thanks for the advice, everyone...I'll make sure that hatuli-fishface thrives! :]
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