Originally Posted by kres
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!