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Old 10-03-2010, 09:00 PM   #1 
Tangeh
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Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Nova Scotia, Canada
Does This Sounds Okay?

*betta newbie* xD

So I got my betta boy on Thursday. :D He's in a 1.5 gallon tank (by tetra), filtered but unheated (couldn't find anything smaller than 50 watts... but he seems to be doing okay without it).

I'm so used to my koi, I feel like I'm not feeding him enough... I'm giving him a small pitch of tetra flake food twice a day (morning and evening). He devours it in about two minutes. I also have freeze dried bloodworms (also by tetra... total coincidence, honestly xD). I'm planning on giving him about five worms (soaking them first) two days a week along with his normal flake meal. He has yet to turn down food, which I think is awesome because I've heard so much about how picky bettas are!

I did a 50% water change today and I think it went fine. I'm using aquaplus water conditioner. Should I do a 50% change every week, or 25% twice a week? Or something else? @_@

I want to make sure I'm doing everything right. :3 Any suggestions? (Besides increasing the tank size, my mom won't let me :K. She thought 1.5 was too big, even!)

And he doesn't have a name yet. xD. I'm trying to get "Alpha" to stick (yes, I know betta isn't pronounced like beta. BUT STILL xD) but I know I'll shorten that to "Alph" or something and he's too pretty for that. xDD.

Also, some of the gravel said on the label it was "ammonia absorbing"... does anyone have experience with this? Honestly I just liked the purple and white. :D (most of the gravel is not this. The rest is just white.)

(rather bad) PICTURES:


The plants are better situated now. :P This was the day I got him and they got displaced by the plastic bag.
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Old 10-03-2010, 11:49 PM   #2 
Adastra
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Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Northern Virginia
In a tank that size, you will need to do a 100% change every two days. I realize this sounds excessive, but keep in mind that this tank is simply too to be cycled with any real stability, and all uncycled tanks need frequent 100% water changes. It is a very small container, and since you are used to keeping koi, you know how much waste fish can put out and that it can reach toxic levels surprisingly quickly.

I recommend ordering a 25 watt adjustable heater--I prefer to do all my shopping online here: http://www.fosterandsmithaquatics.co...lies/pr/c/3578 since their prices are way cheaper than you'll find in a pet store, even with shipping included. If you want to get one from a pet store and they don't have it in stock, don't be afraid to ask them to special order you a 25 watt adjustable heater like the Hydor Theo, many times they'll put your request in a special order book and have it for you in a week or so.

If your mother is against you getting a larger tank, I highly recommend getting a live plant or two. Plants consume ammonia as their food source, so stuffing as many plants in there as you can will be very beneficial to your water quality and give you a greater margin for error in case an emergency arises and you have to skip a water change. Plants don't really give you a get out of jail free card for water changes and you should still strictly adhere to your schedule of 100% every two days, but they will certainly help. Good plant species to buy are java moss, java fern, anubias, and elodea/anacharis. Always do your research before buying plants, because many pet stores sell non-aquatic plants as if they were aquatic. Non-aquatic plants will drown and melt in your water after about a month, making a big mess. You want to avoid that. :)

As far as the food, I don't recommend freeze-dried foods. They can cause terrible bloating and constipation. I don't use them at all because I've had bad experiences, but if you do choose to use them, use them very sparingly as a treat and always soak any dry food (pellets, flakes, freeze-dried) that you give your betta in a bit of tank water until it's completely saturated. Bettas were not designed to eat dry, air-filled foods--it's kind of like when humans eat uncooked rice, it expands in the stomach as it takes on moisture, causing bloating, discomfort, and constipation. Try to avoid that. You should consider varying his diet with more nutritious pellets such as OmegaOne Betta Buffet Pellets, Atison's Betta Pellets, or New Life Spectrum. Frozen fish food is another great option that provides your fish with a lot of protein and lasts a long time. Most people use a mixture of pellets supplemented by frozen foods--typically you should feed your betta two pellets twice a day or three pellets once a day.

Welcome to the forum and good luck with your new fish.

Last edited by Adastra; 10-03-2010 at 11:57 PM.
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Old 10-04-2010, 12:59 PM   #3 
Tangeh
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Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Nova Scotia, Canada
Aren't 100% water changes bad for your tank? Destroys all the good bacteria and removes all the ammonia it needs to grow on? :/ I know high levels of ammonia are bad, but shouldn't there be a small amount in order for it to cycle? Or are you saying my tank cannot be cycled..?

My local pet store doesn't sell plants... I know there's a pet store twenty minutes from here that has a large fish section, so I'll check that out. I got the plants for my koi from a garden centre which isn't open this time of year.

Also, I'm Canadian and that website is American. Typically they won't ship here, but I didn't see where it said so I'm not sure.

And yeah, that's why I soak the bloodworms beforehand, but he hasn't had problems so far. :) And if he's doing fine on flake food, are pellets nessesary as well? @_@

Thanks for the advice!
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Old 10-04-2010, 01:09 PM   #4 
Adastra
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Theoretically it could be cycled, but it's so small that it would not be stable and the tank would constantly go through mini-cycles where nitrite and ammonia levels would spike--it's not a good way to keep a fish, really. Filters in such a small volume of water also tend to stress bettas out--perhaps a sponge filter with a valve for bubble control would be the best option if you were determined to try and cycle the tank.

The 100% change method is a sure thing, though. Your fish will have consistently clean water with this method. Once you add live plants, you can use your testing kit to determine how often it really needs a 100% change. A 100% change every two days is a general guideline for unfiltered and unplanted tanks, but you may find that a few partial changes and one 100% change a week works better and so forth.

Oh, if you're Canadian, you can try this site: http://www.bigalsonline.com/ I've heard it recommended by Canadians I know and is comparable to Foster and Smith in terms of pricing and variety.

As for the food, pellets are more convenient and tend to be of higher quality than flakes. They're easier for the fish to eat and they make less of a mess in the tank. If you still want to use the flakes, you can, of course, but it's best to offer your fish a variety of different foods, so adding a pellet to his diet would be helpful.
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Old 10-04-2010, 01:20 PM   #5 
Tangeh
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Okay, thanks. :) I'll read up on plants and see what I can find.
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Old 10-04-2010, 01:26 PM   #6 
Adastra
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Good luck. :) Keep in mind that you're going to want plants that don't actually need to stay planted like mosses and rhizome plants. Frequent cleanings and water changes will disturb the roots of plants like swords and crypts so you'll not want to bother with those.
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