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Old 10-16-2010, 12:21 PM   #1 
elijahfeathers
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So as it turns out walmart lied. C:

Hello there guys! I'm Elijah.

A week ago my friend and I went out shopping at a Meyers, and while we were ogling over the bettas they had on display, she decided she needed to have one.

A couple days later, she has two, and I've got two gifty bettas and tanks and fake plants and gravel and such for mine, too. At first we both had 1/2 gallon bowls, and then it was decided they were too small to decorate, so we got 1 gallon ones for our fishies on another visit.

And well, this is where my luck runs short. lol C: We both decided to finally look up a bit about our new pets-- partially for me because I'd actually been told before that bettas would not like having too much room in a tank and was worried that I'd be stressing out my little fish for the sake of wanting a decoration in there with him. Oh, the irony of the entire situation. lol

So of course we both find that bettas actually need heating, space, and the like. Well, my friend went out right away and got two 10 gals and filters and heaters and little friends for her fish. My friend has a job and I don't though, and I haven't been able to upgrade.

Currently I've got one betta in a 1.19 gallon plastic... multi-purpose pet holder. It listed it's self in gallons so I assume it wants to believe it can hold animals that need water, too. Ianos, the pretty boy in my avatar, is quite happy. He was from Petco and he's very bright and alert. He swims right to the top when I come over to feed him and is pretty active.

The other, Leonardis, has been pretty stressed since I took him out of the half gallon bowl. In there he was blowing bubbles and eating happily-- when I moved him to the one-gallon bowl he started attacking the sides of the glass, trying to swim out all the time, and refusing to eat, hiding, resting at the bottom of the bowl. It's a walmart bowl though and the glass visibly distorts the outside world weirdly, so I decided to take a chance and washed out a 1 and 1/2 gallon tupperware that's been holding yu-gi-oh chards I stopped collecting years ago. It's shallower but has more space. He's since stopped trying to knock himself silly on the sides of his home, but he's still skittish about eating food, and stays at the bottom a lot, or resting on the plastic floaty plants near the top.

Does anyone have cheap improv ideas that I might be able to use to help my fish? I feel sort of bad, because if I'd realized they weren't as easy of a pet as they'd been sold to be, I wouldn't have taken them home.


Currently I'm;

Feeding; Hikari Betta Bio-Gold pellets
Using Tetra BettaSafe to make tap water okay for them
Running a space heater to keep my room toasty for them (water is at about 72 degrees)
Doing 50% water changes every day for both.


Considering my lack of money and resources, is there anything else I can do? Anything I ought to be doing different? What's the most important thing I should save for at this point? I feel like a terrible owner already, but then I think at least Leo isn't in half a cup of water at walmart with like 15 dead fish around him anymore. :C
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Old 10-16-2010, 12:51 PM   #2 
Hermitpaws
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You can buy 2 2.5 gallon Critter keepers for $9.99 each at petco
the food your feeding is fine although i invest in some Dried blood worm to feed as treats at least once a week.
and 3rd Any thing that said for "Betta's" on it don't usually contain good stuff.
i use Amquel tap water conditioner buy the large 16 oz bottle, it only takes less then a cap full to clean the water.

Last edited by Hermitpaws; 10-16-2010 at 12:54 PM.
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Old 10-16-2010, 12:56 PM   #3 
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If you have a bigger tank, you can 'improvise' with items like cups for caves and silk flowers if you don't want to buy aquarium plants. Might help Leonardis who seems nervous and maybe looking for somewhere to hide.
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Old 10-16-2010, 01:05 PM   #4 
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Welcome to the forum :)

Unfortunately, bettas are a bit more difficult to care for than stores mark them as, as you are finding out. It might not seem it now, but once you get all the things your bettas need, you'll find out that betta fish are awesome fish to keep and this hobby can be very fun.

Petco is having a gallon per dollar sale, so you could buy a ten gallon tank for ten dollars. Technically you wouldn't need to buy a top for it if you keep the water level a few inches below the top. If you go to a craft store, for a few dollars you can buy the materials needed for a tank divider. You could divide the tank, and using only one filter and one good quality heater, house both your betta fish.

Ceramic cups and bowls as well as silk plants make great cheap decorations.

food wise, so long as some form of protein (fish, shrimp, krill, fish meal, shrimp meal, etc) is the first ingredient, it'll be fine. If you decide to splurge, you should go for frozen bloodworms as treats rather than dried because the frozen bloodworms have more nutrition and can be used to supplement pellets.

With those smaller tanks, you'd need to be doing 100% water changes ever two or three days. any less will mean they are living in dirty water which isn't good for their health

also, your water conditioner is probably waaaay over priced. I recommend seachem's Prime. Prime is a bit pricey, but you only need two drops per gallon, so it'll last longer and technically cost less compared to the other conditioner.

Last edited by JKfish; 10-16-2010 at 01:09 PM.
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Old 10-16-2010, 01:28 PM   #5 
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Thanks for the advice so far guys!

Couple of questions then; Is it better for me to keep doing the 50% water changes every day, or waiting two or three days to 100% change the water? If I'm changing half of it every day do I still need to do a 100% switch once a week or so?

Also, that sounds like an awesome sale! :o How long is it going on, do you know? (The petco is like an hour and a half drive one way, so planning a good time if it's not too short of a sale works out better. lol)

And yeah I was surprised at how different the fish's needs are compared to what they're marketed as-- but hey, I guess you sell more fish if you can get someone to spend 20 bucks on a setup and have them coming back cause their fish die every couple weeks to get a new one, right? :/ *sighs*

Like the guy at the walmart I got Leo at told me he'd be scared with a too-big bowl, and to change all his water once a month using only bottled water. Sounds rather like this advice would have had me coming back for lots more fish. *shakes head*

Last edited by elijahfeathers; 10-16-2010 at 01:32 PM.
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Old 10-16-2010, 01:39 PM   #6 
JKfish
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I don't know, though if you look up the phone number of the store and ask, they can give you a definitive answer.

For their health, in 1 gallons, 100% every other day will be better.

*sigh* you're right on the money. LFS only want money, and they wouldn't sell as much if people knew how much the fish actually cost.
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Old 10-16-2010, 01:52 PM   #7 
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Okay, thanks. I know my situation right now isn't ideal, but until I can get bigger tanks (or a split 10 gallon one) I want to do the best I can with what I have. xD

I just feel a little overwhelmed. Aside from a betta I had two years back form a fair (poor guy lasted three months :C) this is my first real fish on my own. At least I can remember my dad having fish and it taking a good amount of work, so I'm not THAT shocked. It's just a bummer that my little guys have to suffer my blunder here. :C

Still, I think they're awesome, and I can't wait until I can get them set up nicely. I think I'm going to end up with a lot of fish someday. ._. *dramatic music*
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Old 10-16-2010, 03:09 PM   #8 
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Yep, I'm surprised no one has told you yet, but once you own bettas, you are bit by a parasite they carry, we call it the betta bug... which causes a sever addiction to betta fish in general. sever symptoms include being unable to buy or breed enough bettas, constant thoughts of bettas, uncontrollable ravings about bettas and their care to LFS employees, and being glued to your betta tank. While it is a sickness that you'll never loose, you'll be able to live happily with it, though your wallet may disagree. However, it is highly contagious, so use caution when interacting with both people and bettas.

jokes aside, you'll be fine, and so will your bettas. They're pretty hardy, and so long as you care for them to some extent will survive. My first betta lived in a 1/2 gallon tank with 100% water changes once a week for several months before I wised up.

So long as you're trying to do good by them, thing's will work out. :)
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Old 10-16-2010, 03:16 PM   #9 
elijahfeathers
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xD haha. I already had a dream with both of them in it. ._. I was in a plane crash and for some reason I had them and spent the entire time trying to find a safe place for my fishies. lol


Also, I did set a washed-out coffee cup in with Leonardis-- and he's much happier already-- no long just lingering int he corner with his other decoration. ^^
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Old 10-16-2010, 03:45 PM   #10 
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You can also buy plastic tubs from Target or Walmart...a 4 gallon one is less than $5.

My betta Phobos loves his coffee cup too :D
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