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Old 10-28-2010, 12:53 AM   #11 
dampsugar
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Good....That is very good news. I mean he was swimming around when I first put him in the tank and now he is hiding and just kinda floating. I thought maybe something was wrong with him or he was stressed in some way.
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Old 10-28-2010, 12:54 AM   #12 
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oh....how often should I change the water?
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Old 10-28-2010, 12:55 AM   #13 
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Yes, it is normal. Many bettas are hide and refuse food while they adjust to their new surroundings. Keep in mind that whenever you feed your betta dry food of any kind, especially freeze-dried food, that it should be fully rehydrated in a bit of tank water before feeding. Bettas are very prone to bloating and constipation as a species, so it's best to avoid it in any way possible. If you think about it, fish were not designed to eat dry, bready, air-filled foods. What they go through after they consume them is analogous to when we eat uncooked rice or noodles. The food takes on moisture and expands in the gut--causing bloating, discomfort, and constipation, especially in freeze-dried foods. I prefer to use a mixture of different pellet brands and frozen foods instead of freeze-dried because they are more nutritious and fully hydrated. For bettas, variety is important since one single pellet brand cannot provide your fish with complete nutrition. High quality pellet brands you should consider include OmegaOne betta buffet pellets, Atison's betta pellets, and New Life Spectrum.

When you say you let the tank cycle for a day, it does not mean that your tank is "cycled," as we would say it. All you did was simply run water through your filter. When we say cycle, we mean the Nitrogen Cycle. This is the process by which beneficial bacteria that live in mature filters consume the toxic ammonia your fish excretes through its gills constantly as waste (kind of like the fish form of urine), and converts it into an equally toxic substance called nitrite. Nitrite is then converted by more beneficial bacteria into a much less toxic substance called nitrate. Once your filter has been colonized by beneficial bacteria (cultivating a colony takes about 3 weeks), you will only have to worry about controlling nitrate with partial water changes, rather than working yourself to death trying to maintain a 0ppm reading of ammonia (which would take 100% water changes to maintain.)

I highly recommend researching the Nitrogen Cycle and learning how to cultivate a bacterial colony in your filter safely. You will need to purchase a liquid master test kit, like this one: http://www.fosterandsmithaquatics.com/product/prod_display.cfm?c=3578+4345+4454&pcatid=4454 in order to complete the process and keep your fish safe while the ammonia and nitrite spike during the bacteria growth stage. Test kits are a great investment, just do not buy the dip strip version--they are a rip off. Very expensive per test compared to liquid and not nearly as accurate.

Until the tank is really cycled, you will have to rely on your testing equipment to know when to change the water. Your goal for the moment will be to keep the ammonia reading at or below .25ppm so that the bacteria have enough ammonia to feed on and grow, but there is not enough to poison your fish.
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Old 10-28-2010, 01:03 AM   #14 
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Thank you adastra. I decided to go with the "live fish" method of cycling. I know its the most dangerous method, persay, but I got impatient. So I chose a hardy fish to cycle my aquarium with.
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Old 10-28-2010, 01:06 AM   #15 
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Why would I want my betta to fast once a week? Is there any reasoning behind this method of feeding?
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Old 10-28-2010, 01:07 AM   #16 
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As long as you keep the ammonia/nitrite level at or below .25ppm and don't let it get above that, you should be fine. I would test every day or every other day and go partial changes accordingly until the cycle is complete. If you choose to add additional fish later, you should do so very slowly because the bacterial colony will have to grow and adjust to the new bio load.

Live plants will help absorb the waste of the fish and give you a greater margin of error in case an emergency arises or you forget to test and do needed water changes. Good luck, keep us updated on your tank cycle.
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Old 10-28-2010, 01:13 AM   #17 
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Thanks again guys....You have helped alot. I will keep you updated. I'm glad I found these forums and the response time was amazingly quick.

I will go to the pet store tomorrow and buy some pellets for him to eat. Do I want strictly betta pellets? Or would kelp pellets be alright?

UPDATE: My betta is swimming around now.
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Old 10-28-2010, 01:20 AM   #18 
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Bettas are carnivores--you want a pellet that has little to no vegetable/grain content because bettas are incapable of digesting or deriving any nutrients from plant matter. Definitely "no" on the kelp.

When you look in the ingredients list, you should see some kind of whole meat product as the first ingredient, like whole salmon, whole krill, whole halibut, etc. The more meats, the better.

It is fine if the whole meat is followed by a more ambiguous "meal" type product, like squid meal, krill meal, or even fish meal, but the first ingredient should always be a whole meat, and the meal product subsequent to that. If the first ingredient is some kind of wheat/soy/corn, then it is total crap and no fish should eat it, lol. There is no fish on earth that eats wheat or soy or corn in the wild. It is merely useless filler.

You should google the ingredients lists for the pellet brands I mentioned earlier to get an idea of what a high quality pellet is made of. Getting multiple brands is a good idea, as well as a frozen food item like blood worms (for protein) or brine shrimp (for fiber).
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Old 10-28-2010, 01:23 AM   #19 
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That is very good information....Thank you Adastra. Ill probably get something like the OmegaOne betta buffet pellets. Is there one that you recommend more than another?
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Old 10-28-2010, 01:38 AM   #20 
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I use OmegaOne mostly along with New Life Spectrum and frozen foods. Variety is important, so alternating between a couple of brands and supplementing with frozen treats is a good idea.
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