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Old 11-01-2010, 11:17 PM   #1 
mellalune
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Transition from bad care to proper care

Hi,

I've just taken in my sister's betta - she has been using tap water with no treatment, doesn't clean the bowl, and general stuff that should have killed it a long time ago. His bowl has a layer of green algae in it. How do I introduce the fish to a healthy environment without shocking his system? If I just plop him into clean, treated water, will he die? I've put the bowl next to a lamp to bring up the water temp, but I'm not sure where to go from here.
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Old 11-01-2010, 11:46 PM   #2 
cballas
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Congrats to you for wanting to help the betta :)

How big is the tank he's in now?

The cheapest route is a sterilite container (like $2-$6 @ walmart) & a hydor mini heater ($5-$12, often on sale @ petco or amazon). The Eclipse 3 G tank kit is on amazon for $40 now, with free shipping.
The Eclipse doesn't need a heater, the light (which brings out all the color & is enough watts for plants) keeps mine 78-80 degrees.
I mention these options because, smaller bodies of water are harder to keep a safe water temp...those mini heaters are not adjustable, and the min is for 2 gallons (max 5 gallons). The sterilite containers
are plastic, but thick enough to be safe for the mini heater. (The sterilite mine is in is filled with 5 gallons & stays 79-81 w/ the hydor)

Whenever you introduce a betta to a new enviroment, put him in a plastic cup or baggy,
and let it sit for 15-20 minutes in the new tank water so he can get used to the temp gradually. You can add the new proper water a little bit every 5 minutes too.

I hope this helps, good luck & keep everyone posted!

Last edited by cballas; 11-01-2010 at 11:54 PM.
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Old 11-01-2010, 11:52 PM   #3 
1fish2fish
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You can set up the tank and acclimate him slowly by putting him in a cup with water and every 15 minutes pour out about 1/4 of the water and put fresh water from the new tank in until the cup is filled with mostly clean water from the new tank. It should take 30 mins to an hour if done correctly. However, putting him into fresh clean water shouldn't hurt him at all, just try to make the clean water as close to the same temperature as the old water as you can.

What size is his bowl? I would begin by doing daily water changes with fresh dechlorinated water. Work on getting him into a tank that is at least 2 gallons with a proper heater that will keep the tank temperature around 80*. An adjustable heater is best and I highly recommend investing in a good heater, it may cost a little more than a cheap pre-set one but they generally work better and last longer.

What are you feeding him? I recommend getting a decent pellet food and supplementing with frozen. He probably has a compromised immune system from bad care and clean water and high quality foods will help bring him back to prime condition.

I would avoid heating the tank with a lamp. Its better for him to be on the cooler side than it is for him to have temperature fluctuations between day and night. Instead put his bowl in the warmest part of the house (but not near any windows or vents) until you can get him into a properly heated tank.

Kudos to you for wanting to give him proper care and welcome to the forum If you have any more questions don't hesitate to ask.
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Old 11-01-2010, 11:56 PM   #4 
cballas
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1fish2fish makes good points & has more experience than me, go that route
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