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Old 12-24-2010, 11:12 AM   #1 
Melbell
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Needs Help Quickly!

Background: So I was recently thrown into this whole Betta thing. My dance company did secret santas this year, and my secret santa bought me a betta as my final present. My fish, Fluffy, came with some instructions, but over all they were not very informative. He currently lives in a 1.5 gallon tank, with a Whisper filter and three plants (I am saving up for a heater). *I know some people think 1.5 gallons is a little small, but it was the best I could do (I do not have the money to buy a larger tank. My parents don't want me to have a fish so they are not helping with supporting him in any way and I am still a dependent and I don't have a job). I know these are not the best conditions for my Fluffy, but I have grown rather fond of him over the past few days.

Could anyone give me some tips so that I could give Fluffy the best life possible? I have done some research on other websites, but I would like information from actual fish owners as well.

He currently eats Aqueon fish pellets but I'm not sure how often or how much to feed him. Please help!

Thank you all very much!
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Old 12-24-2010, 01:47 PM   #2 
monroe0704
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Every owner does things a little differently. This is what I do and you may or may not agree :)

I have 2 of my guys in 1.5 gallon tanks and with water changes every other day (use a turkey baster to target the gravel) they are perfectly happy. The heater is a must, since they'll become listless in cold water. I'd upgrade the food to Hikari Bio Gold as it'll bring out the colors better! When I feed I drop in pellets one at a time for about 2 min; do this twice or three times a day.. this way he can eat it all and it won't sit around in his gravel adding to to the nitrate levels.

Just a little something to start you off!
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Old 12-24-2010, 02:21 PM   #3 
fredythefish
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for now, do you have a heating pad? you could put that under his bowl and turn it on low.. not quiet sure how effective it would be since you don't have a thermometer im guessing. do you have water conditioner? that's a must for doing water changes!!
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Old 12-24-2010, 02:51 PM   #4 
ashleyy
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things to get first:
-water conditioner to remove chlorine and heavy metals in the water
-heater (an adjustable one will be worth the money)
-a few variety of betta food
-a thermometer for the tank

with a 1.5 gallon tank change the water 100% at least every two days.

Some say that water changing is stressful to fish, but in my experience here is the least stressful way to go about it:

Note temperature
Unplug heater, lights etc.
Scoop your betta in a cup. I use a small tupperware container with holes pokes in the lid for air.
Rinse decorations with warm tap water, set aside on a clean towel
Pour old water out
Rise inside of tank with warm water
Place decorations back in tank
Slowly pour in the water you let sit for 24 hours
Say, for a 3 gallon tank, only pour in 2 gallons
With the last gallon try to match the what the water temperature was before you started the water change with tap water (you will need to play around with this to know exactly how much warm water to add)
Add your water de-chlorinator
Plug heater, light, etc. back in
Pour the betta back in

i made a blog about my fish and all i got to is a betta fish check list kind of thing so if you would like more info you can check this out

http://ashleysfish.blog.com/

:]
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Old 12-24-2010, 03:01 PM   #5 
Oldfishlady
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Congrats....and Welcome to the wonderful world of Betta keeping and the forum....

In a 1.5gal filtered tank-water changes of 50% twice weekly should maintain water quality-give the filter media a good swish/rinse in old tank water with a water change a couple of times a month to get the big pieces of gunk off to maintain good water flow...you want the filter media to look dirty...this is good bacteria

In the smaller tanks I have found doing the stir and dip method the easiest for water changes-
Leave the Betta in the tank-unplug both the filter and heater (once you get one) and give the substrate a little stir being careful not to disturb the live plant roots to get the mulm/waste up in the water column-use a plastic cup and dip half the water out and replace with like temp dechlorinated water-plug the filter and heater back in...the water should clear in an hour or two....do this one time a week and the second weekly water change can be water only-just dip half the water out and replace with like temp dechlorinated water.

As posted and as you already know-you will need a heater to maintain a stable water temp in the 76-80F range-until then keep him in the warmest room, away from drafts of doors and windows...be careful using heating pads or adding any warm water-you don't want to over heat or make sudden temp changes...wrapping a towel is a good idea especially at night when the lights are turned out.

I would put together a water change kit of sorts-a 1gal bucket, algae sponge, chopstick or something to be use to stir, small plastic cup, thermometer. dechlorinater (if on city water supply)-label everything "Fish only" other things to have on hand-aquarium salt, Epsom salt, IAL (Indian almond leaf) or naturally dried and fallen from the tree Oak leaf, clean 1gal jug (I use a clean gal milk jug) these are for treatment if needed....

There are many ways to keep and care for this species of fish and with a little time you will find what works best for the two of you...

Look forward to hearing more about your new wet-pet and seeing some pic of him and your setup....
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Old 12-27-2010, 11:33 PM   #6 
Melbell
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Thank you all so much! Your advice has been really helpful. I have been wrapping up the tank every night when it gets cold and I have done water changes every couple of days. I have a question about heaters though. I looked over all the pet stores in my town and the smallest heater I could find was a 50 watt heater. It says it heats tanks from 2 to 5 gallons. Would it work in my 1.5 gallon tank, or would the consequences of using it be bad? Thanks.
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Old 12-28-2010, 09:42 AM   #7 
Oldfishlady
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Depending on how cold the room temp is...the 50w may or may not work..I would monitor the water temp and watch the Betta behavior....I had to get a 50w pre-set heater for one of my 1.5g when my 25w broke a few years back and so far it is working fine and not over heating the tank.....it will get a bit warmer than I like on occasion but not to the point that is causes problems for the Betta...which reminds me I need to swap that heater out by summer...lol....
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Old 12-28-2010, 11:16 AM   #8 
DormDrax
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*Sipping Tea*

Stimulate Fluffy with interesting objects to put by his tank, I recently discovered my Drax is Fascinated by my Lava Lamp. Imagery such as photo's of scenery or you for that matter. Got a favorite little knick knack? Like a trophy, action figure, statuette, ... anything that YOU like to look at Fluffy might as well.

I've done nothing but research lately (Because I want to form a small niche for myself on this site) on entertainment for Betta's.

They like to be mentally stimulated, if you put things near the tank for Fluffy to observe put them within 1ft and see if he reacts to it. Flaring and or just constant starring means you've gotten his attention with said object.

Things that move are best, such as LavaLamps one professional breeder I read where she turns her lava lamps on before she leaves and it keeps her Betta's Interested for hours.
I guess it's like TV for them...
Pro: Lava Lamps are hot, so if you just have one around put it near the tank so that the heat radiates onto it, Heater is best but Drax swims along the wall the Lava lamp is on so I think he likes the extra warmth (The heat is already 79F how much hotter does he want it!).

Why?
If your a fish in a bowl...
Exactly, not much to do (Until you get yourself more set up.)
Put interesting things around and Fluffy will be entertained from curiosity.
This causes his energy to go up, energy=health so without spending a dime you may have increased Fluffy's Health by a small margin... it all adds up.

Still... Get a heater of some kind, You'll be surprised how active Fluffy will become when warmed up to around 76F-80F. It will be like night and day.
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Old 12-28-2010, 01:22 PM   #9 
Melbell
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Okay. So I just measured the temperature in his tank and it is 67 degrees. (Cold I know). The heater I got is a pre-set heater that would raise the temperature to around 78 degrees. Fluffy seems really active right now--flaring when I walk by and swimming around all day (he also made a bubble nest yesterday). If he is doing all this, would a heater really be necessary? Do you think he just got used to living in really cold water? I'm just worried a 9 degree temperature change might put him into shock...
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Old 12-28-2010, 05:50 PM   #10 
DormDrax
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Melbell View Post
Okay. So I just measured the temperature in his tank and it is 67 degrees. (Cold I know). The heater I got is a pre-set heater that would raise the temperature to around 78 degrees. Fluffy seems really active right now--flaring when I walk by and swimming around all day (he also made a bubble nest yesterday). If he is doing all this, would a heater really be necessary? Do you think he just got used to living in really cold water? I'm just worried a 9 degree temperature change might put him into shock...
Thats why you raise the temp gradually... it should be natural like Day and Night temp changes so just slowly raise the temp in the bowl and float him ... you know what I'll let someone else detail this since I bet I'll give you just SLIGHTLY wrong info haha

But NO trust me he may be active but you'll see his TRUE activity level when he's warmer...
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