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Old 01-15-2011, 02:18 PM   #1 
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New Adoptive BettaMom

Hey forum,

I just recently (last week) adopted a betta fish from my cousin who no longer wanted to take care of him. That being said, she didn't take very good care of him with complete water changes once a month (no acclimation) and kept him in a double mirrored jar that made it look like there were a billion little beta fish swimming back into infinity. It also made him puff up a lot. She also didn't use water conditioner. She's lost 5 betta over the course of the year and when this little guy started to go pale in color she was gonna flush him. So I stepped in.

Now, I've got him in a medium-sized fishtank (maybe 2-2.5 gal) with large rounded stones at the bottom. I live in a dorm so I can't do very much else size wise.

My room-mate also has a betta, and she does a 20% water change once a week (she keeps hers in a wide-mouthed bottle) and when she does this she pours the fish (his name is Jungle) into his orignal little betta cup in order to clean the tank. I don't have the original little betta cup but I could probably ninja a peice of tupperware for the same thing.

However, after she cleans his tank, it often doesnt look like she has, and he's still swimming around in murky looking water. I've wanted to do something more along the lines of a 100% water change, acclimating him to the new water after I've cleaned the tank and added the conditioner and stuff, I've read that I can do this by taking out a tablespoon of his old water and putting in a tablespoon of the clean water every 15 mins until he's swimming in mostly clean water and then putting him back in his new tank, and since my tank is pretty small I wanted to do it more often. Is that reasonable? I also don't have a fish-net and won't be able to get one until Wednesday but his water was changed the day before I got him (which would have been last Wednesday) so will a week in his water (which still seems very clear) be fine for him? (Considering he'd been living for months in 20% water changes I'm assuming he'll be fine but still).

I'm feeding him a mixture of flakes and freeze-dried brine shrimp and bloodworms as treats, and I give him a few little flakes twice a day, and a brine shrimp every other day as a treat. He's changed color from a pale kinda sky blue to a very bright deep indigo now, so I'm assuming that he likes his new house and diet, and he's blown quite a bit mat of bubbles all around the perimiter of the jar so that it almost looks soap-sudsy.

I also wanted to change what's on the bottom of the tank, putting in pebbles or those polished glass stones or something. If I bought some of them, what's the best way of cleaning them so that they're ok for his new home when I redo the tank? Would it be best to just rinse them for a nice long time under the tap and then put them into the clean tank just before adding the conditioner? Also, would I then rinse them every time I do a water change?

Sorry for all the questions, I'm a first time fish owner and I don't wanna lose little Ares to stupidity, especially after he seems to haev made such a big rebound!


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Old 01-15-2011, 02:26 PM   #2 
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Oh, also, I have a desk lamp on his tank both for light and a small heat source, my dorm room is generally cool (maybe 20-22 degrees Celcius) and the lamp seems to add some heat to the water (which, according to a little thermometer I have, is around 27 degrees Celcius with the lamp, 20 without it). He also seems to really like the light, because he'll almost bask in it when I have it on.
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Old 01-15-2011, 02:58 PM   #3 
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Good for you for stepping in and rescuing that fish! What a horrible situation. It sounds like your fish is much happier now if he's coloring up and making you bubblenests. Okay, I'll try to answer your questions to the best of my knowledge.

1. Make sure you never use soap when you clean things. You probably know that, but I just want to make sure. You're right, 2.5 gallon tanks should be cleaned much more often than 20% a week. I'd do 20% every other day and 100% on weekends. Just because the water is clear, it doesn't mean it isn't toxic. If you can afford an ammonia, nitrate, nitrite test kit, they are the best thing ever for seeing what's really going on in the water. Try just scooping him out with a cup if you want to do a water change without a net. Just make sure that whatever you put him in is covered, but has air holes so he can't jump out or suffocate.

2. For gravel, I boiled mine twice and rinsed it several times before I put it in. Kinda paranoid XD. But you could probably just rinse it until nothing is coming off. And maybe boil it if you can. For cleaning the gravel during 100% water changes, just swish it around in clean water. You can gravel vac them during 20% water changes, just to get up any food or anything that is on the ground.

3. Question: Does your tank have a filter? A filter isn't absolutely necessary, but it really helps with water cleanliness. But I understand if you're strapped for cash, being a college student myself. If it isn't filtered, be really good about changing the water regularly.

4. ...I just lost my train of thought. Hmm. Oh yeah, heater! Okay, so I would look into getting a heater for your betta, since if you're using the light as a heat source, temp will fluctuate during the night, which isn't good. Also, you want the temp to be no less than 24 degrees Celsius, all the time. I use the Tetra HT10 which is $8.80 on Amazon. Just be careful to follow the directions to a T if you get that one or it will break.

Hope that helps!
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Old 01-15-2011, 03:10 PM   #4 
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^ +1 I agree with the water changes filters just make it easier and less hassle to clean I feel but a cycle is hard to keep in a smaller tank.

And welcome to the forum great job savin the little guy! And if you have pictures I'd love to see
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Old 01-15-2011, 03:20 PM   #5 
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This is a picture of him before I've got his tank all nice and set up. Once I have the gravel in (maybe Wednesday or Thursday) I'll post another (hopefully less blurry) picture of him in his new home! He used to be more along the lines of the color of the background of this board in some places. Huge difference!
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Old 01-15-2011, 03:21 PM   #6 
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You need to buy a heater!! The lamp is not enough, especially at night when the temperature is most likely to drop.
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Old 01-17-2011, 06:14 PM   #7 
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Also, you might want to consider switching his food to pellets. Flakes sink faster and fowl the water quicker. Though it depends on his size, one of my Bettas (Abacus) has to have flakes because his head is too small to eat anything else!
And when you get more decor, try getting silk plants instead of plastic, most plastic plants are sharp enough to rip their fins.
Good luck! :)
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Old 01-20-2011, 07:05 PM   #8 
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Hey all,

An update on my fishie. I got him blue gravel for his tank, along with two silk plants (and a floaty foam lily that he seems to like to bump around the tank, then try to get back out of corners). I also got some pellet food for him but he looks at me as if to say "What is this, please?" after he eats (and then promptly spits out) the pellet.

I have to go on vacation for a week later in the semester, and I'm unable to take him or get a babysitter. The people at the pet store reccomended these little vacation block thingies that release food for 7 days, I've heard both good and bad things about them. I don't mind cleaning his tank extra good when I get back and before I go, I just dont wanna lose my fishie over my week break. Any ideas?
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Old 01-20-2011, 08:03 PM   #9 
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Awww! Picky eaters. XD

Your fish is better off with no food over the break. Vacation blocks will make the water quality horrible. Also, if he has no food, his water quality will stay decent while you are gone. Don't worry about him starving or anything. :) Just change the water and feed him before you leave.
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Old 01-20-2011, 08:07 PM   #10 
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He won't starve with no food for a week? Really?
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