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Old 02-07-2011, 01:36 PM   #1 
Kewpie
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Smile New to betta care - advice appreciated!

I'm a new owner and have been trying to read everything I can get my hands (eyes) on about bettas. There are a few things that I haven't been able to find, though.

First, some background. I've had my betta (named Sir Reginald Pennypants, or Reggie for short) for about 2 and a half weeks now. He's a male that I got at walmart. I felt SO sorry for him in his little cup and I had been wanting to learn to keep fish for a while, so home he came with me! I have him in a 10 gallon tank along with 2 peppered cory catfish (named Salt and Pepper) and 2 apple snails (Hoover and Kirby). So far, they all seem to get along well. No one has chased one another and I see no evidence of nipped fins on anyone. I have about 5 soft plastic plants clustered in the middle with one large one in the back corner where I have a betta hammock behind it. I have a bubble wall on the side opposite the fliter. I've got his thermostat set at 78F. I've been feeding him betta flakes and dried bloodworms (rehydrated first) He seems to like to nibble at the algae wafer... does it sound like I'm not feeding him enough if he's wanting to eat that?

Some things I think I may need to change and would like some input... The filter I have on the tank is too strong, I think. There are times when the betta swims under the flow and he gets pushed down about halfway to the bottom. I've been reading and I get mixed info. On one hand, some are saying that VERY low flow is the only way to go cause bettas don't like current. The other side is saying that bettas enjoy swimming in some current and find it fun and also that a tank larger than 2.5 gallons needs to have a higher flow to keep it clean enough. I'm so cunfused!

Another thing I'm seeing that's conflicting is that flaring is a good thing and not to worry. I've also read that this is bad and must be corrected. Reggie seems to spend a fair bit of time flaring at his reflection in the side of the tank. Do I need to be concerned? Is there anything I can do about it anyway?

One behavior thing I've noticed with him is after feeding time, he will flutter and dart forward an inch or so and flutter and then dart forward again over and over. What could that possibly mean? Happiness? Playfulness? Pain? Anger? Never having taken care of fish before, I have such a hard time reading there body language. I'm excited to learn though! Please, any comments are welcome. Advice especially! TIA

Last edited by Kewpie; 02-07-2011 at 01:39 PM.
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Old 02-07-2011, 02:13 PM   #2 
Oldfishlady
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Hello and welcome to the forum and to the wonderful world of Betta and fish keeping....it sounds like you are off to a good start....

One thing you will find with this species of fish-Betta splendens is that they all can have different personalities and love to keep up on out toes....lol...

One important thing to remember and understand about fish keeping in general is that:

Freshwater fish thrive with fresh water and to be a good keeper of fish you must first be a good keeper of water....

Water quality is one of the most important aspect in successful fish keeping in my experience....

Over time you will learn general fish behavior...but as I stated...each Betta can be different...lol

In the 10gal filtered tank during the nitrogen cycle process-I would make twice weekly water changes of 50%...1-50% water only and 1-50% to include substrate cleaning with a vacuum
Once the nitrogen cycle has established (4-8week) 1-50% weekly water change with substrate cleaning should maintain water quality

The filter media also needs a good swish/rinse in old tank water with a water change a couple of times a month and when the water flow slows- 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....

Water flow can cause problems for some Betta and some Betta love the water flow and will even play in it
You can move the filter off to the side so you have move area without strong water flow or you can baffle the filter to slow the water flow or raise the water level so the overflow is covered somewhat...this can help ease the flow some (there is a sticky with step-by-step instruction to baffle the filter)

Stocking is another issue with this species-some Bettas tolerate other tank mate and other do not...regardless, when you add other fish it is important to meet their needs as well.
The Corydoras are a great choice with most Bettas and great that you started out with a 10g tank...anything smaller and you are limited to shrimp and snails
Corydoras are social fish and do best when kept in schools of at least 4, however, the more the better-but with 10g you are limited with the number you can add...I would recommend that you add 1-2 more to your 2 corydoras you have now....and what is neat about more corydoras is that you may see more natural behaviors...they can be some really playful fish when they are happy....and when they are happy they will be less stressed....remember...stressed fish are sick fish and sick fish can make all the fish sick in the tank....Corydoras also need smooth substrate for their delicate barbels-as they root around looking for food they can damage the barbel....corydoras can also be sensitive to salt and medications....

If you haven't already I would research the nitrogen cycle-this is an important aspect in fish keeping as well and you are already on your way to a cycled tank with the fish in cycle method and this can be safe provided that you are willing and able to make the needed water changes to keep the fish safe

Again welcome and ask all the question you need...we are here to help.....look forward to pic too.....

Last edited by Oldfishlady; 02-07-2011 at 02:17 PM.
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Old 02-07-2011, 03:54 PM   #3 
BeCkS
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whats your tank called? it almost sounds like mine...does it have a hangover filter? like off of the back?
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