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Old 03-09-2011, 01:52 AM   #1 
ChelseaLlyn
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Advice to help my new buddy?



I just got my first Betta, Basil, this last weekend. That's him up there. He's in a 1/2 gallon tank (I didn't realize how tiny that is for him until after I couldn't return it anymore ) and he seemed to be doing pretty good up until today. I've been feeding him 6-8 Aqueon Bettafood pellets each morning and night, and he plows through those pretty quick (and then looks at me like I'm starving him once he's finished). I tried to feed him some NutraFin flake/bloodworm mix, but he was having none of that. He spit it out and flared at it until I took it out of the water.
I try to keep the water at around 78, but the tank isn't heated, so it cools down to about 75 and settles there. I've done a couple 50-60% water changes with water that I ran through a Brita and conditioned. I took the water to Petco when I got him and they said it's almost perfect, just a little harder than ideal. Anyway, these are my questions:
  • Today, I noticed that he has a little...pooch, i guess, where the base of his ventral fins are. It's kind of a brownish color (he's blue-green) and I can't remember if he's had it since I brought him home, so I was wondering if anyone could tell me if it looks like something I should be worried about, or if I'm just being paranoid. I don't think he's acting sick, though I'm not really sure what "normal" is for him yet. He just kind of chills in the top part of his plant, and when he does decide to move, it's more of a sudden burst of swimming and then he goes back to the plant. I know he can swim smoothly, he just doesn't seem to want to. He ate fine tonight, though, and was not happy about my giant camera being outside his tank; flaring and all of that, so I think he's feeling at least a little spunky.
  • Am I feeding him too much/enough/too little? Also, any suggestions as to what other types of food I could give him, since he seems positively repulsed by the Nutrafin stuff?
  • If I'm doing water changes every other day or so, will it be too much stress to take him out of the tank so I can do a complete water change? Right now the most I've taken out is all but an inch or so of water and leaving him in the tank.
  • I know it's not ideal, but would it be safe to put him in a Rubbermaid container? It'd give him a bit more room until I can work out an alternative, and I'd obviously make it as aquarium-like as I could. I'm more curious as to whether or not it'll do something like leach chemicals into the water.
  • Is there anything else you guys could suggest to make him happier? I don't really have the means to get a bigger tank, and a filter or heater are a bit out of reach as well, so please don't say those three things, 'cause it'll just make me feel even more guilty than I do already. He'll probably be in this little tank for 6 or so weeks.

Thanks!
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Old 03-09-2011, 01:57 AM   #2 
BettaMama11
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You could ask the staff at the store you bought him from what food they fed all their bettas?
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Old 03-09-2011, 02:13 AM   #3 
Abby
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChelseaLlyn View Post


I just got my first Betta, Basil, this last weekend. That's him up there. He's in a 1/2 gallon tank (I didn't realize how tiny that is for him until after I couldn't return it anymore ) and he seemed to be doing pretty good up until today. I've been feeding him 6-8 Aqueon Bettafood pellets
thats a bit much I feed 2-3 a night.
each morning and night, and he plows through those pretty quick (and then looks at me like I'm starving him once he's finished). I tried to feed him some NutraFin flake/bloodworm mix, but he was having none of that. He spit it out and flared at it until I took it out of the water.
I try to keep the water at around 78, but the tank isn't heated, so it cools down to about 75 and settles there. I've done a couple 50-60% water changes with water that I ran through a Brita and conditioned. I took the water to Petco when I got him and they said it's almost perfect, just a little harder than ideal. Anyway, these are my questions:
  • Today, I noticed that he has a little...pooch, i guess, where the base of his ventral fins are. It's kind of a brownish color (he's blue-green) and I can't remember if he's had it since I brought him home, so I was wondering if anyone could tell me if it looks like something I should be worried about, or if I'm just being paranoid. I don't think he's acting sick, though I'm not really sure what "normal" is for him yet. He just kind of chills in the top part of his plant, and when he does decide to move, it's more of a sudden burst of swimming and then he goes back to the plant. I know he can swim smoothly, he just doesn't seem to want to. He ate fine tonight, though, and was not happy about my giant camera being outside his tank; flaring and all of that, so I think he's feeling at least a little spunky.
  • Am I feeding him too much/enough/too little? Also, any suggestions as to what other types of food I could give him, since he seems positively repulsed by the Nutrafin stuff?
He looks over fed, I would try fasting him for two or three days (NO FOOD) then try him with a little blanched, shelled pea (to help him digest) you could take a look at your lps and see what other betta pellets they stock. Or you could try flake food, brine shrimp (Live or frozen) or bloodworms (in moderation)
  • If I'm doing water changes every other day or so, will it be too much stress to take him out of the tank so I can do a complete water change? Right now the most I've taken out is all but an inch or so of water and leaving him in the tank.
  • I know it's not ideal, but would it be safe to put him in a Rubbermaid container? It'd give him a bit more room until I can work out an alternative, and I'd obviously make it as aquarium-like as I could. I'm more curious as to whether or not it'll do something like leach chemicals into the water.
there are some container (Not sure on the brand as I'm in Australia and prob have different brands lol) that is fish safe and would make a nice home temp
  • Is there anything else you guys could suggest to make him happier? I don't really have the means to get a bigger tank, and a filter or heater are a bit out of reach as well, so please don't say those three things, 'cause it'll just make me feel even more guilty than I do already. He'll probably be in this little tank for 6 or so weeks.
Heater wise if you have a desk lamp stick that over him for a few hours a day to warm him up :) they dont NEED filters but would then require daily- every other day water changes depending on the size.
I had to house three bettas in not even one gallon containers for three weeks one fish was sick when i got her (she died after a week) but both males are doing great cept of course Melvin ate a chunk of his dorsal and Benny the majority of his fins lol

Thanks!

He is so cute and your welcome! :) welcome to the hobby warning....its addictive :)
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Old 03-09-2011, 06:12 AM   #4 
maycausedeath
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He's beautiful!
I would recommend cutting our feeding down to 2-3 pellets morning and night. The amount of food he's getting now is causing that pooch you see.
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Old 03-09-2011, 09:17 AM   #5 
denaliwind
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I agree with what's already been said, his little belly looks like he swallowed a marble! XD So cut down the food intake by half. If his bloating has gone down after 3 days of fasting and he's pooped, there is no need to offer him a pea. I personally would stay away from flakes as they pollute the water really quickly and in that size tank clean water will be your biggest concern. I feed my betta fish frozen brine shrimp, mysis shrimp, bloodworms and live wingless fruit flies. But if you don't have the time for that, then stick with pellets (the first two ingredients listed in pellet food should be a seafood product) and maybe offer a frozen goodie, bloodworms or bring shrimp, as a treat when you do have the time. I always stay away from freeze dried food as the risk for digestion issues are increased.

It's important to have warm water, but it's even more important for the water temperature to be consistent. Do you have a thermometer? I think the desk lamp is a good idea, however I'm worried about how much the water temperature will drop at night when the lamp is shut off. Dramatic temp fluctuation could really stress him out. Also, in a tank that size, as I said before keeping the water clean will be your biggest challenge and even if frequent water changes may stress him out, it will be better than the alternative. I don't have personal experience with this, but I would imagine that a microwave safe tupperware would potentially be safe for a fish, but honestly, I have no idea. =/
Anyway, when you have the money for a new tank/heater, you don't have to spend a million bucks. There are tanks that you could get at petco $8 for 1.75 gallons and 10w heaters for under $14, there's lots of affordable options. ^^

Anyway, welcome and congratulations on your new boy. He is absolutely gorgeous! :D

Last edited by denaliwind; 03-09-2011 at 09:19 AM.
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Old 03-09-2011, 02:56 PM   #6 
Littlebittyfish
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I would do what everyone else has already mentioned.

I just wanted to chime in and mention that walmart sells glass cookie jar type containers for 9 dollars and they're 2 gallons.Cleo lived in a heated cookie jar for 8 months before I upgraded him to a 5 gallon aquarium.
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Old 03-09-2011, 05:16 PM   #7 
Oldfishlady
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Welcome to the forum and to the wonderful world of Betta keeping....and what a lovely fella you have......

Your tank will be fine for now-I would make at least 2-50% and 1-100% weekly water changes and 50% anytime you see any behavior changes....water temp-I would monitor the temp and keep it in the mid-high 70's range......they can usually tolerate slow or gradual temp changes going from day to night, but if he seem to get lethargic or stops eating it may be related to temp-sometimes wrapping the tank with something at night can help as well as covering the top with plastic veggie wrap to retain a warm humid air space...watch your Betta he will tell you when something is not right......

If you have any thrift shops...check them out...sometimes you can find great deals on used aquariums and often they will be complete with everything you need even a heater for less than $10.00....I only buy used and with a little elbow grease, diluted bleach, vinegar and a razor blade I can have one looking brand new in less than 30 minutes.....no reason for such a awesome hobby to break the bank when it doesn't have to...lol.....this way you can focus more on quality foods and dechlorinators...lol.....
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Old 03-09-2011, 05:27 PM   #8 
Cravenne
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I agree with OFL about buying used. Just let people know you're looking for fish stuff. It's amazing how many people have things hidden in the garage or basement.

Also..he's just beautiful. Great finnage. Other than a big belly, he looks perfect. Just make sure you change his water often, often, often.
And then once more for good luck..lol.
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Old 03-09-2011, 05:54 PM   #9 
Abby
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youcould also check local classifieds or craiglist.com for ur local area people do give this stuff away
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Old 03-09-2011, 07:48 PM   #10 
ChelseaLlyn
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Thanks for all your help, everyone! I've been fasting Basil just for today so far, and the swelling seems to be going away already. I suppose it helps that there was a bit of a mishap last night with the dresser his aquarium is on (don't worry, he wasn't hurt, a drawer just fell and made a lot of noise, which he didn't appreciate) that literally scared some poo out of him.

I also managed to scrounge up a 1.4 gallon Rubbermaid box and have him in there now, which he seems to be enjoying quite nicely. He's exploring it.

Thanks for the suggestions about cheap setups, too. I've checked Craigslist and the classifieds, but it's difficult because I live in a dorm where we're not technically allowed to have fish (tyranny, I tell you), so I have to have a tank that's small enough that I can pick it up and get it into a closet when health and safety does their checks, and it seems like most of the cheap ones are 10+ gallons. Those critter keeper things look good, though. Hopefully my parents will pity me enough when I go home for spring break that they'll help Basil and me out.

I do have some more questions, though. If I can get a heater, I'm worried about the fact that the little ones don't seem to have any controls on them. Would I even be able to use one of those on, say, a 1-2g tank? I'm afraid it'll boil him or something!
And if I get a bigger tank, won't the increased water volume stabilize the temperature some? I mean, I keep my room pretty warm so if the water in this 1/2g is starting out at 78 degrees, and falls to about 76 (well, sort of. I have one of those mood ring type thermometers, and both the 75 and 78 degree boxes are colored) after 10 or so hours and then stays there, won't a bigger tank drop even less? And is that even enough of a temp change that it would cause problems?

And my spring break starts Friday. I'll be gone for 10 days, and was planning on putting in a 7 day vacation feeder. Should I do that, since he's already overfed? I don't want to hurt him by not feeding him at all, but I don't want to make him sick either. Would maybe half of one be better, and then he'll just fast for the last 4 days or so? Any suggestions for water? I'm planning on leaving him in the 1.4g container, and I figure I'll change the water on Friday morning before I leave, but do you guys have any suggestions for anything else I can do to keep it clean until I get back?
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