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Old 05-15-2011, 10:46 PM   #1 
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Join Date: May 2011
Unhappy Totally messed up - plz save our Nemo

I was walking around petsmart and found te Aqueon MiniBow1 on sale for $20 and decided to get my 3 yr old a pet. He has some developmental delays and I figure a fish would be a good pet for him to bond with and increase his speech/language. (and as soon as he saw the fish, my son went CRAZY- he was so excited and talking so much. today he read "nemo" a book before bed).

Anyways, i let the petsmart guy advise me on what to get and what to do. our poor fishy went into total shock, losing its color and floating in one corner of the aquarium, on top of the water, barely moving.

The next morning I googled what coould be wrong with him and immediately did as much as i could based on what i read here. We changed half of his water, covered him with a dark fabric for like an hour, and added more water so "waterfall" would not disturb the water. We also taped a background to the back and sides of the aquarium to give him more privacy. 20 min later he was swimming around his tank and his color was back to dark blue.

I am planning a trip to petsmart tomorrow morning to get:
1. 1 tall silk plant to replace our two 99cent plastic plants
2. get thermometer and heater (live in miami but i guess we still need it)
3. decor stones to replace gravel
4. cave to replace the small castle decor i had gotten him
5. water conditioner (our kit came with a little pouch which we used but i want to have the bottle cuz its easier to store without spilling)

1. what am i missing from my list?
2. since Nemo is dark blue what is a good color for the stones?
3. since ihave a 1 gallon tank, how high should the layer of stones be?
4. is this cave to big for my fish and aquarium? i worry the eyes are too small and teh fish will get stuck there
5. i saw this leaf hammock too, wonder if i should get it
6. what size shoould the cave be?

BTW - I am upset that the pet store does not advise future beta owners of the correct way to take care of their pets. I feel so bad for shocking our Nemo, wish I had researched it first but I trusted the advice given to me at the pet store.
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Old 05-15-2011, 10:54 PM   #2 
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Location: Rochester, NY
1) Welcome to the forums!
2) I'm glad you're taking the essential steps to ensure your fish will be healthy and happy.
3) As the tank is rather small, I would take out most of the gravel. Leave perhaps one to two inches of gravel along the bottom. One of mine is in a 1.5 gallon tank and he has about an inch of gravel.
4) I wouldn't order the Squidward house. Rather, go to the store and stick your thumb in the holes of the caves. If your thumb doesn't fit, it's likely that your fish will get stuck.
5) Make sure that the decor doesn't tear his fins. Get some pantyhose and run it over his decor. If it snags, it could tear your betta's fins.
6) I'm sure you know this already, but in a 1 gallon tank, frequent water changes are needed. I recommend at least 75% daily, or even better, 100% daily or 100% one day and 50% the next, then 100%, and so forth.

Do you have food? You can get small pellets. I typically feed my boys about 7 pellets a day, spaced throughout the day. Generally 3 in the mornings and 4 in the evenings. They need to be fasted once a week.

That's all I can think of right now. Good luck! He's a beautiful boy!

EDIT: Just remembered something - I don't advise you get the leaf hammock. A member on here discovered her betta dead after a wire was exposed on the hammock and it had sliced the poor fish's belly open. There was nothing the user could do. Either make your own or get a big leafy plant (real or fake - doesn't matter) with a leaf near the surface that he can rest on.

Last edited by gmd1800; 05-15-2011 at 10:59 PM.
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Old 05-15-2011, 11:02 PM   #3 
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Join Date: May 2011
We have small pellets that came with the aquarium but will buy some more. I thought he only needed 2-3 pellets per day? I did not know about the fasting! thanks!

im confused about the water changing - will research it ASAP! even with the filter I need to do a daily water change?

BTW - how often do we need to change the filter?
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Old 05-15-2011, 11:10 PM   #4 
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: New Jersey
Hey pao , i have the same exact tank , had it for a month now and here some things I recommend and noticed.

- 1 gallon is too small i mean its good for now but in the future you should try for a 3 gallon one, am going to do that too probaly before winter is here again..

- Make sure to do weekly if not biweekly water changes.

-I would take out about half that gravel you have in there to give him more space to swim, if you look at the links in my sig. you can tell i had about the same gravel as you and ppl here recommend i change, since the tank is so small it gives the fish more swiming space.

Am almost sure that cave will be too big, try it out though if you dont like it save it for a future tank. You can use small clay pots for caves or get creatve like i did and use pvc pipes lol but he will appreciate a spot to hang out

Here are some links that will come in handy for your Aqueon 1 gallon

Water Conditioner, couple of drops with every water change

Floating thermometer, perfect size for our tank, you can see it in my vids

Betta food, these just happen to be the pellets i feed my fish, he loves them

Filter Cartridges, change every 6-8 weeks i believe the pack says

and finally the MOST important thing you will get your fish a heater, this heater is non-adjustable but its good , i run it all day and with the light on even on a warm day my tank never goes past 83* which falls in the range for the perfect temp. for your fish 78-84. Its also very safe, if your boy where to put his hand in there nothing would happen.

With the heater though you will have to cut a wedge space in the back corner of hood to wedge the cord of the heater in, its actually simple to do i used a kitchen knife.

Last edited by newarkhiphop; 05-15-2011 at 11:16 PM.
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Old 05-15-2011, 11:27 PM   #5 
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Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Currently East Coast
I encourage you to take that tank back and get a bigger one since you just got this one. Tell them how dissatisfied you were with their advice for a home and care and they might even give you a discount on a better tank. ;]

EDIT: To answer your new question

The reason being is that you need to do 100% water changes daily or at the least 50% one day then 100% the next.

That filter is essentially useless. The only thing it's going to do is move your water around and trap gunk.
The actual threat to your aquarium is ammonia that occurs from waste breaking down and the betta breathing through its gills. a filter helps with this when it establishes beneficial bacteria in your filter media in what is called a cycle. You can only cycle tanks that are 2.5 gallons and bigger. 2.5 gallons and 3 gallons are difficult to cycle. 4 and 5 gallons are easier to cycle and are more stable with their cycles. In a cycled 2.5 or 3 gallon tank you can do biweekly 50% water changes. In a cycled 4 or 5 gallon you can do weekly 50% changes. It's the same for anything above 5 gallons too. You can do weekly 50% changes or multiple partial changes in a week that amount to 50%.

If you get a 2.5 gallon tank or bigger (I prefer 5 gallons) they're easier to heat and you can cycle them. Cycling is a bit of work at first but ot makes your life much easier later on because you can do less water changes (for 5 gallons and up only one 50% change per week).

Ok now onto the questions, and I'll answer them with your 1 gallon in mind in case you keep it as you'll have to do daily 100% changes with it:

1)Yes this is a very good idea! =]

2) (a)In Miami you may not need it till winter unless you keep the A/C on in your house. If your room temperature is around 85 then you're good. If it's 75 then you'll need a heater. (b) Regardless it's always good to have a thermometer to know how warm or cold your tank water is. i advise getting a digital thermometer. Well, if you're clumsy like me anyway. I broke about 6 thermometers before I decided to go digital. I LOVE it! <3 they're accurate and you can't break them easily! =]

3)Yes and no. I've had some decor stones long term and some of them that were colored actually started peeling. turns out they were painted with translucent paint and then sealed. :/ I don't want to get any more. BUT that being said those weren't made specifically for aquariums. I think the ones made for and sold for aquariums would work well. or perfectly clear without the coating that gives them a rainbow sheen similar to a bubble when the lights hit it. Just clear if you're getting them from a craft store. You could also try river rocks instead. it'd probably only take a few to cover the bottom. this makes 100% changes easier as it's a lot less to clean. Or you could have a bare bottom tank which is REALLY easy to clean. =]

4)yes a decent cave would be nice. It may not fit though. I haven't found a cave that a betta can actually rest in that fits in a one gallon tank/bowl. If you get a 3 pack of silk plants (walmart) that should give your betta enough hiding space. =] Mine tend to like plants better anyway. I can't get them to use their caves. :[

5)If you want a water conditioner I HIGHLY recommend Seachem's PRIME! It costs either 7 or 9 dollars for a smaller bottle but it only takes 2 drops per gallon to dechlorinate and detoxify your water! It even helps eliminate small amounts of ammonia so if you get a bigger tank it'll help with cycling! =] It's a great buy! Lasts forever!

Second set:

1)Well it's not really missing per-say but I'd take your current tank back and exchange it for the 2.5 or 5 gallon version of the same tank. after telling them how disappointed you are with their poor advise that hurt your fish. They'll likely give you a discount or if not they'll definitely take back your current tank since you just got it. =]

I'd stock up on some Aquarium Salt. That stuff is SUPER useful whenever your fish gets sick. =]

2) light blue, clear, black, red, and orange would all be good colors but keep in mind what I said earlier about the stones and peeling paint. Make sure you buy them at the pet store or the fish section at walmart. =]

3) You don't really need to have stones at all. So your could put just barely enough to cover the bottom and that would be okay or you could put up to an inch and that would be fine. keep in mind though, gravel and stones need to be cleaned during 100% water changes. If you keep it bare bottom or use less there's less to clean. =]

4) I think I've seen a few other users with this cave so I'd say it's fine but I'd check it out in person first. like stated earlier if you can fit your thumb in it with a little space around then you fish can fit through it. He should be fine with just a 3 pack of silk plants though. =] (go over the silk pants with panty hose. if it catches then it's no good)

5) You can but in my experience they have a metal wire in them that rusts, and my leaf would never stay in the suction cup. it fell out both times my betta tried to use it and then he'd never use it again. it was a waste of $3.00 for me. :/

Hope this helps and welcome to the forum! =]

would you like instructions on how to perform a 100% water change? =] I actually just typed some up for someone else and I'd be glad to Private message them to your or copy paste it into a comment on this thread. =]

Last edited by wallywestisthebest333; 05-15-2011 at 11:34 PM.
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Old 05-16-2011, 12:11 AM   #6 
Twilight Storm
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Location: Midwest, USA
Hi and I am glad your new Betta is helping your son. :) The fish know when you're talking to them so will probably be responsive to your son talking once he settles in. Depending on your fish's personality too you might be able to get him to follow your son's finger on the glass eventually if he doesn't bang on the tank. :)

As for your list of stuff needed a heater and thermometer would be really good to have on hand. I use the small marina 10watt preset ones in my 2.5 gal tank.
It keeps the water at a steady 80 degrees, but I unplug it when we have really hot days since our house temp goes 90+ degrees at times. I don't know how it would work in a 1 gallon however. If your house is warm you may not need a heater going, but get a thermometer for sure.
(Don't use the Zoomed heaters for small tanks they will probably cook your fish.... I got one to try it since it was cheap and it heats to raise the water temp 5+ degrees over room temp. If your room gets warm your fish fry, so be careful.)

To be on the safe side putting something over his intake tube might save him from ripping up his fins. This thing fits on it really well, if it is the same filter the 2.5 gallon has:
People have used panty hose, and different items to solve this problem though, so it's up to you.

A lot of people on here use Prime water conditioner, I use top fin, and am trying API Stress Coat right now to see how I (and my fish) like it.

A small box of API aquarium salt, (that one comes in a small blue box, and is labeled for freshwater fish) is nice to have on hand, but NOT needed right away. It is good to have around in case he gets sick. A lot of problems are treated with a 10 day dose of varying amounts of the AQ salt and daily water changes, I think of it as having a box of bandaids handy. Again, not really needed.

A net might come in handy to transfer your fish to a different container during water changes. (I prefer the soft small hole mesh nets)

Best wishes to you and your family! :)(including little Nemo) Oh and if he starts to look under the weather, posting on the disease forum here and filling out the sticky information can really help. The good people here helped save a family members Betta from certain death. (Moose is doing great now btw. :D)

The posters above have good suggestions as well this was just mine ;)
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Old 05-16-2011, 12:47 AM   #7 
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Location: Eugene.or
I have that tank and have one of my girls in it I suggest if you keep it take the filter out it frees up more space plus it will brighten it up in there ( i could barely see my dark colored fish ) but if you do this make sure you are keeping up on those water changes I use a VERY small clay pot as a cave in my tank ( the tiny ones for seed starting ) i think there 98 cents at home depot just rinse rinse rinse before use and plug up the hole if you can i just shoved a large piece of gravel in mine and wedged it in there...goodluck
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Old 05-16-2011, 03:54 AM   #8 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: USA
Welcome to the forum....let me try to get some things easier for you.....

The 1gal filtered tank is looks nice btw...good job.....

In a 1gal filtered tank-twice weekly water changes of 50%...1-50% water only and 1-50% to include the substrate cleaning by vacuum or stir and dip method to maintain water quality

Filter media needs a swish/rinse in old tank water a couple of times a month with a water only change to get the big pieces of gunk off to maintain good water want the filter media to look dirty...this is good bacteria......

You can use a coffee mug for a cave, however, none of my Bettas ever use a cave....give it a rinse in vinegar and lots of running water to cut any soap residue...

Gravel bed no more than 1-11/2 inch deep

Make sure and try to keep the water temp within a couple of degrees between new and old water with water changes to prevent temp shock and Always use a dechlorinater with any new water added for the full volume of the tank not just replaced water

You may or may not need a heater...your goal is to maintain a water temp in the 76-80F will need a thermometer to monitor the tank water and water for water changes.....

This is a great hobby and a wonderful hobby to share with your child....
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Old 05-17-2011, 07:08 AM   #9 
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oh wow, our Nemo died.

I went to the store and got the 2.5 gallon tank, thermometer, heater (which we did not need cuz water was naturally perfect temp), water conditioner, silk plants and a floating log.

I followed the directions on the HOW TO TAKE CARE OF UR BETTA sticky and last night at 10pm my husband did the transfer to his new home. He seem fine when I last checked at midnight but this morning I found him dead.

I am very upset right now. I feel like such a failure.
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Old 05-17-2011, 07:20 AM   #10 
Splendid Veil
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Aww. its ok. i know when you first start fish keeping its hard.
some pet store employees dont care for the animal. and care for the sale.
dont give up just yet. fish keeping is rewarding, and now that youve researched as much as you can, you have a better idea of what to do right. trust me, ive gone through trial and error. but in the end its been working out for me. Im really sorry to hear that nemo passed.
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