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Old 06-20-2011, 11:58 AM   #1 
Epsleck
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Question Question about my new betta fish

My girlfriend wanted to get a betta fish, and I figured I'd get one too since I had one before as a kid that I took care of and it thrived throughout his whole life. At first I just started with a 1 gallon tank, he didn't eat.. ever.. or at-least i never noticed. After the second day of him becoming more and more in-active I decided to do my research.

Now i've upgraded to a 5 gallon tank (Mini-Bow Aqueon Aquarium 5.0) from petsmart. Along with a water heater, thermometer, filter, and enough plants and decor to keep him safe and happy with plenty of swimming room. The temperature usually sits around 76-78 F. When I first put him in his new home yesterday, he was swimming all over the place, I think he might've eaten some flakes (my gf said).

However he has really weird behavior and this is where my question is. He will fall asleep somewhere during the night, and in the morning he'll be in the same spot. I'll tap on the glass, no response, ill do it a little harder and he whips up and starts to fight with himself. Sometimes he'll be swimming around and go to the top and then he'll just start gliding until he hits the side and sits there, unresponsive to glass taps, then just eventually swims around and does the same thing somewhere else. Is this normal?

I know not to feed him too much, but I have about 3 pellets floating on the water which his mouth has touched but he won't eat. Should I remove these? Another thing is I have a small friend for him, and the two get along very well so far. Its the Hypostomus or bristlenose plecostomus...a very small one. Has anyone had a fish like this before?

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Old 06-20-2011, 12:09 PM   #2 
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It may be parasites. Soak the pellets in garlic before feeding him...
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Old 06-20-2011, 01:59 PM   #3 
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Welcome to the forum......

How did you acclimate him to your source water from the pet shop water, what is your source water...tap, well...etc....type and amount of dechlorinator and any other additives used, are the plants live plants, if so, what kind are they and type of lights, how long are the lights on......how many days has he been in the 5gal and how much/often are the water changes

In a 5gal tank-it is not large enough for any other fish species along with the Betta...you can't meet the needs of the BN pleco and it is just a matter of time before you start to have problems...it is important to stock fish based on adult size and not current size....the smallest tank I would house a BN pleco is 20gal...

Can you post a pic
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Old 06-20-2011, 02:31 PM   #4 
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Originally Posted by Oldfishlady View Post
Welcome to the forum......

How did you acclimate him to your source water from the pet shop water, what is your source water...tap, well...etc....type and amount of dechlorinator and any other additives used, are the plants live plants, if so, what kind are they and type of lights, how long are the lights on......how many days has he been in the 5gal and how much/often are the water changes

In a 5gal tank-it is not large enough for any other fish species along with the Betta...you can't meet the needs of the BN pleco and it is just a matter of time before you start to have problems...it is important to stock fish based on adult size and not current size....the smallest tank I would house a BN pleco is 20gal...

Can you post a pic
When I first put him in I used tap water, and added the tetra betta safe drops, it said use about 7 drops per gallon so 7x5=35 drops. Thats all i've used, fake plants and decor, the lights are on during the night for a few hrs before i shut them off when i go to bed. Haven't changed the water yet either since ive only had this for about a day. I can get a pic in a bit.
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Old 06-20-2011, 02:51 PM   #5 
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How did you acclimate him to the tank from the pet shop water....also, since you have only had him for a day...he may need some more time to adjust to the new environment and source water

If you also have chloramine in your tap water along with chlorine...check the dechlorinator label and make sure you are using enough dechlorinator...with some of the dechlorinator you have to use double when you have chloramine in the tap water and if you live in the USA...you will have chloramines.....

I would make a 50% water only change and dose the dechlorinator for the full volume of the tank not just the replacement water, double check dosage for chloramine.....be sure the water temp is within a couple of degrees between new and old water so not to temp shock him...turn off the light for 24h, hold food for now.....

Post a pic if you can......

Keep us posted....
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Old 06-20-2011, 03:32 PM   #6 
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Originally Posted by Oldfishlady View Post
How did you acclimate him to the tank from the pet shop water....also, since you have only had him for a day...he may need some more time to adjust to the new environment and source water

If you also have chloramine in your tap water along with chlorine...check the dechlorinator label and make sure you are using enough dechlorinator...with some of the dechlorinator you have to use double when you have chloramine in the tap water and if you live in the USA...you will have chloramines.....

I would make a 50% water only change and dose the dechlorinator for the full volume of the tank not just the replacement water, double check dosage for chloramine.....be sure the water temp is within a couple of degrees between new and old water so not to temp shock him...turn off the light for 24h, hold food for now.....

Post a pic if you can......

Keep us posted....
At first I put water in the tank and let it set to room temperature, along with the fish in the bag. When everything was at the right temp and de-chlorinated i fished him out with the net and put him in. I've read that its probably less stressful for the fish to dump him in from the bag he came in?

Thanks for the advice. I'm trying to to my best. Another question is for the size of this tank, how often or how do I clean the decorations? Or the gravel at the bottom. What is the safest and best way?
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Old 06-21-2011, 03:45 PM   #7 
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Bacteria should start growing on your decorations, rocks, and filter. This is good bacteria that will break down ammonia. Washing the things in the tank would get rid of that bacteria and you would have to wait for it to grow back. I recommend siphoning anything that may drop on the rocks (extra food, waste) and not washing anything. If you DO wash it, do not use any sort of soap or chemicals. Even after multiple rinses, there could be residue. If any other members think different, please post! I am still sort of new and this is what I have learned.
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Old 06-21-2011, 04:53 PM   #8 
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In a 5gal filtered tank....water changes of 50% weekly with vacuum should maintain water quality

Siphon with a hydrocleaner is the best way to clean the tank...by using the vacuum on the gravel-this will help remove the debris and turn the gravel to expose the good bacteria to oxygen.....if you don't have a vacuum/siphon/hydrocleaner...all the same thing......different names....you can do the stir and dip method....stir the gravel to get the debris up in the water column and dip out with a plastic cup...

Wash hand before and after working on the tank...then....
Before making a water change-unplug the filter and heater

You will need:
Bucket, siphon, plastic cup, net, chopstick or wooden spoon, dechlorinator, thermometer...all labeled "Fish Only" and only used with the aquarium to avoid any cross contamination....you can also keep all the supplies in the bucket......

Vacuum all areas that can be reached without moving anything in the tank..like decoration or disruption of live plant roots...

On re-fill-check the water temp with the thermometer and keep this within a couple of degrees between new and old water

Refill slowly so not to disturb the substrate

With partial water changes you don't have to remove the fish, however, be careful and not injure the fish or suck it up in the siphon

Use/dose the dechlorinator for the full volume of the tank...not just for the amount of the refill as a general rule...add this to the fresh like temp water in the bucket, stir and refill...the water is safe to use immediately

Plug the filter back in...you may or may not need to prime the filter by adding water to it...this depends on the type of filter you have...the water should clear within an hour...if not...you missed a water change or overfeeding or overstocked

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

Plug the heater in and monitor the water temp of a couple of hours

I am sure I forgot something...

When you acclimate a new fish to new source water for the first time...it is important to acclimate to both water temp and chemistry....by adding small amount of the tank water to the fish in the holding container or bag over a period of time...dumping half the water and repeating until the fish is in 100% tanks water....never add pet shop water the fish came in into the tank....
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