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Old 06-25-2011, 11:27 PM   #1 
coet
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Just got a betta and I have some questions :]

You all must love people like me. :]

Anyway, I got a betta from work yesterday (I work at PetSmart). I was going to wait to get a betta until I could afford a 3gallon tank, at the least, but there was this one particularly beautiful crowntail that had been sticking around for three weeks. I kept talking myself out of buying him, but I finally gave in Friday when he was still there. I got the Marina Betta Kit, it's about a one gallon cup basically, and I plan to upgrade Berry to something much roomier and more livable.

I didn't use the food or conditioners in the kit I got. I use Seachem Prime for my water conditioner, and I picked up some Omega One pellets for food and some Hikari freeze-dried blood worms for treats. I wanted Hikari pellets, but my particular store doesn't carry them.

Now, for my questions. I picked up a 7.5w under gravel heater for Berry's temporary tank, but the temperature right now is about 81'F. I don't know if it's going to stop rising or not. The water temperature has gone up from about 72 degrees to this since I put it in, and the package claimed that the heater would only raise the temperature by about 10 degrees. Is a 7.5w too much for this little 1 gallon kit? Is 81 degrees too much for Berry? (Sidenote: In the time it took me to write this, the temperature went up to about 82.7 degrees. I noticed Berry was getting as far away from the heater as he could, so I unplugged it. Should I take my chances and go heater free until I get him a bigger home?)

Also, I'm debating between a 3gallon Aquascene aquarium and a Marineland Crescent 3. I'm going as far to consider a Marineland Crescent 5 since they are on sale for $5 less than the Crescent 3s right now. It will be mid July, after the 17th, when I am able to upgrade him. Will he be okay in the 1gallon until then? I know I'm asking a lot from him since he is going to be stuck in that thing for about three weeks. Which aquarium will be best for me to put him in as a final home? Also, I was looking at the Crescents online and the lids look like they have an opening in the front. Would Berry be tempted to jump out?

Berry also hasn't eaten since I got him. I know he didn't eat Friday because he's not a flake fish (that's what came with the kit, ugh). He didn't eat any pellets today and I assume it was because of the water temperature being low. He's a little more active now, but he doesn't come to the top of the water for me when I try to get him to eat. Any suggestions?

Edit: And, how often should I feed him the freeze-dried blood worms?

Last edited by coet; 06-25-2011 at 11:33 PM.
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Old 06-26-2011, 01:33 AM   #2 
Sakura8
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Hi and welcome to the forum, coet. Yup, we love people like you because you want to give your betta a better living environment and that makes us happy.

First, the UG heater. Is it the Zoo Med Betta Therm heater? Little round black thing? If so, it will heat the water 4-6* degrees over the room temp. But I don't think it has any kind of auto shutoff once it reaches that target temp so you'll have to use the thermometer to monitor and turn it off manually. Once you get a larger tank, I'd suggest getting a different heater that is both adjustable and turns itself off when the set temp is reached. 81-82* is on the higher side of a betta's comfort zone which is about 76-84* with 78-80* being ideal. If your room where you keep the betta stays pretty warm, you might be able to get away without a heater until you upgrade. It depends on whether or not you want to keep plugging/unplugging your heater.

Omega One pellets are way superior to Hikari now. I used to feed Hikari and granted my bettas loved them but Hikari switched its formula to have more wheat meal and less fish product so it's not as nutritious as it used to be. Too much wheat product can lead to constipation. I'd stick with the Omega pellets.

Berry will be okay in the 1g tank for three weeks as long as you do a 100% water change every other day. In that small of a tank, the ammonia will build up pretty fast. Prime will help but you still need to change the water pretty frequently. But considering he was in a cup before, 1g probably seems like a whole ocean to him.

I had the Marineland Crescent 3 for a short time but I did end up returning it. I found the lid had some trouble staying on and I didn't care for the filter. But that's just me so you may find you love it and it works perfectly for you (especially if you get it on sale ). It is a nice looking tank and has a pretty small footprint so it's a good tank for a betta. I also really liked the LED light fixture of the Marineland Crescent. I don't know much about the Aquascene aquarium kit so I can't advise you there.

The lid of the Marineland Crescent does have a bit of a hole but unless Berry gets really spooked and happens to be right under it, I'd say the odds of him jumping out are slim. If you're not sure, you can always cover it with something, like a book or tape some paper over it.

Since you just got Berry yesterday (probably two days ago by the time I post this), then it's normal for Berry to not be hungry yet. It can take a betta a week to settle in and start eating. Plus, it sounds like he's a little shy still. One of my bettas was so shy I was afraid she wouldn't even come up to the surface to breathe let alone eat. Try putting his pellet in there and just standing back a distance so you can see but you're not hovering over the tank. He may be brave enough to grab it then. If he hasn't eaten after ten minutes, go ahead and remove the food though so it doesn't dirty the water. Also, just getting Berry used to you will help. Spend as much time around his tank as possible, sometimes just resting a hand near it or putting a finger to the wall (don't tap) and leaving it there. He might swim away at first but if you leave your finger or hand on the tank wall long enough, he will come back to investigate. Also putting your hand over the tank and just leaving it there for a few moments is a good way for him to realize the hand is harmless. And before you know it, he'll be eating and begging for more because bettas are little piggies.

Most people here can't agree about how often to feed freeze-dried foods. I feed my bettas one or two freeze-dried bloodworms (small pieces) just about every day and have no problems. Other people say the food expands and causes bloat and constipation. I'd say feed what you are comfortable with but never more than one or two small less than a quarter inch long pieces at a time and never for every meal.

If you have any more questions don't hesitate to post. Everyone here loves to help. Good luck with Berry!
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Old 06-26-2011, 01:25 PM   #3 
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Thanks so much Sakura!

Yea, it's that Zoo Med thing. The water stays around 72-73 on it's own. I can't really monitor the temperature often since I'm working 30-40 hours a week, which makes me feel bad because I'm not going to be able to be here to plug and unplug the heater, and I don't want his temperature to fluctuate too much. I might be better off just warming him up to about 80 when I'm home, and then unplugging it, because it takes the water hours to get back down to 72. I don't know, I'm so scared of temperature fluctuation. I'm already looking at the heater for the next tank. I have to check tomorrow if it has auto shut off. It comes preset at 78 degrees, which bothers me, especially if it doesn't have auto shut off.

He ate three pellets so far today! I'm so happy about this. The first one he ate when I wasn't paying attention and by the third one he let me watch. He took in a fourth one but kept spitting it up so I removed it thinking his tummy was too full. I've always been a little finicky when feeding my bettas. I feed one at a time, and I do it often, probably 10-15 times a day, and at night I'll sit and keep putting pellets in until the betta lose interest or start spitting up and not going back for the pellet. That way I can guarantee to myself that I want overfeed him and I won't leave food in the tank.

Your blood worm ritual sounds about like what I was planning. I never wanted to feed more than one or two at a time, but the pellets swell up more than the blood worms. I also don't want him to get extremely picky and not eat his pellets.

I've had three bettas before Berry. One was a tank and survived three years in a little 1g bowl with probably monthly water changes and a cat that terrorized him. The second one was delicate and got really bad ammonia burn to the effect of the scales and skin(?) getting eaten off his body and head. I feel terrible about that one. The third was hardy and active and extremely aggressive, but I loved him for it. I had to return it because my grandmother didn't want at 10g sitting around, and at that time I didn't know I could take a betta to college with me. He stilled remember me when I went in the pet shop to visit him. He'd swim up to the front of the glass and blow me a bubble or two.

Oh, Berry blew me a little tiny bubble nest today while I was asleep. I don't know why that matters to me but it made me smile when I saw it. :)

Thanks for all the advice Sakura! It's greatly appreciated.
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Old 06-26-2011, 04:06 PM   #4 
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Welcome to the forum and to the wonderful world of Betta keeping....and I agree with Sakura in that we love new Betta keepers and welcome any and all questions........

What I don't agree with however....is tank size and water changes...although keeping a Betta in a larger tank can give you the keeper more options to decorate/aqua-scape...not all Bettas need or even do well in larger spaces...this does vary greatly since each Betta can be different for varied reasons......

Often when a Betta has been in a small temporary container for a long time and in some cases most of their adult/sub-adult life...all that space can stress them.....and if the Betta has long heavy fins the effort it takes for them to swim can cause stress and fin problems-often fin damage alone can be due to space and/or the filter itself...that beautiful long fin male with the long flowing fins soon can look tattered from either stress on the fins and/or biting due to stress....some need more time than other to build muscle just to be able to swim especially if there is added filtration and/or water movement.....for others it is never an issue......point being....slow acclimation to the space and if he show stress in the larger tank...its an easy fix......until they adjust...remember this species is man made and shouldn't be compared to its wild cousins..its an undemanding fish and as long as water quality is maintained and good nutrition provided...generally they will thrive-living a long allbeit short life in a well maintained 1gal, unfiltered container...

Heater-you may or may not need one, however, its a good idea to have one on hand...your goal is to maintain a somewhat stable temp in the 76-80F range....you do need a thermometer to monitor the tank water temp and the water used for water changes since it is important to try and keep the replacement water within a couple of degrees between new and old with water changes to prevent temp related problems

That said....I have kept and still keep lots of Bettas in 1gal container without issues long term and the Betta thrives not just survives.....

I conducted an experiment some time ago with single healthy adult Bettas to test ammonia levels and water change needs in several different setups...one being 1gal unfiltered tanks without live plants....I found that water changes of twice weekly...1-50% and 1-100% would maintain water quality and fin health....ammonia doesn't build up as fast as some may think.....provided that the Betta isn't overfed and uneaten food is removed within a reasonable time after feeding....

Look forward to hearing more about your Bettas and seeing pic of him and your setups......
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Old 06-26-2011, 05:22 PM   #5 
Sakura8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldfishlady View Post
Welcome to the forum and to the wonderful world of Betta keeping....and I agree with Sakura in that we love new Betta keepers and welcome any and all questions........

What I don't agree with however....is tank size and water changes...although keeping a Betta in a larger tank can give you the keeper more options to decorate/aqua-scape...not all Bettas need or even do well in larger spaces...this does vary greatly since each Betta can be different for varied reasons......

Often when a Betta has been in a small temporary container for a long time and in some cases most of their adult/sub-adult life...all that space can stress them.....and if the Betta has long heavy fins the effort it takes for them to swim can cause stress and fin problems-often fin damage alone can be due to space and/or the filter itself...that beautiful long fin male with the long flowing fins soon can look tattered from either stress on the fins and/or biting due to stress....some need more time than other to build muscle just to be able to swim especially if there is added filtration and/or water movement.....for others it is never an issue......point being....slow acclimation to the space and if he show stress in the larger tank...its an easy fix......until they adjust...remember this species is man made and shouldn't be compared to its wild cousins..its an undemanding fish and as long as water quality is maintained and good nutrition provided...generally they will thrive-living a long allbeit short life in a well maintained 1gal, unfiltered container....
Yes, that's very true, OFL! I've actually seen posts on here about people with bettas who seem agoraphobic and hide when put in a larger home but come back out and swim around when returned to the smaller tank. And I think water changes will always be a point of contention among posters here, if recent new threads are anything to go by. Yes, now I remember the test you did, OFL. It was a really informative test and I can't believe I forgot about it. I think a lot of us on the forum do have an impression that ammonia just builds up to horrific amounts as fast as cigarette smoke fills a small room.
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Old 06-26-2011, 10:20 PM   #6 
coet
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Thank you for the information OFL. I do want to get him a bigger home for the sake of maintaining the proper temperature for him, but I'll make sure to keep the one gallon on hand in case he doesn't do well in the 3-5gallon. I'll make sure that when I do get his new home I'll make sure he is not having any trouble swimming to the top for air as well as swimming around the tank.

One thing I've noticed is that the water gets cloudy quickly in that 1gallon, even if no food has been in it for a while. I don't know if it is characteristic of the kit or not. I'll make sure to pick up a testing kit tomorrow at work so I can monitor the ammonia levels, as well as PH, nitrates, and nitrites. I'll use that to gauge how often I should do water changes.

He's in my avatar for now, but if he does well in the bigger tank I plan to have a beautiful set up for him. I want to contrast his colors to make him stand out. My last betta was a beautiful pink and red with a few other colors splashed in, and I had him in a wonderful black and white set up. He really stood out. I wish I had pictures.

Thank you both for the help.
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Old 06-26-2011, 10:34 PM   #7 
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You're welcome. He's a beautiful guy, I love the sheen on his body and the deep red of his fins.
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Old 06-27-2011, 12:38 AM   #8 
coet
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That's what attracted me to him. Most of our bettas look like this, but he's different. You can only see the sheen under high light. Other than that he looks black and red. He's stunning when he flares up to show himself off.
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Old 06-27-2011, 12:41 AM   #9 
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And they do love to show off, don't they?
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Old 06-27-2011, 12:42 AM   #10 
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Oh yea, they do!

There is already another pretty boy that caught my eye yesterday. He's white with some black spots on his fin and black around his head. He was flaring up and getting into a "competition" with the betta next to him. He's gorgeous! I talked myself out of him though. I have enough on my hands for the moment. Hehe. :D
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