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Old 07-15-2011, 08:24 PM   #1 
Norichan
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Betta wants a mansion- advice?

Hello all. I am a new betta owner. I have a red veiltail male, I bought him a little over three weeks ago. His name is Mongkut... yes, as in the King of Siam in 'The King and I.'

I purchased a very nifty 1.8 gallon bowl with a built-in filter and light at WalMart. He has adjusted to the water fine, I use a conditioner, all that. Today, he developed a problem, and I'm totally at a loss.

His Majesty did not look well for about 24 hours. An ammonia test came up 'ideal.' Ph levels are all fine. He is fed (though he's a snob on that point too- he will not eat his betta pellets, only bloodworms). Temperature is within the required range. Despite all this, he had been listlessly sitting at the bottom of the tank, and more than once I thought he was dead. In desperation I moved him across the room to the vacant 16-gallon tank. The water conditions there are all the same. Then I left for several hours.

When I came back I found him swimming energetically, the picture of health, and merrily attempting to intimidate the statuary. Assuming he had recovered, I returned him to his bowl. He became depressed again almost immediately. I removed some of the plants and gravel to give him extra room, but to no avail.

Now according to my research, 1.8 gallons should be fine for a betta, and 16 is just excessive. Would somebody PLEASE give me some advice as to what to do with His Majesty? I want to put goldfish in that 16-gallon, and I can't do that if he's occupying it and being a diva.

Last edited by Norichan; 07-15-2011 at 08:39 PM.
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Old 07-15-2011, 08:41 PM   #2 
Alex09
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You can always make the 16 gal a nice tropical community tank ;) Besides, I have heard that goldfish get huge and need 20-30 gallons each, not only becaus of their potential size but also because they are very messy and release lots of ammonia.

If you dont want to do that then you can just upgrade your betta's tank. 5-10 gallons would be a good size. In a 10 gal you could give him a few fish buddies such as cories. A 5 gal you can put in snails. Or shrimp if he doesnt devour them.

Last edited by Alex09; 07-15-2011 at 08:44 PM.
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Old 07-15-2011, 08:44 PM   #3 
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Why not just get him something in the 5 gallon range? Also, you don't mention if you have a heater for the smaller one, but even if the temp is in the right range now, a volume of water that is 1.8 gallons is a lot more susceptible to temperature fluctuation than a 16 gallon is. He might appreciate that a lot.

As for being a snob about food, think of it this way: sometimes you are offered steak, and other times you are offered dog food kibble. It is pretty obvious which one tastes better!

Welcome to the forum!
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Old 07-15-2011, 08:52 PM   #4 
Norichan
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The goldfish I'm hoping to own are shubunkins- they're a narrow-bodied species known in China as 'poor man's koi.' And the ones that are available are very small, so I thought I'd start raising them and upgrade later. Please don't think I'm the kind of barbarian who would throw a fancy goldfish in an unfiltered bowl ^^' I do my homework.

If it means keeping my fishy happy and healthy, I will buy him a bigger tank. But I'm a college student, so I wondered if this was something he would get over? I have friends who have kept bettas in 1-gallon tanks with no trouble. Serves me right for naming him after royalty, huh?
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Old 07-15-2011, 10:07 PM   #5 
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We have a 240 gallon for our shubunkin, who is about 15 inches long. He lives with a 22 inch koi. He grew that big (from about 3 inches, and severe trauma at the beak of a bird in an ill fated pond attempt by my cousins) in about 5 years. Before the 240 he was in a 55 and an 80. If you are balking at buying your betta a bigger tank, are you sure about taking on a shubunkin or two? Of course without the koi (and being the only fish) he would only need to be in an 80 gallon, but still. They do grow, and fast!

And he is so dirty, and he eats his own poop. Our shubinkin is just so gross. lol.

But yes, try getting your betta something a little bigger. It has been scientifically proven that bettas that get more exercise live longer!
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Old 07-16-2011, 12:09 AM   #6 
Norichan
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Oh, I'm not even going to start the shubunkin adventure for a good few months- financial stability is on its way. It's just not here yet T_T

His Majesty has perked up some. I was really surprised by how energetic he was in the other tank, so by compare he's still a little lethargic... which makes me think that yes, I should probably get him a bigger tank. WalMart has a couple nice-looking five-gallons with hoods, so that might be the way to go.

Five gallons should give him plenty of room, right? I also know someone who has a ten-gallon in storage, but a five-gallon would be nice because then I could take him back to college with me <3

If he gets antsy again I'll put him back in the 16-gal for some more exercise. He loves terrorizing the torii gate. For whatever reason that one structure really makes him mad.

Thanks for your input, everyone!
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Old 07-16-2011, 12:19 AM   #7 
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Some bettas do great in 1g, some like the open waters lol My old Betta Joey LOVED my 29g tank... my Venom loved the 5g, but Carnage hated anything over 1g. They are so funny and picky.
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Old 07-16-2011, 12:24 AM   #8 
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Ours is just "special" so he really does seem like a poor man's koi. Especially compared to the koi. Though that same koi will eventually outgrow the 240 gallon. *shudders* When that happens he is going into the neighbor's pond.

5 gallons should def be plenty for your highness. I too am taking a 5.5 gallon with me to college, though it will be split for 2. Right now they are both 2 gallons just fine, but the college only allows 1 tank ( that I know for sure, once I get there I might add more....). I would do 10, but transport is easier with only 5.
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