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Old 08-17-2011, 08:01 PM   #11 
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I think this is a wonderful post. It should be merged with the "Your first day" thread since they go hand in hand. It is a general background of heaps of info about what you are getting into when you purchase your first fish. I've had my first betta only a number of weeks but from the resources and people on this site I've felt like I've had a fish for years the entire time and he has been doing great. Thanks again to the community for all your advice and sharing your knowledge and experience with us all.
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Old 08-17-2011, 08:21 PM   #12 
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I dont think they need to be merged, but thanks.

I express my opinions on size in the thread, and I dont completely agree with everything in this one. I think its okay unmerged.
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Old 08-17-2011, 08:27 PM   #13 
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I think it was all very well said with great information for all levels of experience. Thank you for taking the time to type that up for me to be able to read and gain more experience from.
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Old 08-17-2011, 08:49 PM   #14 
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I'm sorry, as sweet as this post may seem, I have to disagree on MANY points.

Judging from reading this entire post, it appears to me that you care nothing for the enrichment of a betta's life and only for their appearance. As per these selected quotes:

Originally Posted by Oldfishlady View Post
Because of these abnormally long fins that can be really heavy and delicate they are kept in small containers with no water cruel as some may think this is......this is needed to maintain the long flowing fins.
Originally Posted by Oldfishlady View Post
Most males are placed in a small container by the time they are 2 months of age-this is to encourage fin growth and often the reason we want a Betta...the long fins.
Plus many other instances of just "wanting pretty fins" throughout the article.

Also your "famous" quote of:
Originally Posted by Oldfishlady View Post
To be a good keeper of fish you must first be a good keeper of water and understand how they interact.
As a chemist, I have to wholeheartedly disagree about your stance on 1 gallon or 2 gallon amounts of water being "good enough". It is good enough and plenty for an experienced aquarist or an experienced breeder, but almost impossible for a beginner.

If I were to pour a bottle of poison into a koi pond versus the same bottle of poison into the Atlantic ocean, which do you think would die first? If anything, the Atlantic ocean would just laugh in my face.

Most experienced aquarists recommend LARGER tanks for beginners because of the ease of care. One slip up in a water change or too much food or overstocking will not be a major problem that will kill your fish instantly. Larger tanks, due to their volume in size, tend to dilute the problem so a beginner can easily remedy the problem once it arises. However if this is done in a smaller tank, casualties can be VERY quick and VERY high due to the small volume of water and frequent water changes.

HOW many people in the disease thread have less than 5 gallon tanks? Quite a few, because it is difficult to keep water safe/sanitary/whatever in smaller, quickly changing conditions.

In response to the betta keeping side of tank sizes, I'm not asking people to spend an exorbitant amount of money to buy some sort of 1000 gallon tank with all the latest whizbangs. A good starter size for a betta owner would be 5 gallons with or without a filter. Not only is it a more enriching environment for your betta, but it will give you a chance to learn additional things about fish keeping, such as cycling your tank (with a filter). Having your betta in some random 1 Gallon is like having some sort of high needs plant. Just change the water once a day and walk away.

As for the neurotic behaviour and other behavioural problems with betta in larger tanks, I personally think it comes down to two things:

1) If they were bred and held into jars since birth, that's what they're used to and comfortable with -- purely because they don't know any better. It's like randomly shoving a homeless person into a mansion, how do you think they will react? Some will go BERSERK and run around the house in joy, some will probably lose their minds and some will probably still live in their hobo-ish ways ad camp out in the kitchen or something.

2) Temperament of your betta: My female, Meilin does not give a darn where she is held, either 3 inches of water or 1000000 gallons. Mali on the other hand, I had to release him from quarantine early because he hated his one gallon, and looked like he was dying every few minutes. He's in a 2.5 sharing with Skittles (it's more 2 now, I moved the divider a bit) and he's full of UNBOUNDING JOY~

Skittles arrived to my home having wrecked his tail on the flight. He's in the other half of a 5 gallon and is currently building his first bubble nest, even to the point of digging up some of his baby plants to use as scaffolding. Seems pretty happy to me. He's a Halfmoon Doubletail and he moves like a dancer.

Final words:

Having torn fins doesn't mean your fish is going to be super unhappy, unless of course it is fin rot or some disease. Having "pretty fins" is not all I care about in a betta. I would rather keep the ugliest betta in the world with the most shredded fins possible HAPPY in a nice tank they can ENJOY; instead of keeping a gorgeous fish on a 1 gallon pedestal in hopes it will never rip it's pretty pretty fins.

The main message here should be that you build your OWN personal experience with your fish. Do you want to know WHY there are so many stories of people who have 6 year old bettas in tiny bowls? Or WHY our pampered fish die? and more importantly VICE VERSA?
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Old 08-17-2011, 09:04 PM   #15 
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Agreed with bahamut on most points.

Now for my own 2cents, I must say...I have seen more differences in opinion on husbandry concerning bettas more than any other fish I've kept so far. And they all seem so different in personality that I'd have to say it makes them probably some of the more challenging fish to keep, which is certainly the opposite than how they are generally thought to be. ;)

Quantified for a second:

-some thrive in community settings, some won't tolerate even a tiny pest snail.

-some get constipated easily, some can eat like a pig and never grow a belly.

-some seem to prefer smaller tanks (while I admit I believe this is a minority, though just my opinion), some love larger ones

-some are rather lazy and "chill," and some zoom around all day begging for food

-some get stressed easily and love to nip off their own fins, while others seem to be able to handle major changes in environment with fascination, almost.

-some seem to enjoy being in a divided tank and having a neighbor to flare at; and others seem to only want to have anything to do with their human helpers.

And the list goes on, really. Which is why I think it's very hard for anyone to come up with any single list of circumstances that will apply to all bettas; because I don't think such a list exists. The challenge in betta keeping is getting to know your fish, and learning what he or she prefers, and what will make him or her happy. ;)

So this is why I say, "beginner fish? No way!" I've seen such a large spectrum of personality in the several bettas I've kept; they all had unique nuances to their personalities and dietary needs, that the only thing I can say with confidence that was the same? They all needed clean water.
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Old 08-17-2011, 09:05 PM   #16 
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@Pew, Other than the water change params, it nothing disagrees with your post as well as the fact that this is more of a how to watch the behavioral signs which yours does not address as clearly. Your post is the most amazing thing for someone who has never kept fish to read. This is more of an advanced theory on temperment and adjusting to your own betta's behaviour.

@Bahamut, Magnification of chemical imbalances are always an issue but if bettas can make it in the cup at the store with the neglectful chain LPS employee. (well the half a dozen I've been to most are that way) I think anything larger would allow room for error made by someone who is willing to invest more effort. Any tank realistically that is going through a 100% change at any point no matter what the size will have the same problems since each change the ecosystem is hitting the reset button and you have to hope the living conditions are similar if not identical to what they were before the change. The caution that was given was that if you have a smaller tank then obviously there is less room for error but I believe the purpose of the original post was adjusting to temperment, not trapping your betta in a 1 gallon bowl becuase you think it dislikes too much space. its more giving an explanation that is very similar to your final words.

Final thoughts: Sometimes your betta doesn't like the set up you have for it so be flexible. I think that echoes what people are trying to say.
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Old 08-18-2011, 06:54 AM   #17 
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@pwnisher- ....wait...what? O__o;
I didn't quite understand what you said there...
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Old 08-18-2011, 08:21 AM   #18 
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I'm also confuzzled LOL
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Old 08-18-2011, 12:12 PM   #19 
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To be a good keeper of fish you must first be a good keeper of water and understand how they interact.....
IMO this is the key to good husbandry(?) It doesn't matter how big or small the tank is, As long as you know how to keep the water in good condition. I've seen them kept in itty bitty cups with no issues. And others kept in 20g filtered/cycled become lethargic. As fish who has lived in such condition all its life, it would still be happy in small cups (though I agree bigger is better).

OFL isn't saying a big tank is bad. She is just saying that bettas from small cups needs to gain more muscles before it can freely carry that 50 pound extra weight. Though they can gain muscles in the big tank, but it would be safer to slowly upgrade their tank size.

For some reason I do not believe in massive WC for smaller tanks (1g or less). Changing 50-100% daily is no guarantee that they will remain healthy. Then again I don't understand my water because I've seen others using the same water source (tap - in my area) keep their bettas healthy in cups with weekly 100% wc. But I will advise massive wc because it seems more logical.
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Old 08-18-2011, 12:50 PM   #20 
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I agree with indjo, Ofl isn't saying keep your bettas in tiny containers, she's saying let them get used to bigger sizes slowly. Of course, each betta is different, some like huge spaces, some don't. But this was a good read, it answers the question why so many bettas that were totally normal, get weird, skittish or lethargic when brought home and put in big tanks.. I unconsciously end up doing this.. Get betta put him in 1/2 gallon for a week, move to 1 gallon for another week or two and then finally into a 2.5.. It's not very big but all my babies are comfortable, that's all I need. :)
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