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Old 08-22-2011, 07:02 AM   #1 
ejay
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caring for my new bettas...

Hi, I bought 2 bettas yesterday, and I don't believe the guy in the pet shop gave me the right advice at all. He basically told me a small tank is fine (so I bought one that I think was about .8 of a gallon - in australia so we use litres). I grew pretty quickly concerned because one of the bettas was very inactive and upon doing some googling seemed depressed. So today I went and bought an 8L tank, with filter and a couple of other fish, transferred the depressed betta to the larger tank, took out the divider so the remaining one would have more room, bought plants, things for them to play in/hide in etc. The girls at the store I went to today seemed more knowledgable but charlie (the depressed one) doesn't really seem any better. I was told at both stores I wouldn't need to buy a heater but more research suggests this is wrong wrong wrong!!!

I have every intention of purchasing a bigger tank again and a heater, but I have very little money to spare now until next tuesday as I have 2 major bills due this week & have recently moved house which basically swallowed all of my meager savings

I guess what I really want to ask now, is there a way to keep their tanks warmer as a temporary measure until I can invest some money in decent equipment? I want my fish to be happy and am genuinely concerned about charlie in particular, the other one seems ok despite being in a smaller tank without filtration for the time being
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Old 08-22-2011, 07:10 AM   #2 
dragonflie
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While I cannot really advise on heating a small tank (I keep my thermostat set for 78); I wanted to help with the new tank you purchased.

You said it is 8L yes? That is around 2 gallons? And what were the other fish you purchased? In a tank that small you really can only house one fish in it (the betta). While some bettas *can* be kept in a community setting, it is a hit or miss endeavor and many cannot tolerate tankmates. That being said; the other fish being kept in 2 gallons with the betta will likely cause your ammonia to spike fairly quickly. While I don't know which particular fish you purchased, I can't think of any that would be able to co exist in a 2 gallon tank with a betta, so I highly recommend returning them to the store if you can and keeping the betta alone in his 2g tank.
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Old 08-22-2011, 07:15 AM   #3 
Tikibirds
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Hi

Some bettas take a while to get used to larger tanks, new surrondings. I have one that took about 3 weeks before he started to settle in. Does he have any other symptoms like rapid gill movement, clamped fins, any signs of illness? Does he still eat?

They are tropical so a heater is good. Some bettas can become lethargic if they get too cold. I live in Alaska and have sen the temp in my tanks drop down to 68 (with a heater on) so they can survive but they probably didn't like it much. Does the new tank have a light? sometimes that can heat the water up a bit.

I would invest in a therometer so know exactly how cold/warm the tanks are getting.

.8 of a gallon is a bit small but if you do frequent water changes, it will be ok for one betta for a bit. Most people say they NEED 2.5 gallons but I dont agree. Personally I like 3-5 gallons but I also have some in 1 and 2 gallon storage containers. Just keep up with water changes so ammonia doesnt get too high

Last edited by Tikibirds; 08-22-2011 at 07:22 AM.
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Old 08-22-2011, 07:37 AM   #4 
ejay
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hmmm yeah the pet shop girl today said I could keep up to 4 fish of that size (not all bettas obviously) in that size tank but am beginning to think that is wrong... I'm thinking when I get paid next week I might just buy yet another tank (hahaha this has turned into some kind of comedy of errors or something but I did want to end up with quite a few fish)
the one I was thinking of buying is something like this: http://www.kubazoo.com/bmz_cache/4/4...ge.478x478.jpg
Would it be more suitable to house my betta and a few more small fish? (am trying to look up their breed now, one is small black with googly eyes).
I only got more fish because it was suggested charlie may cheer up with someone to play with.
And I will probably use the 8L tank for some of the smaller breeds.
Should I be changing the water daily if the ammonia is such a risk? If so how much?
I don't think I can return these other fish (and to be honest I kind of would rather keep them anyway).

tikibirds, he seems ok in terms of health other than not being very active. But I did look closely and as far as I can tell there's no physical signs of distress. I just have a desk lamp outside the tank for now to help with the heat...

edit:man I wish I had done more research, I kind of got these on a whim yesterday, which I realise is not the best way to go, but now I would like to fix my mistakes...

Last edited by ejay; 08-22-2011 at 07:47 AM.
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Old 08-22-2011, 07:49 AM   #5 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ejay View Post
hmmm yeah the pet shop girl today said I could keep up to 4 fish of that size (not all bettas obviously) in that size tank but am beginning to think that is wrong... I'm thinking when I get paid next week I might just buy yet another tank (hahaha this has turned into some kind of comedy of errors or something but I did want to end up with quite a few fish)
the one I was thinking of buying is something like this: http://www.kubazoo.com/bmz_cache/4/4...ge.478x478.jpg
Would it be more suitable to house my betta and a few more small fish? (am trying to look up their breed now, one is small black with googly eyes).
I only got more fish because it was suggested charlie may cheer up with someone to play with.
And I will probably use the 8L tank for some of the smaller breeds.
Should I be changing the water daily if the ammonia is such a risk? If so how much?
I don't think I can return these other fish (and to be honest I kind of would rather keep them anyway).

tikibirds, he seems ok in terms of health other than not being very active. But I did look closely and as far as I can tell there's no physical signs of distress. I just have a desk lamp outside the tank for now to help with the heat...
Then what species of fish did you purchase? Really can only advise once we know which ones you have, especially since some of the most popular ones that are sold by pet stores do not belong in small tanks. And most all of them don't belong in a 2 gallon tank.

I'm sorry for the bad advice you got from the pet store. :( It is unfortunate but quite common that they tell you things that are wrong (and not just a little wrong, very wrong), and it is usually only when we come to a forum such as this that we can be set right. Same thing happened to me years ago and I swore off ever owning a tank again when I lost all my fish. Course, I am old and this was in the days before internet existed. ;)
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Old 08-22-2011, 07:55 AM   #6 
ejay
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hmmm on doing further research it appears they're just various types of goldfish

definitely should have done some research first!
I think my parents have an old fish tank that is probably about 10L, I will go over there and see if it's still around, if so I will clean the bejesus out of it and prepare it so I can move him to his own larger tank. I think they also used to have a small betta bowl with a light, maybe I can use that as an interim measure for desmond (the not depressed one) until I can do a full on proper setup for both.
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Old 08-22-2011, 08:05 AM   #7 
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Originally Posted by ejay View Post
hmmm on doing further research it appears they're just various types of goldfish

definitely should have done some research first!
I think my parents have an old fish tank that is probably about 10L, I will go over there and see if it's still around, if so I will clean the bejesus out of it and prepare it so I can move him to his own larger tank. I think they also used to have a small betta bowl with a light, maybe I can use that as an interim measure for desmond (the not depressed one) until I can do a full on proper setup for both.
Oh dear, that is what I was afraid of. :( Goldfish can get HUGE (depending on type), produce copious amounts of waste (and thus require heavy filtration); and from what I understand, even the ones that stay the smallest such as fancies require a 20g tank for the first goldfish.

This link should help you determine what type you have: http://www.petgoldfish.net/

Goldfish are also cold water fish and are healthiest in their proper temperature; so you would definitely need a heater for your betta if you are keeping your home cooler for the goldfish.
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Old 08-22-2011, 08:16 AM   #8 
ejay
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hmmm seems like 2 of them are common goldfish (still quite small) and the third is a black moor.

yeah will definitely get them a separate tank so I can heat the water for my poor sad betta!
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Old 08-22-2011, 08:47 AM   #9 
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I suggest just taking the goldfish back. Goldfish and bettas are not compatible. Goldfish need large LARGE tanks (I believe its 20 gallons for your fish, and another 10 gallons for every one you add). If the goldfish are not in the proper size tank their internal organs will continue to grow, while their outsides won't, which will in the end, cause their internal organs to become squished against eachother leading to death. Gold fish also need heavy filtration because they are DIRTY fish.
Your bettas need a minimum of around 2.5 gallons each. A cheap solution is using plastic storage bins. You can get quite large ones for very cheap.
If you can I would take the goldfish back, and see if you can take the .8 gallon tank back as well for money back.
As long as you get them a heater sometime soon, the bettas should be fine without a heater for awhile, as long as the water isn't freezing cold. You should get a thermometer to check the temperature of the water, and see how much heating you actually need.
NEVER LISTEN TO A PETSTORE EMPLOYEE. :P They are never right, and usually are just trying to make a sale, unfortunately. All of us on this website have learned this the hard way. :/
I agree with the others, the bettas may be nervous about their new surrondings, especially considering all the changes they've been going through (0.8 gallon tank, to the 2 gallon tank, with the friends etc). Give them time to adjust.
Good luck!
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Old 08-23-2011, 08:37 AM   #10 
ejay
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hmmm well I came home tonight and charlie's dead :( rip charlie, sorry i didn't give you a better life

so it's just the goldfish in the 8l tank for now... will keep them in there for now, then next tues buy a larger tank for them and give desmond the 8l all to himself

ummm i don't know how long charlie was dead in there for, i left the house ~12 hours ago, should i change the water completely?
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