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Old 08-26-2011, 04:12 PM   #1 
Cookie Lee Lady
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Smile So...I got these two Bettas...

My stepdaughter gave my son her Bettas. I have never even owned a fish before, and now I have two! When my husband first brought them home about four days ago, they were lethargic and just kind of 'sitting' at the bottom of this horrifically small betta bowl. I just figured it was from the four hour drive home. My hubby brings home these fish, but I have no idea how to take care of them, so I start doing some research on the internet, and I realize that two Bettas cannot live in this little divided betta bowl. So I went to PetSmart and bought a little one gallon aquarium. I realize this is still small for one Betta, but I didn't have very much $ to spend on these unexpected additions to our family. Once they were in their own aquariums, I really started to see some personality from them. One of them is still in the Betta Bowl, but I took out the divider, and gave him a Betta Hammock and a little plant for him to hide in. I am working on getting another aquarium, but I am thinking I am going to get him a 5 gallon, so maybe I can add a snail or some ghost shrimp. So far, they seem to be active and happy. But I have a question on how much to feed them...I have both Betta flakes and frozen bloodworms, but those cubes are huge, and I am sure that less than 1/4 of one of those cubes is plenty for a feeding, am I right? Anyway, that's really the only question I have. Also, any tips for a first timer would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
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Old 08-26-2011, 04:19 PM   #2 
Leeniex
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Congrats on your new pets! ;)

With the frozen bloodworms I just scape off a very small amount and give him 3 or 4 worms, one at a time. I use a toothpick to separate the worms when they thaw and drop them in.
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Old 08-26-2011, 04:23 PM   #3 
Cookie Lee Lady
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Do you use the bloodworms as a treat, or is that all you feed them?
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Old 08-26-2011, 04:28 PM   #4 
Leeniex
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Mine gets betta pellets as his main source of food. I have to break them up before he will eat them though. I give the worms about once a week.
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Old 08-26-2011, 04:29 PM   #5 
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First off...hello and welcome to the forum! And congrats on the new Bettas! (: They are indeed, naturally, quite active, personable, and inquisitive little creatures(much like underwater puppies)....its so sad they are often kept in conditions that don't allow them to show they're wonderful uniqueness. :/

However, you do seem to be on the right track! Cookies to you for going and doing your research! (: A 1 gallon(Do you know how large the other one is without the divider?)is perfectly fine for a temporary tank so long as its maintained properly(I'd say a fully water change every day, but you may be able to get away with every other day).
For now, see if you can keep them in a warm area of the house at least, or see if you can find small adjustable heaters to keep them warm. Regardless, might want to snag a couple thermometers so you can watch the temp of their water(Bettas are tropical fish and prefer temps of around 77-82 degrees F).

A 5 gallon, divided for both boys sounds like a wonderful home(thats what two of my boys live in). Take a look at your local Good Wills/Thrift stores/and even Creigs list; you may find and even larger tank for quite cheap!
Another option you can go with is Kritter Keepers(like for small animals or reptiles). They're cheap, light, easy to clean, can be safely heated, and the medium-large size is perfect for one betta. You'll just have to do full water changes a couple times per week; but it doesn't take that long at all.

There are LOTS of wonderful, cheap options out there if you're on a budget (:

As for feeding....go ahead and ditch the flakes; its hard to feed a proper amount...and in such a small tank as you currently have, extra uneaten food rotting in the bottom is not what you want.
You'll want a good betta pellet as a staple diet for your boys(someone suggest some good brands...? Its been a while for me, I'm not quite 'up to date' on the latest brands), and those frozen bloodworms(your right, just a little corner, if you can break it off, will be perfect)to replace a meal once or twice a week as a treat.
When feeding the pellets, just go with 2-3 twice a day(or maybe just 3 once a day in your current settups, since they're so small). (:

Lets see....I think I covered everything? o: I hope so.
Anyway, again, welcome, congrats, and cookies for the research. (; And, as always, if you have any further questions or concerns, the forum and I are always here to answer them!
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Old 08-26-2011, 05:16 PM   #6 
Cookie Lee Lady
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I think the Betta Bowl is less than a gallon. I have been changing most of the water every other day. I don't want to have to keep taking Red Fish (yes, that's his name, given to him by his previous owner) out because I don't want to stress him out too much, so I just take out most of the water, leaving a little bit for him to swim in (which seems to keep him happy) and add the treated water I keep on hand in an empty gallon bottle. I feel bad, too, for messing up his bubblenest he keeps trying to get going. As for my gallon tank....I have been doing 50% water changes every other day (not a big deal for me, since I work from home), with plans of doing 100% water change once a week (for both my boys). I should be able to get my 5 gallon tank in about a week. Also, my one gallon has a filter, does that make a difference in how often I have to change the water?

Last edited by Cookie Lee Lady; 08-26-2011 at 05:19 PM.
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Old 08-26-2011, 05:34 PM   #7 
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Oh, don't worry about the stress of taking them out and putting them back in; so long as you match the temps of the water as close as you can and you accumulate properly, it is a LOT less stressful then having dirty water.
Even though you do plan to do a 100% a week, its not enough in such a small tank. I wouldn't bother with the 50%'s in tanks this small, up those to full changes and be sure to rinse everything. These tanks are small, ammonia(constantly excreted through the fishes gills, along with the actual poo, not to mention any uneaten food)is going to build up quickly. The only way to get rid of ammonia is by doing full 100% water changes in a small, uncycled tank like you have. Otherwise, it just builds up if you only do partial chances.
You could get away with full changes every other day in the 1 gallon, but for the other, if its less then that, go with every day. I know it sounds like a lot, but its a lot less work then it sounds, less stressful on your fish then you might think, and better for their long-term health and well-being :)
And no; in a 1 gallon the filter makes no difference. I'd actually suggest taking out the filter....its not really needed, and most bettas tend to not like the water flow.

Take a look at this:
http://www.fishlore.com/NitrogenCycle.htm
Just a little something to help get you started with your 5 gallon, a little useful info. :)
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Old 08-26-2011, 05:52 PM   #8 
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I recommend a Kritter Keeper! I have a 2 gallon one that I use for my tank and doing water changes is a breeze, it takes me probably 15 minutes now to do it. The thing that takes the longest is catching my betta!
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Old 08-26-2011, 06:10 PM   #9 
Sarahlydear
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I just wanted to say congrats!! They're great! I took three with me to college and they have been loved by all and helped kept me sane (in fact some girls in another hallway might be getting one in a 3gal)!
I've had several in a 3gal Kritter Keeper and they all seemed to LOVE it. Even the ones that don't like big spaces. Just make sure you have plenty of hiding spaces and plants (real or fake I have a mixture of both).

New Life Spectrum is a good brand and so is Omega(you have to cut into smaller pieces).
Also something you can do for your bettas is give them diversity in their diet.
I feed mine NLS, Omega, frozen blood worms, frozen brine shrimp, freeze dried blood worms and mysis shrimp (freeze dried isn't the best I bought it before I new better and give them as snacks here and there). I'm also looking at buying another brand but I haven't decided. All those are fairly cheap and will last you a VERY long time.
Another good practice is to soak their food before you give it to them to help prevent bloating. Just take some water from their tank in a cup and throw the pellets or other food in for a few minutes. It also make it easier for the betta to eat.

Also I got my 1gal water changes down to 10minutes (including catching the fish) everyday and it's really worth it. Your fish will get accustomed to the water changes and some of my bettas even enjoy it because I take them with me to the bathroom or to see the family and it gives them something new to do.

Any way theres my two cents. Enjoy your boys! :) They sound like they've come to a good home that will do good by them.
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Old 08-26-2011, 06:12 PM   #10 
Sarahlydear
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oops one more thing: when you get the 5gal and siphon will save your life! I DETEST water changes without one. You can get one at WalMart if you like and they are seriously worth. every. single. penny.
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