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Old 08-29-2011, 07:22 PM   #1 
Trobar
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I'm a new Betta owner thanks to my granddaughter. She talked me into a pretty crowntail male she named Jake so she can visit him at my house. I did the kid begging deal, bought Jake, 1 gal tank, filter, couple of pretty real plants, one really ugly plastic plant, multicolored gravel, various chemicals, food, filter. Followed directions ( I hope) and left Jake in his little cup for 24 hours while the water lost chlorine and the added 'betta fish conditioner' worked. Now 2 days later Jake is turning brighter colors but the tank is cloudy.
WHAT do I do so my grandkid's fish doesn't die
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Old 08-29-2011, 09:55 PM   #2 
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First of all....welcome to the forum, and congrats on your new fishy friend. :)

I'm going to guess the cloudy water is some sort of bacteria bloom; its nothing to fret about, it won't harm your fish. So long as he isn't pale, breathing heavily, lethargic, or has any strange spots or bumps, theres no need to worry.

On another note, I suggest ditching the filter; a 1 gallon is much too small to cycle, and therefore the filter isn't really needed. Bettas, to put it simply, breath air from the surface using a special organ in their body; a filter isn't necessary unless you have a 5+ gallon tank you plan to cycle, and often the water flow(especially in smaller tanks)can bother a betta, partly because of their long and flowy fins and partly because they come from very still, dark, heavily planted waters in the wild.

I suggest investing in a heater and a larger tank. Bettas are tropical fish who, in fact, require a stable temperature of 78-82 degrees F year round. A 1 gallon is an OK size for a temparary home or a QT(quarantine tank; for treating sick fish), but a 2.5 gallon is the recommended minimum for long-term housing.
In a properly sized heated tank, Bettas can live a good 5-7 years.....and once you see how active and personable he is in the right environment, you'll never look at bettas the same again, I assure you. ;)

If you'd rather not splurge on a glass tank; Kritter Keepers from the rodent or reptile section(Medium+)are great cheap alternatives. They can be safely heated with any small(25 watt or under)submersible heater, come with a lid in a variety of colors(something for your Granddaughter to pick out)so your fish won't jump out, are light and easy to carry for water changes, and don't cost too much.

What kind of conditioner do you have? You'll want one that works instantly...I wouldn't trust those 'wait 24 hour' ones personally.
Seachem Prime is an amazing conditioner; takes out anything harmful instantly.

Also, be careful of that plastic plant....they're known to be rather sharp and can rip right though your bettas delicate fins.
Those real plants might likely die eventually, without the proper lighting and nutrients...what kind of live plants did you get?
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Old 08-30-2011, 08:24 AM   #3 
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Thanks for the reply. The encouragement is welcome.

Will get a heater and a larger tank in the future, We are waiting to see if we can keep this one alive for a little while before investing in a larger tank.

The plants I put in the aquarium are: Wisteria plant (Hygrophila difformis) and White Ribbon plant (Dracaena sanderiana)

The water conditioner I used was Top Fin Betta Water Conditioner. The Petsmart employee suggested it as well as leaving the water out for 24 hours. We bought all the aquarium things except the fish and plants on Thursday, Set it up Friday, Saturday back to Petsmark for the fish.

The filter is Tetra Whisper 3i. The sales associate suggested it due to the inexpensive filters and the water action is more cascading than bubbles which usually doesn't bother bettas.

I am feeding Jake Top Fin Color Enhancing Betta Bits twice a day about 4 or 5 pellets each time. He gobbles them up within minutes.
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Old 08-30-2011, 08:38 AM   #4 
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Welcome :D

Try and limit pellets to 2 or 3 maximum a day. I know the food packaging says 5-10, but their stomach is the size of their eye (almost 1-3 pellets).

Betta's will eat themselves to death!

My little guy gets fed once in the morning and once in the evening. This spaces his 1 pellet meal out through the day :) You will also find this will lower ammonia spikes in smaller tanks - less food = less poop = less ammonia = happier fishy.

The living plants may die if not given sufficient light. There is a very useful living plant thread here: http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=76428

Hope this helps a bit
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Old 08-30-2011, 09:01 AM   #5 
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For the cloudy water- just make partial (around 50%) water changes every day with water that has been aged- left out for around 48 hours and with half the recommended amount of conditioner. You should see the water clearing immediately and staying clear.
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Old 08-30-2011, 11:34 AM   #6 
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Thanks for the reply. The encouragement is welcome.

You're very welcome, glad to be able to help. :)

Will get a heater and a larger tank in the future, We are waiting to see if we can keep this one alive for a little while before investing in a larger tank.

Like I said, it doesn't have to be a huge investment....a medium sized Kritter Keeper will run roughly $10 and you can use your current decorations(I'd suggest ditching the plastic plant and looking into silk, but I know how kids can be...).
The idea of 'waiting to see if you can keep it alive before getting something bigger' is really sort of a myth in itself; I used to get this a lot when working at my local fish store. See, a larger, heated tank with proper maintenance will ensure a long and healthy life of your fish.....there are a lot of things that can happen in a small, unheated container that can be prevented with warm, clean water and proper space. Therefore, if you want to make sure you can keep him alive...look into a larger home and a heater as soon as possible ;)

The plants I put in the aquarium are: Wisteria plant (Hygrophila difformis) and White Ribbon plant (Dracaena sanderiana)

As stated previously, live plants will die and rot, causing your water quality to fall and your ammonia to spike dangerously if they don't have the proper lighting and nutrients. I don't have a green thumb; even in the right conditions I have difficulty with the easiest of life plants, but I believe Wisteria is a fairly easy one....take a look at the link Banicks provided and do a little poking around online to see exactly what your plants need.


The water conditioner I used was Top Fin Betta Water Conditioner. The Petsmart employee suggested it as well as leaving the water out for 24 hours. We bought all the aquarium things except the fish and plants on Thursday, Set it up Friday, Saturday back to Petsmark for the fish.

I'm not fond of Top Fin products; IME they're a little on the cheap side and not that high of quality.
Again I highly recommend going and picking up some Seachem Prime conditioner; I swear by this stuff, its great. It'll take out anything harmful instantly.


The filter is Tetra Whisper 3i. The sales associate suggested it due to the inexpensive filters and the water action is more cascading than bubbles which usually doesn't bother bettas.

Again, filters are not necessary unless its a 5+ gallon tank you're planning to cycle, and most of the time the flow disturbs and stresses the betta(this is fixed by baffling the filter in a larger tank, in case you were curious), especially in a smaller environment.
If hes not bothered by it(as some aren't; each betta is an individual) then thats fine, but I'd still advise ditching it....its really not necessary and will only take up space.

I am feeding Jake Top Fin Color Enhancing Betta Bits twice a day about 4 or 5 pellets each time. He gobbles them up within minutes.

As advised previously, probably want to cut back to 2-3 pellets fed twice a day. Bettas don't have and on/off switch with their hunger(like, lets say....lizards or geckos or even some dogs)and will eat themselves to sickness and death; one of the main illnesses that strikes bettas is bloating and SBD(Swim Bladder Disorder)caused by over-feeding.
A bettas stomach is roughly the size of their eye, and the pellets will enlarge in the stomach when they take in water since they are dehydrated. So 2-3 pellets, twice a day, is about where you want to be.
A Way to give him a little variety and protein as well is to go pick up some frozen bloodworms and/or brineshrimp. Thaw out a little in a container of tank water and feed him a few of one or the other replacing one meal 1-3 times a week is the best way to give him a little something different.


On another note, always take what a petstore employee tells you and advises with a grain of salt....ALWAYS do your own research. The empolyees are usually trained to give advise based on old, common myths of fish keeping and what will make the store the most money(which is often all the store is interested in anyway).
This forum is a great place to do just that; research I mean. There are tons of knowledgeable betta keepers and breeders who have been doing this for years; we take our own time to help anyone who has questions care for their fishy friends and debunk common myths/petstore employee misinformation. ;)

I hope I have provided you with further help, and of course, if you have any more questions, feel free to ask. :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by TequilatheBetta View Post
For the cloudy water- just make partial (around 50%) water changes every day with water that has been aged- left out for around 48 hours and with half the recommended amount of conditioner. You should see the water clearing immediately and staying clear.
Oh! Might I also add that this is what one should do for a bacteria bloom in a cycling/cycled tank(if the cloudiness is really bugging you; usually it will go away on its own and isn't harmful).
In your case, since you just have a little 1 gallon that can't cycle, that wouldn't be the way to go about it; just take out the filter and do a 100% water change(which should be done every other day in a 1 gallon, might I add).

Last edited by DragonFish; 08-30-2011 at 11:37 AM.
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Old 08-30-2011, 12:06 PM   #7 
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Marimo moss balls are cheap, effective and pretty! They do not require tonnes of light or maintenance and they do not root. They roll around the tank :) I love mine and plan on getting nano moss balls (they're smaller than regular ones) The benefit of marimo moss balls is that they compete with bad algae that grows from the sun and keeps the water better. :D

And trust me, this site has made significant changes in the way I viewed betta fish. I kept my fish in a tiny 1.5 gallon with water changes every 2 days until I came here!! lol Slowly upgrading to the required set up! I cannot wait. You will find tonnes of knowledgable people here, follow their advice and your fish will live long and full :)
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Old 08-30-2011, 09:47 PM   #8 
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OK so now I am dusty, dirty but victorious!!!! I finally found the 2.5gal mini bow tank that we used for a baby lizard (he eventually was put into a 4ft x 2ft x 2ft one). This tank appears to be in working condition. Next chance I get (probably tomorrow) I will go to petstore again get a heater, thermometer, better conditioner, new lightbulb (don't trust this one) and get this tank started up. How soon can I transfer Jake into it? I don't want to stress him any more than I already have.

I have also talked hubby into getting a 10g set up, but that won't happen for about a month. WAY too many things not fish related to do before I undertake that.

Once again, THANK YOU for all your help. This forum has the best info on betta by far.
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Old 08-30-2011, 10:03 PM   #9 
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Good Luck :)
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Old 08-30-2011, 10:12 PM   #10 
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Oh, wonderful! Its great that you remembered you had that tucked away somewhere, and even more awesome that you were able to go and get it! :) That should be perfect.

Just rinse it thoroughly with hot water and maybe put some water in to see how it holds(if you haven't already)and if its clean and checked out, you should be good to go.

If everything checks out, once you get everything you can fill the tank up, add some of the new conditioner, arrange his decor, and stick in the heater and plug it in. Wait a little while and watch the temp until it seems to have settled and stabilized somewhere between 78-81 degrees F(Oh....and hour or two I think it should take? And don't worry; your betta will be just fine in his little cup/other small container while you set everything up), and then take your betta in his cup/container and float it in the tank. Wait about 15-20 minutes, pour a touch of the cup/container water out(not into the tank, into the sink or another container)and add a little of the fresh water from the tank in. Repeat this process every 10-15 minutes or so 4-5 times and then release him into the tank.

While you wait to get a 10 gallon, the 2.5 is a perfect little home :) Just be sure to keep up with your water changes(100% twice a week I'd say; it doesn't take very long, maybe 15-20 minutes per change...you get better at it the more times you do it)and you're all set.

And you are very welcome; I'm glad that you are enjoying the forum and am pleased that I could help :)
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