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Old 10-03-2015, 12:56 AM   #1 
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Red face Help With First Betta Please

I have never owned a fish, I have planted tanks but no fish (yet) I was working at someones house and they had a Betta in a tiny glass on their counter it was tall and the diameter of the length of the fish so he just kind of bumped his face and tail off the glass and could go up and down...I told her I thought that was cruel and the next day when I showed up to continue my renovation job the fish was in a wider glass (the one in the photo) she said she was moving across the country soon and so I took her fish haha. Supposedly it has been on their counter for a year now, and they always used tap water with no conditioner which I cant believe it lived a year. I got him a 1/2 gallon tank (for now) I do not believe bowls or anything round for that matter makes a good home for a fish that would give me a headache with reality all distorted around me like a funny mirror at least this rectangle can be looked through and objects are clear and not distorted. I used tap water conditioner and water around 80F I acclimated him by doing a 50% water change in the glass with conditioned warmer tap water for an hour, he loved the new tank and was much more active he seems to like it I just have a 9W LED desk lamp shining on half of the tank from one side so he can choose to be in the light or shade and he seems to enjoy both. I will get something in there for him to hide around and such and work on a larger tank for him!

How does he look health wise? I think he seems faded in color, my buddy said he looks fat and well fed, they have been feeding him dry pellets and he likes them but I have no idea how much they were feeding him and what is the proper amount. I read only 2-4 pellets a day but that seems very little, I have been using a shot glass to soak them first in his tank water so they sink I read that is much better for him then dry food floating on the top of the tank. He likes to stare at me I have it on my desk, he literally stares at me and I feel like I should feed him more haha the second photo kind of looks like flaring? However he likes to do this after he eats and sits on the bottom, I am concerned because he turns his head sideways and shakes it when he tries turning like he is having trouble but he seems to be in control of vertical swimming its just turning around seems to be troubling.

I just feel really bad he seemed to have such a boring life I want to help him :) There are two areas of concern with bloating inside the red circles, what do you think? He is not pooping and I am wondering if that is why he is looking bloated?
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Old 10-03-2015, 02:01 AM   #2 
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Hi there, welcome to the forum! How awesome that you took in the fish and decided to care for him.

You'll need a 5 gallon tank, lid, light, heater, a filter, gravel vac, silk or real plants, a hide with no rough edges, and a liquid test kit for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and pH.

The more you learn about the nitrogen cycle and the importance of keeping track of your water chemistry the better you will be able to care for your new fish and be able to prevent a lot of preventable illnesses and diseases.

Fish nutrition; never soak fish food because it leaches out any nutrients and water soluble vitamins in the food right out into the water you're soaking it in. Fish have amazing enzymes and gastric juices in their stomachs that take care of fish food without any issues. It is a myth that you have to soak food to prevent the food from swelling in their bellies. There is also no scientific evidence to support fasting a domesticated healthy fish, so never skip feeding days.

If you are feeding a high quality food that meets the dietary requirements for your betta then there should not be any issues with constipation (bloating) since good quality food is easier to digest.

A lot of aquarists feed their fish New Life Spectrum. All of mine get some type of NLS product, but my betta gets New Life Spectrum Small Fish Formula .5mm Pellets, and he gets 5 to 7 pellets every day 6 days a week, and 1 day a week he gets brine shrimp (daphnea when those run out) and bloodworms.

I think I covered most things, but knowing me I've forgotten a bunch lol. Someone will come behind me and post regarding weather they think your fish is bloated.

Last edited by Mousie; 10-03-2015 at 02:04 AM.
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Old 10-03-2015, 02:26 AM   #3 
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I'm very surprised that it doesn't look like he's had issues with fin rot at all, even after living in straight tap water for a year! He looks pretty healthy to me. Looks like he has great coloration. The swelling may as well be constipation. How long after feeding did you take that last pic? Because the swelling in his belly just looks like he's got food in there
In regards to what you think is a problem when he tries to turn around, it might possibly be that he's just used to be being in such a tiny area inside a cup. Think about it; since the cup is tiny and round, that's naturally how he would have to move his body in order to turn around. That habit could go away once he becomes more accustomed to the bigger space around him.
He must be so happy with his new friend and all the space he has to move around now!
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Old 10-03-2015, 11:00 PM   #4 
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He doesn't look bloated, just like he's eaten.
He does appear to be quite a serious fin biter, but in that little tiny bowl, who could blame him?
Ok, now a quick rundown of what you need to make a healthy, happy betta.
1) Upgrade him to a minimum of 2.5 gallons. For a guy who has lived over a year in a little cup, I wouldn't go any larger than 5 gallons. He may adjust just fine, or he may completely and totally freak out. I have one that freaks out in anything larger than a 2.5 gallon, and one that loves his 20 gallon.
2) Heater. Adjustable if at all possible. The Hydor Theo 25 watt is what I use on both my 2.5 and my 5 gallon. It's a popular and highly recommended heater
3) thermometer
4) a filter- Canister filters are ok, but honestly for a 2-5 gallon tank with a betta, I recommend a sponge filter
If you went sponge filter, it needs an air pump and a gang valve. I personally, like the tetra whisper line. The upside is you can run several tanks off a single air pump so if you plan to have more than 1 tank, it's the way to go. The downside, it isn't 100% quiet.
5) Read this. It teaches you everything you need to know about cycling a tank for your betta
6) a good food. New Life Spectrum is a very good brand that is now carried at Petco, so it's usually easy to get.
7) Seachem Prime. This detoxifies your ammonia as well as acts as a dechlorinator. Not 100% necessary if you have a dechlorinator, and there is some debate that it may slow the cycle of your tank down, but it's still helpful to have.
8) decor. Whether you choose to go live plant, or silk plants, driftwood, caves, natural, or themed is all up to you.
9) Self control. It's VERY hard to have one betta! I started out with 1 and currently have 5!
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Old 10-04-2015, 12:08 PM   #5 
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I'm so glad you rescued him! I agree with all of the advice already given.
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Old 10-04-2015, 09:42 PM   #6 
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Good for you for rescuing him! He looks well fed. Everyone gave excellent advice. Enjoy the betta addiction. :)
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Old 10-04-2015, 11:25 PM   #7 
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Thanks for all the advice!

I stopped soaking the food, it is not that high quality; Aqueon Betta Food, but I will pickup some shrimp or bloodworms. I started giving him 3-4 in the morning and 3-4 at night since he is fat lol I will keep him well fed as he is used to it. What do you think about that food that claims color enhancing properties?

I have a lot of common general knowledge from planted tanks regarding equipment, and water chemistry.

I will not have a problem owning just one I would never go to a store and buy one, but I will make this ones life better :)

As far as a tank goes, I do have a 5.5G tank but it is being used for the next 3 months it would be perfect for him! (top tank)

For now this is how I have him setup, it is still an improvement moving forward. I put some gravel on the bottom and I need something for him to sit on that is not rough like the gravel because he does like to sit on the bottom of the tank, but sitting on gravel must hurt right now. The water likes to sit at 68F where I live, so I added a basic cheap heater, it has no thermostat but I am keeping an eye on it to make sure the water does not exceed 80F!

I do have a better tank I am not using for anything right now, you can see it in the background:

Its a 15.8G bow-front tank but I am afraid it is too big, especially to downsize to a 5.5G 3 months from now when everything from the 5.5G gets moved to this 15.8G the lighting is also kind of bright, too bright? The lights are on a timer, and it has an external canister filter with UV, what do you guys think? I would be happy to put him in here for a few months if you think he can handle it:
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Old 10-05-2015, 08:53 AM   #8 
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you need to get him out of that .5 gallon tank asap. While he is in that .5 gallon container you have to do daily large water changes to keep ammonia down - around 75-85%.

Get some plants for the 15 gallon, and get a proper heater (not lights but an actual aquarium heater) and move him into that.
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Old 10-06-2015, 12:51 AM   #9 
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I have a real heater for the 15.8G but I do not have anything else to put in it for decor, my plants are in the 5.5G quarantine. I will find some sort of decor, I am doing a water change every other day because netting him out I think stresses him out but I make sure he eats the food I give him, its a step up from a cylinder but I will work on getting the 15.8G ready for him I need to do a water change that water is 2 months old just cycling and it is a little cloudy but I need 1/2" hose for my pump to reach the sink since it is too low to siphon. I will pick up an ammonia test kit when I get him some variety of food!

This was last night, he likes to hide behind the heater now that he is used to it being in there. I moved the light to shine into the vent for evening lighting I thought it was more natural than shutting the light off, he enjoyed swimming through the beam of light :)
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Old 10-06-2015, 02:34 AM   #10 
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Originally Posted by PinkFloydEffect View Post
[b]The water likes to sit at 68F where I live, so I added a basic cheap heater, it has no thermostat but I am keeping an eye on it to make sure the water does not exceed 80F!
Since betta are tropical fish, they like temps between 75F to 86F. I keep my betta tank at roughly 83F to 84F. Most betta get too lethargic at lower temps.
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