I just got a male betta from a friend last night. She received it as a present from her sorority but didn't really want it. She had it in a one gallon tank (I think) with nothing but gravel. She rarely cleaned the water and I have no idea how often she fed the guy. Today, I got him a 2.5 gallon with Water Wisteria and a log thing for him to swim around. I think he really likes it.
Anyway, I'm wondering what his new eating habits should be and how I should establish them. Should I feed him the same time everyday? Does it matter? I've read that you should feed a fish once a day, usually whatever they'll eat in two minutes. Do I need to take out excess food?
I also was curious about lighting. I know he should have light during the day and the water should be a moderate temp. Right now I just have a typical lamp with a 60w bulb for studying. I'm going to get a separate table and lamp for him to have. But what strength should it be and do i need some special kind of lamp?
Please help me! I want to take care of this fish correctly. Thanks!
Last edited by agent89201; 12-08-2011 at 02:31 AM.
Reason: light, food, tank size, habits
I'm so glad you got your new pal a nice home with a log. I bet he's really happy. For feeding, totally disregard what the instructions on the package say. :) If you are feeding flake, feed like one crumbled flake twice a day. But it's best to feed pellets because they're easier for the betta to eat and they won't mess up the tank as much. Good brands to try are Omega One Betta Buffet pellets and New Life Spectrum Betta formula pellets. Feed 2 pellets 2 times a day to start out with. Also try frozen bloodworms. They're nasty yes, but if you feed 'em with tweezers, they're not *too* bad and the bettas love 'em.
For his new tank, water changes would be 1 25% and 1 50% a week. If you can only change the water once a week, definitely change 50-75% at a time. Also, you'll want to be on the lookout for a good adjustable 25w heater for him so he can stay around 78-80 degrees. I like Cascade heaters but they can be hard to find. Hagen Elite are good heaters too. It realy helps to have an adjustable heater, though, in case you need to up the temp for any reason.
That's about all I can think of. If you have any more questions, don't hesitate to post. :)
I agree, pellets are best. I also feed 2 twice a day. Just make sure a protein (like fish meal) is the first ingredient. Bettas are carnivores and some foods have mostly grains in them.
Lighting can be whatever you want. Plants need florescent lights with a daylight spectrum. Wisteria is a low light plant and pretty easy to care for, so I you don't necessarily need a special light. And if the ambient light in the room is enough, you don't even need one at all. As long as he can distinguish day and night, he's alright.
As for water changes, I would do one 50% and one 100% a week. In a tank that size, 100% changes are needed.
Got some great advice here.. the only thing I would have to agree/disagree with is Sakura is spot on with the water changes- if your tank has a filter. With a filter and especially live plants a 100% isn't necessary and not always ideal. You would just have to siphon out the substrate about twice a month as the plant will use the waste as nourishment but not all of it, and since you only have one plant, you don't want the waste to gather up (the filter will hide it, but it's still there creating ammonia).
It requires a nutrient-rich substrate, with iron-rich fertilizer added regularly. Provide a moderate amount of lighting of at least 2 to 3 watts per gallon of full spectrum (5000-7000K) light. CO2 fertilization is also recommended. But as mentioned above, you may be able to get away with ambient lighting.
Thanks! I think I'm definitely going to get a heater and/or a thermometer. I do have pellets, too.
With the water changes -- why should I only change a portion of the water at a time? Also, when I do, should I clean out the gravel and the tank, too and leave the water in a bowl or cup to put back in?
Hi agent. If your tank has a filter, then it will gather up some good bacteria. This stuff grows over time and it eats ammonia and turns it into nitrite. In turn, some other good bacteria grows and it eats nitrite and turns it into nitrate. Since both ammonia and nitrite are toxic to fish, you never want to remove too much of the water because you could remove too much of your good bacteria. This will cause your tank to "crash" and could make your betta sick.
If you do two water changes a week, 1 25% and 1 50% (if you have a filter), then you only need to clean the gravel with the siphon once a week. For water changes, you'll want to have either the sink or a big bucket handy because you'll be dumping all the old and nasty water into that. You don't want to keep it. Whatever you take out, you get rid of. Then you'll replace the water you took out with clean, dechlorinated water from the tap. Make sure it's roughly the same temp as the water you took out.
I really recommend you have a bucket on hand. It helps to put the clean water into the bucket, dechlorinate it with your water conditioner, and then put the clean water from the bucket into the tank. You CAN put the clean water directly into the tank and then add water conditioner but this isn't the best way to do it.
Throw a pellet in, if he eats it throw another in, if he eats that throw another in. I give my CT betta's 6 pellets (3 twice a day) sometimes one or two more it all depends (these are the smaller pellets, the bigger Tetra pellets they only get 2 a day). My giant gets like... 20, for real! Giant females get 3 to 6 each. If he won't eat the pellets, give him 24 hours try again. Do this until he eats them. He's a fish they adpat easy, just remember he'll eat until he can't swim anymore and he doesn't NEED food every day, a fast can be better for him than over feeding. He'll adapt nicely I don't think you'll have any issues.
The only reason why I didn't recommend siphoning each week is that there are live plants.. for some reason was thinking they would need some of the waste, why once or twice a month I thought was sufficient..