I was at school today when apparently a really ignorant girl had bought all these betta fish for her friends and teachers as gifts. One of my teachers had one and he didn't know what to do with her. I went up to him after classed and asked him what he was going to do with her and he asked me if I wanted her. Of course I did. I had actually had a betta before but it was a long time ago.
So, the female betta came in one of those plastic cups. I just brought it home 30 minutes ago. I'm so worried about her. I have been trying to do research but I have been getting mixed sources about some questions that I have.
Do Beta's need an aerator? Would it make them happier if they did? I know they can get oxygen from the surface but I just want to know if they would prefer one or not.
Do they "need" a filter, if I just clean the water regularly would it be necessary? What is a low flow filter?
Other than that I think I have an idea of what to do. I'm sorry if these questions have been asked multiple times, but I'm a little frazzled right now because I am super concerned about her and I want to get her out of that dumb plastic things...
It's unfortunate that people give living beings as gifts to people who don't want them or can't take care of them. I'm glad I saved this one now I just need to "really" save it.
I cannot go to the store to get a tank or really anything right now. What can I use that would still work and keep her happy? What can I use as a heater for awhile?
Last edited by 4everaspirit; 12-19-2011 at 04:13 PM.
Welcome! I'm happy to hear you are taking the responsible road in wanting to learn about the proper care of these little ones :)
It may be a boy as well.. does it have long fins or short?
No, they do not need aeration- in smaller tanks, bubblers are not usually ideal as they can cause too much water surface distortion. They also do not need a filter as long as the water changes are being made. A low flow filter is one you can adjust, or buy preset that does not push a lot of the water out fast- as strong filters can cause the males to have trouble swimming because the current will cause drag on their long fins, making them heavy for the fish. A lot of times people will "baffle" a filter to make the current slow to help that- they use an aquarium sponge or a plastic bottle cut and fit to the filter to alter it's flow. But as mentioned, filters are not needed.
A 1+ gallon would be idea to use as a good home, with silk plants to help them feel secure- real plants are good too, but as a beginner, sometimes it's easier to go with the fake ones.
Water conditioner is wise to use with each water change, unless you are getting well water in your home- as a lot of city tap water contains chlorine which is very harmful for the fish.
In tanks less then 5 gallons, with no filter it is wise to do a 50% water change, and a 100% water change per week- the 100% being the most important as it gives you a chance to clean the waste out of the substrate. Even with filters, regular vacuuming of the substrate is important.
Also wise to keep the cup they came in to use as a holding container while doing water changes- you can also scoop them up using the cup instead of a net. Just entice her to go to the top of the water and dip in the cup behind her- the suction the cup creates will usually be enough to get them into the cup. Sometimes it may take a few tries as they will eventually get wise to what you are doing.
Feed twice daily- a variety of food is idea, pellets and frozen food being top choices. 2-3 pellets per meal is something I recommend. But there are other foods you can choose.
Anything you have around the house, even a plastic tupperware container will work- just make sure to clean it out very well in hot water and that there is NO soap residue in it.. as even the smallest of soap in a tank can be deadly.
There is nothing you can really do that will be safe to heat the tank, as heating pads and lamps will need to be turned off at times, which will cause fluctuations in temps that can be dangerous and cause shock. Best to keep her in the warmest part of the house, with possibly a towel wrapped around the "tank" until you can get a proper heater.
Depending upon what size tank you get, it will make a difference in heater wattage.
If you are looking for something cheap- I would recommend going to PetCo (if available to you) for a kritter keeper- a medium is 1.75 gallons and runs roughly $8, a large being 2.75 gallons and roughly $10. It's sturdy and easy to clean, safe to heat with a 15-25 watt heater.. and you could use a desk lamp to light it if you wish.
If you have any more questions, please feel free to ask- if you can't figure out the water conditioner, or how much to feed of a certain food, etc. We will be happy to help! Congrats on your new little one!
Yikes...ignorant girl indeed! Bettas don't need an aerator as they prefer to have still water with little to no flow. A filter isn't required, and even with one, water changes are necessary. Despite common belief, bettas like clean water and larger places to swim. As a tank, you could use a kritter keeper such as these: http://www.petco.com/product/12031/P...t=OnSiteSearch
I'm currently using the large one to house one of my males. Anything one gallon and up would make a great home for your girlie! Also, you will need a heater, some Betta pellets, and some plants and a cave or too. Silk plants are great for bettas because they don't rip their fins. You can find these at a pet store. For a low budget cave, you can use a coffee mug tipped onto it's side. The heater and water conditioner are very important. The heater needs to keep the water around 75-80 degrees, as bettas are tropical fish. The water conditioner will remove any chemicals from your tap water. Chlorine can kill fish very quickly! I have no recommendations on temporary housing without these things, but perhaps one of our more experienced members can help.
It was awesome of you to rescue the poor girl...unfortunately, bettas as gifts seem to be a trend! We'd love to see some pictures sometime. (:
what Myates said is pretty much all you can do right now, until you can get to a store. i think, right now, even a large salad bowl is better than a cup. many use desk lamps, but the bright lights would stress her out after a while. :T
Thank you SOOOO much guys. My dad was actually going to the store and I tagged along. I realized that there was a PetCo Nearby so I darted over there while he went shopping.
I got a 5 gallon tank. Is that rather big for one little betta? I didn't want to get one too small. A 2.5 gallon was roughly the same cost as this 5 gallon one.
I got some rocks and three plastic plants (I tried to get the softest ones.) I also got a heater plus some betta food of course.
The tank came with water conditioner, however it seems it won't be 100% necessary because we use tap well water.
I paid like $70.....my mom is gonna kill me, but it's my money. Do you guys still think it's a rather big tank? The lady at Petco said betta actually prefer smaller confined areas because they assort larger areas as a threat. Yet I have you guys telling me differently...I just don't know V_V.
Sounds like she will have a palace! I would possibly add in a few more plants whenever you get the chance if you wish.
Since you have the water conditioner free, I would still use it. As well water is typically safe- some areas even the well water isn't as pristine as we think. It won't harm any by using it, and it would be on the safe side- and since you got it for free, might as well!
If it came with a filter, great- just do 30-50% water changes each week with regular siphoning of the gravel.. if no filter, then you will want to do 1 50% water change per week, and 1 monthly 100% water change.
I just would like to say that I have one of my boys in a 5 gallon, and he LOVES it! I also have another in a 1 gallon at the moment, but will be upgrading once I feel he's healthy enough to not need frequent water changes.
One word of advice:
I would use the water conditioner for the moment. The next time you go to the pet store, take a cup filled with your basic tap water and take it to be tested, or buy a test kit of your own. This will tell you the levels of what's in your tap water so you'll know if you need water conditioner or not. A lot stores will test your water for free.
She's very lucky to have a new owner who cares enough about her to do her research. You will find a lot of mixed opinions*, because people keep fish in lots of different ways. The important thing is to do your research and pay attention to how your fish is responding to any changes-- they can be surprisingly individual about what they like! You sound like you're doing a great job of that so far.
*Okay, while it's true that you will find mixed opinions, I do have to add that the lady at petco sounds like she doesn't know much about bettas. You'll occasionally run into a betta who likes small tanks, but it's not particularly common. What they do like are places to hide so they don't feel constantly exposed-- like most humans live in houses with rooms instead of open gymnasiums. You've the the 'hiding spots' taken care of for now with some soft plants. Hah, my footnote ended up as long as my post.