On the 8th of January, we bought a new blue betta for my daughter as a birthday present (though I take care of him as she is too young). He seems healthy and happy.
I have him in a 3.5 gallon tank on his own. He has a filter, heater, thermometer, and a fake plant right now. The heater is a simple betta bowl heater which has been keeping his water at a temp of around 76. It hasn't dropped/raised more than about 2 degrees. The heater sits on the bottom and shifted though. He's been using it as a cave the last 2 days.
Since we bought him and he got settled, I have noticed that he will not eat the betta pellets that we bought for him. I have had to fish them out several times because he lets them just sit on the bottom after playing with them slightly. We also bought freeze dried blood worms for him. Those he has been eating. I know that the blood worms are supposed to be more of a treat/supplement. My question for his feeding habits is: Should we try buying flakes for him?
Also, we are going to be switching rooms within the house. During the summer, the room we will have gets rather warm (can get over 95 degrees). Will this hurt him at all?
It might be possible the pellets are too big for your guy to eat. Sometimes when a betta takes one in his mouth and then spits it out several times, it's an indicator that he just can't quite swallow it. You can try to crush the pellet up into smaller pieces or you can try buying a different brand. I recommend New Life Spectrum Betta Formula, Omega One Betta Buffet, or New Life Spectrum Small Fish Formula .5mm pellets. If it turns out he doesn't like pellets at all, you can try him on a good brand of flake. Again, Omega One and New Life Spectrum both are good brands. Ocean Nutrition is also a good brand. I'm not sure if New Life Spectrum and Ocean Nutrition have flakes made specifically for bettas, though.
If you aren't too squeamish, you can supplement your guy with frozen bloodworms instead of freeze-dried. In the event that your guy won't eat any kind of prepared foods, you may need to feed him exclusively on frozen foods.
Switching rooms shouldn't bother him too much as long as the temp in his new room doesn't get too low. I would suggest looking into getting an adjustable 25w heater for his tank because they're much more reliable at heating and, in the hopefully unlikely event that your guy gets sick, being able to turn up the heat is very helpful.
Hannibal gobbles up his freeze-dried blood worms like a glutton. I am very careful with his feeding so as to not overfeed him, though I did give him a little extra up until this point. He was very thin looking when we bought him and a little sluggish in his cup (though I think this was due to water temp and dirty water).
A new heater is next on our list of things to buy for him along with hew food. We'll try smaller pellets with him and see if that is what he's being fussy over. He doesn't bother breaking up the blood worms, so I hadn't been sure. He doesn't let those soften before eating them.
This is Hannibal (though not in all his glory since he wont let me take good pics of him):
I wasn't sure if the water getting that warm would have any ill effects on him or not.
I've also been told that he could potentially become bored. We had thought about getting him a tank mate of some kind, but I'm not sure he'd be agreeable with that. Would adding more things to his tank keep him entertained so he doesn't bite at his own fins?
There's something about the round shape of a pellet that can make a big one hard for bettas to eat. They can suck up a worm the same diameter but they can't quite manage a pellet. *shrugs* Hannibal is a handsome fellow. :)
Bettas can survive pretty high temps and there are cases when temps in the mid 80's is beneficial but 95 is too high even for them.
You can try putting several more plants and little caves in his tank and see how he does with that. I think most people on here agree that 3.5g is probably too small for tankmates except for maybe ghost shrimp. And there's always a possibility that a betta will see ghost shrimp as dinner, not as tankmates. o.O
He was healthiest looking male at the Petsmart. He was thin and slightly sluggish, but otherwise healthy. The one in the cup next to him seemed practically dead. There were a couple I wanted to try saving, but as it was for the little one's birthday, I didn't want to get one and have it pass too soon.
He's been seeming to entertain himself by flaring at the sides of his tank and trying to nip at his reflection. He looks funny when he does this because we bought him with a rather large amount of his dorsal missing. I don't know why it is missing or how long he has been like this. Any tips on helping him regrow it would be much appreciated.
As for a ghost shrimp... I really don't think Hannibal would approve. XD
We'll have to get him an actual cave and some more decorations. He likes the plant we have in there right now (green plastic Hairgrass). He'll sometimes swim down the middle of it to rest/hide. I've noticed that Hannibal also takes advantage of how close the hairgrass is to the side by using it to prop himself up against the tank to rest. He does the same with his filter though he seems to prefer resting on the bottom under the heater.
You could try getting a little mirror and flaring him a couple times a week.
Has his dorsal shown any regrowth at all? Pretty much the best ways for regrowing fins are clean, warm water and lots of protein. Also API Stress Coat. Their fins grow back crazy fast though so he should have it all grown in soon. :) He sounds cute cuddling down in his hairgrass.
He has some regrowth. He had a lot missing, though. We conditioned his water when preparing it for him. His dorsal is looking better, but wasn't sure if there was more I should be doing for him. Want to make sure he stays nice and healthy.
Right now he's flaring and nipping at my boyfriend who got near the aquarium. XD Hannibal seems a bit picky on who he likes and who he doesn't. He's been fine with my daughter and myself. Follows me around the aquarium as I move about the room and greets her when she's near. He does not like when the great dane, Dior, comes near the aquarium. So I've been keeping him out of the room. The female, Missy, inspected the aquarium once and gave up on him (she has cataracts and doesn't see well so always inspects new things). So she still gets to come in and lay with me.
I've noticed that Hannibal also doesn't flare properly. His.. gills?.. don't flare out. Ever. Not that I've seen. His other fins all flare up and out though. Also not sure if I'm not noticing since his head is completely black as is his beard.
Do his gill flaps flare out so his face looks bigger? Or does he just puff up his fins and that's it? It's not unusual to get a guy who doesn't flare all the way for a while. He may not feel completely threatened so he's only flaring enough to say, "Hey, watch it bud!"
He sounds like he's very curious and alert, all great signs that's he pretty healthy aside from his fins. :)
No, he just puffs up some. I've never seen him flare out his gill flaps. We'll have to get him a mirror and see what happens then.
He's always pretty active, so I take that as a good sign. ^_^ He has a ton of energy and is usually swimming about with little rests here and there.
Hannibal has taken to exorcising by getting infront of his filter and trying to swim towards it. XD