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Old 02-02-2012, 11:55 PM   #1 
freemike
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I think I bit off more than I can chew...

So tonight I took my son to wal-mart and decided to show him the fish. He asked for one and I said well they require a lot of up keep. Well the idiot associate that was caring for the fish steps in and goes oh if he wants a fish you should buy a Betta. They don't require anything but distilled water, a small tank and fed twice a week. So now I have these two Betta's living in a 1/2 gallon tank with a divider in distilled water. I was thinking well I better do some research since I got them and verify what the guy told me. I know I shouldn't have listened to the guy that works at the place that think it's okay to keep a fish in an 8 oz. bowl of god only knows what. I truly feel like an idiot now. The good news is they are active and do appear healthy, fins are whole, eating, and active. I'm really wanting to make this right so any suggestions for keeping two male bettas would be appreciated. I'm trying to find a divided heated/filtered tank for the guys but not sure what size to get. Also links would be appreciated. :)

Last edited by freemike; 02-02-2012 at 11:57 PM.
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Old 02-03-2012, 12:06 AM   #2 
neonlights
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you could get a 5.5 gallon tank and put a divider between them so they are separated and have a lot of room to swim. my little guy lives in a 3.5 gallon tank and hes happy as can be.
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Old 02-03-2012, 12:09 AM   #3 
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Hello freemike!
Glad you came to us, theres plenty of people here who can help out! First of all, that employee should be fired then beaten senseless lol. Distilled water isn't actually good for bettas, aged and/or treated water is best for fish. As for tank size, it should be at least 2.5 gallons each to fit heaters into and keep the water fairly regulated. Really hard to keep a good temperature going in tanks that are smaller. Temperature should be between 76-80 degrees. I hope I answered everything, if i didn't I'm sure someone else will answer as well. Hope this helps!
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Old 02-03-2012, 12:13 AM   #4 
freemike
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Here's a pic of them.

Last edited by freemike; 02-03-2012 at 12:17 AM.
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Old 02-03-2012, 12:15 AM   #5 
Myrtaceae
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Aww, pretty boys! You came to the right place :)

I think a divided 5 gallon or divided 10 gallon would be perfect for you. Both would be fine for the bettas, but you'll probably have an easier time finding a 10 gallon. I have my current boy in a 5.5, and I had a heck of a time finding a replacement hood for it, so I'm inclined to steer you in the direction of a 10 gallon if only because they are so common it's easier to find parts. Larger tanks are also easier to keep clean, but, if you are worried about space, a divided 5 gal would be just fine for them.

5 gallons and 10 gallon kits cost about the same. You should be able to get a 10 gallon tank, with light and filter for around $30-$35 at Petsmart or Petco.

You will also need a heater-- bettas are tropical fish and one of the most commonly overlooked aspects of their care is heat. You will see a huge difference in the healthiness and activity levels of the fish if you can keep their tank temp at about 78F-80F vs room temp. Expect a 50watt heater to run you another $20 to $30. I know that's almost as much as the tank, but it really is important.

I do most of my shopping at Petco/Petsmart. You can often get better deals online, but I'm too impatient for shipping most of the time.

There are a couple of ways to divide a tank. I've only done it once, so you might wait for input from others-- you can buy dividers or make your own. With a divided tank, make sure you have a few plants (real or fake) near the dividers so the boys don't constantly see each other. Male bettas will feel stressed if they are in constant view of another male betta. It's also a good idea to make sure they have a hidey hole/shady spot. A clean ceramic coffee mug works just fine for this, by the way.

The good news is that once you get everything set up they really aren't difficult to maintain. I have 6 fish tanks going at the moment (*gulp*) and I spend about 2hrs a week doing maintenance. One divided fish tank won't be that much trouble once you get it set-up.
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Old 02-03-2012, 12:29 AM   #6 
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Let me start by thanking you for getting them out of there. Walmart is terrible to their bettas. You did a great thing!!! Unfortunately, you're right, the store employees know nothing about animal care (or at least if they know anything, you got lucky). There's quite a few of us on this site who have rescued or attempted to rescue bettas from there.

I'm not the most knowledgeable person on here, but there are a few things I've learned. First thing's first. Although you've done what you could, you probably ought to invest in a larger tank(s) for these guys. The 1/2 gallon divided tank is bad, real bad. Unfortunately, companies who make them don't actually care about the welfare of a fish, let alone two. Yet it is advertised in such a way to make it look appealing to new betta owners. I'd suggest getting a simple 5 gallon tank (preferably longer than it is tall, as bettas like to swim laterally), and then make your own divider to separate your boys. You can find pretty simple (and cheap!) instructions here: http://www.ultimatebettas.com/index....ded&pid=105575 ...by dividing the tanks in this way, each of your bettas can have 2.5 gallons worth of space, and be side by side.

Depending on what you're looking to spend and what you come across, it may be cheaper to make your own dividers, although there are some tanks that are nice and come pre-divided.

I'm glad you've made the decision to come to this forum. You're going to meet a lot of helpful people here. Hope that helps and good luck with your new betta fish!
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Old 02-03-2012, 12:39 AM   #7 
freemike
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Yeah I'm looking at a 10 gallon setup. Also, any clue what kind of Betta fish these are?
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Old 02-03-2012, 12:43 AM   #8 
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One is a Red Veiltail (my fav!), the other is a Blue Veiltail (and a bright one at that!). Welcome to the forum!
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Old 02-03-2012, 02:19 AM   #9 
Hanky
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I know everyone thinks they are doing a great deed buy getting the Bettas out of walmarts terrible hands, But walmart figures as long as people are buying our fish we will keep selling them. Instead complain heavily to the manager and everyone above him. call the corporate office. only when we stop every walmart from selling fish can we claim victory.
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Old 02-03-2012, 03:07 AM   #10 
freemike
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I wasn't really trying to do a good deed lol. I listened to the guy saying that they was uber easy to take care of, which isn't totally the case but still not to hard. Though the boys do add a nice touch to the room, just wish I had better equipment for them. I want have the funds to get the tank they need until next week I hope they'll be alright.
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