Betta Fish Care  
Go Back   Betta Fish and Betta Fish Care > Betta Fish Care
Check out the eBook Betta Fish Care Made Easy
betta fish
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 02-21-2012, 08:26 PM   #1 
jCo72
Member
 
jCo72's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Arizona
First Time Betta Owner Questions

Hi everyone!

First of all, I'd like to say thank you to this forum as it really was my "go-to" for all things betta . My boyfriend's mom received a betta for her birthday and I decided I would like one as well so I began researching exactly what I would need. I had no idea they couldn't survive in a small bowl as thats what a lot of people keep them in. I'm happy to say that my betta is spoiled compared to those other fish

So some background on what I currently have...

I decided to go with a 5 gallon Marineland aquarium, a heater, and some tank accessories. I also got an Indian almond leaf to put in the tank.

As far as conditions go -
Temperature: 78-79 F
Water changes: 1 - 50% water change/week (I only use dechlorinator in the water)
Feeding: 4 pellets of Hikari Tropical Betta Bio-Gold 2/day (they are "baby pellets")
Lighting: I keep the light on for 9 hours/day (mostly for the real plants that I have in the tank)

Water params
Nitrate: <20 ppm
Nitrite: <0.5 ppm
hardness: fluctuates between 120-250 ppm
pH: ~7.6

Now... for the good part! I have 3 questions for you all.

I've had my betta, Petey, for 3 weeks now. He seems to be swimming around a lot and he loves all the things in his tank. However, he hasn't made a bubble nest. How common is it for bettas to make a bubble nest? I'm not sure if its because he still looks kind of young (hes grown a little since I've had him) or if I'm doing something wrong.

That leads me to question 2 and 3. I linked the tank I have because it has the filter details on their site. The filter creates a current (a small one, but its a current nonetheless) and I wasn't sure if this was okay. I know they live in areas where there is generally no current but I wasn't sure how much of one I could get away with. Would this have anything to do with no bubble nest? If there should be no current, how would I go about decreasing it? Currently, the water in the tank is below the water returning from the filter so it looks like a waterfall. I had tried increasing the water level so it was above the water return level, but that seemed to create a much stronger current. I'm sure I can come up with my own little "step down" system so the water gradually moves into the tank as opposed to it looking more like a waterfall.

Lastly, (thanks for hanging in there!) I'm not exactly sure if I'm feeding him enough or too much. The package says to feed 2-4 pellets 2-3 times a day. I currently feed him 8 pellets a day, which is inside their range of 4-12 pellets a day. He eats all the pellets within seconds of them hitting the water and he seems to look up, scouting for more. I'm not sure if my fish is just being a fatty () or if he really isn't getting enough to eat. I don't want to overfeed him as I've heard thats easy to do.

Any and all help is greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance!!!
jCo72 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2012, 08:40 PM   #2 
iElBeau
Member
 
iElBeau's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Ontario, Canada
Wow, good job with the info! You're doing a pretty good job, but I have some answers for you..

One, I noticed you are definitely feeding too much. Use the size of their eyeball as a judge.. I feed mine pellets the same size as the hikari ones you use, and he gets 4 a day... two in the morning, two at night. Good job splitting them up though! Betta's will eat as much as they can, even if they're over full, but this over time can lead to constipation or swim bladder disorder. So try gradually cutting it down. You should probably stick to no more than 6 pellets a day, if he looks really hungry, or as he gets older... Mine's pretty young and I've noticed him growing too, but the meal size doesn't have to increase, as his nutrient requirement change is too minimal to be significant with his growth at this point. (Now if he was a fry, that would be another story, but since you bought him at a store I'm assuming, he's been raised to an "adult" age, even though he's not fully grown).

The filter problem on the other hand is very easy to fix. There's a sticky on this forum section called "How to baffle a filter" or something along those lines... baffling provides something for the water to travel either on or in, like you suggested a step down type thing. You can also baffle with a sponge, though I personally wouldn't recommend this as it can be unsanitary, due to sponges being massive bacterial breeding grounds (the filter already has enough, and the sponge may not breed appropriate beneficial bacteria for the tank).

One more thing, is your water changes... you should probably change it a little more often, maybe two 50% changes a week? But it sounds like you're doing a pretty good job... I don't have a filter so I don't know for sure, but on a small tank like that, a filter can't do all the work, and water changes are still necessary, as your tank won't cycle.

Lastly, his bubble nest. It's probably a combination of new home, young fish, and filter current. Some fish never do make bubble nests though, so don't worry too much about it. Mine still hasn't made one, and he's pretty happy, so I think part of it may just be an age thing as well.

Hope that helps! :) You're doing a great job :)
iElBeau is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2012, 08:47 PM   #3 
Myates
Member
 
Myates's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Welcome to the forums and congrats on getting bitten by the betta bug!

Sounds like you are doing a great job in his care :)

I've had my betta, Petey, for 3 weeks now. He seems to be swimming around a lot and he loves all the things in his tank. However, he hasn't made a bubble nest. How common is it for bettas to make a bubble nest? I'm not sure if its because he still looks kind of young (hes grown a little since I've had him) or if I'm doing something wrong.
Bubble nests aren't always a sign of happiness.. we just like to think that because it makes us go "aww". Bubble nests are created for mainly breeding purposes, as well as a sign of territory and even when a weather system is coming through your area. Some will make nests up the wazoo, but most actually don't. If you have oak trees in your area, you can drop in a leaf or two of naturally fallen and dried into the tank (rinse it off first) and see if that will help him build a nest. Or use a whole Indian Almond Leaf if you have more.
Mine generally will only make nests when there is a leaf (real or fake) floating on top. Even a tall fake plant that have the leaves at the surface would suffice for them. It helps keep the bubbles in place.
Also, water hardness can play into it, as (can't remember specific details) if it's too soft or hard the bubbles won't stay.. they use spit to create them, but the surface may not hold them properly.


That leads me to question 2 and 3. I linked the tank I have because it has the filter details on their site. The filter creates a current (a small one, but its a current nonetheless) and I wasn't sure if this was okay. I know they live in areas where there is generally no current but I wasn't sure how much of one I could get away with. Would this have anything to do with no bubble nest? If there should be no current, how would I go about decreasing it? Currently, the water in the tank is below the water returning from the filter so it looks like a waterfall. I had tried increasing the water level so it was above the water return level, but that seemed to create a much stronger current. I'm sure I can come up with my own little "step down" system so the water gradually moves into the tank as opposed to it looking more like a waterfall.
A slight current won't stress him, especially in a larger tank such as the 5 gallon. If the whole surface seems to be moving/rippling then that could cause him not to build a bubble nest, but as long as it isn't too strong and he can breathe fine then it's not necessary to baffle it.
If you wish to baffle though for your own sake (which is understandable) people tend to put an aquarium sponge in the outflow section, held on by new/clean rubber band, to help slow down the flow. Others have had success with the ends of a panty hose in the intake sections as well.


Lastly, (thanks for hanging in there!) I'm not exactly sure if I'm feeding him enough or too much. The package says to feed 2-4 pellets 2-3 times a day. I currently feed him 8 pellets a day, which is inside their range of 4-12 pellets a day. He eats all the pellets within seconds of them hitting the water and he seems to look up, scouting for more. I'm not sure if my fish is just being a fatty () or if he really isn't getting enough to eat. I don't want to overfeed him as I've heard thats easy to do.
If the pellets say mini/micro or baby, then 8 is enough.. can go up to 10 a day, between 2+ meals. Healthy, happy bettas are piggies and will want to eat 24/7, so don't let him get away with begging and puppy dog eyes. He's not starving, just basically the puppy of the fish world- food oriented (why you can train them to go through hoops in the water, get on your hand, eat out of your fingers.. all from food).
For common size pellets that don't say "baby, mini, micro" then 2-3 per meal twice a day is good.


Sounds like you have a good set up for him, he's a lucky fish :) Looking forward to pictures!

iE you beat me this time :P

Quote:
Originally Posted by iElBeau View Post
The filter problem on the other hand is very easy to fix. There's a sticky on this forum section called "How to baffle a filter" or something along those lines... baffling provides something for the water to travel either on or in, like you suggested a step down type thing. You can also baffle with a sponge, though I personally wouldn't recommend this as it can be unsanitary, due to sponges being massive bacterial breeding grounds (the filter already has enough, and the sponge may not breed appropriate beneficial bacteria for the tank).

One more thing, is your water changes... you should probably change it a little more often, maybe two 50% changes a week? But it sounds like you're doing a pretty good job... I don't have a filter so I don't know for sure, but on a small tank like that, a filter can't do all the work, and water changes are still necessary, as your tank won't cycle.
Edit: (in response to iE)
One thing to add is that using a sponge as a baffle is actually highly recommended and most used.. as long as it's cleaned out the same as the sponge in the filter, it won't harbor anything that isn't being harbored in the filter itself- so with appropriate water changes, it's holding the beneficial bacteria over any bad bacteria.
5 gallons is only needing 1 50% per week water change, in fact since she has live plants, it's recommended to do less per week.. I would say 25-30% per week water change, siphoning only once or twice a month as the plants will use food/waste as fertilizer.

Last edited by Myates; 02-21-2012 at 08:52 PM.
Myates is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-22-2012, 02:36 PM   #4 
jCo72
Member
 
jCo72's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Arizona
Quote:
Originally Posted by iElBeau View Post
Wow, good job with the info! You're doing a pretty good job, but I have some answers for you..
Quote:
Originally Posted by Myates View Post
Welcome to the forums and congrats on getting bitten by the betta bug!

Sounds like you are doing a great job in his care :)
Thank you both! I really appreciate your help! And such quick responses - thank you, thank you, thank you!!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Myates View Post
He's not starving, just basically the puppy of the fish world- food oriented (why you can train them to go through hoops in the water, get on your hand, eat out of your fingers.. all from food).
For common size pellets that don't say "baby, mini, micro" then 2-3 per meal twice a day is good.
He definitely does have puppy dog eyes! I never would have guessed fish could pull this off but it worked on me! I'm glad you mentioned those training ideas, I've definitely played up on training my dogs with food so it'll be interesting what I can get Petey to do for food as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by iElBeau View Post
The filter problem on the other hand is very easy to fix. There's a sticky on this forum section called "How to baffle a filter" or something along those lines... baffling provides something for the water to travel either on or in, like you suggested a step down type thing.
Somehow I completely missed this sticky! I'll have to search for it. He doesn't seem to mind it too much and he'll go swim around the area. He gets caught in the current every once in a while but I think he knows how to avoid it pretty well.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Myates View Post
A slight current won't stress him, especially in a larger tank such as the 5 gallon. If the whole surface seems to be moving/rippling then that could cause him not to build a bubble nest, but as long as it isn't too strong and he can breathe fine then it's not necessary to baffle it.
If you wish to baffle though for your own sake (which is understandable) people tend to put an aquarium sponge in the outflow section, held on by new/clean rubber band, to help slow down the flow. Others have had success with the ends of a panty hose in the intake sections as well.

One thing to add is that using a sponge as a baffle is actually highly recommended and most used.. as long as it's cleaned out the same as the sponge in the filter, it won't harbor anything that isn't being harbored in the filter itself- so with appropriate water changes, it's holding the beneficial bacteria over any bad bacteria.
The whole surface is moving slightly but not enough to hinder his breathing. I'll look into getting an aquarium sponge as a baffle. I can see this being useful for holding good bacteria, especially when I replace the filter. You said to replace both at the same time, but would it be better to change/clean the filter and the sponge at different times so theres always one thing that holds bacteria? Or should I change them both at the same time and let the tank replenish the bacteria itself?

Quote:
Originally Posted by iElBeau View Post
Lastly, his bubble nest. It's probably a combination of new home, young fish, and filter current. Some fish never do make bubble nests though, so don't worry too much about it. Mine still hasn't made one, and he's pretty happy, so I think part of it may just be an age thing as well.

Hope that helps! :) You're doing a great job :)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Myates View Post
Bubble nests aren't always a sign of happiness.. we just like to think that because it makes us go "aww". Bubble nests are created for mainly breeding purposes, as well as a sign of territory and even when a weather system is coming through your area. Some will make nests up the wazoo, but most actually don't. Also, water hardness can play into it, as (can't remember specific details) if it's too soft or hard the bubbles won't stay.. they use spit to create them, but the surface may not hold them properly.
Thanks! What do bubble nests look like? Are they always small bubbles? I ask because there is one part of the tank that gets bubbles but I think its just from the air in the tank building up at that spot. This is a relief! I had read that not all bettas make bubble nests but I thought the majority did. The water is definitely hard in my area (which, I hear, is good for brewing beer - only if it also worked for fish!) so that could be contributing to it too. I'm just glad it doesn't define his "happiness" level!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Myates View Post
Sounds like you have a good set up for him, he's a lucky fish :) Looking forward to pictures!

5 gallons is only needing 1 50% per week water change, in fact since she has live plants, it's recommended to do less per week.. I would say 25-30% per week water change, siphoning only once or twice a month as the plants will use food/waste as fertilizer.
Thanks! I'll try taking some more pictures of his set up soon. I have 1 picture but I moved/removed things from his tank since then.

Thanks for the info about the water changes. I assumed the live plants would be okay with the 50% water changes but I never really got solid information about it. Even though I'm new to the betta world (and fish world in general), I decided to give the live plants a try since I have worked with hydroponics (legal plants ) and I figured I had a better understanding of plants in water than the average person.
jCo72 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-22-2012, 02:45 PM   #5 
CarmanDirda
Member
 
CarmanDirda's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: United States
Bubble nests are usually at least a cluster of sticky bubbles at least the size of a quarter. They'll blow them to show off, because they're claiming their home, or just because they can. They also can blow bubbles randomly around the tank, which may stick in small clusters because they're happy or bored.
CarmanDirda is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-2012, 02:12 AM   #6 
Enkil
Member
 
Enkil's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Portland, OR
As you've already received so much advice, there isn't really much to add. lol

With the filter, baffling it is a good idea with most betta it seems. My Hannibal uses his as entertainment and gets stressed if anything about his filter changes.

They do rather well at begging and trying to convince you that they need more to eat. Be careful of it.
Enkil is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-2012, 07:44 AM   #7 
Myates
Member
 
Myates's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
The whole surface is moving slightly but not enough to hinder his breathing. I'll look into getting an aquarium sponge as a baffle. I can see this being useful for holding good bacteria, especially when I replace the filter. You said to replace both at the same time, but would it be better to change/clean the filter and the sponge at different times so theres always one thing that holds bacteria? Or should I change them both at the same time and let the tank replenish the bacteria itself?

I'm sorry I wasn't clear when I said clean- sponges in tanks shouldn't be thrown away monthly, such as you do with carbon, but rather a couple times a month you will take out the sponge in the filter and swish it clean in tank water that you have removed from the tank during cleaning.. that way the bacteria continues to grow on the sponge, but the sponge is clean of any debris. You only want to throw away the filter sponge when it gets too old and starting to fall apart. It's the carbon (if you have it in your filter) that you want to replace monthly.
So when you take out the filter's sponge and swish it in tank water you removed during a cleaning, you can do the same with the sponge that is baffling the filter to clean it as well without losing the bacteria.


Bubble nests are small bubbles you will find either in a corner or under a leaf.. sometimes big, sometimes small..
Attached Images
 
Myates is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-2012, 12:09 PM   #8 
pasoindy
New Member
 
pasoindy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Maryland
I had to turn up the flow on my filter yesterday after I had put some plants in and stirred up some of the substrate. My Betta was actively seeking out the stronger current and playing in it. He'd get in it and get blown across the tank. He did this over and over until I turned the flow down. There were plenty of spaces in the tank where the water wasn't moving so he could have stayed out of it. He seemed to be having a great time and would do his little wiggle dance after he finished each "run". When I finally turned the flow back down, he came to front of the tank and just stared at me. I guess I ruined his fun.

So I wouldn't be worried about a little current. ^_^
pasoindy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-2012, 11:53 PM   #9 
jCo72
Member
 
jCo72's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Arizona
@Myates - thank you, that makes a lot of sense. I think that's what I'll end up doing. I made a makeshift one out of a cut up water bottle like I saw on the baffling thread and it works pretty well. I'll be upgrading to the sponge soon though

@pasoindy - haha! thats pretty funny. I don't think my betta enjoyed the current quite as much as yours does
jCo72 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-2012, 11:58 PM   #10 
CarmanDirda
Member
 
CarmanDirda's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: United States
Quote:
Originally Posted by pasoindy View Post
I had to turn up the flow on my filter yesterday after I had put some plants in and stirred up some of the substrate. My Betta was actively seeking out the stronger current and playing in it. He'd get in it and get blown across the tank. He did this over and over until I turned the flow down. There were plenty of spaces in the tank where the water wasn't moving so he could have stayed out of it. He seemed to be having a great time and would do his little wiggle dance after he finished each "run". When I finally turned the flow back down, he came to front of the tank and just stared at me. I guess I ruined his fun.

So I wouldn't be worried about a little current. ^_^

A small current is nice and healthy, and as they've said, can be fun. ;)
CarmanDirda is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
First-time fish owner with detailed questions. :) Faifara Betta Fish Bowls, Habitats, and Accessories 4 11-02-2011 01:42 PM
Another first time owner with questions ChibiSpeck Betta Fish Care 3 02-16-2011 08:45 AM
First Time Fish Owner has questions! KukaaKatchou Betta Fish Care 10 09-20-2010 12:22 PM
Help! First time Betta Owner! Veronica91 Betta Fish Diseases and Emergencies 4 02-08-2010 06:34 AM
First time Betta owner Dreamweaver Betta Fish Care 3 06-29-2008 05:04 PM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:31 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.