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Old 02-28-2012, 01:57 PM   #1 
jodymcdougle
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just got a betta from walmart six days ago...

i purchased a male betta from walmart about six days ago. he lives in a betta tank that is about a foot long, with nothing but blue shiny pebbles for a bed. i thought about getting him something to sort of hide in or call home. he seems to like one side of the tank better than the other one. my last betta from walmart survived about two days. he lived in a glass flower vase because i was told that he could live through anything. i should also probably mention that the tap water here is chlorinated. today, i thought about getting a gallon of non-chlorinated water or a bottle of dasani or something. his water is getting kind of dirty too. i've been feeding him the betta flakes that they sell at walmart. i think i just ended up buying a kit or something... i dunno... just the things that were being sold by the fish i bought. what kind of water should i change with? also, he doesn't seem to like the flakes so much. i was told to feed him once every other day, and then i was told that was not entirely true, and to feed him twice a day but to crush up the flakes. another thing, what is his favorite temperature? it gets kind of cold here at home some times, so i have been wrapping his tank up with a couple of shirts, while letting the air top still have air. any tips, or answers to these questions would be appreciated! thanks in advance, and all the best! -jody

p.s. the new fish's tank was filled with "betta water" (also sold next to the betta at the store), is it okay to fill his tank with a gallon of purified water from the grocery store....? because i think his water cold use more, and the water he has is already getting dirty.
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Old 02-28-2012, 02:06 PM   #2 
Luimeril
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he's a pretty boy. looks a bit stressed, though.

do you know how many gallons the tank is? tanks over one gallon are better for them. gives them more room to swim in, you can add plants and caves, and they can be heated safely.

you should get him some plants, it'll make him happier. silk are better than plastic, since plastic can rip up their fins. at walmart, they sell 3-packs of plants. the price varies on them(they're $6 here, but i've heard less than five elsewhere), but be careful about the ones with the red underside. :I mine leeched dye into the water, and i think that killed The Doctor... soak them for a few days and rinse them well if you get them.

for temps, mid to upper 70F is best. adjustable heaters, while expensive, do a great job of keeping the water temp stable.

any water is fine, just make sure you use a conditioner. AquaSafe by Tetra is one brand. i use Prime, personally. StressCoat+ is another great brand.
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Old 02-28-2012, 05:52 PM   #3 
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Hi Jody, and welcome to the world of bettas. Like many of us, you've been told a bunch of poop by the petshops.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jodymcdougle View Post
i purchased a male betta from walmart about six days ago. he lives in a betta tank that is about a foot long, with nothing but blue shiny pebbles for a bed. i thought about getting him something to sort of hide in or call home.
Do you know how many gallons the tank is? Bettas are intelligent fish, but also shy, so he would definitely appreciate a) something to hide in, and b) something for mental stimulation.
To hide in, you can give him a small terracotta flowerpot, a hamster tube, a PVC tube, a coffee mug or even a shot glass. He would also enjoy a plant, either real or silk (plastic can tear fins) to play with. If you want to consider a live plant that is really difficult to kill, look at java moss (makes a wonderful bed), anubias, java fern or anacharis.

he seems to like one side of the tank better than the other one. my last betta from walmart survived about two days. he lived in a glass flower vase because i was told that he could live through anything.
Another example of petshops telling you anything to make a sale. :(

i should also probably mention that the tap water here is chlorinated. today, i thought about getting a gallon of non-chlorinated water or a bottle of dasani or something.
Definitely get some dechlorinator. Chlorine is poisonous to fish. I highly recommend Prime. Not only does it get rid of chlorine, it also deals with chloramine, heavy metals, ammonia and nitrites, all of which are bad, without getting rid of any important nutrients in the water. It's really concentrated, so a small bottle will last forever.

his water is getting kind of dirty too.
It's past time for a change, in that case. In a tank under 5 gallons with no filter, you want to do 1 50% change and 1 100% change per week. This is because fish excrete ammonia (poisonous) and you need to remove it from the water. The only way to do this is a water change.

i've been feeding him the betta flakes that they sell at walmart.
Pellets are generally betta. Look for Omega One Betta Buffet, New Life Spectrum or Hikari Biogold.

i think i just ended up buying a kit or something... i dunno... just the things that were being sold by the fish i bought.
Don't get a pre-made kit. Usually, they don't sell what you need and are more expensive. I'll put a list of what you need for a betta at the end of this post. :)

what kind of water should i change with?
Plain old tap water with dechlorinator in it is the best thing possible. :)

also, he doesn't seem to like the flakes so much. i was told to feed him once every other day, and then i was told that was not entirely true, and to feed him twice a day but to crush up the flakes.
Ideally, you should be feeding twice a day (crush up the flakes if you want, but as I said, pellets are generally better. Usually, you want 2-3 pellets twice a day), and fasting one day of the week. Freeze-dried, frozen or even live bloodworms make a great treat twice a week.

another thing, what is his favorite temperature?
Although the petshop no doubt told you that bettas are fine in room temperature, they are actually high-end tropical fish and need to be kept above 76F. Their optimum range is 78-82F. You need to grab yourself a small adjustable heater for your tank (4-5 watts per gallon). Other USA dwellers will be able to recommend good brands. A heater is one area where you do want to pay for a good one.

it gets kind of cold here at home some times, so i have been wrapping his tank up with a couple of shirts, while letting the air top still have air.
That's a good temporary way to keep him warm. Also, putting him high up in an enclosed space, like a closet, will help, as heat rises.

any tips, or answers to these questions would be appreciated! thanks in advance, and all the best! -jody

p.s. the new fish's tank was filled with "betta water" (also sold next to the betta at the store), is it okay to fill his tank with a gallon of purified water from the grocery store....? because i think his water cold use more, and the water he has is already getting dirty.
Don't use the purified stuff. Just grab yourself some water conditioner and use tap water. :)
So, as promised, here's my list for what you need to keep a happy betta:
- a tank, 1 gallon or more (bigger is generally easier to care for, plus gives more swimming room)
- a heater, 4-5 watts per gallon, adjustable if possible
- a place to hide (a cave of some sort)
- something to play in (a plant, live or silk)
- water conditioner (Prime by Seachem is my choice)
- a good betta pellet, like the brands I mentioned above
- If your tank is smaller than 5 gallon, you also need his cup to put him in during 100% changes

Optional things:
- substrate (marbles, sand, gravel, whatever)
- a filter (if your tank is more than 5 gallons, I would definitely get one)
- a light (it will help live plants, if you choose to get some)

I hope this helps. :)
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Old 02-28-2012, 06:01 PM   #4 
Olympia
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^+1.
Bottled "Betta Water" is a money grab, it's basically selling you a bottled of dechlorinated water, at a ridiculous price. Especially if you have a 1gal tank that needs to be changed quite often.
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Old 02-28-2012, 08:18 PM   #5 
jodymcdougle
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thanks so much for all of the quick responses! i just don't want this one to die too. i really bought and did what walmart said. he doesn't seem to like the flake food that i have for him now.....

am i feeding him to much? or does my betta maybe have a favorite colored flake that i am not sure about yet...?

i've been feeding him a broken up flake about every morning and night.

this evening, my girlfriend and i bought him some bottled water and poured it in the original bowl that he was bought in. we then put Same Keith Max Moby the 2nd back into his home with clean water and he moved around quite a bit and i thought he seemed more alive and happy. his tank looks 100% cleaner. i didn't know how much i would have to invest for this little guy, but he's sort of becoming a part of our family like most pets do and i would like for him to be happy. do you guys think that he will be okay living in the environment pictured above in my original post for a few more days? it's no fun that he has no plants or a cave to hang out in, because he's sort of becoming comfortable with one side of the blue rocks. i also think that he can sort of make out his own reflection in the aquarium he lives in, but that just be me. if so, will that bother our now friend? this is an excellent website for people who have been had by walmart. but i think that he would rather be here than still in that cup on the shelf.
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Old 02-28-2012, 08:26 PM   #6 
Olympia
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Be careful about bottled water, it can't be distilled water, which has no minerals, the fish needs water with minerals to be healthy.
A good thing to look out for is that dark stripe on his body in the photo. It's common for many betta to get those stripes when they're stressed out. Some female betta have them all the time, but I think in males it always means stress, I've never seen one with a permanent stripe like that.. If it's fading away that means he feels better (the stripes can appear and disappear in a matter of minutes).
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Old 02-28-2012, 08:29 PM   #7 
jodymcdougle
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[quote=Luimeril;996897]he's a pretty boy. looks a bit stressed, though.

he HATES his picture being taken. i wonder if that happened to him a lot at the store or if he just sees another betta when i hold the cellphone camera up.
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Old 02-28-2012, 09:23 PM   #8 
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Definitely want to use tap water over any other water source, along with water conditioner.. it can take a week or longer for them to eat properly. I would suggest trying out pellets, as they are easier to control how much he eats- and remove if not eaten easier.

Bombalurina has given you excellent advice in what is needed for a healthy betta.

Good luck to you and Same Keith Max Moby the 2nd.
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Old 02-28-2012, 10:58 PM   #9 
freemike
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A note on food from my experience. My Betta tolerated the Wal-Mart betta flakes/pellets. They didn't seem to like it very much and would spit it out and basically just eat enough of it to stay alive. They would eat every other day or so.

I went to Petco and got New Life Spectrum Betta Formula and frozen brine shrimp. It makes feeding time so much more relaxed lol. I drop in 3 pellets at a time for feeding and they are gone within seconds. Saturday night they get a healthy serving of the Brine Shrimp and a fast on Sunday. I tried giving them some of the Walmart foods (pellets/flakes) just to add some variety. They took a few nibbles and then swam off like nope not interested; where's the good stuff? Spoiled boys.
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Old 02-28-2012, 11:29 PM   #10 
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He'll be okay for a little while, but you definately need to invest in a heater and dechlorinator. Prime only uses 2 drops per gallon, so it'd last an eternity if you bought it to treat your tap water with. Heaters can be a bit expensive, but you get what you pay for... Adjustable heaters are well worth the investment. They help bettas stay healthy and live for the 5 to 7 years that is a proper life span.

If you can get an empty plastic gallon jug that held water or milk, I'd suggest rinsing it out in hot water and keeping it. You could use it to measure exactly how many gallons your tank is, and then you coulees use it during water changes.

If you have a clean ceramic mug, I highly suggest rinsing it in hot water and putting it in the tank for the time being, bettas need a place to hide when they are stressed.
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