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Old 03-31-2012, 05:14 AM   #1 
amynuss
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Question New Betta

Hi all!

So for the last few weeks I'd been mentioning to my partner that I wanted to get a Siamese fighting fish from the local fish store. We finally made it to the store 2 weekends ago, picked out a cutie-pie, and chose one of the "betta starter kits", which included a bowl, aquarium salt, water purifier and food pellets.

After getting Tully (Song of Ice and Fire reference... Yes, I'm a geek) home, I filled up the 4-litre (1 gallon) bowl with water from the tap, popped a half teaspoon of salt and one cap of water purifier in, as recommended by the leaflet I'd been given. I then fed him 4 pellets (again, recommended by the leaflet) a day.

I immediately fell in love with my new little buddy (my partner not so much, "you don't need to name anything that's not a mammal".... But he's come around since then!)



So, once I had my buddy home, I started looking online for some information a out how best to look after Tully (probably should have done more research before hand!) and found this website. Now, I feel completely inadequate with my minuscule tank, no filter and no heater (though do we need one in subtropical Queensland?).

After reading a little bit through this forum, I went out and bought a cave for Tully to hide in.

I'm still trying to look into what the best tank, filter, heater, and plants will be for Tully, but I'm hoping to get him a 20litre (5 gallon) tank, with heater, etc. as soon as possible. I want to make sure he's as comfortable as possible. He doesn't look uncomfortable at the moment; his colour has significantly improved since we got him, he's always keen to eat, he moves lots and always reacts when I trace patterns on the glass. But after reading through here, 4litres doesn't seem like nearly enough!

Any further suggestions would really be appreciated.

One question I did have:
Last night I moved house (house-sitting at my parents' place for 5 weeks). I moved Tully with me, popping him back in the jar he came in and re-filled his tank once we got here. I realised once we got here that I forgot his pellets at my other house! So today, we bought some more pellets from the pet store nearby. I popped one pellet in his water and watched as he took it into his mouth, held it for about a second, then let it go again. He did this about 3 times before I took the pellet out of the water for fear he'd choke on it. The pellets were significantly larger than the other ones I'd been given initially from the other store. I actually cut up a couple of the pellets before putting them in his water and he then managed to eat them just fine. I was just wondering, should Tully able to eat these pellets just as easily, or are the pellets (specifically sold for bettas) actually too big?? It seems silly that they'd sell pellets too big for my lil fella to eat!

Thanks so much for your help guys!
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Old 03-31-2012, 05:32 AM   #2 
Micho
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Hey welcome to the forums! It's seems you've been bitten by the Betta bug too.

First off, I see you put AQ salt in your tank, AQ salt shouldn't be put in unless you're treating for some diseases or warding off infections when your Betta is prone to them. Bettas are freshwater fish, so no AQ salt needed!

Don't feel bad about falling for the pet store Betta scheme! I came back home with a 0.8g tank, facepalmed myself when I went online and did some research, next day I picked up a 2g for my Betta.

For a 5g I would recommend cycling, if you don't know what cycling is its basically building up beneficial bacteria on surfaces of your tank (filter, substrate, decorations, etc) that'll help with ammonia levels. Here's a guide on it: http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=47838

Filter and heater sounds good. Be sure the tank has a lid too! Bettas can jump pretty far, also if you want live plants a hood with lights is a must. Live plants is a whole new other area, we'll discuss the details later. Substrate is needed if you want plants, it also looks better, I dislike bare-bottom tanks but that's my opinion! Sand or gravel, either one is fine. Decorations is up to you, mugs can be used as caves, just make sure decorations are safe. Non-toxic, won't snag or rip his fins, etc.

Bettas mouths are pretty small, and so are their stomachs. So try not to overfeed (it causes bloating), some members fast their Bettas once a week to prevent bloating. If your Betta is having trouble with the new pellets what you're doing right now is the right thing to do, making it smaller pieces helps him eat better!

If you have any other questions, feel free to ask.
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Old 03-31-2012, 06:52 AM   #3 
Olympia
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I think you should double the feeding. 4 pellets in the morning and 4 in the evening.
Your little guy would be find in the one gallon until you cycled it. You can put him in and do a fish-in cycle, which requires heavy water changes and monitoring, or in a fishless cycle, which is easier IMO since toxins can build up with no threat to the fish.
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Old 03-31-2012, 07:36 AM   #4 
xSTOTTSx
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I presoak my bettas pellets to make them easier to eat! I just use his tank cleaning jar( the jar he came in ), which is filled with treated water. I also taught Kaida to jump for food! xD Very entertaining!
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Old 03-31-2012, 10:31 AM   #5 
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:) Don't beat yourself up over the store gimmick. I fell for it to. Betta must be happy to be in a 1 g than to be in a cup. That's how I see it. He'll be content on clean water and regular food until you upgrade :)

I also trained my bettas to jump out of water for frozen bloodworms!! Bettas are neat. More than "just fish" :)

Once you upgrade the tank there are 2 wonerful low maintenace plants which don't require any special lighting or fertilizers; they are marimo moss (balls) and java fern. Not all plants need to be planted in the gravel/sand either. My java fern is contstantly reproducing little baby ferns and it just free sits in the water.
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Old 03-31-2012, 07:41 PM   #6 
amynuss
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Thanks guys

It's amazing how the information you get is completely different from source to source! The guy at the fish store told me one thing, which was different to what the leaflet he gave me said, which was different to what the fish food packet said, which was different to what the other food packet said! And all of it is completely different to what I've learned in this forum!

I've definitely been bitten by the bug now. I had to hold myself back from buying a beautiful yellow half-moon the other day when we were at the fish store picking up the cave. For now I want to focus on Tully and get him set up and as happy as possible.

I'm going to do some more research, but I plan on buying a bigger tank for Tully once we finish house sitting (in 5 weeks time). Tully should be fine in his bowl until then, yeah?

I've got grand plans of having a wall-long aquarium one day in the distant future and some bettas in their own tanks or with other compatible fish... They're so much fun!
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Old 03-31-2012, 07:50 PM   #7 
underdebate
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This is sort of off-topic, but I totally approve of your little guy's name. :)

(My Isaac is named after a videogame character. NO SHAME.)

I think pretty much everyone here can relate to the whole trusting-the-petstore thing, but I have to give a +1 to what Laki said-- in all honesty, you've given him a better life just by having taken him home in the first place, and he's very lucky to have an owner who's dedicated enough to do some research for his health and happiness. :)

Besides that: I had the same problem with pellets at the beginning, and was also totally afraid he'd choke on them. For awhile I started crushing his pellets with the back of a spoon and feeding them to him bit by bit-- now he eats them whole perfectly fine. Sometimes it's just an adjustment thing!
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Old 03-31-2012, 08:30 PM   #8 
Bombalurina
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It's good to see more and more people from Australia joining the forums! I was up in Queensland in February, around Port Douglas, and my goodness, it was beautiful. What part of QLD are you in? :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by amynuss View Post
Hi all!

So for the last few weeks I'd been mentioning to my partner that I wanted to get a Siamese fighting fish from the local fish store. We finally made it to the store 2 weekends ago, picked out a cutie-pie, and chose one of the "betta starter kits", which included a bowl, aquarium salt, water purifier and food pellets.

After getting Tully (Song of Ice and Fire reference... Yes, I'm a geek) home, I filled up the 4-litre (1 gallon) bowl with water from the tap, popped a half teaspoon of salt and one cap of water purifier in, as recommended by the leaflet I'd been given. I then fed him 4 pellets (again, recommended by the leaflet) a day.
May I ask what brands you are using? Mostly, it is better to feed a fish two smaller meals rather than one big one. :)
As others have said, it isn't a good idea to use salt when the fish isn't sick.
When you run out of your current water conditioner, I strongly recommend Prime, by Seachem. It is excellent and lasts forever. If you have a Petbarn nearabouts, they carry Seachem products. :)

I immediately fell in love with my new little buddy (my partner not so much, "you don't need to name anything that's not a mammal".... But he's come around since then!)
I can't see the picture. :( I'm glad your partner has come round! :p



So, once I had my buddy home, I started looking online for some information a out how best to look after Tully (probably should have done more research before hand!) and found this website. Now, I feel completely inadequate with my minuscule tank, no filter and no heater (though do we need one in subtropical Queensland?).
You may not need a heater during summer, but I would get one in winter at the very least. Even when you don't need it to keep the water warm, it is a good idea to keep the water temperature stable. A sudden drop in air temperature = a sudden drop in water temperature, and a heater prevents this. :) The Aqua One heaters are good (so are their tanks, but if you want something cheaper, look at Blue Planet). They all come with built-in filters.
Another thing to remember is that water temperature is generally two degrees farenheit or more below air temperature. A betta's water should be 80F-ish, or 27C. I know it is frequently more than that in QLD, but you still want a heater for the days when it is colder.

After reading a little bit through this forum, I went out and bought a cave for Tully to hide in.

I'm still trying to look into what the best tank, filter, heater, and plants will be for Tully, but I'm hoping to get him a 20litre (5 gallon) tank, with heater, etc. as soon as possible. I want to make sure he's as comfortable as possible. He doesn't look uncomfortable at the moment; his colour has significantly improved since we got him, he's always keen to eat, he moves lots and always reacts when I trace patterns on the glass. But after reading through here, 4litres doesn't seem like nearly enough!
Don't beat yourself up about it. :) Many members do keep their bettas in 4 litre tanks. Personally, I prefer a larger tank as I love to watch my bettas swim all over the place. :) It is also much easier to maintain a 20 litre tank, as you can cycle it. With an uncycled tank, you need to do one 50% and one 100% change per week. With a cycled tank, 25% once a week is enough. :)

Any further suggestions would really be appreciated.
If you go for a new tank rather than looking second hand (generally a much cheaper option - tanks are stupidly expensive in Australia), I recommend either the AquaOne 120 or this: http://www.masterpet.com/en-AU/Produ...c-Aquarium20l/ The Blue Planet Classic. The Blue Planet Hexy Midi is also pretty good, but the Classic is a perfect shape for a betta, being quite long. :) I really like it - good filtration system for a betta too, very gentle. :)

One question I did have:
Last night I moved house (house-sitting at my parents' place for 5 weeks). I moved Tully with me, popping him back in the jar he came in and re-filled his tank once we got here. I realised once we got here that I forgot his pellets at my other house! So today, we bought some more pellets from the pet store nearby. I popped one pellet in his water and watched as he took it into his mouth, held it for about a second, then let it go again. He did this about 3 times before I took the pellet out of the water for fear he'd choke on it. The pellets were significantly larger than the other ones I'd been given initially from the other store. I actually cut up a couple of the pellets before putting them in his water and he then managed to eat them just fine. I was just wondering, should Tully able to eat these pellets just as easily, or are the pellets (specifically sold for bettas) actually too big?? It seems silly that they'd sell pellets too big for my lil fella to eat!
Petshops sell many silly things. :) Next time you go betta-food shopping, see if you can get Hikari Betta Bio-gold (usually pretty easy to find) or New Life Spectrum (harder to find, but better). They are both really good. :)

Thanks so much for your help guys!
I hope this gives you some Australia-specific information. :)
You'll soon learn that most petshops sadly know nothing about the animals they sell, and even fish-dedicated shops know remarkably little about bettas. You'll get a bunch of cichlid or saltwater experts who think bettas are stupid beginner fish and consequently never bother to learn about them. :( They're wrong, of course. :p
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Old 03-31-2012, 10:13 PM   #9 
ao
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Ooh australians, not all petshops are clueless. I used to have a local aquarium in Asquith, Sydney and they had bettas in 1 gallon jars. the guy was super friendly and saw my interest. He was like "you know, they keep these guys in tiny containers but thats really not the case. these jars are so much better and you can get them at the $2 store for $3-$4 bucks" :D loved that store
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Old 03-31-2012, 10:57 PM   #10 
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As long as you keep up water quality and he isn't freezing, he will be fine in the 1 gallon till you can upgrade.

alot of people listen to employees in petstores and as a general rule, their info is almost always wrong. I was told if I had a filter, i never had to change the water and the guy also tried to sell me a pleco with the betta for a 2 gallon tank. needless to say he died in 2 months :(
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