Thank you to this community for this fantastic resource. Were it not for you, our new family member, MrMissy, would at best be very unhappy, if not worse. We've come to learn a bit about him, his personality and his likes and dislikes but have lots more questions for you all.
He arrived in our house as a birthday present for our daughter Sasha (the story of his name is a good one reserved for another time) in a 1 qt tank of cool water (NJ March). Within a couple of days (thanks to you), we moved him to a 10gal tank of conditioned water at 78F managed by a good submersible heater and checked with a thermometer at the other side of the tank. We made the mistake of running a pretty powerful filter (part of the stock Aqueon 10gal kit) for the first week which drove him into hiding in the cups, rocks and plants we'd put there. After realizing that things were wrong, I eventually switched the filter off for a day to find an active, happy little fish swimming around.
He took a few days to get used to the bigger tank but he now eats well, comes to look at us when we talk to him and generally makes himself busy around the tank. Since his ordeal of the currents, we've kept the filter off (mean to figure out how to baffle and keep some filtration and beneficial bacterial culture at some point) and replaced about 3gal of water each week for the last two weeks.
We've been checking the NH3 levels - first week it was quite high (maybe the new plants contributed to this) - around 1.5, and today it was down to about .125 before his water change.
His appetite is good. We feed him dry pellets which he takes about 3 times a day, 3-5 at a time. We also got some frozen bloodworms which we gave him today and he turned into a mini piranha, yanking at them and flaring like crazy.
Now the questions:
1. In the last couple of days he's started flaring (we didn't know this term until trawling this site this evening). He doesn't do it a lot but at least a few times a day. He does it a *LOT* when he's eating bloodworms. Eats one, flares at us, then looks up waiting for the next one. When he's not been fed, he barely flares. Is this expected? Good/bad?
2. How often should he have bloodworms? Clearly this is an addictive substance for MrM, I'm thinking once or twice a week but he'd happily have them hourly. He also really likes his dry pellets. Any other food worth considering?
3. Filtration. Those few extra pellets, waste, dead leaves all could do with some cleaning up. What's a betta-happy way of doing filtration?
4. I know that he's supposedly happier on his own in the tank but with his vigorous swimming to meet us when we come to see him I can't help feeling that he's lonely. Any advice here?