Betta Fish and Betta Fish Care

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Caelth 12-16-2018 01:23 AM

A College Student and Her Beloved Bettas
2 Attachment(s)
Hello everyone!

Being new to betta fish, I figured I ought to track my growth as a betta mama in a place where feedback and criticism is readily available. I have two betta males, one HMDT named Salem and a 7-ish week old betta fry who I suspect is some sort of round or veil tail.

Salem is my oldest betta from September 2018. He has a crooked spine which I believe to be moderate scoliosis. He is a very aggressive fish and is so obsessed with his reflection that his tail has been torn to pieces. I attempted to upgrade him to a 5.5 and even a 10 gallon tank in hopes of the increased space would calm him down but the biting only got worse. He is back in a 2.5 gallon where he happily sits in his lantern hut and carefully guards his bubble nests from the likes of the filter.

My baby betta is unnamed. His ventral fins are uneven but his goofy look only makes me adore him more. Being a college student, I was unsure if the little guy would survive the long ride home for winter break but he is indeed thriving. He is currently in a heated 10 gallon grow out tank where he will stay for the duration of my break before I split the 5.5 gallon between him and Salem once next semester starts and he won't be able to swim through the divider in place. (Also, the divider I had DIY-ed was not fry proof and he charged Salem... it was a fun night to say the least. Regardless, I invested in one of LifewithPets dividers.)

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Caelth 12-16-2018 08:29 PM

I completed three water changes today. Despite not having a picture, I am temporarily caring for my parent's fish. I got a bit sidetracked since it was time to switch out the carbon filters for my own tanks. Along the way, I picked up a Fluval ammonia remover bag for Salem's filter. His tail biting only increased with travel and I want to minimize the chances of infection for him. I have also added a muted yellow background to his tank.

The baby is in his ten gallon for which I was finally able to set up a proper filter for him. Unlike Salem, he has started to accept food from my fingers when offered a small worm. His body is showing signs of teal scales that leads me to believe that he is not the red VT I thought he might end up being. The ends of his fins are white with new growth on the caudal and anal fins that leads me to believe he may be some sort of com tail.

Shifa 12-16-2018 09:43 PM

With filters it's actually not necessary to change out the media, just swish it around in old tank water once a month to remove solids but otherwise they're fine to keep until they physically start falling apart. Your beneficial bacteria lives on your filter (and other surfaces in the tank, but the filter is the primary spot). If you're just replacing the carbon that's fine ^^ though the carbon is actually not all that necessary either, it mainly just keeps the water itself more visibly clear and after about a week loses most effectiveness at that and just becomes more surface area for the BB.

When you REALLY need to replace the pad, put a new one in alongside the old one for 3-4 weeks (imo) to allow the old one to help colonize the new filter pad.

Just for future reference :) keep a close eye on your parameters for a little bit to make sure the cycle stays solid 👍

RussellTheShihTzu 12-16-2018 10:49 PM

If you can have the 10 it would be better to divide that one....unless Salem objects to the size. And leave the 2.5 up and running should he not do well with such a close neighbor. I have divided tanks so I am saying this from experience. BTW, you do not have to divide the 10 exactly in half. You could divide it so one end is 2.5 or thereabouts and the middle is 7.5. Then if you find another you like you can add a third divider.

RTST The Enabler :-)

Caelth 12-17-2018 01:12 PM

That's good to know! I replaced them since I had to break out an old filter for the fry tank and I didn't want to use a filter that had been collecting other bacteria by sitting in a box for a month. The filter for my older fish is a three part filter so he kept the sponge and biobag that was already in there.

I would love to bring the 10 gallon back to school with me but I'm afraid my own divided room doesn't have the desk space or stand space to properly hook up the tank. If I ever were to divide the 10 I would probably do 7 gallons and 3 gallons since Salem didn't take to the 5.5 gallon by himself very well. I do plan on bringing with me a second tank in case anything happens.

(Thanks for flipping the pictures)

Sorority_Mad 12-18-2018 09:49 AM

Lovely looking fish, especially the Baby Betta. Looking forwards to seeing that one develop, and Salem too

Caelth 12-18-2018 11:55 AM

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I am as well!

Salem is currently fasting. Not much to say about it, his stomach is a bit too round for my liking. However, I am a bit worried about it stressing him too much, he is a tail biter ad I'm worried this might cause him to rip his tail more.

The baby is doing well. It's been two weeks now since I've got him. I'd guess he's around 8 weeks but my ruler has suddenly disappeared. I can see new growth on the edges of his fins which is good. He definitely eats like his fins are growing. I have noticed a black line around his fins. I believe it is from is fins growing out but I'm concerned it might be fin rot? His fins are not fraying yet and he gets a 50% water change every 2-3 days.

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RussellTheShihTzu 12-18-2018 09:13 PM

Black edging is normal in most Betta and does not usually indicate fin rot. In actuality, fin rot rarely happens. In the time I have been on this forum, 5+ years, I have seen fewer than 10 cases.

Caelth 01-15-2019 08:30 PM

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Here's one very belated update.

Both fish survived the long car ride back home for the holidays. I had the baby in a 10 gallon for a few weeks and Salem in his old 2.5 gallon where his tail began to regrow. I had a larger tank he could have used but he begins tail biting whenever the tank gets too large regardless of how "planted" or decorated the tank is.

Since returning, the baby has grown quickly and I estimate him to be around 16-17 weeks? I have decided on the name Fawkes for the little guy due to his very friendly personality. He has been blowing massive bubble nests that cover half of the surface and is quite the jumper when it comes to feeding time. He is the most interactive fish I've owned and he loves to chase my finger.

Salem has stopped biting his tail since returning to campus. His half of the tank is a bit fuller than I would have liked but he remains as active as ever. He especially enjoys resting on the purple silk plant and hides his bubble nest in the back of the tank, tethered by the green one.

Unfortunately, I am in the process of recycling this tank as power was shut down in my hall over break but so far the parameters seem normal and I brought my used filter media from home. Ideally, I would have waited a week before putting them back in their tank but I've been keeping a close eye on the water quality.

Caelth 01-21-2019 02:30 AM


I'm having a small crisis. In the two months I have had Fawkes, I have considered him to be a male after watching his color and tail type development. His behavior along with this have suggested that his most definitely a male. However, as I was turning off his light, I noticed a flash of white on his belly. An egg spot had appeared!!

I did some research and I know males can develop fake egg spots in the presence of a more dominant male. Due note that Fawkes and Salem share a tank but have a drilled divider. However, I am suddenly unsure if my little phoenix is male or female. I made a new post so I guess I'll have to wait but I'm worried about this being a potential issue as Fawkes continues to mature.

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