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So, as the subject implies, I'm a complete newbie to the 'Betta Life' :) Last night I rescued a beautiful blue crowntail male betta from PetSmart (I seriously wanted to cry seeing them all in little cups!!!) After buying the initial 1.8 gal tank (and THEN educating myself on standard tank sizes, etc) I understand that I need to upgrade, but I figure while I figure this out in the first month or so, it will do until I can swap it out for a larger tank. I'm all for caring for pets as they should be treated!

I bought a Rosette Sword plant and housed that next to my (quirky yet cute) Spongebob Squarepants pineapple. The pineapple tank ornament is small enough to not take over the tank, but also provides Carl (my betta) with a great hiding spot (he seemed to enjoy it for bed time last night). I also have a moss ball in the tank for him to play with.

So I have a few concerns based upon the many posts/articles I have read in the past few days about Betta... hoping one of my more veteran Betta care-takers can assist me with debunking or correcting my mistake and help improve the life of my Betta.

1) My betta isn't super active as I have seen others speak of. Granted, I brought him home less than 24-hours ago so I'm trying to allow him time to get acclimated, but he seems to hide a lot, rather than swim out in the open. I was unsure if that was because he was uncomfortable or what.

2) Carl hasn't gone up to the Moss Ball once, so I'm unsure if that's something he just isn't familiar with or doesn't enjoy....

3) He has been lying in the bottom of the tank (behind the plant or the pineapple) or lying on top of the pump where it sits in the water (which is close to the surface of the water)... It is dark back there, but then again... it is my pump!! I am worried his fin will get caught or something...

I put 3 pellets in his tank to feed him and he eats the first one or two, then loses interest and goes back to the depths of the tank away from me. I swear, he acts like a former rescue dog my family owned after she (the dog) was abused. He seems to be so fearful of me, and I simply put my finger on the side of the bowl to see if he will follow.

Any suggestions? I want to ensure he has a good life and will hang out with me for a few years. :-D
 

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So, as the subject implies, I'm a complete newbie to the 'Betta Life' :) Last night I rescued a beautiful blue crowntail male betta from PetSmart (I seriously wanted to cry seeing them all in little cups!!!) After buying the initial 1.8 gal tank (and THEN educating myself on standard tank sizes, etc) I understand that I need to upgrade, but I figure while I figure this out in the first month or so, it will do until I can swap it out for a larger tank. I'm all for caring for pets as they should be treated!

I bought a Rosette Sword plant and housed that next to my (quirky yet cute) Spongebob Squarepants pineapple. The pineapple tank ornament is small enough to not take over the tank, but also provides Carl (my betta) with a great hiding spot (he seemed to enjoy it for bed time last night). I also have a moss ball in the tank for him to play with.

So I have a few concerns based upon the many posts/articles I have read in the past few days about Betta... hoping one of my more veteran Betta care-takers can assist me with debunking or correcting my mistake and help improve the life of my Betta.

1) My betta isn't super active as I have seen others speak of. Granted, I brought him home less than 24-hours ago so I'm trying to allow him time to get acclimated, but he seems to hide a lot, rather than swim out in the open. I was unsure if that was because he was uncomfortable or what.

2) Carl hasn't gone up to the Moss Ball once, so I'm unsure if that's something he just isn't familiar with or doesn't enjoy....

3) He has been lying in the bottom of the tank (behind the plant or the pineapple) or lying on top of the pump where it sits in the water (which is close to the surface of the water)... It is dark back there, but then again... it is my pump!! I am worried his fin will get caught or something...

I put 3 pellets in his tank to feed him and he eats the first one or two, then loses interest and goes back to the depths of the tank away from me. I swear, he acts like a former rescue dog my family owned after she (the dog) was abused. He seems to be so fearful of me, and I simply put my finger on the side of the bowl to see if he will follow.

Any suggestions? I want to ensure he has a good life and will hang out with me for a few years. :-D
Firstly, welcome to the forum!

Does your tank have a heater? This is an absolute necessity. Betta need 78*-82* water (as they are tropical fish) and it shouldn't fluctuate. It also might be why he's not as active and being "sluggish"

Moss balls are a specialized form of algae, and they aren't "toys" per say, but more of a easy, beginner, decorative plant. My fish love to lay across them, but some ignore them completely. He might become more curious as his water warms up with that heater you're going to buy (right? XD).

It doesn't matter if he sits on the filter. If you're super paranoid you can take some craft mesh or sponge and wrap it around the intake. Unless his fins are actually becoming shredded, it's not a problem.

If all he'll eat is two pellets, that is fine... Just feed him two throughout the day (around 6-8 per day, depending on the size of pellet)... You can also get frozen foods from PetCo/Smart. Give him some time to settle in, also. Some fish won't eat for a week or two after being put in their tank.

We also always appreciate pictures! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you for the warm welcome!

OOH, yes sorry forgot to mention... I DID buy a heater, but when I put him in the water, it was about 77 degrees room temp, so I didn't put a heater in (potentially because the water was fresh in the tank? I have no idea...) Last night when I went to bed I noticed it dipping a bit, this morning it was about 72-73 degrees so I DID put in my small 7.5 watt heater (figured I didn't want it to get TOO hot since it doesn't have a thermostat built in). A few minutes ago I noticed him checking it out... Hoping for more activity by this evening as it warms the tank.

I will definitely post some photos once I can get him away from the bottom of the tank! Tried to snap a few and they are don't really showcase the beautiful blues of his fins.

Appreciate the feedback!
 

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RusselltheShihTzu
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So, as the subject implies, I'm a complete newbie to the 'Betta Life' :) Last night I rescued a beautiful blue crowntail male betta from PetSmart (I seriously wanted to cry seeing them all in little cups!!!) After buying the initial 1.8 gal tank (and THEN educating myself on standard tank sizes, etc) I understand that I need to upgrade, but I figure while I figure this out in the first month or so, it will do until I can swap it out for a larger tank. I'm all for caring for pets as they should be treated!

I bought a Rosette Sword plant and housed that next to my (quirky yet cute) Spongebob Squarepants pineapple. The pineapple tank ornament is small enough to not take over the tank, but also provides Carl (my betta) with a great hiding spot (he seemed to enjoy it for bed time last night). I also have a moss ball in the tank for him to play with.

So I have a few concerns based upon the many posts/articles I have read in the past few days about Betta... hoping one of my more veteran Betta care-takers can assist me with debunking or correcting my mistake and help improve the life of my Betta.

1) My betta isn't super active as I have seen others speak of. Granted, I brought him home less than 24-hours ago so I'm trying to allow him time to get acclimated, but he seems to hide a lot, rather than swim out in the open. I was unsure if that was because he was uncomfortable or what.

Is the tank crowded so that he doesn't have much swim room? It is not unusual for fish that have spent their lives in a cup to be reticent about exploring a larger area. A photo would help.

2) Carl hasn't gone up to the Moss Ball once, so I'm unsure if that's something he just isn't familiar with or doesn't enjoy....

Some Betta don't pay any attention to Moss Balls; mine don't.

3) He has been lying in the bottom of the tank (behind the plant or the pineapple) or lying on top of the pump where it sits in the water (which is close to the surface of the water)... It is dark back there, but then again... it is my pump!! I am worried his fin will get caught or something...

Betta that are too cold tend to be lethargic. But it could also be adjusting to new surroundings.

I put 3 pellets in his tank to feed him and he eats the first one or two, then loses interest and goes back to the depths of the tank away from me. I swear, he acts like a former rescue dog my family owned after she (the dog) was abused. He seems to be so fearful of me, and I simply put my finger on the side of the bowl to see if he will follow.

If he doesn't eat a pellet remove it using a turkey baster. As far as being fearful; again, give him time to settle in. If he was in a pet store he could well have been poked at and even had his cup shaken.

Any suggestions? I want to ensure he has a good life and will hang out with me for a few years. :-D

Use the heater; turn it on and leave it on. Heaters are to keep the water temperature from fluctuating as much as to keep the water warm.
Finally, Welcome to the Forum! :wave:
 

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Finally, Welcome to the Forum! :wave:
He's done much better as the day has progressed (and water temp has risen). Good news. Still not my biggest fan, however, I did get him to eat 2 more blood worm. Hoping over the coming days he will realize that I'm not going to poke/prod and make the correlation between myself and food!

Thanks for the useful feedback.
 

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RusselltheShihTzu
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If you're feeding freeze-dried Bloodworms be aware they should only be used as treats. He is far better off nutrition-wise to be feed New Life Spectrum, NorthFin Betta Bits or Omega One pellets. When you feed him the pellets he may not recognize them as food at first. Offer one and if he doesn't eat it remove using a turkey baster. Offer again a few hours later. Keep this up until he decides to eat. It may take him a week or more to figure it out.
 

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If the heater you have doesn't have a thermostat on it then it's probably programmed to maintain a minimum temp of 78 and should be fine to leave in permanently since it should shut itself off if working properly. You should be able to look up the specs for it online just to be sure.
 
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