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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My beta fish is currently swimming around, but then he sticks to the bottom of the tank. He's currently in a 0.5 gallon tank with a plant in it.

Is he stressed? Crammed? Sick?

Please help!

(Also how can I keep the water warm or normal temp without a heater?)
 

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Ok, first off sweetheart, a .5 gallon tank is really too small for him.
Unless you are doing twice a day water changes, he is probably stressed AND sick. It's hard to keep water a good temperature without a heater, but wrapping a towel all the way around it will help to slow the temperature variations in the water.
Can you give us a little more information about the fish and tank so ppl can more accurately help?
Housing
What size is your tank?
What temperature is your tank?
Does your tank have a filter?
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration?
Is your tank heated?
What tank mates does your betta fish live with?

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish?
How often do you feed your betta fish?

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change?
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change?
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change?

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?

Ammonia:
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH:
Hardness:
Alkalinity:

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed?
How has your betta fish's behavior changed?
When did you start noticing the symptoms?
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how?
Does your fish have any history of being ill?
How old is your fish (approximately)?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Ok, first off sweetheart, a .5 gallon tank is really too small for him.
Unless you are doing twice a day water changes, he is probably stressed AND sick. It's hard to keep water a good temperature without a heater, but wrapping a towel all the way around it will help to slow the temperature variations in the water.
Can you give us a little more information about the fish and tank so ppl can more accurately help?
Housing
What size is your tank?
What temperature is your tank?
Does your tank have a filter?
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration?
Is your tank heated?
What tank mates does your betta fish live with?

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish?
How often do you feed your betta fish?

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change?
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change?
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change?

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?

Ammonia:
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH:
Hardness:
Alkalinity:

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed?
How has your betta fish's behavior changed?
When did you start noticing the symptoms?
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how?
Does your fish have any history of being ill?
How old is your fish (approximately)?

A few questions? :p

He's In a 0.5 gallon tank, I want a bigger tank and I will buy one probably this weekend.

I change the water about every two days.
He's a crowntail betta and I don't know his age
He hasn't been sick
I've been feeding him pellets and flakes.
He's looking really stressed.

The water is room temperature.
I haven't tested the ph levels.
He is currently without a heater and a filter..


I just want him to be happy :/

Thanks for your help!
 

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Lol, not my list of questions, its what they ask for in disease. In half a gallon, ammonia builds up fast. Daily water changes would be best. Also, if you plan to upgrade him this weekend, here is what its said on here is the minimum. A 2 gallon tank and a heater. I loved the aqueon mini bow 2.5 but it was on sale for $20 when I bought it. Until you upgrade him, do daily water changes and try to match the the water temp. Also flakes can cause bloating and are harder to get out. Stick to his pellets for now. Use a turkey baster to clean out any leftover food (or in the case of the small tank, feed before water change) He will probably stay stressed until you can upgrade him, but doing daily water changes with a good water conditioner (which I'm assuming you already have) will at least keep down the ammonia
 

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sweetheart, you need a bigger tank (at least 2.5 gallon but more is better) and a heater! Betta's are tropical fish! They need water that is at a constant temperature between 78-82 degrees but most people find 80 to be the best. room temperature is def not warm enough, not to mention room temperature changes so much throughout the day.
like aselvarial said you would be needing to do twice a day water changes with a tank that small. even with a 2.5 gallon tank you need to do a water change twice weekly (find doing one 50% and one 100% per week is good).
Get a new tank WITH a heater ASAP. You might also want to consider a filter. A sponge filter will be fine.
He is probably stressed because his water isn't in good condition which is also making him sick.
What type of pellets are you feeding him? how much a day? Omega One and new life spectrum are the best.
you said you want him to be happy, then you NEED to take care of him properly.
 

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The two most important things to get is a larger tank (which you are getting) and a heater. I agree with aselvarial and VivianKJean. =)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Lol, not my list of questions, its what they ask for in disease. In half a gallon, ammonia builds up fast. Daily water changes would be best. Also, if you plan to upgrade him this weekend, here is what its said on here is the minimum. A 2 gallon tank and a heater. I loved the aqueon mini bow 2.5 but it was on sale for $20 when I bought it. Until you upgrade him, do daily water changes and try to match the the water temp. Also flakes can cause bloating and are harder to get out. Stick to his pellets for now. Use a turkey baster to clean out any leftover food (or in the case of the small tank, feed before water change) He will probably stay stressed until you can upgrade him, but doing daily water changes with a good water conditioner (which I'm assuming you already have) will at least keep down the ammonia
The flakes are nutrafin max
He's swimming around more now
Is there a way to keep him in the tank and not to be stressed?
Thanks for being so nice in a difficult situation
 

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If you have a petsmart, they have the top fin 5.5 gallon starter kit for $28. All you need to add to it is a heater and a thermometer. I have the 29 gallon version of this tank and am pretty happy with it. If you have space, the Grreat Choice 10 gallon starter kit for $30 is pretty nice. Just add heater. I have the 10 gallon and am pretty pleased with it. If space is a premium, the Top Fin Aquascene 3.5 gallon is on sale for $23. An heater ran me $10-$15, so if you need to stay around $30, that's your bet.
BUT, and here is the best part, if you get the 10, you can always make a divider and get a second betta. And since you already have the filter, heater, food, water conditioner, and space, all he costs is the price of himself and a divider. And trust me, bettas are like potato chips. It's really hard to stop after one (i currently have 5!)
 

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And, no, not really much way to keep him in a .5 gallon and not have him be stressed. It's pretty much the equivalent of a human in a closet. Yes, they can survive, but it's not pretty. Try to do two 75% water changes daily, if you are worried about moving him constantly. Or 1 100% change and 1 50% change daily. That should help keep the ammonia from stressing him out too badly.
And flakes, well, they swell, and bettas are prone to constipation. Not to mention flakes are harder to clean up than pellets.
Btw, I totally understand. My first betta purchase was a whim for my 4 year old. We bought it a half gallon tank. He stayed in it for less than 24 hours before I researched it and found out how much work it would take to keep them alive in such a small tank. He moved to a 2.5 gallon Aqueon Minibow (it was on sale), the next day, and the when I acquired a second, we got a 29 gallon tank (on craigslist, an AWESOME resource if you live near a city), divided it, and then as I got 3, 4, and 5, we got a 10 gallon and divided it. You live, you learn, and do the best you can.
 

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Lol, not my list of questions, its what they ask for in disease. In half a gallon, ammonia builds up fast. Daily water changes would be best. Also, if you plan to upgrade him this weekend, here is what its said on here is the minimum. A 2 gallon tank and a heater. I loved the aqueon mini bow 2.5 but it was on sale for $20 when I bought it. Until you upgrade him, do daily water changes and try to match the the water temp. Also flakes can cause bloating and are harder to get out. Stick to his pellets for now. Use a turkey baster to clean out any leftover food (or in the case of the small tank, feed before water change) He will probably stay stressed until you can upgrade him, but doing daily water changes with a good water conditioner (which I'm assuming you already have) will at least keep down the ammonia
I have 2 of my fish in the Aqueon mini bow 2.5 and they are doing very well. They also have one thats 5 gallon. You still have to do water changes more than once a week. I find one 50% and one 100% a week is the best, unless they are sick and then i do more frequent water changes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
If you have a petsmart, they have the top fin 5.5 gallon starter kit for $28. All you need to add to it is a heater and a thermometer. I have the 29 gallon version of this tank and am pretty happy with it. If you have space, the Grreat Choice 10 gallon starter kit for $30 is pretty nice. Just add heater. I have the 10 gallon and am pretty pleased with it. If space is a premium, the Top Fin Aquascene 3.5 gallon is on sale for $23. An heater ran me $10-$15, so if you need to stay around $30, that's your bet.
BUT, and here is the best part, if you get the 10, you can always make a divider and get a second betta. And since you already have the filter, heater, food, water conditioner, and space, all he costs is the price of himself and a divider. And trust me, bettas are like potato chips. It's really hard to stop after one (i currently have 5!)
What tank would be best? And also, what heater did you buy/ reccommend? I might just order it online now!
 

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Many people on this forum consider 1 gallon to be the absolute minimum for a betta. Nobody I know of around here will keep their fish in anything less.

If you have the cash and space to do it, the ideal size for a betta is three to five gallons, with a decent heater in it.

Assuming you don't have cash/space, here's how you can make him nice and healthy on a budget.

1. A trip to your pet store, so you can get him some proper equipment.

There are cheap (~$20) betta sets with AT LEAST a 1.5 gal tank (sometimes they go up to 3 gallons, get one of those if you can) and a filter. Get one of those.

Also get a small heater--this part will vary a little depending on the size of the tank, but you can expect to pay $15-$25 for one. Next, find a thermometer. They're like three bucks.

After that, find a small bottle of water conditioner. Should be about four dollars... if you can find something a little more concentrated, go for it. Make sure it neutralizes chloramine and gets rid of heavy metals. Also grab a small container of aquarium salt. Those aren't expensive either.

Finally, spend a few bucks on some decent BETTA FOOD. Not goldfish food or Aqueon betta pellets. Those things are trash. Get Omega One or NLS Betta Pellets. They aren't actually any more expensive than the other stuff, but you need to know what you're looking for.

I'm assuming you have sand or rocks or something, and you've got your little plant already, so you're good to go.

Oh, and you can also get a snail if you want. Lots of people on here like snails, they can help keep the tank clean. Your betta might eat it, though. Or it might not. Every fish is different.

2. Prepping his new tank

This part depends a little on if your tap water is filtered or not. Some filters remove a lot of chlorine and stuff that can help you out a bit. (You still need water conditioner though.)

Put your little guy in a clean cup while you fix his new tank up for him. Drain out his old water and stick his rocks and his plant in his new tank. If you have filtered water, fill up the tank and dose it with water conditioner according to what it says on the bottle. Too much is always better than not enough when it comes to this part.

If you don't have filtered water, at least put some extra water conditioner in. This isn't ideal, but you can't keep him in the ammonia water that his old tank had. He'll get sick.

Next, rinse out an old soda bottle like fifty times, and fill it with water. Keep it by your tank and let it stand there. Later, when you do water changes on your tank, use this water. Letting it stand helps it purify. When you're finished with your water changes, fill it up again.

Stick in your thermometer and your heater. Read the instructions that came with the heater and get it working. Start up the filter. If the current's really strong, you're going to need to learn to baffle it so it doesn't push your fish around; there are threads on here for how to do that. With the smaller-tank filters, it might not be an issue. My fish likes the filter current and enjoys chasing his food around and so on because he's kind of weird. I don't know what your fish is like.

Dissolve a couple pinches of aquarium salt in some water and dump that in. It'll help your fish not to get sick, especially since he's new and has been swimming in ammonia water for a while now.

3. Maintenance on your tank

Every three days, cup out half of the water and put it in a bucket. Dump that down the drain. Replace it with the water you've left to sit, and add a proportional amount of water conditioner to the tank. You can add a little more aquarium salt in too if you like; it helps keep the fish from getting sick. Don't ever use normal salt (i.e., the kind that has iodine in it). Epsom salt is fine. Some people use 100% sea salt and say it works.

A couple of times a month, you're going to want to rinse out the filter cartridge in old tank water... or replace it with a new one from the pet store, depending on how old it is.

Keep an eye on his water temperature. Consistent water temperature in the range of maybe 77-82 degrees is generally accepted. Watch out for flakey heaters that can break or suddenly decide to cook your fish. Some small-tank heaters will unexpectedly shoot the tank temp up to 90*F. That's, um, bad.

If he starts blowing bubbles, that's normal. It doesn't mean your water quality is bad or anything.

NEVER use soap on anything that's going to go in your tank. If you use bleach to disinfect something, rinse it like fifty million times.

4. Food for your betta

Your betta's stomach is as big as one of his eyeballs. Don't feed him according to the instructions on the betta food, which say to feed him what he can eat in a minute--healthy bettas will happily eat themselves sick that way. Just feed him 3-4 maybe twice a day, depending on how big he is. Mine can eat like six pellets total a day.

If you want him to grow a little faster, there's a theory floating around that if you spread out the feedings over three periods a day rather than just one or two (i.e., two pellets 3x a day or something like that), they'll grow faster. Don't know if that's true, but it couldn't hurt to try.

That's pretty much it, I think. Did I miss anything, folks? I think I covered the basics.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Everyone is telling me they do not need a big tank to live, ( A 2.5 gallon) I want to get one, as he's currently in a 0.5 gallon and he's stressed, and keeps his fins tucked in. I did a 100% water change yesterday, and I will do a 50% or 100% tonight. I want to keep him healthy until I can ask my parents very nicely that I can get a 5.5 gallon tank. (Top Fin 5.5 Gal Aquarium Starter KIt? Reviews? Concerns?) Thnaks everyone and anymore tips on how to keep the beta healthy, and happy until then? It doesn't look like I will get a tank this weekend :/

I place him in the sunlight when I see the sun. (lol)
And I place a bedside table lamp over him sometimes, and wrap a towel around the tank. Anymore ideas or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

-DoryAndNemo
 

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Everyone is telling me they do not need a big tank to live, ( A 2.5 gallon) I want to get one, as he's currently in a 0.5 gallon and he's stressed, and keeps his fins tucked in. I did a 100% water change yesterday, and I will do a 50% or 100% tonight. I want to keep him healthy until I can ask my parents very nicely that I can get a 5.5 gallon tank. (Top Fin 5.5 Gal Aquarium Starter KIt? Reviews? Concerns?) Thnaks everyone and anymore tips on how to keep the beta healthy, and happy until then? It doesn't look like I will get a tank this weekend :/

I place him in the sunlight when I see the sun. (lol)
And I place a bedside table lamp over him sometimes, and wrap a towel around the tank. Anymore ideas or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

-DoryAndNemo
Yeah, a smaller tank is all right. Just nothing under a gallon. Even then, we kind of recommend the gallon size only for more experienced keepers because it requires more maintenance, and has bigger repercussions if you miss water changes and so on.

The bigger tanks are better, because it's easier to find good, consistent heaters for them, and because most bettas prefer more space over less. In fact, if you get a 5.5 gal tank, there are a few fish that you can actually house with bettas peacefully. But they're specific kinds, and you don't want to put too many in at once. The 1gal per inch of fish applies. Bettas reach maybe 2-2.5 inches long (sometimes bigger).

5.5 is great if you can get it. If you can't get that, a 3gal is perfectly fine. There are threads about water change recommendations for different tank sizes; oldfishlady's thread is the one most people consider to be a respectable source. It's easy to find in the Betta Fish Care section.

Just get what you can. My instructions above are for the minimum of what you might need; I was assuming from your writing style that you were probably a college student in a dorm room (that's when a lot of people get fish), or maybe a high/middle schooler, and neither of those groups has a lot of money on hand.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Yeah, a smaller tank is all right. Just nothing under a gallon. Even then, we kind of recommend the gallon size only for more experienced keepers because it requires more maintenance, and has bigger repercussions if you miss water changes and so on.

The bigger tanks are better, because it's easier to find good, consistent heaters for them, and because most bettas prefer more space over less. In fact, if you get a 5.5 gal tank, there are a few fish that you can actually house with bettas peacefully. But they're specific kinds, and you don't want to put too many in at once. The 1gal per inch of fish applies. Bettas reach maybe 2-2.5 inches long (sometimes bigger).

5.5 is great if you can get it. If you can't get that, a 3gal is perfectly fine. There are threads about water change recommendations for different tank sizes; oldfishlady's thread is the one most people consider to be a respectable source. It's easy to find in the Betta Fish Care section.

Just get what you can. My instructions above are for the minimum of what you might need; I was assuming from your writing style that you were probably a college student in a dorm room (that's when a lot of people get fish), or maybe a high/middle schooler, and neither of those groups has a lot of money on hand.
Yes, I am :p
I really want this fish to live, so I've asked my friend if I can have he one gallon tank.

I want to get a cave for him instead of a plastic plant, dice it can tear his fins.

I think I like him too much lol
Whenever I go near the tank he swims away :/

Why does he do that?

I also have a problem with catching him and putting him in the tank.
Also, do I need a heater? I trying to find a thermometer at least for the water, any other help would be great :)

Thanks everyone!

-DoryAndNemo

(Sorry for any spelling mistakes or bad grammar, it was never my strong suit :p)
 

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YOU NEED A HEATER. It was said multiple times in this thread. Betta's are tropical fish. You need a heater to keep the water warm enough. Get a GLASS thermometer. The stick on ones are unreliable.
read myexplodingcat post on this thread. Everything is said perfectly.
Just because you are a college kid doesn't mean you can miss treat a fish. Im a college student too but all of my fish are in AT LEAST 2.5 gallon tanks.
in terms of decor - get silk pants (not plastic) and just make sure whatever you get you make sure there isn't any sharp edges (run you fingers ALL over it, inside and out) and soak it before you put it in his tank to make sure there aren't harmful chemicals or paints. there a tread on the forum and lists dangerous ornaments
He is probably swimming away from you because he is stressed and not happy.
Honestly I hate to be this rude but if you weren't planning on doing TONS of research about bettas and what they need before you got tone then you should not have gotten one in the first place.
They are a big responsibility and way more than something cute to look at.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
YOU NEED A HEATER. It was said multiple times in this thread. Betta's are tropical fish. You need a heater to keep the water warm enough. Get a GLASS thermometer. The stick on ones are unreliable.
read myexplodingcat post on this thread. Everything is said perfectly.
Just because you are a college kid doesn't mean you can miss treat a fish. Im a college student too but all of my fish are in AT LEAST 2.5 gallon tanks.
in terms of decor - get silk pants (not plastic) and just make sure whatever you get you make sure there isn't any sharp edges (run you fingers ALL over it, inside and out) and soak it before you put it in his tank to make sure there aren't harmful chemicals or paints. there a tread on the forum and lists dangerous ornaments
He is probably swimming away from you because he is stressed and not happy.
Honestly I hate to be this rude but if you weren't planning on doing TONS of research about bettas and what they need before you got tone then you should not have gotten one in the first place.
They are a big responsibility and way more than something cute to look at.
Thank you for your input. I currently live two hours away from the closest pet store. I'm not trying to mistreat the fish, and now I feel bad about keeping it. Next time I go out of town, I will pick up a 3 gallon tank and a heater.
But right now, I cannot get one.

I currently have a plastic plant, should I take it out?

Thanks everyone for your contribution to this forum.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Hello Everyone!

A little update on my beta, Joe.
I currently have him in a 1.5 gallon (That's what it says on the box, at least)
I realize I need a bigger tank, but this is what I have at the moment.
It'd currently 22-23 degrees in his tank. (I know this is cooler than reccommended but I do not have a heater)
Since moving him to the bigger tank, Joe is swimming around more happily. As soon as I get a chance to go to a pet store, he'll have a 3.5 gallon with a heater, and maybe even a snail friend.

Thanks everyone for all your help, I know it sounds like I'm tryng to kill this beta, but I just didn't have the money, and I recieved this fish as a gift.

Thanks!

-DoryAndNemo

P.S: Cheaper tank suggestions from petsmart or other places they might have here in Canada would be great :)
 
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