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Hi. I am a brand new member and need a LOT of help. I couldn't decide if this should be posted here or in the Betta Care section, so forgive me if you think this is better in a different section. First, I DID read everything I could on this website, including the Betta Care facts, before posting this HELP question. Problem is I am so overwhelmed with conflicting information from online research, pet shops, and fishkeeping friends that I wanted to clarify a few things with you knowledeable people before doing anything new. So, I apologize in advance for the long post and questions, but your help would be so appreciated.

Here is my situation- I have never owned or cared for a fish before :shock:. I know NOTHING about fishkeeping-and I mean NOTHING. Just the other day,(after I commented on her pretty fish at her desk) a friend of mine at work brought me in the most beautiful little gift for MY desk- 2 little betta fish in a mini divided container. It was very cute and I thanked her for it, but I had no idea what to do with them :roll:. She said I just had to feed them 2x a day and clean out the container 1-2x a week. No biggie since the container was so small. I am an animal lover and have 2 dogs-but as I said before, I have had no experience with fish. Well, by the end of the day I had completely fallen in love with these two fish. Who knew that fish have personalities!!! These guys are hysterical, even in a little container. On my way home form work I started thinking about them and felt bad for them in that small container-as an animal lover it just didn;t seem right. I thought I could buy something a bit bigger and decided I needed to learn a little about these fish since I always want to be a responsible pet owner. Well, as you can imagine, once I got online I quickly learned that although many people say the small jars are fine, MOST knowledgeable Betta Fish people say the opposite. The more I read the more I wanted to know. I gathered information and I decided that these two little guys need a better home. Here is where all my questions come in. First, I am limited to what I can have at work as a fish home and feel I need to at least keep one of them there(at least for a little while) since my friend at work gave them to me. Down the road as I get more experience perhaps I can invest in a 20 GALLON divided tank and keep them both at home iwth me. But for now, what I have decided to do, is keep one fish at work and bring one home. For the little guy at home I bought him a really nice long 6 gallon bookcase aquarium kit and set it up this past weekend. Mr. Fishy (my twins named him) is SUPER happy already and I did my best to set it up the best I could via the knowledge I learned online (filter, heater, silk plants etc...). I will learn as I go. As for the other guy.....

The fish remaining in the work setting-at this point I removed the divider and he currently has the full 1/2gallon of space -so small:( He has no heater/filter obviously, so I want/need to get him a larger home. I am in an upscale NYC office and I am VERY limited as to what type of aquarium I can get for him. All decor has to be very modern and sleek-the mini fish bowl is fine but for anything larger I would have to have a very modern and fancy look-kind of zen like. NO HOB filters allowed or anything bulky for that matter. I am not allowed to have anything over 5 gallons and it has to be on the quiet side-more like a water feature then a loud bubble filter. No large traditional or even bow front fish tank at my desk-this tank needs to blend in as a piece of the decor. If I can't find something that is acceptable, the bowl or a decorative vase is my only option. So, I did a bunch of research and I finally found a large 5 gallon aquarium tank that was approved. Here eit is below...

It is the Fluval Chi : http://www.amazon.com/Fluval-Chi-Aquarium-Kit-5-Gallon/dp/B003TM1BAE

This is perfect for my office because it doesn't really look like a fish tank-it looks more like a water feature display which REALLY works with the office decor. The filter is internal and disguised as a water feature. This is the only tank that was approved for that size, otherwise I have to go with something smaller. So, I am planning to hopefully buy this, but I am worried about the internal filter feature on this one. This thing isn't exactly cheap and I do not want to buy it and get it all set up and have it not work for my Betta. I have read that Bettas do not do well with strong current and I do not want him to be stressed. I have no idea if the built in filter will be too strong for him. I have read many reviews of this product and a lot of people say it is fine for the Betta because it is a gentle flow-but i have also read some people do not like it and the constant water flow is not good and that due to the design their is no way to baffle it (see how much I learned in a few days...lol)! So, does anyone have experience with this tank? Any tips or pointers? If it is flowing too strong is there something I can do to slow it down? So that is my main question-I needs thoughts, advice, and tips on the FLUVAL CHi tank.

However, in the meantime, I need some tips on how to care for the betta in the mini tank? Any tips on how I can keep him warm without a heater? I need to decide on a new tank soon, but even once I do, I will probably not have time to buy it and get it set up until late next week. So, in the meantime he is in this bowl. Should I move him to something larger for the next 2 weeks. I have this XL, extra wide glass vase at my desk with a lid-it is probably about 2.5- 3 gallons. It is filled with candy now, but I can clean this out and set him up in there for the next 2 weeks until I get him the new setup. At least he would have more room. What do you think? Just keep him where he is in the 1/2 gallon or move him to the vase for 2 weeks? If I do move him should I keep the glass vase lid on it or takei it off? There are no holes in the vase lid..... Also, while he is in this bowl or glass vase what do I do about water changes?? I have read confilcting info about water changes in a bowl like this-some say 100% every other day, some say 100% water change 1x a week, some say 25% every other day, some say take the fish out and clean everything, some say leave the fish in and just replace with 50% new water etc... SO many suggestions-what is right? What is best in this scenario to keep him as happy and healthy as possible until I can get him into his new home?

Thanks so much for reading and resonding> I am excited to become a "Betta Lover"-I had no idea these fish could be so entertaining and have such personaltiies! I adore them!

P.S. I do not think they were not purchased in the best shape:( They were bought a a PETCO and now that I have learned a bit about them I realize they need some TLC. I believe they are Veil-Tail variety. Very active and eat with excitmemnt 2 pellets each 2x a day-but on the small side (maybe young?).......
 

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I'm surprise I read your post... I usually skip the long ones :D

First of all, welcome to the wonderful world of betta keeping... even if by force hehe

When you mentioned a sleek looking tank, the Chi is what came to mind.
Never had the tank. was actually my choice for my next tank but I went with something different as I prefer sponge filters.
Darn this just reminded me that I forgot to get a new sponge filter with my last order UGH!

As your research shows, some say it's too strong, some ok but I don't know. I do know that you might want to consider buying the lid for the extra $10 as bettas jump and it will help with water evaporation.

While you can get better accomodations for the fish in the office, I would say you can keep him in the container or put him in the vase. The important thing is that you keep up with water changes. Yes, everyday is ideal but every 2 days would be ok.

While you keep him in a small, unheated container your feeding schedule is ok. One he has room to swim and heat to speed up his metabolism, increase his feeding to 3-5 pellets depending on the size. The best way to determine what you should feed is by observation. If you see you fish too thin, feed more. If getting on the chuncky side, feed less.
 

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Wow! It,s nice that you decided to learn more about bettas and bought bigger tanks. Maybe you can convince your coworker to do the same ;).

I think the Fluval Chi is the right choice. I've seen some set up at the petstore and they were pretty quiet AND they look sooo nice! In a 5 gallon, you can get away with a 50% water change every week. Same thing for your tank at home. If I were you, I would also get a water testing kit (to check for ammonia, pH, water hardness, etc) and a gravel vacuum. The vacuum is going to make you life sooo much easier when changing the water!
Until you get the bigger tank, just make sure that your little guy is in warm water and chance the water at least every 2 days.

Good Luck!!!!! :-D
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for your suggestions. My coworker was wondering what was going on and I mentioned all the info. Unfortunately at the office we are limited to what we can purchase. She said she doesn't have the money to get a nice looking tank at work:( I think she felt bad after we talked- she was very apologetic to me. She said "wow, nice gift I gave you. It is costing you a fortune!" She is going to get a 2 gallon bowl for her desk which is at least a bit better.

Anyway, I think I will get the Chi. I suppose if the filter is too fast I can put a stone in the output area to slow it down.

I noticed today that my little guy at work seems stressed. His face has turned pale- almost a white/ grey color. I don't remember it being that way before, so maybe he is getting sick. He has slowed down a bit which makes me think the temp is bothering him. Since I don't have a heater in the mini bowl it is only measuring at about 70 degrees- so I have to get him out of there soon!

-m
 

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Good decisions on getting the bigger tank, and trying to get the other bigger tank. The Chi is nice and many people enjoy it. If you need some good cheap heaters I would suggest looking on Amazon. There is a heater called an Elite 50w that is adjustable and can be used from a 5-10 gallon.

He may be stressed, I would really try to get the Chi as soon as possible, the really don't like the cold water anyways. When you do het him the tank, make sure to get some nice soft plants so they don't tear the fins.

Just saying, bettas are addicting, I have 2 tanks, use to be 3, but I have 6 as of now, and will be getting a male shortly, I have a sorority and have 5 females in there as of now, my other on will be added shortly.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Lol- I can see that- I already want more. They are so cute! I never had any interest before and after just a few days I am hooked and totally into these fish! My husband thinks I have lost my mind:)

I put silk plants in for both bettas. It was a special betta fish silk and it felt soft so I assumed it was safe. However, today I am noticing that their tails both look torn!? They have the same plants- why would these silk soft plants be doing that? There are no other items in the tank or bowl that could be harmful! I hope the torn areas grow back!
 
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