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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, I just bought my betta yesterday, as a late Christmas gift from a cousin. It's a male crown tail...and I have a few questions lol

Now, I spoke with several people yesterday and (I know I could have googled it, that's my bad) no one told me about acclimating the tank and the nitrigen cycle before introducing the fish...it's just a small plastic tank...although I plan on getting him a large one soon... also I was not informed that distilled water was bad...in fact in the pet store they told me to use distilled water. So, I got home...set up his tank...let the water get warm (I bought him a heater, and a small air pump) and then put him inside. Will he be okay? He seems to be doing fine, other than flaring at his own reflection constantly.

What does it mean when they yawn? When he flares, occasionally he looks like he's yawning. Is he getting enough air, or is that part of flaring?

What can I do to make him feel more comfortable. He has a small cup like thing to hide and swim in, he has a leaf bed and like I said earlier he has a pump and a heater. His stripes are still horizontal which I read means he's nervous...will it just take time for him to feel comfortable?

Also, since the tank is clear around all sides and has a lamp under the lid can I put paper around the back and sides of the tank to hide his reflection so he doesn't exhaust himself flaring? If so, do they have a pattern they prefer or do I just print off something I like?
 

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I am so annoyed at pet store employess giving advice on things they know nothing about! Your boy will be fine, and it's very good you got a heater!
Now, for the pump, I assume it's just to make bubbles in the tank, and not attached to a filter? bettas have no use for aeration, as they get all their air from the surface. So I'd return the air pump, and get a thermometer and water conditioner (Seachem Prime will be the best choice). Distilled water is actually bad for them, it containes no electrolytes or minerals they need. Tap water/conditioner is best!
About using paper printouts to reduce reflections, that's a good idea, if he's always flaring. Light colors are better than dark colors for reducing reflections, and non-glossy.
There's a lot more, but this is a good start :)
 

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Make sure the flow of the pump is very slow, Betta fish do not like much movement, it stresses them out. Also, no light on for awhile, in my experience it does cause them stress too. I have a 2 gallon unfiltered and my Betta loves this. I change water and test religiously, he is housed in our living room so I put a cardboard partition around his tank every night so that he can destress.
 

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Welcome. Buy him a cave, my bettas love them. I have a 1.5 gallon Un filtered tank and a 5 gallon filtered tank. They take turns in the five gallon. Do you have blood worms? It's betta treats that only costs around $2.00 and you get thousands of them in a small container. My bettas will jump for them if I hold it over the tank, about three inches out of the water.
 

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I test water weekly and they're kept in my room
 

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Discussion Starter #6
So the air stone doesn't do anything but make bubbles? He seems to enjoy them...so I think I'll keep it even though he doesn't need it, it came with the tank. I have a thermometer too, I'll grab some conditioner and a filter next weekend (gotta wait for the paycheck)

What do they like to play with and what can I do to make him feel more at home and safe?
 

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I have that same aquarium for one of my boys :)
I never did use the "undergravel filter" , middle tube, or airstone... I like seeing them make bubble nests, and they won't with surface disturbance. Also, the tube right in the middle takes up space. Other than that, it's a decent little tank. I wouldn't bother getting a filter, personally. Not for a 1G anyway. The light in the tank has been enough to keep a plant alive for me for a couple months (moneywort) maybe he'd enjoy something like that! This is mine, for the record.
wilbur3.jpg
 

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If the blood worms are freeze dried, make sure to soak in some tank water for 10 min. these are notorious for Betta constipation. I go frozen and shave off a tiny amount, put it in a shot glass to thaw and take a plastic sample spoon put it just above the water and he yummms it right off.
 

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He's gorgeous...beautiful coloring.. And healthy!
Clean slate, so be sure to change his water at least twice a week to keep him that way :) Water quality is possibly the leading prevention of illness, followed by stable temps and diet.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Oh good, I'm glad to hear he looks healthy. He's super lazy today...I don't know if it's shock or what...but he's mostly just resting upright (not laying down sideways) on his leaf-hammock and looking the corner of his tank. I put a background on the backside and that seems to have helped the flaring but he's so inactive. Of course I'm probably just fretting because he's new and I don't want to do anything wrong...he's probably just coming down off of freaking out last night lol

so another question for you guys....
what kind of plastics can I use in the tank? If I wanted to use my own decoration what would be okay and what wouldn't be? So instead of a pirate ship, I give him The Enterprise from Star Trek to swim inside/around would that be okay?

Or if instead of rocks or plastic jewels for the bottom I bought a huge bag of gaming dice...is it the same plastic or different? (huge nerd here btw, want to make a geeky yet comfortable aquarium for him)
 

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My Betta was very slow swimming at first, and yes it is stress. Keep it dark and quiet around him, not a lot of movement. Put card board around tank or pieces of paper or greeting cards whatever you have around in the evening so he can sleep and destress. I would not use any plastic in the tank unless it is aquarium specific. The dice might have chemicals that are harmful to Betta.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Well I was going to call him Admiral Ackbar but I decided it just didn't fit. Is there a paint or coating I could cover plastics with to make it safe? You guys have been so helpful, thank you...there's just such a lack of supplies near me...and knowledgeable people.
 

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The toxin could still leak through the paint, and the paint itself could peel off. Better safe then worried sick. Amazon and online pet stores offer items and most with very cheap or free shipping.
 

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Maybe instead, to feed the geek inside, try to make a surreal alien landscape? Also, if you have a printer or access to one, find a nerdy picture to print and use for a background. Backgrounds can really set a theme for a tank well.
 

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If you're talking about just like mixed set chessex dice, they'd be a huge pain to clean up, imo. I've had big chunks of sea glass, and then regular gravel, the regular stuff is much less hassle. Petsmart sells avengers decor, if that's your brand of geek.

In other nerd news, all my fish have GoT or 40K names... so you're in good company XD
 
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