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Hi and welcome to the forum!!! :)

Araw is absolutely stunning! I do love yellow bettas. My most favorite of all of the bettas that I ever owned is the guy in my avatar, a yellow veiltale, and his name was Sunny!!!

Your tank looks beautiful, too!!!! Looks like you have some nice tannins in the tank, too, which help a lot.

My first thought is that he needs his temp to be a little bit higher. Since bettas are tropical, they need a temp of 78 to 80 degrees (25 to 27 C) in order to thrive and be healthy.

It seems like your water parameters are ok for now. GH and KH are not included in the API freshwater master test kit. That is usually sold separately. But you ph level is fine.

If you don't know about the nitrogen cycle, please read about it as soon as possible. If your tank isn't cycled, you will need to do frequent water changes as the ammonia level rises, and then as the nitrite level rises, too.

You will need to test your water parameters often if you are doing a fish in cycle. You will need a really good water conditioner. I don't know if you can get Prime water conditioner in your country, but it is really good. It allows you to overdose with it, and it won't hurt your betta. It will hold the toxicity of low level ammonia and nitritre levels as the tank cycles. I have cycled all of my tanks using Prime, and it's a great product. If you can't get it, then any water conditioner that will dechlorinate the water and remove the bad stuff will do. Again, not sure about the water there...just going by our water here.

He is probably still getting used to his new environment. It is good that you slowed the flow of the filter. They do not like strong current. If it is still too strong, you may need to baffle it further. You could always add some rocks or marbles to the soap dish. Just make sure that you wash them carefully. They will slow the water flow even more.

Bettas do need to be in the dark for a good 14 to 15 hours. They do not like strong light at all, so what you have already done with his light sounds really good! You can turn them out for a couple of days, and see if he responds.

His fins look normal and fine for a long finned betta. If he was in the store for a year, he might be a year and a half old. They can live to 3 years as you stated in your post, or a bit longer with really good care. So he's not a senior citizen yet!

You won't see a ton of movement from his gills/gill plates unless there is a breathing problem. If he were gasping, then that would be time to worry and do an immediate water change.

As for food, I would ask the pet store what they were feeding him. And you might want to try some frozen foods, if you can get it. Frozen daphnia and brine shrimp are good. Flakes can sometimes cause bloat, so daphnia helps prevent that. Frozen blood worms for a treat only. He needs high protein foods with little to no fillers. High protein pellets are good, too.

I hope this helps, and I hope he gives you great joy!!! He really is beautiful!!!! 💓
 

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I am so glad that things are working out for you and the betta! I am glad to help! :giggle:

I don't think that it will disturb him too much to do small, frequent water changes. You could actually use a large cup and just take out the amount that is needed, like 25%, and then add the new back (after warming it, making sure it matches the temp of the tank water). I do this all of the time, and the betta has learned that this is normal so he isn't stressed at all. I have a bucket for the old tank water, and then I have gallon jugs that I have for the new. I put the jugs into a sink of warm water to let the new water heat up. You can use a thermometer to test the temp before adding the new.

You can add the Prime directly to the tank, but it is best if you can add it to the new water first.

When I want to vaccum the gravel, I work around him, too. He just gets out of my way. Sometimes, he gets curious and I have to get him to move along so I can get the water change done, lol!

Since the tank is cycling, you will need to do frequent water changes, and you will have to test his water a lot. It looks like you already have tannins in the tank as his water is tinted brown in the pics. I am guessing that it comes from the drift wood. Tannins are so good for bettas. They provide some slight antibacterial and antifungal properties, and bettas just love the stuff!

As far as bottled bacteria goes, I have only used one type called tetra safe start, and I found that it took just as long to cycle the tank with the bottled bacteria as it did without. But I have read that some people have had some good success with using various brands. I think that the most important thing is that you test the water parameters frequently, change the water when it is needed, and use the Prime to help with the process.

I wish you well, and I hope that he lives a nice, long life. Bettas are so personable and interactive. He is really beautiful, and looking at his pic makes me miss my little guy!!! 💕
 
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