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Discussion Starter #1
Just 'adopted' a sick looking little guy from PetSmart today. I have him setup in a 1 gallon tank on my bedroom desk, complete with filter and heat lamp built into the lid. Also bought a pack of frozen bloodworms, and have a canister of pellets on hand. The tank is tall, rather than wide, has gravel, a silk plant, and a dragon thingy. Plus water conditioner and some stuff for stress and tissue repair.

That being said, he's looking a little tiny bit more colorful than when I set him up this morning, but overall he's looking a bit torn up, he keeps his fins clamped down, and his coloration is a bland looking blue-grey. On the flipside, he seems pretty active and likes to follow what I'm doing.

Are there any recommendations as far as getting by the first few days? My last betta rescue died the day I got him (another PetSmart purchase - I hate that place). Also, I'm pretty new to fish. Oh, and should I be worried about him playing in the filter output? It's really quite cute, but I'm not sure if I should be worried.
 

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You should switch the 1 gallon into at least 2.5 gallons.I don't think you need a filter though just give him some water changes everyday.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I didn't make the tank purchase, and I plan to switch as soon as my income straightens out. Also, his name is Fizz and he is adorable.
 

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He may be clamped because of the poor water quality. Keep him warm and clean water should help. I usually add in aquarium salt for a few days, for all new bettas - just in case. If its one of those bubbles filters with the tube, it may do more harm then good by stressing him out. You don't really need it, just do 2 water changes a week - one 100% with gravel cleaning and one 50%.
 

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You should switch the 1 gallon into at least 2.5 gallons.I don't think you need a filter though just give him some water changes everyday.
Actually, until he gets used to the space, a one gallon may be better. After being kept in tiny cups for so long, many bettas have trouble swimming because their muscles have atrophied. A one gallon is a good starting point. :)
 

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Fizz sounds like he's got a caring owner. I was in a similar situation. I bought a betta who was pale white and suffering fin rot, ick, parasites... anyway, He's doing well now.

Your current one-gallon tank sounds like a good effort and is a great start for him since he's been in a tiny cup, as Bombalurina said. I'm not going to harass you about an upgrade as you already plan on doing that eventually and having a 1gal spare tank for later use is good. While he is sick and in the 1gal though you might think about making the plunge to a 5-gallon and cycling it. That will mean fewer water changed later. Taking care of a fish and having to worry about staying at a friends house or leaving for a weekend and getting a fish sitter you trust to not only feed your fish but change the water as well can get iffy if you're really attached to Fizz- though it is possible if you know someone who has fish of their own.

Basically my point is just to think about what you might want in the future, and buy that so you don't make my mistake. I had a 1gal and realized I was changing the water daily and still worrying about it (I tested test the water daily and even with a filter designed for a 10gal it still got icky fast), went to 2.5 but realized I couldn't do much with it, and bought a 5 to start cycling and planting- and after buying 6 plants I was told the lighting in a 5gal was not great and the plants would not do well in them- so now I have no money and I envy the 10gal tank I keep seeing at the pet store. LOL. I bet if I bought it I'd start eying 20gallon tanks though, so I need to just get low-light plants and be happy if my fish is happy.

Fish Treatment:
Change water daily with your 1gal- even if it seems clean. You'll want to set 45 minutes to an hour aside every evening to do this because cleaning gravel and ornaments can take awhile and because your fish needs to adapt gradually to water changes.

With the water, try some AP salt I think 1/2tsp per gallon, but it might be 1tsp... It's been awhile since I used the salt but it did help my fish. Try buying either a gallon bottle or a 2-gallon water jug so you can treat the tap water and allow the salts to dissolve for a few minutes before cleaning the tank.

When you do get finances you might think about a heater, or just a thermometer- if the temp stays in the high 70s then you're fine with the heat lamp until winter. :) Good job on that heat lamp, by the way!

Omega Betta Pellets are great betta food if you can get it since I haven't heard great things about freezedried worms and frozen ones are more for treats than for meals.

Let me think... You have heat, you're going to change the water every day, you know about the food- FILTERS! If he's sick you might try turning the filter off at night and for a few hours during the day so he doesn't have to fight it. They also have fragile fins so it could be too much in that small of a tank. For now, I'd take the filter out. Sorry to say but after buying three different filters I've come to learn that the ones for the smaller tanks are mainly just to get people to buy the tanks. They are working a bit, but think about volume.

I turned my filters output to flow into my one-gallon tank and left it running in my 2.5gal which I had put 4 drops of ammonia in (fish waste, ya see). I did this while my fish was in the 5-gallon tank because he doesn't care for science ;-).

I checked on it 6 hours later the water in the 1gal bowl still had about 1/4 as much ammonia as the 2.5gal! So it would take 24 hours for my filter to clean the water if I were to pour the water back into the 2.5 and filter it again. However, with a fish tank you don't simply have your fish putting out ammonia once per day- he's doing it constantly. You can't drink that much water and not pee like a racehorse ;-). Also, it's not separating 1/4 clean water, 1/2 clean water, 3/4th clean water, fully clean water, or fully dirty water. It all cycles together. I probably should have just added the amonia, ran the filter and tested throughout the day, but I was trying to see how much water that filter would actually clean in 1/4th a day.

So, does the filter help? Yes. No arguments there. The filter did clean the water, it just took awhile. If it was dealing with a larger tank with more clean water then it could probably do a good job extending the time allowed between water changes, but it's only got 2.5gal to work with.

However, for a 1gal tank you're better off just cleaning the tank daily. Keep the filter though. You might be able to find a cheap 3gal critter keeper and could use it with that. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tVD8OysZIbQ Be mindful of heaters and small tanks though, the water can get too got if it doesn't have a gauge. I use a 25w Top Fin heater (just be sure to unplug it and let it sit for a few minutes before you remove it, and that it CAN burn you if you touch it.

Other than that, be sure you keep that plastic betta cup. Just scoop him up onto it for water changes- nets can hurt them.
 

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Great to hear you will be upgrading! Might I suggest a 5 gal tank? IMO I don't keep fish in anything under 5 gal. But when I first got my Betta, I got a plastic 2.5 gal tank for $25. All it had was a light.

3 weeks later, I upgraded and bought a 10 gal starter kit with a filter & hood for $30. All I needed was the heater but I got 5 times the tank for $5 more. xD walmart has a 5 gal starter kit too.
 

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Hi and welcome!!
A 1g does NOT need to be cleaned everyday!! I used to do it too, but a sterile environment is no good for a betta. Like Tiki said, you should clean it twice a week.

A "heat lamp" is not sufficient heat for a tropical fish. What it does it heat the surface of the water, not down below (and you mentioned the tank being more tall than wide). Once the lamp is turned off the fish is left in cold water. I recommend a heater. You could waste your money on a 7-10 watt heater but once you upgrade the tank it will be useless. You should buy a 25w heater and in the 1g set it to a low temp and keep your eye on the thermometer. The highest the water should be is 85F. And that temp should be at the peak of the day, not all the time.

Thw filter is useless in the 1 g. All it's doing is swirling around the water. The environment cannot sustain a cycle with all the cleanings! And yes, him swimming in the output could be dangerous, bettas aren't strong swimmers and you could end up with tail biting or lethargy in the long run when he gets tired. I would just remove it all together and maintain the twice weekly changes :)

Good luck on your rescue!! I hope you have pics to share!!
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
He got through day one. He also seems to like pellets more than thawed blood worm. xD He's got a little belly on 'im! On the flipside, petco lied. That plant is plastic. I'm an idiot.

Aside from that, I'll be getting a heater for the setup about the same time as I upgrade his tank. Again, it's just a matter of getting finances sorted. I've got a german shepherd rescue that has more medical problems than I know what to do with, a cat with allergies, and my own medical issues. (I see a pattern here!)

Last but not least, this morning I noticed him laying on the bottom of his tank rather frequently. Is he not morning friendly, or is this a symptom of something to freak out about?

Oh, and I forgot! He's already displaying more color than he was yesterday. For instance, he's blue, and not grey. =)
 

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lovely :) I have bettas who are afternooners, morning-bettas and all-nighters :roll: I think the snoozing in the morn is normal :p

And hey, not ALL plastic plants are bad. I have some :p run pantyhose along it. if it tears, so will your betta's fins!
 

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Just got him to eat a blood worm. You're right, he was just snoozing. xD Now he's zipping around the tank and watching me type. I have to say though... feeding him is going to become a bad habit. He's way too freaking cute.
 

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:lol: Doesn't help they act like bottomless pits! My bf backed away from the microwave since LaLa, who is by the microwave freaked out because she thought he'd feed her.
 

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Daily cleaning of a 1gal does not sterilize the water, really. It's still treated tap water, which has the minerals fish and plants need. All you're doing is removing waste, food particles, and ammonia. With a new fish from a place like Petsmart it's extremely important to keep the water clean. I lost two bettas because I only changed their water twice a week. You never know. I've never lost one to daily changing so long as you put a good amount of time to do it so the fish can adapt gradually.

The point about the heat lamp is a good one. What is the temperature in your house? if it's high seventies your fish will be okay, but he'll heal up best if the water is warm. When you get a new tank, go for a long or wide tank rather than a deep one.
 

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My 1 gallons are cleaned every other day... No problems. Only time you really need to do a 100% daily is for sick, rotting, injured, and ill fish, ad if the tank is smaller than 1 gallon :) Which if it is, you really should have 1+ gallons..
 

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Oh, he's beautiful! I got a rescue older betta from work(not too older, but he'd seen too betta shipments without anyone buying him) who was a rather dull light blue, but now he has the most beautiful sky blue with white "clouds" in his fins!

Ditto on a heater as soon as you can afford one. I use 50 watts in all my tanks, simply because it's convenient and they do a great job. 2.5 rectangles at petsmart or co just run about twelve bucks, so look into at least upgrading to that!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Until I can upgrade his tank and heat situation, I've managed to up the heat in my room by quite a bit. As for the Petco/Petsmart suggestion, I'll keep that in mind. Especially seeing as the 1 gal has spontaneously decided to slowly leak on my desk. :-D
 

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:lol: well gee! Definitely set a course to the petsmart area :p Or second hand store. Never know. :p
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
Looking on Craigslist for a tank right now. Just so it's a little more understandable, I have about thirteen dollars in spending cash at the moment.

That being said, he's taken to sitting on top of the filter output (I've got it turned off for the time being), and occasionally venturing out to float at the top of the water. I'm worried again. Just changed his water out, he doesn't look bloated, he's eating when he's fed (he's rather picky though), and judging by the amount of excrement I just cleaned out, he's not constipated.

On the other hand, his poop is stringy, his fins are still clamped, I just saw him cough up digested food recently (no, not spit out - more like spit up) and he's becoming increasingly lethargic. Would it be advisable to run to the store tomorrow morning and pick up something for internal parasites?

Also, my room is staying in a temperature range of seventy-five to eighty degrees (I closed everything up and insulated it a little bit), he's still in a 1 gallon tank, and he still has a heat lamp. I'm assuming his lethargy is not related to temperatures. I'm learning as I go here, so my apologies for the barrage of questions. :(

EDIT** I forgot to add, he also will sporadically dart through the tank.
 

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I'd post this in Betta fish emergencies, many people there know about this kind of stuff and should give you a quick response. Good luck.
 

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Great to hear you will be upgrading! Might I suggest a 5 gal tank? IMO I don't keep fish in anything under 5 gal. But when I first got my Betta, I got a plastic 2.5 gal tank for $25. All it had was a light.

3 weeks later, I upgraded and bought a 10 gal starter kit with a filter & hood for $30. All I needed was the heater but I got 5 times the tank for $5 more. xD walmart has a 5 gal starter kit too.
That's wonderful for you, but not possible for everyone. If I kept ten gallons I would be limited to giving one fish a good life, as opposed so 4 in 2.5-3 gallons each.
 
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