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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey, so I just bought a new betta the day before yesterday (Tuesday) and I just have a few questions? :-?

I bought him from petland, and he was in this tiny little bowl, so I thought the 2.5L tank i bought for him would be fine, until I got home and did some reading up. So today I went out and bought him a one Gallon fish bowl from walmart, as well as an automatic water heater. But I saw something on here that said bowls are bad for them? And now I'm really confused. And running out of money to buy him another tank. :|

He has about two inches of gravel on the bottom, two plants that reach about halfway up the bowl, and a water heater that keeps it at 78 degrees. I also grabbed an old book reading light and taped it to the top so he had more light (it's dark in my room.) I plan on turning it off when I go to bed, and it's definitely a temp solution. Should I buy him a light?

Is feeding him once in the morning okay?

He seems to be swimming around a lot, and exploring, especially after I added the little light. He goes to sleep if I turn off the lights (he was sleeping at ten thirty when I came in, but started swimming again a few minutes after I turned on the light.) Should I keep a light on for him during the day when the light is off in my room?

I have two bottles of 'cleaner?' One the pet lady told me to buy, the other came with the tank. The first is "Nutrafin Betta Enviro clean." and says 'Biological betta bowl cleaner. Reduces organic waste in betta bowls."

The other is "Nutrafin Betta Plus." It says "Water conditioner for bettas. Makes tap water safe for Bettas. Protects scales and fins. Contains tropical almond leaf extract." Should I just use the water conditioner when I change the water, or both?

And do I need to cycle such a small tank, or can I just stick to my plan of doing a fifty percent water change every three days and a full water change every week? I don't even understand how cycling works. :oops:

I know this is alot of questions, and I'll probably think of more, but buying Rafiki (yeah I named him after a monkey) was a totally spur of the moment idea when I went to go look at bunnies, and now I'm really worried that I have no idea what I'm doing and I'm going to kill my little buddy. He's fantastic and definitely my best Non-thoughtout plan ever. Please help!
 

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1 gallon is a minimum for a betta fish. More is great, less is bad. Make sure you're doing 100% water changes every few days! Little tanks get dirtier faster.

BOWLS
Bowls are fine. I keep my bettas in bowls. JUST MAKE SURE TO COVER THEM!!!! Bettas are jumping fish, so if you don't have a lid or cover that can be a potential hazard. I cover my 3 gallon glass bowls with cling-wrap with a little gap around the edge for air/venting. It also keeps the water from evaporating and the temperature in the bowl more stable! :)

DECOR
- 2 inches sounds like a lot to me, you can probably get away with less in a little bowl like that. Remember, thats 2 inches of swim space you've lost!
-Make sure you're using SILK or LIVE plants! Plastic plants can slice up a betta's fins or sides easily! They're fragile fish.

FEEDING
I feed my fish twice daily. Once in the morning, and once at night. I feed Omega One betta pellets (pellets make the water less cloudy, also flakes cause bloating so try to avoid flakes if possible). Remember, you're betta's tummy is only as big as its eyeball! If his belly looks swollen or he's having a hard time swimming, you're probably feeding him too much. I only give my guys 3 pellets in the morning, 1 or 2 at night.

LIGHTS
Bettas should be kept out of direct sunlight as far as I know. Having a light on him for a few hours a day should be fine, but I wouldn't have it on ALL day. Natural light is best light, let his day change just like yours! (Don't lock him in the dark, you wouldn't like that, would you? :p )

CONDITIONERS
Those both sound fine. I'd just use one until it runs out and then switch XD Its just a de-chlorinator. Makes the water safe for fish. :)

CYCLING
No. Just wait the appropriate amount of time after de-chlorinating your bowl. (usually an hour) Cycling is generally for larger tanks and community tanks. I don't cycle my guys in bowls and they're just fine. If you want to try to do it go for it! There's a thread on cycling here:
http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=111960

TIPS!!!!
-NEVER EVER EVER USE SOAP ON ANYTHING!!!! Soap is toxic to fish! Don't even use it when you're cleaning your bowl/plants/ect.!!!
-Try investing in a small mirror! Its fun to watch your fish flare at himself for a few minutes every day. A good fishy work-out! :)
-Always check your decorations for rough edges! If you put any ceramic/sculpted decorations in his bowl ever, make sure you soak them overnight or for 24 hrs first! Sometimes certain decorations can cloud the water or leave nasty chemical residue in the water. Check the "dangerous decorations" thread for more on that one: http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=224650
-Bettas like it warm! Make sure you have a thermometer to keep your temperature around 76-80F!
-For more fun DIY projects for your fish: http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=245289


Feel free to ask more questions! :)
Best of luck!
 

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Great advice you were given. It sounds like you are on the right track. And as the PP said, you absolutely need to cover his bowl, and do not leave any gaps that are larger than about 1/4 inch. It's amazing their jumping precision and what they will try to fit through. My female jumped out of her tank through a tiny hole in her lid about 1/2 inch big. It was at least a half hour before I discovered she was missing. When I found her, in the dustiest corner of my house, I thought she was dead. Her fins were dried and stuck to the floor, but when I picked her up, she started wiggling. I was lucky, and she lived, but most are not so lucky.
Oh, and also, make sure any decorations you have don't have any tiny holes that he could get stuck in. They are very unaware of their size, and many have gotten stuck and drowned (don't forget that they breathe air from the surface) trying to fit in tiny little holes in decorations.
 

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+1 to TheBlur's advice!

Your bowl will be fine, since it's heated and you're planning on doing regular water changes. The WC schedule you suggested (50% every three days, 100% once a week) is appropriate for your bowl.

He can live in that pretty comfortably for a while. It'd be nice if you could find him a 2 or 3 gallon later on, though.

Tip: some live plants will reproduce. I discovered this in my own tank...
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'm definitely planning on getting him a bigger tank once I get the money, but right now this is the best I can do unless I can find our old ten gallon.

But I woke up this morning, turned on the lights, waited for him to get going (he was still sleeping, and when he did start moving it took a while and was pretty sluggish) and now he's not eating. He's just swimming basically in circles around the top of the tank. Is something wrong? Or should I just give him a bit to 'wake up' and try again?

Thanks for all the tips guys!
 

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How long has he been pacing? He may just be warming up :3

The issue with bowls is usually size (1G is more work, but I keep 2 happy fish in 1 gallons)... but personally, I don't like the classic round bowl. It makes the fish hard to see, and I don't think they can see out as well, which makes life really boring for them. I moved one of my guys from his 1G bowl to a 2.5G tank, totally new fish. He'll interact with me now - he couldn't see me before. So just keep that in mind... plus a rectangular tank is a lot more space efficient.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
So I don't know what happened, and I don't know what I did wrong, but I came into check on him after being out of the house for a few hours and he was gone.

I'm kind of bawling my eyes out right now.

RIP Rafiki.

Any ideas on what happened?
 

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Aw I'm so sorry! I doubt you did anything wrong, sometimes the stress of moving really does them in, or he may have been sick already, and the warm water just allowed the disease to take over :(
 
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