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New Betta help, tips??

1030 Views 28 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  sledder
So i just got a Male Betta and an aquarium starter kit; 5 gallon tank, filter, heater, rocks. Im just curious as to what little trinkets and toys and what not the fish like. Im wondering on how to tell if its a male or female, and if it is a male, will getting a female be ok? Or will they just fight? I just wanna get a buddy for him so he wont be lonely. If you have any tips, tricks, hints, whatever will help, its greatly appreciated. Thank you!!
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Welcome to the site and the hobby! It is great that you have him a heater and a filter. Many new owners overlook the fact that bettas are tropical fish and like tropical temperatures. If you want to add some trinkets, caves and fake plants (without sharp edges) are great as they create hiding spaces for your fish.

The easiest way to tell a male from a female is that the males have longer fins. If you have a long-finned fish it's a male. If you have a short-finned betta then you have to look at other characteristics. These will be easiest to see when you get your betta to flare. If you hold a mirror up to his tank, he will flare and try to fight his reflection.

Getting a female is a VERY bad idea. Male and female bettas will kill each other. They should only be put together to breed. If you want to breed make sure you do your research first. From what I hear, it's more difficult than it sounds.

A 5 gal tank is too small for him to have any buddies aside from shrimp. Bettas aren't schooling fish and don't need conspecifics to feel safe. He will be more than happy to just interact with you.
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what about a Molly? will he be alright with one or two Mollies?
A 5 gal tank is too small to add any other fish in with your betta. Mollies have a pretty heavy bioload and shouldn't be kept in a 5 gal at all.
what about an algae eater? i got one of those also, but now im not sure if that was such a good idea. what do you think? sorry about all the questions, im new to all of this lol
Mollies need brackish water to live their full life span. Just remember, anything under 10 gallons is too small to add any other fish.

Quick question do you have a heater? Bettas are tropical fish and will be much more lively with a heater, they will also be much healthier.

  • Weekly water changes: about 30% should do.
  • Have the tank lights on for 12 hours or less (Longer will promote algae growth)
  • Feed twice daily with one day skipping meals (2 pellets pr feeding 2x a day)
  • Interact with your betta; watch him explore, teach him tricks (Jumping for food), having him flare every so often...
Have fun learning about your new guy!
I do have a heater, i got it from a friend. Now what did you mean by one day skipping meals? not feed him for a day??
what about food. all i got with the fish was Aqueon brand Betta food. ive heard of people getting shrimp or worms, what should i do? for regular diets and snacks and stuff?
and what should i keep the temperature of the tank at?
nevermind on the last one, just cant figure out how to delete it
one day skipping meals is a day you fast the fish so yes no feeding that day. Only do this once a week and keep it the same day every time. Food I'd say go with a good pellet type food try and stay away from flakes. Bloodworms freeze dried or frozen are snacks that are maybe a once a week thing.
You said you got an algae eater, those can get big so you either need to take him back or get a 10 gallon. I'd say get a mystery snail but do your research first. this is a pretty good care sheet you can look at.
thats awesome! thats helps a bunch. thank you!!!
Welcome :)
What type of algae eater? And take it back to the place you got him and say you can't have him. If it looks kind of like a shark that is like a black color, it needs a minimum of like 55 gallons.

That pellet is fine to use since the first ingredient is fish meal. They do sink fast though just as a warning.

Skipping a day is just fasting him. It isn't necessary though. Some opt out, it is just giving them time to digest and clear their system of food.

Just make sure you take back that algae eater.
yea that was the first thing i noticed about the pellets, i wasnt sure because after reading some posts here and people saying that pellets float i thought i had the wrong kind or something. and i will take back the algae eater.

any suggestions on snails and such? and do i even need them?

thanks for all your help guys, really helps when you have people that actually know what to do lol
No you dont need snails and youd only get one for a 5 gallon. If you wanted another fish you could get a snail but if your fine with just the betta then dont get one. I got the black mystery snail from petsmart they had other colors like ivory and blue to.
Alright sounds good. Now I have another question. Since Bettas need oxygen, what about getting one of those things that makes bubbles in the tank?( sorry I don't know what it's called). Would that be bad? Just curious
Bubblers aren't bad per say, but bettas don't just use oxygen in the water. They need to use atmospheric oxygen. Bettas can actually drown if they don't have room to get to the surface. You can get one if you want for aesthetic purposes as it won't help or hurt your betta.

I also second the motion to return the algae eater. It is most likely a pleco and the most common ones get huge. Like longer than a foot huge. The people at the pet store don't know much; they are just trying to make sales.
I would skip the bubbles. Bettas can actually get oxygen from the air as well as the water. Bubblers make a mess because the bubbles toss water (like fizz in pop). Plus, bettas prefer their water to have little or no current, and bubbles will create a current in the tank. :)
Awesome, thanks guys. I really appreciate you helping me out. Now one more thing. When I do water changes, I just use tap water so should I put conditioner in the water before I add it to the tank or immediately after??
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