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Hi All!

I'm Michael, but my fish is named Murphy so I'll go by that. I was first attracted to Betta fish in college because it was all I could have in the dorms. Unfortunately I kept my little guy in one of those tiny jail cells because I bought into the lie that he would be happier in a smaller space. He made it one semester before going belly up. Makes me sick...

Fast forward 12 years and I'm now gainfully employed and a happy family man. About a month ago I decided I wanted a Betta for my office, so I stopped by Walmart and got the best looking one of the sickly lot they had on display. I also picked up another 1/2 gallon prison cell because, again, I thought that's what they preferred. In no time flat I had a beautiful fish living right here by my laptop...

It didn't take long though for me to become concerned about Murphy. He just kept swimming non stop against the side of this little cell he was in. Side to side, against the side, constantly. I began to wonder about that mud puddle myth. A quick Google search led me here, as well as to other sites, and almost immediately I was reading a plethora of information that confirmed that my fish was as unhappy as any other creature would be in such living conditions. Off to Walmart we go.

I read here that 5 gallons should be plenty so I purchased their 5 gallon starter kit and got to work. I knew that setting up a tank is supposed to done in a certain way and that it takes time to get everything right, but I felt like I needed to make haste. Filling it with spring water and using store bought aquarium conditioner, I let it filter a full 24 hours before introducing Murphy to his new home.

Immediately upon putting him in I was concerned about the water flow, but a quick search here on bettafish.com showed me how to make a baffle. I still wasn't happy with the flow so I made another out of a water bottle, but left it more intact this time. I've been very happy with the results of the second one. After getting that settled out, I'm convinced I've got a very happy fish.

The guy just swims around non stop! This time though, he rarely hits the side of the tank; he seems perfectly happy with the space he has. Top to bottom, all over, he's just constantly gliding around the entire tank (and to think of how trapped he was before...). My baffle directs the water down the back wall and sometimes he plays in the flow, circles around, and goes back for more. I have the best time watching him play and enjoy himself.

I have a lot more to learn about tank cycling and plants and other things to keep his home in top condition, but I feel like I'm definitely on the right road. :)
 

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First of all Welcome to the Forum!!! This place is filled with super friendly, fun, fish loving people and I am sure you will love it here!!

It's wonderful to hear that you noticed your boy was unhappy and made the effort to research and upgrade his home!! Any betta is super lucky to have a 5 gallon tank!! Does your boy have a heater in his tank? The optimum temperature for a betta is between 76-82 degrees F. What are you feeding him right now??

Good luck!! If you have any questions at all please feel free to ask!! And be careful bettas are addicting!!
 

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welcome we love pics and dont buy that they like tiny space
 

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Hi Murphy. Welcome from another new guy.

I did kind of the opposite from what you did. I set up a 7 gallon tank I had in storage, and then took several weeks trying to decide what to put in it. After hemming and hawing, I found the right guy who turned out to be a betta.

There's a lot of info out there saying betta prefer calm water, but mine seems to enjoy playing around in the current the filter provides.

Sooner or later I'll add an oto or two. My tank has cycled, the numbers look good on water quality, and with the filter I'm running the tank should easily handle the bio load from two more fish.
 

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Thanks for the welcome! I do not have a heater as of yet since Walmart was out of the ones for my size tank. It's on the list though, and I've got to find a water testing kit.

Finding the right food turned out to be an ordeal as he's very picky. I started with those little black pellets but he turned his nose up at them. Everything I read online said he would eat when he got hungry enough but after a week he still wouldn't try it! At that point I tried flakes and for the first couple of days he would chew them up but spit most of it back out, but then stopped taking them as well. After another week of that I was really scared he would die of starvation. He wasn't looking very good at all. I finally found blood worms and he turned into a crazed shark! I don't know if it is healthy for him to eat only blood worms but I've tried the other stuff a couple times again and he still won't have any of it, but he goes crazy for his worms. He has a good figure and color once again so I guess he is ok.

I was curious what they fed him in the store but no one seemed to know when I asked, so I'm wondering if they even feed the Bettas at all. When no one was looking I dropped a couple pellets into one poor guy's cup and he inhaled it, so I'm still curious about how Murphy was fed as a little(little-er) guy.

As for current, I'm pretty happy with how that turned out. Most of his tank is quite calm, yet still gets circulation. He does have a good stream down part of the back wall that he plays in quite a bit.
 

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Welcome to the forum murphy.I am a new betta owner as well and have found this site to be a wealth of good information.My betta is an extremely picky eater as well,he will only eat the blood worms
 

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Hello and welcome to the forum.

Have you tried the Hikari Betta Bio-gold pellets? I have 6 bettas and they all love them. They get treats like blood worms and brine shrimp once a week but the pellets are their staple diet.

If you're feeding blood worms that are freeze dried, it's important to soak them for about 15 mins in some tank water to rehydrate them before feeding them to your fish. Dry can cause problems as far as sticking in their throats and bloating.

Good luck. My dude in the 5 gallon has tons of fun swimming in the current from the filter too. It all depends on the betta.
 

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Yup. I second Romad on the bloodworm thing.
I have a "crazed shark" of my own at home who will only eat the bloodworms.
But I also have one with Swim Bladder Disease which can be caused by things like feeding bloodworms too much, so i am trying to turn the "crazed shark" onto other foods...not easy
I have some flakes, he will eat a bit of but they make the water dirty,
My other betas initially spit out the pellets, but now eat them so i am hoping it will be a matter of time and practice for him..
 

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Welcome to the Forum Murphy!!! :)

For the food problem, normally I feed them every few days... and I will put a mixture of pellets in along with a couple bloodworms. At first, the pellets went untouched but once my fish realized there wereren't gonna be more portions of the bloodworms than that amount, they slowly tried the pellets. I have two fish out of the ten that just won't eat them, but the rest will. I guess I have some easy-going fish.
 

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Welcome! I agree about trying the hikari pellets. All of mine eat them. Though Whiskey wouldn't eat for the first couple days. They also sell a mini pellet which is good for smaller bettas if that seems to be a problem for him.

You could try frozen bloodworms too and frozen mysis shrimp. Most pet stores will have them in the freezer. At least then they're not dehydrated. I use tweezers to feed these to all my fish occasionally (well, my puffer gets them every day).

Just watch for bloating. His stomach is just behind his gills so if he starts to look bloated there, fast him until it goes down. Sometimes bloodworms can cause constipation.
 

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Hi Michael,

It's funny - my fish will only take pellets. I bought Atison's betta pellets over Hikari after I read about a recent change in ingredients. He loves his food. I tried giving him a pre-soaked freeze-dried bloodworm, but he just turned up his nose at the pieces. It's weird how our bettas have different tastebuds :)
 

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update

Just watch for bloating. His stomach is just behind his gills so if he starts to look bloated there, fast him until it goes down. Sometimes bloodworms can cause constipation.
Update: I was out of town for 4 days about a week ago and offered pellets to Murphy when I got back and he eats them now. I was getting a little worried about constipation because he had a bulge at the back of his body, just in front of his tail fin, but he has been on pellets for a week and that bulge is smaller now. He still doesn't seem super crazy about pellets so I haven't offered any bloodworms since the switch because I don't want him to go on a hunger strike. I'm just feeding this stuff I bought at Walmart, made by Wardley, but they sure seem large for his mouth. I pick through for the smallest bites I can find, so I'd like to find something smaller. Overall though, I feel better informed about his food and am thankful for all the knowledge and encouragement passed along here.
 
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