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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys, I recently purchased a male Red VT from Petco who has some pretty badly curled fins, and a gill cover that is constantly poking outward. he acts way more lively than my only other betta in the past.. but I want to make sure little Tibodeux (Tibbers) lives as happily and long as possible.. Could you just sort of brief me on the absolute best conditions he could possibly be kept in? Correct water conditioners/food? ideal tank size/setup? I am quite attatched to him so if it makes his quality of life better i will spare no expense..

EDIT: I also have been sunbathing him 12hrs daily in an attempt to correct his fins, but after 7 days no cigar :(
 

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You have a thermometer, it's a start.

First thing we need to do is get him out of that bowl. You should shoot for a 2.5 gallon tank minimum, 5 is better, 10 is awesome. You are going to need a lid to keep him from jumping out and to keep humidity in.

You will need an adjustable heater. A betta should be kept at a constant 78-82°. A 25 to 50 watt, depending on how warm you keep your house.

Condition your tap water with Seachem Prime.

Once you acquire a new tank we can tank about water changes. For now you need to be doing a 100% water change daily with an acclimation each time.

A filter down the road will make life easier.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
He has a heater in there that keeps him around 76-80 degrees, but I also have a ten gallon I can put him in once I find a heater. I have been doing 75% changes everyday with 100% every 3 days. Does his tank need to be planted? And can I find seachem at petco/petsmart or do I need to order it? Should I be worried about his gill?
 

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Both Petsmart & Petco will have the Prime. Plants are a good thing. Add as many as you'd like, he won't mind. Buy your silk plants at Petco, they are of better quality. Avoid plastic as they could cause damage.

Not sure about the gill right now, need a better picture.

He looks a little bloated, what are you feeding him?
 

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Aim for a filter that is low flow, or one you could adjust the flow on. Tetra isn't the best filter, but if you need one ASAP, they tend to be low flow.. If you have a 10g I'd start setting that up pronto. Plants are a huge plus, live or silk.

Don't worry about asking too many questions! You can never ask too many, you just want to help your little guy.
 

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I like to use sponge filters. In my opinion they are perfect for a betta. Some people love hang on back filters, I'm not one of them.

I put together an infomercial of my set-up here.
http://www.bettafish.com/album.php?albumid=24538

You care enough to ask questions and spend money to take care of this guy, that makes you OK in my book!
 

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To add to what Mike said....foodwise go for the best right from the start. Look for NLS betta pellets. high quality ingredients. There's also OmegaOne, but their pellets are not as standard in size and some bettas have problems eating them.
Both his gill and fins may be a genetic thing. They may eventually subside with good care.

Also, I do not know if your net your fish, but doing that, it may damagehis fins and gill further. If you do, it is better to cup your fish instead. Small plastic drink cups are good for this or if you still have the cup he came in you can use that.

You mention that cost is not an issue so I would recommend looking into the Cobalt Neotherm 25 watt heater (if you are aiming at a 3 to 5 gl tank in future. A 50watt would be better from 5 gallon up etc.) They are a "smart heater" and in my opinion very accurate. It shows both the current water temp and the temp you are aiming for and gradually as the water heats the two lights will come together showing that your temp is where you want it.
They are a bit on the expensive side but well worth it as they are unbreakable, and are good for plastic and acrylic tanks. I have several and am working towards getting all my tanks equipped with them.

A nano filter like the Deep Blue Biomaxx is a great little filter. I have them on most of mine and on my larger tanks I have Aquaclear 20's. Both are water flow adjustable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Well thanks you guys for all of the help! ill try and get better pictures. The gill itself looks healthy but the gill cover sticks straight out and never lays flat.. So will one of the screen lids made for reptile tanks work ok?
 

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Omega One pellets are perfect. Frozen foods are preferable to freeze dried and can be used as a once a week treat.

Screen lids like those used in reptile tanks are not a good choice as they are made of metal. I like to use glass Aqueon versa-tops in my ten gallon tanks. You can also get away with Saran wrap with some holes poked in it until you find a suitable cover.
 

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OmegaOne is a great brand. If your local Petco/petsmarts are like mine, they don't carry New Life anymore, so it's harder to come by. Frozen foods are good, depending on which you get. Bloodworms are like candy for betta, and should only be given as a treat, not a meal. Daphnia are great, as are a few of the shrimp variety, including Brine. (I can't find Daphnia to save my life at any of my local stores).

I agree, a heater is a must. Do some research and find one that fits what you're plan is and what you want to spend. I know you said money isn't an issue, but at the same time I don't want to direct you to every top of the line, super expensive, item you could possibly get.

On filters, no matter what filter you get, if the current is too strong, you can always baffle it. The Tetra Whisper i series have really good flow, and if you happen to get one of the older models, you can actually adjust the flow - which is nice!

Along with plants (silk or real) I'd suggest a hide/cave for him to hide out in. Make sure it doesn't have any sharp edges or fake plants attached to it and that the holes are big enough for him to easily fit in. A lot of us use terracotta pots that you can get at either a home and garden store or a craft store (the later is usually cheapest).

Definitely use some water conditioners like either Prime or STressCoat+. Prime helps lock up ammonia and nitrites so it doesn't harm the fish in between water changes. I have both, and honestly can't tell a difference between my tanks I use them in. Both have aloe, which helps keep the fish's slime coat healthy, which in turn makes him less stressed and happier :) Both will help with his fins, and you might want to do a salt bath for him to help make sure there isn't any infection on the fins, or his gills for that matter.

I'm glad that he found you and you're ready to make his life a bit brighter :)

He's lovely too!
 

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AquaSafe is OK, it's very similar to Prime. Different dosages though.

You will need to poke holes in the Saran wrap as a betta still need air to breathe. The key is keeping humidity in. A betta needs to breathe warm air and it will make him less susceptible to infections of his labyrinth organ.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
AquaSafe is OK, it's very similar to Prime. Different dosages though.

You will need to poke holes in the Saran wrap as a betta still need air to breathe. The key is keeping humidity in. A betta needs to breathe warm air and it will make him less susceptible to infections of his labyrinth organ.
I should have mentioned it had holes in it :roll: I have a home-made pine aquarium hood that I will stick on there, will he need any UV?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Well I have the new tank set up, mixed in some of his old tank water to get the bacteria in there, and set up the heater. Ill let it circulate for 24-48hrs. Will he be okay without a filter/plants for a little while?
 

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As long as you keep up on your water changes, yes.

You can put him in there as soon as it reaches temperature provided you are using a water conditioner. Be sure to acclimate him by floating his cup in the new tank and adding a bit of the new tanks water to his cup intermittently, over a period of time before releasing him.

I would try to add plants ASAP because the wide open tank might stress him out a bit.
 
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