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hey everyone,

Sorry for the long post up front. I recently came into possession of my own Betta fish. I am a RA at a U.S. university, and during room inspections at the end of the semester, two people moved out and forgot their poor fish! When they did not come back to claim it, I adopted it as my own, and since then, have done my best to improve it's life. I created an account here because I've gotten excellent info so far, but wanted to tell my story and get some more specific advice.

When I got it, it was in a plastic bowl that I'm pretty sure the previous owners got from PetCo: http://www.petco.com/product/119927/Petco-Deluxe-Plastic-Drum-Betta-Bowl.aspx?CoreCat=BettaHPBowls

About the tank: It also has a fake Easter Island statue and a plastic plant in the bowl, with black gravel in the bottom. I've read that the plastic plants and rocks can be bad for the fins. I got him on Wednesday (It's 1am saturday morning). The tank is about 2/3 full, and the water is getting cloudy.

About the fish: pretty sure it's a male, as the fins are bigger, which i've noticed seems to be typical of males? Also it's dark blue with a somewhat aqua/teal coloring in the tail; this seems to have gotten brighter since I got him. I've notice him putting bubbles on the top of the tank?

To help: I move into a new room tomorrow. I've read that larger tanks (>1 gallon) are better than a small tank, and my gf happened to have an unused/new 3 gallon tank. This tank also has something called a "bio wheel" that is supposed to help remove ammonia in the water. Here's a link to it: http://www.petsmart.com/fish/aquari...uarium-system-zid36-17291/cat-36-catid-300065
It also has a filtration system, which I think will help in the long run. Because of my moving tomorrow (dorm next to mine), I was going to move him in his current bowl, then acclimate him to the new aquarium once I've got it up and running for 24 hrs or so. I know about using the bag to acclimate him. Does this sound ok?

Main questions:
1) I dont seem to notice him swim up to eat the flakes I give him when I put some (~3 flakes) into the bowl. I've even seen him watch them sink to the bottom of the tank, maybe nibble them? How should I approach feeding
2) Advice for moving into the new tank/is the new tank ok?
3)general advice/help
 

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Welcome to the board!

While I'm far from considering myself an expert at Betta care, I think I can answer a few of your questions. :)

As far as tanks go - yes, anything over 1 gallon will make your Betta happy! The 3 gallon should be just fine. Unless the room is always really warm, he and his tank will benefit from having a heater put in it. You can find small heaters fit to heat 2-10 gallon tanks at Petco and PetSmart, or online. I have 3 males, two of them with gravel in the bottom of their tanks, and I haven't had any issues as far as it being damaging to their fins. The main thing to watch out for is to get silk plants instead of plastic if you opt for artificial plants, and if you get any other decor that there are no sharp edges they can injure themselves on.

Food: Betta pellets are far more recommended over flakes. Flakes tend to make the water murky, and they can cause health issues with the little guy. I know Omega is a brand of pellets many on here recommend feeding.

Hope this helps! I'm sure others will be around to offer up info/tips, too
:)
 

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Good on you for giving him a chance, and welcome! I'm not an expert, but here's what info I can offer.

It's good that you're moving him into a 3 gallon. You'll be doing a fish-in cycle if the tank isn't already up and cycled (search around here for more info on the nitrogen cycle), and he'll need a heater as bettas are tropical fish. I keep my tanks at around 80F.

Get Seachem Prime (available at most pet stores). Use it to treat the new water put in during water changes- treat the new water before putting it in the tank, and it's worth it to pick up a thermometer to test the temperature of the new water before adding it. Acclimate your fish before adding him into the tank- float him in a cup or something in the tank. Try to keep it as close to the original tank water temperature as anything too high or too low can send your fish into shock. I almost killed one of my fish because the water was too hot. :(

As for decorations, the gravel should be fine. For anything else, try the "pantyhose test"- if you run pantyhose over a decoration or fake plant and it snags, it'll snag betta fins. Give him at least a place to hide for now- it helps them feel safe.

Feed pellets, not flakes.

Again, I'm not an expert, but there's a lot of really useful information to be found here and lots of people willing to help. :)
 

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Agreed, the new 3-gallon tank looks great! As far as the water, are you familiar at all with the need to change the water often? Especially until the little guy's in the new tank with the filter, it's very important to change the water often to keep toxic ammonia from building up in the tank. I didn't know this when I first got my first bettas, but the ammonia reaches a toxic level in a small tank far before there's any visible sign that it's dirty.

In a 1-gallon tank, you will actually want to change at least 50% of the water around every other day. One great thing to invest in is an ammonia testing kit, so you can check it to make sure that you're changing the water as often as necessary to keep the ammonia from reaching a toxic level.
Once he moves on over to the new tank with the filter, the water will only need to be changed around once or twice a week, again it really helps to have the testing kit to be sure of how often and how much you need to change.

One thing that helps with the frequency needed for water changes and the need for gentle decorations is to get some easy-care plants. The plants will further help convert ammonia into less harmful chemicals, and your fish will love them. I swear, my fish seem to really know the difference between the fake plants and real ones, they just love hanging out close to real aquatic plants!

As far as the feeding goes, agreed that pellets are usually best. I would also add that I recently got a fish that did the same thing when I fed him his pellets: for the first week he would wait for them to sink and then go picking through the gravel, trying to find them. After around a week he started to wise up and look near the top to save himself the trouble.

Finally, I've just got to say good on you for taking this guy in and making the effort to give him the best care. So many people just assume they're fine in their little bowls with no effort to give them a clean, healthy environment.
 

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I would add, when you get a heater, get an adjustable one, where you can adjust the temp. And keep a little thermometer in the aquarium that tells you what the water temp is. What do you have for a filter? With good care (food), water changes and the right temp, his fin can heal.

Welcome to the forum! (and to the betta adventure...it can be quite a steep learning curve at first, but it gets better ( I will avoid the pun this time)).
 
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