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Discussion Starter #1
Today, I became a 1st ever fish owner. The guy at the store said Bettas don't need filters or anything and they are the easiest fish to take care of. I instantly became attatched to this one Betta that was blue and red and so pretty (I named him Squishy :) ) anyway...i bought the starter kit with the mini aquarium and food and water conditioner and the plastic plant and blue gravel and followed the instructions...however my poor fishy seems to just like to stay at the bottom and i even tried putting a mirror in front to see if it would react but he didnt...he doesn't seem to do anything, barely moves, and i feel like he's sad. Also, i put food in but just ended up watching it float to the bottom because he wouldn't eat. I'm really scared that something may be wrong. I'm trying to read up on bettas, and now im paranoid that i may have bought a fish before I was ready. I feel awful becasue there's no filter or heater (the guy at PetSmart said they practically take care of themselves and dont need anything) but i feel like i should definately buy a heater and a bigger tank and filter (im looking into buying a 1 or 2 gallon one probably 1 gal.-if anyone has tips on that please help). PLEASE HELP IM REALLY SCARED FOR MY FISH AND I NEED ANY BASIC CARE TIPS THAT ANYONE CAN OFFER! I feel like tomorrow he's going to be dead. ALso, if anyone can please tell me how to clean the tank that wold be so greatly appreciated...really any information or tips at all would be amazing! :) I just really really reallly care for animals/living creatures and i would do anything to ensure my fish lives a long and healthy life, my best interests are in the fish's needs and i would appreciate it so so so so incredibly much if someone could respond ASAP and help! please please please offer any information for a new betta owner!
 

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Well, at least you're here now and want to know more about your fish! So, welcome!

I'm guessing you bought something like this? This tends to be the most popular "betta" kit.

Unfortunately, many pet store employees don't seem to know much about bettas. No animal can really "take care of itself" of course, although bettas are a bit lower maintenance than other fish I suppose...


Well, firstly, if you've bought that kit or something similar, those are generally a little too cramped for bettas. Something 2 gallons or above is what's generally recommended. So you're on the right track with that!

While bettas don't require filters, they can still be used. You can read up on the nitrogen cycle here on the forum, there are many useful topics on it. It's a little hard to cycle smaller tanks like 1 or 2 gallons, though. If you don't choose to use a filter, you will obviously have to change the water more frequently, especially in smaller tanks.

Bettas definitely do need a heater! Unless you live somewhere which has a constant warm climate, I suppose. Bettas like their water to be around 76-80 degrees. Your betta's lethargy could be because he's cold.


Lastly...it's pretty normal for bettas to be a little freaked out when they transition! So don't worry too much about that, unless he looks physically ill.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
thank you so much for answering!
and yeah thats literally the exact kit i bought...i am definitely going to get a bigger one as soon as i can get out to the store!

about 10 minutes ago i took a cup of water out of the tank and put a cup of warmer water in and he seemed to start swimming around a bit more so i'm guessing the little guy just needs some heat!
when i get the bigger tank i'm buying a heater with it!
 

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For a one or two gallon tank, I personally really like the Tetra preset heaters they sell at Walmart. They keep my water around a consistent 76 degrees and they're pretty cheap compared to other heaters.

Oh, a few things I forgot to mention...you may want to get a thermometer too, so you can figure out the water temperature.

An a place for your betta to hide too would probably make him feel better. Even something like the terra cotta pots you can find at Walmart, they're a cheap solution to caves.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
thanks! i'll have to try one of those! also, is this normal: i put my finger up to the side of the tank and my betta swims backwards and away from it and hides under the plant leaf...
i read on one website that it will chase your finger but i feel like mine is scared...also if it doesn't swim away from my finger, it just floats there and does nothing
 

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I agree with Jupiter. Gave the same info I would have. Though if you can get bigger do it. While I will tell anyone that 1 gallons are fine because they are. They do take more work. You will need at least 1 50% and then 1 100% water change each week. Its the same for anything under 5 gallons though. Anyways welcome to the forum and good luck with your new boy!

Edit:
He is just nervous and getting used to you. He still isn't used to the new surroundings. Give him time. It can take a few weeks for them to warm up to you. Also don't worry if he doesn't eat at first. I had one boy take 2 weeks before he would eat. Its normal and he will eat when he is ready.
 

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He is pretty freaked out after moving to a new place...even my boys will be a little skittish after I put them back in their tanks after a water change.
 

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did you dechlorinate the water? i killed a fish once because i didn't...
when i got my first betta it was because i had 20$ to spend, so i bought a vase, a hidey cave, a betta, rocks, and anything on the isle with a picture of a betta on it lol.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
thanks everyone for answering and welcoming me and my new fish! also, MistersMom, i have water conditioner that i added to the water before I put it in...is that the same as dechlorinating it? also, how exactly do you do a 100% water change? do you just take out the fish and then scrub the tank and replace all the water? and for a 50% change do you take out the fish? Also, i read they can get constipated if you don't vary the food so what kind should I get? (sorry im asking so many questions i'm just new at this)
 

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Okay
#1 yes removed the fish, put him back in his cup if you still have it and dump the water, rinse out food and poo, dont scrub unless there is algae or something. Or just take a damp paper towel to it to wipe of some grime. You want some bacteria in there. Fill it back with like temp water. And then float him, adding a bit of tank water over the span of around 10-20 minutes. If your water is not the same temp wait for it to warm up.
#2 not true. Some of my guys have been on the same food for two years will only the occasional bloodworm here and there. Constipation I believe comes from feeding them to much. I feed everyone 2 pellets in the morning 2 pellets at night and then fast on Saturday.
 

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Yeah, it's the same thing...as long as you followed the instructions on the conditioner package it should be fine...

For a 100% water change, I cup the betta and then dump all the water out. I wash the entire tank, gravel, decorations, etc. with warm water and scrub if anything needs scrubbing. Then add the water & fish back.

I usually just keep my fish in for 50% changes, mostly I just suck out any poo at the bottom and then remove some of the old water and add some treated water.

Varying food is good, I don't think bettas would get consitpated if you just fed them one type of food though...usually that's due to the amount people feed and not soaking their food.

Let's see...I have HBH Betta pellets and Aqueon I believe...and some other pellet idr...I think Tetra. I also have freeze dried brine shrimp that they get as a treat.
 

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Some do some don't. It doesnt hurt them. I do it. But I think its based on opionon and how much is fed.
 

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I also do it. It's supposed to help clear their systems. I don't really think there's a right or a wrong though, do it if you want to.
 

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No, you'll want to make sure they don't have their light on during night. They need sleep too! :p
 

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Discussion Starter #17
hahaha okay! thanks again everyone so much for your help! it's so much better getting info directly from fish posting experts than trying to look up all this stuff online and get all different multitudes of answers! :D
 

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Good luck with your fishy, i hope he gets to feeling better!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
thanks! me too! and i have 2 more questions: if he doesn't eat the food, should i leave it in there for him to eat later or try to clean it out before it sinks to the bottom?
and: i read about "bubble nests" what are these exactly and is it a good sign if my fish does this?
 

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bubble nests are what your male makes when he is happy, it will look kinda like suds from soap, but in one spot, and my fish eat the food once it gets to the bottom, after is has soaked, i don't know your fishes preferences though so, its what ever you want, if he doesn't eat them then it will make your tank quite filthy over time...
 
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