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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, I am not new, but I only have a few posts because my first little buddy died last summer after an accident with his filter. I brought my tank set-up with me back to college in case I decided to get another fish, and found a gorgeous red and teal betta yesterday in Petsmart. My boyfriend, who knows a lot about fish, helped me set up the tank.

He is in a heated, 2.5 gallon, lidded, glass tank with a gravel bottom, a bridge that he loves to hide under, one live plant, and a fake-leaf betta hammock from Zoo Med. His tank stays between 76 and 78 degrees. He seems like a happy boy, he is building a bubble nest in the corner of his tank at the surface. He is very curious and likes to watch me work. He hides when I open the lid to put the food in. As you can see, his lid is cracked at the top to allow for the heater cord and air. I do not have the tank filtered, because of the accident with my last betta. I am planning on doing 25% water changes twice a week. I've been told that a 100% water change for such a small tank is a bad idea. I am going to get a water testing kit from Petsmart tonight.

My only concern so far is that I have not seen Parli eat. I am feeding him Top Fin Color-Enhancing Betta Bits. I have seen him try to eat two of them on two different occasions, but he spit them out both times. He tried those two only when they began to sink and the movement caught his attention. He does not seem interested in the bits that float at the top. Should I try a different kind of food? I know it is only Day 2 and he is still adjusting, so I'm not that concerned yet.

As for the name! I'm an intercollegiate debater and the style we compete in is parliamentary debate. We call it Parli for short, and since my fish lives on my desk, I figure he will need a healthy appreciation for debate since that's what I spend most of my time doing. I am a 20 year old undergraduate, and will probably need advice later on about transporting Parli from college to home and feeding him while I'm away on the weekends.

Hello everyone! Feel free to leave advice on my tank set-up, the inclusion of a filter or not, the temp, and especially, the feeding situation. I'm very excited with my new, more lively little buddy!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Great advice, thank you! Do you feed your fish any of that freeze-dried shrimp stuff at all?
 

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Great advice, thank you! Do you feed your fish any of that freeze-dried shrimp stuff at all?
Yes, frozen brine shrimp and blood worms are betta favorites. If you only have the freeze dried version on hand, soak them in some tank water for 5 or more minutes so they're not dry when they eat them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Just to post an update, I finally found a food that the little guy likes! He loves the Omega One betta pellets and is eating them like a champ.

I also improved his tank (in my opinion) with a pretty Asian landscape backdrop. However, he seems sort of obsessed with it and is flaring up pretty constantly, especially at the dark places. I guess he must be seeing his reflection. Will he get used to the backdrop?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Also, I added an ammonia monitor to his tank and also tested for additional substances using test strips. The nitrate, nitrite, and pH were all normal. However, the total alkalinity and total hardness were both just a tad high. 40 on the alkalinity and 25 on the hardness. My little chart has these between the ideal and caution range. Do I need to be concerned, and what's the best way to fix it?
 

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I'm not an expert myself, just learning, but in my research I think you need to add a filter. A sponge filter is best. This might even help with the alkalinity and hardness.

Beautiful CT btw. I love the way the teal shows on his bright red.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thank you. :)

I have tried two different filters with Parli, but they both really upset him. He gets agitated and is too scared to leave his cave and swim to the surface. I have a turkey baster to get rid of all his uneaten food, and hopefully with enough water changes he will be fine for now. I test the water quality daily.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I would like to build my own sponge filter, but that is not really an option at this time since I can't have power tools in my dorm, and I need to be able to drill holes into the PVC pipe. xD
 
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