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  1. Default Trying to be a good Betta owner, but not sure I'm getting it right... please help :(


    0 Not allowed!
    Hi guys,

    I'm a complete newbie when it comes to owning fish sorry, but I originally bought myself a betta because I have a lonely office and the pet shop lady assured me that keeping a fish was super easy - and she said that a betta would be perfectly happy in a tiny glass bowl on my desk (his original home came with only 1 litre of water!). They also tried to sell me a mirror for him which I'm super glad I didn't get.

    I googled how to care for him later that night just to see if there was anything else I could do for him and was honestly horrified to find that the conditions I had for my poor fish were really inadequate!!

    I bought Tony about 3 months ago, and I've since bought him a 10 litre aquarium (it's all I could afford) and he has a single real plant and a tiny cave to hide in. The tank is a Serenity brand, and has a very weak filter (Tony seems ok with it), and I've bought him heater as well so that the tank stays a nice 24 degrees Celsius at all times. I change about 40% of his water once a week and his new water is always conditioned. The ph levels of the tank have been consistently creeping up (could this be from using tap water?), but I've kept it as close to 7 as I can by using Aqua One pH Down whenever it's necessary. I've also noticed that Tony /really hates/ his bright aquarium light and I'm not sure if this is normal? But he hides from it and starts looking stressed whenever I turn it on, so I've been keeping his dark blue night-time light on instead and he seems to like that better.

    About 2 months ago I noticed that his tail fin seemed pretty thin. Not getting shorter or with bloody bits around the edges, but just areas where it was looking more transparent than others. At the time, I thought it was fin rot, so I treated him with Promethyasul, and did a couple of large (75%) water changes in the same week. The lady from (the same) pet store tells me that I should continue adding this to his water every time I change it "just as a preventative", but now I'm not sure I trust their advice... can someone please tell me if/when I should stop the treatment for his fin rot?

    In addition, I took Tony home with me 2 days ago because his aquarium plant wasn't doing well in my underground office and I thought that he and it could benefit from some real sunlight. But he's been home for 2 days now and he still has faint traces of a stress line left along his body - is that normal, or should he be recovered by now?! In addition, the "thin" areas of his tail still look pretty thin to me - not any worse, but not any better either. Was I wrong about the fin rot and is this something else? Or can some bettas naturally have thin patches like that?

    I really want Tony to be a happy little fish because he's such lovely company, and he does seem kind of happy - he's still active in his tank, he eats well (2 pellets in the morning and 2 at night, he skips once/week to help his digestion) and explores his little cave and finds comfy leaves to sleep on. But his faint stress line and thin tail bits have got me worried. Am I just a paranoid new owner, or is something probably wrong?

    Sorry for the long post guys, but any advice you have would be great. :)

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    A little further from sanity
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    Awards Showcase

    Happy Mother's Day! - Slaphppy7 For 7,000 posts!! - steeler58 Thanks for the rep!! - steeler58 For working with new fish keepers! Outstanding this month. - Taurus Just Because - Surfdog 
    A round for the fallen this Memorial Day weekend. - Compass I had no cup, so I put it on a bun... - Slaphppy7 You are amazing! So smart and giving. - SeaLady Can't give you any more rep, but well said! - steeler58 Thank again!! You seem to enjoy your coffee. - steeler58 
    Thanks for the rep!! - Compass this doesnt look like pie... not the right kind.. - Sandz for providing solid guidance to others - RiversGirl Thanks for the rep! :) - Compass cheers - Fishhook 
    Using up my winnings on my friends! - Compass No Message - Fishhook beeeeeeeer! - Sandz Bottoms up! (even though you don't drink, lol) - Slaphppy7 We miss you... - Compass 

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    10 liters isn't ideal but it isn't the worst either. A 5 gallon is usually the smallest tank I suggest for betta. The aversion to bright lights is normal, unfortunately this isn't the best for plants, I suggest a bit of floating plants to give him a place to get away from the bright lights. 24 C is 75 F a bit on the cool side for bettas. I would bring the temperature up to around 27C or 80F for the metric challenged. As for the stress line and thin tail bits, research cycling with fish in the cycling forum here, and what are you feeding him, pellets I know, but what brand and type? Thin fins could be fin rot from poor water conditions like an uncycled tank, or it could be from poor nutrition.
    When I go fishing I just place a sharp rock in the water and sit there waiting for all the dead fish to float to the top... Kingfisher
    Brutal honesty will be shown on this screen.
    I think my fish is adjusting well to the four gallon, He's laying on his side attempting to go to sleep on the bottom of the gravel.
    Tolerance is a great thing to have, so is the ability to shut up.

    I can explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you.


  3. #3

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Metric challenged? LOL! I'm fahrenheit challenged myself.

    Don't know where OP is located but over here I can find a used 20-30 liter tank with hood and lights for around 30 euros. Despite a bad start OP is certainly improving. I'm wondering if filter maintenance is the issue here. Quite a few newbies make the mistake of throwing out cartridges when on a cartridge based system.

  4. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Thanks so much for the quick reply! I'm using Aquarian betta pellet food (it comes in a heart shaped dispenser)... are those ok?

    I've just had a quick read and I had /no idea/ about cycling, geeze... I'm lucky poor Tony's still alive at all!! I've been testing the pH level, but I'll have to get a kit tomorrow to check out the ammonia/nitrite/nitrate levels, as I've no idea what they are at the moment! I'm guessing since he's been in the tank already for almost 3 months now though and since the tank is so small, I should definitely stay away from using "community fish", and just monitor the chemical levels... and maybe more regular water changes if they look off??

  5. #5

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Betta were bred from a species that comes from a region with huge seasonal variations. From a dry season where the water hardness raises quite a bit to a rainy season where the PH drops a lot. That must be what makes these fish tough little things. PH isn't that much of an issue with these and even water hardness is no big deal unless it's really high.

    So... a few tips
    1. Share with us which country you are in
    2. tell us a bit more about your filter and your maintenance of it.
    3. do NOT add any more fish to the tank. A nerite snail or two is pretty much all you could add
    4. stop using ph down or similar products.
    5. Consider buying some catappa/indian almond tree leaf. A bag of 10 shouldn't cost more than a few bucks when ordered online and will last you ages since a 2x3cm piece is all you'd need to have in the tank. Remove after a month or so and replace.

    Cycling is important but unless you've replaced the filter cartridge that bit is done. Even so a basic liquid test kit is a nice thing to have.
    Food, I'm not familiar with what you're feeding but I'm a huge fan of Hikari food (and so are my fish) so if I was going to keep a betta I'd feed it this: http://www.hikari.info/tropical/t_14.html

  6. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Seriously, 30 euros? Damn... I'm going to have to shop around a bit more, I think. I only looked in a few places (3 of my local pet stores) to get a general idea of price and this 10 litre was the cheapest I could find for just under AU$150!! :(

    I agree, it's definitely been a rocky entry into the aquarium world (for both Tony and I!), but I'm hoping that things will get better as I get more experienced - it's definitely a more involved enterprise than I thought, but I'm really enjoying learning about it!

    The filter type I've got is a really gentle and really simple trickle down filter, and I've just been rinsing the top sponge (the media?) in the old tank water briefly - although I've only done this once because up until recently it still looked pretty pristine. The black underlay isn't really dirty yet so I've left it alone.

    Thanks again for all the advice guys, I'm so glad I found this forum!! :)

  7. #7

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    So, some kind of sponge filter? You're on the right track then, the occasional squeeze in a bucket of old tank water (or in your case a jug) is all they really need.

    I think if you up the temp a bit and possibly add a small piece of catappa your buddy will perk up.

    Tanks, small tanks especially, are quite expensive new but there's always people looking to sell their old tanks because the fish died and the kids lost interest. Keep an eye out for something nice. http://www.aquaria.com.au/catalog/pr...oducts_id/9458 for example goes for $150 new, I'm sure there's people out there selling a used one for $70 or less.

  8. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Awesome, I'll up the temperature slowly for him and try to get some catappa along with a proper tank testing kit... thanks so much guys, I have a plan now and hopefully Tony will be a lot happier for it!! I'll also check out that Hikari food at some point, and once I'm a bit more confident with tank preparation, maybe I'll be able to set him up a new (bigger) tank - it'd be wonderful to give him some more room!!

    I'm actually surprised by how much I love this silly little fish... thanks so much for the help everyone, I'll let you all know how it goes :)

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    A little further from sanity
    Posts
    8,127

    Awards Showcase

    Happy Mother's Day! - Slaphppy7 For 7,000 posts!! - steeler58 Thanks for the rep!! - steeler58 For working with new fish keepers! Outstanding this month. - Taurus Just Because - Surfdog 
    A round for the fallen this Memorial Day weekend. - Compass I had no cup, so I put it on a bun... - Slaphppy7 You are amazing! So smart and giving. - SeaLady Can't give you any more rep, but well said! - steeler58 Thank again!! You seem to enjoy your coffee. - steeler58 
    Thanks for the rep!! - Compass this doesnt look like pie... not the right kind.. - Sandz for providing solid guidance to others - RiversGirl Thanks for the rep! :) - Compass cheers - Fishhook 
    Using up my winnings on my friends! - Compass No Message - Fishhook beeeeeeeer! - Sandz Bottoms up! (even though you don't drink, lol) - Slaphppy7 We miss you... - Compass 

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    It's not hard to believe you like him so much, betta's are great fish and have a lot of personality. Let us know what those water parameters are when you get the test kit, if all you have done in 3 months is rinse and reuse the filter media my guess is the same as Talldutchie's and your tank is probably cycled, but we wont know for certain until we get the numbers on ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate.
    When I go fishing I just place a sharp rock in the water and sit there waiting for all the dead fish to float to the top... Kingfisher
    Brutal honesty will be shown on this screen.
    I think my fish is adjusting well to the four gallon, He's laying on his side attempting to go to sleep on the bottom of the gravel.
    Tolerance is a great thing to have, so is the ability to shut up.

    I can explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you.


  10. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    You've gotten great advice and clearly you're on the right track and working hard to make conditions for your betta the best they can be.
    I'll restate that upping the temp is critical. Also, you might feed him a little more. I feed my betta 3 - 4 betta pellets twice daily. Started out with fewer when he was a baby but added more as he grew. He also gets the occasional frozen brine shrimp and just a small pinch of flakes.
    The floating plant is a great idea. Maybe some hornwort? nice plant, gives cover and does not need to be planted in substrate.
    30 g FW planted:corys, ABNP, blue angel, harleys, zebra danios, nerites & mystery snails
    15 g FW planted: crown tail betta, neons, snails
    90 g FW semi planted: Blood Parrots, severum, Jurupari, EBJD, congos, kribs, clown pleco, snails
    90 Gal Journal: http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/aqua...ad.php?t=93939
    Fishless cycling: http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/aqua...ead.php?t=5640
    Cycling with fish: http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/aqua...ad.php?t=36492

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