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09-24-2013, 05:19 PM #1Junior Member Guppy
- Join Date
- Sep 2013
Betta fish - new 5 gal., filtered tank - unhappy/sick? Black head
I recently purchased a nice tank for my betta fish who was living in a tight, 1/2 tank. I wanted to give him a nicer home.
Since I've moved him, I can't tell if he's happy or not. How can I tell? Also, it seems like his head, and back towards his body is turning black/gray. I'm new to bettas and I'm not sure if this is normal and just his coloring or an indication of something else. I understand this could be a result of ammonia in the water. I used a de-chlorinator, and tap water conditioner, specifically made for Bettas (I think Aquaeon was the brand).
I don't have a heater in there at the time, and the tank temp is right around 70 degrees. I have a filter and a small re-circulating pump. I think I might be able to turn the turbulence down as I understand Bettas don't care for that to much.
Here are some photos. Any thoughts on the black head and how to tell if he's sick, unhappy and how to improve either of those? Thanks in advance.
photo 1.JPGphoto 2.JPGphoto 3.JPGphoto 4.JPGphoto 5.JPG
09-25-2013, 01:21 AM #2
Thank you for getting your betta a proper sized tank! He's a beauty!
Nothing looks out of the ordinary in his coloring to me. Bettas often change color as they age.
What kind of filter do you have in the tank? And do you have a heater?
Make sure the filter has an adjustable flow that can be turned way down. Bettas do not appreciate a lot of water flow but still need a filter.
You'll want to keep the temperature around 80*F to really keep him happy and healthy.
I really like your aquascaping. Looks fantastic! I would recommend some floating plants and/or taller plants like vals or sags... your betta will appreciate them!
09-25-2013, 02:04 AM #3
his colors are gorgeous. It is surprising he is doing so well at that temperature.
get a heater(3-5 watts per gallon, so 25 watt for 5 gallons) and put the temperature at 26-30°C or approx. 80-86 fahrenheit. bettas like it much warmer than most tropical fish.
09-26-2013, 01:04 AM #4
That is the Fluval spec V!! I love that tank I got one for my Betta at my office too . Great scape you have going there. Dont worry about the color change your fish looks good. Only worry if he is getting pale(losing color), that is a sign of stress and underlying problems. When I got my betta it was white and purplish, now its dark blue,red and white.
I agree with every here get him a heater. I use 50 watt heater set at 78 deg. The water temp is usually around 79 and 80 deg. I wont recommended getting the smaller heaters they tend to break more often.
Last edited by Gogi; 09-26-2013 at 01:11 AM.Roll the Dice!
09-26-2013, 03:18 AM #5Junior Member Guppy
- Join Date
- Sep 2013
Thanks for the feedback guys. I'm new to bettas and aquarium-keeping in general so I appreciate the suggestions. I've already put in a heater.
"Walter" (betta) appears to enjoy his new home. I did some research and got him some suitable tankmates. I have a half dozen or so ghost shrimp (some have eggs!) and four neon tetra, two of which didn't make it. Not from Walter but from the new tank I suspect...or diseased when I bought them.
I set up the aquascape and tank myself. Thanks for the compliments. I like it though might add more plant material later.
I love this particular tank. Simple, clean lines and the LED light has a nightlight function which looks nice.
09-26-2013, 11:38 AM #6
He doesn't need tankmates. The shrimp may be ok but he might make them lunch.
A 5g is too small for any additional fish.
09-26-2013, 12:18 PM #7
Hi! You're doing right by your Betta getting him some new digs, but there's a few things your missing, let me see if I can help!
First, the black coloring seems completely normal to me. Many of the deep blue varieties of Betta have this deep dark black head and top of back area. This is nothing to be alarmed about. If he had been stressed in his smaller tank, his colors (such as the rich black ) will be faded, and the more comfortable he gets, the brighter, deeper and more vibrant his color will become.
Heater: A real requirement with a Betta. I suggest a temp in the area of 78-82, constant. The actual point degree in accuracy is less important than a constant warm temperature. Betta do not handle temperature swings well, and it can trigger all sorts of diseases. Cool temperatures in particular are -bad- for betta, making them listless, lethargic, and very stressed making them prone to rotting diseases, and even velvet.
Plants and hiding spots: While the tank is lovely, it is too barren for a Betta. Though viewing your fish is great, Betta do pretty terrible in a sparce vulnerable and exposed environment. Silk or live plants that have voluminous leaves to weave around and hide, and that, most importantly -reach the surface- are critical to a happy Betta. They do sleep, and like to do so near the surface, resting in plant leaves. Do not bother with Betta logs or stick on "betta hammocks", they are pretty useless, silk plants with volumes of soft leaves that he can weave around will make for one happy fish.
Betta can do poorly in a cycling tank, their long fins make damage from ammonia burns, added to stress, a real factor of fin rot. Make sure to keep a tight eye on the water parameters, and do a water change immediately when required. Do not think "I can wait a day or so", or "Its high, but it can wait til the weekend". That's a big mistake.
Tank mates are not required, and the Betta will no doubt, eat shrimp. In a five gallon you are pressed for what you can add, and fish isn't one of them. The Betta himself takes up all the bio-availability of the tank by himself.
Hope this helps!2 10 gallon tanks, 1 20 gallon tank, 1 Fluval Edge, 1 29 gallon tank, and one backyard pond.
10-11-2013, 09:38 PM #8
I have a 5-gallon tank as well. I advise a slightly overpowered heater. I forget the wattage on mine, but it's the size recommended for a 20-gallon tank. My office turns off the climate control over the weekend, so it gets pretty cold in the winter. A more powerful heater can deal with that.
I also agree that your tank, while lovely, is too bare for Walter's needs. Mine is almost fully planted with Java fern, and Ripley spends most of his time weaving in and out of it. His predecessor, Mooch, liked to lounge at the top of the leaves.