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Results 1 to 10 of 15
  1. Default No-longer-new betta, and questions

    0 Not allowed!
    So, a few months back I bought my first betta (and my first fish at all since my seven-year-old kid, won a goldfish at the fair days). I've toyed with getting one or two off and on for years, so I had some slight familiarity with them. Research after the fact tells me he's a solid red crowntail (actually quite spectacular looking these days, but I won't have photos until tomorrow). Over the months I've noticed a few things that got me wondering:

    -- What's the general "maximum" size for them? I've been seeing a lot of varied answers, mostly around the two inch range. He's easily three inches, if not slightly over.

    -- I've occasionally caught him swimming vertically to the top of the tank, letting himself sink, and repeating it. Is that behavior a problem? Stress? Boredom?

    -- Has anyone had a problem with dyed fish? I've heard of it before, but not in connection to bettas. I recently purchased a female (from a different location, see below) that in retrospect was unnaturally bright blue, even for them, that died fairly immediately after the purchase, and the little temporary cup's supply of water was oddly blue as well. I don't know if that would indicate a dye, or a chemical, or even a beneficial chemical, I've just never seen it before.

    -- When I first purchased the male, the spines of his fins were very translucent, and that's since disappeared, and his overall color has brightened tremendously. Would the transparency be a sign of poor health or did he just get more colorful with age?

    If it's relevant, he was in very poor shape when I purchased him, and in fact the purchase was completely unplanned and a bit of a horror story. I found him on the shelf of a Walmart in utterly filthy water (which is what initially got my attention) and when I went to complain to an employee, I noticed it was actually only about an inch of water, because the cup had an almost four inch massive crack down the side and was hemorrhaging water to the point where I was holding it closed. So there I am, going back and forth all over the store, from the chick who didn't speak english, to the guy who was going offduty, to the "sorry, I work in the clothing department, I don't think the pet supplies people come in today," to the three separate people that didn't even know they sold pets (seriously, one of them asked me if I had brought the fish into the store with me, what the heck?), to the guy who took the fish from me, said he'd go switch the container, and then left it on a shelf somewhere. I wound up having to demand a manager track down where the fish had gone (to the tires department, apparently), and they literally flat out refused to even switch the plastic container out unless I promised to buy the fish. And then they tried to get me to buy a tupperware container to keep him in. I pretty much bought him expecting him to die within a week and was just planning on giving him a nice place to do it, and it's now about six months later and apparently I now own a fish whose lifespan is measured in years, so I suppose I might as well get serious about it. :)

    The only amusing part, imo, is the fact that after I ranted about the situation in an email to a few friends, about ten of them got together and named him Deli. Because this is the container Walmart wound up sending him home with me in:

  2. #2


    0 Not allowed!
    Bettas generally reach around 2.5 inches. Some individuals grow slightly larger and there is a giant breed that gets to about 5 inches.

    The behavior that you are describing is not uncommon with veiltails. Wild bettas do not have fins that long to weigh them down. This may also indicate a problem with his swimbladder. What size tank is he in? filtered? heated? Can you post the water parameters?

    We do not support dyed fish here. It is a cruel process in which many fish die, and many others die later on due to stress and injuries. Survivors have much shortened lifespans, all for a cosmetic procedure that most aquarists agree does nothing to improve the appearance of the fish. Indeed, quite the opposite.
    <-- Click for journals
    "There is no right way to do the wrong thing." - KingFisher "Only bad things happen fast in this hobby" - Cliff Boo train boo train boo train boo train woohoo

  3. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    He's currently in a one gallon filtered tank that's not heated but is in near-direct sunlight in a Florida house. Within minutes of finding this forum I've realized that's basically unforgivably small and I'll be upsizing it (with a heater) as soon as possible. I should have known better than to trust what the petstore (and not the godawful place I got him from, either) told me; last time I bought a dog from a store it wound up being deaf and epileptic, so why should they be any different with fish?

    He does have pretty long fins though.

    I don't mean to suggest you support dyed fish, and I don't think anyone who knows what they're talking about would. I'm just not sure what would have made her so utterly *neon* blue, and also affected the color of the water. By "problem with dyed fish" I meant have you seen dying with bettas; I didn't mean "have you bought dyed fish and had problems with them." I'm aware of the cruelty aspects involved.
    Last edited by Zokugai; 03-20-2012 at 04:33 AM.

  4. #4


    0 Not allowed!
    Its good that you are upgrading...the fish will will be a lot better off for it. You would not be the first person to be given wrong advice at a petstore. Its sort of a running (not funny) joke here.

    I have never seen nor heard of dyed bettas. Their colors are already so outstanding and diverse that there would be no point to it I suppose.
    <-- Click for journals
    "There is no right way to do the wrong thing." - KingFisher "Only bad things happen fast in this hobby" - Cliff Boo train boo train boo train boo train woohoo

  5. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    Ah well. I suppose it's not like figuring out what it died from will help that fish any, especially since there was never any overlap in water/tools/tank/etc with the big one. Just curiosity.

    What would you recommend in tank size or dimensions? I might try to figure out what he wouldn't mind sharing with later, but for now he'd be the only fish in the tank.

  6. #6


    0 Not allowed!
    For a single betta I like to recommend a minimum tank size of 5 gallons. This provides a better buffer against poor water quality, which can happen easily in small tanks if the water is not changed diligently. You can even get a ten gallon tank, separate it with plastic dividers and keep three bettas.

    They can also go into community tanks, with care taken not to overfeed.
    <-- Click for journals
    "There is no right way to do the wrong thing." - KingFisher "Only bad things happen fast in this hobby" - Cliff Boo train boo train boo train boo train woohoo

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Sydney, Cape Breton Island, Canada

    Awards Showcase

    am sure I deserve a few of these... lol - Cyberra Thanks for sharing your X-stitch fish pillow project! - Aminax for being prone to computer problems - Cyberra happy birthday to me... August 29th - Cyberra earned ANOTHER one... siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiigh - Cyberra 
    I dub thee official greeter to the forum! - korith Happy Belated One Year AC Anniversary! - Rue You need another betta! - Pleco380 it birtha the birthday betta XD - genocidex A birthday betta for you. - mermaidwannabe 


    0 Not allowed!
    From what I've heard here and there, blue-dyed water is a way some stores hide sickness. I have a female betta who is a color pattern called "blue mustard gas" and she is a very vivid royal blue...

    The probability of being watched is directly proportional to the stupidity of the act

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Bridgeport Connecticut

    Awards Showcase

    Your first one Tiari - Strider199 It would take me many months to catch up to how many real bettas you have :) - PhillipOrigami great job with that post - Jaster Hope power is restored ASAP! - C-Dub Because I was wrong, and you were right. Sorry. - bethyMT 
    Cancer sucks and a beer won't replace what you lost ...  but here is one anyway. :-D - 850R Couldn't give you rep so sending a cookie instead for your betta advice! - andreahp 


    0 Not allowed!
    I've never heard of a dyed betta before, and they do come in all kinds of colors, some intensely bright.

    A Betta changing colors once home and in an established tank is very common. Under stress, a Betta will undergo many changes, one of it being to color. Once happy and calm, the colors will usually intensify, and its not unheard of to change entirely! One of my daughter's Betta when purchased was pale peach, almost white in the body, with pale powder blue fins. Within a week, the body was shocking pepto pink, with deep neon blue and red fins! Didn't even look like the same fish!

    Also in the store in cups, there are some that look "striped". This is not coloration and many purchasers are shocked, that after a few days home their "striped" Betta has no more stripes. These are "stress stripes" that show up if the Betta is under extreme duress.

    It is also not uncommon for Betta to grow, quite quickly, within a matter of a month or two, once placed out of the cup and into a well kept tank. I have a Mustard Gas Halfmoon that seemed puny that I acquired two months or so now, and his body is nearly three inches long.

    The general rule of tank size for a Betta is a minimum of Five gallons. However, I know several friends who have their Betta in a 2.5 gallon "hex" filtered and heated tank, who have some pretty happy Bettas. However that style tank has its disadvantages, since its small size, requiring twice weekly water changes, and, the filter it comes with does not let you "rinse and reuse" the cycled media having cartridges. My friends that have them, simply rinse and reuse the cartridges for months and months before replacing them to keep the cycle, and they all use "Prime" water conditioner to assure the best water quality possible.

    This said, a larger tank, five gallons or better, is the better and easier care option. Also the larger tank will enable you to see a Betta's true natural behaviors, such as "Territory pacing", as it patrols its domain, bubble nesting, and attention seeking behavior to its owner.

    Many mistake a Betta's "hiding" or staying in one spot when placed in a large tank as dislike for the new more spacious home. This is hardly the case, as Betta's are stubborn little blighters, and take a bit longer than most to acclimate themselves to a new space. It is also not uncommon for a Betta to not eat for up to three days when placed in a new tank as they acclimate themselves.

  9. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    The blue in the betta cups is not dye. It is a medication, used as a preventative against fungal infections... and also I suspect to cover up the fact that the water is disgustingly gross since they obviously didn't change it out at all. It is likely added by the fish supplier, not Wal-mart. So, that means Wal-mart got the fish in, stuck it on the shelf, and left it.

    The poor female the OP describes likely was in there so long, her body started actually absorbing the color. Sad.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cyberra
    This fish looks male to me. Admittedly, I'm not fantastic at telling the sex without seeing the actual fish (not just a picture), but I would say male on this one. Gorgeous, though. Do you have any more pics?
    "The Dumpster Tank" 26g flat back hex - Bolivian rams, Checker barbs, Harlequin and porkchop rasbora, neon tetra, SAE, otocinclus

    "Mini Mbuna" 20g long - 1 M. pulpican, 1 M. joanjohnsonae

    "Electric Blue Acara Tank" 75g - Giant danio, tiger barb, Bristlenose pleco

  10. #10


    0 Not allowed!
    Thank You Nike. Yes, that is medication in the cups.

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