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Need Betta Advice


daryl

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I have never kept a betta. I have a friend at work who has had a betta for 2 years. It died while being kept while he was overseas. He recently has lost 2 bettas in short order and is very frustrated.

HE wishes to know what is the best size/type of tank, filter, food and care for a betta. He does not wish to lose another fish. He is a single guy and his fish was very important to him - so I would like to give him the best advice.

Betta people?

You know- there should be a "Basic Betta Care" thread written by someone really knowledgeable and pinned - just as we have for goldies......

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O.k. I will try to see what I can post. I am not really good with putting things into words but here goes.

1.The betta should have at least a gallon sized tank or bigger sized tank. If you have them in a gallon to 3 gallon sized tank without a filter, then you need to do a complete water change every few days to keep the water good. If you have a filtered 2-3 gallon make sure to do a total water change every week or so.

Tanks of 5 gallons or larger only require a partial water change once a week.

Keeping their water pristine is essential. Bettas tend to not due well in dirty or neglected water

2.a bettas water temp should be 72 to 82 degreess - they are a tropical fish. They will become sluggish,become ill and possibly die at lower temps. You will need a thermometer to keep track of water temps to make sure the temp does not drop or change drastically. They need the temp of the water to remain at a stable 72-82 degrees . In my betta keeping experience they tend to prefer the temp at around 76-78 degrees.

3. when doing water changes, make sure the water you are adding is the same temperatures as the water of the tank as not to shock the betta.

4. bettas are carnavoires ( meat eaters ) and should be fed food that is specifically designed for them such as betta pellets. Some bettas will eat flake betta food but this is a rare.feed them a few pellets once to twice a day. I personally feed mine twice a day. Do not overfeed because this will dirty your water quickly.You can also give them frozen brine shrimp You can give blood worms as treat only about 3 times a week if desired. Bloodworms should not be steady diet just a treat.

4. Males should be kept by themselves and not housed with other male bettas or female bettas( they will kill each other ) Female bettas can be kept in a sorrority tank together given they have enough space and hiding places-like plants and hidey holes to hide in . females should never be housed with males . The male or the female will kill each other if housed together

5.some betta keepers (myself included) will add a little bit of aquarium salt to the water to keep the electrolytes of the betta in good balance. This is a personal preferance but I find it works well for me and have had healthy fish so far.

6. Plants are a good idea. Make sure there are no rough edges on the plants or tank ornaments that would tear their delicate fins . Silk an live plants are sometimes better choices than plastic which can rip delicate tails

7. Another option is to add indian almond leaves or extract to the water. It releases natural tannins in the water which mimics the bettas natural habitat and keeps the water anitbacterial .

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they don't. in fact some bettas will tolerat filtration flow and some will not. Each betta is different. Some keep bettas without filters but that requires more frequent water changes. If you have a filter I would keep it on low flow

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If you don't have a tank hood or if your betta is housed in a bowl, it's always a good idea to have something to cover the top. Some bettas are jumpers!

Other treats besides bloodworms that my bettas love is dried shrimp. I crumble the shrimp into small bite-sized pieces and my bettas go crazy.

A heater to keep the water at a constant temp is recommended, especially if you don't keep your house warmed to a certain temp, etc.

Also, don't forget the water conditioner!

Edited by MsAmpersand
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Is there a specific filter that you would recommend? An "in-tank" one? HOB? Brand?

He will literally buy whatever you tell him to - and will do it with the exact care of the design engineer he is. He likes specifics (as do I! ;) )

Thanks!

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Now, this is just a guess, but wouldn't a betta like a filter that doesn't have a waterfall, but moves the water horizontally across the top? With the flow set on low, of course.

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I have one of my bettas in a 5 gallon and got an in tank submersible filter, it's a tiny Eheim brand filter and I just placed it where the part that pours the water out creates a current across the bottom of the tank where he doesn't swim and it doesn't break up his bubble nest either. I really like that filter.

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Excellent post Bettaqueen! The one thing I might add is that if you feed pellets, presoak them first. And bits of peas once a week are readily accepted.

Daryl, I have the small Whisper in-tank filters like this:

http://www.bigalsonline.com/BigAlsUS/ctl36...iinternalfilter

I have these tanks for my bettas, which come with the above filter:

http://www.bigalsonline.com/BigAlsUS/ctl36...wkitneptuneblue

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I have to say my betta adores having a well-planted 10 gallon tank for just himself, a few cherry shrimp, and some ramshorn snails.

The small Azoo palm filter seems to be plenty of filtration to get rid of surface scum without creating too much current for him, given all the plants. I have the water level all the way up to the lip of the water return. The baby shrimp are fun hunting on occasion, and the plants give him a reason to swim around and patrol. They seem to like a few soft stem plants like limnophila to sleep on near the surface The difference in activity level between giving him the entire 10 gallons versus a smaller 2.5, or half the 10 with the divider is remarkable.

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I only have one betta now, a small female. I had her in a bowl until she got sluggish then decided to try a tank--a 10 gal with danios then a 20 gal. with platies and cories. The change in her is indeed remarkable! She's grown and has definitely become more active and doesn't mind the filter flow at all. I have the HOB Whispers and they are not set on low. She must not care since she swims through the current all the time looking for food! This little girl will eat flakes, no problem. Also freeze dried brine shrimp and bloodworms. She even picks at the sinking pellets as they fall to the bottom for the cory cats!!

Edited by Kristi
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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest Kevin523

The only thing I'd disagree with is that if you have a 2-3 gallon tank with some sort of filter, you shouldn't have to do a complete water change..especially if you're not overfeeding. But yes I'd agree a partial water change every week for a tank that size is recomended. I'd say 25%.

I have my 3 male bettas set up in a 20 gallon tank with two divider separating them all.

I also have one of those whisper internal filters that an earlier poster linked to, however I have the one for the 10-30 gallon tanks. I discovered my betta didn't really like the current from the filter so I bought a large piece of drift wood (the fake ceramic kind) to lean up against the out take of the filter (it's not blocking the intake) and my betta loves it. He swims throughout the holes, etc.

in the other corner I have a Lee's economy corner filter hooked up to a pump to help clean that side.of the tank. So on one side the ceramic driftwood blocks the flow down a little, in the middle divider I have the heater and two plants for the second betta and the third betta in the last divider has two plants and the corner filter.

I do have plastic plants but I've never seen my bettas get snagged on them, or their fins get ripped.

i also agree adding salt seems to help keep them healthy (fight off diseases help with electrolytes).

I feed mine a combination of tropical fish food, betta bits, algae flakes (it still is mostly made up of fish) and freeze dried bloodworms.

I change about 15% of the water every two weeks cine I only feed once a day and have the two filters going.

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