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Help! First Betta


daryl

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I am now going to do to you what others do to me - annoy you by saying HELP quick quick. I have a Betta and do not know how to keep it. What gph filtration? Can it withstand normal filteration or do I need to cover the intake? What volume of water? What food?

I have a gorgeous blueish Betta that I was given. It is in a teeny tiny bag right now - traveled home from the goldfish show in the cooler next to my goldfish. I have places for them, but I need to find a place for this cutie. He is really really pretty. I need to do him justice.

Can he live with just an airstone, zeolite and water changes for a few days?

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He should be totally fine with just an airstone and zeolite for a few days. Most people end up keeping bettas in those small bowls with just weekly water changes and they seem to handle it. Personally, I like keeping them in 5 gallon tanks. They like warmer temps (around 78 seems to work well for me). When it gets lower than that they tend to get kind of sluggish. As for filters they don't need the extra power that the goldfish do, but I find they can handle it if need me. I use the tetra in tank whisper filters that came with my smaller 5 and 2.5 gallon tanks. I believe the gph on those is 90 and they are fine. I've been told bettas prefer more still water, so I don't even use an airstone or bubbler in my tanks. I just do the filter and heater. And lots of places to hide.

Food wise they have betta food like little betta bits, or betta mix that has some sinking and some flakes. But tropical flakes will work for the meantime. I always give mine treats like freeze dried bloodworms and krill. My betta for some reason seems to prefer flakes. Most like the sinking foods but mine hates it. If it sinks he ignores it, so I ended up doing mostly tropical flakes.

I'm sure others will have tons of info for you too! :)

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Well, I have a little 1/2 gallon bowl with an Oranda painted on it that I won as a prize last year at a show. I filled it with water of the same pH as I run the goldfish - about 7.2-7.4. I will treat the water - and/or use zeolite.

I guess I need to hoof it over to the store tomorrow and get a little 5 gallon tank and a little filter. You say lots of hiding places - but how the heck could there be room for anything in 5 gallons!?!?!?!?

He is bright blue and has a single fluffy tail with a straight back to it. He seems very happy - but I do not know why. He just spent 3 days + in a little bag - sealed. I measured it - there was only 8 ounces of water in there!!!! He is a fry of some breeder.... so I know he is young. How long will he live? He is so adorable. They brought in a box - about 12 X 12 inches and in that box they had 36 fish!!!!!! That little box would not even hold ONE goldfish. So tiny.

I do not have any tropical food - and will not until I get to the store. I think I will feed him a bit of what I feed my goldfish fry. They are bigger than this little fish by 10 weeks - so he is TINY.

So cute :)

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Ok, I put him in the bowl with a small bag of zeolite with an air bubbler running up through it on really gentle, slow bubbles. I gave him an Hikari MiniBite pellet. He is swimming all over the bowl - up and down and everywhere. I think he was tired of being stuffed in a little teeny bag.

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According to the site Koko pinned, he looks to be a Royal Blue Half Moon. He has no other color but the intense blue all over - his head is a bit darker, but not much. His fins are very round - when he gets all swimmy and excited, he looks like a little round thing in the water.

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Bettas in my experience are pretty hardy little boogers. My mom swears that the LFS told her they use to get them shipped in wrapped in wet newspaper, but I dunno if I believe that one. I had one that live 5 years, surviving my pre koko's knowledge of cycling, water changes etc but they generally average about 3 years with me. The best set up for my bettas seems to be around 3-5 gallons with an submersible filter (they tend not to like the HOBs they knock them around a lot) I have noticed that mine prefer a lower ph than my goldies, my betta tanks read 6.5 p. Sue was spot on with the temp and hidey places, mine always love heavily "planted" tanks I just get a bunch of smooth silk plants. I had one who would sleep on a broad leaf, he was the guy that lived so long. They looove mosquito larvae, we could leave a jar lid out with a little water and harvest the little wigglers then dump it before the others hatched. Hikari makes a really good pellet. Feeding sparingly is the best for bettas, I generally fast mine twice a week. I hope you enjoy your little guy.

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Come on now. You have built up the tension nicely for all the photos we are all waiting for. :D

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Oh No! Carol bit by the Betta Bug.

The way they look is certainly endearing, but the best ones also have great personalities.

My best luck was in a 5 gallon tank, with a 25 watt Visi-Therm Stealth Heater, a Red Sea Deco Art Nano Filter, a couple little decorations, and 6 Marimo Balls.

A 50% water change every two weeks and all was good. I fed Betta Bites as a staple, plus brine shrimp and bloodworm as treats. Occasionally a little piece of pea.

Here's my favorite Betta. He had a great personality and lived about 2 years.

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Oh Oh Oh Oh OH!!!!!!!!!!!! I can finally have those cool Moss Balls again???? I loved those, but my goldies just destroyed them. Cool!!!! I think I shall order up a package of them tomorrow!!!! WHoopeee!!! A fishie that does not destroy plants!

I never intended on having a Betta. But as I was packing up my fish, the breeder of Bettas, who had stopped in to see a friend at the show said "Here. You will like these.", and handed me a bag. Then he said, "No....wait. This one is much better", and swapped bags. So I have a pretty blue one. I love bright blue!!!

I have looked at the Bettas in the stores for years, but they always look like they are dead - and if not, they look like they will be at any moment. I just could not buy a little fish stuck in a plastic container of bue skuzzy water. This one was in bright clear water and is happy and alert - even though I know he has been bagged since at least Friday morning!

Only a water change very two weeks???? Wow. I will have to stuggle to leave it alone.

How does one pick up the little thing? I could not pick him up out fo the bag, so I had to pour the whole thing into the bowl. I think he might freak if I tried to pick him up with my hand!

So, I am making a list. Food, tank, filter,.... net?, moss balls, deco (marbles?)........

:bounce

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So everyone's given you great advice so far. :)

I kept mine in a 2.5 gallon eclipse explorer tank from back in the days when I didn't know how to keep goldfish. (Yes, yes, I know :wa:wa:wa )

I agree with Daniel (not just because he's my boyfriend) though on the RedSea Deco Art Nano filters...

They're excellent for bettas. Usually the main problem with bettas and filters is that because of their elaborate finnage they get stuck to the filter intakes like a paper to a vacuum!

The deco art nano filter is just the right size and provides good filtration for the fish without posing the threat of torn fins on an intake.

The only other thing tank wise that I can think of is try to avoid anything with a rough edge or point. The fins really do tear easily.

Oh! I forgot to add, I use to move my bettas around using a ladle. (As crazy as that sounds...)

It was pretty stress free for the fish since it still had water.

Just make sure you have the other container you're moving it to nearby and ready since bettas are fairly skittish and can jump like no other!

------------------------

Betta feeding/keeping techniques I learned from Daniel.

1. When you feed him, don't put all the food in there at once, put the food (if you feed flakes or pellets in) one crumble or pellet at a time. Have your betta swim/exercise for the food. - It will help him to get around, exercise, and it's fun to watch.

2. Try varying his diet. Get some freeze dried or frozen bloodworms, brine shrimp, or spirulina brine shrimp. You can defrost just a little bit and use something like a chopstick, toothpick or something to put them in a little bit at a time. He'll enjoy having a varied diet with frozen foods. (mine looooved them!)

3. Once or twice a week, put up a mirror next to his tank so that he can see his reflection. Usually this will result in the betta flaring at himself. Just make sure you don't leave the mirror there too long. Usually about 3-5 minutes is good. Then take the mirror away. It will seem as if your betta was capable of defending his territory.

I usually fed mine Hikari Betta Bio-Gold. The kind with the the close-able white snap lid. I use to feed freeze dried goodies, but then switched over to Hikari frozen bloodworms, brine shrimp, spirulina brine shrimp. (Basically the same things I feed my goldfish...).

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You already have some excellent advice here so just want to agree. I've had quite a few bettas and used to keep them in 1/2 to 1 gal bowls. Now they live much longer, healthier lives since I keep them in 5 gals by themself or in larger community tanks. Also, most of my bettas hated flake food except for two females who would eat almost anything. One even went for the sinking catfish pellets--she would peck the cories on the head to make them leave and once she even picked up the pellet in her mouth and carried it off!! :D

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Oh! I forgot to add, I use to move my bettas around using a ladle. (As crazy as that sounds...)

It was pretty stress free for the fish since it still had water.

That is a really excellent idea! Nets are bad news for betta fins and catching them in cups takes forever, ladles are a bit more maneuverable than a cup.

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I will try to post tomorrow. I have not been able to put any pictures on this site for many weeks..... it always says my posts are "full" before I even attach anything. I have not figured out how to get past that..... Even when I shrink my pictures down to microscopic, it does not work. I have officially used 23.06MB of 35K before I attach ANYTHING............total size allowed is 2MG. Nothing goes in that.

He is sleeping right now - as I am going to be momentarily.

:rest::sleeping:

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Having bred a few Betta's, here are a few hints.

2.5 gallon & up containers, or aquariums work fine.

Temps Min 74F, better yet around consistant 78F.

I don't use heaters in the summer months, but do fall/winter & early spring.

They don't like strong currents & prefer a placid almost still surface.

They like live plants in the water, extending to & on the surface.

Since they get the bulk of their oxygen inhaling air at the surface.

It's best to use a container with fairly tight fitting covers.

The reason being, that helps maintains stable ambient surface airs temps & humidity.

Believe it or not, Betta's can catch the equivalent to a human cold, breathing cold air.

Most often caused by air conditioning.

Minimal filtration, so long as you do consistent water changes.

A very small box filter, or sponge filter works great.

But, have the uplift tube extend straight about 1/4 to ? inch above the water surface.

Which will minimize current & keep the surface fairly still/placid.

For breeding condition both male/female with 50% live food.

Place male/female in separate bare bottom 2.5G tanks, side by side.

So, they can see each other.

Once female is plump/fat with eggs.

Lower males BB tank level to around 4 to 5 inches.

Insert a few things female can hide in/behind.

Intro female & let nature take its course.

Male will have already, or will quickly build a bubble nest.

Breeding is an amazing thing to watch.

Male will wrap a fin around female, turn her over & squeeze her slightly, so she will emit eggs.

He then emits milt.

Remove female QUICKLY once fertilized eggs are present.

Otherwise male will batter her in custody disputes.

Males are a fantastic parent.

Keep a TIGHT lid on the tank.

One cold draft on the waters surface can cause the loss of all fry.

That was my first blunder, with first batch of fry, live & learn

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Daryl's got a BETTA....Haha Betta Bug :P

This is cool hun, I miss mine, the last one I had was Prince. He lived in a 3 gal tank with a filter and a small heater. I would change the water once a week and feed him once a day. He lived with me for about 3 years :)

Oh I want to see pics hun :bounce

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I went out and got some Betta bites. I have discovered that Betta Boy does NOT like Hikari MiniBites. He did not touch it.

I bought a 4 gallon betta tank with a little mini underwater filter like described above. I will set it all up tonight. I also traded 8 fry for 3 MossBalls. Cool.

I am going to attempt to post a picture. Be forewarned ..... my picture taking skills are the things of legend. I am, easily, the WORST photographer on the planet.

When I find a mirror, I will see if I can get him to flare. He is TINY - only about 3/4 inch in total.

post-27-1247521687_thumb.jpg

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Oooh he's so pretty!!! I think your betta invaded my dreams last night because I had a dream that someone gave me a blue betta that looked just like this guy. Must have been because you told us that someone gave you him lol He's really gorgeous!!! YAY!

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Daryl,

Halfmoon bettas are a bit more challenging then veitails, crowntails, plakats. They are extremely sensitive to changes in water quality. I would recommend one of those eclipes tanks with the built in filter (mini penquin filter) to maintain water quality. Do weekly water changes like you would for goldfish, about 50% each week. Halfmoon bettas to me are synomous to keeping Veiltails goldfish if you know what I mean as far as their care and water quality. Keep their temperature around 78-82 because they are very sensitive to changes in temps as well. Additionally, you should allow him to flare at himself for about 30 minutes daily. Plant the tank with silk or live plants as their fins are very delicate.This like exercise to him and will maintain his halfmoon finnage. Feed him some of those blood worms that you give the goldfish, only two or three at a time, I also recommend hikari betta pellets as your stable food. They also love brine shrimp. My halfmoon loves Ken from dandyorandas aquadyne blend. With your fish keeping skils, you wil be fine

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Well, the hardest part is going to be keeping the water temp. My house/water runs much cooler. I am a bit leary of heaters. Do I need a heater cover to prevent burned fins like goldfish need? I am assuming it is a TINY heater - for such a tiny tank.

4 gallons is not much. The little light that goes over may heat the tank enough during all but the coldest winter day, though. I will get out a thermometer and find out.

I tried a tiny bit of bloodworm - and he ignored that, also. I hope he will eat soon. I do not think he has eaten since before Friday.

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