Betta fish help?

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AJx

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Right now, I currently have a beautiful male betta fish living in about a 2.6 gallon tank (by himself). I bought a heater called a hydor mini 7.5W heater, which does not seem to be raising my temperature level very much (it stays at about 69F, room temperature). So there's question one: Is this a good enough heater, and does it always take so long for heaters to raise temperature? It's been on about 12 hours.

Question 2, my betta just...sits towards the top of the water. He's almost always breathing air in, and only occasionally goes to the bottom of the tank. When he does, he usually dive-bombs to the bottom. So, is it some type of disease, and what can I do to treat it? Or is it just because his water temperature isn't high enough yet?

Question 3, I have a filter that came with the tank. But I'm new to filters and have absolutly no idea how they work. I plugged it in and it made an extremely obnoxious whirring noise, and then blew bubbles into the the tank, scaring my betta half to death! Is this what is supposed to happen? Should I give it more time to filter?

Question 4, companions. I was thinking about getting 2 otocinclus for the tank to clean off the algae. I have a little pagoda to hide them in in case the betta does attack, but will 2 be okay with him? Do I still need the filter?

Any help given is greatly appreciated!!
 
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AJx

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I just remembered another question, if this can be answered too!

My betta hasn't eatten in 6 days, and I've tried both dried bloodworms and betta pellets. Do bettas always take 6 or more days to eat when introduced to a new tank?
 

COBettaCouple

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Those little 7.5w heaters don't tend to do much, unfortunately. I'd recommend a 25 or 50w visitherm stealth if it fits. or one of the small submersible 50w tetra heaters they have at wallyworld. what type of top does his tank have? are there a LOT of holes, etc in it?

Does your Betta have what looks like a bloated belly? and do you see his gills moving hard like he's working to get air? Hanging out near the top could indicate a swim bladder or constipation issue. What are your ammonia, nitrite & nitrate levels? You can try feeding him a frozen pea, thawed in the microwave about 40-50 seconds and then minced really small. feed him a few pieces one at a time and store the rest in a little baggie.. you could feed him the pea 2 or 3 times a day until he gets to eating and swimming normally.

The filter needs to be primed when you turn it on.. just pour treated water on it until it starts working normally.

Otos make good companions, but in a 2.6gallon, you already have a full bioload with a male Betta so otos could affect the water chemistry negatively and make more cleaning and water changing work for you to do.

I'd also recommend an air pump with a gang valve and small airstone so that you can give his tank a moderate air flow. It will be good for your betta and his water.

Often a betta can be picky about food or not have an appetite due to stress.. when you get his water warmer and the aeration and filter running, i think he'll feel more happy. You can also get hikari freeze-dried daphnia to encourage him to start eating. Also dipping pellets or bloodworms in garlic juice (from those minced garlic jars) can sometimes prompt a Betta to eat.

Hope this all helps and that your little guy gets to feeling normal soon.
 

Phloxface

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A 2.6 gallon tank is much too small for Otos AND a Betta. You should consider upgrading to at least a 5 gallon.
The heater you have is useless. You should buy an "All Glass Aquarium 50 watt" heater which has a dial that can be set to exact temps. Heating tanks as small as yours can be risky though so you really need to be careful not to overheat. Bettas should have a temp of 80F. The Vis-Therm heaters are also good but they are not as small and compact as the All Glass Aquarium one so that's why I suggested that one for your small tank.
I don't know what kind of tank or filter you have so I can't answer your filter question. Is it an under gravel filter? If so those are terrible for Bettas. A good small tank filter is the Tetra Whisper 3i internal filter. It's cheap and doesn't stir up the water much at all. Since it uses an air pump to push water up the intake tube it aerates the water and you won't need a separate airstone. In a tank that small the less stuff you have in there the better.
I really think you should upgrade to a 5 gallon tank for your Betta's health. A larger tank is more stable and easier to maintain.
Bettas do sometimes take a while to get used to a new food. One of mine didn't eat for the first 10 days. Is his belly sort of round? He may be constipated if it is. Try getting him to eat a small (the size of half his eye) piece of green pea. Take a frozen green pea and defrost it or put in microwave for 1 minute. Peel off the skin (never feed the skin to him) and cut a VERY tiny piece of the inside of the pea and put it on your finger. Hold it in front of him and slowly let it drop in the water in front of him so he can see it. Hopefully he will try to chase it. Remove any pieces he doesn't eat and keep trying every day. Eventually he will eat it and love it! Peas are the best Betta laxative and they should have a small treat (between regular meals) about 3 times a week to stay healthy.

Questions for you:

Is your tank cycled?

Do you have water testing kits for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate? (liquid, not the test strips as they are not accurate)
 

the_dukeman

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I'm told that it could take several hours for the heater to stabilize the tank's temperature. Mine brought the water up to temperature in about four hours. Maybe I was lucky, but I have a 5 gallon tank that is being heated perfectly with a 7.5 watt heater I got at WalMart. The box stated it was for up to 2.5 gallon tanks but it keeps my 5 gallon tank at 80-82 degrees with an ambient room temperature of 70-71 degrees. I like how small it is, considering the tank isn't that big to start with. The only drawback is that is non-adjustable. However it works well in this installation. Since the tank is acrylic I was hesitant to get a higher wattage heater, but I will probably get a 25 or 50 watt adjustable heater when this one dies. Apparently they work fine in acrylic tanks. Who knew? 8)

If you kept the receipt maybe you could return it for a refund and get a better one like the others suggested.
 
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AJx

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I really want to thank all of you for your help. My betta actually ended up having fin rot, so I took him back to the store and got a new betta. This new little guy seems really active and healthy, so we'll see how that goes. I disinfected the tank and everything, so he should be alright.

Phloxface - Yes, my tank is filtered. And I have kits for all of them, but I have a 24-hour ammonia monitor in the tank.
 
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