Couldnt stop myself!

Discussion in 'Betta Fish' started by ebbandflow, Apr 25, 2006.

  1. ebbandflowValued MemberMember

    So I was in my LFS looking at different fish I might want to put in my tank and my eyes fell on this gorgeous male betta (it was so attractive I started to question myelf :)). Anyway... I bought him and I am acclimating him to my tank right now. I couldn't find biospira anywhere near me so I am trying out cycle. I'll keep track of my levels and everything and if they start getting high I'll do frequent water changes.

    Once I get him swimming in his new home I'll post some pics. Any advice on him (I already did a decent amount of research but more is always better) would be appreciated.


  2. ShortyValued MemberMember

    Is your tank not cycled yet then? I have not used cycle or bio-spira (I am in the UK so we don't have those here as far as I know) I know what you mean about getting carried away, I am doing a fishless cycle in the my new big tank and I am dying to put to put fish in!

    It might help the more experianced peeps if you put your tank size, volume etc and any other fish in there down and how long the tank has been set up etc, also current water readings are helpful - sorry if you ahve already done this and I have not noticed :)

  3. vinWell Known MemberMember

    Just be careful to keep a close watch on him as he may die during your cycling.......... :-\

  4. 0morrokhFishlore VIPMember

    The Cycle may or may not'll need to use a ton of it if you are going to speed up the dump in the whole bottle and then go and get some more.
    You'll have to be really careful about the water conditions.  Bettas are not exactly your ideal fish to cycle with...
    What food do you have for him?  What is the temp?  And what size is the tank?
  5. ebbandflowValued MemberMember

    29 gallon tank... not cycled. No ammonia, nitrites or nitrates. Hikari Bio-gold betta bites. 80 degrees. Really hope he doesnt die... but I'm happy I got him. I'll test everyday. What do I do (other then water changes) if the levels start going up?... or not do for that matter.
  6. 0morrokhFishlore VIPMember

    Well, other than not being cycled, the tank sounds perfect. I would get some freeze-dried bloodworms and brine shrimp in addition to the pellets.
    I don't think there's much you can do besides water changes...except cut down on feeding a little...but with one fish you won't have much of a cycle, just a lot longer. Do you have any other tanks?
    If you need ideas on tankmates, let me know--I am setting up a community around female Bettas, so I had to do lots of investigating on what fish are fine with Bettas.
    Anyway, you will have to monitor water quality very carefully, and when it comes to adding more fish, you will have to do so just a couple at a time.
    Ohhhh, I just remembered, you may have a see, the Betta will now consider the tank his territory, and if you add more fish you will have a war. If the plants are fake, you could rearrange the tank every time you add fish...or you could set up a temporary 3-5 gallon tank for the Betta, get the other fish, and then move him back last...if you do that get a sponge filter and put it in the 29g to cycle.
  7. chickadeeFishlore VIPMember


    Temperature of 78 to 80 all the time except when they are being medicated. 82 for anything other than ich 85 for ich

    Water needs to move but not rush. They don't like to be pushed around in the water, but the surface needs to be "ruffled" enough to keep dust and scum from building up on it as they breathe air as well as through their gills. These are some of the few fish that can drown.

    Food - seems to be a very important issue with bettas. They are picky to the point of being ridiculous. Be prepared to have a lot of food ignored and once they find something they like they are not like most fish, they do not care much for variety. You will spend a fortune on food types thinking you are doing him a favor and he will look at them and swim away. It is very important (I cannot even begin to stress this enough!!!) to watch HOW MUCH you feed your betta. The old rule of "give them enough for them to eat it in a couple of minutes" will kill your betta. They are little pigs, if they have a bunch of food around them that they have decided they like they will make you believe they have never eaten before and you are denying them the last morsel they JUST HAVE GOT to have. Do not give in or you WILL have a problem.. If you are feeding pellets -- no more than 4 pellets 2 times a day and that is if he is a big boy. If he is just average sized then 3 pellets 2 times a day. If you feed more you will have one constipated betta. Even if you give other food, the amounts have got to be monitored. Bloodworms = 6 or 7 worms twice a day. (pellets OR worms not both) Usually if you have a fish that likes worms they won't care much for the pellets and vice versa. When (I do not say IF) they get constipated, get out the trusty frozen pea and place one on a saucer in the microwave for 30 seconds and cut a couple of tiny pieces to equal about half the size of his eye and give them to him. (It is ALWAYS my suggestion to get your betta used to hand feeding right away. It just simplifies the "what are they eating and how much?" question)

    They need to be protected from sharp edges on plastic plants and decorations probably even moreso than some fish as they trail so long behind themselves and torn fins are a harbinger of disaster. Silk plants or real are much safer for them.

    You are very BRAVE. You have chosen to allow your betta (Name?) to be your tanks first inhabitant. You realize he has never been with other fish and does not know that they are allowed to be in the same container with him. He believes he is the master of his castle. Now I do award and bless you for taking him from his cramped quarters and giving him 29 gallons all to himself LOL but you are going to have trouble adding others without a feisty betta causing a rucus. PATIENCE (My favorite betta word) They have been culturally disadvantaged, and every one of the other fish you put in with them are going to be scary, maddening and objects of much curiousity. If you see chasing and what looks like nipping, don't be too surprised. I would however be very surprised to hear that he wiould actually take a bite out of any other fish unless they threatened him or he could mistake them as another betta or gourami.

    I do a 50% water change at least one time a week even with good water parameters just because the fins are so long and flowing and I am always worried about finrot. I am always obsessed with the temperature. I applaud the 80 degree temperature. That is what I strive to keep my little ones at.

    It sounds like you will do fine and I am so happy you were not able to resist the little guy, although they are not the best fish for an uncycled tank. He can make it but it will be a lot harder and more water changes. You will take longer cycling because of the changes, but they must be done. I used CYCLE with Misty's tank and I dumped it right into the filter media. Everyday I put a couple of teaspoons in the filter and I think it helped kick start things but it won't do the job for you completely. I am still putting it in her water as I am not sure the cycle is totally done without the aid of the "bacteria in the bottle". I am almost afraid the cycles I got with the product will only last as long as I keep adding the product even though I know that is silly. Anyway, I would use it again in a pinch but not on a regular basis.

    Sorry to be so long-winded but by now everyone should be used to me and my books.
    Enjoy your baby! Send Pictures!!!

  8. ebbandflowValued MemberMember

    Thanks guys.

    I'll try the pellets and stick with them if they work. Should I do the frozen pea thing like once a week or only if Satin (I think thats the name I'm goin with) gets constipated. Also, some websites say to skip a day of feeding.

    I have one ten gallon tank that's been running for a couple of weeks now... I got it initially as a quarantine tank. I don't have any tank mates and would love some suggestions. I'm thinking cories for the bottom... I watched them in my LFS and they are fun. Any suggestions on fish for the mid-upper levels? Other then the cories I am thinking one more schooling type fish or a few non schooling. If I do get other fish I was thinking of putting some of the 29 gallon tank water in the ten gallon, putting Satin in the ten gallon, putting the new fish in the 29, rearranging everything, then adding Satin back in.

    I'll try and get some pics of him up soon but I'm supposed to be out the door right now. Its going to be hard though... he is an energetic little fishy. Won't stop moving. But thats a good thing I guess!

    Thanks guys.
  9. ebbandflowValued MemberMember

    Oh yeah I almost forgot. "Hand feeding"... now, this doesnt mean that the I should feed Satin like out of my hand does it? You mean just like one pellet at a time? Please clarify... I want to start things off right.
  10. ButterflyModeratorModerator Member

    Hand feeding :) -If you want to interact with your fish on a regular basis you can teach him to eat from your hand. I wouldn't advise you to do this for every meal because if someone else has to feed him he won't eat. I feed mine blood worms by hand everything else he gets is just thrown in.
  11. chickadeeFishlore VIPMember

    I do every meal simply because there is no one else, but there is a lot to be said to what Butterfly says. Yes that means one pellet at a time. I love the time I spend with them doing this. No I would not start with a regular pea diet. When he is constipated, he will 1) hang around the bottom and not want to swim much or eat and 2) when he does swim his back end will "shimmy" and sway more than it does usually like he is trying to do the bossa nova but cannot quite get the hang of it. It is like he is trying to work something out and cannot. That is one reason I like hand feeding pellets. I wait until he quits chewing one before he gets another or he will literally put them all in his mouth at once and swallow them whole and then WATCH OUT! Clogged city! I even have to watch Misty and her tiny pellets that are no where near full sized yet. She will wait until she has 3 o4 4 to swallow unless it is one at a time and chew-chew-chew. It takes some time but since you are only giving 3 - 4 pellets not that much and they will get to know you on a personal basis. I try not to feed them blood worms by hand because I have a skin rash with them but sometimes I wear a glove so I can feed Marty as he will only eat the worms and he is a behavior problem some days.

    Enjoy and maybe consider putting the cories in the 10 gallon tank and adding Satin as the final addition after you have all the other inhabitants. He would then have to start in a new pecking order with fish that had already staked out their territories Just a suggesiton.

  12. ebbandflowValued MemberMember

    Satin keeps flaring at himself (thats what I guess at least) and attacking the glass. Is this bad for him? Will it give him something to do? What should I do if it is hurting him?
  13. ShortyValued MemberMember

    I would do as Rose suggested, get the tank gal organised and have some corys in the bottom and add Satin as the last inhabitant, have his as a main feature :) That then leaves you the 29gal to stock as you choose without any concerns for fin-nipping etc, also in the 10gal you have have more one-to-one time with Satin. Thats what I would do :)

    I am not sure about the flaring, I know people let their Betta's see mirrors but for limited amounts of time as I believe they can get quite stressed? (Correct me if I am wrong) Try putting something on the outside of the tank to prevent him form seeing himself all the time, I don't know what though - someone will have an idea :)
  14. ebbandflowValued MemberMember

    Umm... ok. Not eating Hikari Betta Bio-Gold or (more obviously maybe) flake food. Didn't even try it... like it wasnt there. Whats the next step? Freeze dried brine shrimp? What should I try next and what brand? Thanks. :-[
  15. 0morrokhFishlore VIPMember

    The flaring shouldn't become a problem unless he won't stop after like 10 minutes.
    I would try freeze-dried bloodworms next--I think they have more protein than brine shrimp. Brand doesn't matter, just try to get as small a container as possible as they don't last long.
    For tank mates, you could have Cories, Otos, very peaceful tetras (Cardinals, Black Neons, Glowlights), and/or Platys. Just make sure there are plenty of hiding places for all the fish.
  16. chickadeeFishlore VIPMember

    The flaring is probably due to a lighting situation causing the inside of the glass (acrylic?) looking like a mirror and maybe could cause a problem because it could last longer than the afore mentioned 10 minutes at a time. They should not flare so much. It is stressful. As one of the members, (I think it was Dahly) said once, it is like having to be on guard 24/7 with a burglar right outside the house. The "adrenaline" pumps continually and is hard on their systems. I made the mistake of allowing mine to flare at each other too long one day and I had one terrible time getting them settled down. I thought the older one (since gone to the large tank in the sky) was going to die right then.

    The tank lights shouldn't be on with the room lights off maybe? If this isn't the problem try putting a background or some plants or some kind of barrier up between him and the wall. This is another reason to have him in the 10 gallon. (less glass to worry about) Bettas have a lot of little quirks but don't give up on him, I promise he is worth it.

    If you cannot find anything else to do right now (they usually find the same spot to flare at all the time) just put some "waxed paper" (has to be something DULL) on the outer side of the tank where he goes to and it will help cut the glare. (shouldn't have to be a very big area and only temporarily until he finds out the "other fish" is gone - a week or so)

    I hope this helps, if not just let me know and I will try to come up with another idea. There are some other finishes we may try.

  17. ebbandflowValued MemberMember

    OK update...

    HES EATING!!!! Yay oh my god you have no idea how stressed I was that I was gonna lose my first fish. Satin is doing great right now though. I tried so many different things and finally I just tried everything all at once and he ate some bloodworms, spat it out, went for it again and swallowed!! I think I scared him when I jumped for joy (probably shook the poor guys home... not to mention my own.)

    He stopped all the flaring... I havent changed anything so maybe he just got bored? Or realized it was himself that he was gettin so mad at? Both equally unlikely. I dont know but he's definitely chillin (not that type, I'm keepin it at a constant 80 ;D).

    pH is 7, Ammonia btw .5 and 1, nitrite at 0, and nitrate at 5. Should I do a water change or is everything fine right now?

    I think I'm gonna keep him in the 29 gallon. I would feel bad givin him a mansion and saying "but you have to live in the guest house." At least I'll try that first.

    Couple observations. I think ive heard this talked about before but I forget the feedback. Satin keeps resting on some of the plants in the tank. Is this normal or a symptom of something bad? Also, I've noticed that his top fin doesnt stay up very often... usually only when he is trying to stop in the water. Is this ok or something I should worry bout?

    One more thing... if anyone has any product/plant/supply suggestions please tell me. I don't want Satin lacking anything.

    Im gonna try and attach some pix... I sat next to the tank for three hours (using many different camera settings) and these were (sadly) the best ones that I got. Hope they dont come out too huge.

    Attached Files:

  18. 0morrokhFishlore VIPMember

    The pictures are awesome!! And I'm glad he's eating.
    Are you sure about your water readings? You have to get nitrite readings before you can start getting nitrates...
    Anyway, watch your water very carefully now and do a water change if the ammonia starts getting above 1.
    I think a lot of Bettas like resting on plants. No clue why.
    Bettas' fins are so big and heavy I don't think they would hold them all the way up all the time, just when they're flaring. Satin looked just fine in the picture, which was beautiful by the way.
  19. ebbandflowValued MemberMember

    Thanks. But the picture seriously doesn't do him justice. My arms just got tired so I had to stop trying... and he'd always be in a perfect position when my camera was resetting or off! Oh well thats how it works sometimes.

    I'm pretty sure about the readings. Problem is that I'm partially colorblind (I can tell two colors are different but not if their the same... its strange i know.) But I got my parents to separately tell me what they thought the readings colors showed and they said the same thing. Its possibly because of the Cycle (product) that I added.

    I should probably do a water change now then because ammonia is between .5 and 1. How much should I change? And is there a better time of day (less stressful for Satin) that I should do the water change at? Should I vacuum the gravel or just take out water and put back in fresh?
  20. chickadeeFishlore VIPMember

    I would do a 25% water change and no gravel vacuuming - he hasn't been in there long enough to cause much debris and the bacteria are trying to establish on the gravel. The ammonia levels shouldn't be wiped out completely or you will stop your cycle but you do need to keep Satin from suffering. That little of a water change may slow things down a little but make him more comfortable.

    Your Baby is BEAUTIFUL. I have never seen such a beautiful blue. Your tank is nicely arranged and looks like a very nice home for him. I can tell he has you right where he wants you. I had a smile about the decision to leave him in the 29 instead of putting him in the 10. He is going to rule the roost, and believe me I know the feeling LOL. The pictures are great and I will say that the only time I ever was able to get really good pictures of mine was when they were flaring either at each other or a mirrored image. Otherwise it is very hard to get a really good image of them (Marty always wants to look right at the camera LOL and I am always getting Noels little backside, Misty is so curious she wants to watch me take her picture and that doesn't work at all LOL)

    Just be careful about the feeding, a constipated (overfed) Betta is NO JOKE. If you haven't checked the FOOD section under the welcome message, since he is eating bloodworms, a meal is 6-7 worms and he can have 2 meals a day. Don't let him have more. He will make you feel like you are starving him and he will look up at you with begging eyes and swim around oh so nicely and make you feel like a heel, but practice a little tough love and keep him from making himself sick. Bettas can die of constipation.

    Omorrokh is very right about the fins. They don't make the effort to raise them unless they are flaring. It doesn't mean a thing unless you start seeing holes or ragged edges or transparent places on the fins or if they start looking like they are "curled" like someone used a curling iron on them. Those are signs of finrot.

    Since you have found something he will eat, I will give you one little piece of advice. Bettas are not like other fish. they are not much into variety. Don't waste your money buying him treats. He has found something he likes and you will have a terrible time getting him to try anything else. He doesn't want anything else. He is more than content to have the same thing all the time and will resist your efforts to "be nice to him". As long as he is eating the food just let him eat what he wants. If they had little feet, I could just see them planting them in the sand and saying, "If it ain't broke don't fix it." LOL (words of experience - I have spent a fortune on "treats" none of which have been accepted)

    Sorry, this turned into another book. I just tried to answer several questions at once and got carried away.

    Beautiful baby picture. Satin is a very handsome guy.


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