Didnt plan to own a betta. Now I am lost!

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vhplac

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HI there.
About 2 months ago (ok, could be 6-7 weeks) I stumbled over my old 6 sided 2.5 gal tank in the basement. (Used to house hermit crabs)
Since I kill every plant that I put up in my house, I thought I try to grow some under water...
After some research about planted freshwater tanks I decided to start with the basics and got some Java Fern and another plant (not sure what it is!) and some 'bulbs'.
My goal was to set up the tank in my kitchen and maybe after a few weeks throw some Red Cherry Shrimp or Amano Shrimp in there.
I went out and bought a Red Sea Nano Filter and a Hydor MinI Heater. Treated my water with Stress Coat and 1 tsp. Aquarium Salt. I got some Rocks from my backyard and a piece of wood from our Cal. Kingsnakes old nursery tank, gravel and some Bamboo Sticks. I boiled them for almost a full day with water changes every hour.
After setting up the tank, I added an air stone and a small DIY CO2.
(CO2 line still needs to be tugged away neatly)
As a light I used an old desk lamp with a fluorescent 13W bulb.
The water still had a little yellowish tint to it, so I added some carbon to my filter and changed it every week during my 30% water changes. The plants look good, the water is clear and all readings are stable for almost 7 days now. Temp. is at 75.3F.

2 days ago I went to our local Wal-Mart. While I was there I decided to look for a smaller air stone in their pet section. As I walked down there, I realized that all the fish tanks were empty (they shut down the section) and an employee was cleaning up.
He was about to open the last Betta 'cup' that was standing in the shelf, when I asked what he is going to do with the fish.
He was about to dump the last Betta, since it was the last fish left there and he was told to 'clear out' the section!!!
I took the cup from him, grabbed some Betta Food and left.
The poor fish must have been munching on its tail, it looks tattered, but there are no dark coloration around his injuries.
I plopped him into his new home, (that was meant for some tiny shrimp) and this morning he looked a lot 'brighter'.
I added some Melafix to the water. (10 drops per gallon, got it from my neighbors kid) To help him heal.
I got dried bloodworm, 4 different kinds of pellet food (one of them HikarI Gold) and some flaked Betta food. Offered all of them to "Sheldon", but he won't eat!
Is he sick?
I used to have a few Goldfish as a kid back in Germany, but only in a bowl.
I have no clue what to do!!! Sheldon looks fine, but since I never had a Betta, I am a bit lost here!
Is he ok in the setup that was suppose to be a "Planter" to brighten up my kitchen?
Did I do something wrong that I am not aware of?
Am I harming him in any way?
I tried to look up some info online, but every care sheet says something else!
I just want to do this right! And now that Sheldon is part of the family, I don't mind if I have to invest more money in him.
I AM WILLING TO DO WHATEVER IT TAKES!!!
Just need someone to let me know what it is ???

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Tigerfishy

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Welcome!!!
He's a pretty boy, but please, please, please do a large water change just now as Melafix can be harmful to labyrinth fish like Bettas and GouramI and has been a contributor to death. Betta care sheet: https://www.fishlore.com/Profiles-Betta.htm &

Bettas need a heated, filtered tank, around about 78F, and the filter must be fully cycled. You already know about the nitrogen cycle I see, so get to work on cycling your filter. You can do water changes (40%) every day with a water conditioner called Prime (I got mines on Ebay) and this will keep your boy safe until it cycles.

Invest in a good liquid test kit and keep changing your water daily until your readings are Ammonia=0, nitrItes=0 & nitrAtes are between 5 & 20.

EDIT: typing whil on a call lol, I added some links to the text for you!
 
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vhplac

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Thanks for the fast reply!
I still have a big canister with aged conditioned water. The water change is no problem and I will get right to it! Getting the temp up to 78F is no problem either. Heater is already in the tank, just not plugged in. Like I said... every Betta Care Sheet says something else!
The water has been stable and the tank is circled! (Got some help from my neighbors kid with water and media from his established tank)
I was getting ready for some shrimp, so I watched the nitrate etc very closely.
Will the carbon in my filter help with getting rid of the melafix faster if I change it daily???
Can I use Prime while using Stress Coat???
Wow... now I have even more questions....
 

Tigerfishy

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Haha lol, that's fine!
Great, you're already cycled, half the battle is over now, trust me!

Stick the heater on=check, cycled=check. Next = I use Prime as my water conditioner and add Stress coat to help heal fins, like you are doing, and they are perfectly fine to use together. Stress Coat can be used as a water conditioner, but you will be using loads, Prime is very economical, think 2-3 drops to condition your entire tank!

Changing the water out will get rid of most, and the carbon will help in getting rid of some. I don't run carbon at all actually, but it is advised to change it every 3 weeks if you do use it, so every day is not necessary IMO.

More questions?? Ask away, that's what we're here for!
 
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vhplac

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Heater is plugged in now.
Did a 50% water change.
Sheldon seems fine and didn't mind the baster I used at all. I had to watch him closely when I sucked out the water, because he got so close to it!
I will do my best with the water changes and hopefully he will have a Melafix free tank in a few days!
This really freaked me out >.>

I think I need a "save" first aid kit for my new boy! What should I have in there that will help him if something comes up and not kill him instead?
What about Bettafix? I thought it is the same as Melafix...
(It is easier to care for our snakes!)

He still won't eat! And I keep trying all sorts of Betta food.
(Been to my LPS 7 times in three days. I have everything they offer!)
Right now I am defrosting some Bloodworms. They are my last hope.
He does not seem to be stressed or weak. He plays in the little bubbles and "dances" as soon as I get close to the tank. He is really active, but not hyper.
Hope he won't starve till I find a food he likes! I feel so bad when he spits everything out again... and I swear he gives me a look like "How can you feed me this ****!!??!!"
My husband is getting upset... so much fuzz over a $3 fish
(He is sick with a flu on the couch and mad that I take better care of the fish)
 

Tigerfishy

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Aw lol!! Bettas are fussy creatures, that's the bad news... The good news though is that some can arrive in a new home an dnot eat for DAYS!! I recently got 2 shipped to me and they were eating well with the breeder but 1 of them refused food for about 4 days before he ate until he settled more. He is normal, alright!?

Betta meds: https://www.fishlore.com/aquariumfishforum/threads/list-of-betta-meds-for-betta-disease.16170/
However, you will be surprised how much clean, pristine water, Stress Coat and Garlic juice can do for them. Garlic is a natural appetite stimulant (try soaking his food in garlic juice to get him to eat) and also boosts the immune system, so bonus, hey?!

I have no meds for my boys, but Bettafix is a weaker version of Melafix, so I would personally steer clear of either, but my link lists all the betta safe ones should you need them. Lots of them are US products, but I have a link I made to show the European versions to help me out:

Bloodworms they love, good luck! I'm heading off home from work just now, but I'll be home in an hour if you need more help!!
 

proudtobeafarmgirl

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Hi, I would not worry about Sheldon if he seems happy and is swimming around and making bubbles. I have had bettas for years and had one live well past 4 years and he moved with me three times. I have mine in an unheated vase (when the whole peace lilly/betta thing was a hot item). I recently added java moss and hornwort for them to hide in. And I have been very lucky I guess as I do not always do water changes on time and I have used Melafix and Betta fix on them with excellent results, no deaths and healed bettas. I have also used Cycle and Aqua Plus as a water conditioner. Funny thing about my bettas - I always have two betta boys at once, sitting beside each other because when one dies of old age the other one misses his buddy so much they will not eat, no matter what I give them (there favorite is HikarI Betta Bio-Gold). When I get another betta and put them side by side, bam they start eating again. I have not have much luck with the boys eating flakes and they like a small size pellet, otherwise they spit them out and they sink to the bottom.

My boys have not heater, no filter and sit on my kitchen table and are quite happy.
 
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vhplac

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he is eating the frozen blood worms.
not when they float on the water, but when I dangle them right over it!
such a weird fish
 
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Lucy

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Welcome to FishLore!!
Congrats on the great save. How sad, they were going to get rid of a living creature like that.
Great info from Tigerfishy.

Best of luck with Sheldon.
 

Shine

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Yep, weird is definitely the word! One of my boys won't eat unless the food (brine shrimp or bloodworms) are on the end of the plastic knife I feed him with. If they fall off he'll just watch them float by him in disgust! Crazy fish.

The other two aren't quite as picky... or particular! One even jumps to grab the food if I am too slow ;D
 

Charlemagne

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Hiya Vhplac! I think your Betta will be very happy in his new home. I'm so glad he's eating! I re-homed one of my Betta boys, and he didn't eat anything but 1 flake for a WEEK! He had me soooo worried, but I didn't have time to post it on here. Have fun with Sheldon! He's a pretty boy
 

aquariumgirl lauren

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Shine, haha my bettas do that too! At first I was worried that it was only my betta fish that did that but I guess not. They refuse to eat unless it is off the end of a knife too lol betta sure can be werid sometimes
 

Tigerfishy

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Just remember that bettas will survive in unheated unfiltered vases, but they will not thrive, which is our goal here on FL.

Guess you got lucky with your bettas, but my boys go crazy if there's even a hint of ammonia (had some minI cycles at the start of the year and the 2 I had at the time just hid until their water was perfect again!)

Glad Sheldon ate the bloodworms, and everyone else, no your bettas are not weird, they are soo fussy it's almost unbelieveable!
 

uprightandlocked

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Good job on saving this betta. Sheldon has a beautiful home to live in, by the way. I would like to start upgrading from silk plants to planted tanks. So I love seeing (and reading) about your success in that department!

I also would advise you to begin adding VitaChem to your water. It will help him to regrow his fins. Search for it online. There is a freshwater and marine formula and you can actually use either in your aquarium.
 

lyndra

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my guys won't eat floating bloodworms either - I have a bit of florists wire that is food grade for cake making - I have bend a loop into one end that to scoop up the worms one by one and dangle them in front of my boys.. if they are being more fussy then usual.. I make sure the worm catches their eye.. and then I carefully dart it away from them - they can't resist a chase!
 
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vhplac

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Sheldon is soooo much better now!
Eating is no problem anymore;D
I have to thank everybody here for all the help!!!x
He even has a tank mate now. But only temporary!!!
It is a very tiny peppered cory who will be staying with him for 2 weeks.
Sheldon does not care about his visitor and is busy building on his enormous bubble nest. It is like the little Cory is not even there!
I stocked up on all the good stuff for Sheldon and I plan to upgrade his home to 5 gallons soon.
I am happy that I got to buy him before he went down the drain... he is such a fun little guy and the kids adore him.
 

Heather M

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vhplac said:
he is eating the frozen blood worms.
not when they float on the water, but when I dangle them right over it!
such a weird fish
Yes, they all have their quirky little personalities. My little guy, Lord Nelson, bites my fingers if I'm too slow in feeding him. Your tank is beautiful!
 

Tigerfishy

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Yay, well done, you got there!

Glad it's all going well for you now and wishing Sheldon some happy times!
 
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vhplac

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Happy Sheldon!

Sheldon is eating now whatever I offer him. Even peas, HikarI Gold and freeze dried bloodworms. His appetite is so good, he steals the flaked food from his tankmate (the peppered cory).
I upgraded the tiny Buddha to a bigger one both fish like it. Once in a while they chill on the lap.
Water is stable, but I have some minor algae problems. Since Sheldon is good to his pet cory, I consider adding some shrimp to fight the algae. (one or two tiny ones)
Thanks again for all the help!
 

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Charlemagne

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Love your tank! So glad Sheldon is eating! If you add shrimp, just be aware that some bettas will eat them, so don't be surprised if they disappear. Good luck!
 
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