How do I know if my betta is happy?

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captain_bilbo

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I have a betta(Bruce, see my display) and I keep him in a very small 2.5 gallon tank. He seems extremely content (although I don't have a heater for the tank either, but I've heard betta can be cold water as well) but he only seems as content as a betta could be. I'm not entirely sure, he seems happy, swimming a lot at times and at other times hiding in a corner (until I turn off the overhead light). How can I be sure if he's happy?
 

Gunnie

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He sounds like he's doing okay, but could be better. You will definately need a heater for your tank. Bettas are tropical fish, and those that tell you they don't need a heater don't know better. Do you have a filter in that tank? How often do you do a water change? Most male bettas that are content spend their time making bubble nests at the top of the water.
 
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captain_bilbo

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Okay, I'll buy an extra heater tomorrow. The only one I have now is heating my 10 gallon, which I still have no direction for...
 

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It's a little more difficult to heat a small tank like you have. Some of those heaters for smaller tanks are not very reliable and could cook your fish. Check the heater forum and the betta forum for comments made by others who have these smaller tanks and how they safely heat them. Byt the way, what are you feeding your sweet boy?
 

cherryrose

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Welcome to Fishlore Captain_BilBo. You have a very lovely fish there and I also like his name.  He would fit right in with my betta family.  My boys are Barney, Benji, and Boston.  My girls are Belle, Bambi, and Bindi. A big welcome to Bruce too.  

Gunnie gives excellent advice and I agree with all she said.  By the way, please don't buy cheap heaters.  If you get a 25 watt heater, make sure it is a Stealth Visa Therm.  I bought a cheap 25 watt heater and almost had cooked betta.  The heater didn't shut offf when it reached the 80 degrees.  In fact, once it was plugged in it never stopped heating at all.  I'm just glad that I discovered it in time.  Needless to say I got a new VisaTherm Stealth heater.  They cost more, but are definately worth it.  You can order one from the Drs. Foster and Smith Web site.  I don't know the url but if you type that in to a search engine and search, you will find it.  

I'm glad that you and Bruce could join us.

CherryRose  
 

COBettaCouple

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Yea, smaller tanks are harder to heat, but a 25w stealth visa therm would be a great heater. Reading the small print on some of those cheap, small heaters you'll find they do just what cherryrose said - just heat & heat & heat & heat.. eventually you could have a nice cup of tea. Definitely more than the 78-82 range that Bettas love most. Cold water makes them more open to getting sick.

Here's the heater: . You might find them at Petsmart too. Check the measurements to be sure it'll fit your tank. Should you have the cash for a 5 gallon - our wallyworld has a 5 gallon hex kit for 29.99 that it would definitely fit into.
 
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captain_bilbo

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FLBettaCouple said:
Yea, smaller tanks are harder to heat, but a 25w stealth visa therm would be a great heater.  Reading the small print on some of those cheap, small heaters you'll find they do just what cherryrose said - just heat & heat & heat & heat.. eventually you could have a nice cup of tea.   Definitely more than the 78-82 range that Bettas love most.  Cold water makes them more open to getting sick.

Here's the heater: .  You might find them at Petsmart too.  Check the measurements to be sure it'll fit your tank.  Should you have the cash for a 5 gallon - our wallyworld has a 5 gallon hex kit for 29.99 that it would definitely fit into.
Well... I live in a small town (like the Mellencamp song, haha) and I happen to live an hour away from the nearest PetSmart, so I think I'll have to go to Tri County Aquarium in Corbin to save on gas. I plan on calling them today and asking about their heaters for small tanks, cause I definately don't wanna cook Bruce.
 

COBettaCouple

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captain_bilbo said:
Well... I live in a small town (like the Mellencamp song, haha) and I happen to live an hour away from the nearest PetSmart, so I think I'll have to go to Tri County Aquarium in Corbin to save on gas. I plan on calling them today and asking about their heaters for small tanks, cause I definately don't wanna cook Bruce.
Hopefully they'll be knowledgeable on the heaters & not try to sell you one that you don't want.. just stick to 25w if you can and reading the box you should be able to tell if it's a heater that just heats without regard to water temp or if it's one that shuts off at a preset temp (some are preset to 78) or shuts off at the temp or temp level you set. If they try to sell you one of those little 7.5w, keep going - i've not heard good about them.. plus the 25w would be good should you move Bruce to a 5-8g in the future. Best of luck, good shopping and if you can (unlike us), resist the Betta Bug & MTS .. or let us know of the new Betta.
 

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FLBettaCouple said:
Yea, smaller tanks are harder to heat, but a 25w stealth visa therm would be a great heater.  Reading the small print on some of those cheap, small heaters you'll find they do just what cherryrose said - just heat & heat & heat & heat.. eventually you could have a nice cup of tea.   Definitely more than the 78-82 range that Bettas love most.  Cold water makes them more open to getting sick.

Here's the heater: .  You might find them at Petsmart too.  Check the measurements to be sure it'll fit your tank.  Should you have the cash for a 5 gallon - our wallyworld has a 5 gallon hex kit for 29.99 that it would definitely fit into.
Haha How lucky am I? That's the heater that i bought for both of my small tanks, i just didn't know the name of it so i couldn't relate to what CherryRose was saying. Just goes to show how good my gut intuition is. ;D They are very good heaters, the only thing that i dont like is you can't tell if they're on or off because there's no light. So just keep an eye on the temp because you won't know if one konks out.
 

COBettaCouple

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cool. yea, an indicator light would be nice, but would probably make it cost more.
 

Sparkling Diamonds

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Well, it would be a lovely convenience, especially since it's a nice heater already. I wouldn't be bothered by the price.
 
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captain_bilbo

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FLBettaCouple said:
captain_bilbo said:
Well... I live in a small town (like the Mellencamp song, haha) and I happen to live an hour away from the nearest PetSmart, so I think I'll have to go to Tri County Aquarium in Corbin to save on gas. I plan on calling them today and asking about their heaters for small tanks, cause I definately don't wanna cook Bruce.
Hopefully they'll be knowledgeable on the heaters & not try to sell you one that you don't want.. just stick to 25w if you can and reading the box you should be able to tell if it's a heater that just heats without regard to water temp or if it's one that shuts off at a preset temp (some are preset to 78) or shuts off at the temp or temp level you set.  If they try to sell you one of those little 7.5w, keep going - i've not heard good about them.. plus the 25w would be good should you move Bruce to a 5-8g in the future.  Best of luck, good shopping and if you can (unlike us), resist the Betta Bug & MTS .. or let us know of the new Betta.
Well, I've resisted the betta bug, but the way I see it, they are easy to care for and manage and they're very interesting to watch. I already have MTS because the other week at my friends moms junk store I bought a ten gallon tank. I've posted it specifics elsewhere, but I plan on moving a filter into it today and getting a heater, after a couple weeks I'll buy some fish, but.. that's noty what I'm talking about, haha. I just know I have MTS and will buy more tanks in the future.

BUT I think my betta is beginning to settle into his new home. This morning when I got up for school I went to feed him (I leave the lights on at night and off in the day) and he swam up to the glass, and he actually acted like he knew I was going to feed him.
 

Sparkling Diamonds

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That's the best! Both APollo and Helios (My bettas) swim up to the top when i walk up and open the tank. They swim up there and just wait for me to feed them. And if i take too long then they turn their backs on me and swim off in the other direction all upset. Haha It's too funny.
 

COBettaCouple

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They sure do LOVE their food and we should be ashamed to not feed them every time they think it's feeding time! Sounds like your little guy is settling in and feeling like the king of all he surveys now.
 
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captain_bilbo

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FLBettaCouple said:
They sure do LOVE their food and we should be ashamed to not feed them every time they think it's feeding time!    Sounds like your little guy is settling in and feeling like the king of all he surveys now.
I believe he does... I'm feeling pretty anxious to get home and watch him. :
 

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Feed one bite at a time and watch them chew it up and make sure they are ready for the next piece before giving it to them. It cuts down on constipation problems and with the pea treats the chances of having a problem is almost unheard of. It is no joke to have a constipated betta. They can and have died of this problem. This is also a wonderful time to have some lovely quality time to talk to him and get to develop his personality and get to know him and let him know you. You will be surprised what fun you can have at his mealtime.

Rose
 

COBettaCouple

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chickadee said:
Feed one bite at a time and watch them chew it up and make sure they are ready for the next piece before giving it to them. It cuts down on constipation problems and with the pea treats the chances of having a problem is almost unheard of. It is no joke to have a constipated betta. They can and have died of this problem. This is also a wonderful time to have some lovely quality time to talk to him and get to develop his personality and get to know him and let him know you. You will be surprised what fun you can have at his mealtime.

Rose
I've found each of our Bettas has his/her own way of telling us when they're ready for the next piece. Aslan likes to stick his nose above the surface. Sora goes to his 'feeding spot' and Angel swims back & forth under the opening to her tank. We love feeding time so much (almost as much as our Bettas ), it's hard to not overfed them, but we just have to remember what could happen if we did. Rose is right about it be a great time to interact with your Betta and I really think ours look forward to feeding time for more than just the food.
 

genie

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Off subject, but I thought I would say Hi. I know where London Ky is. I lived in KY for 4 years-- got my BA at Morehead. Small World!
Good luck with your betta.
 

poefox

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Hi there and welcome.

Bettas will sometimes huddle, though a healthy betta doesn't do it all the time. The heater will probably help with that. They can also get mopey at times. At those times paying them some attention a couple of times a day helps. You actually don't need to give them sustained attention like a dog, more like with a cat, acknowledge them and watch them for a bit.

Bettas will build bubble nest if male at times, if they haven't in a while they're either sick, depressed or old.

Also they should have a healthy appetite--naturally you don't indulge this but when they come to eat they should be eager for their food.
 
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