New Betta Care

fishfanatic15

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It has been about a year since I have been on this forum. Since then 3 of my betta have died (not from anything really preventable - just being older I think) the one I was most attached to though, Azura, died a few weeks ago. She was really starting to show her age (She didn't swim much anymore - she also had what looked like cataracts but idk) she would swim up for food and still got excited when I came up to her ( not sure if she could actually see me or if she just heard me). She was always a feisty and very personable fish. She eventually let go and I was a mess about it. I tried to keep her tank cycled (She lived in a 20g all by herself) with low amounts of ammonia and I think it worked. Yesterday I decided I could bring myself to get another girl for my tank. I know 20g is alot but Azure loved it and I figured I could rescue a petco cup-dweller and give her a huge castle to live in .

Apparently my local petco has decided to try to have a sorority in one of their 10g display tanks. They had 5 females and a school of corys in there. One of the betta was swimming up and down the glass, 1 was just minding it's own business and 2 were chasing each other and flaring at each other. But, there was one that was being picked on by everyone and kept swimming against the walls and away from everyone. She was very pretty, crowntail but smaller than everyone else. I decided that was the one I would let inhabit my betta castle.

I brought her home, cleaned the tank and preped it for her. I acclimated her and she seems okay.

My questions about her are these:
~ She still seems to be avoiding going to the top of the tank and still stays near the walls, so do you think she is afraid or stressed still? How can I make it better for her? I will attach a picture of the tank later.
~ I am having trouble getting her to eat this morning. I put in some betta pellets but she dosent see them because they float and she dosent go up to the top or out in the open. I put my hand near her and dropped some and I think she got one of them but the rest floated up. How long should I wait for her to get accustomed to her new tank before I worry about her not eating?
~ I know that it takes time for them to get familiar and comfortable with their surroundings. I am very paranoid about her. I want her to be happy and not afraid that another fish is going to come after her. When will I be able to tell if that is her personality vs she is just stressed/scared?
~ I cant tell if she is having trouble swimming with the current from my two filters (tetra whisper and aqueon quietflow 10) she seems to drift a bit then correct it. How will I know if that is keeping her from swimming out and about. (Azure always loved to play in the current so I never had to worry about it before)
~She also seems to swim up and own the side a bit on the left side of the tank, will this top once she gets comfortable in her surroundings?

I haven't gotten a new betta in about 2 years, so it has been awhile since I have had to go through this. Bare with me because I just worry about her alot.

TIA
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FishLoverDogLover

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I would just let her chill out for a bit. My sister has a sorority tank. Also is there much current on the surface of the water? I've noticed that bettas dont appreciate a huge surface current. Also we've tried betta pellet food, and none of ours seem to like it. We feed them regular Tetra Flakes or Shrimp pellets and they do great. (not including my genetically problematic betta that i posted about in another forum)

Also I have the same cave for my Elephant nosed fish XD (also posted about that recently)
 

WriterDayAndNight

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First of all, if your tank hasn't been up and running for atleast a few weeks I think you need to redo the nitrogen cycle (I'm assuming you already know how to do that if not click on the blue words).
She does seem to have some stress stripes and it's very clear that she was anyways.
She might not eat for a few days becuz of the new tank, I would get worried if she goes more than 3 days without eating.
She might take a bit longer to get use to her tank sense its much bigger and more open and shes the only one in there.
If you want to find put if the filters are bothering her I suggest turning off ONE not both for a few hours at most so you can see if she swims more, better, etc. I suggest looking up on betta fish illnesses (I think theres a post somewhere on here about the most common types such as fungus, swim bladder, fin rot, etc). She's a very pretty girl, good luck!
 
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fishfanatic15

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I am monitoring the tank's levels (as in ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate) to make sure that it is safe for her. I have prime and my python if anything goes sideways. I also could steal a filter or media from a tank that is inhabited in my house (the tank has two filters - it is my brother's) if I absolutely needed to. Sadly I have had to deal with plenty of betta problems in my previous time keeping them. A.K.A fin biting males, fin rot, SBD, dropsy, etc. If she ended up getting sick I have aq salt, betta revive, and a smaller tank back up tank so that i could treat her.

If turning off a filter does end up helping her, what can I do when I need to turn it back on? I know some people make flow diffusers from old water bottles. I seem to remeber a thread about this somewhere.

Thanks for the help guys.


EDIT: I turned off the quietflow (which is the stronger of the two filters, and she definitely seems happier and swims around more. I tried to diffuse the outflow with a water bottle but it seems that it just moves the current to multiple outputs. It dosent make it soft enough for her to swim in. What should I do next? What filters can I use that would be soft enough for her? Would I be possible to run the tank with only the tetra whisper? I used to have an aquaclear that you could adjust the flow rate on but they are very expensive and Idk if the light setting on it will be too strong.
 

WriterDayAndNight

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That's great that we found part of the issue! You could try removing a filter all together and getting a sponge filter (they're super gentle, people usually use them with bettas and shrimp). Sponge filters are pretty easy to make, there's a ton of videos on youtube and instructions online (in fact I think fishlore has apost about that too!). You might not even need the sponge filter/second filter though. How many gallons does the other filter clean/fix/idk how to word it in one hour? SO basically whats the gallon per hour rate ig
 
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fishfanatic15

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WriterDayAndNight said:
That's great that we found part of the issue! You could try removing a filter all together and getting a sponge filter (they're super gentle, people usually use them with bettas and shrimp). Sponge filters are pretty easy to make, there's a ton of videos on youtube and instructions online (in fact I think fishlore has apost about that too!). You might not even need the sponge filter/second filter though. How many gallons does the other filter clean/fix/idk how to word it in one hour? SO basically whats the gallon per hour rate ig
The tetra only does 90gph, I know most people want at least 5x the tank volume per hour. I am considering getting a sponge filter; although, I have read they are quite loud. I may just buy another tetra to bring my gph up to 180. I believe my heater is not working so I need to go to the store anyway. (I live in florida and I am monitoring the temp. It is staying at 78. But, I will probably go get another tomorrow then, as it makes me more comfortable that there won't be fluctuations in the temp)
 

Hipsterkipster

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You can use some decoration to block the current for your betta.

As for feeding her pellets, you can try using a chopstick! It could be a bit tougher with your 20 gallon since it's so large, but for me, I used one stick and waved it around near the betta until it's aggressive towards it. Usually, I'd play with it a bit and bring it closer to the surface. With a wet chopstick, I'd stick one pellet on the tip and use the chopstick to lead it towards food.

Even if she just prefers chilling on the deeper side of the tank, hopefully she'll learn that food is near the top and go upwards whenever she sees you. I hope it works out. All the best to you and your fish.
 
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