NEW BETTA, NEW AQUARIUM, NEWBIE

voiceless_kat

Member
As you can tell, all new, and new to this site. I wanted a Betta, did my research, bought an Eclipse 6 for him ( Neptune). cycled it for 10 days, it has a heater, (74') silk plants, substrate, a nd a few marbles and a background and this morning I added Neptune. He will be the only fish. He went crazy doing a little freedom dance for the first minute, swimming all over the place. Now he seems to have settled near the top of the tank, occasionally tipping his nose to the surface.

For some reason I am paranoid that because I went the distance with the setup and research...mine will be the one to not make it! ( Everyone I know with Betta fish have them in tiny bowls, vases, etc and they have lived forever!! LOL ). So my first posting is just to ask what behaviour to expect as he settles in.

I must say I have learned a lot about the mighty little Betta fish on this site! - Who knew he was such a character!

Thanks for any replies.
 

nmwierman1977

Member
Well you will notice him very curious and looking around a lot discovering everything. You may see him flare a lot if the light is on, especially when the room is more dark then the tank. That will only be because he is seeing his reflection. If he starts to do that you can slowly wean him on the light in his tank. Have it on an hour or 2 then turn it off an hour or 2. Do that for about a week or 2 and he should be good to go. He just needs to get used to it.

We like to see Pics, so if you can get some of them we'd love to see them. You said you named him neptune? I love it!

Welcome to Fishlore to both of you!! Natalie
 
  • Thread Starter

voiceless_kat

Member
Thanks for your reply. Neptune is just resting near the surface at the rear of his tank. Should he be exploring more? He was the most active one at the shop when I "rescued" him from his life in a little container, but after that initial minute in the new tank, seems happy to linger .

Guess I expected him to keep doing the "{freedom dance}"...........I do have the light on, perhaps I will turn it off awhile?
 

nmwierman1977

Member
As long as he isn't flaring you don't need to turn it off. It's better if it's on. I just suggested that if he started flaring a lot. As far as his lingering in one spot they tend to do that. He just might still be getting over the shock of being in a bigger space then what he's used too. Give him time. I'm sure he's fine. Natalie
 

chickadee

Member
When he "tips his nose" to the surface he is actually butting the surface of the water with the top of his head and taking a breath through the labyrinth organ located on the top of his head.  He needs a clean top surface and good access to the top of the tank to be able to do this or he can drown.  Labyrinth organ fishes, and bettas are one of them, can drown if they are not able to breathe air like we do as well as using their gills to breathe like ordinary fish.  

They need to have their diets watched very closely as many bettas have died of being overfed and developing constipation.  For some reason they seem prone to develop digestive problems.  The amount of food offered is only part of it.  It is a very good idea and besides kind of fun to feed them one pellet or worm at a time and make them CHEW it up thoroughly before giving another one.  It is kind of funny to watch them chew their food and cute besides.  This is also a good time to have some quality time with him and develop a relationship.  Talk to him while you feed him and put your hand flat on the wall of the tank and talk so the sound goes into the tank better.  Water carries sound waves very well and so you do not need to talk loud or worry about him not hearing.  I sing to mine    and they all have their favorite song that they react to better than the others.  

In case you have never heard of the "pea treats" the instructions on doing it and many other tips are contained in the "Welcome and Betta Care Guide" that is listed at the top of this boards topics.  It does sound like you have done your homework.  Now, have you cycled your tank or are you expecting the betta to do it for you?  In either case, you are going to need a Master Test Kit.  You need to test the water very frequently during the cycle so he is not being poisoned by his own waste products.  (ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates)  There is an article on the Nitrogen Cycle that I would recommend that you read if you have not.

This should get you started and we will be glad to try to answer any questions you may have.  Please feel free to browse, comment and question all you want.  We want to welcome you and Neptune to the forum and all my bettas are waving enthusiastic welcomes to Neptune into the betta community.  We treat our bettas like people here as they do have all the personality traits and then some.  

Please keep us informed of the progress with your tank and please feel free to post when you like.

Rose

https://www.fishlore.com/NitrogenCycle.htm





Hope this helps.
 
  • Thread Starter

voiceless_kat

Member
Hey chickadee thanks for your posting. I read a lot of info on this website prior to purchasin "Neptune". This morning I read about constipation- and was amused and bewildered. Love the pea thing! ( for the "poop" thing..LOL). Most sites suggest bettas not be fed their first day in their new home, so I was going to wait until tomorrow.

Neptune's aquarium is sitting on the kitchen cupboard, so he will be fun to watch - and we will be fun to watch for him!

There is a bio wheel filter in the corner of the aquarium ( standard on the kit), and he was swimming in this moving water when he first was introduced to the new home. However, now he has moved away, and continues to hover near the surface, every now and then resting on a plant leaf. This aquarium was recommended on many sites, and practically all said that the bio wheel didn't make enough current to bother bettas.

Hopefully he will wake up soon and actually explore. Must be when you want to show off your kid or pet, and they won't do anything when someone is looking!

I will continue to watch this post for anymore tips or snipets of information! Thanks.
 

Phloxface

Member
What temp is the water at? They are a little more active when they are warmer. They need to have water between 80-82F
I believe you said your heater was set at 74, unless I misunderstood. That would be too cold. Bettas don't swim constantly like many other fish so don't worry. It's perfectly normal for him to just float around the top a lot. They take lots of naps and in between they explore. Give him things to explore and he'll be happy.
 
  • Thread Starter

voiceless_kat

Member
Thanks, Phlox....I cranked up the heater to 78....He has some marbles and a little cave.........plants (silk). I will post a photo when he tells me he is ready for publicity!!

Much appreciate assistance.
 

chickadee

Member
The Bio-wheel may throw him (not literally) for a bit until he gets his swimming muscles built up. Remember he has been in NO current at all and will need to build up his strength, but he will do it and then he will be a healthier little betta for it.

Rose
 

LZ Floyd

Member
HI and welcome to the forum, voiceless_kat and Neptune.

Neptune should really come to enjoy being in the Eclipse 6.

Mike
 
  • Thread Starter

voiceless_kat

Member
Everyone who calmed me yesterday........who knew this would be so much fun! By yesterday afternoon, Neptune was exploring the back part of his tank, soon the front. I couldn't quit watching him....he found several good hiding places and was in and out of all the plants. He seems to like to perch on leaves . When my cat ( or "Octo-****") as he must appear to Neptune,(LOL) peered into the tank, Neptune hid himself away in the soft fingers of the artificial anemone which he seems to like. When he disappeared, the cat lost interest, and Neptune reappeared.

At this point my husband is sure I have "lost my marbles", especially when I told him some say Betta's will "play" with marbles!

Anyway, I tried to feed for the first time this morning, the pellets float and he ignored them. One got caught in the current from the bio wheel and he chased it , but didn't get it. So my question of the day is..do I just remove the few floating pellets and try again later? Seems like such a little amount of food...but I will do as suggested by you guys and what I read. I thought he would be starving by now!

I haven't seen him flare yet, hopefully that will be my treat for today....never thought this would be so fun and entertaining...who knew this little fish would be so cool!!

Suggestions appreciated. Thanks again, and thank for the welcome.
 

chickadee

Member
If you put a pellet in the tank and he does not eat it, just remove it and do not offer more with that meal. He is not interested. He has more "fish to fry" if you will pardon the expression. He just got into a new BIG home and will be very busy making it his own for a while. He will probably not eat for you until he is familiar with his surroundings. Then give only one piece of food and make him chew it up before giving another one. When he has had the correct size meal (2-3 pellets, 6-7 bloodworms, or 5-6 Atison's pellets) then stop feeding him. An overfed betta is a sick betta eventually. Constipation is no joke with bettas and many have died of this condition. The frozen pea treats will go a long way toward keeping his digestive system completely healthy.

If you have not done so yet, please read the following, the pea treat directions are included.



Hope this helps

Rose
 

nmwierman1977

Member
Yeah, don;t worry if he does not eat for a few days. Like Rose said he is exploring his new home and he until he settles in he won't eat for you. It could take anywhere between 1 or 2 days to possibly a week before he decides to eat. So do not worry about it. Natalie
 

Phloxface

Member
It took one of my males 10 days before he would eat and the other male 5 days. My females ate right away. He won't starve. He'll eat when he's ready.
 
  • Thread Starter

voiceless_kat

Member
Thanks Everyone for reassuring me regarding Neptune. He seems to be having so much fun exploring, so many hiding places that he finds and rest in or on awhile. He loves that soft, fake anemone and goes right inside it between all the tentacles! How can something little like this be so amazing to watch. And I am so happy I found out that Betta's should not be in little bowls - I did think that and was about to go that route - happy I did some research. Seeing how Neptune is exploring and thinking how he would have to live in a tiny bowl, swimming in circles, I can't imagine that it would even be fun to watch - seems very cruel, is we can attach these human emotions to a fish critter!!

So I will continue to try to feed him ( you would think they would be starving following their journey from who knows where ) - and do whatever it takes! I understand that now I should watch the water and when do I start testing for Nitrates-ites, ammonia, etc? Should I be testing everyday?

I have taken some great pictures too, so will post one or two soon. I love to see everyone's pictures, and hear your stories & know there are others out there with this interest!

Thanks to all!

Val
 

cherryrose

Member
Welcome!!! (((((((Val and Neptune)))))))

CherryRose
 

chickadee

Member
Val,

If your tank is not cycled and it sounds like it is not, then you need to be testing for ammonia and nitrites already and doing it every day. If the readings get to be AMMONIA 0.25 or NITRITE 1.0 then you need to do a 50% water change. These things can build up fast in an uncycled tank and are very toxic to the fish in the tank so please keep an eye out to make sure that he is not being poisoned by his own waste products.

It may sound like a lot of work but a healthy betta is worth it, I promise you.

Rose

Here is the article about the Nitrogen Cycle.

https://www.fishlore.com/NitrogenCycle.htm
 
  • Thread Starter

voiceless_kat

Member
hI Rose: My tank was up and running for 10 days with one 50% water change prior to Neptune being added on Friday morning. When I added him. PH & Ammonia was good. ( both had been treated on Thursday ) . I used the ammonia drops on Thursday. haven't got a Nitrite/ate kit yet ( will get tomorrow) so haven't tested.

Should I be testing for PH/Nitrate-ite/Ammonia-um every day??[/
b]
I am very confused. I will test it first think in the morning, and if it is out of whack do I take him out and put him into something, then do 50% water replacement ( treated with Aqua Safe), let that water heat back up to 80degrees, and do I retest once change has been done and then add stuff if I have to. How long before any treatments can I put Neptune back into the tank?

Sorry I feel like a dummy!

On the unconfused side -- I fed him today and he ate a couple pellets before swimming off. I waited a couple minutes and then took the floaters out of the tank. I thought I had killed him when he held one in his mouth before swallowing it!! It scared me for sure.

Then I showed him a mirror and saw him flare for the first time, which was the neatest thing. I got some neat photos of that, but haven't been able to figure out how to get the photos from "My Pictures" to this posting!

Anyway, if anyone can offer more suggestion, please and thanks. I will check the postings in the morning after I check my PH & Ammonia.

Thanks. Val
 

chickadee

Member
Okay so now I am a bit confused too. Why did you do a water change before you put the fish in? Were you adding something to the tank? If there was just water circulating in the tank there should have been no reason to change the water. If the ammonia drops you are talking about is the ammonia used to cycle the tank, you cannot put that in with Neptune in there as it is poison to him. If you are talking about the test in the test tube then forgive my confusion.

There is not a reason for the pH and ammonia to be anything but good before the fish are in there as they will remain the same as the water in the the tap until you add fish to the tank.

Here is what you do. Leave Neptune in the tank when you change the water, he will move out of the way for you. You never want to change more than half of the water so he will have plenty to swim around in. You do the tests in the little test tube that comes with the test not in the tank. You make the water about the same temperature as the water you are taking out of the tank so it is not that different when you put it back into the tank. You really need a thermometer to check the temperature of the tap water when you run it into the mixing container before you put the dechlorinator into it. Then when it goes into the tank it will be the same temperature as what you took out. Once you change the water, wait at lease 8 hours or overnight to test the water as it will have just been all stirred up and will not give you good readings.

Is he having trouble getting the whole pellet in his mouth? This generally means that they are too big for him and could make him constipated or get caught in his digestive system and really plug him up. Can you tell me what brand you are using as some BETTA pellets are actually too big for bettas. They need to be about the size of poppy seeds, no larger; and if you happen to have a young betta that can even be too big for them.

Pictures:
You will need to shrink them to a size that the forum can use. Then if you go to the area where you write a post and in the lower Left corner there is a place called "Additional Opitons..." You click on that and a "Browse" button will open up and you can click on it and choose a picture. then if you want to have another picture you click on "(more attachments)" that is right behind the Browse button. But like I said you have to make sure the picture is not more than 400 KB per picture or they will not load. A lot of people use to shrink their pictures. Some printers also come with imaging tools that will reduce pictures for you.

Rose
 

Phloxface

Member
voiceless_kat said:
On the unconfused side -- I fed him  today and he ate a couple pellets before swimming off.  I waited a couple minutes and then took the floaters out of the tank.  I thought I had killed him when he held one in his mouth before swallowing it!! It scared me for sure.
;D My Bettas do that too. Sometimes they haven't finished chewing the last pellet but they grab and hold the pellet you drop to keep other fish (even if there are no other fish) from taking it away. They usually swim away to some discreet corner and quickly spit the pellet they are holding, chew the previous pellet and grab the one they spit again. Most animals will grab food and run with it to prevent the others from taking it away from them. It's just instinct.
 
  • Thread Starter

voiceless_kat

Member
Good Morning All. So here is the scoop Rose & Phlox..............guess I was (who am I kidding - am) more confused than I thought! I just tested water, which is crystal clear and Neptune is cruising around showing off, happy as a clam - well, Betta. ( At least from where I am looking!)

Aquarium is 80 degrees.

PH is 7.6 which may be high, but many things I read say that is OK. ( huh?) Should I add PH down drops and is that done straight into the tank?? or should I just leave it alone?

Ammonia is 0ppm ( yay)

Food is (on the advice of another Betta lover) HikarI Cichlid Gold Baby, which he said was the same but less expensive. It is pretty small, but when I look at the photos in Drs Foster & Smith (where I geared up) the HikarI Beta Gold may be smaller. Well I now have an 8.8oz bag, which will go bad before I could ever use it up anyway, so I will buy some Betta pellets. In the meantime, do you think this is to big? The pellet had floated a bit, so was bigger, he did exactly as Phlox said ( so smart) put it in his mouth, swam behind the heater and when he came back, it was gone! Anyway, expense isn't really an issue with just one fish!

Nitrite - can't test till I get to town and buy a kit.

Water - I live in the country, we have very hard well water. We haul drinking water from town and I treated it. Now I have a 3 gallon bottled water for his next change, which I have not opened or tested. I will probably just haul from town when this is empty, I basically just wanted the bottle it came in. Anyway, it will be at room temperature when I do a change, is that no good??

Rose to answer why I changed the water half way through the cycle - I read so much stuff, and printed it off, and read it again. My husband actually asked me that also, but I thought I was supposed to. Now when I think of it, it was dumb............( I won't tell him that - ha ha) I am sure this is why people keep Betta's in a vase or a tiny bowl..............Hopefully I am on the right track now.

Ya think?? LOL ???

Oh ya, resolution is too high on my pics, so I will have to change that also to get a few pics.

Whew, sorry for the length, I see some of you are on line, hope you will help me get straightened out!!
 

Timesdragonfly

Member
Hi! I just thought I'd hop in and maybe help a little if I can. If your ammonia is still at 0, it won't be for long. Many here will tell you not to use chemicals to adjust the water. Once you go through the cycle you don't need chemicals. If you use chemicals to change the pH, it will make the pH unsteady which is more dangerous than leaving it alone and letting your fish adapt. Also, if you use chemicals to get rid of the ammonia, the cycle will never happen and you will become dependent on the chemicals... plus they don't always work very well.

The nitrogen cycle takes some time. It takes even longer when you have a fish already in the tank because you cannot let the ammonia and nitrite spike. Keep testing the water. First your ammonia will creep up. Once it gets to .25 do a fifty percent water change. Make sure that the water you add is the same temp as the water in the tank, or you will shock your fish. I microwave some water and then pour it into the water that I'm going to add to the tank, check the temp, and then add it. After the ammonia gets up there, the nitrites will start going up. after the nitrites start to go up, you will begin seeing Nitrates. Once there are nitrates, you will notice the ammonia going down, then the nitrites will go down. Your tank is cycled when ammonia = 0 Nitrites = 0 and Nitrates are around 10. Keep doing water changes until your tank is cycled.

If you can order some Bio Spira, you can use it to cycle your tank instantly. It's expensive and needs to be kept refrigerated. I haven't been able to find any in my area, so I've never used it. there are others here that have ordered it online and used it and if you deside to go that rout they can help you. I think I would suggest this method because you have a fish already in there and the hassel of all the water changes will drive ya nuts!

btw, I think you are doing an excellent job. It's hard when you first start. There is so much more to it than adding water and throwing in the fish, but you've aready made a big step by not having him in a little bitty jar! You'll get it all figured out and Neptune will be a very happy fish for all your hard work!
 

Phloxface

Member
When you do a water change it should be the same or one degree warmer than the tank water. I let my water sit in buckets until I need them for water changes and then use a plastic measuring cup (I use for aquarium only) to scoop out some water and heat it in the microwave. I keep doing that until the temp is right, usually 4-6 cups heated per 2 gallon bucket will do.  I put in my water conditioner and add to tank. The fish should never be exposed to drastic temp changes.
As for Ph level, I'd leave it alone. Artificially raising/lowering the Ph constantly will do more harm than good. They get used to whatever Ph you have as long as it's not too extreme. A Ph of 7.6 should be okay.
 
  • Thread Starter

voiceless_kat

Member
Thanks, thanks and more thanks. Ok, I just checked foster & smith and Bio Spira sells for $19.98, and they have to overnight air ship at a cost of $26.98....maybe I will do water changes for a while? I don't mind the $20 but $26 to ship? I will look at Walmart today also when I get the Nitrite/ate test kit. I would rather change water than use chemicals also.( ammonia)

Thanks for tips on heating water..duh..why didn't I think of that?

Do you guys think the HikarI Gold Cichlid baby pellets are ok food??

Most people think I go overboard looking after my cats ( 4) so why would a fish be any different? Nice to have others who share my feelings?? it is also so great to read everyone else's postings, ideas, problems, thoughts. So glad I came here!
 

Timesdragonfly

Member
I hear ya about going overboard. I think I spend more money and time on my dogs than most ppl do with their kids.
 

Phloxface

Member
I would feed the Betta Bio-Gold pellets. Cichlids have different nutritional needs and they are bigger therefore the pellets would be too big, even the baby pellets. One small packet of Betta Bio-Gold (about $2-$3) should last you well over 6 months. It's really not expensive at all.
 
  • Thread Starter

voiceless_kat

Member
  HELP, HELP, HELP!

Previous helpers -- here is what I did.  Went to Walmart, they had no Nitrate testing things.  Sucks living in small town. :-\ Guess I will have to order that online.  As I said previously, Ammonia is 0 ppm right now.

I did buy something called :"CYCLE ' which apparently you cannot overdose, and it assists the good bacteria get established.  I have read the insert and don't understand it.  Can I add it now, even if I have no way of measuring Nitrate?  Can I just put it in with Neptune, or do it at a water change.?

I also bought another thing STRESS ZYME -- it does the same thing, but there was no one to help me in the store, so I brought it home to read  and decide which one to keep.  I see CYCLE is also in the Foster & Smith cataogue, and I feel they are pretty reputable.

Is my aquarium considered new or established,  am I setting up or maintaining  since those are the phrases the intructions use?  Anyone used this before?? :'(

Now,BETTA FOOD....the one that was there had larger pellets than the Cichlid Baby I now have.  So I bought some other thing for Bettas, and it is flakes.  ( IT WAS SEALED)  Well that was a waste.  So I will order some at Foster & Smith when I order the Nitrate testing kit and replacement filters ( can't get those locally either).  I did get some freeze dried bloodworms........why don't they just call them mosquito larvae?  I will try a couple of those tonight.

Holy ****......................sorry I am being such a pain in the butt, ??? I don't mean to monopolize the forum, I just need to know a lot of stuff.  Anyone with experience with any of the above, I would appreciate suggestions, ideas, etc.

Good thing I did early retirement.....cause all this wouldn't fit into my hectic work schedule!!
 

nmwierman1977

Member
I don't recommend using cycle. Cycle will just mess everything up and it will not put your Tank through a full cycle.It will put it through a minI cycle and you will have to start all over. Once you start using that stuff you will have to keep using it. This is what I sugest you do if you want to put your tank through a quick cycle with you Betta Neptune in it. When you order form Drs. foster an Smith order Bio-spira. It will instantly cycle your tank and the levels will never reach toxic levels for the Betta so it is safe for him to be in there. It;s pretty expesive stuff and the shipping is overnight shipping so that is also going to be high in price, but thats' only because it needs to be refridgerated. That's why they over night it to you. It's excellent stuff and well worth the money. As long as money isn't an issue for you and Idon't know if it is or not, but if it's not I would go that route rather then using those other products. They are just a wait of money. Natalie
 

nmwierman1977

Member
I just read your Post about the Bio-spira shipping charges. It should only be 19.99 for shipping, unless they are charging more since you are in Canada I don't know. Natalie
 

antisen

Member
I too bought "betta flakes" when I didn't know that was an oxymoron. No matter what the nutritional content, betta's mouths aren't meant to eat flakes. I would keep that sealed and return it if you can The baby cichlid pellets should be fine, especially used in conjunction with bloodworms if your betta will in fact eat both. Just remember, again, not to overfeed. You will probably want to feed pellets more often than bloodworms, with bloodworms like a "treat."

Hope that helps with the food situation,
Whitney
 

BettaBuddy ~ Miley

Member
if he is young and healthy he will be VERY curious!! I got Oscar 1/1/07 - hes maybe 1 - 1 and 1/2 inches long - not including tail so hes pretty small and young and hes the mopst curious little betta!! he loves getting new toys and everything! hes OBSSESED with caves. and every time I change his water he also does a little "freedom dance" . bettas are very curious but just keep your eye on him for any signs of disease or infection. Miley p.s. Welcome and Good luck!!
 

chickadee

Member
Now let's do a little figuring, Cycle has to be used from now on and so does StressZyme. It is called Insurance for the Vendor. When you use those products the effects are temporary and if you stop so do they. The reason we recommend the Bio-spira even though it is expensive is that you use it one time and that is it.

You shake the pouch up really good and open it and dump it into the tank. Then you add the fish if you haven't already and your tank is cycled. You do not change the water for 7 full days to allow the bacteria to establish in the tank and then you are done. The fish are totally safe in the tank and you do not even have to test during that week as you will have a spike of ammonia that is normal but not enough to hurt your fish. I really believe that you will end up spending more for the other products in the long run and but this is your choice.

You are not a pain!!! We all started out and needed information and NO ONE was as clueless as I was believe me. The people here are here to help each other and we all were where you are now. So do not feel bad about asking questions. As far as I am concerned the only dumb question is the one that remains unasked. We may not have the answer but someone will. There are nearly 2000 of us now!

As a fellow retiree, I can relate about the time involved, but isn't it fun and aren't they darlings?

Rose
 
  • Thread Starter

voiceless_kat

Member
Good Morning Helpers!!

Food problem is solved - neptune is eating great, and yesterday's evening meal/treat was freeze dried blood worms - he snarfed those right down. Every time I get close to the tank, he swims up to the corner where I put in the food - little devil!

The cycleing thing:
- I am ordering Nitrite test kit in a few minutes - until then, without one,do I just keep testing ammonia, and if it spikes, do a water change? PLEASE ADVISE! I just checked it and it is still 0 ppm.

-Bio - spira also says to add it after every water change??? At $47 ( incl S&H) that is too pricey.

Could I use Cycle now , until I get the other stuff or just do a water change if the Ammonia spikes??? I am confused about what to do until I get the Nitrite kit????HELP!!

I will wait to hear from someone until I send in that order! THANKS
 

nmwierman1977

Member
You don't HAVE to add it every water change. That is only an option completely up to the fish owner. It merely suggests that you can if you want to. Natalie
 

chickadee

Member
If you put a pouch of the Bio-spira in after shaking it and let the tank go for 7 days before you change the water, it will be established in the filter and on the gravel and decor and plants and your tank will not need any more of it unless you have a tank melt-down from some medication or a horrible accident of some sort.

When you change the filter media just change a part of it unless you have a Bio-wheel and then use the other part to reseed the new media pad. If you have a Bio-wheel just disregard that piece of advice.

Rose
 

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