(new to me) Juvenile Betta

  • #1
I've been reading through this forum and other sites and one thing I've not been able to find (or perhaps (I've missed) is info on taking care of juvenile betta fish. Aside from the normal parameters in water, are there special instructions to note?

Yes, I do have a vested interest in this, as I have adopted my first every fish - a betta a little over two weeks ago. I purchased him and found out from the seller that he is now estimated about 3.5 months old, and is about 4cm (1.6 inches) from tip to tail (3 cm (1.2 inches) excluding the caudal fin). And as with every 'parent' with his/her first 'child', I feel like I am being a bit overprotective/over concerned, and so I though I would reach out, post and see what the community has for insight. And my apologies in advance for the wall of text!

**Diet- my biggest question/concern. After reading info on this, i decided to get Northfin 1mm pellets. He always seems to be hungry. I know bettas in general are like this. My thought is that like any growing thing, you want to provide lots of nutrients. I always feed him one by one (and have recently started soaking them before feeding), and stop when I notice his belly getting larger, but not protruding. This is usually about 3 or (max) 4 pellets, whether soaked or not. (As a side note, when he seems to have had enough, he swims away, and is lazy like someone relaxing after a Sunday dinner!) That brings me to the next questions in this topic-- at this age and while he is still growing, should I be fasting him? I've noticed that he likes to eat about twice a day. The times have fasted him, he is clearly *hangry* and zips around the tank (5.5 gallons) like he is on fire, much more noticeably than on a normal day.

**Exercise - he does swim around a lot, and seems to pace the front and left bottom of the tank. I've found that I can 'play' with him either with using the red bulb of a thermometer, which he follows around like a kitten or a green laser pointer (making sure not to shine on him!) Like a puppy or a human child, should I be playing/exercising him or just let him swim around as he wants?


**** Cave/Hides - in my research, I've found that bettas generally like caves/hides, and so I made sure to have many of these in the tank (pics below). However, he doesn't seem to care for these at all, the only time visiting them is when I turn on the tank light, which brings me to to:

**** Light. He absolutely hates the LED lights that came with the tank. The tank is is a decently lit (but not direct sun) room. He seems happiest if I take off the lid and let the natural light in (or at night, the ceiling lights). If I am in the room, I don't mind doing this, but knowing that one day he may start jumping, I purchased clear, non-glare plexiglass sheets to put over the top. Nothing too snazzy, but it does let in natural light. He also dislikes the light from the TV, which at it's near point is about 2 meters (6 feet) from the front of the tank, but has started to not to seem to mind this. I did try to acclimate him to the tank LED light, starting with an hour one day, a little more the next, and so on, but after a while, gave up as he would zip around for a minute and make a beeline for one of the caves until I turned the LED off.

****Bubbles - At this age, I don't expect him to build bubble nests, and knowing everyone is different, am perfectly happy if he never makes one. When I first got him, he would go up to the surface and spit out a bubble or two that would immediately pop. In the last week and a half, he never does this any longer. In fact, he rarely goes to the surface. Is this something to be concerned over? (The tank does have all living plants, fwiw.) He does not seem to be sick or imparted in any way.

****Glass surfing. He tends to glass surf whenever I'm in the room and can see me, keeping to the bottom. At night, this week, he tends to 'sleep' in the back area of the tank on the ground, although a week ago, he was sleeping on the betta hammock. Also, he has never seemed to care for the plants or tanks or crevices I tried to include, preferring to be in the open areas.

Tank size: 5.5 US gallons
API Liquid tests
Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: between .25 and .5
Nitrate: 5
PH Low: 7.6 (consistently)
PH High: 7.8 (consistently)
Temp: 80F
All live plants - java moss and java ferns; hides are coconut shells, that were boiled at least three hours with five water changes.

Dose each morning with .5mL of Prime if not water changing; if water change (20%, 1 US gallon), add .5mL of to new water. Water changes about every other day. (He loves siphoning and new water!) Betta is alone in the tank, with no plans to get any other living things.

Again, apologies for the wall of text, but info, feedback, and/or observances are welcome!


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  • #2
with bettas its a good idea to have an indian amonned lieaf in the tank

  • Thread Starter
  • #3
with bettas its a good idea to have an indian amonned lieaf in the tank

Thanks! I actually have two in there now. I boiled them for about three minutes before introducing them to the tank!
  • #4
ahh that's good u know what to feed yeah
  • #5
Hello! A betta from a good breeder that is 3.5 months old is full grown. They grow up pretty fast.

Feeding: 5 pellets once a day is probably how much I would be feeding. Frozen bloodworms will help him to grow and thrive and can thawed and fed as an occasional treat.

Hiding: my bettas won’t hide in caves either. Somethings they like swimming through driftwood though.

The glass surfing is 100% normal. Just his way of begging for food or saying hi.

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