New to the board, need some pointers.

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lauscho

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Hello, my name is Travis, I live in Canada. I'm a musician and anime fan.

Today, I decided to buy a betta. A cute little blue one which I named Loki (after the mythical being of mischief in Norse mythology).

At the pet store, one of the employees told me that a fishbowl would be enough. Something like this:

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I already had one problem. My mom decided that "24 hours is too long of a wait and I'll just stick the fish in tapwater now". I'm worried that he'll get sick or possibly die soon. I wish to quell that fear ASAP. Apparently, our town's water supply uses less chlorine than our old town when we used to have goldfish. My mom tells me "they're the same thing".

Now, after reading up on them, I find that I'm also using unfiltered, room-temperature water, and too small of a tank. I have a feeling that I was pretty much ripped off, since it was a clearance sale at the pet store, and they likely wanted to unload as much as they could. But reading all these betta care sites has me worried about the poor little guy.

I hope I didn't just turn a potential best friend into $20 sushi
 

BettaBuddy ~ Miley

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i have a betta whos in a 1.5 gallon tank - thats too small mine and yours.

1. you NEED a lid!! betta do jump! go here -

2. too small to be heated and filtered so get at least a 5 gal

3. you need to do a water change (50%) EVERYDAY until you get a new tank - to keep water warm and clean.

4. well i am no expert but i do know these are right - maybe Chickadee or someone can give you better advice

lol - Miley
 

Phloxface

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You need to buy some water conditioner to make the tap water safe for your fish. Bettas need to be in larger, heated filtered tanks. No fish should live in a bowl or vase. The ammonia level in a bowl that size will reach very stressful levels in less than a day. He will need fresh water (conditioned to remove chlorine and chloramines) every day until you get him out of the bowl and into a larger (at least 3 gallons, preferably 5+ gallons) tank heated to 80 degrees with filter and cycled. I would do a full water change. I don't know if 50% would be enough in a bowl that small. I have tested 1 gallon containers and even 50% change didn't remove enough ammonia.
It's criminal that pet store employees continue to misinform new Betta owners about proper care. IMO bowls should be illegal for any fish!
I'm sorry you were misled this way. I hope that you will be able to get Loki into a proper tank asap.
 

chickadee

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Travis,

I really hate to tell you this but the tap water needs some conditioning with a dechlorinating agent or he will not survive long.  I would ask you to read the Welcome and Betta Care Guide at the beginning of this board to help you understand how to care for your little Loki.  I tried not to make it sensational just the facts.  It will give you an idea of their needs and care guidelines.



I do applaud the effort you are making to try to make your little one comfortable and the petstore should be ashamed for giving you a line of unnecessary and wrong information.  They do this to sell fish thinking that people will be more likely to buy if they think there is nothing needed to care for these fish.  It is even a myth that goldfish need no care to speak of.  

I hope that you can get Loki comfortable and settled so he can have a long and happy life with you and you can have your best friend for a long time to come.  If we can be of help please let us know.  You sound like you are trying to become a very good betta parent and I congratulate you on your efforts and on your lovely little fellow.

Please do feel welcome to browse and question and comment all that you want to.  We are here for you and do want to help.

Rose
 
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lauscho

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Unfortunately, we don't have the money for that, or the resources for it right now. I'll say that I was misled, and had I known about this beforehand, I wouldn't have doomed the poor thing by bringing it into a dangerous place. I've never really been too knowledgeable about pets, though I was prepared to take good care of this one. Fortunately, the pet store owner did tell me to, at the very least, let the tapwater sit for 12 to 24 hours. Unfortunately, my mom decided to put it in the water right away. I just want to know how to keep it alive and comfortable for now until our next paycheck comes in, in a few days, so that we can try to make the necessary changes to its environment, without having to pay extra for treating it for whatever sicknesses it may pick up between now and then.

:'(
 
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lauscho

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Just one more thing, since this is sort of a double post and all...

But I am now also appalled to think that when I bought this thing, it was sitting on top of a fish tank in the store, in a tiny little cup. I even thought that was kinda cruel to begin with. I figured the least I could do was give the poor guy a home.

I feel rather sickened now...

Edit: He's eating. I'm not sure if this is a good sign for now, or what...
 

LZ Floyd

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Hi lauscho, welcome to the forum.  Wonder if you can at least get some dechlorinator to take care of the immediate problem wrt the tap water??  The salesperson suggesting that you let the tap water sit for 24 hours was possibly thinking that any chlorine in the tap water would burn itself out in that time.  Whether it does or not, you still may have chloramine and metals in the water that a dechlorinator will be needed to neutralize. 

If you can put a paper plate over the top of the bowl to keep the little guy from jumping out, that might help.  Some here have suggested putting slits in the plate to let some air get in.

If you have any warm spots in your place, your little Betta would probably like that, too.

Eating is a good sign.  Overfeeding can be a big problem, though, especially if the water is below about 80 degrees.  The cool water slows the Betta's metabolism and without being able to process the food very well, he could get constipated.  Best to avoid that, if you can.

Good luck,

Mike
 

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You can buy a small bottle of dechlorinator for around $2-$3. Is there no way you could come up with this amount right away? Either way, you should have a NEW (never used) bucket filled with water that can sit for at least 24 hours to use at all times for water changes. Please do try to come up with the funds for a decent sized tank and equipment for this Betta. People here can give you all kinds of links and ideas for places to get cheap tanks and equipment. You say you are in Canada? If there is a Big Al's store near you, you can buy a 5 gallon tank for $9.99 and then you need a filter, heater and whatever you want in the tank. Fish are not cheap pets to keep but once you get the right equipment for him he should be easy to maintain.
 
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LZ Floyd said:
Hi lauscho, welcome to the forum. Wonder if you can at least get some dechlorinator to take care of the immediate problem wrt the tap water?? The salesperson suggesting that you let the tap water sit for 24 hours was possibly thinking that any chlorine in the tap water would burn itself out in that time. Whether it does or not, you still may have chloramine and metals in the water that a dechlorinator will be needed to neutralize.
The earliest I can get that is Thursday. Hopefully, he's still alive by then...

If you can put a paper plate over the top of the bowl to keep the little guy from jumping out, that might help. Some here have suggested putting slits in the plate to let some air get in.

If you have any warm spots in your place, your little Betta would probably like that, too.
Done and done.

Eating is a good sign. Overfeeding can be a big problem, though, especially if the water is below about 80 degrees. The cool water slows the Betta's metabolism and without being able to process the food very well, he could get constipated. Best to avoid that, if you can.
We haven't been overfeeding yet, as far as I know, so this shouldn't be a problem.

Good luck,

Mike
Thank you.

And thank you very much for your tips, everyone. If all else fails, I'll go see my band's drummer, who has a large aquarium, and see if the conditions are optimal for Loki to stay in there for a while until I can provide for him. I wish I hadn't been conned into going without a lot of things, and I really should have done more research before buying him
 
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lauscho

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Phloxface said:
You can buy a small bottle of dechlorinator for around $2-$3. Is there no way you could come up with this amount right away? Either way, you should have a NEW (never used) bucket filled with water that can sit for at least 24 hours to use at all times for water changes. Please do try to come up with the funds for a decent sized tank and equipment for this Betta. People here can give you all kinds of links and ideas for places to get cheap tanks and equipment. You say you are in Canada? If there is a Big Al's store near you, you can buy a 5 gallon tank for $9.99 and then you need a filter, heater and whatever you want in the tank. Fish are not cheap pets to keep but once you get the right equipment for him he should be easy to maintain.
As I stated above, I won't be able to until Thursday. It's not just the dechlorinator, but also the fare to take the bus out to the pet store. I'm glad to know that tanks aren't as expensive as I thought.
 

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He will be fine in a your bowl for a little while. Bettas are hardy fish, you would be supprised what they can live through. at least 2.5gal is the bare minimum but try for 5. if you cannot get him a tank for a few weeks you could simply keep in a large bucket or plastic bin. using undeclorinated water will not kill for your fish (in fact I raised fish for years before I had heard of the stuff) but that does not meen you should skimp on it. dechlorinaters keep your fish from, well, being poisoned. he will be fine for the moment as long as you make sure to keep him in a warm place and in a larger container (if you can) Those little buggers are strong so don't worry about him passing away any time soon (unless he is sick) but they cannot last very long without the proper conditions.

if you are broke check out your local thrift store or craigslist.com for some tanks you would be supprised by the sales you can find there. Just make sure that you fill up any used tanks outside to test them for leakage. (trust me on that one)
 
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lauscho

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Well, that's much more reassuring. Thankfully, I think I know where I could borrow a few drops of dechlorinator for now, before I get the chance to buy any. But it'll have to wait until tomorrow, and I have a jug of water sitting out overnight for his bowl, in case I can't. Can I use the dechlorinator in the water that the fish is already in, or prepare a new change of water?

Now, my mom also looked for some sites on betta care, and found this:

Any opinions on it? It looks a little difficult to follow, and maybe based on a certain pet store's website, but it contradicts a few of the things I've heard here. I've also heard some stories from friends who have owned bettas, and kept them in bowls that are likely smaller than mine for a couple of years. Thankfully, my fish is alone in his bowl, and with the size of it, I don't plan to buy any other fish...

I do plan to buy a larger tank (minimum: 3 gallon), filter, and other such things for Loki, but I won't be able to do that for a little while. I don't exactly have a steady source of income at the moment. >_<

Regardless, I do want to make my pet happy.
 

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There is a lot of conflicting information regarding Betta's. A Betta can survive in 2cups of water for a couple years but that isn't really considered ethical by many fish keepers. Fish may not be the most intelligent animals on earth but they still have basic requirements and swimming is one of them. The problem with small bowls is they get dirty very quickly and they do not offer the Betta any room to swim. (Well they also are too small for heaters but this is not a problem if your room is warm or you have a lamp)

You will hear a lot of things from a lot of people but this is my perspective. When you purchase a pet you have taken on a responsibility to care for that animal. sure you can keep a dog in a cage and a ferret in a box but that does not make it right. Animals need to have room to fly, swim, run, and when you take that away that is abuse. Fish may be cheap and less intelligent than dogs but that does not make their health invalid. It has been proven that if Betta's are given daily exercise,and a varied diet, they can live to nearly 10yrs old. (mine have never lived longer than 5)
 

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lauscho said:
Well, that's much more reassuring. Thankfully, I think I know where I could borrow a few drops of dechlorinator for now, before I get the chance to buy any. But it'll have to wait until tomorrow, and I have a jug of water sitting out overnight for his bowl, in case I can't. Can I use the dechlorinator in the water that the fish is already in, or prepare a new change of water?

Now, my mom also looked for some sites on betta care, and found this:

Any opinions on it?
I quickly read through a few pages and there are SOOO many things wrong there I really can't recommend the site at all. It's sad that there are so many bad web sites out there and many new owners just visit one (wrong) site and don't research any further. For one thing they claim that Bettas need water between 70-80 degrees. Seventy degree water is MUCH too cold for a Betta. They should be in water 80-82 degrees and the temp should remain constant with no more than a 2 degree difference, if at all, in one day. You should be able to find everything you need to know on this forum. There is a Betta care guide here written by Rose which should cover all the basics and when you get time you should try to read through as many posts here as you can. I know there is a lot of posts but you will learn a LOT! Hang out here and ask questions. Everyone here helps one another. This is a good community of people and we are all, always learning more each day about caring for our fish.
 

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Ditto to everything said above! I have had 10 bettas (4 are deceased) and when I started I knew nothing. I did a lot of searching online and found a few forums such as this one. Pretty much, the conclusion is that if you want to give your fish the best care possible, do not listen to pet stores. They want to sell you a lot of fish, they don't necessarily care whether those fish survive past their "we guarantee fish for X days" policy. While you will find a lot of different opinions online, if you check around you will find majority opinion saying that bettas do best in certain conditions. A three gallon, heated, filtered tank tends to be accepted as a decent betta fish home.

Welcome to the board. Don't be afraid to ask questions. DO post a picture of your fish, if you can.
 

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I posted a link to the Betta Care Guide in my first post and no I do not think much of the link your mom gave you, I am sorry. Phloxface is correct, Bettas need 80-82 degree temperatures to keep a good metabolism and avoid a lot of the cool water conditions like Ich, Velvet, and the biggie Constipation.

If you are feeding more than 3 pellets or 6 bloodworms twice a day you are overfeeding him. He can have one or the other not both at the same time. He can have pellets one meal and bloodworms the next or he can have pellets all the time or bloodworms all the time but they do not do well on flake food as their mouths are not made to be able to eat it easily. There are also pellets that are too big for their mouths so do not be fooled if he looks like he is having trouble you may have to break it up for him and feed one piece at a time.

Rose
 

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I thought is was 75-82... I normally keep mine at 80, but some are at 78 and they are pretty happy.
 
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Luckily, our house's room temperature seems to hover at an average of 75ºF

Another thing too, Let's say I'm able to get the bigger tank, heater, dechlorinator and all soon. I shouldn't just go putting Loki right into it right away, right? Wouldn't that be a pretty big shock to him?

And here's a pretty dumb question, but how does constant loud noise affect the fish? The only place I can manage for him is on my computer desk, and lord knows I love blasting my loud music pretty much all day. I wouldn't mind getting Loki into my Scandinavian heavy metal, since that would kinda fit his namesake =P
 

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Water transmits music in funny ways and it would stress him pretty heavily I am afraid if it was loud. He could probably get used to the music but not blasted at the tank at loud decibel levels.

No 75 is not really warm enough, the fish are coldblooded and their metabolism is dependent on their surrounding warmth to keep it active. The cooler that they are the more chance they run of their metabolism being low enough to have the food they eat not digest and impact them to the point of serious and sometimes fatal problems. I would say the ABSOLUTE lowest to go would be 78 and the 80 figure is the most desirable.

Rose
 
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chickadee said:
Water transmits music in funny ways and it would stress him pretty heavily I am afraid if it was loud. He could probably get used to the music but not blasted at the tank at loud decibel levels.
Thanks for the warning D:

The only other place for him in my bedroom is on the opposite side of the room from the power outlets for the heaters and such.

No 75 is not really warm enough, the fish are coldblooded and their metabolism is dependent on their surrounding warmth to keep it active. The cooler that they are the more chance they run of their metabolism being low enough to have the food they eat not digest and impact them to the point of serious and sometimes fatal problems. I would say the ABSOLUTE lowest to go would be 78 and the 80 figure is the most desirable.

Rose
Indeed. But I shouldn't just put him into that water right away, give him time to get used to it.

This is all a little overwhelming. @_@ I'm sure that, with time, I'll be able to provide a more comfortable environment, but I'll have to do this one step at a time.
 
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