Help Newbie Betta Owner

chels00

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Hello there,

I have a new female VT betta who I got about two weeks ago from PetSmart. I will admit to wishing to have done more research before buying her, because she has a 1G filtered and heated tank which I know should be bigger, but I trusted the expertise of a PetSmart employee about how big of a tank she needed and I feel bad for not having a bigger tank (but not exactly important right now).

I cycled the tank before buying her because I had read online that was important when I looked into buying a new fish, but I'm concerned because since I got her she seems to be either swollen or simply fatter than most fish.

Two of my close friends have bettas who are much thinner, and at first, I thought maybe that was just her weight, but now I'm unsure and slightly worried as I've read about different diseases such as dropsy, but don't really know how to properly identify them.

I've attached pictures (which aren't great quality, sorry!!) but if anyone could please let me know if they think she's alright, and that's just her weight, or if something could be wrong, I would really really appreciate it!

Thanks so much!
 

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ahouseofscales

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chels00 said:
Hello there,

I have a new female VT betta who I got about two weeks ago from PetSmart. I will admit to wishing to have done more research before buying her, because she has a 1G filtered and heated tank which I know should be bigger, but I trusted the expertise of a PetSmart employee about how big of a tank she needed and I feel bad for not having a bigger tank (but not exactly important right now).

I cycled the tank before buying her because I had read online that was important when I looked into buying a new fish, but I'm concerned because since I got her she seems to be either swollen or simply fatter than most fish.

Two of my close friends have bettas who are much thinner, and at first, I thought maybe that was just her weight, but now I'm unsure and slightly worried as I've read about different diseases such as dropsy, but don't really know how to properly identify them.

I've attached pictures (which aren't great quality, sorry!!) but if anyone could please let me know if they think she's alright, and that's just her weight, or if something could be wrong, I would really really appreciate it!

Thanks so much!
Hi! Welcome to fishlore! I would definitely get her in a bigger tank ASAP. Bettas should be in at least 2.5 gallons, with 5 gallons being ideal. Once you do that her health will probably improve. Also, good on you for doing your research and cycling! Unfortunately, it is very difficult to properly cycle a tank under 2.5 gallons, so your tank probably isn't cycled or it will crash soon. She does look a little bloated but keep in mind that female bettas will always look a little larger than males if they're healthy. You could try some mild epsom salt baths or thawed peas to help with the bloating (just search for these things on the forum for more info).
 

Momgoose56

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chels00 said:
Hello there,

I have a new female VT betta who I got about two weeks ago from PetSmart. I will admit to wishing to have done more research before buying her, because she has a 1G filtered and heated tank which I know should be bigger, but I trusted the expertise of a PetSmart employee about how big of a tank she needed and I feel bad for not having a bigger tank (but not exactly important right now).

I cycled the tank before buying her because I had read online that was important when I looked into buying a new fish, but I'm concerned because since I got her she seems to be either swollen or simply fatter than most fish.

Two of my close friends have bettas who are much thinner, and at first, I thought maybe that was just her weight, but now I'm unsure and slightly worried as I've read about different diseases such as dropsy, but don't really know how to properly identify them.

I've attached pictures (which aren't great quality, sorry!!) but if anyone could please let me know if they think she's alright, and that's just her weight, or if something could be wrong, I would really really appreciate it!

Thanks so much!
You said you cycled your tank before you got the betta? I'm assuming you did it the way the Petsmart employees told you to? Pet stores are usually the worst place to get advice on caring for fish. They are staffed with people who are minimally trained and usually know no more about keeping fish than you do.
So, glad you're here!
To help you we need more information.
How exactly did you cycle your tank?
Do you have a test kit for testing your tank water? You need one that tests pH, Ammonia, Nitrites and Nitrates.
Are you doing water changes and treating replacement water with a dechlorinator? How often? How much water are you changing?
Start with those questions and we'll go from there.
 

Salem

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She looks to be perfectly fine, just a bit bloated. It should go down if you fast her for a few days. If after 3 days it hasn't gone down you can feed her a small piece of a pea that you've boiled and taken out of the shell.

Bettas stomachs are only about the size of their eye so they get bloated quite easily and quickly. To help avoid bloating in the future try feeding only about 3 pellets a day, maybe skipping one day of feeding a week. You can use tweezers to dip the pellets in (dechlorinated) water so that it expands slightly before feeding it. In the future you can look into things like garlic guard or vitachem to soak her food in if you think she needs a little boost.
 

PascalKrypt

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Additionally to all the good advice you've already gotten, note that female bettas can get eggy (meaning they stock up on eggs for a potential future breeding opportunity) which looks pretty much indistinguishable from (mild) bloat.
This may the reason why yours looks fatter than those of your friends.

What kind of feeding routine do you have?
 
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chels00

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ahouseofscales said:
Hi! Welcome to fishlore! I would definitely get her in a bigger tank ASAP. Bettas should be in at least 2.5 gallons, with 5 gallons being ideal. Once you do that her health will probably improve. Also, good on you for doing your research and cycling! Unfortunately, it is very difficult to properly cycle a tank under 2.5 gallons, so your tank probably isn't cycled or it will crash soon. She does look a little bloated but keep in mind that female bettas will always look a little larger than males if they're healthy. You could try some mild epsom salt baths or thawed peas to help with the bloating (just search for these things on the forum for more info).
Ahh thank you!! I'm actually looking into getting around a 3.5 gallon tank for her in the very near future, I'm just try to work out which one would work best with the space I have for it. I'll definitely look into those and try them, thanks again!!

Momgoose56 said:
You said you cycled your tank before you got the betta? I'm assuming you did it the way the Petsmart employees told you to? Pet stores are usually the worst place to get advice on caring for fish. They are staffed with people who are minimally trained and usually know no more about keeping fish than you do.
So, glad you're here!
To help you we need more information.
How exactly did you cycle your tank?
Do you have a test kit for testing your tank water? You need one that tests pH, Ammonia, Nitrites and Nitrates.
Are you doing water changes and treating replacement water with a dechlorinator? How often? How much water are you changing?
Start with those questions and we'll go from there.
I cycled the tank following a guide online, which said to put dechlorinated water in the tank and add some food to get ammonia to be present as it breaks down. Then I monitored the ammonia levels using test strips that I have until they changed from ammonia to nitrites and then once those levels went to 0 and the test strips showed the presence of nitrates, I went out to buy my fish! I've been doing water changes about every 2-3 days after testing the water when there's been either nitrites/ammonia present because I don't want her to be harmed by them. I read a post online that said to change only 1/4 of the water so that's also how much I've been changing.

PascalKrypt said:
Additionally to all the good advice you've already gotten, note that female bettas can get eggy (meaning they stock up on eggs for a potential future breeding opportunity) which looks pretty much indistinguishable from (mild) bloat.
This may the reason why yours looks fatter than those of your friends.

What kind of feeding routine do you have?
I feed her a bug larve & salmon fish food betta blend once a day in the morning! I usually add a tiny bit, let her eat it, and then repeat that process two or three times depending on how much was added. I read on this forum that overfeeding could be a problem so I've been doing my best to be careful!

Salem said:
She looks to be perfectly fine, just a bit bloated. It should go down if you fast her for a few days. If after 3 days it hasn't gone down you can feed her a small piece of a pea that you've boiled and taken out of the shell.

Bettas stomachs are only about the size of their eye so they get bloated quite easily and quickly. To help avoid bloating in the future try feeding only about 3 pellets a day, maybe skipping one day of feeding a week. You can use tweezers to dip the pellets in (dechlorinated) water so that it expands slightly before feeding it. In the future you can look into things like garlic guard or vitachem to soak her food in if you think she needs a little boost.
I'll definitely try fasting her for a couple days and see what happens. Thanks for the advice!
 
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chels00

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chels00 said:
I cycled the tank following a guide online, which said to put dechlorinated water in the tank and add some food to get ammonia to be present as it breaks down. Then I monitored the ammonia levels using test strips that I have until they changed from ammonia to nitrites and then once those levels went to 0 and the test strips showed the presence of nitrates, I went out to buy my fish! I've been doing water changes about every 2-3 days after testing the water when there's been either nitrites/ammonia present because I don't want her to be harmed by them. I read a post online that said to change only 1/4 of the water so that's also how much I've been changing.
I didn't add this initially but I do have a dechlorinater. I use the Seachem Prime and then I initially used the Seachem Stability when I first added her to the tank
 

ahouseofscales

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chels00 said:
Ahh thank you!! I'm actually looking into getting around a 3.5 gallon tank for her in the very near future, I'm just try to work out which one would work best with the space I have for it. I'll definitely look into those and try them, thanks again!!


I cycled the tank following a guide online, which said to put dechlorinated water in the tank and add some food to get ammonia to be present as it breaks down. Then I monitored the ammonia levels using test strips that I have until they changed from ammonia to nitrites and then once those levels went to 0 and the test strips showed the presence of nitrates, I went out to buy my fish! I've been doing water changes about every 2-3 days after testing the water when there's been either nitrites/ammonia present because I don't want her to be harmed by them. I read a post online that said to change only 1/4 of the water so that's also how much I've been changing.


I feed her a bug larve & salmon fish food betta blend once a day in the morning! I usually add a tiny bit, let her eat it, and then repeat that process two or three times depending on how much was added. I read on this forum that overfeeding could be a problem so I've been doing my best to be careful!


I'll definitely try fasting her for a couple days and see what happens. Thanks for the advice!
chels00 said:
I didn't add this initially but I do have a dechlorinater. I use the Seachem Prime and then I initially used the Seachem Stability when I first added her to the tank
It sounds like you're doing a lot of things right! As long as she's active and swimming normally it probably isn't and issue, just keep and eye on her and get a bigger tank when you can!
 
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