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Got some betta questions

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Sorry for the awkward spacing in this post. I'm cutting and pasting, but I think it's still readable.

I got Bubbles (my betta) a 1 gallon tank with an undergravel
filter. I ran the tank for 5 days before I brought Bubbles
home Saturday night. I use some water conditioner that I
got at Petsmart that says it's for bettas. I also had
Petsmart do a water quality test and they said everything is
great. Bubbles seems very happy in his new home. He's very
active, always swimming around, and he swims up to you if
you go near his tank.

Question #1: Should I get a tank heater for Bubbles? We do
let the temperature of our house drop while we are at work
and at night. The lady at the petstore said I should just
keep Bubbles' light on all day and turn it off at night and that would keep him warm enough. That's what I have been
doing. He seems warm enough, as he's quite active.

Question #2: Should I run the air pump that came with the tank? I've read conflicting information about whether to
use filtration with bettas or not. I would prefer to keep
it on because it would keep his water cleaner, but I want to
do whatever is best for Bubbles.

Question #3: Should I change all the water or just part of
the water? I was thinking of doing 25% changes weekly and
using the air hose that came with the pump as sort of a
little vaccuum to clean up the gravel. The instructions that came with the tank said you can use the hose to clean off the gravel and as a siphon for water changes. But maybe it's easier to just clean out all the water and rinse off his gravel and decorations.

Question #4: I bought Bubbles some pellet food for bettas, but they don't float very well. I tried turning off the filter when
I fed Bubbles this morning, but they still sank pretty
quickly. They are sinking before he notices they are there.
I'm not sure if he's eating any. When I fed him Saturday
night (after giving him a couple hours to get used to his
new home) the pellets seemed to float longer and he ate a
couple. Sunday night I fed him some freeze dried bloodworms
and he loved those, so maybe he doesn't want his pellet food
anymore. Can he eat just bloodworms? I thought they needed
some pellet food to keep their diet balanced. Also, the
betta pellet package says to feed him twice a day, but the
lady at Petsmart said to only feed him 3 times a week. I
would think they would need to be fed at least daily. How
often should I feed him? And should I buy him some
different food? Also, once the pellets sink, how can I get
them out of the tank? I read that you're not supposed to
leave uneated food sitting around.

Sorry for so many questions! Bubbles is just such a neat
fish, I want to take great care of him!
post #2 of 14
This will fit better in our Cats and Other Animals section.
post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
I wasn't quite sure where to post it. Would you mind moving it for me?
post #4 of 14
I myself used to have a betta (he was the only one I had so I'm no expert by any means!) but these are my suggestions

1. The light you have should be enough to keep Bubbles warm enough, as long as your home doesn't drop below 60 degrees

2. As far as the air pump, I'm not too sure, I know that Betta's are very well adapted to living in stagnant water conditions...but I'm no expert.

3. I would suggest doing the 25% changes of the water...any more than that could be tramatic to bubbles.

4. My betta "Bob" didn't like the pellets. I fed him freeze dried blood worm (ewww) but he loved them.

I'm sure there will be many more Betta lovers that will be able to help you out some more soon!!
post #5 of 14
I do not heat even my 2.5 gallon and I keep true tropicals and run central air.
Room temp is fine, just don't place him too near a window, nor too near a heat/air vent.

Use the pump, the filtration is best.
In the wild, they have a lot of surface area for oxy/water exchange, we cannot replicate this without a pump.
The filtration is handy, but the simple act of filtration (surface movement)increases the oxygen supply in the water.

Bettas do have a labirynth organ which allows them to take oxygen from the air, but they still have gills and are still required to move oxygenated water over them.

20%-25% water changes are best.

I always feed variety and bettas are (for the most part) surface feeders.
They do best with freezedried or even better, frozen bloodworms (I do not recommend live unless you have a community tank with specialized gravel feeding fish like loaches).
Betta pellets (I like Hikari), and once or twice a month I fed live foods (sorry, but they were guppy fry).
post #6 of 14
I dont heat my tanks under 3 gallons... my temps never fall below 68 degrees

I would suggest giving Bubbles a bigger place when you can ...

I use only internal and external filters( no undergravel ) ... I change the h2o 20 a week in my 9 gallon and 20 percent every two weeks in the 3.5 and 2.5 gallons ( the small tanks have 8-20 filtration h2o per hour... )

I like a variety of food ... live if you can afford it

frozen once a week or so

flakes once a week

they all like the new life spectrum food it is little balls. i have betta pellets too i mix it up.. no one liked the big pellets
post #7 of 14
I have had a ton of bettas and I keep them in a bowl (seperate bowls!) with 2.5 cups of water in it. They dont need a lot. I have heard they feel lost if the bowl is too big. Who knows?

I just use tap water and add a betta bowl conditioner or these fizz pill-like things that get the water perfect for bettas and I feed them Kent brand pellets. I don't use any filtration and I change the water every 2 weeks or else (sometimes my cats jump up there and drink the fishy water (yum!) I refill the bowl as the water level lowers and add half the amount of bowl conditioner.

It has always worked for me. My bettas live looong little lives.
post #8 of 14
We have had 5 Betta's in the past, the youngest one passed at a little over a year old, but the oldest was almost 3. We were shocked when he passed, although were happy that he lived such a long life with us. We have never used a pump or heated the water. I have always heard with Bettas that less is better. We used the flakes for our 1st Betta, but every Betta after that would only eat the pellets and would refuse the flakes. I also would put fake plants in the bowl, they seemed to enjoy sleeping amongst them.
We just lost our last one about a month ago, and even though some say it is just a fish, we haven't wanted to go and replace Jaws. We have always kept them in double betta tanks, so that we could have 2 at the same time, and they could watch each other through the see through glass.
Also, while some of our bettas were surface feeders only, we had a couple of odd balls that would rather play with the rocks in the bottom to get the food.
post #9 of 14
I have a beta called White Power Ranger and he lives in a vase with a plant sticking out of it over 2 years. I am in Utah the weather is like below 8 here at times and he is doing fine. I wiggle the plant every morning and I have never had a water problem. I change it every few months and I use pure bottle water. I doubt it need air and a heater, If so he would of been gone.
post #10 of 14
I love bettas! You'll have to post a picture

For the temperature, it depends on how cold it gets. I had problem in the past with bettas in (large) bowls because I was living in a cold basement.
Best thing to do is get a thermometer and check the temperature at different times of the day and make sure it doesn't fluctuate too much.
If you do decide to use a heater, make sure it's made for a very small tank or else you might end up boiling your fish!

What kind of conditioner do you have? Is it one that removes chlorine / chloramine from the water?
All I use for my tank is a chlorine/chloramine remover which I add to the new water when I make water changes. (Mine is a no-name version of "Stress Coat"... which also helps fish recover from stress)

For food, I always used Hikari pellets for my bettas. They're more expensive but that's the only pellet mine would eat. Blood worms are also very popular.

The air pump wouldn't hurt but it's not crucial. In the wild, these fish would be living in rice fields, which don't get much oxygen.

Good luck!
post #11 of 14
Those rice paddies are extremely oxygen rich!

All plants, including algae and rice act as oxygenators by way of photosynthesis.
post #12 of 14
Originally Posted by PurrPaws
Question #1: Should I get a tank heater for Bubbles?
You should have a heater if you are seeing temperature fluctuations. Fish do not like a severe drop/rise in temperature (more than a couple degrees) in a short period of time. He is a tropical fish so would prefer a temperature of around 76 or so. Constant fluctuations cause stress.

Originally Posted by PurrPaws
Question #2: Should I run the air pump that came with the tank?
An "air pump" is not necessary and just decoration. However if you mean a filter then yes you should have one running. Beneficial bacteria will colonize in your filter and your gravel and these bacteria will keep your ammonia and nitrites down that form from fish waste and leftover fish food. Running a filter is necessary. A fish should not be kept in a bowl without filtration. The myth arrises that betas don't need filters because they are labrynth fish and can breath oxygen from the air. Yes this is true however, there is more to filtration than oxygenating the tank. Also never change all of your media at once, or if you have a pad then rinse it in old tank water, never in chlorine as it will kill your bacteria.

Originally Posted by PurrPaws
Question #3: Should I change all the water or just part of
the water?
Yes even with the filter keep up with water changes. This will keep your pH and kH stable (old water can cause instability, sudden drops in pH will kill fish). You will need to somehow remove the fish waste and leftover fish foods so this is a great way to do that.

Originally Posted by PurrPaws
Question #4: I bought Bubbles some pellet food for bettas, but they don't float very well.
I'm guessing if he does not see them its because he is not that hungry. If he gets hungry then he can find them at the bottom. Fish do not need to eat as much as we like to think or what the packaging says (I'm guilty of overfeeding as well). If you have to leave for a few days don't buy a vacation block. Fish naturally go many days without food in the wild and its healthier for your tank to let them do this from time to time. A vacation block will foul the water real quickly and they do not need to eat that much. Just FYI.

For optimal happiness betas do better in 5-10 gallons. Betas are very hardy fish hence why people can keep them in such small surrounds (bowls and vases). However, this does not mean its humane. Cats can live fine in a carrier there whole life, it does not mean its good for them.
post #13 of 14
I forgot to mention this is a great source for fishie advice:
post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks to everyone for all the advice!

I am happy to report that Bubbles gobbled up his pellets this morning. You guys were right. He just wasn't hungry, or maybe he needed more time to adjust to his new home.

I think I will just keep an eye on Bubbles. As long as he remains active, I will assume he's warm enough. If he starts to get lethargic, then I will look into heating his tank somehow.

The filter system the tank came with is undergravel.

I will try to post a pic of Bubbles when I get a chance. I haven't taken any yet, and I'm not sure how well he'll photograph, but I'll try.
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