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Discussion Starter #1
I've been wanting a fish lately, and have been doing research on them. Today, my parents brought home a Betta. He was in a half gallon, unclean tank, and very hungry. We are cleaning out a new tank (like the kind with the betta and plant, but no plant) for a temporary home until I get a larger tank, a filter, heater, and anything else I may need...
What size of tank should I get is my biggest concern, and what type of food?

Does it need the heater? What temperature should I keep the tank at?

To be honest, I don't expect it to live long, but it never hurts to let a fish live out his last days happy.

I'll post pictures soon.
 

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I've asked a few questions about Betta's on here. Use the search button at the top of the page.
 

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I have a half-moon betta, honestly, they don't need a heater or filters even. I was told by a "fish-expert" that bettas don't survive long in filtered water because they get stressed out over all the movement... Bettas like to just sit in a tank and look pretty!

Mine is in a "cup" kind of, the dual tank you can purchase at wal-mart for like $6... He swims to and fro, and it's just enough room for him to stretch out...

Bettas can live for quite a few years, I had one that lived over a year, and my grandmother had one that last three and a half...

Enjoy! And do post pictures, I'll post some of mine because he's oddly colored.
 

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I don't understand why people think betta's can be in little tiny tanks...there fish and they need to swim, and not just for a few inches, or just enough room to stretch..
 

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Yeah, when my parents brought him in,the divider was in the tank, I didn't get any pictures of the divider in there, I took it out right away. The first thing I did was find the new tank and wash it up. I can't wait to get another, bigger tank.
 

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Umm...sorry, but no, deege. o_o That "tank" is so tiny. And for a halfmoon? Those fish are neurotic enough, they don't need to be made worse by having no room to swim. "Enough room to stretch out" - yeah, I can stretch out, barely in my closet. Doesn't mean I should live in it. =/ I'm sorry for being harsh, but please do research before giving people suggestions.

Yep, bettas need a heater, unless your room naturally keeps the water heated at 74-80 degrees F. They don't need filters unless the tank is cycled; you're going to have to change 100% of the water either way, if it's not cycled, each week. But if you do use a filter, and are worried about the water motion bothering the guy, use some pantyhose. =) Cover the intake, works great for all my filters.

Sometimes, it helps their fins to use a liquid called Black Water Extract, BWE. Or, you can use Indian Almond leaves. I use BWE, so I'm not sure how exactly IALs are used.

Some people like to always use aquarium salt, but IMO, save it for when you actually have issues, such as fin rot. Salt's a great thing for bettas, but I feel it's usefulness diminishes if you use it all the time.

Here's a great site to join, dedicated to bettas (though they know a lot about so many other animals and things, as well): ultimatebettas.com. I've been a member there for ages, and they have helped me with so many problems and questions.
 

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Well, excuse me, I was just going by what by what I've been told by so called "experts" all my life from fish emporiums or fish stores, whatever they're called...

I've had bettas for several years, and all the people I know don't do anything different than I or other people have done...

Oh well, to each his own. : ) I guess what does well for you doesn't do well for others, my bad.
 

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Well, excuse me, I was just going by what by what I've been told by so called "experts" all my life from fish emporiums or fish stores, whatever they're called...

I've had bettas for several years, and all the people I know don't do anything different than I or other people have done...

Oh well, to each his own. : ) I guess what does well for you doesn't do well for others, my bad.
Then those "experts" (oh yes, I like the quotation marks around that, because they are NOT experts at all) need to do the same - do some actual research on the fish.

I get my information from breeders of show quality bettas, people who keep bettas as a hobby and let them lead long, healthy lives, and people who have actually observed bettas in their wild, natural habitats (which, by the way, just to clarify, are NOT tiny puddles).

So, you can see why it upsets me that someone would suggest keeping a betta in a "tank" that was hardly sufficient. It's like suggesting a bowl for a goldfish.

Edit~ Here's one of the best caresheets from the site I showed, earlier, typed up by one of the most respected members, with the help of others. http://www.ultimatebettas.com/index.php?showtopic=18075
 

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I agree, it's the same with golfish, who do NOT belong in gold fish bowls.

Katzyn and I are just trying to spread some helpful information, to maybe help your betta live a "happier" life. Fish don't have a sense of happiness and sadness, but they do have a sense of stressed and not stressed. Being in a small "tank" without a lot room to swim and "frollick" would certainly make for a stressed animal.

One of my teachers keeps her beta in those tiny mini critter keepers, but since she's been gone for the past few months I upgraded them into the Extra-large critter keepers. They aren't that big, but it's a heck of a lot more room.
 

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Well, "for not doing my reseach" my Betta's have lived long healthy lives, and I apologize for ruffling your feathers; I am sorry you don't think the tank is sufficent, but at least I don't put two in there like the tank is designed for.
 

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Well, "for not doing my reseach" my Betta's have lived long healthy lives
I had one that lived over a year,
Sorry deege, but a year is not a long healthy life. Betta's have a life span of 4 years. That's only a quarter of their life span. Betta's really, really do need at LEAST 1 gallon of water, preferably 3-5 gallons, they must have a heater, they are tropical fish and are happiest at temps of 78-80 degrees. You really can't trust what people in pet stores tell you. Most of them are students, making minimum wage, and don't care about the fish they're selling you, they just want to make a sale. Katzyn is very much right, and the site she linked to is an awesome one for info on Betta's. I'd highly suggest checking it out.
 

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I had one betta that was over a year I had to give away, but like I mentioned I have had several betta's one of which was pushing three years, and my grandmother's lived to be over four years old and she had it in a bubblegum-machine fish tank...

Anyway. Good luck to the original poster. : )
 

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Sorry deege, but a year is not a long healthy life. Betta's have a life span of 4 years. That's only a quarter of their life span. Betta's really, really do need at LEAST 1 gallon of water, preferably 3-5 gallons, they must have a heater, they are tropical fish and are happiest at temps of 78-80 degrees. You really can't trust what people in pet stores tell you. Most of them are students, making minimum wage, and don't care about the fish they're selling you, they just want to make a sale. Katzyn is very much right, and the site she linked to is an awesome one for info on Betta's. I'd highly suggest checking it out.
Yeah, I was about to say something to this effect. My oldest betta is now almost (if not already) 2 years old, and very "happy". She dances for me every morning (for food, of course, but she wouldn't dance if she didn't feel well!).

Thank you, Kuma's and Pepper, for helping me spread the correct knowledge.

Also, there is a theory that bettas kept in colder conditions, which are not comfortable for the betta, slows down their metabolism and -can- extend their life. However, this also opens the door for infections, parasites, and other nasties.

Another link, for myths, which mentions what I just wrote about cold extending lifespans. http://www.ultimatebettas.com/index.php?showtopic=17970
 

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I joined the link that was provided, and thanks for the help so far. I think I'm going to get a 5 or 10 gallon starter kit and heater for sure. It's about 70* down there right now.

When it was in the plastic "tank" it didn't really move...at all. (Btw, when we dumped the plastic tank, the water and 'rocks' smelled terrible...) Now that it's been transfered into the larger tank it's frolicking around a whole lot more, but his fins are concerning me. There's a section that looks 'matted' for lack of a better word. Would the BWE help with that?


Oh...there is a fish in there!







We have nasty yellow walls and dim lighting in the kitchen, which is why the water still looks murky, but it's actually very clear.
 

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It's hard to tell from the pictures, but kind of looks like fin rot. i'd add some aquarium salt to the water and raise the temperature if you can.
 

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I have a red Betta too! He currently lives in a 10 gallon tank with 10 neon tetras they do not nip at him and a baby apple snail. He has both live and fake plants and pea gravel substrate. A filter and a heater the filter is rated for a 15 gallon and is set on a low current. I have had him almost 2 years.
 

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Yup, that's fin rot. (By the way, he looks more like a veiltail to me than a HM.) Fin rot is caused by the fish's immune system being compromised -- basically, stress. This could be due to any number of things: insufficient warmth, dirty water, the wrong pH... or just an infection of a rip in the tail caused by a sharp ornament or a plastic plant. (Many betta owners use silk or rubber plants instead of plastic ones for this reason.) Make sure he's warm enough, and add some blackwater extract and a bit of aquarium salt to the water. Since your tank is new, there's likely an ammonia spike occurring in your water right now -- this is known as the cycling process in a tank. That could be stressing him out, too.

Ultimatebettas.com is a fantastic forum. I used to be a very active member when I kept bettas, but I don't keep them anymore. I still have all the knowledge I gleaned from that board in my head though :) I also used to post on http://www.fishlesscycling.com, a rather nice forum. Not betta-specific, but lots of knowledgeable members there will be able to help you out.

Space-wise, I usually recommend a minimum of 2.5 gallons for a betta, but it's not uncommon for people to keep them in tanks of up to 10 gallons.

And deege, bettas DON'T thrive in small spaces of unfiltered water. There are many dogs out there who are kept on a chain in the yard all day and fed Ol Roy, and are never given proper medical attention, but live to ripe old ages. That certainly doesn't mean that ALL dogs should be raised in those conditions. Likewise, some bettas might survive in a tank that they can just stretch out in, but it's a terrible environment for them. It's not a case of "to each his own" at all. It IS a terrible environment for them.

I used to have a red VT that looked just like yours, but I can't find any pictures of him now... :( this is one of my last betta, though. He was a purdy crowntail:

 
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