For anyone who has never had a betta... - Aquarium Forum
Bettas This forum is for all discussions of Betta fish. Let's see some pictures of your beautiful betta. Be sure to tell us your betta's name and talk about it's personality. Our friendly betta keepers are always eager to see new threads about bettas. So don't be shy, start a new thread about your betta, with your betta questions, betta breeding, and other betta stories.

  Members currently in the chatroom: 0
Who's Online
The most chatters online in one day was 17, 09-12-2012.
No one is currently using the chat.

LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-07-2009, 12:54 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 1,323
Thanks: 707
Thanked 726 Times in 467 Posts
Welcomes: 426
Welcomed 7 Times in 1 Post
For anyone who has never had a betta...

To answer a few of the questions that I am finding are coming up a lot on the forum and while you are always most welcome to ask anything you need to this is just a small guide to those of you who just want some quick information from all the time I have answered questions from the thousands of owners I have known and loved and all the problems from all the bettas I have owned personally and loved.

To begin with when you go to purchase a autolinking image, there are several options, none of which are wrong, just different from each other.

1. Purchase from a local petstore or chain pet store. Chances are unless you are lucky the bettas will be found in cups with lids that have small holes to allow for breathing access but no filtration or heating. Let me state that this is NOT because the fish do not not need to be in filtered tanks or have heaters but because it is inconvenient for the store to provide this as they are not usually wanting to put one autolinking image per tank and the betta is not compatible with many of the fish that they want to keep in the main tanks. It is for their staff convenience to keep them in the cups and unless the store is very good to them a lot of time they do not get the daily water changes and sometimes not get fed every day. So it is well worth your time to start shopping every day there to see when the new bettas are put out on the shelves to get the day in your mind to go and get the betta on a day when the new ones are put out so you get one which has not spent two weeks in the cups. Pick a betta that has some life in it when you pick the cup up and look into it at eye level. Don't go by what they look like sitting on the shelf. They should move in the cup and not just with the motion of the water. they need to show some spunk like they are aggravated by being picked up and stared at or like they are wondering what you are looking at. If they seem to have an attitude they have some life left in them. Don't pay much attention to the color of the betta as the cool temperature of the water in the cup and the dirty or muddy conditions in the cup or the blue water that some stores keep in the cup to try to forstall disease will not show you much and I have seen the grayest and most colorless of bettas turn into real beauties when given good food and a warm water tank with clean conditions and lots of room to move about and play. Some have come close to being show quality and I have wondered why the breeders have culled them out to go to the chain stores.

2. The second place and sometimes a better place to go is the internet. While this is not the best time of the year to do so, it is the way I generally get my bettas but while this is a way to get some beautiful and good quality bettas. Time of year and quality and reputation of breeder is the whole name of the game and NO reputable breeder will ship to you during the extreme heat or cold of summer or winter even with heat or cool packs due to the undependability of the shipping methods used. While they are supposed to be shipped overnight, there are many areas of the country (mine included) that overnight means nothing. It generally takes 2 days minimum in rural or outlying areas of even larger cities and fish are at risk. During real extremes of weather the fish stay overnight in warehouses inside of trucks that are neither heated or cooled and temperatures are brutal. So do not please depend on the fish being safe during this time of year or during the winter, and actually you will be hard pressed to find a really reputable breeder unless they are within a very short distance from you that will allow a fish from them to be shipped to you.
I would never take a fish from Thailand at this time of year as they go through a grueling journey to get to the transshipper and then have a 24 hour or less turn around time and get a meal and are rebagged and shipped again and have another shipping process. Double stress for the poor fish in a matter of a very short time and a lot of them suffer dreadfully with illness from this stress. Also you will find that the total cost of this process is so much higher by the time you add in the cost of what you pay the seller to ship from Thailand and then the Customs fees and the transshippers fees and the repacking fees and all the other things added in it is very expensive.

3. Buying from a DEALER on ebay or aquabid. There is a difference from a dealer or breeder that resides in the US on either of these two sites than the #2 above. First of all there is no transhipper and it cuts the price of shipping and handling by almost half. You also will not have the wait for the next shipment and the wait for your fish will be shorter. Then you will have fish that have already been quarantined one time and not sent to you without a time between being shipped in from a foreign country and arriving at your door. Transshippers receive the fish on one night and keep them one day and ship them out the next day. (NO quarantine and if the fish is is your problem)
Dealing with dealers or breeders in the US means that the fish have been kept in the US for several weeks or months and will not be put for sale until they have been watched for problems for a period of time usually. You also will not have the problem of who to reach if there should be a problem with the fish.

4. Find a local breeder or dealer...In a larger community or where there are Local fish clubs, you have the best of all options. Local breeders are usually available or small clubs will know of dependable people who if they do not do the breeding themselves are dealers who carry healthy fish who are kept in healthy circumstances or who are willing to be on the lookout to order fish from dependable local people who take the breeding process seriously and do treat their fish in a manner to which they approve. I know of a lot of these people in several areas of the country as they sent me fish when I was dealing online and while I paid for every fish I received they sent them as they wanted me to see what type of fish they offered and I was not disappointed by any I ever received.

Okay we have covered the purchase of the bettas but first you need to start getting a home ready for your betta. It is going to have to be a filtered, heated and cycled home and if possible should be fishless cycled before you put fish into your tank. It can be done with the ammonia, fish flake or raw fish method. But if you choose you can cycle with hardy fish and just perform the water changes that will protect the fish while they are in the process of cycling the tank for you. There are articles all through this forum about different ways to cycle tanks.

The first consideration is whether you are going to make the betta a fish with or without tank mates. It will determine what size tank you will need and what you will need to put in it. The tank for a single betta is probably the cheapest and more simple tank you will ever need as the filter can be a very cheap sponge filter with an airline and control device and airpump with a small device called a check valve unless you want to fix the airpump to sit above the level of the water surface to keep the water from backing into the air line if the power fails. You then need a small heater of some type and I usually suggest that if there is anything you do not skimp on it is the heater as if you buy a good heater it generally means that you will not be replacing it in a year. A heater with a lifetime warranty generally will last you longer than anything else so I buy Visitherm Stealth heaters and keep the box and receipt and can sleep at night knowing that I am covered for heaters.

You really do not have to have a substate but if you do have bettas are not able to have sand or any type of sandlike substrate. (they are used to being able to eat things that look like pellets and I have indeed lost a betta who ate EcoComplete that was sandlike) While a betta is pretty smart about a lot of things when it comes to food or anything about anything that looks like food they are pigs and there is not doubt about it. Please do take my word on this. Just plain aquarium gravel is fine but if you want to protect those fine fins from dragging on gems or smooth glass marbles or ovals are wonderful but more expensive and I have gone to building stores and gotten glass gravel from them by the pound if you can find it. They generally have it in the tumbled type and sell it by the pound and it makes for a spectacular aquarium floor. You can buy it online if you want one color and want at least 10 pounds of one color.

Now for tank size. If you are keeping a betta alone, you can get by with a 2.5 gallon and a 25 watt heater with a small spong filter in the background although I always have an extra sponge filter in the background in case I even need a quarantine or hospital tank ever. (two filters in one tank) Although I will say that you or anyone will note a marked difference in the behavior and activity level of your betta if you give him or her a lot more room in which to "stretch thier fins" and get a good swim on. My present little guy is in a 12 gallon and has not ever been in less than 9 gallons since he got here. He has been active and happy and very much an on the go betta. I have had bettas in as little as 3 gallons and have noted a marked difference in the amount of action and setting on the floor of the tank with them. So if you note that your betta is not really active and moving about it could be that he is wanting more room or his temperature is too cool or he is just not content.

While I am on the subject of temperature, bettas are Tropical fish and it is a mystery to me why the petstores do not think they need to be kept warm. This means that the really optimum temperature for these fish is 78 to 80 degrees fahrenheit or about 25 to 26 degrees celsius. They are cold blooded like all fish and have some of the worst digestive systems in the world of fishdom. If they get too cold the food they eat is not digested correctly and they can not pass it through their system. This means constipation and many bettas that I have known of have died simply because they were either too cold to digest their food and became constipated or overfed causing them to become constipated and constipation in a betta is not a matter to be overlooked as it is fatal more often than we want to think.

There are things we can do about constipation if it is caught early.
1. The first thing to do is to stop feeding the fish entirely. NO food at all.
2. Slowly turn the temperature of the tank up to 82 degrees fahrenheit (1 degree every other hour) or 28 degrees celsius (1 degree every 2 hours) and leave it there for a period of 2 to 4 days to see if it help your fish to regain his metabolic rate equalibrium.
3. If he has not been able to pass any food in 48 hours then start to feed nothing but pea treat meals for at least 48 hours or up to 72 hours to see if the vegetable matter will help clean your fish out. (Instructions for pea treats below)

Pea treats

Take one frozen pea and place on a saucer and put in a microwave oven for 20 seconds on HIGH with no water.

Remove from the oven ... it will not be cooked but defrosted only. Allow to cool completely.

Remove the outer skin from the pea and seperate the halves of the pea.

Cut small chunks from the half of the pea that are about one half of the size of the eye of the fish and take two or three of the chunks and attempt to feed to the fish on the end of a clean fingertip by sliding into the water in front of the fish's face where he can see them. He should chase the pea piece to catch it so if he won't do it with the first one don't keep trying as he will not probably do it with the second or third. Just try again in a few hours.

This is not going to be something that I can finish in one sitting so this is the first of a few postings but will help get you started. Hope this has helped. I intend to help get those of you who have not ever had bettas taught about some of the basics.

Hope this is going to help.
Chickadee is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-07-2009, 05:11 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 1,323
Thanks: 707
Thanked 726 Times in 467 Posts
Welcomes: 426
Welcomed 7 Times in 1 Post
Re: For anyone who has never had a betta...

Planning food for your autolinking image...

There are a lot of really good foods out for bettas now but there are some that while they are stated that they are made for bettas and some are very expensive do not seem to work well for them. They all seem to have about the same nutritional value with a few exceptions but some are not good choices for the reason that they just do not fit a bettas mouth or the way the mouth is made to work well.

If you look at most fish in the fish stores, and then watch a betta open their mouth, you will note that the betta has a hinge type of jaw that opens at the bottom of his head. Most fish are able to attack food head on and grab food front first but bettas need to come at it from different angles. They need it to be thicker and narrower to grab on to it well but not so long or thick that it will not go into the bucket shaped mouth that they have. Some of the pellet foods that are being put out with the word Betta in the title are actually too large for the betta to get into their mouth. Bettas are not only usually picky eaters but not very patient ones either. Let them try something a couple times and not have any luck with it and they will usually give up and not try it again. I have nearly gone bankrupt with a couple of my spoiled little darlings trying to find things that they would put in their mouths and if they put them in there did not spit right back out at me. Two things I have found that I have never seen a betta refuse...bloodworms and surprisingly the pea treats once they have tried them the first time. The bloodworms I will have to make an exception to, there is only one brand that I have seen them need help with that is the loveliest brand of all. I love the looks and nutritional value of the OmegaOne freeze dried foods, but they are about 3 times the size of the Hikari freeze dried bloodworms. So when I got the OmegaOne brand I thought I was doing the bettas a big favor as they are a premium brand but they could not swallow them they were so big. I had to cut them up and then they would not try them. So I boxed them up and sent them to a friend in Florida whose bigger fish loved them. My guys love the Hikari brand and the other smaller types. They also love the smaller pellets like the Atison's brand made by Ocean Nutrition, Hikari Betta bio-gold and pellets of that size. I will say that if you purchase a betta that you think is less than 6 months old the preferred food for a fish that age is Atison's Betta Pro formula pellets as this food does contain a formula that will sustain and maintain the health and growth of younger fish from the fry stage to the age of 6 months after that they can start with any of the other betta formulas they will eat.

The important thing to remember is that the betta is absolutely the piggiest fish there is. They have no selfdiscipline and to put enough food in for them to consume in two minutes is an invitation to disaster. They will have themselves eaten to a point of illness in a matter of days. Swimbladder disorder or constipation or worse can happen and cause them to die. They need to be handfed and each and every mouthful needs to be seen to be chewed up and when the chewing stops then they can have another mouthful until they have had an amount equal or less than what it would take to fill their eye size. That is the size of the fish's stomach and you should not overfill that stomach. Adult fish can be fed one time a day and fry and young fish can be fed 2 to 3 very small meals a day but not more often. I do not go along with the idea of fasting a fish one day a week if you give them one meal a day. They need the contact with their human like they need food. Talk to them while you feed them and it helps to develop their personality and make them a better pet.

My views on talking to bettas are a little controversial. I believe that you pay attention to them and they will become a pet in the real sense of the word. I put my hand on the front of the tank and talk to my fish several times a day and he gives me the Betta dance and responds and puts on a show for me. If I put my hand on the tank and call his name he comes to the front of the tank and it is not solely for food. Sometimes he gets food and sometimes not. He will stay and listen to me as long as I am there talking and act very cute and happy. This does not happen with the other fish. I really believe that bettas in some way do not know that they are fish. They live the first few months of their lives in a solitary place and pretty much unless they are put in a community setting or have a few tankmates do not learn how to get along with other fish at a young age so they do not have good manners where other fish are concerned but they do love their humans and I believe identify with them. Humans have been the ones that have provided for them and been the only ones who have had contact with them and I think they see us as their parents.

As with any pet and bettas are pets, the more time you spend with them the better they get. I really believe that if you want to have a pet it is worthy of your care and attention.
Betta owners as a group tend to spoil their pets and want to give them great homes. I have seen more spent on betta things than necessary. They really just require a tank and a heater, and a filter (cycled) and conditioned water. They love real plants or silk ones. Plastic plants are usually not recommended as they tend to have sharp edges.

One thing about things going into betta tanks and this includes everything in their tank you need to check for safety in a few ways.

1. Run a nylon stocking over everything going into the tank and any time it snags the stocking, it needs a bit of sandpaper or an emery board to smooth it out or it will snag a bettas fins. Torn fins will cause a lot of problems.

2. If you use anything including terra cotta pots or caves or anything having holes or openings in the tank, please use the "rule of thumb". Every opening of any type has to have every opening of any type big enough to have your thumb go in and out of easily or your betta could get into it and get stuck. If they get stuck and cannot go through and cannot swim to the surface they will drown. Openings can sometimes, as with terra cotta pots, be made larger with sandpaper and a little work. Other decorations just have to be passed by and some other choice made if they are made of resinous materials. Other things that need to be considered is please do not get things with only one entrance unless there is plenty of room for the fish to turn about inside. I have known of fish who have panicked trying to get out of things like glasses put in tanks and torn their fins or bodies badly.

3. If you want tank mates be cautious with the choice. There are some fish that are just not going to work for nature's reasons and no matter what you do it is not a good idea. When they are out in nature and they are given unlimited room to get away and find hiding places that is one thing but when there are artificial walls of an aquarium limiting the fighting area it is cruel to put fish together that you know are uncompatible and ask them to coexist. This is my opinion and you are free to do what you want with your fish but it is not something that you will find any really compassionate hobbyist that will agree with you on if you have an injured fish or a dead one when you do this knowingly. Bettas are related to gouramis and if they meet head to head in a tank there is going to be a fixation on their part until one of them is hurt or dead. They are listed on the compatibility charts and not compatible and any of the experts will tell you that while some people have gotten by with them in the same tank it is really not a fine idea. It is like having two male bettas in the same tank. Bettas do not normally differentiate in most fish that have long flowing fins like Mollies, Swords, Fancy tail Guppies, and others with long fins and will attack them as though they are bettas. Platies are generally confused with female bettas and not treated well. autolinking image are an entirely different class of fish and are not compatible for this reason. Fin nippers include all types of tetra but the Cardinal, guppies of most types, danios, and barbs. As far as others that are not a good idea, any other fish that is considered an aggressive or semi-aggressive fish is not a good idea as bettas have full finnage and are not a competition for most of them due to the inability to swim swiftly compared to them. They could not hold their own in a fight in a large tank compared to the fish without the large fins holding them back. Also I need to mention the inappropriate action of putting shrimp in with a betta as this is the first food that bettas are given to eat. The shrimp is okay as long as their shell is in place but when they molt and are out of their shell, it is going to be lunch time for the betta and goodbye for the shrimp and neither needs that.

There are appropriate and workable tank mates for bettas. They are not many but they do work. Colorful and active, the Cardinal Tetra makes a nice addition in a school of 6 or more. Any type of cory cat is more than able in a tank of the right size in a school of 3 or more. (Pygmy cories need 6 or more) Otocinclus cats make great companions and I have pictures of one of my bettas taking naps with his otos he loved them so much. They do need at least one real plant in the tank to do well. Dwarf or Chain Loaches fascinate the bettas with their activity (same fish different vendor). Kuhlis seem to work and don't irritate them. Plecos work well if your tank is big enough. Snails work okay if you get a Big one like an Apple or a Mystery snail that they cannot intimidate. (one)

I will think on this a bit more and see if there is anything else.
Thanks for your attention

Chickadee is offline  
post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-07-2009, 08:44 PM
Goodwill Ambassador
fishfinder's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 377
Thanks: 53
Thanked 155 Times in 105 Posts
Welcomes: 372
Welcomed 8 Times in 1 Post
Re: For anyone who has never had a betta...

Excellent information. Can we make this a sticky at the top of the autolinking image forum?
fishfinder is offline  
post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-07-2009, 09:58 PM
Aquarium Fanatic
phil_pl's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Dalton, Georgia
Posts: 1,267
Thanks: 315
Thanked 339 Times in 274 Posts
Welcomes: 4,437
Welcomed 0 Times in 0 Posts
Re: For anyone who has never had a betta...

i cant wait to read the rest of your posts, the more i read about autolinking image's the more i realize how little i know, keep them coming

It has become more than a hobby!
My 29 Gal Reef
phil_pl is offline  
Said thanks:
post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-07-2009, 10:19 PM
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 6
Thanks: 9
Thanked 7 Times in 4 Posts
Welcomes: 0
Welcomed 11 Times in 1 Post
Re: For anyone who has never had a betta...

Good info! Can't wait for more because I have 2 Halfmoon Bettas.
DBOCA is offline  
Said thanks:
post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-07-2009, 11:15 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 1,323
Thanks: 707
Thanked 726 Times in 467 Posts
Welcomes: 426
Welcomed 7 Times in 1 Post
Re: For anyone who has never had a betta...

Part 3 The Stubborn autolinking image

If you have never had one and you continue to have bettas for long you will someday run into one, that much I do promise you and when you do there are a few tricks to winning them over.

Some bettas are just plain different. As some of our members have found out among them are the little Cambodians whether they be male or female but I do believe the females are the more challenging. Cambodians are more often characterized by their coloration of a very light colored body either an off white or a pale yellow in color and usually a dark colored fins in the red or even wine colored but if your fish is very young in the 3 month or so age group the fins may not have colored up yet so if the body is a pale yellow in color and the fins a cellophane you could still be getting a Cambodian. Later as they mature the fins will begin to color into a deep red and their temper will become red hot as well. They also have a different shaped body more like a dirigible type shape rather than the sleek type of body some of the Thai bettas have. It is thicker in the middle and does taper at both ends like the Hindenburg did. They tend to look more chunky than a lot of bettas and their fins do not get as long and full as the others having more of a plakat type of nature. Although let me tell you it does not mean that any other type cannot be an ornery and very stubborn type of autolinking image. I have had a Crowntail male who was very stubborn and nearly drove me to distraction. The rare Cambodian type female that I owned though had the body type of a Cambodian with the coloration that was a pure red all over instead of the light body. So don't go by the coloration entirely.

The first thing you do when you find you have one of these peculiar bettas is to isolate it in a tank by itself. They do not tolerate tank mates and if you value other fish that you have in your tanks it is just not worth the loss of them to insist on having that betta in with them. And you are never going to persuade that betta to accept a tank mate. They will actually kill every inhabitant that you put in with them. You may be able to win them over to you eventually to be able to handfeed them but you will not be able to get them to accept other fish in their water. Please do not ask other fish to pay the ultimate price for experimentation purposes.

I never feed this type of fish just one meal a day even after they are 6 months old. They get fed 2 times a day but small meals so that they are never overfed but enough so that they are not in a nasty mood because they are overhungry. 5 or 6 bloodworms or 5 or 6 pellets that have been soaked are usually sufficient for each meal. I also soak their food in garlic juice at least one time a day. Not that it would not do all the fish good to have garlic in their food one time a day but these fish get it especially as it does help keep them healthy as when these fish are not feeling well they are especially touchy. Garlic adds to their immune systems and keeps them healthy.

I also never leave the lights on in the tank for more than 10 hours a day in the tanks that the bettas with touchy nature's are in and I make sure that they cannot see their own reflection in the sides of their tank. While I know a lot of owners like to allow their bettas to flare a bit, I do not like to let the bettas flare much as I believe it is like letting them think there is an intruder there and they have no way to get to them so they get to flare when they are being photographed but not otherwise. If they do during the day it is because they have seen their reflection on their own not because it was allowed to happen all day.

I never put their tanks where they see other tanks of bettas or if they can see the other tanks I take care to keep them far enough away that they are not aroused by the fish in those tanks. If I see that happening I find a way to correct the situation. Bettas have been known to find a way to jump out of tanks through very small cracks and holes (even cord access holes) to get at other tanks they get so excited by the sight of other bettas. Dividers will not always work in tanks as I have personally had a male dig with his body under the divider to get to the other side to get to the other betta male. I would not have believed it but I caught him at it the second time after finding him on the other side the first time and nearly having heart failure. The only actual divider I had that worked with the males or females for that matter was siliconed in on all sides and the bottom and was black plexiglas with a 4" T top across the top to keep them from jumping over it. It worked but eventually was no longer needed when the fish number decreased. Of course it needed a seperate heater and filter on each side of the divider.

Stubborn bettas are sometimes also stubborn eaters and sometimes will not eat anything you offer them. Sometimes they invent the idea of frustration in trying to find what your fish will eat. The easiest way to find what they will eat is generally to go to the people you bought them from and ask what they were eating there. Sometimes though this backfires though as they will tell you what they want you to think they were feeding them and if you buy it and find the fish will still not eat it you can bet the fish was not being fed that if at all hardly. Sometimes I have found that when I have a fish that will not eat it is because they were NOT being fed to start with at the store.

Mostly though be glad when you get an ornery betta, as those are usually the ones who have a lot of life and are pretty healthy and rearing to go and give you a lot of trouble. If they were not healthy and full of energy, you would not be having any trouble with them at all. They would be totally docile and flacid in their natures. Although some bettas do just have a more gentle nature so do not think I am saying that good bettas are all sickly.

Next one more thing to help you win over these little demons on fins, please talk to them. I know there are going to be some of you who are going to say "not me!" but if you do that you have a much greater chance of winning the fish over to your way of thinking. Bettas are a lot of things and among the chiefest of them is curious. So if you start to put your hand on the front of the tank and talking to them even if you do not have anything much to say, talk to them and/or get someone in the family to do it, they will start to come up to listen eventually. They cannot help themselves. It is their nature to have to know what is going on and what is that noise? You don't have to yell at them they will hear you and come to your normal speaking voice, maybe not the first, second or third or even the fourth time but they cannot help being curious. That is what drives them into seeing what is inside of every hole, nook and cranny in every place in their tanks and what gets them into trouble if the decorations are placed too close to the walls of their tanks or gets them into a big problem if them get too close to some piece of decor that is rough. They have to know and experience EVERYTHING. So they may be ornery and they may be the naughtiest of fishes but they are ours and it is kind of endearing. If you can win them over they will start to listen to you and you may even get them to learn to behave a bit better.

Chickadee is offline  
post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-10-2009, 09:24 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 1,323
Thanks: 707
Thanked 726 Times in 467 Posts
Welcomes: 426
Welcomed 7 Times in 1 Post
Re: For anyone who has never had a betta...

There are a few things that you just don't do with bettas and they are not things that any autolinking image owner who reads the books and really understands them and watches them will do.

You don't under any circumstances try to put them in with fish they are incompatible with. This is not only a bad idea, it is an inhumane idea. Bettas are slow swimmers. The bettas in the wild do not have the long and lovely, flowing fins that the ones do we purchase in the petstores. They are much more capable of defending themselves. On YouTube I watched in horror as there was a film of some college students who had a small fishbowl in the center of a circle and were filming 4 autolinking image males being allowed to rip and tear each other to death. The forum that I was on at the time complained massively and the film was removed from the site. It was degrading and disgusting, but to believe that to put a betta in a tank with any other fish that it is not compatible with and allow that fish to hunt down the betta and/or the accidental confrontation to occur and the eventual fight to ensue with damage and/or death to one or both fish is just as bad. There is a really good reason for those Compatibility Charts they have taken the time to make. It is to keep us from putting fish in the same confined space, no matter how well we think we have planned for cover and places to escape, that are enemies or dangers to each other. Like I started to say, bettas we buy now have long and flowing fins and it hampers their ability to swim swiftly. In any contest they are not going to be able to race to safety. I have known of people who have thought it would be safe to try to put a couple of male bettas together in tanks as big as 150 gallons and it did not work, or some who have tried gouramis and bettas together in heavily planted 75 gallon tanks and the fight when it came was costly. Usually to both the fish. In one case one of the bettas died and the other never fully recovered. In the other the betta and gourami both died. A high price indeed and neither of those owners could be said to be cruel to their fish, they loved them. They just wanted what they wanted more than what the fish needed.

The second thing you never do with your betta is allow him to decide what to eat and how much. The betta has one of the touchiest digestive systems of any fish I know. He may decide what type of food he will eat but you as his or her owner have to have the control of what the amount is going to be and how it is served. Please do not get in the habit of simply opening the door of the tank and shaking the container out into the tank. This is going to overfeed the betta every time. When you feed a betta you think in terms of small pinches not shakes. Most betta foods like pellets need to be presoaked too to make sure you are not giving them too much. You will see something shocking when you soak the first pellet. It GROWS! Sometimes it gets up to twice its original size. Considering the small size of the betta's tummy, think of the fact that if you are giving that fish enough pellets to fill its eye and it swells inside of the fish, you are going to have a fish with a huge tummy ache. That is why it is always a great idea for them to have a 5 minute soak in a plastic spoon or something similar and then slip them into the water (I use garlic juice one time a day) One drop of garlic juice or even dechlorinated water will get them wet enough. Also every betta needs to have some form of veggie matter and the best one I have found is the pea (frozen is best as there are not any additives) that is chopped into half the size of their eye and given not as a meal but as a treat at least one time a week. You will find this is a really cheap medicine and prevention of a lot of anguish later. A constipated betta may sound funny to you now but believe me when it happens it is no laughing matter at all. It is harder to deal with than a colicky baby. I have known many owners who have been up all night with their bettas begging for it to poo. I have also known of many bettas whose cause of death will have to be put down as constipation and that is very sad to have such a lovely fish die of such a preventable thing.

There is just one more thing, in my opinion, that should never happen to any betta and unfortunately there are books and most fish stores and some experts even who would disagree with me. But anyone who has seen a betta in a larger tank or even one the size of a normal tank would I feel agree, that the little subtanks like stores are selling for the use of bettas is cruel and inhumane. I honestly got a heart shaped tank for a betta that a member of a wonderful betta group sent me as an example of what was being offered now for a Valentine's gift for your sweetheart to put a betta in that contained less than 5 ounces of water in it when the fish was put in. The fish would not have been able to swim at all or turn around. I do not know how they figured there could be a fish in there at all!!!. Even the half gallon things they have now are not humane although I know there are a lot of people who have them. Think of having to live in a closet the rest of your life. Believe me when you see a betta in a larger tank even if it is just a 3 or 5 gallon tank you will not believe it is the same fish. They are active and investigate everything and are full of personality and curious behavior. It is like they are reborn.

This is all I will say on this particular subject. It is not my intention to rant and rave but I feel passionately about this. These are fish to be loved and kept as pets not to be used as pretty ornaments. They have personalities and are living breathing beings not combatants in a private war. If anyone has comments they are welcome.

Chickadee is offline  
post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-08-2010, 04:22 PM
Don't be such a guppie!
Hanyo2801's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Las Vegas
Posts: 3
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Welcomes: 0
Welcomed 9 Times in 1 Post
Re: For anyone who has never had a betta...

Hello your article is soo helpful!

I am currently thinking about getting a autolinking image for my office a lot of people in my office have random fish or turtles so since I have had guppies and tetras before off and on I am thinking of getting a autolinking image.I took a break from fish for about a year since I was getting tired of the guppies reproducing like crazy. It got to the point my 10 gallon tank became a breeding ground. So I gave the tank and fish away to a friend who has now moved them to 30 a gallon tank with several other fish.However now I miss having a fish but want something a little bit more low maintenance and with more personality. I really do not want to be cruel and get the wrong tank.

However I do work in a cubicle while its a descent size I don't think I can get anything bigger then a 3 gallon. Can you please recommend a tank that has everything I need to start? I really want to save a poor little guy from Walmart or Petsmart. I know people at work who have bettas in a 1.5 gallon tetra tank and they look fine I just am scared to hurt them or make them feel sad. I also am on a budget as well. I understand that cleaning is major and keeping them healthy. Please give me some ideas I am so overwhelmed with tanks I don't know what to do. I really don't want to spend more then 50 on a desktop tank and heater. As far as starting them off!
Thanks look forward to your reply!

Remember fish our friends !
Hanyo2801 is offline  
post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-12-2010, 12:39 AM
ravenmyth's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 13
Thanks: 2
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Welcomes: 1
Welcomed 10 Times in 1 Post
Re: For anyone who has never had a betta...

I have an Eclipse 3 gal that is very quiet and serves as a great home for my crowntail autolinking image "Big Red" and two ghost shrimp. It is a planted tank with Crypt wenditii that has been going about a year. It does have a bit of a current at the filter outlet so he doesn't venture there except when food is floating nearby. That may actually be better for the shrimp as they hang out there to feed whereas he usually gets food elsewhere preferentially.

I really have liked the tank.
ravenmyth is offline  
post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-30-2010, 08:55 AM
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: cs texas
Posts: 12
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Welcomes: 0
Welcomed 12 Times in 1 Post
Re: For anyone who has never had a betta...

I have always kept my betas in a little 1 gal or a vase and changed the water out once a week, I treat the water and keep it in the same room as the beta is kept so it is room temp and I have had 2 betas live more than 3 years each, just need to make sure it dosent get too cold in the room they are in and clean the tank every week, if you are keeping it at work just make sure he gets fed every day. Hope this helps

10 gal with 1 molly, 3 red blue tetra, 5 male guppies, 1 zebra danio (has a hunch back was a rescue), rubber lipped pleco, 2 ghost shrimp, 1 tiger snail, with 2 live plants, 2 betta in seperate tanks
melplusanimals is offline  
post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-18-2011, 09:02 PM
corey challis
snail_keeper97's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: adelaide Australia
Posts: 99
Thanks: 61
Thanked 4 Times in 4 Posts
Welcomes: 9
Welcomed 18 Times in 1 Post
Send a message via MSN to snail_keeper97
Re: For anyone who has never had a betta...

is it true bettas are tropical because ive seen videos of stores and stuff of them just being in a little jug with out a plant etc.. also one of my old friends had 1 autolinking image in a 4 litre tank with just 1 plant in the middle and it got along soo well its not even funny, im thinking about getting one but IMO it looks like they can survive a good time without their required temp if that is true.

21Litre 3 Goldfish, 3 red ramshorn snail, bio filter (i think).
3Litre- 3-6 baby Ramshorn snails.

I love these Forums <3!
snail_keeper97 is offline  
post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-04-2011, 02:55 PM
SoFarAway's Avatar
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Ohio
Posts: 16
Thanks: 5
Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Welcomes: 1
Welcomed 0 Times in 0 Posts
Re: For anyone who has never had a betta...

Wow! Great info!
SoFarAway is offline  
post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-03-2011, 01:07 PM
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 14
Thanks: 16
Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Welcomes: 2
Welcomed 22 Times in 1 Post
Re: For anyone who has never had a betta...

Lots of great information there! And you didnt treat your audience like they are 5 year olds, yelling at them or making them feel like criminals if they make a mistake. Thank you!

I Brake For Bettas

5 gal. Marineland Hex with:
1 Fantaill Betta named Finley
1 Cherry Barb named Carrie
2 Otos named Laurel and Hardy
1 Marino Ball named Gazoo
1 Golden Mystery Snail named Junior

Rover....Lost on 1/2/13. RIP...
Sandyhook is offline  
post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-21-2012, 09:56 PM
You did say fish tank?
Mrlomography's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Yorkshire, UK
Posts: 66
Thanks: 66
Thanked 23 Times in 18 Posts
Welcomes: 239
Welcomed 19 Times in 1 Post
Re: For anyone who has never had a betta...

Thanks for the great thread!

Be a shark...
Mrlomography is offline  
post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-18-2013, 04:41 PM
Avraptorhal's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Apple Valley, CA
Posts: 174
Thanks: 148
Thanked 81 Times in 67 Posts
Welcomes: 9
Welcomed 21 Times in 1 Post
Question Re: For anyone who has never had a betta...

I have been thinking about a autolinking image for months now. This post is much better for someone like me who already has another the tank w/fish. I truly appreciate the time and effort you have put into helping us.

Your advice on where to purchase your autolinking image is especially appreciated. I went on line (Aquabid) but came to realize that using that source is close to prohibitive. I live about 50 +/- northeast of LA. It is amazingly rural but the only LFS other than the chains but I wouldn't buy anything from it unless my fish life depended on it. And I would even think twice about it then. All of which leads up to any advice you can give me on locating a domestic breeder would be appreciated.

I have a 2.5 gallon tank w/ a heater and AZOO Palm filter cycling. But after reading many posts and books I'm thinking of upgrading to s 5 gal tank. ai can't really go any bigger due to space (I'm in an approximately 600 sq ft condo) and financial reasons.

No one's life, liberty or happiness is safe when congress is in session. Hallyx has kindly reminded me that Mark Twain is the sage that said that.

Avraptorhal is offline  
post #16 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-05-2013, 08:53 AM
Pardox Owl's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Oxford, New Jersey
Posts: 64
Thanks: 5
Thanked 4 Times in 4 Posts
Welcomes: 68
Welcomed 17 Times in 1 Post
Re: For anyone who has never had a betta...

I have recently acquired 2 Bettas. Samurai was my first, and when my boyfriend and I found him, we heard some store employees talking about flushing him. No idea why. His water was cold and dirty and his color was very soft. But now he lives in a 20g heated filtered tank with 3 cory cats and 3 Oto's and hes thriving! He turned pink and white and swims up to me and follows me and i love him.

Now our new autolinking image is where I need a little help. Much like Samurai, D.W. (Dirty Water is what we named him) his water was filthy. It was so clouded we could hardly see the fish. I had to save him! I put him in a 10g heated, filtered, cycled tank with the 3 Oto's.

He rammed them all night! So i moved them. He's by himself with a baby snail and he flares at everything! Sometimes for no reason apparent to my boyfriend or myself. He is a crown tail and a stunning purple body and red fins, and I really love him, but I am worried about his behavior. He seems unusually aggressive.

We've had him for roughly 4 days now and he swims in a spastic way and runs into the walls of the tank. I have a hiding ornament in there so if he feels the need, he can hide.

Could he just be a super sensitive autolinking image? He's the total opposite of Samurai (who plays and sleeps with his cat fish and clown pleco friend), and I was just wondering if maybe Samurai is just a more chill Betta where as D.W. is more aware? Scared? Might he settle down given time?

If Magic and Lasers can't help, try Duct Tape and Bacon!
Pardox Owl is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Aquarium Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome