Sunday, February 10, 2013

Disappearing Stripes! :)

 Things have been looking up for my little fishy friend. I've been feeding him/her 3 times a day, keeping the tank nice and warm, and making sure the water is lovely and clean. I did an ammonia test, and checked pH, nitrate, and nitrite levels, and everything was perfect! 

This week something exciting happened. I noticed that sometimes it looked like his stripes were fading or gone, and today look what I finally captured!

I also got this shot of his belly, to see if anyone can tell me if he is in fact a he, since you are supposed to be able to see some type of egg sac thing. 

On a sadder front, I went back to petco to buy some things I needed for the little fish and I found that at least 25% of the baby betta's on the shelf were dead. I'm very glad I got this one when I did! It's awful how poorly they are treated. The manager told me they are only fed and have their water cleaned once a week! I feed mine 3 times a day, with water changes every few days!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Day Two!

Today I went out and bought a better heater, and returned the crappy little betta starter kit I had bought. I also got a small water filter.

When I went back to Petco I found a bunch more of the baby bettas dead, and one on it's way out. It's really awful they are selling them this little. They have about 2x as many babies as adults in stock, and they don't seem to be selling well. Most of their little cups are so dirty and have green nasty on the bottom. I called the manager and asked if they clean and feed them, and she said only once a week! Everything I've read online indicates they need clean fresh water and frozen food way more frequently!

My little guy is doing 100% better already. He is swimming around, and being super active. When I put the filter and the new heater in he went over and explored them a bit, and then went back to his business.

I've read a lot online about the best way to care for him and here is what I've concluded.

*Get a heater and keep the tank at a stable temperature as close to 80 degrees as you can. My heater is supposed to keep it at 78 and that is the best one I could find small enough to fit this tank.

*Use a filter! Despite what people think, bettas like clean water as much as other fish. Just make sure your filter isn't too strong, as tiny baby bettas can easily be pushed around by a strong water flow.

*Feed your baby frozen brine shrimp! Also frozen blood worms, and daphnia are good, but I could only get the frozen brine shrimp. Don't feed him pellets yet!

*Only feed him a little bit! This might sound mean, but he will eat and eat until you stop feeding him. Apparently the amount of food should be about the size of his eyeball. I've been breaking it up so it's 3 times a day.

*Make sure there are plants (preferably live ones) in the tank. Mine little guy has been hanging out next to one of them on and off most of the day. He seems to really enjoy swimming through the leaves and stuff.

The Tetra Whisper 3i In-Tank Filter, and the Tetra HT10 50W Submersible Heater
 Both in action!
 You can see I got a little thermometer to make sure the tank doesn't get too hot or too cold.
 Here he is hanging out next to his heater. He is sooooo tiny, but he seems much more healthy already.
 The whole tank. Both plants are real. You can't see him, but he's in there somewhere.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Damn you Petco!

Sometimes when I'm having a bad day I go to Petco. The animals cheer me up, and I like to shop for presents for my lovely cat Luna. Today I was feeling like I needed a little pick me up so I headed over after work. I was mainly going to look at the birds. I just started a new job at a school, and we have finches in the classroom, and I love watching them. So I was walking around Petco, texting my lovely boyfriend about wanting to get pet finches when I saw a display about bettas with prices. The lowest priced one was a baby betta. I had never seen baby bettas for sale before so I went on a quest to find them. When I finally did I immediately was disappointed to find one was dead, and another on it's way out. I realized maybe Petco shouldn't be selling these poor little creatures, so I needed to do something, and I did something very stupid. I bought one.

I also bought a little beta tank, that said it was the "perfect into to fish keeping" and came with "BONUS: Betta Food, and Water Conditioner". As soon as I got all of this home and did some research I realized this tiny little container was not going to cut it. Also one thing Petco doesn't tell people, is that bettas should really have a HEATED tank. So I picked up my boyfriend from work, broke the news that I bought a damned fish, and went to town to get supplies. I came home with a 2.5 gallon tank, a new heater, some lovely decorative rocks, two LIVE plants, frozen brine shrimp, baby tropical fish food, and some dried blood worms. OH and my own real bottle of water conditioner since I'm returning the crap betta tank kit I bought in the first place.

The tank I'll be returning:

And the tank that I set up on my own, because Petco are liars:

So I've got my tank all set up, and my heater is in there, and I've got my little baby betta all settled in. I fed him a couple baby fish pellets and he has literally come to life, just in the last few hours. He was pretty lethargic in his tiny Petco cup, but now in a warmer, bigger container with some food he is thriving.

Everything I've read online says this little guy is going to die, but after shelling out over $40 to provide him with a proper habitat and food, I'm determined to fight the odds.

(also for the record I don't really know the fishes sex, but I'm going with male for now, we'll see)

Here he is! He is so tiny it was hard to get these pictures! (Also don't mind the bubbles, new tanks tend to be really bubbly for a few days)