Got a new Betta, have some questions?


I was at my cousin’s wedding yesterday.

At her reception, they had Betta fish in fishbowls as centerpieces.

Afterward they were asking for people to gie them homes.

So I took one with my parent’s permission.

From what I can tell it’s a red veil-tailed male Betta (I can’t see a white spot by the anal fin).

I have NEVER owned a Betta before. When I was little I had a goldfish that lived for 4 years, but I’ve always wanted a Betta because they’re so pretty.

I decided to read up on Betta fish today to make sure he’s properly taken care of, and I discovered my estimate of his care was way off. So I am determined to remedy that ASAP.

So, I have a couple questions:

I understand that they’re tropical fish and need warm water. My room is always rather warm compared to the rest of the house, so the water should be fairly warm.

I have him in the fishbowl I got him in. I believe we still have the 5 gallon tank I kept my goldfish in. If we don’t I’m buying him one tomorrow. But anyways- will he be okay in his bowl tonight?

Tomorrow I’m getting my dad to take me to the pet store (There’s one near us that is a fish store mostly but still sells hamster stuff and crickets and things like that that I want him to take me to).

I’m going to get him a tank (If we don’t have one, if I get one it will probably be a 5-gallon), some new gravel (The stuff currently in his bowl is black and red, my room is purple and turquoise, I want some that matches my room better so it doesn’t look so ridiculous, plus he’ll stick out better with different colored gravel), a heater, a thermometer, some tank conditioner, a few plants (Are fake ones okay? Because we tend to have snail problems when we get live ones because that store doesn’t do too well with keeping live plants snail free (It’s not a problem in our guppy tank because we have a snail eating fish in there)), a little castle or something like that for him to hide in, food, and a little filter to keep the water clean. Is that all I need for him, or do I need other things too?

I would like to change his water tomorrow, because I’m pretty sure he’s just in tap water right now. How should I go about doing that?

I have the top covered because I read that Betta fish jump a lot and if you don’t cover their tanks/bowls you may wake up to a fish on the carpet. It’s clingwrap with lots of little holes in it (It’s really just like some netting but made out of plastic, I want to make sure he has air). Or will he be fine without the cover for tonight? If he won’t be okay with that, I have some tulle and other netting-type fabrics downstairs that I can cover his bowl with that will cover it but let a lot of air in.

He hasn’t eaten in a few days as far as I know, because they bought the fish on Thursday and didn’t feed them. Will he make it to tomorrow afternoon when I get him food? I only have regular fish food that we use for our guppies, and then the tablets you feed bottom feeders. We MAY have some dried shrimp that you feed fish in the basket under our guppy tank, but I don’t think we do.

Basically, my most pressing question is will he be okay until tomorrow in his fishbowl?

Thank you!

By the way, his name is Mister Fishy.
I was planning on buying Betta food. I just want to make sure I’m taking proper care of him. I’m going to get some special Betta tank conditioner that you can put in tap water so that it’s definitely safe for him.

When I switch him, I’m going to put him in a bag with some water from his bowl and then let him float in the other tank for 15 minutes before I release him. Does that sound alright? Or should I do it a different way?
Oh, it’s no problem wanting to take care of him. My mom was all "I’m not spending money on a stupid fish" when I told her I needed to get him a tank but I told her I’d buy him stuff myself.

I want to be a vet (Large animal anyways cause I’m obsessed with horses) so I really care about animals.

I used to have hamsters. But then I got my own cat who tends to live in my room. So it wouldn’t really work keeping hamsters. But he’s staying somewhere that’s out of reach of my cat (On top of the hutch on my desk, which is maybe 5 feet off the ground and has stuff on every part of it (He’s got around a square foot at the end for right now, I can move other stuff tomorrow if I need to).

I really just want to keep him safe and make him life as happy and long as possible.
To the fourth answerer-

I read up on it and they really aren’t supposed to be kept in bowls. They’re supposed to be kept in a tank that is heated with a light filter, plenty of places to hide, space to swim, and stuff to keep them entertained. They’re meant to be kept in at least a 2.5 gallon tank, but it’s just easiest for me to get a 5 gallon that is good with room for a heater.

He’s just kind of floating in one place and I’m kind of worried about him. Is it just because he has nothing to do and he’s bored? Or could there be something wrong with him?
Okay, his lethargy problem is definitely heat-related.

I put a hot water bottle by his bowl last night to give the bowl a little bit of warmth.

When I woke up this morning he was right by it. I took it away to refill it and he swam to a different part of the tank.

When I put it back he swam to it again and he’s been there ever since (Around 20 minutes).

So it’s a definite heat problem.

Well, I’m going to the store soon and I’ll get him his stuff.

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    5 Responses to “Got a new Betta, have some questions?”

    1. Jeb Gebauer says:

      To be honest I wouldent go through the trouble of getting a tank and I f you do get one you don’t need a 5 gallon one. I had a betta for 2.5 years in a bowl and he was fine. Just clean it once a week. I belive betas eat snails but Im not sure. If you have a bigger guppie tank (15-20 gal.) you could put him in there.

    2. I heart beets says:

      yes, he will be fine until tomorrow. but as soon as you can, you can put him in that 5 gallon tank with a nice filter and he will be fine. thanks for saving him!

    3. Cavalier girl says:

      well first thank you for doing some research on your own first! that’s awesome :). but anyway if you wanna change his water your guna need some de chlorinater but if youdon’tt have any then you need to let water sit for 24 hours and then it safe for your fish. and he will be perfectly fine in that bowl. same with the food thing. he’ll be fine. have fun with your new fishie!

    4. CF_ says:

      leave the fish in the water it is in for now..

      fill a container with tap water and let it sit on the counter for 24 hours – to allow the chlorine to evaporate.. then (after 24 hours) you can pour SOME of the fishes water out and add some new water

      yes keep it covered!!!

      buy proper BETTA food when you can – I like the little ball type food – 2-3 pellets a day if its a small fish – 3-5 if its a big fish.. no more than 5 per day.


    5. baymast13 says:

      I am so glad you have learned so much on your own! I’m impressed! He will be okay in the bowl tonight. The cover you have rigged up will be fine.
      Ideally, you would want to cycle the tank before putting him in it, but we need to get him out of that bowl. You don’t have to buy "special" Betta water conditioner. I always just use Start Right. Some people use AquaSafe. Any decent water conditioner will work fine. You can use silk plants and that will be fine. The Betta won’t care, just as long as he has places to sleep and hide. Don’t use plastic plants. They can tear a Betta’s fins. Bettas like caves, but even a clay flowerpot turned on it’s side will work, it doesn’t have to be fancy. If you want fancy, make sure it has no sharp edges and that he won’t get "stuck" in it.
      You have the basics covered. A 5 gallon tank with a hood, heater and gentle filter is a perfect Betta home. If it has a hood, you don’t have to worry about your cat (and any cat that is determined can easily jump 5 feet). I wouldn’t plan on putting a 5 gallon on top of that hutch. It is going to weigh more than 50 pounds when filled with water and gravel. Your dresser or a sturdy table would be a much better idea.
      I would offer him a tiny pinch of the guppy food, if you don’t have any of the shrimp. The poor little thing must be starving by now. I would give him the option of having something to eat, as opposed to nothing. He should make it until tomorrow, though. Get him Hikari Bio-Gold Betta pellets. I feed mine the baby-sized pellets just cause it seems like they are easier for the Bettas to eat. I feed 3 baby-sized pellets, twice a day. You can offer him blood worms in place of pellets a few times a week. They are a great treat for a Betta. One day a week, feed him nothing at all. This is essential for a Betta’s digestive system.
      He is probably floating in place because he is cold. They like water that is 78-80 degrees.
      Once a week you should change 20% (one gallon) of his water and replace with clean, conditioned water. Since you keep Guppies, you are probably familiar with partial water changes. The way you plan to transfer him sounds fine. If you can catch him in the baggie or with a cup, that would be better than a net. If you have to use a net, soak it in the tank first, to soften the material.
      Congratulations on saving this little guy’s life and thank you for giving him a good home. I hate the trend of using Bettas for "centerpieces!" They are living creatures, not ornaments. I used floating candles for my centerpieces, they worked fine. Anyway, that’s a different rant. Sounds like you are doing an excellent job!

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