Questions & Answers            VOLUME 4

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Archived questions and their answers   
from our ever so popular column: 
"All you ever wanted to know about bettas" 


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TOPIC: nitrites

Q: I replaced 50% of my betta's water yesterday; however, the nitrites are still between .25 and .50.  Should I replace some of the water again or do you believe that it is okay to use Amquel+ to remove the nitrites.

TOPIC: female betta eating her eggs

Q: My male and female are mating as we speak. The female is eating all the eggs, and the male isn't picking any up from the floor of the tank. what can I do? 

TOPIC: new betta won't eat

Q: I've had my betta now for about 4 days, he swims frequently but also lays at the bottom of the tank a lot, he won't eat, and I've tried everything that there is to offer here.  Could it possibly be something serious or am I just being paranoid?  Thanks

TOPIC: stripes on bettas

Q: What makes a female change from vibrant blue-green colors to a pale tan color with horizontal dark body stripe as she observes a male in container next to her?

TOPIC: how to diagnosis a sick betta

Q: My male betta has been showing signs of a bacteria infection or parasites, for over a month. I treated him with a parasite killer, tetracycline, and maracyn. Nothing seems to work, what else can it be? He is still eating but lays at the bottom all day!!! HELP!

TOPIC: bubble nest falling apart

Q: Twice now the Bubble nest has collapsed. What do I need to do the keep the Bubble nest intact until the eggs hatch to fry. Somewhere I read that there may not be enough humidity in the tank. How long will it take for the eggs to hatch to fry?

TOPIC: recipe for a 10 gal community tank for female bettas

Q: I am getting a 10 gal tank to house female bettas. Can you give me some advice to make it successful?  Thank you.

TOPIC: betta rescue & fin rot / damage

Q: My cousin's betta is in bad shape, and I'm attempting to rescue it. His clear, frontal fins have basically disintegrated, and his other fins are a bit ragged. He still eats and swims somewhat, but lays on the bottom a lot. He was in dirty water, but ammonia levels were also high. Is this fin rot or ammonia damage?

TOPIC: new betta is depressed

Q: I just bought a betta a few days ago, and I have read on several differ sites about playing with them... I tried to play with him, I read to him etc, and he seems kinda depressed. shows no signs of illness, but doesn't eat very much either. What should I do?

TOPIC: sick betta

Q: 2 wks ago: Betta dark, lost fins. Changed water & treated w/Bettamax&Maracyn2.  Appetite returned. 2 days ago: Betta on side floating at top, white cottony fungus on head.  Changed water & treated w/JungleFungusClear&SplendidBettaFixRemedy. Fungus on head gone but color dark, not eaten in 3 days, lays on side at the top.

TOPIC: feeding bettas at the office

Q: I purchased my 1st Betta for my office about 2 weeks ago. I am in my office Mon to Fri and I need to know what to do about feedings on the weekends. I have read to feed a Betta everywhere from 3 times a day to 3 times a week. So far I have been feeding him once a day and skipping the weekend feedings. Any suggestions?

TOPIC: bettas eating their eggs

Q: I just tried to breed my first pair. The male built this huge bubble nest then I let the female out. They did there thing then ate the eggs. Is this normal on the first spawn? Should I try again? How long should I wait or should I try another male with that female and if so how long before she can spawn again?

TOPIC: table salt hurts bettas

Q: I started adding table salt to Buddy's bowl when he suddenly quit eating.  It perked him up but he still eats very little (former piglet) and he breathes very hard. It looks like a bubble is stuck in his throat and he keeps working until it comes out.  Anything to do other than use typical over the counter medicine?

TOPIC: melafix

Q: What is your opinion on Melafix. My betta (Mr. Bubbles) has fin rot and I am currently treating him with super sulfa (my pet store did not have neosulfex) and Melafix. I've read a wide range of websites claiming varying effectiveness of Melafix. What's your final verdict and is this a safe combination of medication?

TOPIC: male and female together in bowl/tank

Q: I have a beautiful male betta right now, and I am going crazy because I want another one! Obviously I can't put another male with him, but do you think I could put a female? If things don't workout though, then I don't know where I would put the female!!!! What would you do?

TOPIC: cellophane bettas

Q: Hi Faith,
I got lucky and got a great cellophane betta at my LFS. After about a month, it started getting black splotches (not really spots). It looks like you could rub them off (I'm not) Is this pigment change or disease? Thanks so much! 

TOPIC: chocolate bettas

Q: I have a chocolate colored Local Pet Store male betta. He is a veil tail, but his coloring warrants me asking the upcoming question. His color separation is amazing--the colors do not run on to each other almost at all--and he has a minimal amount of blue wash. Do you think I should try to breed him to a choc. female with a symmetric tail?

TOPIC: salt

Q: Pick me! Pick me! This is my third or fourth try. Does adding aquarium salt to keep fish healthy, or along with medicine as a cure, damage or destroy the bacterial filter? Thank You!

TOPIC: recessive colors and sensitive strains

Q: Hi, I was looking through your catalogue and you make mention to several of your strains being sensitive, what does this mean?

TOPIC: bettas breeding without bubble nests

Q: Dear Faith, I read a page of BettaTalk and you mentioned that Opaques do not use bubblenests to mate. My DT Marble too, didn't blow a bubblenest and now, the fries are hardy... Is there a problem or will there be a problem?

TOPIC: betta depression

Q: I changed my betta's tank completely. It's bigger, has more plants, and is just very different. Could such a change result in a brief "depression stage"?

TOPIC: spawn sex outcome

Q: Is it possible that a spawn of 70 fry could all be female?

TOPIC: clamped fins

Q: Dear Faith: You often refer to "clenched," "clamped," or "cramped" fins. What do these look like? Do you have photos? Also, is it normal for a betta to not eat much from time to time? He's scaring his mommy.  Thanks!

TOPIC: crowntails

Q: You’ve written a lot about DT’s on your website, like their personality and some genetic tendencies (big dorsal, recessive gene, spinal deformities). What can you tell me about Crowntails? 

TOPIC: heaters

Q: Do I need to get some type of heater for the winter for my fish? It doesn't get too cold here. Almost never below freezing. If so what kind of heater do you recommend?

TOPIC: how to dose betta medication

Q: My fish has fin rot and I bought Tetracyline tablets for it. The box says to give 1 tablet for every 10 gallon but I also read
1 Gallon Dosage: Dissolve 1 tablet in 10 tsp of water. Add 1 tsp of concentrate daily.  I have a 1 gal. tank so I wasn't sure how much I was really to give and I am worried about over medicating.

TOPIC: betta aggressiveness

Q: Will bettas attack other fish?

TOPIC: betta making strange sound (noise)

Q: Hi Faith My Betta Blue lives in a goldfish bowl .I got him a female who lives in a bowl beside him. He has started making this loud clicking noise (I think he makes it with his labyrinth). He will sit at the bottom of his bowl quietly or in a corner and then all of a sudden a loud 'click'. Do your bettas do this?  What does it mean?

TOPIC:

Q: Hi, my betta's tail used to be round, now its somehow split into two tails. My betta doesn't seem to be bothered since it is eating normally and occasionally blowing bubbles but I still want to know what happened and should I be concerned?

TOPIC:

Q: At what age do you start weaning your fry from microworms and baby brine shrimp? What foods do you introduce? I live in an area that is short on live foods and would like to move on to frozen and freeze-dried foods. Thanks!