Q: hi I just bought a betta and I wanted to know if I should be putting anything else then Stresscoat in the water. also why is the water foggy even after I change it. He has air pumping in it but no filter, should I get a filter?

Question submitted by Kim,  Lakeview - Oregon

A: When I first read this question, my face did something like this:

OK, I guess everyone has to start somewhere, and Kim is just standing at the gate of Bettaland, a bit confused and quite unaware of betta's needs. What we need to do is guide Kim out of lala land and welcome her to Bettaland warmly.

From your above question I can tell you know very little about bettas. But you did do something right, probably the most important thing of all: You came here. :))). Worry not, we are going to get you up to date pronto and you will be an expert (or just about ;) ) in no time. 

Please note that although bettas can be fairly easy to care for, they can also be fairly easy to kill. So you need to know a minimum. Have a busy schedule? Short attention span? Expensive internet connection? Then just read the one page called "Basic Care 101" under my betta care section. Preferably you should submerge yourself in the ocean of betta information this website offers, and marinate in all 307 pages of it for a while (until desirable flavor and tenderness has been achieved LOL). If you really don't want to take the time, then at least PLEEEEEASE read the basic care 101 page, otherwise your betta will not last long :((((((. All your basic questions will be answered on that page.


Now for the rest of you guys. I must warn you about some of the water treatment brands out there. Not all of them were created equal. Once a friend told me to try a product, labeled to take care of all harmful chemicals in water. So I did (that was a long time ago, when I was a newbie and gullible LOL). I did a water change using the new product, all proud of myself and stuff until I started noticing that every single one of my bettas were at the bottom of their jar, all clamped up!!!! I stopped dead in my tracks and after 15 mn of waiting noticed none of them were bouncing back. Quick, I prepared new water and treated it with my usual chemicals (see below) and rechanged the water of all the bettas that had been subjected to the new water treated with the new product. In a matter of a few minutes they all bounced back. Obviously the next person to get a (cranky) phone call from me was my buddy who had suggested the new product. He was stumped. Said he used it and never had a problem with it. Yeah, right. Then again, he has tropical fish, not bettas, so maybe the answer to this riddle lays there?

Morality of the story? If it ain't broken, don't fix it. Other morality of the story, listen to mother (me) and not to the local fish store dude. Mother says for your bettas use: Amquel and Novaqua to treat the water. (Note that I said "AND" not "OR" - you must use BOTH). Not stress coat alone, not Joe Shmoe dechlor drops, or anything else for that matter. Granted some other brands might work OK. But I am not about to try switching again for the purpose of testing something new when what I already use is great and has been doing a great job for many many years now. Please note that the manufacturers of above products do not pay me to say this. My bettas do LOL.

So stick to the proven products and make your best of efforts to locate them in your area. Remember you can always order fish products from many companies on the net and they will ship them to your door, even if you live in the middle of nowhere (Hicktown). Their prices are usually much cheaper than pet stores so even with a small shipping chargem you save on sales taxes and lower prices, big time. So no more lame excuses on your end, get the good stuff or be sorry.

Hugh, wise Sings With Bettas has spoken.

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