I've had my Betta for about a yr now and he has been in a critter
keeper tank (about 1 gal. approx.). I recently bought a 2.5
gallon Mini Bowl tank. Would it be ok to switch him into this
tank?!? Or should I just leave him in his original tank?!
Do you think this would stress him out?! Thank you,
submitted by Becky, Oklahoma City - OK
Ah Becky, this is a good question because A)- ALL betta keepers will
have to undertake a 'betta move' at one point or another and B)- It
is going to allow me to go on a long tangent (my favorite pastime of
all! ;) ).
So let's look at the big picture
here and address the general issue of moving a betta from one
jar/tank to another and doing it the right way.
Although any change of environment
will cause some stress to a fish, you can minimize the stress to
such an extent that the betta won't even notice that his old
jar/tank is gone (hehehehehe). That is, of course if you do it
RIGHT. So mama Faith comes to the rescue and is going to give all of
you some valuable tips on how to tackle a betta move the FAITH most
excellent way ;).
plan the move first:
Of course no need to call a moving company or rent a U-Haul
truck. Unless you have a female betta that is. Female bettas can
accumulate a lot of clothes in their betta closets (many of
which no longer fit, but you never know, just in case she was to
lose a few pounds and fit in them again LOL), necessitating
several large sized trucks. Mr.181 can attest to this ;), for he
was stuck with the grueling task of moving all my stuff (which
took several days) hehehehehe. But seriously now: Plan your move
by figuring out exactly where the new tank is going, what is
going in it (gravel, plants etc) and make sure to set everything
keep water quality consistent.
If at all possible, make sure the water in the new tank is of
same composition and quality as the old one - so use the same
water. This can become difficult if your betta was in a small
jar (and you used bottled water) and you are now moving it to a
larger tank, say a 10 gal. Using bottled water for 10 gal would
cost an arm and a leg, so you will have to resort to using tap
water instead. REMEMBER TO ALWAYS TREAT TAP WATER FIRST. See my water
page for more details. In case you cannot have the same type
of water, you will have to be even more careful while
transitioning the betta from former water to new water (see
run the new system for a
while. This is necessary for many reasons, including
allowing heater (if your tank is 5 gal or more, you should have
one) to heat water to desired temperature, testing reliability
of heater (some over heat), aging the water and cycling the
tank. If you can, run the new tank empty for about 2 weeks. If
you can't, then run it at least for 3 days. If your new betta
home is just a bowl, then all you need to do is let the water
age for about 2 days. I do not recommend waiting much
cup Mr. betta. This is
best done by gently netting him and placing him in a brand new
plastic cup. Don't fill it to the top or he might jump out!
(yikes) and dive into your carpet nose first. Only put about 2
inches of water in it, that's it.
float the cup in the new
tank for about 1 hour, so that the water temperatures even
out. Make sure the cup you used is the kind that can float
without sinking. You do not want any of the new water to enter
the cup (just yet). You may have to stop any running filter
while the cup is floating, otherwise the water flow will slowly
attract the cup and then Mr. betta will be under the Niagara
Falls (yikes X2) and this small mistake can ruin the entire
acclimation process and be VERY costly!!!
start mixing waters: To
do this properly and safely, empty some of the cup's water so
that Mr.Betta is only in about 1 inch of water. Then add about
20% of the amount of water he is in, taking water from the new
tank and adding it to the cup's water (remember only about 20%
of the value of cup water). Let MR. Betta marinate for 1 hour.
repeat the process about 3
more times: Each time only add about 20% and wait another
hour before adding the next dose. After about 4 times, your
water inside the cup will reflect more and more the type of
water Mr.Betta is to expect when he is released into the new
tank. He has had the time to taste it, adapt to it, get used to
it and he is NOW ready to go for it!
release Mr. Betta gently
into the new home and enjoy watching him explore his new
abode. Is he smiling? If so you did a good job :).
your job is not
done yet! Now you must keep an eye on him for the next week
or so. Check thermometer twice a day to make sure heater is not
going crazy and overheating, or lazy and under heating. Make
sure filter is working properly, and flow is not too powerful
for Mr. Betta. Make sure no rocks or decoration are posing a
threat for your fish and that he is not getting stuck
Last but not least your
most important task: watch for any abnormal behavior such as
severely clamped fins, darting, gasping, loss of color (note:
bettas when moved may lose some color temporarily but colors
should return within 24 hrs. However if bettas was colorful when
first moved then after a few days turns pale, then you have
trouble heading your way!)
In case your betta does show
abnormal behavior (as described above), you will have to act fast.
Double check your new set-up for any problems, test water quality,
water temp, plants etc... Add Bettamax to prevent disease onset
before it has a chance of happening. If symptoms persist for more
than 2 days, move your betta back to his previous home, following
same caution. Maybe there is a problem with your new tank.
Well my betta disciples ;) I hope
this will help you all move your bettas safely. Remember that a move
can be very stressful if not done right. But if you are upgrading
your betta's abode (such as you Becky), than never let the fear of a
move stop you from improving your set-up! Just follow above 10 commandments
to the T and thou betta shall live :). (don't worry, God has a good
sense of humor ;) ).