Fish as Pets

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Betta fish care in winter!

Oct 2007

Hi there ~ a few weeks ago, my son and I went to buy his first fish...because we already have a small (2 c?) bowl, they recommended a betta and sent us home. A week later he got sick and I researched bettas and learned they really need to be in a warm room! Of course, nothing was said about temperature when we bought the fish. So I put him in the bathroom with a space heater and now, a couple weeks later and medicine, he seems to be doing much better. But my husband does NOT want a space heater running 24/7 until spring. Any suggestions on the easiest way to remedy the situation...perhaps a big enough bowl/acquarium to get a small water heater? But will that be enough? We tend to have a cool house in the winter time...mid to high 60s during the day and as low as 60 at night. Thanks for any suggestions!

I think fish are great pets too and kudos to you for taking such good care of your Betta. I had a Betta for almost 3 years before he died, which is about the lifespan of a Betta. Putting the Betta in a preferably shallow 1 gal tank/with a small heater is the best choice for maintaining a constant water temperature. Betta's typically like 80-ish deg. water temp. When you buy the heater, you should also purchase a thermometer to put in the tank so that you can make sure the heater is regulating itself properly. Just be sure to set the thermometer away from the heater. Also, Bettas don't typically thrive if there's constant water agitation, so no power filters recommended. Good luck. Mai
Betta are tropical fish and need a tank with a heater. You can buy an inexpensive fish tank heater from any pet store. It's much more energy-efficient to just heat the water and not the air in the room around the water! fellow fish owner
Betta fish are often sold by people who don't know a lot about them, and so they leave out a lot of important information (like temperature requirements!). You can get a heater for a fish bowl that will raise the temperature by several degrees. Look for a heater that's 7.5 watts. (If you can't find it locally, you can order one online for about $10.) Bettas should also be in a bowl that holds at least a gallon of water, and an aquarium is even better. That's something else they never tell you at most stores, because they market bettas as fish who live in tiny containers. Bettas do enjoy having room to swim, just like other fish, and will use all the space they have. They also do fine with other fish, just not with other bettas or fish that look too much like bettas (like fancy guppies), so they should do well in a community tank. The main thing you have to worry about when you put them with other fish is that the other fish don't nip the betta's fins. I would encourage you to get a small tank with a filter, because that will improve the water quality and keep your fish healthier. It's also nice to have a plant in the water, because sometimes they'll rest on the leaves of an aquatic plant. The one thing you really don't have to worry about with bettas the way you do with other fish is oxygen in the water, because they do breath surface air, but aside from that bettas are marketed to be kept in a way that's not really natural or healthy for them. traci

Someone to clean our aquarium

Sept 2005

We're looking for someone to come to our house in the El Cerrito hills every few weeks to clean our 3 20-30 gallon freshwater fish tanks. Someone experienced at cleaning fish tanks is preferred, but my husband is willing to train someone. We have all the equipment and water treatment supplies. Will pay $15-$25/hour depending on experience. Any leads would be greatly appreciated. Nancy

Rob at Octopus's Garden, (510) 849-4450, has cleaned our tank and did a good job. He's experienced so can also recommend products if you are having any problems with the tanks or fish. RK

Where's a good place to buy fish & supplies?


Our landlord has finally allowed my 4 yr old to have a Is anyone interested in trading up and selling their 10-20 gallon aquarium? Where is the best place to buy fish and supplies? Ally

The absolute BEST place to buy fish is Albany Aquarium on San Pablo Avenue. They have a huge sellection pluse they keep their fish in holding tanks for a given number of days before selling them to the public. The owner is incredibly knowledgeable and will gladly give advice.
The best place to buy fish and everything else you'll need is Lucky Goldfish, on Broadway, on the edge of Oakland's Chinatown, in downtown Oakland. Christy
I would like to recommend parents with children to setup a fish tank. Having a fish tank is a good way to teach your child about other animals and it is also very relaxing to see. We currently contract with: Planet Reef (510) 502-3474 Call for setup/Maintenance prices !! Erika