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oc.eannn

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He is gorgeous! I can see why you don’t want to lose him. What size is your tank? Get a test kit for ammonia that uses drops and test daily, do large enough water changes to keep ammonia at 0, and you should be fine. It will be labour intensive until it’s cycled unfortunately. It may be good to proactively add 1 tbsp of aquarium salt per 5 gallons, might ward off fin rot which can set in really fast on a betta in an uncycled tank. Also, dose Prime daily for the whole tank volume to detoxify any ammonia and nitrites.
how often should i water change? he’s in a 5 gallon and i’m assuming i can buy all of this at the pet shop?
 

Essjay

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You can buy test kits (liquid ones not strips) at real shops but they tend to be cheaper on-line especially eBay and Amazon.
You need to be able to test for ammonia and nitrite as those are the killers, and most multi-test strips do not test ammonia. Nitrate and pH are useful as well. Many testers come as a master set with all four.
Ideally you need to test for ammonia and nitrite every day and do a water change whenever either read more than zero. Using Seachem Prime, if you can get it, helps protect the fish between daily water changes.

If you get to the shop, buy a few bunches of elodea, remove anything holding the stems together and just let them float in the tank. This will do two things - the stems will give the betta something over his head to help him feel safe (he doesn't know there isn't a bird waiting to scoop him up) and being a fast growing plant it will also remove a fair bit of ammonia and won't turn it into nitrite. It won't look pretty but it will help keep the fish safe and you can work on prettying the tank later.
 

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