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  1. #1
    BPnet Veteran ckuhn003's Avatar
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    Beta - Oil Sheen on Top of Water & Eating Subsided

    Hey there...

    Quick question on a Beta fish we bought for my son last Xmas. He was eating and doing well up to a month ago. We noticed what looks like an oil sheen that forms at the top of his water and his eating has been almost non existent. I've tried to change the water a couple of times but the sheen comes back. For the record, he's in a small bowl w/ no filter or heater. I think I read somewhere where the oil sheen could be a result of oil from your hands if you touch the food or water. If true, I'm wondering why all of a sudden it's happening. Any ideas?
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  2. #2
    BPnet Veteran pretends2bnormal's Avatar
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    Re: Beta - Oil Sheen on Top of Water & Eating Subsided

    Betta bowls are among the worst things pet stores do to the aquarium hobby... it's on par with telling customers they can keep a BP in a tank with Aspen, no humidity, and saying no thermostat is needed.

    Bettas absolutely require at least 2.5 gallons of water, a heater (or temps at 75-80 if that is your room temp), and 300% need a filter. The filter exists to give a place for beneficial bacteria strains to live and perform the nitrogen cycle (which is the process fish waste is removed by) and to remove physical debris in the water (poop, dust, free floating algae, etc.) As well as to circulate the water and promote oxygen exchange so the fish is more easily able to breath.

    Care info for betta fish can he seen here, since I'd end up just re-typing it out.

    https://bettafish.org/care/

    The film you're seeing is buildup of bacteria and/or algae in the stagnant water and is not healthy for the fish. This is the same stuff we change reptile water bowls regularly to remove. (If you wouldn't want a reptile or mammal to drink it, you definitely do not want a fish to live in it.)

    The only way to "get away with" using a bowl is by doing daily or every 2 days 100%, complete water changes. This means tanking the fish out, dumping the entire bowl, filling with new water & dechlorinating it. And even still a betta bowl is truly too small of an environment. Think of it as equivalent to keeping a 3 or 4 foot adult male BP in a 10 gallon tank.

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    Last edited by pretends2bnormal; 07-26-2019 at 09:38 PM.

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  4. #3
    BPnet Veteran ckuhn003's Avatar
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    Re: Beta - Oil Sheen on Top of Water & Eating Subsided

    Quote Originally Posted by pretends2bnormal View Post
    Betta bowls are among the worst things pet stores do to the aquarium hobby... it's on par with telling customers they can keep a BP in a tank with Aspen, no humidity, and saying no thermostat is needed.

    Bettas absolutely require at least 2.5 gallons of water, a heater (or temps at 75-80 if that is your room temp), and 300% need a filter. The filter exists to give a place for beneficial bacteria strains to live and perform the nitrogen cycle (which is the process fish waste is removed by) and to remove physical debris in the water (poop, dust, free floating algae, etc.) As well as to circulate the water and promote oxygen exchange so the fish is more easily able to breath.

    Care info for betta fish can he seen here, since I'd end up just re-typing it out.

    https://bettafish.org/care/

    The film you're seeing is buildup of bacteria and/or algae in the stagnant water and is not healthy for the fish. This is the same stuff we change reptile water bowls regularly to remove. (If you wouldn't want a reptile or mammal to drink it, you definitely do not want a fish to live in it.)

    The only way to "get away with" using a bowl is by doing daily or every 2 days 100%, complete water changes. This means tanking the fish out, dumping the entire bowl, filling with new water & dechlorinating it. And even still a betta bowl is truly too small of an environment. Think of it as equivalent to keeping a 3 or 4 foot adult male BP in a 10 gallon tank.

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
    Appreciate the response. To be honest, I usually put a lot of time and research when it comes to my pets (dogs and snakes) but the fish was a quick purchase for my son and I went w/ the pet store recommendations or lack thereof recommendations. If they would of told me about the filter, heater, etc...I would of 100% passed on the fish
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  5. #4
    BPnet Veteran pretends2bnormal's Avatar
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    Re: Beta - Oil Sheen on Top of Water & Eating Subsided

    Quote Originally Posted by ckuhn003 View Post
    Appreciate the response. To be honest, I usually put a lot of time and research when it comes to my pets (dogs and snakes) but the fish was a quick purchase for my son and I went w/ the pet store recommendations or lack thereof recommendations. If they would of told me about the filter, heater, etc...I would of 100% passed on the fish
    Yeah, it happens, even to the best of us... we had several betta bowls when I was a kid and they never made it more than a year. I've got 2 bettas now that are approaching 2 or 3 years old and a 3rd we just picked up. Kept well, you can usually expect 3 to 5 years.

    You can pick up a "proper" setup for fairly cheap; especially by building it yourself vs buying a kit, same as snakes. 5gal tanks are around $10 new (2.5gal not much cheaper usually) and lids are similar, though a sheet of plexiglass to prevent a jump out works too, or really anything you have around that won't mold or mildew from humidity. I use sponge filters for mine, around $5 for the sponge and $10 for the air pump to power it. If your room is in or stays in the mid to upper 70s, you can leave a small heater for later. (Also probably around $10) that's around $35-45 total, maybe more if you want new substrate/more or other decor to add in.

    I can link to any of the stuff if you want, but most is pretty easy to find, and even sold at most of the pr stores (Petco tends to have the glass lids more regularly, and tanks themselves vs PetSmart in my experience)

    Pic of one of my early renditions of a 5 gal betta tank. Shows the sponge filter and that was a larger than needed (wattage) heater, but since it was adjustable it worked fine. Smaller ones work just as well for that size tank.


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    Last edited by pretends2bnormal; 07-26-2019 at 10:19 PM.

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