Barkingdog - Did you realize common goldfish can live for more than 20 years if properly housed and fed? And can get to at least a foot long? I saw one my LFS was babysitting that had gotten that big, and was thicker through the body than my arm (granted, I'm skinny but still). Even the fancy goldfish can live for over 15 years (like many purebred dogs, inbreeding has shortened the lifespan of the fancies)
Water changes ARE important. You don't have to do them every day, once your tank is cycled and you have bacteria to remove ammonia and nitrItes for you. I'm down to once a week now. I just didn't want to risk my fish getting their gills, eyes, and skin burned by ammonia, so I did a water change whenever the ammonia reached .25 ppm. You have to do them carefully, though, making sure that you have the temperature is matched and that you have added a dechlorinator to remove any chlorine or chloramines added by cities to kill bacteria. Chlorine/chloramine will kill the bacteria in your tank that eat ammonia and nitrItes. By water change I don't mean you need to take out all the water and replace it, just some. I took out out half my water (10 gallons) and replaced it with fresh, dechlorinated water diluting the ammonia down to .125. If you haven't been doing water changes and suddenly do a big one, the shock of sudden change in water quality, even for the better, can stress the fish and make them vulnerable to disease.
I just learned all this when I started doing research before getting my tank. There is a lot of conflicting information out there and a lot of misinformation.
My cats follow the fish and occasionally pat the glass when the fish are near. The betta will actually swim up and challenge the cats through the glass. I'm not leaving the lid open when I'm not there because I'm pretty sure at least one cat would help himself to a fish snack.
Hazel - I don't know if the fry will survive. This is a relatively new species, and I can't find a whole lot of information about them. That means that even if I do end up with surviving fry, I have no idea what they need nutritionally. The information I can find is turning out to be inaccurate. I bought these fish because they are supposed to be a peaceful schooling species. One male has won the sparring and is keeping the female in what he has declared his half of the tank, and the other males and all the harlequins in the second half. Granted, no one has had their fins shredded, or appears injured in any way, but I'm not sure chasing all the other fish into a corner and keeping them there ought to come under the classification of "peaeful".
Also, I have no idea how the betta keeps the bubbles from popping. I do know that if the water current is too strong the bubbles will pop. Possibly why he needed the leaf, it may protect against the flow of water enough to keep the bubbles intact.
Dr. Seuss~DLH (brother's cat)~June 2007-
Misty~DSH (my cat & Mooby's mom)-?-
MooBoots(Mooby) ~ DMH(Mom's cat)~July 21, 2008-
Sunshine~ Golden retriever X white german sheperd (Dad's dog)~October 24, 2008-
Last edited by ownedbycats; June 15th, 2012 at 06:55 AM.
Reason: spelling, didn't answer Hazel's question