I'm a brand new betta owner. I've never had any fishies in the past so everything is really new to me. I will warn you, though, when I post, it's looong.
A week ago I was at my uni orientation and they gave out these itty bitty critter keepers that were only 1/4 gallon. I happily (like a little kid) went to my local pet store to ask what I can put in it, and they all pointed at the betta so I picked the one that was the most active and had the cleanest water in his cup. Yeah, I admit it, not so smart. I spent the whole night reading up on taking care of bettas, and I'm happy that I found this forum.
The very next day I went to a different pet shop and bought him a 2.5 gallon tank. He was so happy with it he changed his colors from a dull blue and red to rainbow. He also made an itty bitty bubble nest.
I had no idea a fish can have so much character. He gets so excited when he sees me, and comes when I tap on his tank just like a puppy.
Anyway, I have a few questions if I may.
His tank isn't cycled, and has no filter or heater. I decided to wait on the heater since I live in the south and it's very hot here year-round (most people wear t-shirts all year long). He won't need one until mid October since the temperatures are in their 70s at their lowest 'till than so room temperatures are even warmer.
I went to get a filter today, and umm... that didn't happen. I figured changing 25 to 50% (leaning towards the 50 more) every other day, plus a weekly 100% change should be enough. Is it? Or maybe it's overkill. At least the partial water changes don't stress him at all: he's known to swim into the cup that I'm using to get the old water out while I'm doing the changes... silly fishy. I also use a gravel vacuum every other partial change.
So why didn't I get him the filter? Erm, I got him a fully equipped (filter, heater, light, etc) 10g tank instead. And that's the source of all the questions I have: cycling it, setting it up properly, live plants, compatible fish/inverts, etc. I've read the stickies several times, but I still feel more comfortable talking to experienced people while going through the whole process.
Oh yeah, my avatar... that's Ben (one of my five birds), and my new betta is Dodo.