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Old 01-10-2013, 07:11 AM   #1 
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Question Betta Temporary Housing

As my username implies, I am a total fish newb, and I need help!

I was recently given a well-meaning but perhaps not very well-informed gift of a lovely male betta. I am an animal-lover, but have never owned a fish in my life. He is a beautiful (extremely grumpy) black veiltail with red fins who we have decided has a biker's personality, and who has been subsequently named "Harley."

Also gifted to me was a 1.5 gallon starter tank and a silk plant. After some frantic research, it became clear this is horribly inadequate. I think I've now got the basics of tank cycling, and have purchased him a proper 5 gal with filter and heater, so I look forward to introducing him once everything is ready.

What I am less sure about is his temporary home! I've read that fishless cycling can take weeks. But I have no idea what to do with him in the meantime! Will Harley be safe in the 1.5 gallon for that time, or should I go get him some larger temporary housing? In the five days I've had him, I've been doing daily 100% water changes, and fortunately he seems to handle the stress of all that pouring like a trooper. (An angry trooper, but I'd be angry, too.) I worry, though, because he has been so aggressive (flares frequently, especially during feeding), and because he is a rather burly guy.

I realize I sound clueless, but to think of that pathetic cup he came in, there is no way I am taking him back to the petshop. And these same "experts" advised my friend the 1.5 gal would be a sufficient permanent home for him, so I can only assume they are full of it!

I would greatly appreciate any help the people of can offer (and I am sure Harley will, too). Thank you!
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Old 01-10-2013, 07:36 AM   #2 
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1.5 gal is more than adequate for a temporary set-up, in fact members on here keep bettas in 1.5 gals regularly. As long as you get a heater and decor, do proper water changes, and only keep your betta in there, 1.5 is fine.

Of course 5 gallons is much much better. :)

Also, 100% w/c is a bit much everyday! That is usually reserved for half gallons or less. Bettas have small bioloads, try doing 3 water changes a week, 2 50% and one 100% change.

If the petshop told your friend 1.5 gal was suffient, they are doing better than a lot of petshops who recommend less than a half gallon!
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Old 01-10-2013, 07:46 AM   #3 
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That is such a relief! I was worried I had been suffocating the little guy.

Thank you for replying so swiftly. Maybe it is all the changing that has been irritating him so much. I'll slow down a bit in the next few days and see if he calms at all. :) If not, I guess I just have a hotheaded fish!

Less than a gallon? Well, I guess if they make them live in those awful cups... I'd seen them before on display, but since it's so common, I didn't grasp how inhumane it was.
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Old 01-10-2013, 07:47 AM   #4 
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Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Ontario, CA
I agree with sundancex as temp home the 1.5 will be fine. You will definitely need to keep it at least 76F so a heater & thermometer is needed for both tanks. You will now become a Betta fish addict. welcome.
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Old 01-10-2013, 04:13 PM   #5 
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I just brought a new guy home and put him in a 2 gallon and he LOVES it! I think he would get lost in a 5 gallon! My other Betta is about twice the size and super active so he needed the extra room of the 3 gallon I got him. I think a lot depends on the specific Betta because both my guys are happy with their tanks and are thriving :)
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aggressive betta, newbie owner, tank size

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