I have a few questions that don't relate to each other, but maybe some of you can help out. :)
I am thinking of getting another betta fish, but it will only be another year before I go to college. Then I would probably have to find it a new home. I have a 25ish gallon tank at my grandparents I could use, but is that too big for one betta fish?? I feel like it might get lost! I don't really want to do the whole sorority thing because then I would have to rehome more fish when I go to college.
The other day I got some things from a garage sale, Stress Coat, Stress Zyme and conditioning salt. What is stress zyme used for? What is conditioning salt used for? And I have one bottle that is expired, should I just throw it out, or will it still work?
Also, I have been thinking of rescuing a betta from a pet store. I have a bowl that's about 1.5 gallons I think that I can use. How long does it normally take to heal them? What other medications would be good to use? I know it depends on what sickness the fish has, but is there something that's usually helpful for any disease?
Last one!!! Is rock salt the same as aquarium salt? My LFS has both rock salt and aquarium salt, and the rock salt is cheaper.
Ok, I'll bite...but prefacing with these are just my thoughts and you should take with as many grains of (aquarium) salt as you like ;)
If you're off to college in a year or so, are you sure you want to get a Betta right now? I know how tempting it is, but just keep in mind the Betta's welfare too. A positive help would be if you know someone who would definitely take your Betta when you went off to college.
There's never really such a thing as too much room for fish, but my experience with one fish in a huge tank (I had a baby Angel in a 75gal and a single hermit crab in a 30 gal SW tank) eventually seems like a lot of effort. And, as you mention, they can kind of "get lost" in there. I guess if you used that big tank, one option would be to use a sponge filter and then only fill the tank up part way, say maybe 1/4 -1/2 full. No matter what, however, you'd have to get it set up and cycled, which might possibly take a fair chunk out of your time with your Betta before school starts up. Just a thought. Not trying to totally discourage you or anything.
Stuff from garage sale. Truthfully I wouldn't personally trust any of it because you don't know what environment they were kept in (humidity, temps, near chemicals, etc). But I'm kind of OCD about that sort of thing. StressCoat removes chlorine, chloramines, heavy metals, and adds aloe vera to help the fish's slime coat. StressZyme is to add good bacteria, but may be questionable, esp in light of previous comments; definitely get rid of expired products or anything that looks or smells off. Conditioning salts are sometimes added in specific amounts to increase the osmolarity of the tank water, to help decrease stress in the fish.
If you were going to rescue a Betta, you would need a previously cycled tank set up as a hospital tank. You wouldn't want to put him in an unheated, unfiltered bowl as that might be the problem to begin with and certainly would do nothing to help his stress. You would need to know the specific problem/illness and it generally is not a good idea to just add various meds one after the other (without a known illness and proven treatment) as sometimes the treatment can be almost as bad as the illness! You have a heart of gold wanting to rescue the sick Betta though.
I'm afraid I'm not familiar with "rock salt". I would hope your LFS person could help you with that. But there is salt that's for SW tanks and there's salt for freshwater tanks. And some salts have different uses and require different amounts, so you'd need to read on labels to know for sure; I suspect other folks might be able to help you more with this (and the other stuff I've mentioned, for that matter), but I hope this will get you started.
Honestly...if I was going somewhere and new that I couldn't take an animal with me, I wouldn't have the heart to purchase it and put it through the stresses of getting moved again.
Brine shrimp eggs are usually hatched using a salt, water, a container, light, and an air pump. Aquarium salt can be used in freshwater tanks for treating external ailments (or hatching shrimp eggs outside of the tank). I really don't have any experience with rock salt, but if it is sodium chloride then it is just another salt.
I saw on another site that rock salt was being compared to Kosher salt, which leads me to believe that these are very similar. Then, yet another site said that Kosher salt, rock salt, and aquarium salt are all the same (I'm assuming as long as none of these are including additives).
That's what I was thinking too, and now I'm thinking that I might just wait until after college and get a nice new tank and betta then. Do most colleges allow bettas? I would want to keep him in the biggest tank they allow so he can be happiest. I love animals, so it would be very nice to have a pet there if possible :)
Do most people who rescue bettas find them new homes when they are done healing? Or do they keep them? I really like trying to help animals, not just bettas, that's why I am planning on being a vet or working at a rescue! It makes me feel good and like I made a difference. :)
Hi! BettaFran answered your most immediate questions and Hadoken got the salt thing down.
You should look at the First Year Calendar for your school and see what it says about dorm pets. My university doesn't allow small fish tanks, let alone anything else alive. So some do and some don't. You can probably access it through the college website or by calling the residence office. IF you can have a 5g tank (some places, this is the largest they allow) you could either divide it and keep two fish or just bring the one. I agree though, if you want to rescue a betta you better have a plan for when you cannot keep it. Not everybody is as compassionate as we are about betta fish and if they can get a nice betta for cheaper than a pet store they will keep it in less-than-ideal conditions. Have a friend or family member ready to take the fish, but again this is not fair since YOU want the fish.
As for rescuing, there are some bettas in the store that are so far gone in terms of health they just won't make a recovery. Or the shock of having a too-clean tank will kill them. There are some members here who rescue bettas, revive them and re-home them but if you think locally, there might not be a lot of interest for the welfare of bettas. It's too common a thought for society that bettas LIKE dirty small ponds and most people don't want the trouble of cleaning a small tank once a week. So if you get into rescue, you'd better be prepared to keep the bettas long term if necessary.
Good luck though! This is an honorable thing you want to do.
Laki got that right. I rescued a betta not too long ago that was way too far gone. I didn't think he'd make it through the night, but I managed to get him to make it a little over a month. That's the thing with rescues...sometimes the best you can do is make their death as comfortable as possible. As sad sounding as that is, its the truth. The main reason for this is as Laki said, the majority of love for rescues goes more towards larger animals. No one really thinks about fish since they don't live as long, and most people don't think they have a personality.
Anyways, I would check my college. If it doesn't have it on their website, it wouldn't hurt to call.