Kay...so, I am new to owning a betta, and I am a bit paranoid/nervous to having mine.
I got him three days ago from petco. I didn't acclimate him into his new enviroment as I didn't know I was suppose to even do that. And I messed up quite a few times.:/
The little bowl he came in was disgusting, so I immediately set to putting him in his one gallon tank. At first I just put tap water in, with conditioner and threw him in and then realized how cold the water was, so immediately I put him into a small carry case with warmer water (after doing thermometer test with the kitchen thermometer) as I fixed the tank to the same temperature. I put him back into his tank, and he was a bit freaked from all the movement so I kept everyone away from him and he now has an extreme hate for hands on the side of the glass. (Only adding my little 11 year old brothers constant poking of the tank and my constant frustration for telling him to stop.) I gave the fish two pellets of what petco has been feeding him (betta biogold) and he took to his tank, swimming around and exploring the little castle (he loves to hide in it, and I am sure he only took to it so fast because the bowl he came in was filthy and small). I kept checking the tempurature with the thermometer, and noticed that five hours later it had slowly dropped from the high 70s to the high 60s. This freaked me out a bit since I know bettas should not have drastic temperature changes. I immediately put on the house heater (since my parents insist on keeping the apartment at a lovely 68 degrees through winter, summer or storm) to warm the room and turned off the vent in my room (where the fish resides) in case they caught me and turned the air conditioner back on. (Which they inevitably did, threatening to flush my fish if I did it again, only inspiring me to get a lock.) The water sometimes gets a little warmer, as I have no directed my desk lamp towards the tank and slighted the window panes a bit so during the day some sunlight can come through into the room near his bowl. I figured it wouldn't be too harsh since he was always surrounded by the extreme fluorescent lights in petco. And it does do a little affect in keeping the water warm.
My concern is keeping my fish in 'room temperature' water, yet the water is always getting cooler. The only place near me is petco, and the smallest heater they have keeps the tank at 78 degrees but is meant for two gallons, and my tank being only one gallon...I wanted to know if getting the heater meant for two gallons would have a negative affect on my tank?
I've looked at the alternatives, getting my fish a bigger tank (which would probably only make him happier, but I am afraid of constantly moving him) and all. But then comes the problem of air pumps. I have a air stone pump that came with my tank and my betta looovesss the bubbles it makes. Could I just get a slightly bigger tank and move the same air pump into the new tank?
And as for a filter, the tank said it came with one, but it's idea of a filter was just a black piece of plastic with holes in the bottom to go under the gravel with the air pump.
So, what should I do to ensure my fish will be healthy and happy?
For right now, he seems happy enough. He likes to go near the bubbles and swims around in his tank. For it being only about 68-70 degrees, he's not lethargic at all.
I already know that in about a week I should change 25% of his water, and I feed him once a day (two-three pellets depending how his belly looks, shooting for the 'soft rounded' belly) and I was told about once a month to move him out and clean his tank, or wipe off residue. I never leave any uneatten food, then again he is a piggy and will eat what I give him. My last concern is the night/day concept, and turning off the light (which I am afraid to do since it's what is keeping his tank warm at night...or liveable at least).
So, does he need a filter? (Like a legit filter)
Can I use the 2 gallon heater for the one gallon tank? Or should I get a bigger tank and move the air pump over?