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Old 06-10-2012, 10:21 PM   #1 
pittipuppylove
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Betta at work

Hey everybody! I do believe I need some advice here (or atleast a place to rant). So here's what's up.
I work at a small animal vet clinic (almost exclusively dogs and cats, with the occasional ferret or so) as a go-fer, kennel worker, lab prep, and other odd jobs person. The vet techs have a betta back in the treatment area, where few clients ever go. Problem is, he's living in one of those little plastic 1gal bowfront tanks - with no heater or filter and he gets betta food as his only diet. So far it's only been one tech that cleans his tank, and that's been when she gets the chance or if she feels like it. I've kinda been trying to take care of him to the best of my abilities since I officially started a couple weeks ago, but it's tough with a tank like that.

I'm trying to get the practice owner (who also happens to be my mom) to let me upgrade to a 5gal, but so far it's been a no-go. So currently it's the game of drop hints at convenient times and hope like hell that eventually she ok's it.

The tech that typically takes care of him apparently found a 1.5gal at the local Goodwill, which I guess is a step up. I have a planted 10gal at home that the plants are starting to grow like mad in and I'd like to add some real plants to the new 1.5gal to attempt to help the water quality - this meens convincing the tech to let me use some leftover gravel from my 10gal instead of the nasty-looking marbles we currently have. The 1.5 supposedly has a filter, too, but I haven't seen the tank so I'm not sure. I'll let y'all know what kind it is when I see it.

I know the new tank doesn't have a top - and likely isn't a shape that tops usually come in. Anything I can put on it to keep the betta in (and any foreign objects out)?.

And last of all, please refrain from bashing the clinic as a whole - it is a great practice and we're one of the most progressive clinics in the area. What's happening here with the betta is a case of ignorance, and it's something I'm doing my best to fix. Some of the other clinic workers are about as irked with this tank as I am, and hopefully there'll be a solution in the near future.

Thanks!
Leah
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Old 06-10-2012, 10:28 PM   #2 
Jupiter
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1.5 isn't too bad! With plants I think the betta could be very happy. Just see if you can find a way to make his water warm, i guess.

I use the same material people use to make dividers here to cover my lidless tanks (I don't know the exact name for it, but it's a white plastic mesh type material you can find in the craft section at Walmart)...I just cut it to the shape of my tank. Doesn't stop evaporation, but it stops the bettas from possibly jumping out at least...also prevents my cat from drinking their water.
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Old 06-10-2012, 10:29 PM   #3 
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Hey, a filter really isn't nessesary in that small of a tank. And the tank size is okay as long as you can keep it clean. 1 50% and 1 100% each week will be suffice. I would get a heater and a lid as your first things. Craft mesh cut to the shape would work well. You can get a heater for $15 dollars at walmart they work great in that tank size.
If you can get live plants that would be awsome, but a cave and a plant would also suffice just so the bowl isn't bare. And its great that you are trying to help him!
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Old 06-10-2012, 11:07 PM   #4 
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I've got a rectangular 10 gallon tank that my guy lives in, and like you, I didn't have a lid for it. I found an old picture frame with the glass in it, and just laid it over the top. I left a couple of inches on the side for the filter and the heater cord, and it seems to work well to keep in the heat and prevent the majority of the evaporation. :) I'd say you could also use a fiberglass picture frame "glass" as well (the sort that poster frames have) if you're worried about the glass getting broken or anything like that. :)
It's awesome that you're trying to help him, every little bit helps!! I'm sure he's better off at your clinic (especially with you) than he would be at the pet store, so anything at this point is a step up for him. :)
I hope that things work out for you!! :)
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Old 06-11-2012, 12:33 PM   #5 
Shadyr
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You could check local craigslist or freecycle groups, or hit weekend yardsales and see if you can pick up a bigger tank for free or a pittance too!

Good luck with the fish and keeper. I keep a betta on my desk at work, and he is good company.
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Old 06-11-2012, 01:29 PM   #6 
thekoimaiden
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Even a 1 gal tank isn't terrible. It's much better than what I thought you were going to say: 1/2 gal vase with a peace lily. With some low-light plants like java fern and anubias and some heat it could be made into a wonderful little home. If you really think he might be upgraded to a cycled 5 gal one day, then it would be worth it to buy a heater that could work in a 5 gal tank. But if space is an issue, he can live a perfectly wonderful life in a 1.5gal with two water changes weekly.

It would be neat if he could be moved to the front desk and placed by a flier that describes proper betta care. That might be the solution to your problem. Put the fish on display for customers; that might make the tech clean it more often to keep the image of the clinic good.

Another important bit of info is to remember not to suddenly give him all new clean water. Betta are very adaptable and any kind of sudden change (even for the better) can shock him. Do small daily water changes for a week or so to get him adjusted to the new, clean water.
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Old 06-11-2012, 01:46 PM   #7 
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Anani's tank doesnt have a lid either and my ghetto way of keeping him in and others stuff out Is I put plastic wrap tape it to the tank and poke holes in it. Its actually good for their Labrinyth (Sp?) organ
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Old 06-12-2012, 05:46 PM   #8 
pittipuppylove
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Thanks, everybody! I really appreciate the advice. He was moved into a new tank yesterday (supprisingly not the one I was told about - this one is a somewhere over 1gal hex). It has a lid and a small undergravel filter (dunno how much good it'll do, but it can't hurt) and looks like it has a good amount more swimming room than the old tank. I wasn't able to help get him moved over because I was doing other work-stuff, so the poor guy was pretty shocked when they got the tank set up and dumped him straight into the new water :/ I just about dropped the phone I was using at the time when I saw them do it. But he at least seemed pleased with the new tank after he adjusted.

Since they were all so gung-ho about getting him switched over, I had no chance to bring the gravel or plantlets from my stuff, so I'll likely give him a few days to rest from that switch before doing anything else. He didn't eat for me this morning - I'm assuming that's from the move. Once I get paid this week, I think I'll just go out and get a cheap-o heater and thermometer.

We shall see how it goes :)
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Old 06-12-2012, 09:42 PM   #9 
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A filter in a 1.5 is kind of useless since it can't be cycled.. unless you only change 1.5 liters of water max..
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Old 06-13-2012, 09:49 PM   #10 
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Yeah, I figured as much. It's kinda worthless trying to explain that to the techs, who still think that even a 1.5gal is like a betta mansion and that it's perfectly fine to try keeping them in one of those itty bitty <1gal things and only change the water every other week :(
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