Hello! first time posting! There is so much information on this forum. It's kind of overwhelming!
I have had a few betta fish over the last few years but I've always kept them in a .5 gallon bowl. I know, I know they need a minimum of 5 gallons. I had gotten a 5 gal set up for one of my bettas a few years ago but honestly I was lazy with it & didn't clean it often enough. Also, in March, due to a storm my apartment lost power for about 5 days & it was really cold! So eventually the fish died & I resumed using the .5 gallon bowl because I seem to do water changes on it more & the fish seem to do well in it.
My current fish, Mr. Spectator, has been doing just great in the .5 bowl. But when I changed his water tonight it was soooo cold! I live in New York & my apartment does not get warm. Even I freeze. I feel really bad because I know these fish like it warm!
So I am digging out my 5 gallon tank. I dont have the carbon thing for the filter & I do not have a heater yet, although I intend to get one.
So my questions are:
- Does he HAVE to have a filter or can I just let the water be? If I have a filter how often & how much to change the water? If I don't have a filter how often & how much water to change?
-any recommendations on heater types/brands?
-what the heck is cycling & do I have to do it?
Thank you so much for reading & responding!