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Old 11-30-2012, 06:07 PM   #1 
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The Vacationer's Dilemma...

Okay, so I'm a college student, and we're going on winter break in 3 weeks. Winter break is 5 weeks long. I have someone to take care of Apollo, my elephant ear Betta, for the last three weeks of the break. I was wondering what my options were for the first two weeks. I was thinking if I put in a couple of ghost shrimp he'd be alright (he's eaten a few of those before when I was trying to give him some friends).

I know that the two week feeder tablets mess up the water, but if I do a water change right before I leave and then the girl he's staying with does one when she gets back after the first 2 weeks, would this be alright too?

What size is your tank? 2 gallons (it was either that or a slow painful death at petco, your choice)

What temperature is your tank? Room Temperature (Normally around 74)

Does your tank have a filter?no

Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? yes

Is your tank heated? no

What tank mates does your betta fish live with? none (for now)

What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Hikari Bloodworm Pellets

How often do you feed your betta fish? 2x a day as of recent. 3 pellets each feeding, so he can build up some fat should I not have another option. Normally he gets three in the morning and one at night.


How often do you perform a water change? Once ever 2 weeks ish

What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 50%

What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? none besides the water conditioner.
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Old 11-30-2012, 06:20 PM   #2 
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Not trying to be mean or anything, just trying to help. First you need to do more water changes since the tank is on the smaller side (I have a 1.5 gallon and it can be a pain, I know). Also, get a heater! I'm a college student too and money is kinda tight but the heater is important. Try an adjustable one and test it out before you go home in case it malfunctions. And make sure you are also feeding regular pellets as well! (:
And you are correct in that the feeder tabs will mess up the water. Another thing is that bettas have no "I am full so I should stop eating" button, they will eat themselves to death (I've seen it happen...not pretty). Bettas can go a couple weeks without food so I honestly wouldn't worry about it. He will be a little skinny and probably not too happy but it is better than the alternative. With the tabs the betta will keep eating or just ignore it all bet is to feed him good before you leave and allow him to go without for a couple weeks. But you definitely could put some shrimp in...just know that if they die and he doesn't eat them they will be contributing to the ammonia content in the water.
Sorry I'm not trying to be rude, just trying to give you some info!
(also...wish I could leave my 10 gallon with cories as school, I have to haul them home along with 2 bettas)
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Old 11-30-2012, 06:21 PM   #3 
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Also, for the water changes, there should be a sticky under betta fish care made by OldFishLady that is extremely helpful!
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Old 11-30-2012, 07:52 PM   #4 
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Food-wise, he'll be fine for two weeks. He's better off being hungry than dying in a tank that has been messed up with a feeder. Fattening him up before then is a good idea, and some shrimp will be ok too. 2 weeks without a water change in an unfiltered 2 gallon is a bit much though (especially with the added bioload of the shrimp), so you may want to see if you can find a cheap sponge filter setup and maybe a live plant or two. There will be quite a bit of evaporation during that time, which will boost the ammonia concentration too. Then have your friend do a 100% water change.
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Old 12-02-2012, 03:38 PM   #5 
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Sunstar: Thanks for the tip! But apparently, there aren't many heaters for such small tanks. :/ Any suggestions?

Babystarz: I actually have a fern in the tank as of right now. Will that help? Or should I see about getting another plant? Also, I actually forgot about the undergravel (or in this case undersand) filter. Finals are coming, it's hard to remember anything else x)

also, just a general (maybe stupid) question- By a 100% water change does that mean literally ALL of the water? Because wouldn't that kill off the helpful bacteria in the water?
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Old 12-02-2012, 03:53 PM   #6 
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I have a heater for a 3.5 gallon, it's adjustable as well. It's called a Hydor THEO heater. For your case, a 25 watt is good. Set it to 80-82 just in case if the room gets cold. A 100% change means to change all the water, don't do whole changes if you have a filter.
Don't feed him before you leave, ammonia will build up if he eats. He'd make it anyway. Good luck, and any live plant will do. Java moss, java fern, duckweed, and anubias are highly recommended for low light.
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Old 12-02-2012, 04:20 PM   #7 
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They have a nice adjustable one by Top Fin at Petsmart. I am currently using it to heat my 1 gallon hospital tank and it is set on 84*...doesn't overheat the water and will turn off when the set temp is reached. I got mine on sale for about $14 (for the 25 watt). I think that for the price it is definitely worth it, since you can adjust the temp!!

EDIT: can't remember if anyone has mentioned this but make sure to test out the heater on an empty container filled with water first, in case it malfunctions so you don't end up with a fried fishy. It's a good thing I did that because I accidentally set it to 90* when I thought I was just setting it to 86*...oops. But no fried fishies here haha

And doing a 100% change doesn't mean killing off all the bacteria...bacteria like to stick to the walls, decorations and filter. So it's not "bad" to do a 100% change.
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