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Old 05-19-2013, 11:26 AM   #1 
Haleigh
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Should I Get a Five Gallon Tank?

I know the immediate answer to this is YES! ALL BETTA DESEREVE AT LEAST FIVE GALLONS! but my situation is a bit tricky.

Im a college student, which means Im home during the summer and winter breaks, so my fish, Pontus Rex, travels with me. I currently have him in a 2.5 gallon tank, but his fins are a bit frayed, and I know he would be much happier and healthier in a 5 gallon. I've been reading about cycling a tank and see that it takes anywhere from 4 to 8 weeks. This wouldn't be an issue over the summer, as I dont go back to school until August, but then when I travel back, I would presumably have to scrap all that progress.

Would it be possible for me to keep his old water in a jug of some sorts and then just add it back to the tank once I was back at school, or would that ruin the ammonia and nitrogen levels?

I would really appreciate some advice because Im worried about my little guy. Pontus, Ponty, is very happy; he made a bubble nest just the other day. Still, I worry about those fraying fins and that hes not in the best condition he could be.
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Old 05-19-2013, 11:42 AM   #2 
crowntaillove3
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You are right that all bettas deserve a 5 gallon. But, not all bettas can have a 5 gallon. My bettas are each in 2.5 gallons because that is all that I can afford and take care of. Some bettas are lucky and get put into 10 gallons. Yet others are super unlucky and get stuck into .25 gallons by a little 4 year old with no gravel or plants and never get taken care of (it happened last time I went to petsmart). Does he need one? No. Would he be happier in one? Yes. Would the water-in-a-jug work? It would if you maintain it like a normal tank. If there is no supply of ammonia, then how will the nitrites get turned into nitrates? You might just have to basically do a fish-less cycle and maintain it like a normal tank, even if it has no fish in it. Good luck!
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Old 05-19-2013, 11:50 AM   #3 
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If you plant a tank heavily, you don't need to go through such a complicated cycle. And the water isn't what holds the beneficial bacteria--the filter media and substrate and decor do. So if you are able to take some of those with you when you travel with him, then even if you have to put him into a new tank, you shouldn't have to do without your cycling progress.
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Old 05-19-2013, 12:07 PM   #4 
shellieca
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If your Betta is well cared for in his 2.5g then you don't need to upgrade. I would figure out what's causing the frayed fins. Is he tail biting? Is there a deco causing it? As for moving a cycled tank . . . if you get it cycled when you move it make sure to keep the filter media wet in some used tank water & the BB will survive for a day or two giving you time to move & set everything back up.
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Old 05-19-2013, 02:04 PM   #5 
crowntaillove3
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Deanna01 is right. The water doesn't hold the good bacteria, but it definitely helps cycle the water faster. And upgrading isn't needed, anyway.
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Old 05-19-2013, 07:12 PM   #6 
Haleigh
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Thanks so much for all your opinions. I decided not to upgrade his tank and just put that money towards some better equipment. I bought him a gravel vacuum. Now I will just do 50% water changes twice a week, instead of one 50% and 100% change. I think that was probably bothering him. Also, I bought Stress Coat, so hopefully that will help those frayed fins. The fins are frayed pretty evenly, so I would say they are not from tail biting or decor.
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Old 05-22-2013, 05:07 PM   #7 
crowntaillove3
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In a perfect world, all bettas would have a 10000000000000000000000000 gallon tank with live plants, tank mates, a heater, and all that jazz. My bettas don't live in a perfect world. All we can do is hope that they are content in their 2.5s and take care of them. If the name of the thread was, "Do I need a 5 gallon tank?" then the answer would be no. Should is the kicker. It's good to hear that you are still changing his conditions for the better!
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Old 05-22-2013, 08:16 PM   #8 
Bombalurina
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I would always say - if you can get one, do. It gives you more room to decorate, and it is always amazing to see bettas using all the extra space. :)

Cycling would not be disrupted as long as you keep the filter media submerged in the water you've been cycling in for the duration of the trip. One little journey (and by little, I'm assuming over the course of a day, maybe two) won't be nough to destroy all your progress.
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Old 05-25-2013, 04:26 PM   #9 
NorthernLights
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There are unusual bettas who cannot deal with tanks larger than a gallon or two (sometimes less). From what I can tell, that is VERY uncommon, but it does happen. I am not quite sure if it is agoraphobia or just too much strain on their fins. Since it is rare, however, you should certainly try bigger before you try smaller. 5 gallons is a good size.
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Old 05-25-2013, 05:22 PM   #10 
Kithy
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The only thing we can all agree on is that a betta deserves the best care no matter their tank size.

The only benefit of larger tanks is more room to swim, more room for decor, cycling and less water changes. If you can do exactly all you need to with a small tank (keeping up on your changes and such) then you have nothing to worry about ^_^

Sounds like you're making the best decisions for what you can do. I love that you take your fishy friend with you when you leave school. If only all betta could have such wonderful owners.
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