A few years back I fell victim to the 'betta bowl' scam, and of course it eventually ended up badly for the fish. After I got into serious fish keeping several months ago, I've always felt quite awful about how I'd treated that fish, and so I've always shied away from Betta fish.
Well, it just so happens that there's a betta at my LFS, in this tiny itty bitty half filled bowl and I've just fallen in love with the fish... I say 'it' because I'm honestly not quite sure if it is a female, or a plakat male. It's been there for months, and it always stares at me when I walk in the door and is very responsive to outside stimulus. I've finally decided that I may want to purchase it, even though I'll be supporting the shop getting more bettas, which really irritates me.
The only problem is the tank (a 20 gallon long) I want the betta to be in is currently acting as a QT for 10 Harlequin Rasboras, and they're scheduled to be in there for a few more weeks. Now that I've made up my mind about the fish, I feel very antsy waiting that long.
So, as it turns out my Walmart has Tetra 3 gallon LED cubes tanks on sale, and while it's not at all as big as I would like, I'm wondering if it is an option. It's $15, and comes with an internal filter. It's half the price of the ten gallon kit, which has a HOB (not a fan) and incandescent lights, which aren't my favorite (though I think I can just pop a CFL in there.) And I'd have to purchase substrate on top of the tank, so i'm trying to cut costs as it's really tight financially. BUT, if you think this isn't suitable for the fish, please
let me know.
My plan would be to fill it to the brim with live plants culled from my other tanks, both rooted and floating, and fill the filter with seeded media and add a bag of seeded media to the tank itself. I'll be testing the water every day for any signs of ammonia and will be prepared for water changes. Food would be either NLS regular formula or small fish, whichever would be best. I also think the fish is going to need a very slow, very long acclimation period due to the crap conditions it's in, I'm terrified of shocking it to death. I also have an extra heater on hand, although I have seen much debate about temperature. I live in FL, and the temperature of my house is a steady 79, so there's no large risk of the tank getting very cold.
Another thing to note, is that my tap water contains 10ppm nitrate, which while relatively fine for my other fish, I'm not sure if Betta fish are more susceptible to nitrate. If this is the case, please let me know.
The long term plan would be for the fish to eventually move into the 20, after it's finished being used as a QT, and to turn the 3 gallon into a shrimp tank.
If anyone has any advice, please
feel free to let me know! I really want to get things right this time :)