This is probably a dumb question, but I'd like opinions on it...
Would it be feasible to divide a 2.5 gal. tank for two male Bettas? Each one would have a 1.25 gal. space to itself and the divider would not be opaque. This would also involve keeping a quarantine tank on the side, should one get sick.
It was a passing thought as I looked at other Bettas at the pet store today while picking up some water condtioner. The other Bettas at this location were in MUCH better condition than where I bought Tian-Tian (and prettier by a long shot!).
Y'all were right when y'all said that Bettas can get addicting... I would love to have two Bettas, but acquiring another tank wouldn't work since I have to go back to my hometown for the summer in 4 weeks. I already have everything else to take back and I'm pushing my luck with this tank since it's glass this time around and not plastic. I'd be bringing Tian-Tian back with me for the Fall-Spring semester, too. Two tanks would be a hassle to transport (and I'm sure my new roommate would probably be very annoyed).
But if I could keep two Bettas in one 2.5 gal. divided tank... could it work?
I researched doing a divided tank but I came across a lot of info that mentioned that a divided tank, while lovely and often convenient, can have one drawback: if one fish gets sick, so does the other. I've been burned way too many times by petstore bettas coming home with illness, which is why i went the breeder route this time around. I'm sure plenty of people have excellent results with divided tanks, but i think it requires a little more water maintenance as Chicklet mentioned.
So I'd just like to make a point for your consideration that if you bring home another betta, will you quarantine him first? Or will you put him right in with Tian-Tian not knowing yet if he has something he may expose your first betta to?
Also, and i'm not sure on this one, if you have a betta in a tank, and then you take away half his tank and add a "nemesis," if you will, will that stress the original betta? i was just reading in the tank size thread that many bettas are stressed going from larger to smaller spaces.
Just some points to consider for the overall wellness of Tian-Tian. You seem to love him so much!
Wouldn't be a problem so long as you become a very diligent mum on water changes. :)
Haha, indeed. I've already figured out the best way for changing Tian-Tian's tank that'll make it less stressful for the both of us.
Heck, this might just give me experience for frequent water changes that breeding Bettas requires. (Not that I'm going to do that anytime soon, of course; I know it takes TONS of planning and research, plus a lot of investments for the right materials).
How often should I change out the water with two male Bettas in a 2.5 gal. tank, then? 50% every 3 days? 100% water change every other week?
And would a gravel filter be a good investment for something like this?
I do a partial water change at least every other day of 25 to 50%,
A complete change and gravel wash at least once every two weeks.
This is just my schedule for my smaller tanks, 3 gallons and under, Bigger tanks are a little different,
I don't like under gravel filtration systems, Just a guck trap, Plus I have had fish get caught up under them,
Lord knows how, But they did, Last time it happened I said thats it, I'm done with under gravel filtration systems, I ripped everyone out and packed them away,
I scoop the betta out in one of the small cups I bought him in, Set him aside,
Remove the tops off the tanks,remove tubing etc, Take out all the items and head to the sink with it,
Tip it up and pour out all the water, Use your hand to prevent any rocks from falling out,
Then I add water 3 or 4 times, or until the gravel runs clean, Swish it all up good each time and pour it out,
If there's algae on the sides of the tank, I use paper towel to wipe it away, Then rinse good after doing that,
Then I head to the table and refill with water, Return the ornaments, Take the tank back to it's spot, Put the cover back in place and air tubing, etc,
Gently place the Betta back in the tank, Close the lid and move on to the next one,
Awesome. I guess I did it right the first time, then. I'll just need to rinse off the gravel a bit more to get rid of the dust. Thanks for letting me know!
I think I might just keep Tian-Tian in his own tank for now and wait on getting another Betta. As tempting as it might be to get another, realistically I don't think I'd have enough time to look after so many frequent water changes, being in college and all. I've had a stressful time this week just looking after one sick fish while taking exams; imagine if I had TWO babies to look after! :o And if both got sick at the same time... *faints* Oh man.
Maybe over the summer I'll invest in another tank and THEN we'll see about getting another Betta. :)
I wouldn't really recommend dividing a 2.5 gallon, that leaves each betta with an awfully small amount of space, especially if they are constantly going to be in the company of another male. When I divide tanks I make sure not to go under the 2.5 gallon limit. My suggestion to you, if you are looking for more bettas, but want the ease of one tank, is to get a 10 gallon tank, and divide it so that there are four sections, as ten divided by four will leave you with 2.5 gallons for each betta. 10 gallon tanks are cheap (often cheaper than 2.5 and 5 gallon tanks!) - around here I pick up a 10 gallon at Petsmart for 12 bucks. Then you just make three tank dividers and put them in. Remember to keep up on your water changes.
LaniBaby has a VERY good point here. Many bettas come from pet stores with diseases - you should already well know this with Tian-tian. Just because the fish looks pretty healthy, doesn't mean they are. I quarantine all my fish before they go in their main (divided) tank whether they look healthy or not. I strongly suggest you go ahead an set up a quarantine tank - this can actually be very cheap. Go to your local Home Depot (or Wal-mart, or Target, or Lowe's... the list goes on) and go to the storage section, or housing improvements, whatever each store wants to call them, and find the plastic storage bins. They come in a variety of sizes, and make excellent quarantine tanks, for a great price.
For my quarantine tanks (if I have more than one fish to quarantine at a time, when I only have one there's a 2.5 gallon glass jar I use for quarantine) I use a type of plastic bin I get from Home Depot that is 6.5 quarts - that translates out to just about 1.5 gallons (4 quarts = 1 gallon). The cost? A whopping 99 cents. And that comes with a lid. These are excellent quarantine tanks becase the plastic is clear, so you can see through and monitor the betta and there aren't any sharp edges in there that the betta can cut themselves on. The lid prevents them from jumping out (and you can cut or poke some holes in it easy enough if you want). And if you use a medication that happens to stain, big deal! You can just throw the container out afterwards if you want, they're so cheap. These bins are also great to use when you ever have to treat a fish for SBD, they aren't too terribly deep so it is easier for the fish if they are resting on the bottom to get up to the top, its not as far of a distance. They really just make great, cheap temporary tanks for your betta while you monitor them - and face it, it's a hell of a lot easier treating a 1.5 gallon tank with one fish, than a 10 gallon with up to four.