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Old 08-25-2009, 12:39 PM   #1 
marija
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Classroom pet betta

Hi all!

I have kept bettas before (started as usual, bowl betta, and graduated to 25 gallon sorority), but this would be first time to do small cycled setting for one betta. The main purpose is to provide kids with easy to care for pet that is going to teach them about wildllife and basic responsibility. Yes, I do expect kids will be honored with water changes (somehow that works only in class, not im my home).

After reading through these forums, I'm going with this setting:
- 2.5 gallon tank (yes, I know there are people mandating 5 gallon for lone fish, but I'm coming from Europe, and 2.5 gallon is more than enough)
- cover (mandatory, yes, I have experienced betta somersaults)
- gravel (nothing fancy, the more natural the better)
- cycled water
- 2 hiding places, nothing big, more space to swim around
- filter (nothing fancy or powerful, just additional space for beneficial bacteria)
I'll loan them my vaccum and fish net. And I'll cycle the water, as I still have leftover test kits.

One thing I'm not sure yet is live plants - I know they are good, but even I was challenged with planting my 25 gallon. I don't think it is going to be easy for kids to succeed with any plants in 2.5 gallon. Plants need light, fertilizer, CO2, too complicated for 6 year old. Besides, they don't go well with undergravel heater, and that is only kind I can find for 2.5 gallon tank (will need heater in winter over night, the classrooms are not heated 24 hours/day) Should I even attempt plants? And will 10% water changes 3 times a week be enough for 2.5 gallon cycled aquarium, or should I tell them to do water changes 5 days a week? Never had kept such a small cycled tank, any tips are appreciated. Are gravel vaccums required on frequent basis, or is just frequent water changes enough? Maybe kids can do water changes daily and I can come once every two months to do good scrub of inside walls and gravel.
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Old 08-25-2009, 12:56 PM   #2 
ifish
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sounds lik you knw what your doing and welcome to the fish fourm i woul get a slik plant
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Old 08-25-2009, 01:08 PM   #3 
ScentedLove
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Looks like your set and welcome =3
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Old 08-25-2009, 01:45 PM   #4 
dramaqueen
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Hello and welcome to FishForum. I've heard that its hard to cycle a tank that small (2.5 gallons). I'd say water changes about twice a week would be fiine. I would recommend silk plants and a heater.
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Old 08-25-2009, 03:29 PM   #5 
AngelicScars
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Yeah, I don't think I would try cycling a tank smaller then 5 gallons. Just do frequent water changes and you should be fine.
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Old 08-25-2009, 03:36 PM   #6 
Kim
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AngelicScars View Post
Yeah, I don't think I would try cycling a tank smaller then 5 gallons. Just do frequent water changes and you should be fine.
Only thing is I wouldn't want 6 yr olds trying to get the betta out of the tank for full water changes :/
I know the sophmores in my animal mangement class couldn't do it right...

I'd go with silk plants. MUCH easier to maintain...and also on the budget .

Edit: Forgot to say that I think it's great that you will be teaching kids the PROPER way to care for these commonly misunderstood fish .
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Old 08-26-2009, 08:34 AM   #7 
marija
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I'm slightly confused. Am I supposed to cycle the tank or not? If I don't cycle it - it means full water changes every couple of days, and as somebody mentioned, 6 year old is not likely to know how to take out fish properly. If I do cycle it, I expect frequent but only partial 10-15% water changes will suffice. Will I be able to cycle 2.5 gallon at all?

But at least, I'm now decided on silk plants.
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Old 08-26-2009, 01:59 PM   #8 
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I think it's possible to cycle a 2.5 gallon provided that the betta is the only inhabitant and there is no uneaten food left to rot. Basically you'll just have to be more careful with maintenance...and be gentle with gravel vaccuming and filter pad scrubbing.

I've never done it so this is just my opinion. I do have a cycled 5.5 gallon that is stable as can be though.
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Old 08-26-2009, 05:37 PM   #9 
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How do you do this gravel vacuming thing?
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Old 08-27-2009, 01:00 PM   #10 
Kim
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They sell gravel vaccuums that are basically a piece of tubing attached to a larger diameter plastic tube. You stick the smaller end in a bucket and the larger end in the tank, then create a siphon (I just put my hand to the end of the tube and suck in gently) then you can shove the larger end into the gravel and it will siphon out the gunk and dirty water while leaving the rocks in place. If you have an uncycled tank you need to clean the gravel more thoroughly than this method allows, but for cycled tanks it is a great way to clean the gravel and take water out at the same time while not harming the biological filtration.
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