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Old 03-25-2010, 02:17 PM   #1 
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Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Nibbity-Nebraska
Major n00b

So I won a voucher for a free betta fish at a charity fundraiser, which is convenient because I've been considering getting one for the past few weeks. Unfortunately I am a college student and have a super small dorm room, which means I won't be able to get any container larger than 2.5 gal. I have a bowl available (I think it's 2 gallons) and I would like to know if I'd be able to keep a single betta in a bowl for about 2.5 months, at least until I go home for the summer and have time and space to establish a proper aquarium for the little guy.

Also, I'm seeing a lot of different opinions on how frequently a bowl should be cleaned. For a bowl of this size, would 2-3 times a week be enough? How much water should I change at a time? And is there any point to cycling a fish bowl since it's comparatively small and I'm just going to be washing it anyway?
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Old 03-25-2010, 02:38 PM   #2 
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Location: Illinois
Yes, you can keep him in a bowl. The only thing that I'd be worried about is the temperature. Make sure it stays AT LEAST 75, optimally 78-79 is better. Cleaning it 100% twice a week would be good, maybe a 50% water change in between would be good too, though. You can't cycle anything unless you have a filter. Make sure you don't use soap to wash out the bowl either.
:) congrats on your soon to be betta and welcome to the forum.
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Old 03-25-2010, 02:43 PM   #3 
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Thanks for the help! I really want to do this right, and I feel better asking people through forums than asking pet store employees.
One other question: are there any small heaters for bowls? I don't want to get a normal heater and boil my fish.
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Old 03-25-2010, 06:10 PM   #4 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Central Texas
A 2 gallon bowl will be fine. I think you can use one of those mini heaters in a 2 gallon bowl. I have a Tetra whisper heater in one of my 1.5 gallons and it does fine. I would clean a 2 gallon 1-2 times a week.
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Old 03-25-2010, 06:49 PM   #5 
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I think a 2 gallon would be fine. I would do at least 2 water changes a week (both 100%). Like SK I would also do a partial in between the water changes just so to be safe.

You can get a 10watt heater or the one DQ mentioned. Either should work just fine in your tank.
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Old 03-26-2010, 12:06 PM   #6 
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Thank you for the help, dramaqueen and 1fish2fish! I'll probably be getting the fish, heater, food and water testing/cleaning stuffs tomorrow, hopefully post pictures tomorrow night sometime.
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Old 03-26-2010, 12:40 PM   #7 
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Congrats! I kept Lou in a 1g bowl in my dorm without too much trouble... a 2g will definitely do as long as you are cleaining it 2x a week and NOT OVERFEEDING HIM :)

Underfeeding is a good way to maintain water quality in smaller tanks as well as a surefire way to prevent obesity. Most bettas die (naturally) from an accumulation of fat on the liver. Don't ask how I know that.

I also like bowls because in the event of a dorm-room party you can put the fish up on a shelf or even better, in a cupboard where he won't be disturbed, freaked out, knocked over, fed beer, etc. etc. etc.

Don't bother cycling it but DO get an ammonia test kit. The other test kits available on the market or a master test kit won't be necessary since you are not cycling but I do recommend you get an ammonia test kit and a pH test kit. They will essentially tell you how often to clean your tank.

For cleaning I find it most convenient to buy a dollar store strainer and some gravel. When water change day comes simply dump the gravel into the strainer, rinse it in scalding hot water and replace in the bowl.

Another tip... I know they often carry these special betta water conditioners at the store. Don't waste your money, there is nothing special about them when compared to a regular water conditioner and you can get a larger bottle for way cheaper. Prime is a very good conditioner.

Hmm after all this advice I am thinking I should write an article on keeping a betta in a dorm!

Oh and one more thing... I fnd it exceedingly handy to invest in a tupperware bin to put all your betta stuff in. I got one that fit my strainer too so all I had to do was put everything in the strainer, and into the bin it went.
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