I am considering buying a Betta for my dorm, and I have A LOT of questions! I want to make sure I am able to keep a fish happy and healthy before I buy one. Anyways, I'll start asking questions and I hope you answer! Thank you
I have a glass goldfish bowl that I think is about 1.5 gallons, and I'm wondering if this would be a suitable home? I kept a large goldfish in it for awhile and he had enough room, so it might even be a 2 gallon. It's a pretty good sized bowl! But I'm not sure if it's suitable because it looks like it might be difficult to heat/light/filter if any extra equipment is required. Would some kind of plastic tank or pre-made kit be easier or better than the bowl? Does the bowl need some kind of cover to keep the fish from jumping out? (Yes, I know to be careful about covering a Betta, they need air!)
Do I need any special equipment? I'd prefer not to use a filter, I don't mind changing the water a lot or using water conditioners or whatever needs done. Is a filter necessary, or will it make things drastically better in the tank? If so, what kind of filter do I need to get?? I know absolutely nothing about tank filters or their care.
Do I need a heater? My dorm will most likely experience a lot of temperature changes, especially since the building people sometimes have the heat on when it's hot, the air on when it's cold, and vice versa. My room seems pretty stable and comfortable so far, but then again, it's only the 2nd week of school... Will my fish be fine without a heater? If not, what should I get?
What kind of water should I use?? Tap, bottled, filtered, distilled? Do I need a water conditioner? Do I really need all those complex test strips? Can I just use tap water, a conditioner, and do a 50% water change every day or two? Does the water need a filter?
Will a diet of flakes, pellets, and bloodworms as treats be ok?
Do I have to have gravel in my tank? I really hate gravel, it's messy to clean in a non-filtered bowl, and I don't like the look of it. And I don't know how to clean it with a filter. I might just put a few rocks, plants and little things to hide in a scenery.
Can I use fake plants that are made out of fabric or foam? I don't want real ones unless I need them. I know some fake ones can tear their fins, so what are some good plants to put in a tank?
How do I clean my fish bowl or tank??
Will my Betta be ok to leave for 2 or 3 days during the weekend when I go home? I would be leaving Friday afternoon and coming back Sunday night most weekends. Also, what do I do during longer breaks? Should I leave him there or try to transport him during the holidays? How do I move him without stressing him out too much?
Sorry about all the questions, I just want to be a "prepared" owner and have everything ready to go when I get my fish!