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Old 10-05-2010, 12:29 PM   #1 
kfish
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Quick question about leaving a betta for five days - small tank

I have a betta in my college dorm room in a 1/2 gallon tank (I had no idea this was a bad idea until after the fact, good thing it was cheap). I'm going to buy a kit with a bigger tank, filter, and heater as soon as I can, but in the meantime, my betta gets 100% water changes every other day and 30-40% changes every day in between. He seems very happy in his tank. I add Novaqua plus, Amquel plus, and aquarium salt (I make water by the gallon to make measurements easier). The dinky tank came with pro-v crystals which should still be as little bit of effective as they are.

I go home for weekends a lot, and have left him alone for three days and he's been fine. The water was actually still pristine when I got back, undoubtedly because the fish hadn't eaten anything.

I'm looking to leave him for five days this time around. Any thoughts on whether or not the water quality will be too terrible after five days? Or will it stay okay since he won't be eating anything? I'm thinking of springing for a new tank kit now, but it's really not best for me at the moment.
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Old 10-05-2010, 12:39 PM   #2 
wystearya
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While your fish should be "OK" for 5 days, you may want to go ahead and spend the money on a larger tank with a heater, etc.

If your gone often on weekends (seems you are) then it would be so much better for your Betta to have a larger tank as your not always there to do the needed frequent water changes. You won't have to do them as often with a larger tank, maybe even less with the filter (not sure?), and it will be less stressful for your fish.

If you can afford it, go for at least 2 gallons. I personally got a 2.5 gallon for about $15 for my fish. This was just the tank, no filter or anything. Also, a live aquatic plant can help with the water quality between changes. They can be cheap too!

Best of luck to you! I remember being a college student on a tight budget. Though, it's been a little while. lol!

PS - Filters are optional, not a necessity. Air bubblers are also not required for Bettas. If you get a 2-3 gallon tank, a live plant, and a mini heater you should have a perfectly decent set-up for your little fish friend. :)

Last edited by wystearya; 10-05-2010 at 12:41 PM. Reason: Adding information.
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Old 10-05-2010, 12:39 PM   #3 
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He should be fine so long as hes not fed...just give the tank a nice good clean beforehand, and one immediately after you get home ;)
Best of luck with the upgrade, and good for you for doing your research :)

LOL, I've been beat to the punch... ;P Haha, though I agree with wysteatya, its always best to get the tank sooner rather then later...but it can be expensive.
I'm personally fond of Kritter Keepers...medium to large size from the reptile section. Cheap, easy to clean, and can be safely heated. Since your on a tight budge, perhaps look into those ;)

Last edited by DragonFish; 10-05-2010 at 12:42 PM.
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Old 10-05-2010, 12:45 PM   #4 
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Thank you so much!

I feel much more encouraged now.

I am going to get at least 2.5 gallons. I will definitely look into the Kritter Keepers. The kits with filters are so expensive, especially after I already spent $50 on water conditioners, test kits, and salt!

Last edited by kfish; 10-05-2010 at 12:48 PM.
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Old 10-05-2010, 12:48 PM   #5 
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Oh yes, Kritter Keepers are great! Basically they are a plastic one-piece tank with a separate lid. I actually used to keep my college Betta in one. Good idea, I had forgotten to mention those. My "sick tank" is a small Kritter Keeper. It's nice to have it ready in case I need to treat him and don't want to have to medicate the entire tank.

--

Tell me about it! I stop counting after I hit $70 on the money I spent on my one new fish. :P

Last edited by wystearya; 10-05-2010 at 12:49 PM. Reason: Adding info
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Old 10-05-2010, 02:28 PM   #6 
Adastra
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I definitely wouldn't leave a fish for five days in 1/2 gallon tank with no changes. A 1/2 gallon tank should really get a change every day--if you need a temporary solution to your problem, you can go to target or walmart and get a rubbermaid/sterilite plastic storage bin. These are completely safe for fish and for equipment like heaters--they've very light, durable, and extremely cheap. Only about $3 for a 2-4 gallon container. If you need to leave him, it would be best to put him in one of these larger containers--you might already have some storage bins lying around or perhaps one you can borrow from someone. Just give it a good rinse first.

If you absolutely must leave him in that tiny 1/2 gallon container, don't feed him for three days before you leave, and do a 100% change right before you go. This should help keep the ammonia level minimal.
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Old 10-05-2010, 05:41 PM   #7 
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I'm starting to get very tired of college students thinking their bettas shouldn't get as much space/attention as anyone elses bettas. I have a 5 gallon filtered and cycled tank in my dorm, and a large 4-gallonish critter keeper, and I'm taking my spare 2.5 gallon and 2.5ish critter keeper home. Over longer weekends/breaks, my fish travel home with me. And for the winter holiday, I will be completely taking down both the 4 and 5 gallons and transferring home.

Point being, at least get your betta the 2-gallon drum-bowl thing, or go for what Adastra said. If you get a 2-gallon drum you can set your betta buddy on your desk and plop a 25W hydor theo in it. With 2 gallons, doing a water change right before you leave and right when you get back, your betta will be fine, and happy for more space too.

OR, scoop your betta up in a small rubbermaid bowl and put a lid on it, take him home, and take the 2-gallon drum home, and just set him up there for 5 days. I'm sure he'll be thankful and not as bored.

Last edited by Ajones108; 10-05-2010 at 05:48 PM.
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Old 10-05-2010, 05:49 PM   #8 
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Agreed. This is something we see a little too often--"I'm poor and I don't have space!" You moved to a dorm. It's not like you were forced out of your home due to some kind of disaster, you saw this coming. You probably planned for it for years. Why do people in this situations bring home pets if they don't have space for them and can't afford to keep them?

Obviously the OP is better than most people out there, though. Even though kfish should have done his or her research before purchasing their betta, at least he or she realized that there was a problem with the situation and asked for advice. Who knows how many ignorant and irresponsible students simply don't care to bother?
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Old 10-05-2010, 05:53 PM   #9 
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My friend Jamie had a roommate last semester who had her giant/king betta in a bowl that was like... not even half a gallon. It was like 1/4 a gallon. I used to sneak him food when I was there because she never fed him or conditioned the water. I wanted to save him, but... At the time, I didn't have the space. She was one of those really preppy chicks that was like "he never moves... idk why" I wanted to hurt her. >_>

I've been meaning to make a thread for college kids with bettas... So much irresponsibility lately. They shouldn't be used to just sit in a tiny bowl for decoration. They are a living thing, they should be taken care of as such. My bettas feed my maternal instinct to take care of something fully dependent on me.

Like you've asked before, Adastra: Would you want to live in your toilet? :p
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Old 10-05-2010, 06:13 PM   #10 
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I have no idea how you gathered from "I'm going to buy a kit with a bigger tank, filter, and heater as soon as I can" and "I am going to get at least 2.5 gallons. I will definitely look into the Kritter Keepers" that I think my fish deserves little space. I have no idea where attention played any part in any of this, or why you're implying that I should move my betta to my desk. He's already on my desk, and gets to see me and deal with me staring at him and playing with him pretty much all day every day, as my major requires a lot of studying.

I think you basically just posted to complain about people not taking care of their fish, which I can understand, but I wish you'd read more thoroughly and understood that I'm not one of those people and I don't like that my fish is in such a small tank. His situation has been a temporary one, and I've never had any intention of leaving him in a 1/2 gallon tank his whole lifetime. He's been in it for two weeks and it's a much better alternative to the dismal cup I, well, my mother, found him in at Wal-Mart, all chewed up.

Also, my mother purchased the betta and the little tank for me. I came home for a weekend, and there it was. I immediately researched and discovered the tank was too small, but guilt is part of the reason I haven't upgraded yet, since my mother spent her hard-earned money on it.

After DragonFish gave me the wonderful idea of Kritter Keepers, I looked into it, discovered they're on sale for $8 at Petco, and plan to buy one tomorrow to move my fish into before I leave next Wednesday night. I appreciate the advice and new idea, because before today I hadn't considered something like that.

It honestly REALLY upsets me that someone would think I don't care about my fish. I'd always been more-or-less apathetic to fish (maybe since my last name is Fish and it's not a fun name to grow up with!), until this little betta. I love him very much.

Last edited by kfish; 10-05-2010 at 06:21 PM.
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