I will be leaving for Thanksgiving break at the end of this week, and will be gone for 9 days. I have considered for quite a while, (even before I got my betta) what I would do during this time. He currently lives in a cycled five gallon tank. I have read that he should be able to survive that long without food, but I am really leaning against that. I would probably have a hard time enjoying my break when he's stuck there alone without food for that long. I would also be worried about something happening (power out, him getting sick, etc). What I am really leaning towards doing is taking him home with me (2 hr trip). I have looked up how to transport fish with as little stress as possible. I still have the cup he came in or I can get a bag. I also have a big styrofoam box I can put his cup or bag in so he'll be insulated and in the dark. At home, he can live in a 2 gallon+ container. I would, of course, bring home his heater as well. Does this sound like an okay plan?
Another concern I have is keeping the cycle. It took a really long time to finally establish, so I don't want to lose it. One thing I thought I could do is bring home the filter and try to find a way to keep the media damp during the trip, then use the filter at home as well. Or, I could leave the filter, and put some raw shrimp in the tank (in a container so it doesn't make a big mess) while it is empty. I don't know how long it would take for the shrimp to start producing ammonia, though. Which would be more practical and more likely to work?
Thanks to those who read all of this. I really want to do what's best for my fish, so advice is greatly appreciated.