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Old 12-13-2010, 05:02 AM   #1 
c4talys7
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Leaving for three weeks, how should I handle my Betta?

I have to go back home from college for three weeks for winter break. I am at college in Hawaii and live back in Oregon. Here is my problem:

I just put my fish in a 3gal clear storage bin, he has really high ammonia levels that recently emerged from his .5gal tank. I got some advice to use this 3gal bin so the levels would be lower. I have a heater in this tank as well.

Now I read that you can take a fish on a plane in the little betta cup that the fish is bought it. But I don't know if that would work with the 3oz liquid only airport laws. I don't think I can bring him back with me because I believe he would have to be quarantined for 40 days coming back to Hawaii. He has been having some issues lately and I believe him to be really sensitive to water changes, darting around and trying to bury himself.

So, I decided to leave him with the RA's of my dorm building. Whoever is in the office will just feed him in the morning and again in the evening. But due to recent problems with his water (This hasn't happened to my roommates betta at all, she doesn't even use conditioner (Hawaii water is said that it doesn't need it )) I am worried that he might be dead by the time I get back. I don't think the RAs are capable of changing his water properly. Nor caring to do so.

As of now, my plan is to buy a 5gal clear storage bin and put him in that. and have his 3gal prepared and have someone transfer him into that halfway through the break. After, of course, making sure the water temps are the same. I have a non adjustable heater and was going to keep that in the 3gal while putting an adjustable one in the 5gal.

I really need help, despite being a 7 dollar fish I have grown quite attached to him over the past 4 months.
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Old 12-13-2010, 05:20 AM   #2 
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*Yay another Hawaiian member* So you'll be keeping him in a 5 gallon while you're away, right? If you have enough time cycle that tank (Lots of threads on this website about cycling!) So you never have to do 100% water changes. Then you can get containers of pre-conditioned water so all the person who's taking care of your fish (Sorry I'm confused who) has to do is remove par of the water, not all of it, and put in the new water once a week and feed.

Or, you could hire somebody.

That's my suggestion.
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Old 12-13-2010, 05:25 AM   #3 
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I thought about that. I was planning on doing that but I just found out about how important a cycling system is. I am a new Betta owner, and I leave this Sunday. Is it possible to have the filter going and still do partial water changes?
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Old 12-13-2010, 05:38 AM   #4 
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Unfortunatly no because that's doing the fish in cycling, where you need constant daily water changes until it cycles. Most filters are too strong, too. If you do have a filter with low flow than maybe you can pull off partial water changes (I mean between 50%-90%) If you don't have any media or decor in the tank. Only if the filter works well enough to suck up most of the poop will this work, though.
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Old 12-13-2010, 05:41 AM   #5 
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Ok, thank you for your help. I am going to see if my boyfriend's roommate can take him. He lives on the island and he would just have to change the water every so often and I'll set a filter up when I get back. I guess if he can't I'll go ahead and take him home. My boyfriend's parents have a pretty big fish tank and know a decent amount about filter systems and fish. I'll see if they'll watch him.

Rather him be there then sick and uncared for here.

Thanks again!
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Old 12-13-2010, 06:23 AM   #6 
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I just read something about keeping live plants in the water to help keep it clean? This person was also going to be gone for a month as well.

Quote:
You may need to find someone to make the water changes and feed your fish at least once a week over Christmas vacation....I would worry more about water quality than food......they can go a long time without eating...but limited when it comes to water quality....another option would be cramming the tank full of hornwort or water lettuce if you can't find someone you trust to make the water changes or a bigger tank maybe.....to bad you can't take him with you over Christmas......
Thoughts?
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Old 12-13-2010, 04:07 PM   #7 
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Even with a ton of plants, an uncycled tank will still need at least one 100% water change over the three weeks (BARE MINIMUM) and one immediately upon your return. If you go that route, have whoever takes care of the fish feed him minimally. Like once or twice a week. Less food = less waste released.

If your tank were cycled, it would be a different story, sadly. A cycled tank stuffed with plants could go the entire three weeks without a problem.

Definitely try to get your boyfriend's family to take him, since they will be able to change the water.

My fish is in a five gallon tank, which just became cycled after two months. While trying to get it to cycle, I found that the ammonia levels stayed fine if I changed 50%-75% of the water every five days (always vacuuming all the waste out of the substrate). Changing the water like that also left enough goodies behind for the tank to cycle. In that way, I'd say whoever takes care of your fish could get away with not doing any 100% changes if there's a filter in the tank, but they'd have to do those water changes every 5 days or so.
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Old 12-13-2010, 09:26 PM   #8 
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What I would do would be to add a live plant or two to help maintain the water quality somewhat, and then have the RAs feed him less, like maybe a few days a week. I was on vacation for a month and had my aunt feed my bettas two pellets every two days. Naturally the water was filthy when I came back, but they were all okay.
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