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Old 12-28-2010, 02:01 AM   #1 
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Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Michigan
Forgive my newbieness...

Hello everyone! I'm looking for a little advice with my new betta endeavor. I'm a college student studying biology and decided to get a betta fish for my dorm room. Unfortunately I have very little space available; the largest aquarium I have room for is a minibow 2.5 gallon. I wish I could give it a 5 gallon, but given space and my need to transport it to/from home, that's not possible at this point.

The little floating dolphin will come out when I put the betta in. Does this look too crowded?

In my aquarium I have a filter (super quiet and almost no current), 2 plastic plants and a little cave (passed the panty-hose test), and a tetra submersible heater (50 watt) that when combined with the light keeps the aquarium at around 76 degrees. I'm wondering if I should take the shark cave out - it takes up a lot of room but I want to give the betta something to hide in. I was thinking I can leave it in and just take it out if the betta doesn't seem to like it? What do you think?

I've attempted doing a fishless cycle using betta pellets, but I can't seem to get the ammonia levels up. I'm going to an aquarium store friday to get my (hopefully healthy) betta. The aquarist told me that if I do a 50% water change (conditioned, of course) when my ammonia and nitrite levels go up (every 2-3 days) I can keep my betta alive during the cycling. Has anyone had success cycling with their betta if they closely monitor their water quality?

So that's my situation, can you guys give me any suggestions? Tell me what I'm doing terribly wrong? I've only ever had carnival goldfish before in bowls (no need to lecture, I know it's awful) and surprise surprise was very unsuccessful. I'm determined to do this right.
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Old 12-28-2010, 05:33 AM   #2 
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Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Hawaii- Go Diamond head!
That tank looks great! Don't take the cave out, Bettas like having oppertunity to hide and they aren't the biggest swimmers around. And Bettas like to look at stuff in their tanks, so he should like that interesting setup.

All in all, a great tank. Plenty of room for him and hiding places and definatly not boring. I hope you find a beautiful Betta.

Sorry I know nothing about the fish in cycling method. But I think that you should do the fishless method, it's MUCH faster. The fish in can take months, the fishless will probably be roughly 2 weeks in such a small tank. Quick warning: 2.5 gallons are a bit difficult to cycle and can be unstable. It is possible though.
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Old 12-28-2010, 06:22 AM   #3 
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Join Date: Oct 2010
I wouldn't change a thing in your tank. Looks great, nice job with the deco.

Fish cycle is doable, just don't overfeed and do your partial water changes a few times a week.

I bought my betta the same day as the tank....6 months later he is thriving.
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Old 12-28-2010, 12:17 PM   #4 
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Thanks for the tips guys! I'm very excited about all of this. I'm studying marine biology at school (hopefully to become an aquatic vet one day - fingers crossed) so I absolutely love fish. My parents have never really been keen on non-mammalian pets, so I've kind of had to wait to get out on my own to turn my passion into a hobby. I'd love to have a large saltwater tank someday. But bettas are absolutely gorgeous little freshwater fish, so I think one will be the perfect addition to my dorm.

But anyways, I'll let you know how everything goes and post pics when I get him!
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