I just recently (last week) adopted a betta fish from my cousin who no longer wanted to take care of him. That being said, she didn't take very good care of him with complete water changes once a month (no acclimation) and kept him in a double mirrored jar that made it look like there were a billion little beta fish swimming back into infinity. It also made him puff up a lot. She also didn't use water conditioner. She's lost 5 betta over the course of the year and when this little guy started to go pale in color she was gonna flush him. So I stepped in.
Now, I've got him in a medium-sized fishtank (maybe 2-2.5 gal) with large rounded stones at the bottom. I live in a dorm so I can't do very much else size wise.
My room-mate also has a betta, and she does a 20% water change once a week (she keeps hers in a wide-mouthed bottle) and when she does this she pours the fish (his name is Jungle) into his orignal little betta cup in order to clean the tank. I don't have the original little betta cup but I could probably ninja a peice of tupperware for the same thing.
However, after she cleans his tank, it often doesnt look like she has, and he's still swimming around in murky looking water. I've wanted to do something more along the lines of a 100% water change, acclimating him to the new water after I've cleaned the tank and added the conditioner and stuff, I've read that I can do this by taking out a tablespoon of his old water and putting in a tablespoon of the clean water every 15 mins until he's swimming in mostly clean water and then putting him back in his new tank, and since my tank is pretty small I wanted to do it more often. Is that reasonable? I also don't have a fish-net and won't be able to get one until Wednesday but his water was changed the day before I got him (which would have been last Wednesday) so will a week in his water (which still seems very clear) be fine for him? (Considering he'd been living for months in 20% water changes I'm assuming he'll be fine but still).
I'm feeding him a mixture of flakes and freeze-dried brine shrimp and bloodworms as treats, and I give him a few little flakes twice a day, and a brine shrimp every other day as a treat. He's changed color from a pale kinda sky blue to a very bright deep indigo now, so I'm assuming that he likes his new house and diet, and he's blown quite a bit mat of bubbles all around the perimiter of the jar so that it almost looks soap-sudsy.
I also wanted to change what's on the bottom of the tank, putting in pebbles or those polished glass stones or something. If I bought some of them, what's the best way of cleaning them so that they're ok for his new home when I redo the tank? Would it be best to just rinse them for a nice long time under the tap and then put them into the clean tank just before adding the conditioner? Also, would I then rinse them every time I do a water change?
Sorry for all the questions, I'm a first time fish owner and I don't wanna lose little Ares to stupidity, especially after he seems to haev made such a big rebound!