Hi, everyone. This is my first post here. My children and I are new owners (as of almost 2 weeks ago) of 3 female bettas. I thought I had done the proper research to prepare for bringing our new little friends home, but unfortunately that research consisted solely of talking to friends and visiting pet stores.
We have our 3 female bettas in a 4-gallon Baby Biorb tank. It has a filter, and I added a heater (after many days of searching to find an appropriate heater for this particular tank, and after all of the pet stores told me I didn't need a heater). I can't say that purchasing the Biorb was a decision made after lots of research. I chose it because it was pretty and the right size. I am now learning through research (and discovering the difficulty of finding accessories for it) that it may not have been the best choice of a tank. But the fish are in it, and I would like to make it work. As of now, our fish are active, and seem healthy and happy.
I have been reading lots about the importance of "cycling" the tank, something we did NOT do because I had never heard of it, nor had anyone instructed us to do it. We simply set up the Biorb according to the instructions, added water with the Betta water conditioner/dechlorinator the pet shop told us to use, and added the fish 24 hours later as instructed by the pamphlet that came with the tank.
How much trouble are we in for since we did not cycle the tank? Are our fish doomed? Is there something we should do now to correct the mistake, or will it cycle naturally over time?
I changed 25% of the water yesterday. The pet store told me to do this every 2 weeks. Should I do it more often? Less often?
I have been very surprised by the conflicting information I have found on caring for betta fish. We would like to care for them properly, as we purchased them for pets, not strictly for decoration! Thanks in advance for any advice.