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Old 04-23-2012, 08:37 AM   #1 
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Newbie: What's the best beginner's tank?

Hey guys :) I spent a ton of time reading the forums last night because I decided I wanted a betta and I want to take care of it properly. However, I'm still not sure what the best home for a betta would be. Here's a bit about my situation:

I am in college so I won't have a lot of space. When I'm in my dorm the only place I could put a tank would be my desk. For that reason I don't think I can go over 3 gallons and the best thing would be to have a tank that was big enough for the betta but didn't take up a lot of space - so I'm thinking something that is taller but has a smaller "footprint" if you will. I also don't want to spend a *ton* of money on the tank b/c I want to have enough money for the other things I'll need - like a heater, decorations, and all that stuff. So far I've looked at the Aqueon 2.5 gallon tank and the Top Fin 2 gallon "desktop" tank, and I've also considered just getting a large Kritter Keeper, but I don't know if the more frequent water changes are worth it (plus I don't know how I would provide a light source).

The other thing I would like advice on is the best way to transport the fish on my trip to school from my home and vice versa. It's about 800 miles, so that's around a 12 hour car trip.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 04-23-2012, 12:13 PM   #2 
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I think I'm going to go with a medium Kritter Keeper, seems like it would be the best option for me for now. Thanks anyway!
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Old 04-23-2012, 01:59 PM   #3 
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That sounds like a plan. I have one, currently empty since I upgraded my boy, but it works well and doesn't take a lot of room.
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Old 04-23-2012, 03:03 PM   #4 
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I adore Critter Keepers as small tanks! They are great, and come in different sizes for relatively cheap
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Old 04-23-2012, 03:09 PM   #5 
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Location: Fremont, CA
That tank would be the best for transporting and keeping your betta. The thing I would worry about us keeping.him warm going to and from school.

If you are at college a 5 gallon glass tank actual doesn't take up a whole lot of space.
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Old 04-23-2012, 03:33 PM   #6 
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I'm in a dorm, and I got a baby biorb for my birthday. But when we got Derpy we just used a 2.5 gal tank, no hood or light or anything. It was really cheap and when I went away for spring break I took Goblin home in it. It fit perfectly behind my seat in my car, to avoid potential spillage I put the lid on it and stuck the tank in a plastic bag. :)
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Old 04-23-2012, 04:09 PM   #7 
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For those of you who live in dorms...what did you do with your fish over winter break? I hadn't thought about this before, but I'll be home for almost a month and I don't really have the money to pay for bringing it on the airplane. This makes me sad because now I'm thinking I won't be able to get a fish, and I was really excited about it :(
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Old 04-23-2012, 04:26 PM   #8 
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Location: Toronto, Ontario Canada
I keep both bettas (though I only have one right now) and tarantulas, and my house is full of kritter keepers of various sizes that I use for both species.

Kritter keepers are great for transporting. I stay with my boyfriend on weekends and it's about half an hour by car each way. I use the keepers to move both my fish and my 4 t's (separately!). Another option for transportation is either deli cups or small plastic containers - melt a few holes in the lid with a hot nail for air and you're good to go.

Re filtration, with kritter keepers you need a high enough temp (78-80). I use 10w submersible heaters in my 1-3 gal keepers when room temp isn't enough. I've never had problems with melting plastic so far.

If you want to cut down on the water changes you can get 2-5 gal acrylic aquarium kits including power filters. I have a 2-gal (marina explorer) that was originally on my desk at the office. I've run it for years. It has a "bio-wheel" filter which has never made a sound. Doesn't have a light, though, and no place to put one. I'd recommend another model because of this.

In a 2-gal I change the water 50 - 75% twice a week. I'd suggest that even with this filtered setup you get a testing kit for ammonia (if not a master kit). It's a good way to establish the best water change schedule to minimize stress on your fish. IMO a master kit will pay for itself in fish which would have been lost to toxins built up in the water.
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Old 04-23-2012, 04:30 PM   #9 
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Thanks for the advice! I originally thought summer transportation would be my problem, but now I realize that's not it at all - that part is relatively easy since I'll be travelling by car. My real problem now is what I would do over winter break. I suppose I could try to find someone who could do water changes and feeding over the break?
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Old 04-23-2012, 04:34 PM   #10 
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I think theres an article on transporting fish by plain floating around the web, or you could ship your betta to your house. It IS a risk though...
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beginner, college, desktop, inexpensive, tank

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