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I am going away to college in a month and I'd like some advice on how to take care of a Betta fish in a college dorm room since I want Rufio to go with me. I have a few specific things that I'm concerned about.

I have two options for fish tanks right now: a 10 gallon and a 2.5 gallon. Both are standard size tanks and allowed in dorm rooms at my college.

How do you maximize space in the dorm room with the fish stuff (water tests, water change stuff etc).

What do you use to do water changes (bucket, water changer etc) and how to you store it?

Would it be better for me to go with the 2.5 gallon (which is more space efficient) or the 10 (which is more flexible). Rufio is going to be the only one in the tank.

Filters: do you know of any quiet ones that are good with Bettas?

Vacations: I'm thinking of going with the EHEIM automatic feeder for long vacations. Is there a better one for bettas? My parents don't really want to feed Rufio during vacations, but will be there to monitor him during long breaks. I probably won't be gone during summer. If I do go on vacation, it will probably be during winter, which is a month at most.

Anything else you've found helpful?
 

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As for tank size - it really depends on your dorm room and what space you actually have. Don't forget that a 10 gallon tank is also quite heavy so your furniture in the room can handle the weight.

I don't live in a dorm anymore but I do live in a super small apartment. I keep a small bin of extra fish stuff - ie meds, extra food, extra heaters, salts, etc. Then in a bucket I keep my water conditioner, net, sponge, and gravel vac for water changes. I put the bin under my bed and the bucket pretty much anywhere I could find since I use it all the time.

If you want to do the 2.5 gallon route - a cycled 2.5 gallon tank needs two 50% water changes a week. In theory if you were to go on a week long vacation the tank would be fine but it is not something to get in the habit of doing.

For water changes - 1st I don't store extra water. I've never needed to. When it is time for a water change, I use the gravel vac to remove water from the tank and clean the gravel, wipe down the sides with a sponge, and if needed rinse the filter media. Then I dump that water out and fill the bucket with new water and then fill the tank from that using a small cup/container like thing.

I would not get the automatic feeder. Auto feeders are not that reliable for bettas since they are small fish and require small amounts of food. Also you cannot leave a fish unattended for a month. The water must be changed weekly at the every least. If you were to go the 2.5 gallon route then you would have to change it twice weekly. If you are going to be away from the dorm for a month during winter break then you must take your fish with you. Honestly, dorms will not let your parents in there without you being there. Your parents would also have to preform water changes (not just topping off the water).

Also before you bring your fish - make sure that your dorm allows heaters. My dorm did not which is why I did not keep fish while I in the dorms.
 
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