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Hello everyone, this smart lil fish managed to get into college



I'm a college freshman and my roommate surprised me by bringing back a betta fish that she got for free from the student union. He's a red male veiltail named North West (after Kim and Kanye's baby... roommate's idea not mine. I call him Nort). Each fish came with an empty jam jar for a tank and some gravel, food, and water conditioner.



A lot of other people's fish died soon soon after, probably since a JAM JAR is not really a livable environment. I hopped on Amazon and bought a 1 gal filtered Minibow with the small budget I have, and I have a silk plant coming in the mail. My parents are also sending me a few tank decorations from the fish we owned many years ago. I've been frequenting some threads on this board and I understand that 1 gallon is not adequate for a betta fish, but the room we're living in is the human equivalent of the betta's jam jar so there's very limited space. My roomie admires him but doesn't do much in the way of care taking, so it kinda feel like the responsibility for his wellbeing has been thrust upon me. I would really prefer to keep this fella healthy and happy for as long as possible.
While some other unfortunate fishy souls have been languishing in their recycled condiment containers, Nort has been quite happy in his new tank. He is always darting around or surfing the filter's current, occasionally flaring at his reflection in the tank. He likes to follow my face and nip at my fingers. He's no puppy, but he's got more personality than I expected! I made sure to condition his water and feed him on a regular schedule (2 in the morning, 1 afternoon, 2 evening), though he always looks hungry.
I did a water change today and Nort has become unusually lethargic... laying at the bottom of the tank and being generally uninterested in stimuli. He seems to be having a hard time breathing and comes up for air more frequently. I added a little extra conditioner to see if that would ameliorate his situation, but he's still down there.



You can see that his pectoral fins are active and he looks around sometimes. I think he got stressed from being in a cup and experiencing the change in chemical levels. I just hope he's ok.
The point is, I'd like some advice on betta care taking in a dorm room. I would also appreciate recommendations for an affordable 1 gal tank heater that I can buy online so Nort can brave the coming midwest winter. Any other advice for making this 1 gallon tank as livable as possible would be fantastic.

Thank you for reading my post!

edit: at the time of posting, he's got a chunk of poo stuck to his butt... and he's still lethargic.
 

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There could be a number of reasons that he's lethargic. He could be pouting because of the water change. There could be a bit of temperature shock. He could be cold. If it's late where you are, it could just be bed time for him.

With the jam jar, you'll want to do daily 100% water changes. This is a good guide for water changes: http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=115758

Any adjustable heater will do for a 1 gallon, but you may need to fiddle with it a bit to get it right. A thermometer is needed. Temp should be withing 72-82 F. Somewhere in the middle is best, like 78.

A 1 gallon without plants is going to be a bit of a pain.... And adding a filter to a 1 gal will take up a lot of space. Plants can help. What I would do, as a fellow poor college student, is slowly save up for an upgrade. Even a 2.5 gallon would be easier. I eventually scraped together enough money for a 5.5 gallon, and it really doesn't take up that much space. With a tank that size you can get a stable ecosystem going and I change about 50% of the water once a week. It's a lot easier trust me lol.

But if a 1 or 2.5 gal is all you can afford, Nort will still be happier than he would be in a jam jar.
 

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There could be a number of reasons that he's lethargic. He could be pouting because of the water change. There could be a bit of temperature shock. He could be cold. If it's late where you are, it could just be bed time for him.

With the jam jar, you'll want to do daily 100% water changes. This is a good guide for water changes: http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=115758

Any adjustable heater will do for a 1 gallon, but you may need to fiddle with it a bit to get it right. A thermometer is needed. Temp should be withing 72-82 F. Somewhere in the middle is best, like 78.

A 1 gallon without plants is going to be a bit of a pain.... And adding a filter to a 1 gal will take up a lot of space. Plants can help. What I would do, as a fellow poor college student, is slowly save up for an upgrade. Even a 2.5 gallon would be easier. I eventually scraped together enough money for a 5.5 gallon, and it really doesn't take up that much space. With a tank that size you can get a stable ecosystem going and I change about 50% of the water once a week. It's a lot easier trust me lol.

But if a 1 or 2.5 gal is all you can afford, Nort will still be happier than he would be in a jam jar.
Thanks for the reply! I moved him into the filtered 1 gal as soon as it arrived. You see, the reason a larger tank is not practical is not because of the price (I have a self-set budget). It's because the room is tiny and my roommate and I have a lot of books, school supplies, appliances, other necessities etc. My roommate and I feel fairly cramped already. Maybe we can reorganize and I can get a 2.5 after break. How would you go about moving the tank home? Do you drive back from college?
I got him in the filtered tank about a week and a half ago and I've changed the water twice since then, but this is the first time he's sat at the bottom.
Once again, thanks for the help!
 

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RusselltheShihTzu
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Can't add anything to Freeflow246's post. But thought you might enjoy this one. Make sure you read the first post before you look at these beautiful 1-2 gallon Betta homes. :) And pay absolutely no attention to the "minimum" size come are adament a Betta home needs to be.

And .... Welcome to the Forum!

Betta Pictures - Betta Fish and Betta Fish Care

PS: Small tanks can be cycled. If you can't afford an API Master Test Kit, get Ammonia and 6-in-1 strips to watch your parameters. If Ammonia gets to .25 ppm do water change (maybe 25%). You might need to do 2x per week changes.
 

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Can't add anything to Freeflow246's post. But thought you might enjoy this one. Make sure you read the first post before you look at these beautiful 1-2 gallon Betta homes. :) And pay absolutely no attention to the "minimum" size a Betta home needs to be.

And .... Welcome to the Forum!

Betta Pictures - Betta Fish and Betta Fish Care

PS: Small tanks can be cycled. If you can't afford an API Master Test Kit, get Ammonia and 6-in-1 strips to watch your parameters. If Ammonia gets to .25 ppm do water change (maybe 25%). You might need to do 2x per week changes.
Thanks for the welcome! There are some really well done aquariums here. I suppose my side project will be to pimp Nort's cozy crib. The test kits are a reasonable price on Amazon and now I can finally get that hammock add on.
 

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What a lovely fish you have!:)

I have the same tank as yours except its 2.5 gallons. 1 gallon is just fine except the filter is comes with I think will be to strong for your betta in a tank that size.
 

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Hi and welcome. I'll say, Nort is gorgeous, of all the fancy colors and tail types you have around, I still absolutely love the deep red spade tails.

Can't add much to freeflow's post but I'd check his temp, I believe it got a bit cold this week didn't it?

BTW, what did they give you to feed him, was it those packets of freeze dried worms?
 

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welcome~ your boy i beautiful! i'm not fond of reds, but he's that stunning red that just... POPS!

with my one gallons, as someone said, since gravel/rocks takes up space, i don't use it. i have those silk plants with weighted bases, so i just fill them up with those. if you can get your hands on some, live Java Moss looks great, and my bettas always loved it(except Manhattan. who would get his ventrals tangled in it somehow. was FUN trying to free him).

personally, i dislike the betta leaf hammock. i bought one once, and found out the wire was almost totally exposed. ripped it out with a needlenose, and it was floppy. perfect for the boy i bought it for(who would be floaty, so he'd rest under it), but useless otherwise.
 

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personally, i dislike the betta leaf hammock. i bought one once, and found out the wire was almost totally exposed. ripped it out with a needlenose, and it was floppy. perfect for the boy i bought it for(who would be floaty, so he'd rest under it), but useless otherwise.
The older ones did have a metal wire in it, but if I'm not mistaken, they removed the wire from the newer ones. You definitely want to check it for the wire if you do get one. Just bend it and see if it pops back or holds a bent shape. Just also realize, he may or may not use it.
 
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