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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I've been feeling really guilty about how I keep my fish lately.

Each have a heated to 80 degrees F and cycled 2.5 gallon tanks. The tanks have been cycle for over a year and I check the water levels once a week to make sure the tank is still cycled.

Each tank gets 2-3 50% water changes a week, making sure the gravel gets cleaned once a week at least.

They are fed New Life Spectrum or Omega One pellets with frozen bloodworms as a treat once or twice a week.

But I still feel bad. The main problem is that each of the 2.5 gallon tanks were presents from my parents from different holidays. I'm in college so i have very limited funds. Also NONE of my furniture can support a tank heavier than 2.5 gallons since everything in my small NYC apartment is Ikea furniture.

I just wish I had a large house so that each of my fish could have huge 10 gallon tanks to themselves.

I know I'm doing the best I can with my situation. If anyone knows NYC apartments, you know how much limited space I have, but I still wish I could do more.

I'm in the process of saving up for LED lights for my tanks so that I can have live plants. But for all 3 tanks this will cost me $70 including shipping. That is a lot of money for me at the moment. The current tanks I have are the old Aqueon 2.5 mini bow (not the LED version) and the lights are all broken. I know live plants would help a lot, its just I have a lot of other bills to pay and living expenses to pay for first.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
i know! two came from tiny cups. the other one came from a 10 gallon tank without a heater or a filter or a water change in 3 months.

I still wish I could give them more since they are so special to me. (my friends call me a crazy fish person and I wear that name with pride).
 

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There's no way you should feel guilty based on your post. That your tanks are heated and you test your water, puts you way ahead of the vast majority of betta keepers.

If your bettas were kept in unheated, 1/2 gallon containers and you were lax with water changes, I could see feeling guilty then.

A UK based forum might tear you to pieces as they seem to prefer to see bettas in larger tanks, but as a member of this forum, I would say not to worry if 2.5 gallons is the best you can do for now.
 

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I think you are doing a great job, and in addition you are very active on this forum.

I know how you feel about space and money, I am a PhD student myself and live in a tiny room- I basically have only space for one tank!
Like you I have a 2.5g, and my fish could not be more happy and active.

By the way, you got some recent pictures of your tanks? Just curious.
 

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I never have understood why there are those so judgmental on 2.5 tanks; some people just like feeling superior, I guess. :-( I think a 2.5 is a perfect size for a lone Betta and some Bettas can't handle larger aquariums (I had one so I speak from experience). A 2.5 gives a Betta plenty of room to swim and still leaves room for plants and decorations to explore.

Of course, if you can have a larger tank that's great. But it's the care our animals are given that's important. There are probably a lot of people on this forum who have bigger aquariums who don't give their Betta half the care you do. Some Betta are probably lucky to have their water changed once a month let alone once a week.

The great care you give your Betta is apparent not from just this post but from others, as well. So don't beat yourself up; there's no need. ;-)
 

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You are doing fine.
I admire the passion you have for your fish and helping others with theirs.

If I had to give my fish away to one person on this forum, it would be you. I know they would be in good hands.

Money will come. I know it's frustrating being a poor college student but that will change, trust me.
 

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I wouldn't stress about it, as long as they're looking happy and healthy, you're doing fine. I feel the same way sometimes, that I need to be doing more and I've spent way more than you would think.
 

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Vivian, your passion for your pets is obvious to all of us who see you on the forum. Nobody would slight you and, in fact, probably model some of their own set-ups based on your own.

Re lights, have you checked around on the forum to see if anyone has spare lights they're willing to donate, or even barter? Posted a request in the classifieds section? Not sure what part of the city you're in; is there a local pet store around that may be able to work out a deal with you? Or Craigslist?

If I had any extra, I'd be more than happy to pass them on to you! In the meantime, if I hear of any, I'll let you know.
 

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Hey, my bettas weren't happy in 2.5 gal. tanks but yours could so easilly be different! You can't ask them, so you can't know if they like it or not :)
So if you have no way of knowing how happy they are streight from them themselves, you have no way of changing their enviorment to the exact perfect thing.
So forget your worries, just try to believe you can do it, the best things come from in the heart; you know, "it's the thought that counts" and I think your fish will understand that. :)

By the way, you are doing a great job, within what you have available! :D
 

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It sounds like you are a great Betta owner.Don't feel bad.Like you said,when you get a bigger place one day then you can get them bigger tanks if you want to.A 2.5 tank looked after as well as it sounds yours are is fine.
 

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"Do you ever feel like you aren't providing enough for your fish?'

Just being self aware enough to ask the question is a good indication that you are probably doing a fantastic job.

It's also the sign of a good parent. You always feel like you could do be doing something better for your kids.
 

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Dont get down on yourself, obviously if you didn't have the stuff to care for the bettas you have right now, then you wouldn't have gotten them, and you do care for them amazingly!. You've helped so many people on this forum including me!, and when you help thoose people, your helping to better all of their fishes lives too. From what I've read, your doing the absolute best u can! And I totaly get not just being able to go "oh I need new tanks" and poof go get them, I wish I could do that!...but I cantxc lol. Anyways dont get down on yourself! Okay!? :)
 

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There's no way you should feel guilty based on your post. That your tanks are heated and you test your water, puts you way ahead of the vast majority of betta keepers.
^^Totally agree!

Based on your posts, you seem like a very good betta owner.

I think it's completely normal to always feel we could do "more". Instead, try to give yourself credit for just how much you do now - I'm sure your fish appreciate it ;-)
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Vivian, your passion for your pets is obvious to all of us who see you on the forum. Nobody would slight you and, in fact, probably model some of their own set-ups based on your own.

Re lights, have you checked around on the forum to see if anyone has spare lights they're willing to donate, or even barter? Posted a request in the classifieds section? Not sure what part of the city you're in; is there a local pet store around that may be able to work out a deal with you? Or Craigslist?

If I had any extra, I'd be more than happy to pass them on to you! In the meantime, if I hear of any, I'll let you know.
This is a good idea :)

I am close to a local fish store here in the nyc (too close if you ask me....) since I'm literally there like once a week. I'll see if i can work something out with them too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Can you set your tanks next to each other? If you can, you could get a 36" fixture and use it for all three. I use this one and the plants grow like crazy. Amazon.com : Coralife 05619 Aqualight T5 Freshwater Dual Lamp Fixture, 36-Inch : Aquarium Lights : Pet Supplies

or this one since your tanks aren't deep:

Amazon.com: Current USA Satellite Freshwater LED Light for Aquarium, 24 to 36-Inch: Pet Supplies

unfortunately, my tanks are not next to each other. Two are located on two different night stand type tables across the room for each other and the last one is located on my desk/kitchen table/only actual table in my apt. There is also no way to rearrange my furniture so that they are next to each other.

My other concern is that the tanks i have are the Aqueon Mini Bow (i have the old version not the LED). I already took apart one of the hoods and found that I can remove the entire lighting structure because it is just screwed in. I was thinking my best bet was to get LED strips and transformers for each tank.
 

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I expect my viewpoint won't be a popular one, but it is an honest one; and my personal viewpoint. Nothing more nothing less.

I can sympathise, though. My Juju is in a 6 Gallon/25 litres, with heater, filter, live plants and LED lighting and it was fully cycled before I brought him home. And I still feel guilty. I do find it hard to imagine a betta in something less than half this size, as I know personally my Juju uses all his space and would prefer more.

In the aquatics shop I work at, bettas are held (generally) in much bigger tanks until sale - say 40-50 litres approx - and we have around 20 male bettas in at any one time. So, working with them, I see that they will use and enjoy all of the space provided to them, and they do not stress (bar the odd individual - and it really IS a very odd occurrence when this happens) in larger aquaria.

But I know it could be a lot worse. Only today I had a customer guiltily admitting to me that he keeps his in a glass vase with no filter or heater, and I had to grin and bear it - he already knew he was doing wrong but had no intention of changing what he was doing. It's heartbreaking sometimes - if you want something to stick in a vase use flowers rather than a living animal.

I think VivianKJean, it is much worse to keep animals without the very bare minimum basics (such as a cycled environment, correct heating and filtration & water changes) and to know what you're doing is wrong and is harming the animal but continue subjecting them to it anyway - so that's something to bare in mind if you have a guilt pang. Bettas are one of the most abused fish in the industry/hobby, right behind Goldfish (in the UK anyway - we have a major problem with people still wanting to stick goldies in bowls) - so I would say the ones who end up in a filtered, cycled and heated environment are the lucky ones.


I see thousands of fish whenever I go to work, so knowing how they each respond to different environments, and seeing how they enjoy space, I find it much more difficult to justify a 6 gallon to myself, so yes to answer your question, I do feel guilty at times. It could be a hell of a lot worse, though!
 
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