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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am a college freshman and I brought my betta with me. He's been with me for about a year and three months. I actually got him on my last day of school. I had just completed my aquaculture class and was inspired to get a fish and care for it. My teacher suggest I start with a betta because they're more hardy than others. So I was at the pet store thinking about getting this gorgeous red one that looked like he was wearing an evening gown, when I noticed another betta at the top shelf, almost out of reach. I pull him down and his container is marked "Elephant Ear betta, blind, 50% off." He didn't look very good, sitting at the bottom of the tank surrounded by very old and nasty looking betta pellets, his eyes almost completely white. I almost cried at the way he looked, he was probably barely alive. So I got him and brought him home. I already had a tank sitting there ready; I had prepared it a week earlier.

His health has greatly improved since I got him. His eyes are no longer milky and his fins have somewhat grown back. He makes bubble nests almost every day. I have him in a .5g tank with no filtration system so I change his water every day and do a full tank clean once a week. He refuses to eat pellets, so I give him flakes (which he loves) twice a day, and blood worms, mysis, or daphnia every other. I have been very careful at what fake plants I get, making sure they are either silk or have smooth edges that won't tear his fins. I also just got him a moss/algea ball for his tank that he likes to hide behind and sit on. It has actually helped a little with how clean the tank is, but it doesn't change how often I change the water or clean the tank.

Now for water temp it sits around 78F during the day. What I'm worried about is at night when I'm not awake to monitor the temperature that it may get too cold. Do you know of any heaters that are small enough to fit into a .5g tank? I've considered getting him a larger tank, but I don't have a lot of room, and I'm a college student, so I don't have a lot of money to spare. For now, is there anything I can do to help with keeping the heat in the tank, like wrapping something around the tank at night?
I'm also worried about his fins. Although they have grown back a little since I got him I feel like there's still some more growth to take place.

I have also have added some pic attachments of my betta, his tank, and the space there is. If they show up maybe these pictures will help. And based on the space I have do you think I could upgrade to a larger tank?

I know this was a long post with lots of questions but thank you for reading it, any ideas you have could really help me.
 

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Hey, as far as I'm aware I don't think you can get a heater for a .5g. I may be wrong though!
I reckon you could squeeze a bigger tank in the space where his tank is now!
He's very pretty by the way! :)
Has he regained any sight at all?
 

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Want tips from a broke highschool student? ;)

If you want a cheap bigger aquarium for him that'll fit in that little space you have him in, I'd suggest a medium or large Kritter Keeper from Petco or Petsmart or even Walmart. They're super cheap, the med is 3 gallons and the large is 5g. You can also use that light you have on it.

I'm setting up a similar tank for QT purposes, and everything will end up costing me twenty six dollars. The Kritter Keeper, an 10g sponge filter(more filtration is always better), and a $11 heater that will fit in the Kritter Keeper. Of course, I already have an air pump for the sponge filter.

In such a small tank, even putting some little plant in there like one anubias nana could help with water quality if you don't get a filter, which is also super cheap. Water quality usually helps tremendously with things like fin rot and regrowing the fins.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Do you think a gallon tank would work then?
And thank you :) everyone who sees him will just sit at my desk staring at him for quite a while.

It's hard to tell if he can see or not. I've put a mirror up to to his tank before and he's had no reaction whatsoever. When I was little my sister and I had a betta and every time we put a mirror up to his tank he's puff up and swish around a lot.

My roommate has commented though that whenever I walk into the room he gets excited. It seems he can tell the difference between me and other people.
 

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^+1 on the kritter keeper, to be cheap I'd also use 2.5g bowls. You can get heaters for 1g but they usually end up frying the fish because manufacturers don't care. Looking at the space you have I'd recommend the large kritter keeper (3G) and a $20 heater. Then you'd only have to do 2 100% changes a week. Now you could easily wrap a towel around the tank at night to keep him warm, put him near a heat vent, maybe microwave a damp towel if he needs warming up (hot water towel)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you, that's very helpful. I definitely look into the Kritter Keeper for my betta and think about the plants.

Thanks for the heads up about the 1g heater Sayia, I never would have known. The hot towel is a good idea I'll do that tonight and hopefully it'll keep him warm :)
 

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The 3 gallon critter keeper is a great idea, and if you can find one on sale you can get it for about $10. Get a 25W adjustable (adjustable heaters are so much better than the preset ones!) heater for about $15 online and you've only spent $25 and you've got a decent sized set up for the lil guy :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The 3 gallon critter keeper is a great idea, and if you can find one on sale you can get it for about $10. Get a 25W adjustable (adjustable heaters are so much better than the preset ones!) heater for about $15 online and you've only spent $25 and you've got a decent sized set up for the lil guy :)
Where could I find the heater online? I've looked and can't seem to find much.
 

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I used the KK for a bit. It definitely works in a pinch, and your guy would LOVE the 3 gallons! (even the 2 gallon would be a huge step up!) A cheap sponge filter and a $10 whisper air pump would cut water changes down to 2 50% changes a week in a 2-3 gallon tank, so a LOT less work for you!

OMG you have a Tardis in the background! My husband is a HUGE whovian! The first episode I watched (and consequently the last) was the first weeping angel episode. Now statues thoroughly freak me out. :)
If you would like some floating plants, next time I do a culling I can send you a few, on the house, as a gift from my blind boy, Osiris, to yours. :) You'd need to dip to avoid ramshorns though. They grow quickly so help with water quality, and i have ones with long roots which are fun places for bettas to hide (one of mine will tangle himself up in the roots to sleep. it's very bizarre)
 

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You could definitely upgrade his tank to a bigger size. I saw some 1 gallons in walmart for like $10, although a 2.5 gallon minimum tank would be ideal. The heater is a must to keep his water at the right temperature. And you can also find cheap filters (Azoo palm for like $9 on drsfosterandsmith).

As others have said, live plants would also help keep the water in better condition.

Good luck with him! I live in a dorm too so I know how hard it can be to keep fish in smaller spaces, but it is doable. I have two tanks in my dorm, a 5.5 gal and a 3 gal. It's all about budgeting space lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I used the KK for a bit. It definitely works in a pinch, and your guy would LOVE the 3 gallons! (even the 2 gallon would be a huge step up!) A cheap sponge filter and a $10 whisper air pump would cut water changes down to 2 50% changes a week in a 2-3 gallon tank, so a LOT less work for you!

OMG you have a Tardis in the background! My husband is a HUGE whovian! The first episode I watched (and consequently the last) was the first weeping angel episode. Now statues thoroughly freak me out. :)
If you would like some floating plants, next time I do a culling I can send you a few, on the house, as a gift from my blind boy, Osiris, to yours. :) You'd need to dip to avoid ramshorns though. They grow quickly so help with water quality, and i have ones with long roots which are fun places for bettas to hide (one of mine will tangle himself up in the roots to sleep. it's very bizarre)
That weeping angel episode is the worst! I still freak out over it. Definitely not the best episode for people new to the series to watch. But they're not all like that. :)

I would love some floating plants, thank you! :) I've never really dealt with live plants though, is there anything I should know?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
You could definitely upgrade his tank to a bigger size. I saw some 1 gallons in walmart for like $10, although a 2.5 gallon minimum tank would be ideal. The heater is a must to keep his water at the right temperature. And you can also find cheap filters (Azoo palm for like $9 on drsfosterandsmith).

As others have said, live plants would also help keep the water in better condition.

Good luck with him! I live in a dorm too so I know how hard it can be to keep fish in smaller spaces, but it is doable. I have two tanks in my dorm, a 5.5 gal and a 3 gal. It's all about budgeting space lol
Thank you! I'll definitely be looking around Walmart, Petco, and Petsmart for all of these things. It's difficult keeping a fish when you have a tight budget.

I'm actually arguing with my mom about upgrading to a larger tank. She wants me to wait since I've kept him in that tank for so long, but I feel terrible doing it. The only reason why I didn't upgrade a while ago was because I wanted to wait until I knew what space I had in my dorm.
 

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A desk lamp with a plant cfl (available @ Walmart for $5) on for at least 8 hours a day, water, and a fish is pretty much all the floaters need to thrive. Some tank kits come with an incandescent light which can be changed easy peasy to a cfl.
 

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Oh, and while you are debating an upgrade, $1 plastic totes hold about a gallon of water. Not as pretty as his tank, but could get him in more water cheaply. Also check craigslist or local thrift stores. They get in used tanks all the time. I got a 1.5 gallon tetra cube with led lights and filter for my dad's snail tank for $5 at a local thrift store. Definitely worth keeping an eye on when you have time
 

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You can find a nice 5 gallon tank for about $15 (without a hood unfortunately those are much more). But i understand your concern. I have two 5 gallons on my desk in my dorm room. They fit nicely on the desk and i still have space for my computer or to do work. So i would definitely recommend upgrading to make your fishy happy :-D
 

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^+1, I got a 8g free from my neighbor and it fits on the shelf above the desk nicely
 

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I would definitely get a Kritter Keeper. He needs more space to stay happy and healthy.

http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod_display.cfm?c=3578+3743+11368&pcatid=11368
This is a great heater! And honestly, this is the cheapest you will find an adjustable one, and you NEED an adjustable one. I have this for my 3gal and it will work great on a 3gal kritter keeper.
You could add a couple cheap low light live plants, which will definitely help your water quality too!
 

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You've done a great job with that little guy!

I think you should definitely check out the pet stores in your area, because I've noticed that Petco, for instance, doesn't list a lot of its items online. Even if they do, sometimes the pricing in store is different (and no shipping), or they may have a display model with a discount, etc.

I was searching for super inexpensive stuff and came upon Kensfish.com. I do not have any experience ordering from this site, nor do I have any experience with any of these particular products, but here are some links that you could look into:

1-gallon KK for $3.95 (There is also a 2.1 gallon for $7.25, and a 3.8 gallon for $10.25): http://www.kensfish.com/aquarium-supplies/aquariums/new-world-habitat-tank-small.html


Heaters - be sure to research or ask others here about whether these would be appropriate for a KK:

$16.09: http://www.kensfish.com/aquarium-supplies/aquarium-heaters/25-watt-visi-therm-deluxe-heater.html

$16.99: http://www.kensfish.com/aquarium-supplies/aquarium-heaters/25-watt-jager-submersible-heater.html

$10.95 (special pricing when added to cart, shows $12.99 on page): http://www.kensfish.com/aquarium-su...agen-elite-mini-submersible-glass-heater.html

$9.75: http://www.kensfish.com/aquarium-su...cascade-25-watt-submersible-glass-heater.html


Basic glass thermometer to make sure the heater's working correctly! $1.25: http://www.kensfish.com/aquarium-supplies/aquarium-heaters/hagen-marina-glass-thermometer.html


Shipping looked to be very reasonable, too.
 

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Hi there, I was following this thread and I was wondering if you had gotten your betta a bigger tank yet. How is he doing?
 
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