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Discussion Starter #1
I want to take a tank with me next year when I go to college, and I was wondering how I should take care of my betta over winter break. I don't think anyone is allowed in the dorms during that time, and it would be around 10 days. I'd be flying home, so taking him with me would be out of the question.

I think my options are (1) don't feed him - people seem to agree that fish can survive this long without food (2) get a vacation feeder - I'm not sure I trust this, though (3) get an automatic feeder - can't seem to find one (4) find someone to take him/take care of him - seems like this would be very stressful for the fish/troublesome for me to find and relocate him.

Thoughts?
 

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I've seen the automatic feeders at PetSmart, if you have one near you maybe try there? Otherwise I'd see if you have someone who could betta-sit for your while you're gone. I've done that anytime I've been gone for more than a couple of days. If you can't find someone, try ordering an auto feeder here:
http://www.aquariumguys.com/aufe.html?gclid=CJjz986mxbACFQbznAodHkC8WQ
Good luck to you in college and to your betta! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks! The problem with feeders is, I can't seem to find one that feeds in small enough portions for bettas.
 

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Ahh, I understand. :( I've never used one and didn't realize you couldn't adjust the food level. :( I'm sorry! If no-one here replies, maybe you could ask a local aquarium store, if you have any good ones, IE people who actually know about and raise fish?
I hope you find a solution though!
 

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How about options such as moving him to an office part of the college where possibly some admin staff might still be working and wouldnt mind feeding him? Or if u have a friend who would be living nearby but off campus they nay be able to take him? Otherwise id say an autofeeder would be your best bet. U might be able to find one specially for bettas?
It does sound like a hassle with the winter holidays but it would be so great to have his company in your dorm room. I hpe u ca figure something out. Also good luck at college =)
 

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he'll be fine unfed for ten days, just be sure ur tank is ok without a water change for thay period of time
 

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With 10 days without a water change, I wouldn't feed him at all. Food in means waste out. And if you aren't there to clean it out, it can build up to toxic levels. Plus, those automatic feeders are rather unreliable. I used one once and came back to the floor of the aquarium littered with uneaten food and a few dead fish in the community tank. It waaaay overfed them.

Just make sure in the week before you leave, you fatten him up a bit (but not too much, you don't want bloat).
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Unfortunately, I just realized it'll be more like 3 weeks for winter break. Is finding someone to take him for the break the only solution?
 

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This is one of the things I was worried about too! I will also be bringing my betta to college in the Fall :p.
Unfortunately, if you /have/ to fly home... there's not really much you can do other than find someone to take care of your fish if you're going to be gone for more than a week. Especially since most of the tanks allowed in college dorms/that are easy to transport are fairly small...
I know at my college there are some dorm buildings that remain open over breaks for international students, etc. Maybe if they have these at your school you could find someone who lives in one who would be willing to take care of your fish?
I'm going to a college that has a vet school... if you have something like that I'm sure you could drop a fish off there and they'd be taken care of. A lot of vet or pre-vet students are /extremely/ passionate about any kind of animal, so that'd be a good bet for me...
Also, you might want to even try asking teachers! I know there's a chem teacher at my school with a notoriously soft spot for animals... Who knows?
Just some quick ideas there, but...

If worse comes to worse, you could probably pack and ship a fish overnight to your home... it'll cost a lot, but it could be worth it? That way you could get home, set up the tank, and have it waiting for when the fish arrives. It's kind of a desperate measure in my mind, though :/
I'm just so glad I only live like 2 hours away from my school x.x
 

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Unfortunately, I just realized it'll be more like 3 weeks for winter break. Is finding someone to take him for the break the only solution?
Yes. Three weeks without food or a water change will put him in great danger. If you know someone who has an apartment and will be up there for most of the break that could work. Or as Tazo suggested, even a professor with a soft spot for animals. But you have to find someone to take care of him.

Depending on the airline, you might be able to take him. I seem to recall that some will allow fish on board. Just buy him a small tank and heater when you get home.
 

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I agree, find someone to take care of him, or ship him home. It will be stressful to ship, but it may be your only option.

If you want to try something new and risk your betta, use a vacation feeder and then put a TON of plants in your tank, they will absorb the amonia, but I have never tried NPT for 3 weeks, and vacation feeders are still unreliable at best.
 

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10 days would be fine. My boy was safe and sound (albeit a bit lonely looking) when I got home on Monday from a 9-day vacation. But three weeks, as said before, is not. Express Posting him to your home may be your best plan, because airlines can be very strict about anything vaguely resembling liquid; they confiscated from me a tiny sealed jar of dark chocolate spread that was supposed to be a gift, so imagine how they'd react to a bag of water holding a fish :/
 

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When I go away for weekends I get my boyfriend or my roommate to feed him, and taught them how.

For holidays I bring mine home with me in a 1/2 gallon tank (it's all I've got for transporting him D: oh well)

Many airlines will allow you to bring a fish, but I'd call around and find out. The other option is a "pet hotel". Petsmart has one in almost every store, and many vets will also take care of a pet for a short period of time.

Now, you will make MANY friends in college, and many will live near it. I would honestly think its best to trust it with a friend. I was shocked at how many people I met, and how many people were willing to help me out. Even if they live an hour or two away, they may still be willing to bring your fish home with them.

The other option, is you stay at college for xmas break. I'd honestly worry about it closer to the date though - as you meet people, you may even be lucky enough to meet someone as into fish as you are :)
 

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Discussion Starter #16
If I ended up having to leave the betta without food for three weeks, would it hurt to throw in a tetra gel feeder? It seems like the main problem with them is that fish don't realize the feeders are food; it doesn't seem to affect water quality too much.
 

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If you give a hearty meal, before, (like big big) then they should be ok, how will you maintain the water quality? Vacation feeders have NO nutrition.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
If I don't feed anything, water quality shouldn't be a problem. All my tanks are heavily planted and if anything, it wouldn't be a problem just throwing in some hornwort, java moss, or dwarf water lettuce to suck up additional nitrates. The thing, I thought the tetra gel feeder might be ok because in the worse case scenario, the betta doesn't see it as food and doesn't eat from it (but water quality remains the same).
 

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If I don't feed anything, water quality shouldn't be a problem. All my tanks are heavily planted and if anything, it wouldn't be a problem just throwing in some hornwort, java moss, or dwarf water lettuce to suck up additional nitrates. The thing, I thought the tetra gel feeder might be ok because in the worse case scenario, the betta doesn't see it as food and doesn't eat from it (but water quality remains the same).
The breakdown of living matter (either in the digestive system or through bacteria in the substrate) releases ammonia. Even if he doesn't eat it, it will degrade the water quality.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
The breakdown of living matter (either in the digestive system or through bacteria in the substrate) releases ammonia. Even if he doesn't eat it, it will degrade the water quality.
That's the difference with the tetra gel feeder. It only breaks down as the fish eats it. Also was exploring getting an automatic feeder like this http://www.petsmart.com/product/ind...kingCode=BA8DE0BA-256D-E111-8435-001517B1882A that might feed like 1-2 pellets a day. Yes, water quality would change a little, but I don't think it would be drastic with nitrate absorbing plants + the reduced feeding.
 
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