College dorm

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by shadow1, Jul 10, 2015.

  1. shadow1

    shadow1New MemberMember

    I know that taking care of a fish is demanding so I'm only considering a tank between 5-10 gal. This is for my college dorm. I already have a betta so I'm wondering what else I should try to fit in a tank that I'll buy soon. Right now, I have just a betta in a 3 gal bowl which needs to be upgraded. I want to keep my betta because it's not too hard to care for. I'm looking for suggestions regarding things that I can add to my betta's future tank. Thanks.
  2. BornThisWayBettas

    BornThisWayBettasFishlore VIPMember

    Welcome to Fish Lore!!!

    For a 5g with a betta, not much. You could do shrimp or snails. Same goes for a 10g, mostly. Now, bettas might work in a community tank that's at least 20g, heavily planted, and with lots of hiding spots. But that's really only recommended for a more experienced fish keeper. :)
  3. alink

    alinkWell Known MemberMember

    Welcome to fishlore!

    IMO, the only things that can go in a small tank and coexist with a Betta, would be inverts (shrimp and snails). Betta's have various personalities and most of the time they are aggressive to other fish and will end up hurting or killing them. It is best advised to not risk it and house them alone, or like I said with inverts. Shrimp may get eaten by them, I'm not positive on that. Snails would be a safe bet though.
  4. ricmcc

    ricmccWell Known MemberMember

    I faced the same sort of thing many years ago, in that living on campus meant No Pets. So, of course, I sneeked in a small tank.
    I think upgrading to a 5 gallon and just staying with your betta might be your best choice.
    all the best in both your schooling and fish keeping, rick
  5. Firefly's Love

    Firefly's LoveValued MemberMember

    I had a betta in a 5 gallon by himself my freshman year. I found that the tank took up a lot of horizontal surface space, and I didn't have the time or energy to do proper water changes. Honestly, I was a little relieved when he passed away toward the end of the semester. I'm not saying this is going to happen to you, not at ALL, but just make sure you check out the sinks at your dorm, because the ones in the bathroom were impossible to fill anything larger than a 24oz cup, and that made water changes ridiculous. Dorm rooms are tiny, and the horizontal space, whether it's your dresser, your desk, or something else, will become valuable real estate. (Plus, my college has hyper-chlorinated water, so I had to not only condition it, but leave it out to gas off.) Probably just the betta by himself would be the best choice. Or, if you decide to go with a 10 gal, you could divide it.
  6. Aloeb1

    Aloeb1Valued MemberMember

    You will have almost no options with a 5 gallon tank other than a Betta or shrimp tank. You will have way more options with a 10 g tank

    Sent from my iPhone using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum
  7. FishtailBraid

    FishtailBraidValued MemberMember

    This is my situation in my college dorm. I got around it by buying a piece of food-safe plastic tubing, which I run from the tap to my water-change watering can. Makes things soooo much easier; make sure the tubing is fairly flexible though, as mine is a bit stiff so it's still a little difficult. But a lot easier (and less water everywhere) than filling the watering can bit by bit by transferring water from the tap via my one fish-safe plastic container, which is what I was doing before.

    Overall, the main problem I've encountered at college is that generally you have to keep the tank on your desk, so if the filter is noisy or makes a vibration, it can be annoying to study there. Fortunately my room this year has another table that's not the desk, so that makes things easier. You can of course bring your own fish tank stand (which may be necessary for a 10-gallon; that's a lot of weight for non-purpose-built furniture) but you need to make sure you have the floor space for it.

    Also, if your betta bowl is 3 gallons, another option would be just to filter and heat it appropriately (if you're not doing that already); 2.5 gallons is the minimum for a betta. :) A lid would be a good idea if you don't already have one, as bettas are jumpers.
  8. Et tu

    Et tuValued MemberMember

    Ditto with me, and I agree 100% stay with the Betta,
  9. Dom90

    Dom90Fishlore VIPMember

    So in conclusion to everyone's advice, its best not to fix something that's not broken or "test the waters" and just leave the betta be, they are meant to be solitary fish.
  10. FishtailBraid

    FishtailBraidValued MemberMember

    Also, one advantage with bettas (I also have a betta and am at college) is that because you only have one fish, quarantine and hospital tanks are not an issue. Whereas with even a small community tank, you'd have to keep a separate tank (and filter, heater, etc) available to quarantine new arrivals and treat sick fish. That's a lot to store in a college dorm even when it's not in use, let alone when it is and you need the extra power plugs.
  11. BettasAndAnOscar

    BettasAndAnOscarValued MemberMember

    Personally, in a 10 gallon, I have kept 2 male guppies and a betta. No harm done. Many will say this is bad, as the betta might mistake the guppies for another betta. I have never had any problems with guppies and bettas, one of my favorite combinations. Really depends on the betta's personality. If you get a 10 gal, why not divide it and get 2 bettas?

    Sent from my iPad using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum
  12. BornThisWayBettas

    BornThisWayBettasFishlore VIPMember

    I kept a betta with two guppies too in a 10g, and yep, none got killed!
  13. PuffPuff

    PuffPuffWell Known MemberMember

    cherry and ghost shrimp
    apple snails
    african dwarf frogs
    oto catfish
    white cloud mountain minnows

    neon terta's

    it depends on your betta's personality.
    my friend has a bette and a mollie they did well together. however, his 2nd betta always flares when he sees the mollies swimming near the divider, so i don't dare mix them up.
  14. BornThisWayBettas

    BornThisWayBettasFishlore VIPMember

  15. Dom90

    Dom90Fishlore VIPMember

    I wouldn't do neon tetras in anything under a 20 gallon tank, they're pretty active.

    Sent from my iPhone using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum
  16. alink

    alinkWell Known MemberMember

    Shrimp and snails, yes. No frogs with betta. That could end very bad for the frogs. No otos in a 5 gallon. No wcmm in a 5 gallon. no neon tetras in a 5 gallon.
  17. Dom90

    Dom90Fishlore VIPMember

    Lol I'm seeing a "no" trend in this post...

    Sent from my iPhone using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum
  18. klj7678

    klj7678Valued MemberMember

    I keep bettas in my dorm when I'm at school. One does fine with snails. The other has murdered both snails and shrimp. Water changes aren't bad at all for me but each room has it's own bathroom. I can see desk space being a problem but that's only if you actually use your desk ( I don't). Make sure all roommates know not to mess with your fish. I've had many people tap on the glass before I could stop them. Definitely make sure you have a lid. A friend of mine kept her betta in a bowl, the fire alarm went off, and the betta got scared and jumped out while people were evacuating. She sadly came back to a dead fish. Moving back and forth during breaks is kind of a pain but it can be done.

    Sent from my iPhone using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum
  19. FishtailBraid

    FishtailBraidValued MemberMember

    Yeah, this is probably the most difficult part, and another area where I imagine it would be a LOT harder with more than one fish. It's not that hard, but then my home is only around a one-hour drive from my college. In winter I put his whole travel container inside a hard-sided cooler bag lined with towels/blankets/jackets to keep his water temperature steady, and only open the cooler at the destination once his tank is all ready with the water heated (I also bring about half a tank worth - 2 gallons - of his "old" water plus the half-gallon in his travel container, so it's only about 40% "new" water from the destination. I think this helps, though some have suggested I should do the acclimatising process each time I move him.)

    I only move my betta twice (well, four times) a year: to and from college for the summer and winter breaks. For mid-semester, I don't move him as it's only a week so in a pinch I could leave him for the whole time, plus I usually don't go home for more than 4 or 5 days during the mid-semester anyway.
  20. lobstahlights

    lobstahlightsValued MemberMember

    Just dropping in here to weigh in on the surface space issue, because I had tons of plastic furniture in college to supplement my small living space. Find a tall tank. A small hex would be cool, or a corner tank that can go right on the edge of something. They're usually about 5-10 gallons in unusual shapes anyway.

    Also I have a friend who was homeless for about 2 months and carried her betta around in a 1gal bowl with a lid... it survived the ordeal (and saw lots of the northeast states) with both movement and living in an unfiltered, covered bowl of tap water, so the moving problem doesn't seem to be too stressful on them as I really thought he would croak at any moment in there...