I dunno man, without regular gravel vacs it can get pretty gnarly. When I had to do my mom's tank it had only been about 2 months, with gravel vacs, and a light fish load. It smelled awful. I hope yours isn't as bad though, especially if you can do some of it outside.
I know Byron is leery about moving tanks that still have water/gravel in them, but I don't quite understand the physics aspect of it so I think you'll be fine with it being a small tank.
I really admire your daughter! I wish I could meet her, I'm so happy that she recognizes how unfair stores can be sometimes. I do understand ease of catching is important, but sometimes it's just cruel to the fish.
And you're right, we complain and act against bad practices, but we still purchase fish and supplies. The best we can do is try and buy from nicer places, but it still promotes the industry. It's sad, and it really upsets me sometimes to see the condition of the fish in the stores near me.
Mitch, my chain stores here are actually better than my LFS. It's disgusting to walk into them sometimes, one is finally going out of business and I'm elated. That place was horrific.
That is so sad about the betta fish :/ That's an even worse industry sometimes.
Your water might not be perfect for him but I think he'll be so much happier with friends (odd as they may be!), plants, and not getting nipped to death :) I'm so glad you took him in.
I really am so excited for the down and dirty part of getting this tank fixed!
Jeff, Fixer of Aquariums and Savior to the Finned Creatures of the Water.