Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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bingo296 07-17-2012 07:43 PM

Tell me if this idea is just nuts...
Let me start by saying I apologize if this could've fit in a subforum and I didn't put it there!

I have a BN pleco in a 10g with betta. I know the BN needs a bigger tank, but here is my issue. I'm a college student, and so the tank gets moved currently four times a year. I can't really deal with moving a large tank and all the inevitable additional stock it would bring, let alone also moving the 10g where I would likely keep the betta (so as not to deal with community issues) and a 5g with frogs.

So this is what I was thinking... Let's say I buy a bigger tank (maybe a 29 or 40 or something, although it would be nice to keep the same hood) and transfer all my existing equipment plus the fish to it, and have it set up in my apartment at school. Then I could leave the 10 with basically nothing but its gravel and assorted deco (no live plants in it so no worry there) set up at home, and during the times that I visit home (a month in December, three months in the summer possibly, depending on when I choose to graduate and/or where I get a summer job) I would just have to bring a bucket with the fish, the filter, and the hood instead of trying to move an entire tank.

I figure one to four months of the year in a slightly-too-small tank is better than spending all her time in it for my BN. What do you all think of this idea? I think as long as I have enough will power not to buy more fish to fill up the bigger tank (which I may be able to do when I remind myself the filter only supports those two fish, plus the whole betta thing) then this plan could work. Of course it would be best if I could just get the bigger tank for her to live in all the time, but because I have different options for graduation dates and because I have no idea whether I'll stay near school, end up back home, or be states away (my desired career path is kind of a you-go-to-the-job type deal) after I do graduate, I just don't think setting up a permanent big tank is in the cards.

P.S. In case anyone feels like saying "You should've thought of this before you bought the fish," I bought her when I was still under the impression that the inch pe gallon "rule" was entirely valid, before I really understood what to research before buying. Rehoming her is not an option, she is family That's why I'm trying to figure out some crazy solutions to the situation.

Thanks everyone! Sorry that my posts tend to be pretty long XD

sidluckman 07-17-2012 08:10 PM

Not to be cruel but only pragmatic: this plan seems like a horrible undertaking for all involved. You asked if it was nuts and I will vote "yes." To be honest, I would re-home the pleco, since this little fish at this moment seems to be driving your life into chaos. Then you could concern yourself with the less cumbersome task of simply moving the betta and frogs. I had large tanks when in college, but I also had summer classes and roommates who could fill in in a pinch and automatic feeders and less time back home in Mayberry away from campus. The trouble with your plan, aside from it being more work than any human should have to undergo at the same time they are trying to finish an undergraduate degree, is that a tank needs some life form in order to maintain its biological filter. I don't know if, on your return, the fallow tank will be a healthy environment, half evaporated, covered in lime scale, its water chemistry vastly different from that of the water in the transport container. Plopping the fish into this unsavory stale vessel won't solve any problems for the fish and may create some worse ones.

I know you consider this fish to be family, but if I were your scaley child I would want different parents. Sometimes the more kind thing to do is to give up what we can't care for. Sorry.

skipperdee 07-17-2012 08:20 PM

i totally understand, Betta's are the best!
time for hard decisions!

don't know that there is any easy way out of this, your suggestion is possible....!?, but as sidluckman said the state of the tank when you return is a problem, as it could take a few weeks to recycle again.!?
sorry i can't help

Geomancer 07-17-2012 08:27 PM

Crazy, yes. In my college years I had a 29 and a 10, but I stayed in town year round at that point.

The good bacteria is only partially in the filter, a lot is in the substrate and other hard surfaces in the tank. So during the periods the tanks are empty, all that dies because there is no ammonia source. You'd have a mini-cycle every time you moved the fish.

Plus each change in environment for them does cause stress, and likely water parameter shifts (pH, GH, KH) between the two tap water sources.

If you're not stationary during college, I'd stick with just one tank with the Betta, or frogs. Keeping both is double the work, but of course completely up to you.

LyzzaRyzz 07-18-2012 01:01 AM

Yeah, it just seems like more stress for your fish, and yourself. If your bristle nose is like family, maybe you dont have to rehome her.
Set up a 29 gallon at your parents house, for the BN..One BN pleco in a 29 or 35 is simple! Plus your parents probably wont buy any more fish, so there would be a place for your betta when you visit.

Youd be home for 3 months, you say? thats enough time to cycle the tank, and school your parents on water changes, feeding habits, ect. You could even leave it bare bottomed, and have them combine the poop-scooping with the w/c's.

That way, when you get out of college, you still have your fishum!

Just a thought!

thekoimaiden 07-18-2012 11:03 PM

I think Lyzza has the right idea. Buy a 29 gal or larger (Petco is having a dollar per gallon sale right now) and set it up at home. Of course this will only really work if your parents are willing to help you with water changes (or if you are willing to make trips home to do them). I had a 29 gal when I was in an apartment at college and a 5 gal betta tank when I was in the dorms. That 29 gal was a pain to move. The 5 gal was pretty easy.

It's not going to be easy, but I think it can be done.

LyzzaRyzz 07-18-2012 11:46 PM

Honestly, you could even offer them a bit of money to do it. My mom sees water changes as unnecessary, and over feeds, and refused to test water. I was leaving for two days, and it was during my cycling [fish -in] so i needed w/c's. I explained to her what to do, she said she wouldent do it, so i sweetened the deal with $20!
I also got an weekly pill dose container, and portioned out food for all my tanks, day and night.
It worked out pretty well!

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