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Betta Fish Water Emergency

rgpenley

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Hi Everyone!
    Let me start off by saying that I feel a little like a "fish out of water" here (bad pun, I know), but desperate times call for desperate measures. I am a 3rd year college student and I took in a male betta fish from a guy down the hall who didn't have time for the responsibility at the beginning of my first year. Since then the fish has lived happily at home or my college dorm room for the last couple of years. I keep him in a 2.5 gallon tank and change his water using bottled distilled water regularly. This is a practice that I started as soon as I got him because I was afraid to use water from the tap at my school and could never quite understand how or what types of special conditioners to use in order to make tap water safe. He has been perfectly happy with the distilled water and I have seen no reason to do anything otherwise.
     On to my current problem, I left town to visit family today and brought my betta with me because I will probably be staying a week. I meant to grab his usual water on my way out of town, but  I was running late and the holiday stress got the better of me and I totally forgot. Now my little guy is confined to his travel container and I can't get to any more distilled water then he has at the moment until morning (my extended family lives in the middle of nowhere). I have access to both hard tap water and RO water but have never used either and don't want to do anything that could potentially stress him out and kill him. Does anyone have any suggestions as to if I can use any of the water I have access to or should I leave him in his travel container and hope for the best?
 
Thank you so much for your time! Clearly I am one of the most inexperienced betta keepers out there, but I'm willing to learn and open for any advice that you would be willing to offer that would help my betta live even longer than he already has.
 
Best,
R. P.
 

Alasse

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I personally would leave water changes until you get the water you normally use, wont hurt overnight
 

Ninjouzata

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rgpenley

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Thank you both so much! I read the care sheet while I was waiting for my question to post and found it super helpful! I was shocked to read that 3 years was the AVERAGE age for a beta and not the maximum. I will definitely be investing in the nicer tank I have had my eye on now and I will keep up with this site in the hopes of learning how to be an even better betta keeper!
 

Ninjouzata

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rgpenley said:
Thank you both so much! I read the care sheet while I was waiting for my question to post and found it super helpful! I was shocked to read that 3 years was the AVERAGE age for a beta and not the maximum. I will definitely be investing in the nicer tank I have had my eye on now and I will keep up with this site in the hopes of learning how to be an even better betta keeper!
Definitely start a journal! (If you want, that is, I'd really love to read it!) And I forget if it is referenced in the care guide or not, but recommend cycling the tank you get, following THIS.
And HERE is a great thread on ammonia sources :)
 

l_l_l

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I'm happy you are not another one of those people who think that Betta fish only live for a year.
You have been given great advice and I'm proud that you will give your Betta a better tank!
 
If you want to, and I suggest it, once you get the tank, you might also look for low light plants, such as anubias and Java Ferns..
The Betta really loves plants and the plants will help you have a better water quality as well.
 
Make sure you have a heater and thermometer as well as Bettas are tropical fish and need water to be at about 26C to thrive.
For the water conditioner, I use PRIME and I really love it. It's easy to use and haven't had a fish loss when using tap water.
I highly suggest you also purchase a Master Test kit as it will help you figure out a lot of issues, if they happen. It will also help you in setting your new tank up once you get it. It's about 25$ for a API master test kit, which is a good beginner kit.
 
Best thing to do when you get back home is to test your tap water with the test kit. The more you know about your tap water, the better you can prevent disasters, and stop spending money on bottled water ;)
 
I'm glad you decided to post here, you will get great advice on this site!
As for the water, you can wait overnight without a problem. I have a Betta fish in an unfiltered tank (setup for treating disease) and do water changes every two days. (90%)
 
When you are ready to switch to tap water (makes it better because you can temp match to your Betta's water) I suggest you go progressively. Maybe like first water change 90% bottled water, 10% treated tap water, then next week 80% 20%, etc.
 
Someone might have better ideas than me tho!
 
Looking forward of seeing more of your posts here!
 
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