Welp. Figured I'd get that answer, and it's basically true. It's only when /my/ fish die, that my parents get onto me (and I'm somewhat convinced it's because they're more expensive than a "simple" betta).
-how about one of those peppermint angels? I heard they're about .001% the price of a real one! We basically agreed that it's "my" tank, but she gets to do what she wishes with it (basically, make her brother do all the menial work while she makes me do all the water changes and enjoy the look). The tank's on her desk, and is basically a paperweight, so adding a bubbler wouldn't work.
-she doesn't want another tank, bigger or smaller. There's a perfectly nice 10 gallon tank, that I'd be perfectly willing to make into a SE Asian biotope (think boraras, the betta, and mini loaches), but nope, she just wants the 2.5 gallon because it "fits on my desk." I could make her a perfectly wonderful tank...if she'd let me.
, basically yes. It's only exacerbated by the fact that bettas live for a year in those poor conditions, and I took such good care of them that they'd last even longer, so they're all convinced that the betta will live just as long in dark, cold conditions...
, neither she nor my parents are willing to even read about the nitrogen cycle. Before the 2.5 gallon tank, the bettas would live in either a glass bowl, or a kritter keeper. She's actually as old as you are (15) and my parents and I still take care of and play with her dog (even though I've got allergies!). Thankfully(maybe?) she's in biology, so she should be learning about the nitrogen cycle (willing or not). I gave her test strips to test the water with...the container's still full.