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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So a few of my coworkers decided it was a good idea to set up two small betta tanks in the office. Each tank, I've estimated, holds about 2 gallons, is unheated, unfiltered, and sparsely decorated with fake plants. While temperature is not an issue as the office is well-maintained at ~70F, the small tank size and no filter is an issue for me. Since the guys that set up the tanks do not work every day of the week, I don't know how regular the bettas are fed (perhaps too much on some days, and not at all on others). I have noticed that the weak LED lights above the tanks are not on a regular schedule, e.g., one tank's lights were completely off for the whole day. I have observed a small water conditioning bottle near one of the tanks, so I believe they are at least treating the tap before filling. But water changes? Top-offs? No clue what these guys are doing. Of course both tanks are uncycled as they were bought and set up within one day. These bettas are not in horrible conditions, but neither are they in ideal ones.

I hate to see fish wither away from poor care, but they're not my fish nor my responsibility.

What would you do about this, if anything at all?
 

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The temp is a concern - 70 degrees is on the chilly side for a betta. The lighting is not a huge deal as it's mainly used for viewing the fish or growing plants. Keeping them in an unfiltered tank is do-able as long as enough water changes are being done to keep the ammonia reading at 0. If you're that concerned why not volunteer to care for the fish yourself? Wouldn't take more than a few minutes a week to properly maintain the tanks.

But again - they really should have a heater.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The temp is a concern - 70 degrees is on the chilly side for a betta. The lighting is not a huge deal as it's mainly used for viewing the fish or growing plants. Keeping them in an unfiltered tank is do-able as long as enough water changes are being done to keep the ammonia reading at 0. If you're that concerned why not volunteer to care for the fish yourself? Wouldn't take more than a few minutes a week to properly maintain the tanks.

But again - they really should have a heater.
You're right about the temperature; it should be in the mid-70s. I haven't tested the water for ammonia, but I really doubt those guys are doing regular water changes. If it were my own betta, I would take care of it. Those guys bought their fish, and those fish are on their desks that I happen to sit across from. I'm not going to become their pets' sitter. I guess I'm going to have to have a talk with them. Reasoning with the tough, young pseudo-cops of my office. That'll be pleasant. :icon_neut
 

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That's why I suggested maybe offering to take care of them - might be eaiser in the long run. But maybe you can bring in a test kit and explain it to them and test it with them - they may be impressed by the science of it and at the same time if you get an ammonia reading they can see for themselves that they need to do more maintenance.
 

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I'd talk to them, drop the idea that a standard 5g tank will have more options for decor/easy plants. In turn the 5g would reduce required maintenance, which may be attractive to them. Maybe print them out a betta care sheet, I remember there being a good one on ultimatebetta.com.

Good luck, the puddle myth has been prevalent for so long, it's hard to convince people otherwise.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
That's why I suggested maybe offering to take care of them - might be eaiser in the long run. But maybe you can bring in a test kit and explain it to them and test it with them - they may be impressed by the science of it and at the same time if you get an ammonia reading they can see for themselves that they need to do more maintenance.
So they bought the fish just for me to take care of them? *sigh* Or I can steal them, take them home, make 'em nice and happy, and hope the guys don't buy more. I'd rather educate them than be nanny to their ignorance.

I can bring in a test kit and test the water, see how crappy it is.

We all know keeping an aquarium requires regular maintenance, but I'm sure these guys thought that after filling the thing with water, they could just sit back and watch the fish swim back and forth 6 inches. How relaxing.

As far as the heater goes - if the temp is the building is consistent then a cheap non-adjustable 7 watt or so heater would do for those sized tanks. Like this

http://www.marinedepot.com/ps_viewi...hild=HD00927&gclid=CLqHocWxt7QCFQqk4AodTiQAOA

or this:

http://www.petsmart.com/product/ind...ferralID=5b5b8fbc-4f21-11e2-8751-001b2166c2c0
I hope I can convince them to get heaters. One guy was already complaining how the whole setup cost him a whopping $60.

I'd talk to them, drop the idea that a standard 5g tank will have more options for decor/easy plants. In turn the 5g would reduce required maintenance, which may be attractive to them. Maybe print them out a betta care sheet, I remember there being a good one on ultimatebetta.com.

Good luck, the puddle myth has been prevalent for so long, it's hard to convince people otherwise.
The desks the tanks currently are on would probably not support a 5g; it's those fake desks attached to cubicle walls type thing. A care sheet might be helpful. We'll see if they actually care enough to even try to meet the requirements and do some maintenance on their tanks.
 

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If you don't want to become their tank sitter, then I'd simply print out a care instruction sheet, place it on top of the tank, and then forget about it. They're either the type to listen and learn, or they're the type to change nothing. If you don't mind becoming the tank sitter, then you could buy them a couple cheap heaters, and change the water on those days they're not in the office.

The preferred method, of course, is just to talk to them and see what they know, and see if they're willing to learn. Maybe show them some pics of your tank or what you consider to be some nice betta tanks, and let them see the possibilities with their own eyes. Who knows, it could become an office hobby....
 

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In my opinion, people don't like to read things. Maybe you could approach and say, "Hey, I noticed you have a betta tank. I also keep fish but I've always found it hard to maintain small tanks like these without frequent, regular maintenance." Then maybe you can persuade them to open up and talk about how they're caring for their tanks now and then squeeze in some things they should be doing. You can say something like, "When I had a small tank like this, I did x, y, and z." Then the conversation can be more like sharing instead of lecturing. To address the heater issue: "One problem with small tanks is that the water temperature can change rapidly, which isn't good for fish. I would recommend getting a small heater. I can recommend some brands/types you can easily get." I wouldn't bring in a test kit right off the bat without a conversation first.
 

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First of all cycling is essential and necessary to be done. Filtration should be done quickly, it will start affecting the fish. Proper feeding to be done in a correct way. The lighting part should be taken care of a temperature is a factor.
 

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I can't tell you how many people I've insulted by offering to take their bettas in these conditions. They get offended by my implication that they aren't caring for their fish properly. Which they aren't. But I'm always nice and say I'll check back and if they ever want to find another home I'm available. At the very least you could humanely euthanize the fish rather than watching them die a slow death.

And your caring for the fish isn't fair but it's the humane thing to do for the fish. I know, it sucks.
 
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