Hi! I?ve decided to get a male betta as my first fish. I?m either going to get a 5 gallon or 10 gallon aquarium with fluorescent light, Aquaclear filter, heater etc. I?m not sure which size would be better. The counter I?ll put the tank on has a cupboard above it. With the 10 gallon tank, there would be about 5? between the hood and the cupboard. Would this be enough space to easily do maintenance on the tank?
Thats cutting it awfully close. I would want more space than that.
I?ll only start with one male betta: would he be ok in a 10 gallon by himself or would 5 gallons be better? I?m sure I?ll want more bettas eventually? so would two bettas live comfortably in either a divided 5 or 10 gallon tank? I?d get the divider from Big Al?s.
One male Betta in a 10g by himself would be fine. One male in a 5g would also be fine. Two males can also live comfortably in a divided 5g or 10g.
Do you think I could cut their 10 gallon divider to fit the 5 (I?m not sure what the material is like)?
I'm not familiar with their divider. Actually, I've never even had a divided tank. There are easy instructions on how to make cheap dividers on this site though if you are interested.
Also, I would have to transport the bettas home from university and back to my suite again a few times a year. This is only a 1 hour drive. Would I be able to get a 1 gallon plastic tank such as this one http://www.pennplax.com/Images/AQUAscans/Tank%20Kits/WaterworldGfishTank.jpg
and transport the betta in it and keep him in it (without filter or heat) for about 2 weeks?
You should be able to transport a Betta back and forth as long as you do it carefully. Bettas need constant access to fresh air so don't keep them in any sealed containers. You also need to be careful to keep the tempature in the car in the mid 70s and not let it fluctuate too much. Wraping the container in a towel or blanket can help insulate from rapid tempature change and shield it from the sun. That small tank you linked to would probably be fine. There are also an assortment of cheap (but less decorative) 1g and larger food storage containers that I use to house Bettas. You can get 1g squareish fake Tupperware containers for less than a dollar a piece. They come with a shoddy lid that would be easy to poke a small hole in. I have some sturdier Rubbermaid ones that were more expensive (a bank-breaking $2.95 a piece) that are a little taller. There's some 2.5g ones that kinda look like large hand granades also. If you wraped a towl around the Rubbermaid ones they would belt into your passanger seat nicely. Or, throw a T-shirt around it, put a mask and a wig on top and you can make use of the carpool lane.
How often would I have to do 100% water changes in this small tank?
I'm assuming that little tank is about a gallon? 100% changes twice a week should be fine. The safest way to know is to have an ammonia kit on hand. If you test the water every day you'll figure out how many days it takes your fish to dirty up his water. If it takes 6 days for him to produce detectable ammonia, you'll need to change the water every 5 days.