Keeping a betta at work is a tad bit different than your betta at home. For one you have to consider water changes are more “timely” and “watched” by others as well as feeding and care.
Feeding is a large issue because one – if you are not there, who will feed him? two – what if someone is feeding him and you don’t know? We all know the latter of the two can cause some serious problems.
Of course it is easy to get the food but sometimes you have to lock it away from people who might not be aware of the problems overfeeding can cause. If you have a locking desk, do so. If you have your own office and can lock it – take advantage of it. If you are in a cubicle and your desk does not lock – politely put a cute little sign next to him saying “Please do not feed me. My mommy does that for me.” and be sure the food is out of sight of any other person who might happen by. However, because you might want to take a vacation, educate those around you on bettas – get them interested, then you will have a stand in should you be gone for more than 3 days.
Speaking of gone for 3 days – what about weekends you ask?
Weekends are actually not as detrimental as you may think. It can be healthy for a betta to skip a meal or two a week because it can help prevent the onset of constipation. Because you guy will only eat 5 days out of the week, he will have two days to “clean out” his system and start fresh.
Treat foods are less harmful of the protein because he has this time. Feeding suggestion would be from Monday – Tuesday have normal feeding schedules. On Friday, do a breakfast, lunch then a 3 pellet dinner before you leave. Never leave your betta more than 3 days without having someone scheduled to feed him after that. If you must, take him to another office of a fellow betta owner. Look for them – they are out there!
As for water changes, you have to consider that many people are restricted to a 15 minute break and half hour lunch. This is the time to have aged water under your desk. How does the water get aged – use a gallon milk jug that has been cleaned thoroughly and fill it with water. Keep your conditioner and aquarium salt in your desk. Treat the water and slide it under the desk.
Now – either come in before work, stay later or use your lunch to do the water changes. If you have a small 1 gallon tank, you could probably get away with using a 15 minute break. In order for people to accept you having this little guy on your desk, make sure they know you will not be cutting into work time to care for him. They will have a higher appreciation for your betta love.
If you betta should get sick, you will more than likely not have medicine on hand. I do not. I do, however, have a person at home that can bring me something if it is urgent. In a case where you do not have this type of person, you might want to get some Jungle Fungus Eliminator or Maracyn II.
Tank size is important. You will want to have a gallon or bigger for the health of the betta but you want to keep it under control! A 10 gallon tank on a cubicle desk is not going to leave much working room. As the betta lover, you might not see anything wrong with this – but as a manager/supervisor, you might have a problem!
Keep in mind that there are other people that do not know much about bettas and could feed them (we all know they are great beggars!) and that you will have to keep your water changes regular like any other betta.. if you keep this in mind when putting together a work tank, you should have no problems rearing a happy, healthy betta at your work place.