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Old 11-08-2012, 08:27 PM   #1 
carbonxxkidd
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1.8-2 gal tank question...

Hi everyone!

I have had bettas my entire life, always in pretty small bowls (I didn't know what I know now). I currently have two bettas, Scully, who is pretty ill right now, and Krycek, the newbie. Scully is in a brand new 5gal tank, with a heater, filter, thermometer, and a few plants. I'm hoping he will make a full recovery - he has a nasty case of fin/body rot. Krycek is in Scully's old tank, a 1.8-2gal with an under-gravel filter, a plant, leaf hammock, and a super tiny heater that is keeping the tank at 80F. I probably shouldn't have gotten a second betta, when my first is so ill, but I saw him at Petsmart and just fell in love.

Here's my question - because Krycek is in such a small tank, I know I need to do frequent water changes. I have been doing 25-50% with a gravel vacuum two to three times a week, but I am wondering if I should be doing a 100% change too? I'm not really sure how the undergravel filter really works, theoretically if the gravel is vacuumed well, then it will work and keep the tank clean, but because it is so small I'm not sure if this is sufficient. I was thinking about dividing my 5gal once Scully is feeling better, but for now Krycek has to be in the smaller tank and I want him to be happy. So far, he seems to be doing well but I just want to make sure he doesn't get sick! Scully was sick when I got him, I think, and I didn't keep up on cleaning his tank (he got a 100% water change every couple weeks when the tank got really green, didn't have a gravel vac at the time, I wasn't a very good betta owner ) and so he just got worse and worse before I even realized what was happening (I thought he was just getting old). I feel terrible and don't want to make the same mistake again. Advice would be greatly appreciated!

Last edited by carbonxxkidd; 11-08-2012 at 08:40 PM.
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Old 11-08-2012, 08:30 PM   #2 
LeoTheLakerBetta
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Well for that size of a tank, your minimum should be 2 water changes a week. The minimum would be 1 50% change and 1 100% change. I Like doing 2 100% but I guess it's just my preference.

Gravel vacuums really just suck up water and also suck up most particles that foul up the water. As long as your sticking it into the gravel and it's sucking water out, you are probably doing the right thing. Hope that helps lol.
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Old 11-08-2012, 08:38 PM   #3 
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Right. I'm just confused with the undergravel filter, if that affects how much I should clean? Or if 100% water changes are still necessary with the undergravel filter? I don't mind vacuuming out the gravel everyday to keep the filter working properly if I have to, but 100% water changes are just kind of a pain if I don't really need to be doing them...you know?
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Old 11-08-2012, 08:46 PM   #4 
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Yeah I know what you mean; I would go for 100% with an undergravel because unlike other filters, an undergravel one doesn't suck up all the bad particles.
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Old 11-08-2012, 08:57 PM   #5 
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Okay, I will start doing a 100% change once a week then. Thanks :)
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Old 11-08-2012, 08:58 PM   #6 
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In those small tanks, the undergravel filters are actually pretty useless. I even set one up in my old 33g turtle tank years ago and it sucked.
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Old 11-08-2012, 09:02 PM   #7 
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I've never had experience with an undergravel filter before this one, but that doesn't surprise me.

Do you think it would be better if I just removed the filter all together when I clean it next, or is the bubbler beneficial to the fish?
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Old 11-08-2012, 09:03 PM   #8 
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Bettas breathe oxygen from the surface with their labrynth organ. They don't need a bubbler :)
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Old 11-08-2012, 09:06 PM   #9 
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Touche. Wasn't sure if the water movement was necessary either.

On the plus side, I have hopes for a bubble nest after the filter is removed! It's basically impossible for him to make one right now.
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Old 11-08-2012, 09:20 PM   #10 
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Yeah usually for that size tank with a filter you would need to do 2 50% changes a week. One with a gravel vac and one water only. But I have heard bad things about under gravel filters so to be on the safe side I would do 1 50% and 1 100%

EDIT: sorry just read the rest. Yeah just remove the filter.
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