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Old 03-11-2013, 05:36 PM   #1 
Kuunsilta
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Question Help with cleaning my new betta's tanks?

I have a male ( Mr. Grumpygills) and female (Pearl) betta in two tanks, and I'm new to bettas.

I've only had them for a couple days ( got them on Saturday) but I thought I should probably change their water today based on posts I've read about water changes. I'm a little under prepared because when I was buying betta stuff it seems water changing kind of didn't cross my mind. I thought it was more like - put fish in bowl, rinse everything out, add new water with chemicals, wait for water temp to match, put fish in tank.
However, it seems a bit more complicated than that.

Pearl is in a 3.5 gallon with a water filter ( that she loves playing in the current, although I thought they liked stiller water) and no heater , and he is in a temp ( a few months until I can get a better one for him) 0.5 gallon with no heater too. Are there any heaters I can get him in such a small tank that they might sell at pet stores? I heard that it's hard to regulate a small tank's temp. They have a thermometer at least >.<

Anyhow. I was kind of surprised with their water. Hers seemed to start getting cloudy the next day while his little thing was clear even though I accidentally dumped more flakes in there than intended and the uneaten ones ended up on the bottom. She had eaten all of her food that I gave her that day ( a couple flakes in the morning, 4 small pellets at night and a blood worm for a "welcome home" treat). He ate all but most of the flakes.

I'm in the process of changing his water as I type. I'm waiting for the water to get to temp and thought I'd post this. I'm doing a 50% change and the stir and dip, I think it's called? I hope it goes well. He had fun chasing my chop stick around while I stirred up the debris from the bottom.

Anyway, the question is that her tank change seems a lot more complicated than his. How would you guys/gals change her tank? Is there anything I need to prepare? Kind of like a "changing a fish tank for dummies" thing. I feel like a dummy >.< ! I guess everyone needs to start somewhere, right? =) Maybe some day I'll be helping another dummy with their new tank!

I'm going to do hers tomorrow once I have the necessary things. One of the things I'm going to pick up is a heater, because the lady at the pet store said room temp should be fine but I read a few posts here that tell me other wise. I guess I should pick up a water testing kit too? How do those work? Are they like dip-sticks to read?

Thanks for reading all of this, and thanks for your time!
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Old 03-11-2013, 06:29 PM   #2 
Kuunsilta
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Anyone? =)
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Old 03-11-2013, 07:43 PM   #3 
Jexx
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You will want to do 50 % for her too. you can do the exact same method as his. just be sure to unplug her filter while changing the water. also make sure to add the conditioner to the water before you add it to their tanks :)
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Old 03-11-2013, 07:44 PM   #4 
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oh and if you are only doing 50% you leave the fish in the tank while you clean.
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Old 03-11-2013, 07:47 PM   #5 
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For the smaller tanks, I've heard great things about Hydor brand heaters. I myself haven't used one, as my tank is a 5 gallon and my small tank, when I had one, was fitted with a terrible heater (avoid a marina c-10, terrible experience.)

You definitely need a heater for sure, Betta's like to stay in the 78-80 degree range.

The water's getting cloudy from over feeding most likely. I usually feed my boy about 1 to 2 pellets a day, 3 on an occasion. Blood worms are a treat reserved for the end of the week.

Instead of stirring debris from the bottom, consider getting a small gravel vac like this one: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Marina-Hagen...5122%26ps%3D54 (Go with Marina and avoid Aqueon when it comes to vacuums. Marina's have a gravel guard that keeps gravel from clogging the feed).

Also do consider getting a water test kit, it takes the guess work out of things and is incredibly useful. Also go with a chemical test kit over the strips, the strips are woefully inaccurate.


Quick Note: Sorry about the original link I posted! I had a friend send me an article because of a shared interest in Christian Apologetics, didn't mean to post that instead of the ebay link for the vacuums. (So embarrassed)

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Old 03-11-2013, 07:47 PM   #6 
Bombalurina
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kuunsilta View Post
I have a male ( Mr. Grumpygills) and female (Pearl) betta in two tanks, and I'm new to bettas.
Welcome to betta keeping. :)

I've only had them for a couple days ( got them on Saturday) but I thought I should probably change their water today based on posts I've read about water changes. I'm a little under prepared because when I was buying betta stuff it seems water changing kind of didn't cross my mind. I thought it was more like - put fish in bowl, rinse everything out, add new water with chemicals, wait for water temp to match, put fish in tank.
However, it seems a bit more complicated than that.
Nope, that's pretty much it for a 100% change. :)

Pearl is in a 3.5 gallon with a water filter ( that she loves playing in the current, although I thought they liked stiller water) and no heater , and he is in a temp ( a few months until I can get a better one for him) 0.5 gallon with no heater too. Are there any heaters I can get him in such a small tank that they might sell at pet stores? I heard that it's hard to regulate a small tank's temp. They have a thermometer at least >.<
I believe there is a 10 or 7.5 watt heater by Marina. Either way, you can pick up a larger bowl or plastic storage tub at a dollar shop for practically nothing - that would be much better as a temporary home. :) Then you could get a proper heater for him too.
Females and plakats sometimes enjoy a little current, as they don't have long fins dragging them down and are consequently pretty good swimmers. :)

Anyhow. I was kind of surprised with their water. Hers seemed to start getting cloudy the next day while his little thing was clear even though I accidentally dumped more flakes in there than intended and the uneaten ones ended up on the bottom. She had eaten all of her food that I gave her that day ( a couple flakes in the morning, 4 small pellets at night and a blood worm for a "welcome home" treat). He ate all but most of the flakes.
If you can, switch on to pellets. They are better for them and won't cloud the water as much. :)

I'm in the process of changing his water as I type. I'm waiting for the water to get to temp and thought I'd post this. I'm doing a 50% change and the stir and dip, I think it's called? I hope it goes well. He had fun chasing my chop stick around while I stirred up the debris from the bottom.
For his little tank, I'd be doing a 100% change every second day. Her tank can get away with one or two 50%s and one 100% per week.

Anyway, the question is that her tank change seems a lot more complicated than his. How would you guys/gals change her tank? Is there anything I need to prepare? Kind of like a "changing a fish tank for dummies" thing. I feel like a dummy >.< ! I guess everyone needs to start somewhere, right? =) Maybe some day I'll be helping another dummy with their new tank!
Absolutely! :)
For a 50% change:
1) Turn off all electrics in the tank (heater, filter, light etc).
2) Use a siphon or turkey baster to suck water and dirt out of the tank and into a clean, dedicated fish-bucket. OR stir up the dirt and scoop the water out with a jug.
3) Get rid of the icky water.
4) Fill the bucket up with clean water from the tap, the same amount you just removed. Treat it with dechlorinator and give it a quick stir.
5) Try to get it the same temperature as the water in the tank.
6) Slowly tip it or siphon it back into the tank.
7) Turn everything back on again.

For a 100% change:
1) Turn off all electrics in the tank (heater, filter, light etc).
2) Remove your fish with some of his old water and place him in a temporary container (be sure to cover it so he can't jump!)
3) Take the tank to a sink and tip all the water out.
4) Give everything a rinse.
5) Refill the tank and dechlorinate it.
6) Plug everything in and let the temperature get back up to the ideal.
7) Gently re-acclimatise your fish as you did when you first got him.

I'm going to do hers tomorrow once I have the necessary things. One of the things I'm going to pick up is a heater, because the lady at the pet store said room temp should be fine but I read a few posts here that tell me other wise. I guess I should pick up a water testing kit too? How do those work? Are they like dip-sticks to read?
Definitely get a heater! People are petshops are usually sadly misinformed.
The best test kits are liquid, not strip ones. API master kit is generally held to be the best. :) It is very simple to use, just follow the instructions. :)

Thanks for reading all of this, and thanks for your time!
Hope this helps!
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Old 03-11-2013, 07:52 PM   #7 
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If you have a filter, you shouldn't have to change the water unless it gets really nasty. If you feel it's gotten to that point, fill a small bowl with about 25% of the water that's already in the tank, transfer her in, and rinse everything. I have a strainer I use, I'll put the rocks and plants in and use the spray nozzle on hot to rinse everything out. Then I'll rinse out the tank. Some people will tell you to acclimate, but I usually just make sure the water is the same temp. Fill it up about 75% and put her and the water in the bowl back into the tank.

I would suggest getting a turkey baster to suck out the uneaten food so it stays clean. And maybe feed her a little less at a time. Pretty soon you'll be able to better gauge how much she can eat in a feeding, for now I would just feed a little at a time.
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Old 03-11-2013, 07:53 PM   #8 
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Bombalurina is right :) my advice was not very thorough sorry!

I had A 3.5 gallon tank once and I found a turkey baster was a life saver as far as cleaning the tank!
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Old 03-11-2013, 08:03 PM   #9 
Kuunsilta
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Thanks everyone for all the replies! They were very helpful! I really appreciate it =)

No problem Lorikeet! I only saw your post after you fixed it!
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Old 03-11-2013, 09:26 PM   #10 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JBonez423 View Post
If you have a filter, you shouldn't have to change the water unless it gets really nasty.
Not true.
A filter (in a cycled tank) converts ammonia into nitrate. Although these are not as deadly as ammonia, high concentrations are still fatal. "Nasty" water is an indication that things have gone too far - by the time there is visible nastiness, nitrate levels are generally far beyond the upper safety limit.
Even with a filter, weekly partial water changes are vital.
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