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Old 03-12-2013, 09:39 PM   #1 
camille0119
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Cleaning Gravel?

I just got a pack of gravel from Petsmart a few days ago. After rinsing the gravel with warm water and levelling it into my betta's tank, I'm now wondering how am I going to properly clean it out when I do a water change.
When doing a 100 water change, do I have to remove the gravel or leave it in the tank and wash it in there? Is there a safe and proper way to clean out the gravel?
Do I also have to use a fish net to scoop out the betta's waste and unwanted food?
I have a small tank, so I don't need a vacuum for it.
Thanks, I hope I can get some help here
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Old 03-12-2013, 10:36 PM   #2 
RiceFish
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How many gallons is your tank?

There is never really any need to do 100% water changes unless it's less than 5 gallons with no filter or live plants which according to OFL is twice weekly with one 50% water and one 100% change.

After you place the gravel the first time you never need to take out the gravel again. With a small tank less than 5 gallon you can use a turkey baster. Stir up the gravel and suck up any betta waste or unwanted food
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Old 03-12-2013, 11:42 PM   #3 
camille0119
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This tank is a temporary 1 gallon with no fliter nor live plants.
Also, where would I be able to get a turkey baster? Silly question, I know.. :)
Just wondering as well - if I were to stir the gravel, would it be safe if the betta was still kept in the tank? I'm worried that if I stir the gravel, the water would get all dirty and cloudy.
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Old 03-12-2013, 11:56 PM   #4 
KnzD
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I have a small tank (2.5 gallons) and I do 50-75% water changes every 3 days and I do 100% water changes every 3 weeks. I have no live plants but I have a filter running 24/7.

A good way to keep a clean tank is to not overfeed your fish. I personally feed my fish 4 pellets once a day and on the odd days I feed him bloodworms. A good idea is to be present during the feeding to remove any excess food if necessary. Supervised feeding takes about 1 minute out of your day.

Even if the tank is small, vacuuming is a good idea. You do not need to purchase a "gravel vacuum"; all you need is some clear plastic tubing (so you can see what you suck up) of about 1cm (half inch) diameter. I vacuum with every 50-75% water change and it helps reduce waste and make the tank cleaner. A good idea is to not put too much gravel in your tank so you do not have as much to clean and so there is less space for the dirt/waste to hold on too.

When I do a 100% water change I like to take everything including the gravel and the tank itself and to rinse it with warm water. I usually take out the gravel and put it in a sieve to rinse it out over the sink with warm water.

I have been doing this for about 2 months now and I have had no adverse effects. It takes very little time and is an easy routine to master. My fish is healthy, the water in my tank is always clear and there is no "fishy" smell coming from my aquarium.

I hope that helps!
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Old 03-13-2013, 12:00 AM   #5 
KnzD
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camille0119 View Post
This tank is a temporary 1 gallon with no fliter nor live plants.
Also, where would I be able to get a turkey baster? Silly question, I know.. :)
Just wondering as well - if I were to stir the gravel, would it be safe if the betta was still kept in the tank? I'm worried that if I stir the gravel, the water would get all dirty and cloudy.
The best place to find stuff like turkey basters and sieves is in a dollar store, such as Dollarama here in Canada. It's cheap and gets the job done. No need to spend more than a few dollars instead of going to a kitchen supply store.
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Old 03-13-2013, 12:13 AM   #6 
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Thanks so much for the helpful advice! I'll be bookmarking this as a reference. I never thought about getting some clear plastic tubing. I'll try it out. Thanks again :)
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