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Old 05-14-2013, 12:21 AM   #21 
ANHEL123
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He looks healthy and very beautiful! Get siphon as soon as you can if you decide to keep the filter. You need to get those debris out from under the gravel. The brown dot probably was his poo.
For 2.5 gall you need to do Twice weekly-1-50% water only and 1-50% with vacuuming.

If the filter "all-in-one" cartridge that is filter floss with carbon inside, just rinse it once a week in tank water or dechlorinated water. Most of the filters use those kind of cartridges. If the cartridge becomes too old or starts to fall apart, put a new cartridge in the filter but keep the old one behind it for a week and monitor for ammonia spikes.
When you vacuum-Unplug both the filter and heater-Then plunge the vacuum deep into the substrate and as the mulm/debris clear in a second or two-move and repeat.
Once you refill with like temp dechlorinated water and turn the filter back on the water should clear within the hour-even without a filter the water should clear. If not, you either missed a water change, over feeding or overstocked.

I don't cycle my tanks what i just wrote came from other people instruction. Just want to give you idea what you need to do.
Yes its a few ways to do water changes . You can use the filer and you need to cycle the tank, which i think you don't need it for 2.5 gall and especially that you not experience with it.
Second choice you don't need the filer and you can just do also two water changes(1-50% and 1-100% a week). In this method you don't need to vacuum the gravel .
But if you want filter you have him for about 11 days you need to get siphon as soon as possible to get all debris out. I don't think it healthy to keep it there. You really don't see what under the gravel.
Whenever you buy anything live including the plant always quarantine it first. If you going to get live plant put it in the water with no water conditioner for a few weeks.

And if you will decide to keep the filter you also will need to wipe the walls not sure how often since i don't have the filters in my tanks. But i think the link that you was given has those explanation.
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Old 05-14-2013, 12:10 PM   #22 
LittleBlueFishlets
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Hi Emma,

I was asked to take a look at this thread. I see people have given you a lot of information. You asked about cycling a small tank....

Personally, I don't try to cycle small tanks. It doesn't take much for the cycle to crash, and when it does, it can harm the health of the fish. For me, it's just easier to do two water changes per week: one 100% and one 50%.

If you want to keep the filter, you can follow OFL's water change recommendation, which is that a 1-4 gal tank with a filter requires: "Twice weekly-1-50% water only and 1-50% with substrate cleaning by vacuum or stir and dip method. Filter media needs a swish/rinse in old tank water a couple of times a month." (Link is here.)

If you don't have a vacuum or siphon, you can do the "stir and dip" that OFL mentions, but personally, I prefer having my tanks cleaner than this. (I feel like stir and dip leaves too much "stuff" in my tanks.)

Another option for creating a cycled tank is to set up a Natural Planted Tank (NPT), with lots of live plants. If you're willing to do this, the NPT tanks can look really good. Here's a link to a good thread: How to: Natural Planted Tank.

You could also consider a sponge filter. Beneficial bacteria builds up on the sponge, which helps maintain good water quality. You'd still do one 100% and one 50% water change per week, but just give the sponge a quick squeeze so that it keeps its beneficial bacteria. Here's a link to a great thread about using sponge filters: What is a sponge filter?
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Old 05-15-2013, 12:39 AM   #23 
EmmaBlake
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I really appreciate everyone's help!

I have decided to keep the filter and do 2 50% water changes weekly using a vacuum once a week, I ordered a vacuum along with some other things from amazon and they should be here Friday. I am going to do the stir and dip method until the vacuum arrives, I am also going to get a few more plants when I have the money.
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Old 05-15-2013, 04:26 PM   #24 
ANHEL123
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Don't forget to quarantine the new plants in the water without water conditioner for about 2 wks before you put it in the tank. And rinse the filter media:)
Good luck!
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Old 05-15-2013, 07:58 PM   #25 
VJM
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Just as a plug, I do one 50% water change per week ( it could be less, I am just paranoid) with a cycled NPT. That's it. Vacuum the substrate lightly while siphoning and good to go. Takes about 5 minutes per tank.
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Old 05-16-2013, 09:17 PM   #26 
EmmaBlake
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Thanks for all the info..I have a few questions because I didn't quarantine my first plant before I put it in the tank. I did a bleach dip and made sure it didn't smell like bleach before I put it in the tank, is it bad that I didn't quarantine it? what are the benefits to quarantining?

Also when I did my 50% water change today I put Marvin (I named him!) into his little cup for the water change and he was very angry for the first time in the cup..when I was floating him he would thrash himself against the bottom of the cup like he was trying to break through the cup. and he continued to do this until I finally just put him in his tank..I was worried he would hurt himself so I put him in the tank after only about 3 minutes floating but I always make sure the new and old water temps are the same before I add new water so I think its fine. Anyone have their betta do this and will they ever hurt themselves? Mine was very worked up and breathing hard. I'm sure it was stressful for him.
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Old 05-17-2013, 06:53 AM   #27 
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I Leave mine in the tank for water changes. Less stress for everybody.
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Old 05-17-2013, 07:41 AM   #28 
Taeanna
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Bettas have a jumping instinct. When they get into a tight corner or are otherwise way too optimistic for their own good they will try to leap into the wild blue yonder in search of a better home.
My own boy has thankfully never jumped...but he DOES have a tantrum when the cup comes out for cleaning day. Likely little Marvin loves his new home so much he was angry about having to sit still and wait.
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Old 05-17-2013, 02:40 PM   #29 
ANHEL123
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I know if you quarantine for a few weeks in the water it will kill any parasites , no host they die. Not sure if quarantining can kill bacteria or fungus. I know completely dry out will kill a lot of bacteria.
I though that you need to keep plants in the water for a while though after you disinfected with bleach. Hopefully no bleach left and you rinse it well . I would think it it would be something wrong your betta would be already sick. So you did a good job.
I found this instructions from someone on this forum lilnaugrim and just want to put them for you , even though you already did it:) I actually learning right now. I was so afraid to recommend to bleach dip plants to other people. So now since you did it and your betta is fine i know i can recommend it to other people. So there is instructions from lilnaugrim:
You can bleach Live plants. What you do is just a dip.
Make the 1 parts bleach 19 parts water solution in one container.
Turn the plant upside down, or so that no roots get into the mixture.
Hold plant in for 30 seconds (Some of the more delicate plants will not survive without melting, so be careful which plants you put into this)
After 30 seconds, take out and rinse under tap water.
Place into a Container of Aquarium Temp. Tap water to sit for a while.
You can QT these plants for a day up to two weeks, depending on the severity of the disease or if you just want to be safe :)
I believe you have to acclimate them like you would fish to go back into the aquarium so they don't melt as badly, it is still possible they will melt though, it depends on the plant.
And voila, you've now disinfected your plants!
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