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Old 08-02-2013, 12:44 AM   #181 
FirstBetta
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Thank you, OFL. Your instruction is one of the most logical I've ever seen, Thanks again.
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Old 08-24-2013, 04:59 PM   #182 
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Just read through this whole thread- I learned a lot! Also kept me from making some mistakes. I saw somewhere else for a filtered 5gal (no plants) to do a 100% WC every month (on top of 50% WC every week), but reading through this I see that would be bad for the bacteria.

So if I wanted to give my tank a good cleaning- mainly take out and rinse down all the gravel to get all the crap out- would it be okay if I siphoned out all of the water, poured 50% of old tank water back in once it's cleaned, then put in the new 50% as usual? I'm thinking by reading OFL's words of wisdom that I could do that and clean the gravel one month, then the next month clean the decor and/or walls of the tank. But not both the gravel and decor or walls to preserve the bacteria balance. Does that sound alright, or am I off?

Thanks :)
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Old 08-25-2013, 02:03 AM   #183 
Hallyx
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The life of the nitrifying bacteria and their spread in your tank is a little more complicated than that, Mermaid.

First o all, OFL's water change protocol is for uncycled tanks and no test kit. If you're concerned with bacteria, I assume you're cycling your tank. Good; that's best for the stock.

In that case, I highly recommend your get a liquid water test kit (API from Amazon for ~$20). Don't clean anything ---especially your filter media-- until your tank is cycled. This will happen automatically. You should test your water every other day or so to ensure your ammonia does not rise >0.25ppm. For the rest of the details of fish-in cycling, read this: http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/b...ecific-107771/

Also read the other stickies about cycling for a better understanding of the nitrogen cycle.

A cycled tank is not just for the convenience of the keeper, but for the health and safety of the fish.
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Old 08-25-2013, 02:05 AM   #184 
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The life of the nitrifying bacteria and their spread in your tank is a little more complicated than that, Mermaid.

First of all, OFL's water change protocol is for uncycled tanks and no test kit. If you're concerned with bacteria, I assume you're cycling your tank. Good; that's best for the stock.

In that case, I highly recommend your get a liquid water test kit (API from Amazon for ~$20). Don't clean anything ---especially your filter media-- until your tank is cycled. This will happen automatically. You should test your water every other day or so to ensure your ammonia does not rise >0.25ppm. For the rest of the details of fish-in cycling, read this: http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/b...ecific-107771/

Also read the other stickies about cycling for a better understanding of the nitrogen cycle.

A cycled tank is not just for the convenience of the keeper, but for the health and safety of the fish.
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Old 08-25-2013, 01:03 PM   #185 
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I have a 3.5 gallon tank, heated, filtered, with live plants and Marimo. I'll do a 50% water change once a week with water conditioner and enviro-clean. I've had the water tested at Petsmart once a week and will keep doing that. So far they've said everything is fine. I'm using a turkey baster to clean up debris, but will be investing in a siphon vacuum to clean up the mess in the rocks.
Does this sound appropriate? I last changed his water last Sunday (I'm making it a Sunday thing) and I noticed this morning, pre-water change, a little tear in his dorsal fin. He is very healthy, happy and inquisitive otherwise. I taught him to jump for bloodworms from my hand! :)
The basic question is: is a 50% water change once a week for a filtered tank with live plants sufficient?
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Old 08-25-2013, 02:06 PM   #186 
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Spadepixie-IMO/E-yes-50% weekly with or without light vacuum in a planted tank with or without a filter should maintain water quality in a 3.5gal with a single Betta-provided that the plants are actively growing.

Winged Mermaid-With filtered tanks with and without live plants IMO/E don't need 100% water changes. Unfiltered tanks with plants don't need 100% either IMO/E-Regardless of nitrogen cycle stage you don't want to make 100%-with that said-remember very little BB are in the water column itself and making water only changes generally doesn't hurt your cycle-Lots of things can vary too...

The nitrogen cycle or water changes doesn't have to be made to sound so complicated or difficult nor do you need a lot of expensive items to establish the nitrogen cycle/maintain an aquarium for a Betta IMO/E-
Lots and lots of different ways to reach the same goals and while fish keeping isn't an exact science-by understanding the science behind the nitrogen cycle can help make it less intimidating to the average Betta keeper IMO only....
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Old 08-25-2013, 03:28 PM   #187 
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You are the best for paying such attention to this thread, and answering questions personally. Your knowledge and expertise are sincerely appreciated from this Betta newbie. :)
Oh, and I like your doggie.
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Old 08-25-2013, 04:07 PM   #188 
Winged Mermaid
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Thanks for the replies! I understand the nitrogen cycle. I just want to know what the best suggestion would be for giving the gravel a good cleaning every once in a while. I know that you can have things too clean, that there's a needed balance there, but we all know how dirty the gravel can get, even with a gravel vac or the stir and dip method (what I'm doing now).

I'm taking cycled and uncycled directions into account because I'm not sure if my tank is cycled yet. I've had it 3 1/2 weeks but used Tetra Safe Start, and haven't ordered my test kit (I plan on ordering that and a gravel vac this week, and am keeping a close eye on my betta for any signs of distress in the mean time). The want to clean the walls or decor is mostly just my minor OCD-ness kicking in haha ;) So I can forget that. But I would like to know thoughts on a once in a while complete gravel cleaning. Especially once I get a snail.. I hear they're poop machines! O_O It sounds like my previously posted idea isn't sufficient due to not enough bacteria being in the water column though. Thanks OFL for clearing that particular part up :) Any suggestions for the gravel issue are most welcome!
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Old 08-26-2013, 02:23 PM   #189 
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A good deal of your BB reside in the substrate (gravel in your case). The BB are sticky and adhere to the substrate, walls, décor, etc. So the vacuuming should not interfere with the cycle.
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Old 08-27-2013, 11:40 AM   #190 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadepixie View Post
You are the best for paying such attention to this thread, and answering questions personally. Your knowledge and expertise are sincerely appreciated from this Betta newbie. :)
Oh, and I like your doggie.
Your welcome, however, it has been made very clear by some of the moderators that I am no longer welcome here. This will be my last post as I am sure I will be banned after this anyway......Too bad the new owner puts up with this type of childish behavior.....

Good luck everyone....
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