Hi everyone! I'm sorry if these questions are beyond basic, but I'm totally new to fish care! I am planning on getting a betta, got this
tank and nothing else yet (waiting till at least next weekend so it's not all on the same paycheck.) I have a few questions about cycling (I'm planning on a fishless cycle once I get the substrate, heater, decorations, etc.) and filtering my new 5g tank.
1) I've heard conflicting reports on how much water to change. I read somewhere a cycled filtered 5g should have a 50% water change weekly. Read in a few places it should be 25% weekly. That aquarium calculator thing recommended 8% weekly. So what's best?
2) I read about how often to test parameters, but I'm not sure exactly WHEN. Should it be on the same day as the water change? If so, should it be before the water is changed, after, or both?
3) I read somewhere else on the forum about not needing to change the filter every two weeks like the directions say. That was exciting because I don't want to buy tons of filters! So it's okay to just reuse (with ocassional rinsing) this
The filter also comes with this "Bio fiber" thing; the instructions say never to clean or replace the bio fiber. So is this thing going to hold bacteria to keep up the cycle? Or should I still put part of the old filter in with the new one when it is time to change the filter?
4) I'd like to add a live plant, but since I have no experience with aquariums in general, I'm not sure if I'm ready for the upkeep of plants. Do all plants require a CO2 diffuser or are there any kinds I can just put in there as is and not have to really worry about?
Sorry for all the newbie questions! I just want to make sure I'm doing everything right so I can give my future fish the best possible environment! Thanks to anyone who actually read through that long mess!
I'm sorry if these questions are really basic, but everything I know about keeping bettas, I've found online but I haven't really been able to find anything addressing these specifics. I just want to make sure my fish is happy and healthy and I'm doing everything right!