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Old 01-05-2014, 05:55 PM   #1 
Brennaamorgann
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Water Testing and other questions.

Sorry for yet another post! I hope I'm not getting annoying. I have a few updates and questions.

As some of you know, my Betta boy Louie was brought home from Petsmart yesterday. Last night I ran to walmart at 12 a.m due to freezing water, and I'm happy to say the water is pretty nice now and Louie seems a lot more happy. He is moving around (a little) bit more.

This morning he wouldn't eat but a few hours ago he did eat two pellets. Tomorrow I will give him a fast so we can start Tuesday off with a fresh eating schedule.

I also wanted to know if it's normal for a shy betta? I'm sure he's still getting used to his new home, but all Bettas I've seen before in person would follow your finger if you trail it along outside (not touching the glass though..) or come up and "peck" your finger if you dip it in the water. Louie does not, he will look at you for a second, and slowly back away. He hasn't flared at all and only likes to sit on his leaf and behind the tank filter? I've seen him hang around his heater also. He hasn't made any bubble nests either, is that a sign that he isn't happy or there's just no reason to? Lol.

That makes me think of another thing, water testing? I have nothing to test the water with and have no money currently to get something that will test the water (though if it's a must need object I will gladly get one whenever I get him his 5 gallon tank.) I DID treat the water with conditioner on Friday though. He was put in the tank Saturday, a little less than 24 hours since the filter had been running.

and last but not least, changing the water. How and when should I do this? The tank is a 1.5 gallon, and let me be honest, I'm scared to death to change the water. When putting louie in the tank, the person helping me transition him dropped him on the floor (or rather, Louie flopped out/jumped out of his petsmart bowl.). I quickly scooped him up and gently put him in the tank. Ever since then he's been okay.. I just think it shook him up a bit. but I don't want that incident happening again, he's a very jumpy fish...
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Old 01-05-2014, 10:39 PM   #2 
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Would really appreciate some help. I don't want my little guy to be bored and scared of me!
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Old 01-05-2014, 10:53 PM   #3 
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Your description would fit my Yankee to a T. I've had him for about 6 months and he has never flared even with me trying to provoke him.
He spends his time patrolling his 5.4 G home or hiding in the live plants or behind the sponge filter. He'll come to the front of the tank when I come to the tank. If I put my finger up to the wall of the tank he'll come to the spot then back off and wander off. When I fed him some thawed bloodworms with a tweezer he rushed and hit the tweezer so hard that I felt the bang.
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Old 01-05-2014, 11:11 PM   #4 
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My boy Jude never flared or made bubblenests in his life, so it's not necessarily a sign of anything. My mom's boy will flare, but hasn't built bubblenests in the six months we've had him. My girls on the other hand will all flare, and I had one build a bubblenest, laid eggs and put them up into it! They're all different. :3

It sounds like your boy is still shaken up by his new tank and the fall, so I'd leave the lights dim and let him be for another day or two. Maybe turn off the filter if he seems bothered by it, or look into baffling it.

For water changes I'd suggest doing every other day 50% changes for a week or so, to keep the water clean but not stress him by taking him out. Use a siphon or cup to take out the old water (And any waste you can see), then slowly add new water that matches in temperature. After about a week either do a 100% change and start on a regular schedule. Since you don't have the money for a test kit you'll need to do frequent water changes, and I personally wouldn't recommend trying to cycle his tank. It may happen naturally, but in such a small tank it's unlikely anyway.

Old Fish Lady's water change recommendations for a tank your size: "1-4gal with a filter: 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." If you're not planning on cycling, I personally would do a 100% change once or twice a month as well.
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Old 01-05-2014, 11:43 PM   #5 
Brennaamorgann
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With 50% changes do I just put half the recommended amount of conditioner?
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Old 01-05-2014, 11:54 PM   #6 
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You always want to dose for the volume of water that you are using, so if you are using only half a gallon you'd only need half a dose. However, your tank is close enough to 2g that a 50% change would be about a gallon, so I'd use the full dose. Conditioner is cheap and hard to overdose, so there's little harm in going over a little bit.
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Old 01-06-2014, 12:35 AM   #7 
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Water testing isn't necessary if you're doing plenty of water changes, but if you're curious or worried about your water quality, Petsmart and Petco will test your water for free.
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Old 01-06-2014, 01:35 AM   #8 
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Update, his water was already cloudy so insteady changing it tomorrow I went ahead and did it tonight. Since I don't own a vacuum (yet) I just stirred the gravel with my hand and used his petsmart cup to get half the water out. The water looks much better and he's swimming around nicely. Thanks everyone! It wasn't as hard as I thought it would be.
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