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Old 06-11-2010, 11:05 PM   #1 
LucyLoofa
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Question Recommendations on water changes for a 5 Gallon.

I have a five gallon that will be home to a very jumpy " racecar " fish.
(again)
I need advice on how much and how often I should change the water.
I'm thinking of buying glass stones for the bottom to replace the gravel to make this process easier and was wondering if there was anything else that would help make his routine water changes a slight bit simpler.
Should I cycle it?
Plants?
A certain light?
Tank additives? (
I don't want anything too harsh or chemical for him, and it needs to be able to work in sync with the Carbon Aquatech 5-15 filter I have for him.)
Maybe some shrimp?
I definitely don't want any sort of sucker fish, they get too large too fast for their own good or the good of the tank.
Any and all suggestions would be nice.
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Old 06-11-2010, 11:59 PM   #2 
Mizzle
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LucyLoofa View Post
I have a five gallon that will be home to a very jumpy " racecar " fish.
(again)
I need advice on how much and how often I should change the water.
I'm thinking of buying glass stones for the bottom to replace the gravel to make this process easier and was wondering if there was anything else that would help make his routine water changes a slight bit simpler.
Should I cycle it?
Plants?
A certain light?
Tank additives? (
I don't want anything too harsh or chemical for him, and it needs to be able to work in sync with the Carbon Aquatech 5-15 filter I have for him.)
Maybe some shrimp?
I definitely don't want any sort of sucker fish, they get too large too fast for their own good or the good of the tank.
Any and all suggestions would be nice.


I need advice on how much and how often I should change the water

I change 50% once a week in my cycled aquarium. probably 50% every other day in an uncycled aquarium, just keep track of your ammonia levels really and keep your substrate clean.

I'm thinking of buying glass stones for the bottom to replace the gravel to make this process easier and was wondering if there was anything else that would help make his routine water changes a slight bit simpler

get a some type of tube and a bucket so you can siphon the water out of your tank and never have to move it.

Should I cycle it?

If you your not very experienced with fishkeeping i wouldn't start off trying to cycle a 5 gallon tank. smaller tanks are harder to manage and maintain a cycle imo. Otherwise, yes I would cycle it.

Plants?

do you want plants? do you think your fish wants plants?

certain light, shrimp, tank additives?

I have a CFL light, it's nice. Do you want shrimp? Tank additives aside from dechlorinator and aquarium salt, no imo.
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Old 06-12-2010, 03:10 PM   #3 
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If your tank is uncycled you should be doing at least 1 full water change every single week and rinsing all the gravel, plants, etc.

5 gallons cycle really well and will be very stable with just one fish in it. I highly recommend cycling. It will reduce your water changes to 50% once a week.

Plants really help with absorbing ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates. If you have enough of the right type of plants you can skip cycling all together. But with that you would need plant bulbs, CO2 and ferts so the plants grow actively and absorb the wastes.

If you want shrimp, get them but unless you have lots of hiding places for them its likely your fish will just kill them.
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Old 06-12-2010, 05:30 PM   #4 
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With filtration or some type of aeration like an air-stone your 5g will cycle, IMO a 5g with filtration needs at least 2-50% water changes a week with one of the weekly water changes a good gravel vacuum to maintain quality water to prevent most health and fin issues.

I would keep the gravel, the top layer of gravel is a great place for the good bacteria to colonize.

Heater to keep water temp in the 78-80F
The filter media needs a good swish/rinse in old tank water with a water change 1-2 times a month or when the water flow slows, this is also a place that the good bacteria thrive and over cleaning or use of untreated tap water can kill the good bacteria causing a mini cycle.

IMO/E- the only chemical additives you need is a good dechlorinator if you are on city water supply.

Live plants are always a good choice IMO/E and with most of the low to mod light plants you don't need any CO2, you don't need any special light either as long as you have at least 1.5-2wpg and on most 5g the bulb that come with it is usually fine for the low to mod light plants.

With plain gravel you will need to feed the plants- but this depends on the type of plant you get too, sometimes the fish and other livestock like shrimp and snail will provide some species of plants the food they need, also with the addition of live plants, depending on type and number you can decrease the water changes to 1-50% a week with light vacuuming in all areas without moving anything in the tank and disruption of plant roots.

In 5g tanks, the only stocking in addition to the 1 Betta would be shrimp and snail IMO, it is not big enough for any other fish.

Would love to see some pics.....
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Old 06-14-2010, 11:54 AM   #5 
LucyLoofa
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The reason I'm asking about water changes is that the tank is very heavy for me to empty out all the time. I'm buying a water siphon soon, but if the water changes for a 5 gallon are so frequent I was wondering if it would just be simpler to get a smaller aquarium. I really want to cycle my tank, but it would take over a month and I would rather not have my betta in the tank during the process. I would be able to, from what I hear, if I had some Tetra Safe Start. The Petsmart I shop at, however, wouldn't ship any in by request. "If it's not on the shelves we won't get it in."
If the water changes will be more frequent, but more manageable in a smaller tank I would rather have the smaller tank.
A shame though, since he really liked having all that room in his 5 gallon, but he's been in his dip cup for a little over a week now recovering from illness so I think anything over a gallon would be a blessing to him.
If I am able to get my hands on some safe start I may start a more appropriate thread for it asking for advice, but if not I'm in the market for a new tank.
So any suggestions?
I heard aquaview 360 was a good choice, but that it's entirely made of plastic concerns me, because my heater would introduce bpa into the water. :/
Does anyone know of a reasonably priced glass aquarium under 5 gallons?
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