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Old 06-22-2010, 06:29 PM   #1 
bettabaloo22
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Cleaning a small tank!

Hello everyone!

I'm a new betta owner and very excited to give my fishy the best environment he can have. I currently have him in a small tank..~1 gallon and am meaning to upgrade him in the near future to a larger tank.

In the meantime, how often should I clean his tank/change his water? I have read so many different views on this..one site claimed it will stress out your betta if you do a complete water change too often and that if you do change 100% water, you should leave some of his old water in the tank because of the good bacteria that have formed.

Other times, I have heard a 100% water change is OK every other day or so.

So until I get this new tank, what is the best way to go about this?

Thank you for your time!
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Old 06-22-2010, 06:43 PM   #2 
Adastra
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Think about it this way--fish constantly excrete waste through their gills in the form of ammonia. It's kind of like urine. In a closed system, there is no place for this ammonia to go, and no bacteria to reduce it into less harmful nitrate. If you change 50% of the water today, and then 50% tomorrow you are not removing 100% of the ammonia.

The only way to remove 100% of the ammonia is by doing 100% water changes unless your tank has been colonized by special bacteria. A lot of people will tell you very different things about when to change the water--the only way to know for sure is to use a test kit. You will need to get a test kit sooner or later anyway--be sure to get a liquid test such as the API Master Kit (http://www.fosterandsmithaquatics.co...54&pcatid=4454). The pet store will usually try to convince you to get the dip strips, which are inaccurate and much more expensive per test.

If the ammonia test reading is anything above 0, the water should be changed. If you don't have a test kit, you can take your water to a fish store to have it tested for free. Once you work out how long it takes for your fish to pollute the water, you will know with certainty when to change the water.

If you aren't willing to get your water tested anytime soon, you simply have to play it safe and change 100% of the water at least every 3 days--washing out everything in the tank with hot water.

As for the comment about preserving bacteria--it's either one or the other, the cycled method or the 100% change method. There is no in between. Sadly, a 1 gallon tank is much too small to employ the cycled method, so you will need to do 100% changes.

Last edited by Adastra; 06-22-2010 at 07:03 PM.
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Old 06-22-2010, 06:49 PM   #3 
bettabaloo22
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Thanks so much!! That was really helpful :)
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Old 06-22-2010, 06:50 PM   #4 
Lion Mom
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I have to ask you something, Adastra. You make the comment in your reply here & in other threads that fish excrete ammonia through their gills. I have never heard that before. Can you please tell me where you learned that?

Thanks much!
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Old 06-22-2010, 07:00 PM   #5 
Adastra
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I thought it was common knowledge. I don't remember where I picked it up, it's just a basic fish fact. If you do a quick search on google for ammonia + gills you'll see that plenty of people have asked that question. :)

You learn something new every day, right?
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Old 06-22-2010, 07:17 PM   #6 
Lion Mom
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You got that right!!!

Thanks for the info. :)
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