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Old 11-07-2010, 07:57 PM   #1 
CrystalLace
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50% Change Every Day, or 100% Change Every Other Day?

So I stole this from the other section because I thought it might help before I asked my question:

Housing
What size is your tank? 2gal Bowl
What temperature is your tank? Usually between 76-78 degrees, but colder of course once I change the water.
Does your tank have a filter? No
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No
Is your tank heated? Yes, just a ZooMed Betta Bowl Heating pad thing, I can't adjust it in away, but I have a thermometer in there, so at least I can keep an eye on the temperature and make sure it doesn't change too much, which it doesn't.
What tank mates does your betta fish live with?
Nada.

(Not sure this is really relavent) Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Hikari Betta Bio-Gold
How often do you feed your betta fish? 2 pellets once a day.


Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? About two weeks ago I got him a 2gal bowl, and have been struggling to figure out what water changes are best for him.
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? Usually 50% or 100%, though I've tried 75% too.
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Aqueon Betta Bowl Plus in Poland Springs Spring Water (The tap water around here is really cruddy, and I know it's usually better to use tap because of the minerals, but I'd have to get all sorts of additives to fix the pH, hardness, etc etc, so for now I use PS, at least I know it's not filtered tap water =/)



~~Actual Question~~
So, as I said, I relatively recently upgraded Charles from his meager half gallon bowl to his new 2gal with a heater. There's 2 plastic plants and one silk plant in there and the bottom is lined with glass beads (Easier to clean than gravel, since I'm in a college dorm room).

Basically I'm wondering how often to change his water, and how much to do so. There's a lot of conflicting opinions on the web for a bowl this small, so I'm interested in getting lots of feedback =].

On the one hand, I can do 50% water changes daily, and then maybe a 100% change once a week or every other week, just to clean the bowl out. The upside of this is that I can leave him in the bowl during each change, which means less stress on him. The downside is that all his poo stays in the bowl, which means the ammonia builds up pretty quickly, which isn't good for him.

And on the other hand, I can do 100% water changes every other day, with or without doing a full bowl clean each time (I haven't decided). This means I have to actually take him out of the bowl, and net him to put him back in, aka more stress. But I get all the poo out, which is good, and I'm not changing it every day, plus the ammonia isn't as bad. It seems the ammonia builds up pretty quickly for him no matter what I do =/.

Maybe both of those are too frequent, but he's been a sickly fish since I got him a month ago, so until he's better, I definitely want to be keeping his water really really clean. He's been all bloated and constipated the past 3 days (coupled with some swim bladder issues), and his fins have been rotting now and then, especially when I experiment with trying to keep him in the same water after a 100% change for maybe 3 whole days, instead of the 2 I'm debating doing. So I know I need to be keeping up with constant changes, I'm just wondering what people think would be best. I'm still new to this fishy world =]

Thanks!
~CrystalEyes & Charles <3
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Old 11-07-2010, 08:01 PM   #2 
bettabreeder123
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well ina dorm eh. if u get a whisper water filter of anything like that, u won't have to change for like 1-2 months with a filter but u should buy a siphone to just suck up like 1/4 of the poop on the bottom and keep doing that till it has been like 2 months. if water very cloudy, just change the whole tank.
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Old 11-07-2010, 08:02 PM   #3 
Alex09
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You could always add a sponge filter (easy to DIY) and then just do partial water changes twice a week or so. Without the filter, partial changes every 2-3 days and a complete change once a week will be adequate. You can buy some thick airline tubing and use that to suck poo from the bottom of the bowl.
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Old 11-07-2010, 08:04 PM   #4 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bettabreeder123 View Post
well ina dorm eh. if u get a whisper water filter of anything like that, u won't have to change for like 1-2 months with a filter but u should buy a siphone to just suck up like 1/4 of the poop on the bottom and keep doing that till it has been like 2 months. if water very cloudy, just change the whole tank.
um...no. Just no. I have a 10 gallon tank and I still do 50%water changes a week. A filter is not the equivalent of a toilet. It just doesn't make fecal matter disappear. The filters job is to house a colony of bacteria which break down the ammonia into much less toxic form called nitrate. Even with a filter, scheduled water changes are necessary.

Last edited by Alex09; 11-07-2010 at 08:07 PM.
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Old 11-07-2010, 09:27 PM   #5 
CrystalLace
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bettabreeder123 View Post
well ina dorm eh. if u get a whisper water filter of anything like that, u won't have to change for like 1-2 months with a filter but u should buy a siphone to just suck up like 1/4 of the poop on the bottom and keep doing that till it has been like 2 months. if water very cloudy, just change the whole tank.
I don't even think that's enough water changes for a large tank with a filter o.e
Thanks for the input though..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex09 View Post
You could always add a sponge filter (easy to DIY) and then just do partial water changes twice a week or so. Without the filter, partial changes every 2-3 days and a complete change once a week will be adequate. You can buy some thick airline tubing and use that to suck poo from the bottom of the bowl.
I appreciate both responses but I really was not looking to get a filter. I don't mind doing the water changes, I just don't know how much/how often to do them. A filter at this point is kinda out of my budget, plus I kind think filters are more for tanks than fish bowls, I really was just wonder what was better, 100% changes or 50% changes. =/
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Old 11-08-2010, 01:26 AM   #6 
DaEvangelist
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When I had my Danube in his small bowl (1.5g), I did 50% water changes every other day and a 100% water change once a week. Worked for the 4 months I had him before I moved him to a 6g. He was happy and blowing bubble nests all that time. Wish I had known about the large turkey basters before though. They're great for the smaller bowls for sucking up debris and would have been great in helping keep the bowl cleaner during the 50% water changes between the weekly full water change. I would recommend a turkey baster highly.
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Old 11-08-2010, 02:34 AM   #7 
jmtriro01
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you have to do complete water changing every two days, or 50% PWC every other day, then complete water change every other week.

in my case, i do partial water change every other day and complete water change every two weeks. when i do complete water change, i also clean the tank to make it look sparkling clean, since it will look yellow because of the tannins.
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Old 11-08-2010, 08:25 AM   #8 
Oldfishlady
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On a regular schedule for a 2g unfiltered container I would make 1-2-50% and 1-100% a week to maintain water quality-this is provided that you don't over feed and uneaten food is removed.

Since your Betta is sick-bloat, constipation, swim bladder and fin issues-I would do an Epsom salt 1tsp/gal (not aquarium salt) leave in 10 day treatment along with 100% daily water changes-hold food for the first 3 days and then offer half feedings twice daily every other day-I also would cover the top of the tank with plastic veggie wrap to help keep the air above the water warm and humid

I like to pre-mix my salt in a 1gal jug to make correct dosage and water changes easier

Now to your water-you already know about the problem with bottled water-are you using a supplement to replace the lost minerals-if not-some of what you are seeing may be related. What about 50/50 mix of tap and bottled along with dechlorinator?

Can you post your tap water numbers-pH, KH, GH-is your tap water too hard or what is wrong with it-sometimes water we don't like fish love......
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Old 11-08-2010, 12:02 PM   #9 
CrystalLace
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldfishlady View Post
On a regular schedule for a 2g unfiltered container I would make 1-2-50% and 1-100% a week to maintain water quality-this is provided that you don't over feed and uneaten food is removed.

Since your Betta is sick-bloat, constipation, swim bladder and fin issues-I would do an Epsom salt 1tsp/gal (not aquarium salt) leave in 10 day treatment along with 100% daily water changes-hold food for the first 3 days and then offer half feedings twice daily every other day-I also would cover the top of the tank with plastic veggie wrap to help keep the air above the water warm and humid

I like to pre-mix my salt in a 1gal jug to make correct dosage and water changes easier

Now to your water-you already know about the problem with bottled water-are you using a supplement to replace the lost minerals-if not-some of what you are seeing may be related. What about 50/50 mix of tap and bottled along with dechlorinator?

Can you post your tap water numbers-pH, KH, GH-is your tap water too hard or what is wrong with it-sometimes water we don't like fish love......
Alright, that sounds good for water changes I think, thanks!
He had actually been bloated for over 3 days yesterday (the first day it went away within like 2 hours, but the second day and third he was bloated for most of the day) and I hadn't fed him at all since the night before the bloating started, so yesterday I fed him the insides of a thawed pea. He hasn't bloated since, though I can't tell if he's poo'd or not, if he flares up again I'll take everything out of his bowl so I can see the bottom and get on hardcore poo duty, but at present he seems to be doing a lot better.

And I read your comment about Epsom salt on another thread, and I think you mentioned you could get it at most pharmacies? Is it just the same as the stuff you can get at a pet store? There aren't really many pet stores close by, hence my asking. Though if he doesn't bloat again, I'm guessing I won't really need it.

I had been feeding him 2 pre-soaked pellets once a day, that I cut into fourths (he was having a really hard time swallowing) but I think switching to 1 pellet twice a day makes more sense, and I'll stick to an every-other day feeding for now, until I'm sure he's better.

I'm not adding any mineral additives at the moment, but I'll add that to my list for my next pet store run (unfortunately it takes me a 2 hour subway ride to get to the nearest/best stocked one). I know Poland Springs is at least filtered spring water, not tap, and it's a brand I relatively trust, from digging around they do say it has natural minerals in it, but of course I have no idea what those are, or if those are what he needs. But it definitely makes sense that the missing minerals could be making him weaker, so that's probably #1 on my list.

The only water tests I have at the moment are for pH and ammonia (on a college budget here, and since it's not cycled it didn't seem worth spending $35 on the whole kit), however even when I just go wash my hands in the bathroom, the water smells funky. Like it smells more fishy than Charles' fish water...
The one time I tried to use tap water, I made the foolish mistake of putting Charles in it before I tested it, and he immediately freaked out.
I put him back in his old water, and tested the pH.
The tap water turned my test bright bright blue, way off the chart that was included in the kit that only goes up to 7.6, so my guess is it's at least a 8.0. (They're liquid tests, as my experience with the paper strips are poo, more poo than was coming out of Charles, I'm afraid)
Which would be a lot of pH down stuff that I'd have to add, which I don't currently have anyways. (Would require that 2 hour trip =/, but I might have time tomorrow, but I'm still on a budget =X.)

Even when I test his regular water, and go to rinse out the tube, just as it touches the tap water it turns bright blue... pretty, but not safe >.<
As far as the hardness goes, I have no idea, but I know my water at home is pretty hard, so if you know what I can do to fix that water (for when I'm home for the holiday) I'd appreciate the advice =]. No idea on boston's city water though, but it is well known as being "dirty-water"
And I have absolutely no idea what GH is, sorry, even google failed me on that one =/.

Even if I tried a 50/50 combo of tap with bottled, I think the pH would still be too high. Every time I've tested the PS bottle, I always get about 6.8 or 7.0, which is about where it should be, and I think I read that slightly acidic is better than slight base anyways, right?
I guess I could try a 25/75 mix? But at that point maybe mineral additives would be better.

I think I'd rather add minerals to his bottled water, than a lot of chemicals to change the pH and other parameters in an attempt to make icky water good, does that make sense?




I'm still new at this, so thanks for the thorough response!
If you're busy though, I know I wrote a lottttttttttt,
the tl;dr version = THANKS! <3
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Old 11-08-2010, 12:53 PM   #10 
Oldfishlady
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GH-general hardness btw

I have really hard water..so hard I call it liquid rock...lol.....I have to stab it with a fork so I can feed my fish....just kidding....my well water pH is 8.6 GH/KH over 200 and perfect for cichlid...but my Bettas adapt to the hardness and pH without any problems-most fish will adapt to the source water-it can cause problems for some fish as far as for spawning and eggs...but generally they will be fine

Since Betta are a domesticated fish and farm raised they have never seen their natural habitat waters and do well in our source water that is often a bit harder than what their wild cousins enjoy.

What fish don't like is swings in pH and hardness-they do best when it is stable and tolerate slow changes and that may have been what you seen when you made a sudden change from bottled to tap-this is a pretty tough species and will tolerate more than most fish as long as they are healthy to start.

I don't advocate use of chemical products to change pH or hardness especially for smaller tanks that need frequent water changes-
I do use natural methods to get my levels at what I need for some species I spawn/breed

For travel and you are unsure of what level the water is at the new location I recommend that you take some source water with you to mix with the new location source water for slow acclimation to switch over.

Yes, you can get Epsom salt (Magnesium sulfate) at most stores with a pharmacy dept-you usually can't find it at pet shop that I know of.....it is different than aquarium salt (Sodium Chloride) and has different actions/effects-Epsom salt is pretty cheap and will last for ever if just using for fish related problems-it is also great to use in the tub for a nice long hot soak...lol....for us...laffs.....and it is great for flowering shrubs and tomato plants-safe enough for humans to drink too.....

I use Epsom salt for edema/swelling related problems, bloat, swim bladder issues and constipation issues-it also has a mild antibacterial/fungal effect
Aquarium salt I use more for wounds, parasites torn fins etc....
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