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Old 06-03-2011, 04:28 PM   #1 
Littlebittyfish's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Florida
Question Cleaning an unfiltered 3 gallon

How do you all clean your unfiltered tanks? It was just brought to my attention by someone that I may be OVER cleaning my 3 gallons...(is that bad?)

I do 2 50% water changes a week then a 100%..usually..Sometimes I only do 1 50% and 1 100% if I get real busy...anyways...When 100% water change day comes...
Here is how I do it....I scoop my fish out of the tank and make sure he is safe and warm.. then I use my gravel vac to siphon out most of the water...Then I take the tank to the tub and I scrub down the walls and rinse the gravel in a strainer with warm water..Then I add back the gravel...and the plants...and the cave...the heater..fill it with new water...

Is that too much? I have a few live plants..But it is not heavily planted...yet...I have some stem plants...and an anubias at the moment...

Here is my fish home:

Can cleaning too much be a bad thing in an unfiltered tank?

Last edited by Littlebittyfish; 06-03-2011 at 04:33 PM.
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Old 06-03-2011, 04:38 PM   #2 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Id say that's not half bad, considering, too that it's a 3 gallon.

If you were to have more plants, Im pretty sure you can skip the 100% for the most part, which is nice :) I have filtered/planted and usually do one change a week, enough to get the gunk out.

One question, though (maybe to save you time), why gravel vac when you sift/strain the gravel? :P Unless its a poop factor. Then, I totally get it, eech!
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Old 06-03-2011, 05:01 PM   #3 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: USA
With rooted plants I would skip the 100% water changes...twice weekly 50% should maintain water quality in a 3gal unfiltered lightly planted tank with a single Betta...your stem plants are the filter and as long as they are actively growing they are using the ammonia produced and once you plant more plants you could even drop one of the 50% a week and do 1-50% with light hover vacuum in all areas without moving anything or disruption of plant roots.....if you use plant food-make a water change before you add the plant food-this is so unused/excess plant food can be removed so you don't get an algae bloom or feed the algae....

And yes, IMO-you can over clean and up-set the balance of the little have both good and bad bacteria/pathogen and by destroying too much of one it can upset the system...its a fine line in some cases.....especially in small volumes of water.....
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