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Old 05-11-2012, 10:49 PM   #1 
Keroro
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Exclamation Making water changes less stressful?

It was the first time I've changed Kero's water since I got him last sunday and I did a 100% change because I'm moving on Monday and don't want to stress him out more.

My question is how can I make water changes less stressful? I haven't had to scoop up fishies before and it took me a while to get him into the net to put him in a holding container (a pyrex glass measuring cup with room-temp water and a tiny dose of water conditioner) and he did a lot of frantic flutting about and had one or two close calls with me brushing him with the scooper.

I felt terrible! Am I just a pansy when it comes to getting him in there faster?
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Old 05-11-2012, 11:05 PM   #2 
Micho
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No, usually people do the whole trying to catch their Betta with nets and taking forever to net them and then finally catching then cupping them, it's a lot of chasing, it's stressful not only for the fish but the owner too. What I would suggest is that you simply do a water change with the fish in, that's what I always do now, siphoning water out and then back in will be easier on the fish, and yourself. I'm assuming your tank is bigger than 1 gallon, so getting a siphon or even a gravel vacuum to siphon water in and out won't be a problem.
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Old 05-11-2012, 11:07 PM   #3 
lvandert
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You could siphon out water and then siphon in new water. In my experience to scoop them out the easiest you get under them and then wait for them to take a break of air, the second they do scoop up fast! Most of the time he'll get sucked into the net from the water rushing through it. Just be careful you dont catch his tail between the net and glass.
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Old 05-11-2012, 11:08 PM   #4 
thekoimaiden
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Yes and no. Catching fish takes a lot of practice to become fast and less stressful. I find betta are easiest because they aren't fast swimmers. My technique is to use the section of the water going into a cup to pull the betta in. I try to avoid netting bettas due to their long fins. If you want to use a net, bring the net up from below the fish as opposed to side-to-side. Fish swim faster to the side than they do vertically. Position the net under him or lure him over the net and bring it up with one swift motion.

Another thing that will help keep his stress level down is to keep him in old tank water as opposed to new tap water. Fish don't like rapid changes in water parameters (which include temperature). Maybe next time just try scooping him up in the pyrex container.
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Old 05-11-2012, 11:16 PM   #5 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thekoimaiden View Post
Yes and no. Catching fish takes a lot of practice to become fast and less stressful. I find betta are easiest because they aren't fast swimmers. My technique is to use the section of the water going into a cup to pull the betta in. I try to avoid netting bettas due to their long fins. If you want to use a net, bring the net up from below the fish as opposed to side-to-side. Fish swim faster to the side than they do vertically. Position the net under him or lure him over the net and bring it up with one swift motion.

Another thing that will help keep his stress level down is to keep him in old tank water as opposed to new tap water. Fish don't like rapid changes in water parameters (which include temperature). Maybe next time just try scooping him up in the pyrex container.
That seems like a good idea with the water, I didn't think of that before... I'll have to find a smaller cup to scoop since it's a 360 tank and do that next time. Definitely going to take up your advice on coming from below, that makes a lot of sense, thank you!

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Originally Posted by Micho View Post
No, usually people do the whole trying to catch their Betta with nets and taking forever to net them and then finally catching then cupping them, it's a lot of chasing, it's stressful not only for the fish but the owner too. What I would suggest is that you simply do a water change with the fish in, that's what I always do now, siphoning water out and then back in will be easier on the fish, and yourself. I'm assuming your tank is bigger than 1 gallon, so getting a siphon or even a gravel vacuum to siphon water in and out won't be a problem.
I think I will try this as well and perhaps look up a video on how to do it properly. It'll be easier once I'm in the apartment but I'll be going back into a dorm in August and can't really go about changing the water in the kitchen sink since fish aren't allowed hahah! I will definitely look into a gravel vacuum, thank you :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by lvandert View Post
You could siphon out water and then siphon in new water. In my experience to scoop them out the easiest you get under them and then wait for them to take a break of air, the second they do scoop up fast! Most of the time he'll get sucked into the net from the water rushing through it. Just be careful you dont catch his tail between the net and glass.
That is what I was so scared of, catching his tail! I'm definitely going to look into siphoning the water as I mentioned. The below technique sounds really good too, I'll give em all a go. Thanks so much!
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Old 05-12-2012, 02:11 PM   #6 
ao
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I taught my betta to swim in by itself :D they are fast learner and no stress involved
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Old 05-12-2012, 09:52 PM   #7 
Bombalurina
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Make sure that the water in the cup is from the tank, not just new room temperature water, too. :)
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Old 05-12-2012, 10:18 PM   #8 
Tamyu
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Personally, unless there is some terrible reason I need to get the fish out of the tank or I have to wash the tank down for some reason - I do not take any of my fish out. If a massive water change is needed, I take out all but just enough water for the fish to swim, put back in the same amount of clean water (double the amount of water in the tank) - remove half of it - do it once again... And then fill the tank to a normal amount. It ends up being something like a 95% water change. (20% left in the tank, diluted by half to 10%, then diluted to half again to make 5% remaining.) When I remove the water, I vacuum the gravel. When the water is low, I wipe down the inside of the tank.

My fish don't leave their tanks unless they are ill or there is something wrong with the tank.
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Old 05-14-2012, 08:49 AM   #9 
Hallyx
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+1 (as they say)

This is also my practice, or so similar as to not make a difference.

Still, it is a useful skill to be able to cup (not net) your Betta with minimal stress to either of you.

It's kind of a Zen thing. Get in a peaceful frame of mind. Don't rush it. You can kind of "witch" him onto the cup, with slow patience, tenderness and love.
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Old 05-14-2012, 01:07 PM   #10 
deso
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Take your time and be gentle, as everyone else has said. I used to chase my boy around his aquarium with the cup, and the poor dear blew his fins that way. Now he just swims right in. Put the cup in as slowly as possible, hold it still near the surface, and he'll eventually swim your way out of curiosity or to get some air.
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