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Old 05-13-2012, 08:00 PM   #1 
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Question Cleaning the tank?

So I just got my first betta fish today and I was wondering how should I clean the tank when it comes time? Right now I am planning on scooping up the betta (with some of it's old tank water) in a cup. I was wondering if I should dump the whole tank of water or should I just take out some of the dirty water and add some more clean water to keep the temperature normal. Thank you!!
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Old 05-13-2012, 08:03 PM   #2 
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Hey there welcome to the forums, and the wonderful world of Betta keeping. :)

As for water changes, I can't really help you if I don't know your tank size. Different tank sizes mean different ways of changing the water. I wouldn't suggest cupping your Betta, it's usually a cat and mouse chase and ends up stressing both the fish and the owner. Unless your Betta swims right into the cup, I would suggest buying a siphon and siphoning out the old dirty tank water, and siphoning in the new dechlorinated tap water.
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Old 05-13-2012, 08:20 PM   #3 
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+1 to Micho.

If your tank is unfiltered, you will probably have to do a 100% change at some point, in which case you will need to cup your betta. Try to bring the cup up behind and beneath him so he isn't stressed by it, and get a good amount of old tank water in the cup too. When he is safely cupped and set aside, you can set about emptying the tank and scrubbing everything out with hot dechlorinated water (no soap) giving your gravel a good rinse. When all that is finished, you fill the tank back up again and dechlorinate the water. Let the heater do it's job and get the water back up to between 78 and 82. Then float your betta in his cup in the water and let him acclimatise, adding a bit of tank water to his cup every five-ten minutes. Then you can release him. :)
You'll have to do one of these 100% changes per week, if your tank is under 5 gallons, and one 50% change.
For a 50% change, stir up the gravel to get the dirt floating. Use a jug to remove half of the water in the tank (a gravel siphon is much better, though, if you have one!) Then put your new water in a bucket, trying to match its temperature to the tank, and add dechlorinator. Then slowly pour it back into the tank. :)

So, to summarise:
- 1-5 gallon tank, unfiltered = 1 50% and 1 100% change per week
- 1-5 gallon tank, filtered = 2 50% changes per week
- 5+ gallon tank, filtered and cycled = 1 25-50% change per week
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Old 05-13-2012, 08:59 PM   #4 
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As of what others are saying about 100% water changes, you never should do that unless its a huge emergency. It will destroy your nitrogen cycle.

If your tank is between 3 and 5 gallons and filtered, you should change about 20% of the water a week. If it is between 3 and 5 gallons with no filtration, you should change 50% a week, or 25% twice a week. I'm saying 3 to 5 gallons because I would never keep a betta in anything smaller than a 3 gallon.
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Old 05-13-2012, 11:10 PM   #5 
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Not true about the 100% changes, Liquid. Firstly, I recommended the 100% changes in unfiltered tanks, which don't have a cycle as they don't have a filter.
Secondly, if your tank is cycled, then most of the beneficial bacteria is in the filter - almost none is in the water. Changing all of the water will not destroy your cycle. I have done it multiple times to re-arrange my tanks. At worst, it may cause a mini-cycl, but as long as you aren't scrubbing your substrate or filter like crazy, it probably won't happen.
Thirdly, if your tank is unfiltered, or under 5 gallons, the schedule you have recommended will not be enough to deal with the build-up of ammonia (in an unfiltered tank) or nitrates (in a filtered one).
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