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Old 07-03-2012, 03:19 PM   #1 
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Sadie555's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2012
Question Cleaning My Tank

Okay, I'd like to know a few recommendations for cleaning my 3 gallon tank (holds one betta fish only):

1.With a filter and partial air stone

2.Without a filter but with an air stone

How often
, and what percentage. (How do you do a partial water change in the first place without over-doing the tap water detox solution?) Different suggestions from multiple people would be really appreciated for both listed scenarios.

As well as which gravel vacuum would you recommend I use?
Plus, how often should I test the water chemistry?

I don't have any live plants, I feed my girl 2 or 3 pellets twice daily, keep the temp around 80 degrees F with a 25 watt heater, and have two decorations (a plastic plant and a fake rock for hiding). My room gets hardly any sunlight, but I keep her in a tank that has a 16 LED light, as well as a see through lid.

Thanks in advance for any and all help and suggestions!
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Old 07-03-2012, 08:16 PM   #2 
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Probably a weekly 100% water change is necessary. It also gives you a chance to wash her gravel and decorations to clear off any organic matter than might have settled on them. A 50% water change or two in between full changes definitely wouldn't hurt either.

If you're worried about using too much of the detox chemical, maybe getting an empty gallon milk jug or two (cleaned thoroughly first) and pre-mixing changing water might help. That way the water isn't over-treated and the balance in the tank is maintained when you add it.

Having never used a gravel vacuum I can't give you any suggestions there. Sorry! Maybe using it when you do 50% changes to help keep the tank cleaner between full changes?

Testing your old tank water is a good idea if your fish seems under the weather or right before you change the water, just to see how long it takes for certain levels of ammonia, nitrates, and nitrites to build up. It should give you an idea of when you need to do full or even partial changes.

Sorry for the novel. Hope this helps!
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Old 07-03-2012, 09:15 PM   #3 
Kenny G
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I do weekly water changes between 30 - 50%. I will always recommend a filter since it will help you keep the water cleaner between changes. I rarely recommend a 100% water change because there is good bacteria in the tank that betta's need. I always recommend cleaning all decorations weekly. I have never used detox or gravel vacuum so I cannot recommend those. I would also test the water chemistry as needed.
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Old 07-04-2012, 01:30 AM   #4 
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Location: Virginia, USA
In a 3 gallon tank, I would just forgo the filter. The tank is too small to cycle (without a lot of work). In normal tanks, filters are used to produce water movement, clean solid wastes, and provide surface area for the BB. Since your betta doesn't need water movement, the solid wastes produced are very little, and you're not cycling the tank, you have no need for a filter.

That being said, in any uncycled tank without plants you will need two water changes weekly (one 50% and one 100%). Without the filter, both times you should use the gravel vacuum. I just picked up the basic Tetra one from petsmart. They are all basically the same, just make sure the diameter of the vacuum isn't too large for your tank.

Water changes can be tricky, but it's very hard to OD a fish on water conditioner. What will probably be easiest for you is to remove the old water, add the water conditioner, and then add the new water. Unless you have something like a 1 gal bucket or pitcher that you can use to pre-treat the water. If this is the case, remove the old water and begin adding the new water one pre-treated bucket/pitcher at a time.
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