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Old 07-16-2012, 11:53 AM   #1 
cjschmelzer909
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Water changes for unfiltered bowl?

I have a 2 gallon, unfiltered bowl with no live plants. The water temp has usually been in the high 70s during the day and usually drops a bit at night, although I just picked up a cheap heater today that says it will keep it right around 80 degrees (it's not adjustable... I saw no adjustable heaters at the pet store). I know I have to make multiple water changes a week, but what are some good signs that I need to make a water change?
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Old 07-16-2012, 11:58 AM   #2 
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In a 2gal unfiltered without live plants-twice weekly....1-50% and 1-100% to maintain water quality....

Be sure the replacement water temp is pretty close to the tank water temp and properly acclimate back to the tank after the 100% water changes.

The gradual temp changes from day-night, light on and off and the temp differences at different levels within the tank...generally are tolerated by a healthy Betta...
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Old 07-16-2012, 12:12 PM   #3 
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Originally Posted by Oldfishlady View Post
In a 2gal unfiltered without live plants-twice weekly....1-50% and 1-100% to maintain water quality....

Be sure the replacement water temp is pretty close to the tank water temp and properly acclimate back to the tank after the 100% water changes.

The gradual temp changes from day-night, light on and off and the temp differences at different levels within the tank...generally are tolerated by a healthy Betta...
Okay, thank you. I just moved her into the 2 gallon bowl yesterday so it was brand new water, but it's already ever so slightly cloudy. Should I consider changing the water soon, like tonight, or just wait until I'm supposed to change it?

I also plan on getting a 5 gallon tank before I go off to college in about a month (I'll be bringing her with me), so she will have more room once she grows more (it's a baby at the moment)... How often should I make water changes then?
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Old 07-16-2012, 12:32 PM   #4 
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You want to start your first water change on a new setup on or about day 3....making a partial water only change is fine anytime you feel its needed...

In a 5gal filtered once the nitrogen cycle has established...50% weekly with vacuum to maintain water quality...
During the cycling stage 4-6 weeks-add a second 50% water only along with your regular 50% with vacuum-unless you have a test kit-then base that second water only on results of ammonia, nitrite 0.25ppm or greater until you have nitrate of 5-10ppm without any ammonia, nitrite spikes for several days.
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Old 07-16-2012, 12:35 PM   #5 
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Originally Posted by Oldfishlady View Post
You want to start your first water change on a new setup on or about day 3....making a partial water only change is fine anytime you feel its needed...

In a 5gal filtered once the nitrogen cycle has established...50% weekly with vacuum to maintain water quality...
During the cycling stage 4-6 weeks-add a second 50% water only along with your regular 50% with vacuum-unless you have a test kit-then base that second water only on results of ammonia, nitrite 0.25ppm or greater until you have nitrate of 5-10ppm without any ammonia, nitrite spikes for several days.
Okay, so you're saying if I get a 5 gallon tank I should get a filter as well? I was planning on keeping it unfiltered because I thought 5 gallons was still small enough for that. I guess a filter would be better at college anyway, much easier to take care of the water quality.
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Old 07-16-2012, 02:36 PM   #6 
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I don't use filters in any of my tanks 10gal and smaller-but I have lots of live active growing plants.

IMO/E filters are optional for a Betta, however, without a filter it will be hard if not impossible to establish the nitrogen cycle due to limited dissolved oxygen for the BB.

Water changes on unfiltered 5gal without live plants-50% weekly with 100% monthly. If you add some stem and/or floating plants you wouldn't need the 100%.....
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Old 07-16-2012, 03:24 PM   #7 
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I don't use filters in any of my tanks 10gal and smaller-but I have lots of live active growing plants.

IMO/E filters are optional for a Betta, however, without a filter it will be hard if not impossible to establish the nitrogen cycle due to limited dissolved oxygen for the BB.

Water changes on unfiltered 5gal without live plants-50% weekly with 100% monthly. If you add some stem and/or floating plants you wouldn't need the 100%.....
Oooohh ok I understand. So basically, if unfiltered then buy some live plants, if no live plants then buy filter... Seems like a pretty easy choice lol

What exactly is the benefit of the nitrogen cycle? I just thought that it was something you had to pay attention to if you had a filter...
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Old 07-16-2012, 03:55 PM   #8 
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No....you don't have to have either a filter or live plants....having them changes water change needs.

The nitrogen cycle can be beneficial since the beneficial bacteria can help with water quality, however, since this is a closed system you still have to make water changes. With an established nitrogen cycle/biofiltration you don't need to make any 100% water changes like you would need to make when you don't have a filter and/or live active growing thriving plants.

The beneficial bacteria for the nitrogen cycle are self limiting based on-oxygen, food source and surface area to colonize.
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Old 07-16-2012, 04:57 PM   #9 
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Originally Posted by Oldfishlady View Post
No....you don't have to have either a filter or live plants....having them changes water change needs.

The nitrogen cycle can be beneficial since the beneficial bacteria can help with water quality, however, since this is a closed system you still have to make water changes. With an established nitrogen cycle/biofiltration you don't need to make any 100% water changes like you would need to make when you don't have a filter and/or live active growing thriving plants.

The beneficial bacteria for the nitrogen cycle are self limiting based on-oxygen, food source and surface area to colonize.
Thanks for the help and info! I think I may buy a couple live plants when I get my 5 gallon tank.

EDIT: Is it possible to buy any floating plants at a petco? I know they do have living plants but I'm not sure if any are floating... If not, there's actually a fish store less than a mile from the dorm I'm staying in... that's going to prove to be extremely useful

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Old 07-16-2012, 06:33 PM   #10 
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And one more question lol... During the 50% water changes, is it okay to leave her in the bowl while I'm doing it? And dechlorinate the water before I put it in the bowl? I just don't want to stress her out too much
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