Thanks for reading. We recently have started 2 separate Betta Bow 2.5 gal tanks, one fish per tank. Tango's tank was first, and we've had cloudy water almost since the start. We used tap water, with the proper amount of conditioner. In Mango's tank, which we started almost a week later, we used bottled "betta water" thinking that it wouldnt get as cloudy as Tango's. Both tanks are identicle, about an inch of gravel, one "plant", and a Tiki-Hut in the corner. Now, mango's tank is getting alittle cloudy, but not nearly as bad as Tango's.
Questions we have:
1. How often should we change water?
2. Was the bottled water a better choice than tap?
3. Whats the best way to clean gravel? Vacuuam? Or just completely change water?
If you have noticed that we are doing anything wrong, please say so. Any help would be appreciated.
How often do you change the water? If sounds like you aren't changing it enough or you are over feeding the fish and the uneaten food is decaying and clouding the water. For a 2.5 the best way to clean is do 100% water changes every 3-4 days. You could do two 50% changed and then a full change or three 25% changes and a full change.
Thanks for the advice. We purchased a small syphon gravel vac, and changed about 30% of the water in both tanks today. I think we have planned on changing the water once a week for a month to see if the water clears. Also we are re-examing exactly how much food they get, I think they might be over-fed. I'll try to update here as much as I can. Thanks again.
I also have a 2.5 minibow for my male crowntail, Drago. I have a few ideas what might be going on with yours.
1. When you first set up the tanks, did you rinse the gravel? If so, how many times did you rinse it? I had to rinse mine no less than ten times before I got the water running clear and it was safe to put in my tank.
2. I think you need more water changes. You said you're going to do 30% a week? I would recommend more. For my tank, which has no filter, I do 1 50% water only change and 1 100% change where I vacuum the gravel and rinse the decorations. I am not cycling, though, so if you are trying to cycle, you shouldn't do a 100% water change, and you should NEVER rinse the decorations. Still, two water changes a week is the minimum recommended for a 2.5 gallon.
3. Where are the tanks being kept? If they are kept somewhere in direct sunlight, that could be affecting things in the tank, creating algae, etc.
4. A good rule of thumb to remember when feeding is that a betta's stomach is only about the size of its eye. I give my boys 3-4 pellets a day, and I give them to them one at a time so that I am sure they eat each one and it doesn't fall to the bottom to decay and produce ammonia. Plus, it's fun to watch them eat. My little Drago gets SO excited; he wiggles all around when I open the feeding slot.
5. How are your fish acting? If they don't seem distressed and you don't notice loss of appetite, lethargy, clamped fins, etc., then the cloudy water might not necessarily be a bad thing. It just depends on what the cause of it is. My water used to be a little cloudy with my first betta, Sheik, and it never seemed to bother him in the least.
I hope this helps a little bit. :) I'm by no means an expert at any of this, but please feel free to ask any more questions you have, and I'll try to help you.
Seki, rinsing the gravel might be a problem. Niether I or my wife remember rinsing it at all. I also have to read up on this "cycling the tank" thing. Were not really sure if we should do that, and if so, how to go about it. My thought now is, do we empty the tank, and start all over again, or try to fix the tank from here, maybe removing as much of the gravel, rinsing as well as we can, then put it back in? I do think we will try changing water at least once a week until it clears. Any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Cycling is going to be difficult in a 2.5 gallon, which is why I don't bother with mine. My fish does just fine with twice-weekly water changes, and he's even been okay if I miss one every now and then. To be honest, I've been keeping a close watch on my water prams, and I'm not sure the 50% is always needed. i never skip the 100%, though.
I think cupping the fish and rinsing the gravel super well is a great idea. The way I rinse mine is as follows... Put the gravel in a bucket and fill it with enough water to cover the gravel and have about an inch of extra water on top. Take a long something (clean spoon, unused paint stirrer, your hand) and stir the gravel vigorously in the bucket, then dump out the water. Repeat this until the water is no longer cloudy after you stir it around. Like I said, it took no less than ten rinses with my gravel to get the water running clear, so be prepared for a bit of work. It'll be worth it, though, I promise!
If you keep having issues with cloudy water, they make a product to clear that up. I don't have much experience with it, but if you google "water clarifier", you will find more information. It is a product you put into the tank just to keep the water nice and clear. I think most pet stores sell it.
Seki, I agree that the cycling might not be worth it in this size tank. Like I said, we might try once a week 50% changes to see if that makes a difference. The 100% change we might hold off on, but we may have to, only to get the gravel clean. How often do you do your 100% change? I'm realizing that we can now do a 100% change, since we most likely will not cycle the tank, but was wondering about frequency of changing that much water. First, the gravel! Thanks, I'm gonna get a bucket this afternoon.
Like I suggested before, you should try and get 1 50% change and 1 100% change per week. If you can't get the 50% change in, then you definitely need the 100% change. If you don't do this, your betta could easily get ammonia poisoning. Water changes are really about keeping ammonia levels in the tank down, not as much about clear water.
Absolute minimum, I would say make sure you get 1 100% water change in every week. Most people on here will suggest you do a minimum of 1 50% and 1 100%. I would tend to agree with them, but if nothing else, the 100% weekly is mandatory. :)