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Old 09-18-2012, 10:06 PM   #1 
celie
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Water change

I just received my first fish on Saturday. I didn't know what I needed until I found this forum. So far I have a 1.5 gallon tank that has a filter with an LED light. I also purchased a mini heater, which seems to be working fine. The only thing I'm not too sure about, since I keep reading different things in different websites is how often I should change the water.

I was thinking of changing the water at least once a week. I've read I should do it daily, others suggest every 3-4 days, some others once a week. The water doesn't look dirty for me to change it daily. The food doesn't sink down, so it doesn't dirty the water. Also, I don't know how often betta fish poop (or how it looks), so I don't know if the water is ok or not. Everything looks fine right now. Lex has been in the new tank since Sunday evening, and I was thinking of changing the water on Friday. Should I do it sooner?
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Old 09-18-2012, 10:30 PM   #2 
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I have a one gallon with a betta, and I do 50% water changes every other day and a 75-100% water change once a week. The water may not look dirty but that pesky ammonia builds up quick :P This will keep your ammonia, nitrite and nitrates within healthy levels from my experience.

Any poop, food waste, or otherwise decaying organic material will give you ammonia build up, and in such a small tank it doesn't take long. Your fish may suffer ammonia burns or fin rot if you don't keep up good water quality. However, if your filter is a biological one, less frequent water changes may be done. The beneficial bacteria will help eliminate the ammonia and nitrite from your tank.
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Old 09-18-2012, 10:57 PM   #3 
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Thanks for your reply.

How do I know if my filter is a biological one?
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Old 09-19-2012, 12:53 PM   #4 
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Typically it'll say something about bio in the name, like the Tetra Whisper's 'biobags'. They usually have some form of carbon in them; look up yours online and see if it says anything along those lines.
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Old 09-19-2012, 01:15 PM   #5 
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Yes, that's exactly the one I have.

So, I did a water change this morning.... It wasn't that easy. I think I scared Lex. Is there an easy way to do a water change where he won't be freaking out about what's going on? It was hard to remove him from the tank. I was finally about to do it after so many tries. :( Felt bad for him. I'm afraid if I buy a net and use it that he will jump out. I used a plastic cup to remove him... didn't know what else to use.
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Old 09-19-2012, 01:42 PM   #6 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by celie View Post
Yes, that's exactly the one I have.

So, I did a water change this morning.... It wasn't that easy. I think I scared Lex. Is there an easy way to do a water change where he won't be freaking out about what's going on? It was hard to remove him from the tank. I was finally about to do it after so many tries. :( Felt bad for him. I'm afraid if I buy a net and use it that he will jump out. I used a plastic cup to remove him... didn't know what else to use.
I also use a cup, soon my fish learned to swim into the cup. You could also fill the cup, and then gently net him, then put him in the cup.

I'm new to all this, but I think biological filter refers to the buildup of beneficial bacteria, much of which resides on the filter. Once established, the BB "eat" away at the harmful ammonia and nitrites.
You can't just buy a "biological filter", you have to cycle your tank to culture the bacteria, though from what I've read, it's very hard to do in a tank smaller than 3-5 gallons.

I have a 2-2.5 gallon tank. Water gets changes 50% on Tuesday and Thursday, 25% on Saturday, and a full clean on Sunday. The 25- 50% changes only take a few minutes.

Last edited by whiskandbowl; 09-19-2012 at 01:44 PM.
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Old 09-19-2012, 01:51 PM   #7 
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Perhaps I didn't explain myself well enough; the buildup of beneficial bacteria was what I meant; however, certain filters have more surface area/better breeding grounds for this bacteria. That's all I was trying to get at.

Unfortunately, bettas can be skittish little fish at times. Eventually your betta will adjust to being cupped and you won't have any problems. You just have to be patient and earn his trust.

If you're still confused as to how often to filter your tank, I would suggest getting a water testing kit (API is great) and test your water every day or so. Compare your levels to healthy levels; if they're getting up there, do a 50% water change.

Or, if you live close to a pet store, you can take your water into most pet shops and they will test it for you for free :)
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Old 09-19-2012, 02:38 PM   #8 
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I was going to get a test kit, but it looked a bit complicated to use and I didn't know if it was worth getting for my 1.5 gallon tank. I like the idea of taking it to the pet store for them to test the water. :)

Thanks for the help!
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Old 09-19-2012, 03:14 PM   #9 
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A filter is nice to prevent any film from forming on the surface, but in that small of a tank I wouldn't even attempt to cycle.
Its not impossible, but its very very difficult in a tank that small. I know someone who has trouble keeping a 3 gallon tank's cycle stable.

As for water changes in your tank, I reccomend 3 weekly water changes- 2 50% and 1 100% weekly.

Have fun with your new guy!
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Old 09-19-2012, 04:55 PM   #10 
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Also, just adding on to what teeney suggested, my tank is too small I feel to operate a filter, so to prevent a film from keeping him from breathing, I use an air stone :) Works great and the current isn't too strong for him. It also oxygenates the water a bit, and that never hurts.
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