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Old 09-29-2012, 02:42 PM   #1 
Oldfishlady
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Smile Oldfishlady water change recommendations

Lots of different ways to successfully keep this species-

Based on the experiments I have conducted over the years-I have found that water quality can be maintained by these water change schedules. This is based on feeding quality foods and not overfeeding-since most water quality problems are due to poor quality foods and overfeeding more than byproducts produced by the Betta.

You don't want to base water change needs on water test ALONE-The test result can be helpful too, however, we don't test for the DOC's (dissolved organic compounds) that also build up that can be problematic.

All tanks need at least weekly-to-twice weekly water changes and water changes based on water prams of-Ammonia, nitrite 0.25ppm or greater and Nitrate of 40ppm or greater-It is best to keep nitrate under 20ppm.

If using plants fert-make water change-then add the ferts so you will remove any unused ferts so the algae can't to help prevent algae problems. With that said, some species of algae can be good and a sign of a healthy system, however, the aquarium is still a closed system and manual removal will still be needed on occasion.

Remember-some products/additives used in the tank can cause skewed test results. Have a base line with your source water with and without these products so you don't make unneeded water changes based on skewed results.

Tanks:
1-4gal without a filter or live plants
Twice weekly-1-50% water only and 1-100%

1-4gal with a filter
Twice weekly-1-50% water only and 1-50% with substrate cleaning by vacuum or stir and dip method.
Filter media needs a swish/rinse in old tank water a couple of times a month.

1-4gal with/without filter and with live plants-
This can vary based on number, specie and growth state of the plants. Generally with live plants even without a filter you don't want to make 100% water changes.

5-9gal without a filter
Once weekly 50% with vacuum-with 90-100% monthly

5-9gal with a filter
Weekly 50% with vacuum
Filter media needs a swish/rinse in old tank water a couple of times a month.

5-9gal with/without filter and with live plants
This can vary based on number, specie and growth state of the plants. Generally with live plants even without a filter you don't want to make 100% water changes.

10+gal without a filter
Once weekly 50% with vacuum and 90-100% as needed based on stocking

10+gal with a filter
Weekly 50% with vacuum
Filter media needs a swish/rinse in old tank water a couple of times a month.


10+gal with/without filter and with live plants
This can vary based on number, specie and growth state of the plants. Generally with live plants even without a filter you don't want to make 100% water changes.

You want to vacuum in all areas you can reach without moving anything or disruption of plant roots. It is best not to move decorations around-but if you need to or you want to change things around-Be sure and vacuum well under items-you may or may not need to make 2 back to back water changes in order to get the excess mulm/debris buildup under items.
If you do-don't clean the filter media or clean the non-viewing walls-especially in cycled tanks to prevent min-cycle/spikes.

When you vacuum-Unplug both the filter and heater-Then plunge the vacuum deep into the substrate and as the mulm/debris clear in a second or two-move and repeat.
You will not get all the mulm/debris and this is okay-Once you refill with like temp dechlorinated water and turn the filter back on the water should clear within the hour-even without a filter the water should clear. If not, you either missed a water change, over feeding or overstocked.

It is best to leave the Betta in the tank with partial water changes.
When making 100% water changes and you cup the Betta-be sure and properly acclimate back to the new chemistry like you do with a new Betta-By adding small amounts of the new tank water to the holding container over 10-15min or to tolerance-Net and add to the tank without adding the holding containers water.
Be sure and have some extra dechlorinated water on hand to use for top offs if needed.

Too clean can sometimes be as bad as too dirty-We all know what too dirty can do-but too clean and too many water changes especially 100% water changes can be stressful, disrupt the balance of the good and bad bacteria/pathogens and antibody development. Its hard for life to be maintained in too clean and sterile conditions.

I am not saying to not make water changes-what I am saying is that this species doesn't produce the amount of byproduct that you think and removal of all the organics in the tank too often can disrupt the balance and by removing all the bad you are removing the good that helps to keep the bad controlled.....Balance.....

Remember-to always wash hand well before and after working on your tank/Betta. And to unplug both the heater and filter...Safety for both you and your wet-pet.....

Last edited by Olympia; 03-26-2013 at 03:27 PM. Reason: Restoration
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Old 09-29-2012, 02:43 PM   #2 
MaisyDawgThirteen
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Niec job! :)
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Old 09-29-2012, 03:35 PM   #3 
crowntaillove
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This is very helpful! Thank you. Based on your recommendations, I'm changing the water way too often. I need to learn to relax a little. :]
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Old 09-29-2012, 03:42 PM   #4 
finnfinnfriend
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Thank you so much! You are my hero!
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Old 09-29-2012, 04:36 PM   #5 
Gryphon
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Awesome! Thank you for taking the time to type that all out. It's nice to have it all in one place!
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Old 09-29-2012, 06:09 PM   #6 
katydidmischief
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Thank you for posting this, OFL!
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Old 09-30-2012, 02:57 PM   #7 
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Thanks OFL....this is a great sticky....especially for new betta owners browsing the forum
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Old 09-30-2012, 07:08 PM   #8 
Gen2387
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That's a great thread. Glad to know I was already doing the right thing but this will help a lot of people that are new to betta keeping!
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Old 10-01-2012, 01:27 PM   #9 
Freyja
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This is a great sticky considering all the unreliable information there is out there, i.e. you only need to do 25% water changes once a month .
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Old 10-01-2012, 02:07 PM   #10 
BettaQi
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Thanks as always OFL!
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