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Old 10-18-2012, 09:08 AM   #31 
Oldfishlady
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A filtered 5gal-bare bottom will have limited BB, however, it should still cycle. With live plants that you have-I would recommend 50% weekly with vacuum and wipe down as needed. Decoration cleaned as needed-but not more than a couple of times a month.
Filter media needs a swish/rinse a couple of time a month too-but schedule this between the decoration cleaning.
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Old 10-18-2012, 03:05 PM   #32 
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I have a question. The tap water where I live is very hard and has a PH of 8.0. I would like to get it much softer and lower the ph to around 7.0 to be more friendly to my bettas. Some day I will invest in a RO system but for now I would like to use rain water from my barrels to do the job. I plan on doing this very slowly as I dont want to shock them. Am I heading down a dangerous road messing with gh and ph or is this plan ok. Thanks.
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Old 10-18-2012, 03:16 PM   #33 
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oops already answered
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Old 10-18-2012, 05:42 PM   #34 
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Thank you for sharing your knowledge! It has cleared a lot up for me regarding water changes.
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Old 10-19-2012, 10:35 AM   #35 
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Originally Posted by logisticsguy View Post
I have a question. The tap water where I live is very hard and has a PH of 8.0. I would like to get it much softer and lower the ph to around 7.0 to be more friendly to my bettas. Some day I will invest in a RO system but for now I would like to use rain water from my barrels to do the job. I plan on doing this very slowly as I dont want to shock them. Am I heading down a dangerous road messing with gh and ph or is this plan ok. Thanks.
It is really better not to mess with the hardness and pH unless it is causing problems for the Betta. Generally Betta will adapt to the source water hardness and pH without any problems and pH of 8 isn't that bad-but you really need to know the GH/KH.

When I move my Bettas outside in the warmer months- they go into rainwater/well water mix-all I do for them is a slow acclimation over 15-20 min more or less...more to their tolerance. The rainwater become more pure when it rains and more well water in drought when I need to top off or cool them off with the hose. Adult Betta, eggs, fry, juvies all seem to tolerate this without any problems. It not really too sudden changes but its not real gradual either.
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Old 10-19-2012, 10:45 AM   #36 
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This helps much. Thank you for sharing your knowledge OFL it is greatly appreciated by many.
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Old 10-28-2012, 11:03 AM   #37 
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As usual, you rock :) Thanks OFL! Can now link instead of type out instructions!
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Old 10-29-2012, 03:19 PM   #38 
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Is there anything special I need to do when I replace the filter cartridge? I have 2 live plants in my tank.
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Old 10-29-2012, 03:39 PM   #39 
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Is there anything special I need to do when I replace the filter cartridge? I have 2 live plants in my tank.
This depends....size of tank, age of tank, stocking, species of plants and how mature the nitrogen cycle.

I don't change my filter media until its falling apart-generally all that need to be done with the filter media is to give it a good rinse/swish in the bucket of old tank water a couple of times a month.
Unless you plan to use carbon and it is part of your filter media-like with the cartridges-then you need to change that per package direction.
You may or may not need to cut a section from the old filter media sponge and add to your new filter media to seed it, however, this depends on the factors I stated above.

Carbon isn't needed in most tanks-its more of a personal choice. With that said, its a good idea to always have some fresh/unused carbon on hand for emergencies.
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Old 10-29-2012, 04:18 PM   #40 
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It's a Whisper filter with a bio bag. The directions say to change when the water is going over the top of the filter cartridge. It isn't doing that yet, so I think it's still good. I'll swish it in tank water the next time I change the water.
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