So my betta, Cass, is in a 2 gallon tank I believe. Maybe a 1.6. Hexagonal, more vertical than horizontal. She seems quite healthy and energetic, but I still have no idea how much I should be doing water changes, or if I should break the bank and buy a new aquarium for her. Her old tank was only a gallon, so this one is a real improvement, but I just want to make sure the sweet little girl lives a long time. There's no filter, and right now we're doing a 25%-ish water change per week, and syphoning her tank of debris twice a week.
I've heard mixed reports. Some people say 1.5-2.5 gallons is just fine for one betta. Some say that's cruel. Some people say you should do one 50% change and one 100% change per week, some say two 50% changes a week, some say two 25% changes a week (for a tank 2.5 gallons or less with no filter)
Please help a guy out. I really want to make sure I've got the best I can get for my little Cass. I'm just pretty strapped for cash and don't want to have to eat dog food if I don't have to. :P
A tank in the 1 -2.5 gallon range is fine for a single betta. If your water parameters are excellent and your betta is kept healthy and fed it is better off than probably at least 50% of bettas out there.
Personally, I like to purchase a test kit for ammonia and test my water myself.
While sometimes tests can give false readings and they aren't foolproof, if you get a better brand that has not passed its expiration date, then you are going to have a pretty good idea of where you stand in regards to water quality.
Some people will say do x amount of water changes x amount time a week, but without having actual readings you are just guessing as to the quality of your water.
Since there is no filter and no live plants, correct? I would do the one 50% and one 100% a week. Smaller tanks build up ammonia faster and do need more water changes. One change a week is not enough in a tank that size, with or without a filter.
If you want, since you have a vacuum, you could do a 50% and an 80-90% instead of the 100%. I'd do a 100% every so often, though, to rinse the gravel and decor.
Remember that 100% changes require you to re acclimate your fish. And a 1.5-2 gallon should be alright with proper upkeep, but personally, my smallest tank is a 4 gallon. I do keep one gallons though as hospital and quarantine tanks.
Personally on my smaller tanks (1g - 1.75g) I do one 100% water change every 5 days. No filter nor live plants in those tanks. Haven't had an issue with illnesses or fin rot/ammonia poisoning by doing it.
Adding a 50% water change mid week and a 100% at the end is not a bad idea though, as it will keep the water a bit cleaner.
I thought 100% changes were unhealthy for fish, unless they're sick? 0.o That's what I've always been told.
Each fish is a little different in care.. it also depends on the set up of the tank.
For a tank with no filter - regardless of size - it will require 100% water changes. The amount of the 100% changes is dependent upon size of tank. Normally anything under 5g you will want to do a weekly 100%, anything over 5g you will do a 100% once a month.
If you HAVE a filter, you don't do 100%s
If you HAVE live plants, you don't do 100%s
Only if you have no live plants and no filters you should be doing 100%s.
I may be in the minority, but I'm against 100% changes, as you have to remove the fish, which is stressful. What I do is siphon out the water until there's just enough for the fish to swim in and immediately add warm dechlorinated water. If you do that twice a week, you'll be good.
I would certainly suggest you upgrade to a larger tank, if you can afford the money and space. I've heard a 3G tank is good and my betta seems happy in mine. Others recommend a 5G...
One 50% and one 100% w/ gravel rinsing is needed for a tank of this size.
Stress mostly comes from a change in water parameters and if you do changes properly that isn't a problem.
To do a 50%, use their tank thermometer to get the running tap to the same temp as their tank. Fill up change bucket, add conditioner, then add it to the water. To do a 100%, cup them in a plastic solo cup and wrap a towel around it to hold heat while you empty, rinse and refill their tank with matching temp water. Add your conditioner, stir it up a bit to get it distributed, then slowly acclimate by floating in the tank an hour and adding a couple tablespoons of the new water every 10 minutes. Finally add them and release as little water in the cup back into the water as possible.