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Old 03-12-2013, 01:01 PM   #1 
TheChosenDarkness
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Water Change. How often?

I have a 3 gallon tank and I worry over the water change. I see some people who suggest anything from every 2-3 days to once per week or sometimes longer. So far, the only issues I have is PH level and the alkalinity levels (they are on the higher end - me thinks the gravel I have is the culprit). So far, 0 nitrite/nitrate. I have plans on moving him to a larger tank (10 gallon), but for now he is in my 3 g. In the last few days I have been taking a gallon or more out of the tank and doing a replacement. I ran out of test strips. So, I am hoping I haven't upset him. So far, he is swimming around and being his normal curious self. No unreasoned flaring, bottom sitting, or anything like that.

The water temperature is also constant 75 degrees F. My house is a tad cool. So, I guess 75 is okay for the conditions he has now. Which is a lot better than when I got him. Pet store bought he is.

Any way.. I plan on doing a planted 10 g as soon as possible, but until then.. how often is safe for a 3 g tank? Grant it there is no real harmful toxins in the water.
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Old 03-12-2013, 01:42 PM   #2 
shellieca
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Is your 3g filtered? How long has it bee set up? Instead of the test strips I would invest in an API Freshwater liquid test kit, yes more expensive up front but instead of only 30 tests you'll get 100's plus it comes with all the tests you need; ammonia (HUGELY important), nitrite, nitrate & PH. 75F is on the cool side for a healthy Betta so a heater needs to be purchased so you can bring his water temp to 78-80F & keep it steady. As for water changes, I have unfiltered 2.5g tanks that I do (2) 70-80% water changes per week with a 100% every 2-3 weeks.
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Old 03-12-2013, 02:03 PM   #3 
ryancalif
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I second the notion to get an API liquid test kit. I was also hesitant about spending the ~$30 to get one, but once you have it, you'll use it constantly. They're awesome, and they last much longer than strips (in fact the kit pays for itself after about 2 bottles of test strips, which run about ~$11-15/bottle).

It really is a must have if you're even remotely serious about taking care of your fish.
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Old 03-12-2013, 02:26 PM   #4 
sainthogan
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Here is a link on this forum that will help you: http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=115758
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Old 03-12-2013, 04:05 PM   #5 
Bombalurina
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I would also see about raising the temperature. 75 is on the chilly side for these fish. :)

I'd check OFL's sticky on water changes. Hard to go wrong following her advice. :)
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Old 03-12-2013, 11:24 PM   #6 
TheChosenDarkness
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It has been set up for a week+. So far, no nitrite or nitrate to be seen. I am just having issues with the PH. Which is around 7.5 or a little higher. Which some test kits say is okay for a community tank. He is by himself. So, I have been doing water changes every 2 days or so. To see if that balances it out. Is my tank filtered? Yes, it is. I even have a heater, but like I said... my house is a tad cool. However, I have been keeping on eye on the temp. I think I have it about 77 degrees right now. It is generally a little cooler at night.

I have plans for a bigger tank and better heater. I am in the process of doing a planted tank. Not a total NPT (soil based planted tank), but I am trying to get his housing in order. Working an odd shift M-F with little time to run to the pet store kind of has me on edge, but I worry over my Pearl. He is my baby.

I will have to see if the PetDepot here has a API liquid test kit. If not... guess someone is going to have to dig around for a site to order one. I am not above using such things, but considering I wasn't planning on a Betta for this tank.. I didn't get everything at once. I was originally going for GlowFish, but that is another story for another day.

Either way, the link presented.. I do that roughly for my 3g. Partial to at least 50%. I haven't done a full change yet. But, this coming Saturday will mark the 2 week change. So, I will most likely do a full change then.

I generally don't over feed him and scoop out what he doesn't eat. He usually will eat around 4 pellets. Which is what I give him twice a day. I have tried him on other foods. Such as dried Mysis, Daphina, and Blood Worms. He usually spits them out. He is kind of on the small side (I think his growth was stunted) and usually prefers his Mini Pellets. I haven't tried brine shrimp. I was thinking of doing that with the 3 g once I got his 10 g up and running.

My husband doesn't quite understand my need to spoil my fish, but out of the Bettas I have owned over the years.. he is the most lively and curious creature I have seen. He captured my heart.

---

Also, on the subject of tanks... I only have access to a PetDepot and a Walmart. Which kind of lighting is best? I have seen some LED ones and I wonder if water plants do okay in those or do I need to just go with your standard bulbs? Also, any heater suggestions? Does a standard 10 g heater work well or should I opt for something a little bigger? Also, is AQ salt needed? I have seen various "starter kits" that help with conditioning water, adding good bacteria, and stuff to balance out the PH. Any suggestions on those? Remember, Walmart and PetDepot are about the only places that carry stuff I need.

I do have access to ghost shrimp, snails, and live plants (not a huge variety sadly). So, I can attempt a decent set up. I have read a few on the planted tanks and I want to give one a go, but I think I want to go for a gravel type. As I don't think I will have the patience for a full out mini eco-system. Which are lovely, don't get me wrong, but I know myself well and doing something on that scale will probably won't work.
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Old 03-12-2013, 11:53 PM   #7 
Bombalurina
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Here's a basic shopping list of what I'd get if you are upgrading to a ten gallon. I've tried to include links to Walmart stuff. :)

- http://www.walmart.com/ip/Regent-10-...-1-ct/10312733 Basic 10 gallon tank
- 50 watt heater http://www.walmart.com/ip/Tetra-Subm...-Pets/12177656
- an internal filter or sponge filter and air pump
- substrate
- live plants (make sure they are fully aquatic. Take a list with you, and don't be fooled into buying stuff like mondo grass or aluminium)
- dechlorinator, if you don't already have it (Prime is my favourite)
- a great food, ditto, such as Omega One, NLS or Attison's
- a 20 watt flourescent daylight lamp
- an API master test kit or other LIQUID kit

Don't bother with pH adjustment stuff, beneficial bacteria, etc. AQ and epsom salts are good to have on hand, but don't add them to the water unless you actually need to (i.e. there is an injury or disease).

Hope this helps! :) Be warned that I'm not in the US, so any links I have provided are just examples. :)
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Old 03-13-2013, 12:17 AM   #8 
TheChosenDarkness
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I noticed the US doesn't have a lot of the fancier foods, etc. that other people have. Which makes me sad. Means I have to go digging to find reputable sites to buy stuff from. Which I am fine with ordering stuff, but considering Pearl's health and well being are top priority for me.. I want to make sure I can at least find the basics.

Also, that list is awesome. Thank you. Specially the links to walmart. Makes it easier on me to find what I need. I will have to look into the Internal or Sponge filters. I usually use Tetra (AquaSafe) dechlorinator. I will have to see if Prime is available here. Same goes for the food. It is mostly Tetra here. I may have to see about ordering Omega One, etc. I don't think I have seen such in PetDepot or Walmart. My boy is picky. But, considering his size (which worries me), he may have to be picky. But, his appetite is healthy and he is very active. I would just prefer to put him in a nice little place and not worry so. Then think about partitioning the 10 g and maybe getting another betta after the tank is all good and proper.
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Old 03-13-2013, 12:28 AM   #9 
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My Walmart has a 10 gallon tetra start-up kit with a lighted hood an filter for 30 dollars. Also here is the difference between strips and a liquid kit
http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=131589

Last edited by kyle89; 03-13-2013 at 12:37 AM.
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Old 03-13-2013, 12:33 AM   #10 
TheChosenDarkness
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I am most definitely getting a liquid test kit. As the two different "strip" tests I bought.. gave me different results. I am not liking this. If there is a difference in a strip.. then I know there something wrong with this style of testing.

I saw the hooded tetra start up kits. I think those run about 30 US dollars. Though the LED ones.. do they work well with fully aquatic plants?
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