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Old 07-03-2008, 12:03 PM   #1 
MaverickBAS
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Join Date: Jun 2008
Should Betta's Gravel be Removed from Bowl When Cleaning?

Hello. I have a Betta fish, Chris, in a 2 gallon tank, no filter. I picked up "Chris", my betta, at PetCo last week, and he seems to be doing fine, very active.

Last night, I changed 50% of the water with a tube siphon. I noticed when I was siphoning the water off the gravel at the bottom that there was uneaten food and other particles mixed into the gravel. I managed to get some, but not all, of the particles out with the tube siphon.

My question is should I take all of the gravel out and wash it, or would this kill the "beneficial bacteria" which are supposed to grow in the gravel?

I'm thinking that in addition to a 50% water change with the tube siphon twice a week, perhaps once or twice a month I should take Chris out of the tank, put him in a small bowl, do a 50% water change, and wash all the gravel in a strainer under warm water to remove all the debris. Then return the same gravel to the betta tank after cleaning.

Does this sound llike a good idea? Thanks in advance for any advice.
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Old 07-03-2008, 12:33 PM   #2 
ErinBBC
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Most tube siphons have a 'gravel wash' function which allows you to use the siphon to wash off the gravel without removing it from the tank- the gravel gets sucked up in the siphon and the debris comes out of the gravel and down the siphon tube into the bucket but the gravel does not go down the tube, it stays in the tank. That way you don't lose the good bacteria. If you had a filter you wouldn't have to wash the gravel as much.

With a small tank you shold be okay without a filter as long as you do proper maintenance, but you really need a heater. You can find eaters small enough for a 2 gallon tank and they are very cheap.

Also, with that small of a tank, you should probably do partial water changes more than twice a week especially if you don't have a filter. Of course make sure you use water conditioner, you probably do that already but just in case I thought I'd mention it.

And make sure the betta has plenty of hiding places but with no rough edges, and they also like silk plants, some plastic ones can rip their fins...even though your tank is on the smallish side you can find specially made betta bowl decorations that are small enough.

Good luck with your new friend!
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Old 07-03-2008, 05:21 PM   #3 
MaverickBAS
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OK thanks.. I think I'll start looking for a slightly bigger tank with a filter and heater for the fall and winter. In the meantime I'll leave the gravel in when I do my water changes, and try to do the siphon with the attachment. (Last night I didn't use the attachment, just used the tube by itself),
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Old 07-03-2008, 07:57 PM   #4 
ErinBBC
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Several companies make 3 gallon tank kits that come with everything you need except the heater. Search the web to see who has the best prices, that way you're not limited by what brand your local pet store chooses to carry.
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