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Old 05-20-2013, 01:43 AM   #11 
LittleBettaFish
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It's not just waste and ammonia/nitrates that you remove with water changes. I'm pretty sure things like TDS come into play as well.

I like to do small but frequent water changes with the bettas I keep. This is because they prefer very specific conditions, and if I left it to the end of the month and then did a massive water change I would probably shock them.
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Old 05-20-2013, 02:51 AM   #12 
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I have a number of betta in 2.5g containers. If I changed the water every 2.5 weeks Im pretty sure they would be very dead or at least very sick. I change the water 100% every 3 days and it is filthy enough for me to know an ammonia spike could on its way if I wait any longer. In my 33g sorority that would mean 6 month plus period between water changes. I cannot imagine what that would look like.
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Old 05-20-2013, 07:41 AM   #13 
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I change the water 100% every 3 days and it is filthy enough for me to know an ammonia spike could on its way if I wait any longer.
Explain to me why an ammonia spike would be on its way?? The only way that could possibly be the case is if your tank is not cycled. Ammonia spikes are NEVER a concern in a cycled tank, unless you are adding fish or you make the mistake if throwing out your media.


As for filthy water - if there are particulates in the water, then that is an indication that your filtration is inadequate. Plain and simple.



Bettas are no more difficult to keep than any other fish. You can create as much work as you like in keeping them, but that doesn't change anything. They aren't these fragile creatures that are going to die if you look at them wrong. I can't even count how many people mention the threat of their bettas dying - like I started with, the only way that could happen is if your tank is not cycled, which EVERY tank ought to be. Yes, even the tiny "tanks".


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Old 05-20-2013, 08:17 AM   #14 
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Okay, that might work for you but it would never sit right with me. First, 1 gallon, unless quarantined, IMHO is too small. Letting it go a week is a lot of stress on the fish. i have some in 2.5 gallon but, I have sponge filters and a heater, and one ghost shrimp. I still siphon the bottom out, with a turkey baster, every day. I use IAL and Prime.
I can't imagine letting them go a full week, let alone 3 weeks, without a cleaning. Unless you are talking good filtration, including plants (which are hard in a one gallon), I don't understand this advise at all.

This is just my opinion but, I certainly wouldn't want conditions like that to live in. Whatever works for you, however are fine.
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Old 05-20-2013, 08:29 AM   #15 
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The most deadliest things in the aquarium water are things you can not see. Going a very long time (too long) such as 2+ weeks without a water change, then doing a large water change puts the fish at a very high risk of going into a deadly shock as the chemistry just changed greatly. Along with putting your tank at risk for a crash which will also kill the fish within hours. It's a deadly game being played and all may look good.. but it's not. No animal will survive on fish waste alone, and filters only hide the waste from view, not remove it. Gills being used also creates ammonia, not just the waste and food products.

Only time I have seen tanks be able to go without the water changes are in tanks that are specifically set up with certain types/amount of live plants, substrate, etc. It is very highly recommended to do weekly water changes.. it's something that has been recommended for so very very long.. it's not enthusiasts just being careful, it's vital.

On the flip side, water can be too pristine and would not benefit the fish either.. it's a balancing act, why the person who wrote the water change thread recommends what she does - a 4 decade long research, with her knowledge and education behind her she had come up with what she did that would give the aquariums the best balance. I highly suggest following it or being close to following those recommendations.
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Old 05-20-2013, 09:17 AM   #16 
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I change the water in my 2.5g containers every 3 days because there is no way that they are cycled and quickly getting filthy as they have no filter. As far as a cycled 33g goes yeah certainly not every 3 days but once a week a 50% wc works fine for me and I always remove a enough waste with the vac to know its worth doing even though I run 1 hob, 2 large sponge and lots of plants. I follow the wc schedule from OFL thread and maybe even go further but that's my choice. Your quote "like I started with, the only way that could happen is if your tank is not cycled, which EVERY tank ought to be. Yes, even the tiny "tanks". I have great difficulty getting my head around how you can get a stable cycle in 2.5g unfiltered containers. Please explain your method for getting these to a stable cycle. How often do you think I should change the water in these containers?
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Old 05-20-2013, 09:48 AM   #17 
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My method for maintaining a cycle is to use a filter....

If you do not use a filter, then you may have to do frequent changes to keep the fish alive. It's just far easier to use a filter, and better for the fish as it provides more stable water parameters.

There is this myth that small tanks can't be cycled - no idea where this originated, but it is just that - a myth. Even without a filter, assuming that there is substrate and decor in the tank, there will be bacteria living on every surface. Assuming that the fish swims around, there will be some circulation of water. Too, if there is a heater, there will be some circulation of water.


As for deadly shock from going 2 weeks without a water change - more fear mongering. I change at least 80% of my water every 4-6 weeks. My 125 has more than $500 worth of fish in it - not something I would "risk" losing over and over and over again.

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Last edited by jaysee; 05-20-2013 at 09:55 AM.
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Old 05-20-2013, 12:54 PM   #18 
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I cleaned my 2g tank once a week (100% b/c it was unfiltered but did have a plant in it) but my new 5g gets 50% once a week (filtered, no live plants)
Chumlee seems alot happier and healthier than Sushi did but I think alot of that has to do with age too....theres no way that Ida let my 2g go 2wks tho, and Im not sure Id let my 5g go that long either unless it was just a one time thing b/c of vacation or something. just my 2 cents worth....
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Old 05-20-2013, 03:50 PM   #19 
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Don't change your betta to often. For one gallon of water, change once a week, 2 gallons, every two weeks, 3 gallons, every 3 weeks & so on.
I agree that a betta fish can have it's water changed too often. The water changes are stressfull and it is possible to make a tank too clean. However, your suggestion is an over simplification.

I have two cycled 5 gallon and one 8 gallon cycled tanks. Since I cycled by tanks, I have to monitor them to make sure the nitrATEs do not drop too low (below 5ppm) or rise too high (above 50ppm). I have seen nitrATEs go from 0ppm to 50ppm in 5 weeks while cycling all 3 of my tanks (that was the sign that my tanks where fully cycled), so I already know I can't leave my tanks running on auto pilot for 5-8 weeks and keep my nitrATE levels under control.

A quick 25% water change brings the levels back down to 10ppm. Then they are back up to 20ppm by the next week and I do the 25% water change to bring them back down to 10ppm. However, I can't do more than a 25% water change once a week or I will bring my nitrATE levels below 5ppm. I have to put this much thought into 1 parameter. You don't want to know how long this response can get if I really break down all the aspects of my tanks.

I know what I do with my tank can't speak for every tank on the planet. But it is the reason I disagree with leaving a 5 gallon tank untouched for 5 weeks or an 8 gallon untouched for 8 weeks.
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Old 05-20-2013, 04:01 PM   #20 
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Bettas are no more difficult to keep than any other fish. You can create as much work as you like in keeping them, but that doesn't change anything. They aren't these fragile creatures that are going to die if you look at them wrong. I can't even count how many people mention the threat of their bettas dying - like I started with, the only way that could happen is if your tank is not cycled, which EVERY tank ought to be. Yes, even the tiny "tanks".

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Well that really depends on what betta species you keep. I have species that require extremely soft and acidic water. The pH of the water in their native home can be as low as 3-4, and dissolved mineral content is usually negligible.

Without those conditions they are liable to sicken or become extremely stressed. Even captive bred fish can only tolerate a narrow window of parameters. They are some of the most difficult species of betta to own.

If I left their tanks to the end of the month and then did a huge 80% water change with water straight from the tap, I would probably stress them all out because the water conditions are so incredibly different between the tank and the tap.

I would rather people have their water too clean than too dirty. Most betta owners choose not to cycle their tanks because it is easier to do water change than wait the four or so weeks for a tank to fully cycle.

A filter makes things easier yes, but there is no right or wrong way of keeping fish as long as your methods ensure you are meeting their basic needs.
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