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Old 05-29-2013, 10:26 AM   #1 
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1CrownTail's Avatar
Join Date: May 2013
Location: NC
Filter vibrating new home

Hi all!
I'm a newbie betta owner. I've had Sir SpikesAlot for 2 days. He lives in a 3 gallon tank planted with Bacopa c. and a narrow leaf Java Fern, a 10w heater and a Whisper filter on the lowest setting. He seems to be adjusting ok, though he's not eating much yet and hides in his plants when I bring anything new in front of his tank. He did make a bubble nest this morning (first time I've seen that!!)

I have 2 questions:

1) The filter, though quiet and very gentle, vibrates the whole tank and I'm concerned that this may not be good for him, especially while he's adjusting to his new tank. Anyone have experience with this? I could take the filter out and plan on more frequent water changes, but I like the idea of a filter.

2) I'm also unsure how I would scrub out the tank and have the plants survive. They're held in place by the gravel and too much suction I'm sure would pop them out and they'd float right up to the top - where's a good place to keep them when I remove them for a tank scrubbing?
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Old 05-29-2013, 12:08 PM   #2 
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Join Date: Jul 2012
Welcome to the wonderful world of betta ownership! If that is your fish in your avatar, he's beautiful! Maybe I can help you a bit with your questions.

I, too, have a Whisper filter in a 3 gallon tank. My crowntail isn't bothered by it in the least, and though I know what you're talking about with the faint vibration, as long as the filter isn't pressed up against the side or the bottom of the tank (or the lid), you're fine. The betta should not be upset by it at all. Watch the surface of your water... it should be moving VERY gently, and should not look like the whole surface is upset by vibrations. If it is, you may need to adjust your filter placement.

As for cleaning the tank, you don't want to scrub it! Scrubbing will kill all the beneficial bacteria, and you want those! All you're going to want to do is use a gravel vacuum once a week to suck up debris, and do one additional 50% water change along with the gravel vacuum water change (which should also be about 50%). Don't remove your plants from the tank, just keep up with maintenance for them and you'll be fine. Best of luck!
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Old 05-31-2013, 09:02 AM   #3 
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Location: NC
Thanks, Seki!
That is my betta as my avatar - he's wonderful!

I checked the filter again, and it seemed that the motor part (sorry I don't know the correct term!) was resting on the tank wall - the suction cup isn't quite deep anough to keep it off. I wedged a rubber grommet between it and the wall and it seems to have lessened the vibration. The water wasn't quivering from the vibe or the filter so I think it'll be ok.

Thanks for the reminder about scrubbing! Sometimes I get OCD about tank cleanliness and once I get started I want to swish everything out... Doing a 50% water change this morning, hoping it doesn't freak him out.

Thanks again!!!
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Old 06-01-2013, 08:18 AM   #4 
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Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Fungus corners
Very good advice from Seki.

To satisfy your OCDness, buy a water test kit (API is widely used, available for around $20 from Amazon)

Keep the ammonia and nitrite <0.25ppm by partial water changes (pwc's). Eventually your tank will (achieve the nitrogen) cycle and you can get by on a weekly 50% pwc.

And plants are great; can't have too many.
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