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Old 09-23-2013, 07:24 PM   #1 
KateAndSparky
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Questions on maintaining a 3 gallon tank?

Alright, guys

So because I was naive (and I may even go so far as to say I am a hypocrite and a bad pet owner) and I did no research before acquiring my first Betta, and my first fish for that matter, I got him a tank that's much too small. Currently, he is in a 1 gallon tank with a filter and no heater.

My research on this site says that a 5 gal is the standard for 1 Betta, but I am absolutely stretched thin as far as space in my room. I have decided that a good compromise will be a 3 gallon tank. Because he seems to be doing so well in his 1 gal, I feel that he will have a happy life in a 3 gallon. I just have a few questions.

1.) When I bought my current tank (an Aqueon Minibow 1 gal.) it came with a small whisper filter. Will this filter be too small for a 3 gallon?

2.) Do I have to cycle a 3 gallon tank? I do plan on keeping live plants in the tank when I learn more about them, but I am relatively unfamiliar with cycling other than the fact that I know how to do water testing.

3.) I have a preset heater to put in the tank. It is supposed to work for tanks 2-5 gallons so it should be fine, right?

4.) How often and in what quantities should I do water changes?

5.) (This is more of a general newbie fishkeeping question) I realize that suring 100% tank changes, gravel can be taken out of the tank and rinsed with hot water in a strainer to remove waste. I also have a siphon vacuum for cleaning the gravel, but my question is is there ever a time when you must get rid of the gravel and put all new gravel in the tank?
6.) Do Bettas need an airstone?

That's it for now. I don't have the tank yet and would like more information so I can plan how much I really need to spend. I am already super bummed that I wasted my money on a tank too small to keep any fish happy.

Please, any help would be much appreciated.

Last edited by KateAndSparky; 09-23-2013 at 07:30 PM.
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Old 09-23-2013, 07:27 PM   #2 
tigerhappy26
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1.No that's the filter I have for my 3g.
2.Yes you should always cycle.
3.Yes that heater is fine.
5.I replace it about 1 a month but it's really your choice
Sorry I don't know number 4
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Old 09-23-2013, 07:32 PM   #3 
KateAndSparky
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tigerhappy26 View Post
1.No that's the filter I have for my 3g.
2.Yes you should always cycle.
3.Yes that heater is fine.
5.I replace it about 1 a month but it's really your choice
Sorry I don't know number 4
What method do you use for cycling? I read OldFishLady's post and she said the shrimp method was easiest, but it seemed to be for much larger tanks so I am not sure how to modify it for a 3 gal. I just need something easy, because I don't really have a feel for this stuff yet.

I added another question as well. Do Bettas need an airstone?
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Old 09-23-2013, 07:34 PM   #4 
Niece
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Well I have my betta in a 3 gallon and he loves it. =]
But with preset heaters I've heard people say that they have actually cooked their fish the temps got so high.
I'm actually getting a temperature adjustment one just to be safe.

http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=115758
^ that thread helped me a lot with water changes.

And as for the gravel. I don't think so I never have I mean there shouldn't be any reason. Maybe if your fish got sick you could clean/disinfect it if you wanted to be safe.
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Old 09-24-2013, 05:27 AM   #5 
Hallyx
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1) Does your filter use an airpump and make bubbles? If so, that's the Tetra Whisper 3i filter. My advice is to replace it as soon as you can get a proper sponge filter in there. Look up "sponge filter on Amazon. ANY of those is better than the 3i.

2) "Fish-in" cycling (with the fish in the tank), as OldFishLady recommends, is very easy in a 3g tank, especially because you know how to test your water. (With a liquid test kit, right?)

3) Preset heaters are problematical. Sometimes they work fine, more often they don't. Get a 25W heater by Hydor, Eheim, Hagen or other reputable maker. A heater is the last thing you want to skimp on.

4) Change 50% of the water whenever the ammonia rises to 0.25ppm or less. Same for nitrite when it appears. Don't worry about nitrate for now. Live plants reduce risk in any cycle, and Betta love them. Don't forget floaters. Doing this, your tank will cycle automatically with the least stress for your fish and least effort for you.

5) Do not ever clean your filter or substrate. Vacuum weekly or more often with a siphon. Swish/rinse your filter in just-removed tank water every month or so.

6) Betta don't need an airstone. But nitrifying bacteria need a little oxygen to be healthy. If your filter disturbs the surface, that's enough..
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Old 09-24-2013, 10:26 AM   #6 
Matilda
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1) As far as I know, the filter in the MiniBow is specially designed to fit in that tank, not sure if it’s adaptable to a new tank. I have 3 gallon tank with a betta & I don’t have any filter. I do however have live plants & do regular water changes.

2) Cycling depends more on the filter then the tank itself. I don’t think you need to worry about it with a tank that size.

3) Is it a “preset” or a “constant-on” heater? Presets are usually okay, constant-on heaters will work with some “adjustments.” I use them with timers.

4) I would recommend at least 50% twice a week. I don’t do 100% water changes unless there’s a serious issue.

5) I don’t ever take out my gravel to clean it unless I’m breaking down a tank. A gravel vacuum will be fine. I don’t know why anyone would want to get all new gravel unless they’re setting up or changing a tank. It won’t go bad or anything.

6) They don’t “need” an airstone, more of a personal preference or to correct an imbalance. I happen to like bubbles but I make sure they’re not too strong for my bettas.

Hope this helps! Let us know how everything works out!
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Old 09-24-2013, 05:10 PM   #7 
KateAndSparky
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Thanks for all the help, everyone. I will definitely post pics of Sparky's new home and let you know how he likes it :)
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