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Old 08-21-2013, 04:39 PM   #1 
finnfinnfriend
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Questioning standard water change recommendations....

I have been thinking....In my 5 gallon, the nitrates are at like 4ppm by water change time, so I am guessing in a 2.5gallon that would be 8ppm, which is perfectly acceptable by water change time. So why can't we do a once weekly PWC on a 2.5 gallon betta tank?
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Old 08-21-2013, 04:46 PM   #2 
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I am assuming your tank is cycled if you are only concerned about nitrates? If your ammonia/nitrites are at 0ppm and your nitrates only between 10-20ppm (I think that is the recommended level for those), I don't see why you couldn't just do a once weekly partial water change.

However, you have to remember there are other things you are removing and replenishing when you do water changes, so it's not just the main three (ammonia, nitrite and nitrates) that should dictate when you need to do one.
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Old 08-21-2013, 05:00 PM   #3 
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Originally Posted by LittleBettaFish View Post
I am assuming your tank is cycled if you are only concerned about nitrates? If your ammonia/nitrites are at 0ppm and your nitrates only between 10-20ppm (I think that is the recommended level for those), I don't see why you couldn't just do a once weekly partial water change.

However, you have to remember there are other things you are removing and replenishing when you do water changes, so it's not just the main three (ammonia, nitrite and nitrates) that should dictate when you need to do one.
Yeah the tank is cycled :). By other things, you mean like solid waste?
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Old 08-21-2013, 05:01 PM   #4 
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Solid waste, dissolved organic compounds... Etc.
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Old 08-21-2013, 05:10 PM   #5 
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Solid waste, dissolved organic compounds... Etc.
I see....another concern people seem to have about a tank that size is a stable cycle because of lack of surface area....But if I were to put a decent size sponge filter in the 2.5, wouldn't that provide a lot of surface area and therefore hold a stable cycle?
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Old 08-21-2013, 05:19 PM   #6 
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A conductivity meter which all serious fish keeper needs and I'm not speaking of the general hobbies ( fish farmer/ breeder and hobbies with fishrooms). Water analysis also need to be performed and data needs to be collected and maintained, after You start collecting this information and have a point of reference. Then You can tell them what works for you instead of being told what you need!

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Old 08-21-2013, 05:23 PM   #7 
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A conductivity meter which all serious fish keeper needs and I'm not speaking of the general hobbies ( fish farmer/ breeder and hobbies with fishrooms). Water analysis also need to be performed and data needs to be collected and maintained, after You start collecting this information and have a point of reference. Then You can tell them what works for you instead of being told what you need!

Rick
I am beginning to realize that learning from my own experience is much more valuable than what anyone can tell me....But is it really as hard to hold a cycle in a tank <5g as everyone seems to think?
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Old 08-21-2013, 05:28 PM   #8 
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I don't think so, otherwise serious shrimp people would be in trouble. I know shrimp don't have a massive bioload, but they are sensitive and so you wouldn't want any ammonia/nitrite at all. Lots of shrimp keepers I have seen keep their shrimp in tanks under 5 gallons.

If you are concerned about the stability of a cycle in a tank this size, using fast growing live plants as a nutrient sponge to help keep your ammonia in check is an option. I think aquatic plants actually take up ammonia (or ammonium) in preference to nitrates and a plant like duckweed is great at keeping water parameters stable.
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Old 08-21-2013, 05:34 PM   #9 
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I don't think so, otherwise serious shrimp people would be in trouble. I know shrimp don't have a massive bioload, but they are sensitive and so you wouldn't want any ammonia/nitrite at all. Lots of shrimp keepers I have seen keep their shrimp in tanks under 5 gallons.

If you are concerned about the stability of a cycle in a tank this size, using fast growing live plants as a nutrient sponge to help keep your ammonia in check is an option. I think aquatic plants actually take up ammonia (or ammonium) in preference to nitrates and a plant like duckweed is great at keeping water parameters stable.
I may try some live plants someday...I have my betta in a 5 g and I obviously don't plan on downsizing on him or anything....But in the future I may want to keep a betta in a 2.5 because I feel like one betta would "fill up" the tank better.....I feel like my betta is just a tiny little thing in a huge (5g) box lol....Only I refuse to have a tank if I have to do more than once weekly maintenance beyond the fish-in cycle period...
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Old 08-21-2013, 06:36 PM   #10 
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Divide a five and problem solved.
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