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Old 01-07-2010, 12:45 AM   #1 
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: transplant from WV to Richmond Va
water changes with/without betta in tank?

I'm very new to the pet fish arena!(smile). Our last gold fish in the 1.5 gallon tank we have, died after 6 days despite much water testing and much adjusting. So, told the Betta's were more hardy, we now have one and after 3 days, he's still looking good. I am monitoring the various levels in this small tank, and noticed the nitrite is rising to what the test strip shows as a light pink color, but indicates"stress". The current ph is in the 7.2 range(more red than orange in color). The ammonia level is fine according to a separate test strip. I want to do a partial water change, I guess about 25%, and have the self-suctioning tube. My questions: 1. do I leave the betta in there while I do this? does this stress him out? Does it stress him more to remove him to a holding tank while I do this?
Also, I have an aponogetum(? sp). plant in there that's doing well, and hopefully helping with the cycling. Given it's small size, do you know how long it will take before I start to see a rise in the nitrate to break down the nitrite? Currently it reads as the color whitish,yellow, which is little no none.
Thanks so much. I've enjoyed reading and learning from the previous posts.
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Old 01-07-2010, 12:51 AM   #2 
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I think it's going to be hard to cycle a 1.5 gallon tank. In a tank that small, you need to be doing 100% water changes at least twice a week. Ammonia can build up quickly. And actually, bettas should be kept in 2.5 gallons or lager. Another thing you need to watch with such a small tank is temperature. They get cold much easier than larger tanks, and they are hard to heat. It should be kept at 76 to 82 degrees.
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Old 01-07-2010, 07:58 AM   #3 
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I agree with dr2b, I don't think you can cycle a 1.5G tank. I clean mine 2 or 3 times a week 100%. They make hydor heaters for small tanks like that, but it only raises the temperature a couple degrees.
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Old 01-07-2010, 09:17 AM   #4 
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one other note is that test strips are usually inaccurate.. if you do water changes regularly as suggested you really dont need to test but if you are going to most would recommend a liquid test kit.. they are much more accurate
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Old 01-07-2010, 10:34 AM   #5 
Join Date: Jul 2008
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I agree with bearwithfish about the test strips. The API freshwater master test kit is the one usually recommended.
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Old 01-07-2010, 11:35 AM   #6 
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Location: Vancouver, Canada
Get the test kit DQ mentioned, it is awesome and economical.

As far as cycling goes, I just typed up a huge reply on the thread 'cycling a 1g' but the jist of it is that the smaller a tank, the more unstable the water parameters. The more unstable the water parameters, the higher the risk of a bacterial die off. So rather than cyclign your tank and losing it due to a fluctuation in water params, I suggest you simply change the water 100% every week.

Unless you forget to dechlorinate the new water and match it's temperature and pH to that of the old water, a water change of any kind should'nt stress your fish very much at all, whether you take the fish out or not. What will stress him is shying away from cleaning the tank for fear of alarming him and just letting the ammonia run wild.

Welcome to the betta forum!!!
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Old 01-07-2010, 11:46 AM   #7 
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Agree with all who posted before me. I had two 1.5 gals. (rec'd as gifts for bettas) and after a zillion water changes, ditched them for the 2.5 gallons which are all cycled.

Good luck with your new fishy and welcome to the forum.
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Old 01-07-2010, 12:34 PM   #8 
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Thank you all so much! Since I figured that if I was supposed to do a 100% water change, it was O.K. to take him out, I did a 75% water change(in the small hope of maintaining some bacteria to see if I could get this thing to cycle.....I'll read your response to how to cycle a 1 gallon tank). Anyway, re-checked with the available strips I have(I'll get some liquid test kits), and the nitrite went back down to practically colorless/whte vs. the light shade of pink previously). We got the 1.5 when my daughter brought home the small goldfish from a carnival, and just wasn't sure we wanted to get into this arena, so we started small. We are enjoying it(except of course when the last one died), and so, we will probably increase the tank so I don't lose my mind retesting, changing and worrying(smile). It came with a light which I keep on and it sits under the kitchen cabinets where I have undercabinet lighting and thus, the temp ranges from 72 in day to 70 when we get up in the a.m. He's swimming fine, actually somewhat hyper at times..the reason I checked the ammonia to ensure no burning. I'm going to post another question re: his eating habits(or seeming lack of ). Thanks to all!
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Old 01-07-2010, 03:40 PM   #9 
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I just wanted to mention that goldfish need to be kept in a tank that is at least 20 gallons. It is a misconception that they should be kept in small bowls. Much like with Bettas.
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