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Old 02-07-2010, 06:59 AM   #1 
Crimson
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Smile Filters and Water Changes

Hello everyone!

I am new to this forum, and I have done quite a bit of searching here, but I wanted to double check some things!

I had a betta fish several years ago named Puppy (because he acted like one!), and he lived in a ten gallon tank with a filter and a heater (and several African dwarf frogs). He sadly passed away, and I sold my tank before moving.

I have recently purchased a new betta named Vern, and I wanted to make sure that I have an optimal set up for him! I've received and read some conflicting information, so I wanted to ask about......

1. Whether or not I should get a filter! My tank is 2 gallons with a natural rock substrate and a large piece of wood that provides a hiding place. The wood has been boiled many times, but I am still noticing that it creates some very slight discoloration in the water, and have been thinking that this might be reason enough to get a gentle filter. I know bettas don't tend to handle current terribly well, as they are sort of created for standing water, which is why I made sure that my last betta had a 10 gallon tank with his filter! However, do you recommend a filter with a 2 gallon (uncycled) tank?

2. Water changes! I've been doing water changes 1-2 times per week (and never 100% so as not to disrupt the bacteria). Does this sound about right for a tank with no filter currently? I've read conflicting information about this......

Thank you for your help!
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Old 02-07-2010, 07:28 AM   #2 
Crimson
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Oh......I also wanted to mention that I just ordered a Hydor mini-heater and thermometer.....my boyfriend likes to keep our apartment at essentially subzero temperatures :). I've read that bettas love a temperature of about 78 degrees....is that correct??
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Old 02-07-2010, 07:44 AM   #3 
Tinthalas Tigris
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The general consensus of this message board (and other resources) feel that the minimum living requirement for a male (or female) betta is 2.5 gallons.

If you can afford it, and have the means to do so, in the aquarium hobby, bigger has a tendency to be beneficially better for maintenance and the fish.

The filter is not a necessity, but it can make your job as a caretaker easier.

For aquariums of 5gallons or more, a mechanical filter will provide your fish and its fellow inhabitants a much cleaner environment. It will also aid in the naturally occurring "Nitrogen Cycle," or Biological filtration, which is the desire of many aquarists in achieving.

A Cycled 5 to 10 gallon tank only requires weekly, water changes at optimal conditions. In order to achieve a proper nitrogen cycle, it is best never to change over 25% of your water at any time.

Daily water changes of 10 - 15% is typically considered a very healthy regimen at the beginning, while waiting for your nitrogen cycle to establish. Keep your mechanical filter on! You can introduce many different sorts of blockades with plastic cups, leaves, and sponges on the outlet of your mechanical filter in order to slow down the rate of water's reentry into your aquarium in order to slow down the speed of the current, as well.
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Old 02-07-2010, 02:40 PM   #4 
dramaqueen
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If you are going to cycle your tank then a filter is necessary.
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Old 02-07-2010, 02:55 PM   #5 
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Agreed with the advice above.

However, if you don't want to cycle, you want to do full 100% water changes 2-3 times per week in a 2 gallon. You don't have a buildup of 'good bacteria' in an uncycled tank, only deadly ammonia, which can only be eliminated though 100% water changes.
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Old 02-07-2010, 03:30 PM   #6 
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What does it mean to cycle your tank?
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Old 02-07-2010, 03:34 PM   #7 
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Here is a good topic that explains how cycling works: http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...ium-cycle-252/
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Old 02-07-2010, 04:32 PM   #8 
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The discoloration your wood is producing is called Tannin.. it is quite beneficial and many breeders keep their tanks tinted all the time buy using Indian Almond Leaves, Driftwood, Oak Leaves.

If your not going to cycle your tank I wouldn't bother with a filter for a tank that size. The discoloration will fade eventually after all the tannin is released.

I would do 3 water changes a week on an uncycled 2 and at least 1 of those should be 100% with substrate cleaning. The others would be fine just doing 50-90%. That is a minimum though... I prefer to do every other day water changes on uncycled tanks less than 5 gallons.

If you are going to cycle make sure you research Fishless and Fish In cycles so you know how to do each properly. Fish In Cycling is a lot more than just doing 10% water changes a day.. in fact you would need to be doing WAY more than 10% if you do a fish in cycle.
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Old 02-10-2010, 04:16 PM   #9 
Crimson
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Thanks for the advice!! I am increasing my water changes, and doing 100% changes! I may end up eventually getting a bigger tank and cycling it, which is what I did several years ago when I last had a betta before moving overseas, but for now I am going to proceed with the uncycled tank and increased water changes! Allow me to double check one more time....should I be doing 100% water changes three times per week??
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Old 02-10-2010, 04:42 PM   #10 
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The more you do the better. At least 2 100% changes a week and a partial (20-50%) change in the middle is what I would do.
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