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Old 03-26-2010, 11:42 AM   #1 
newfishmom
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Smile 5 gallon filtered question??

I bought a 5 gallon filtered aquarium at Christmas. Also bought my first male betta. (Clyde) Sadly, the past few days he was acting strange and this morning he was dead. Now, after reading up on Bettas for the past two days {which is what I should have done BEFORE I bought the fish} I am confused. Do I still need to change out my water once a week, even though it is filtered water? With Clyde, I was cleaning out the aquarium about once a month. Please help. I want to get another one tomorrow. Clyde had such a personality! I had bought a male & female at the same time and quickly learned that they couldn't be kept together {Bonnie & Clyde} My DD had a 2 gallon tank and we moved Bonnie into it, she is doing great. I love all the information in this forum!
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Old 03-26-2010, 12:28 PM   #2 
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Yep, water NEEDS to be changed once a week. If you have 'cycled' your aquarium (established a colony of beneficial bacteria to break fish waste down and make it harmless), you will only need to change it 25% weekly to get rid of the final product the bacteria produce, nitrate. If you have not cycled your aquarium wou will need to change it 100% weekly because the toxin produced by fish waste, ammonia, is not being eaten up by nitrifying bacteria.

Here are a few short paragraphs explaining on cycling. I recommend you read them whether or not you choose to cycle your aquarium... a lot of misinformation on tank cleaning goes around, mainly because the people giving it do not specify whether they are talking about cycled or uncycled tanks.

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8)THE CYCLE EXPLAINED IN 30 SECONDS8)

Rotting food and fish waste produces a toxin called ammonia. This is usually what kills fish when the tank isn't cleaned often enough. Given enough ammonia, bacteria called Nitrosomonas start living off it and starting a colony in the tank. They live on all the surfaces, primarily the filter because it contains the most surface area. They eat the ammonia and produce a more harmful waste product called nitrIte.

When nitrIte builds up, it attracts another kind of bug called Nitrobacter bacteria. They do all the same stuff as Nitrosomonas, only with the nitrIte instead of ammonia. What comes out the other end is a chemical called nitrAte. It's only harmless in big amounts. You then vacuum the nitrAte out of the tank when you do the water change. It doesn't take alot of vacuuming to remove.

In an uncycled tank, you skip the bacteria by sucking all the ammonia up yourself. Since you are cleaning out all the ammonia before the bacteria get a chance to dig in, they never really colonise the tank. So you take care of all the ammonia yourself, which requires bigger water changes to eliminate.

AMMONIA >nitrosomonas bacteria> NITRITE >nitrobacter bacteria> NITRATE => Water Change
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Old 03-26-2010, 12:45 PM   #3 
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Is there somewhere I can go to further explain - cycled/uncycled? Thanks for getting back so quickly but it's just not clicking for me right now.
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Old 03-26-2010, 12:49 PM   #4 
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We should have some stickies on it that explain in depth how cycling works in the main section of the forum.
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Old 03-26-2010, 01:03 PM   #5 
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Okay did some searching.... there are a lot of good ones here :
Important Topics
And here is an article on cycling by iamntbatman:
Beginners Guide to the Freshwater Aquarium Cycle

Bear in mind that iamntbatman wrote this article regarding freshwater aquariums in general, not betta tanks. In fully stocked freshwater aquariums (which often contain delicate fish as well) cycling is often mandatory, espescially since it is very hard to life large tanks to clean them. With bettas cycling is optional. But this article at least explains how to do it.

Personally, I would recommend you cycle the 5g... if i was a 1g I would say don't bother, as it is very hard to keep the bacteria alive in such a small space but a 5g is large enough for a very stable cycle. Not only does it allow you flexibilty as to when you clean the tank (If I have a busy week I can easily get away with pushing cleaning off for up to a week without consequence) but 5gs are also quite heavy to clean 100%. You definitely don't want to be picking it up and dumping the water in the sink!

Last edited by kelly528; 03-26-2010 at 01:05 PM.
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Old 03-26-2010, 03:58 PM   #6 
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Thanks so much for posting these links. You have been VERY helpful! I have also spent most of the day looking around this site and reading. There is so much information!
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Old 03-26-2010, 06:01 PM   #7 
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No problem! The more you know the easier it is!
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Old 03-26-2010, 06:41 PM   #8 
WuGolfer07
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Question

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Originally Posted by kelly528 View Post
, you will only need to change it 25% weekly
Now see i am totally lost. I have been told 5 different ways and times to change water. Which one is the correct way and which ones are bunk? Because i have been told 50% every 2 days, 100% every two days, 100% every day, 50% every day, 100% once a week, etc. etc... I am starting to think some of the water change info is mostly peoples personal preferences/opinions. I have had the same type of water changing routine/amount for a very long time and have NEVER had water problems, besides the time i used to much conditioner. i am so lost lol
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Old 03-26-2010, 06:52 PM   #9 
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She's talking about a cycled tank Wugolfer. Your tank isn't cycled so you can disregard the info being given.
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Old 03-26-2010, 06:57 PM   #10 
WuGolfer07
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no, the info i was talking about nwas given to me by ppl that knew my tank was not cycled. And how do you know one of mine is not? So back to my questions, what is bunk, and what is truth haha
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