Do you have a filter? if so, IMO/E with 2.5g tanks need twice weekly 50% water changes- one needs to include substrate cleaning- due to the water change needs, cycling is a non-issue in a sense. With a filter and the water changes the tank should cycle in about 4-8 weeks with the Betta.
Without a filter-twice weekly water change are still needed but one of the twice weekly water changes would need to be 100% to keep the water quality at levels for fish health and well being.
Water pram test kits are great and I highly recommend them to any level hobbyist, however, you can still take proper care of your Betta without one.
IMO/E-regardless of what your water pram readings are-the treatment will be "water change" the test can help you decide how much water to change, however, with regular water changes a good percent is 50% IMO/E
Making regular 50% twice weekly water changes in a 2.5g filtered tank and a 50% water change anytime the Betta has a behavior change or acting different will work too, just like if you tested the water because you noted a change in his behavior...what do you do? "water change"
I don't want to discourage you in getting a master test kit, but I noted that you are a student with limited funds and wanted to tell you of other methods that will also work.
So true about the pH, you don't want to change this, stable pH is much safer and easier to deal with when frequent water changes are needed with small volumes of water.
IMO/E-the only chemical additive you need is a good dechlorinator if on city water supply or use of bottled water (not recommended) The minerals in tap water are important to fish health. A lot of the additives in some of the products sold for fish are often not needed.
When making 50% water changes with either a dedicated plastic cup or a siphon-you can leave the Betta in the tank-make sure the replacement water is within a couple of degree from new and old water to avoid temp related problems
I like to have a dedicated plastic bucket, plastic cup, siphon, and a chopstick or wooden spoon all labeled "Fish only" and kept together along with the dechlorinator.
I use a clean 1g ice cream bucket and cup instead of siphon- I use chopstick to stir the gravel to get the debris up in the water column to dip out (always turn off the filter and unplug the heater before water changes) the water will clear about an hour after the filter is turned back on.
You can use the bucket for the old water during a water change- either siphon off or dipped out and this is a good time to swish/rinse the filter media to get any big pieces of gunk off, you don't want to clean the filter media in tap water or you will kill the good bacteria needed for the cycle. You want the filter media to look dirty..this is good.
You want to rinse/swish the filter media in old tank water 1-2 times a month and when the water flow slows.
To re-fill the tank-I rinse my bucket and fill with like temp water and add the dechlorinator, little stir and slowly add to the tank.
Turn the filter back on and plug the heater back in and monitor the temp for at least 2 hours.
I bought a digital thermometer from the houseware dept for under $4.00 to make quick temp checks on my tanks and on the new water before adding it to the tank.
Understand, I do not disagree with the other posters opinion, I just want you to be aware of other methods especially when money is tight.
Also, welcome to this wonderful hobby of "Betta Keeping" look forward to seeing pics of your new wet-pet and hearing more about him and your other Bettas you get..this is an addictive hobby......
Last edited by Oldfishlady; 07-07-2010 at 06:25 PM.
So its safe for me to leave my betta in the tank during a water change? I wanted to take him out so that i could stir the water and rotate the rocks without him getting further disgruntled.
I tried to catch him in his store cup a few minutes ago, NOPE! He promptly ran away to an area that the cup couldn't reach and flared at me rather defiantly. >> But I took the advantage of his good mood, broke off a small piece of the freeze dried bloodworms (certainly not big enough to bloat him, it was pretty small) and I put it in the tank. And he ate it. Which is good.
But now I don't feel that it is safe to stir the gravel with him rather defiant in the tank. :S
I don't have a siphon or filter. And since I don't have a filter, I don't plan on letting the bacteria cycle. As long as the poor fish lives through THIS trauma, I think he should be fine with the twice a week water changes as long as I pay attention to the temperature and add the dechlorinators.
EDIT: Should I take the few decorations out of the tank and clean those first? It might easier to catch him in the cup if he has nothing to hide behind or nothing to hurt himself on, but I don't want him to freak out and have a heart attack either while trying to get away. >.< I went over to the tank just a second ago to look at him and make sure he wasn't still freaking out and he flared at me again. Hoboy, tempermental betta!
How funny...these guys can be defiant.....
Without a filter you will not get a true cycle due to the bacteria needing oxygenated water flow to thrive and colonize.
Without a filter and that is fine IMO/E- I would recommend 1-50% and 1-100% a week water change-to keep the water quality at levels safe and healthy for the Betta and especially his fins.
Sounds like you have a good plan......
Should I take the few decorations out of the tank and clean those first? It might easier to catch him in the cup if he has nothing to hide behind or nothing to hurt himself on, but I don't want him to freak out and have a heart attack either while trying to get away. >.< I went over to the tank just a second ago to look at him and make sure he wasn't still freaking out and he flared at me again. Hoboy, tempermental betta!
I just want to hurry and get him all nice and safe in clean water so I can stop stressing over it and study. But if I don't get him taken care of first, I won't be studying tonight. x.x
Since this is a new set-up, Right? I would leave every thing in the tank and just make a water only change-unless it has been more than 3-4 days since the last water change and he is due for a 100% and then you will need to cup him.
That is the problem. >< In a previous post I mentioned that I just moved to this new city and the water is different than the water I originally put him in and I was an idiot and didn't fully acclimate him to the OLD city's water so now I'm trying to acclimate him to this NEW water while he's still trying to acclimate to that OTHER water and I was just looking at his rocks reealllly closely and it looks like they have algae so I wanted to scoop them up and rinse them off. A previous user mentioned cupping him with this tank water, and then acclimating him to a new tank of 100% new water. Would that be a good idea? This water HAS been going since Sunday so doing a 100% switch might be good but the poor fish is trying to acclimate still. >.<
Or am I not giving this fish enough credit to how strong he is?
I am refreshing the page like a hawk right now waiting for the next step. XD He's still in the old tank, with old water, with decorations and pebbles with the heater still on and everything still in the tank. I'm just not sure what to do.
Edit: I feel like such a bad betta mommy. ;-; But good news! That school financial aid money I mentioned several posts ago, I just checked my account, TA DA! The fish God is on my side. $415 new dollars, $80 to go to a printer, but the rest can go to my betta fish, so money isn't an option now. Anything I can do for my new fishy to help him.