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Old 11-04-2010, 06:14 PM   #1 
Jeff72
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Water Changes.

Okay, I have this feeling like I am going to get many different answers to this question, but here goes.

I recently got 2 female Bettas that I was hoping would live together. I have since discovered that 2 is the worst amount that you can have and that was correct because all they want to do is fight each other. So, I got a tank divider and I have them both housed in a 10 gallon tank.

I don't have a heater or a filter.... YET!

I plan on getting both very soon after being convinced that I need both.

So, my question involves water changes, as the subject line indicates. I just found Mr. Vampire's website and I noticed that on his site he recommends for a 10 gallon tank (with a filter) that you do a 25%-50% water change once a month...

I keep cichlids and have kept other fish in the past and that sounds really extreme to me. My first thought is that by the time I do that once a month water change on the 10 gallon, the ammonia levels would have to be off the charts!

Now, I am not one to question an experienced breeder and all so maybe I just need some more clarification on this issue? Can 2 female Bettas with a filter really go a whole month without a water change and not suffer any adverse effects?

Until I get that filter, how often should I be changing the water?
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Old 11-05-2010, 12:43 AM   #2 
Capricorn
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Knowing Vamp, it's just a typo. (: I'm sure he would never say once a month. Once a week is much more likely, though in my 10gal with two males I do twice a week changes. (Though this is if your tank is cycled!) If you do a fish-in cycle you'll have to change a little bit of the water every day to keep the water habitable.

Not sure on how often without a filter, though, so hopefully someone else will pop in.
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Old 11-05-2010, 09:13 AM   #3 
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In a 10g unfiltered tank with 2 fish-I would make twice weekly 50% water changes and 100% monthly.

Over the years I have found with this species you need to do more water changes- more for the fins than anything, too strong a filter also can shred fins-this is more with males than females and HM and CT male fins tend to be even more sensitive to water quality and water movement issues.
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Old 11-05-2010, 10:35 PM   #4 
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In a 10g unfiltered tank with 2 fish-I would make twice weekly 50% water changes and 100% monthly.
I got a heater today and I will be getting a filter as well. But, in the meantime... I checked my ammonia levels today and they are reading 1.0 ppm. This reading comes after my initial setup of the tank which was last Saturday (Oct. 30) and I did a smaller (~25%) water change 2-3 days ago when I added back the other female after purchasing a tank divider.

Does that reading seem alarming or is it the amount to be expected considering what you recommend above as far as water changes go?
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Old 11-06-2010, 09:53 AM   #5 
Oldfishlady
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I would get the ammonia down to 0.25ppm-0ppm is best.....I would start making some daily water changes for a few days to keep the ammonia under control until you get the filter and even then you will need to continue frequent water changes until you get a good colony of beneficial bacteria
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Old 11-06-2010, 04:52 PM   #6 
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I would get the ammonia down to 0.25ppm-0ppm is best.....I would start making some daily water changes for a few days to keep the ammonia under control until you get the filter and even then you will need to continue frequent water changes until you get a good colony of beneficial bacteria
That's what I suspected you might say. I guess that means it's also time to slow down on the feeding as well. I only feed them each 3-4 pellets a day as it is, but all that does is keep adding to the amount of ammonia. The only bad thing I will say about our water here in Philadelphia is.... right out of the tap it measures at 0.25ppm ammonia, so there is a small amount of ammonia in the water already, unfortunately.
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Old 11-06-2010, 05:05 PM   #7 
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That can be a problem but it can also be easily fixed by using a dechlorinator that covers ammonia like Seachem Prime-be aware too that your ammonia reading may not read true-it may still show an ammonia reading but it will be ammonium and will not hurt the fish or the cycling process-watch the fish and they will often tell you by their behavior/actions when the ammonium is ammonia.
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Old 11-06-2010, 05:08 PM   #8 
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watch the fish and they will often tell you by their behavior/actions when the ammonium is ammonia.
Can you quickly elaborate on what sort of behavior would indicate this? Thanks.
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Old 11-06-2010, 05:31 PM   #9 
Oldfishlady
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This can vary from fish to fish and amount of ammonia and duration-sometimes they will be restless or lethargic, hiding, flashing (rubbing on objects) stop eating, redness and/or inflamed gills and other parts of the body, gasping, surface skimming...etc......long term you can see fins melting but by this time the fish is usually hiding in a corner, on the bottom or top and has stopped eating.....some will try and jump out or surf the walls of the tank

What is abnormal for one fish may not be for another....it is harder with new fish until you learn their personality/behavior......
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Old 11-06-2010, 05:57 PM   #10 
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Okay, thanks for the information. They dart around the tank a lot more than they used to but that is most likely because of the heater and their 82 degree water as compared to the room temperature water they had before the heater. I just grabbed some Seachem Prime from Petco (sic).
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