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Old 07-12-2011, 08:30 PM   #1 
lemonpebbles
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Upgrading to a 5 gallon!... How do I care for it?

So this weekend my dad is bringing home my old 5 gallon aquarium tank and I'm thinking about getting another betta to put in it and maybe some friends! Thing is, I've read somewhere that your not supposed to do 100% water changes with tanks that big. So how much of a water change should I do, how often, and how do I clean up the poop at the bottom if I can't do a 100% change? As for the friends, what would make a good tank mate in a 5 gallon with a betta?
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Old 07-12-2011, 08:43 PM   #2 
derpmeister
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Is your tank filtered? With filtered tanks above 2.5 gallons you should siphon out at least 20% (about 4 liters for your 5 gallon) weekly after it is cycled. So you can change 10% one day and 10% another or just go ahead and take out 20% in one day.

To clean up the bottom you need a gravel siphon/vacuum. You can find these at Petsmart or Petco, they're only about 7 dollars. You put one end into the tank and the other end into a bucket, then suck out the water while vacuuming the gravel. This will suck up poop, uneaten food, debris, etc.

I've never kept betta with other fish but I have seen someone keep a mystery snail in their 5 gallon with their betta. Marimo moss balls are fun too!
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Old 07-12-2011, 08:48 PM   #3 
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I plan on giving it a filter and everything, but how do I cycle it or does it just happen naturally? I've heard of the gravel siphon so I'll try using that! Also, I was actually thinking of just getting a snail or two for the tank instead of other fish, but what do the snails eat?
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Old 07-12-2011, 09:08 PM   #4 
lemonpebbles
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I just stumbled across you thread about Toki, I am so sorry ;~; I'm sure that you were a great fish parent to him
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Old 07-12-2011, 11:56 PM   #5 
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Aw, thank you. He was a good fish and I was lucky to have him. :)

'Cycling' is the process of building up enough good bacteria in your filter to break down your fish's waste. To start a colony you can either do a 'fishless cycle' or do a 'fish-in' cycle.

With the fishless cycle, you essentially add a little bit of pure ammonia to the empty tank each day to feed the growing bacteria. You do this and test the water each day, and when you get a reading of nitrate, your tank is cycled. If you're interested in this method you can look up better guides online-- I've never tried the fishless cycle because I could never find any pure ammonia here.

With a fish-in cycle, the good bacteria will grow naturally as the fish eats and poops, but with this method you need to do daily water changes in order to keep the ammonia levels safe for your fish until the tank is cycled. This is the method that myself and probably most other users go with.

With either method, you can take a bit of gravel or filter media from your other betta tanks and put it in your new tank while it cycles. This is called 'seeding' and will speed up the process because there is already good bacteria that will spread in your new tank.

As far as snail feeding goes, I used to feed my mystery snails algae wafers, lettuce, and cucumber slices. They will also eat any betta food that your betta missed. They also eat microscopic stuff on the tank walls or floor, but they can't live off this alone and need other food.

Last edited by derpmeister; 07-13-2011 at 12:02 AM.
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Old 07-13-2011, 12:37 AM   #6 
Kytkattin
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You have other fish, yes? If you want to do a fishless cycle you can take your dirty water from your other tank(s) and put some of it in your new tank to build up the good bacteria. It would be like having a fish in there without actually putting a fish in there! Though you would have to do that daily...

I am trying this right now on a new planted tank. Though I also have an advantage in that the plants love fish poop water too.
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Old 07-13-2011, 01:09 AM   #7 
lemonpebbles
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I'm pretty sure I'll go with the fish-in cycle, sounds easier :) Still trying to persuade my dad to let me get another betta, I'm already addicted to them! If I don't then I'll just upgrade Uno to the big tank, but if anything, caring for the bigger tank is going to be easier anyways, no more 100%! Just gotta find a place to put the tanks now....
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Old 07-14-2011, 08:50 AM   #8 
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/HIJACKS THREAD
but about how long does it normally take for a five gallon tank using the fish-in one to cycle?
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