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Old 09-20-2011, 02:17 PM   #1 
bettabax
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Water Testing

I am a new betta owner (and very excited!). I just bought a 2.5 gallon tank and set it all up last night and used the water conditioner (thanks to whoever put up that guide to day one with your betta, it was extremely helpful).

I was, however, wondering about water testing. What do I need to test in the water and what is a good product to by the do the testing? I'm planning to do a 50% and a 100% water change every week as well.

Thanks for any advice/help!
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Old 09-20-2011, 03:38 PM   #2 
Kytkattin
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Since your tank can't cycle, you will only need a PH test kit and an Ammonia test kit. I strongly recommend the API liquid test kits. They are much more accurate than strips.
It is good to have the kits on hand, even if you won't need them too much. You can test the water to get the best idea on how often you will need to change the water. So you will use it a bit at first, and then any time your fish might seem under the weather. Then you can eliminate bad water as part of the problem. Good luck and congrats!
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Old 09-20-2011, 04:21 PM   #3 
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Welcome to the forum and to the wonderful world of Betta keeping.....

The best water test product is one you will use and can understand-although a lot of negative things are said about the test strips...IMO/E they are fine and will give accurate enough reading for most hobbyist, however, if you are changing the pH (not needed or recommended) the liquid reagent is a better choice or if you are fishless cycling.

The liquid reagent type test are good, however, they have a big margin for user error-due to the multi step required to use them.

Then you have the results of these test and understanding what they mean, what to do about them and what can cause changes and/or skewed results.

I highly recommend any level hobbyist to have some type of testing product-be it the test strips or liquid reagent and research about water quality and what the test mean in regards to cause and effect, with that said....IMO- you don't have to have water test products on hand to successfully keep Bettas...you can always take water to the pet shop for free test if needed......

A 2.5gal tank can cycle, however, due to limited surface area for the nitrifying bacteria the nitrogen cycle is not always stable and twice weekly water changes are still recommended to maintain water quality regardless of cycling stage.

Unless you have a filter-the 2.5gal tank will not cycle properly-the nitrifying bacteria need-surface area, oxygen and a food source to colonize.

Water prams you want to test-ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and pH...remembering that pH, KH/GH, live plants, some dechlorinators and other additives can change and/or skew test results.

You also have other things that we don't test for that can be harmful like-heavy metals and DOC's (dissolved organic compounds)
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Old 09-20-2011, 05:16 PM   #4 
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Thanks so much for your help! My tank does have a filter but I figured I would have to change the water so often I did not bother with cycling. I will definitely look into some water testing products!
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Old 09-20-2011, 05:42 PM   #5 
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In a 2.5gal filtered tank-twice weekly water changes...1-50% water only and 1-50% to include the substrate by vacuum or stir and dip method should maintain water quality-provided that you don't overfed and uneaten food is removed within a reasonable time...

Filter media needs a swish/rinse in old tank water a couple of times a month...

Bettas don't create as much ammonia/urea as your think...it is also important to maintain a balance even in the smaller tanks...you have both good and bad pathogens and its important for the Betta to be exposed in order to build antibodies to support a strong/healthy immune response......since this is a closed system-water changes are needed-but too many can be nearly as bad as not enough......the balanced system.....

Last edited by Oldfishlady; 09-20-2011 at 05:47 PM.
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