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Old 09-21-2011, 11:49 PM   #1 
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mathkid's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
Question Cups and 100% water changes

Hi all,

I was watching a LFS employee change the water in betta cups the other day and was sort of surprised. They were in little cups (maybe new shipment? in the store they're usually kept in bowls) and he basically poured all the water out so the little guys were flopping in a teeny bit of water at the bottom and then poured new water in so they went all whoosh around the cup. And then he put in a few drops of methylene blue.

Now, I know that bettas breathe air, so it probably didn't hurt them to be almost out of water for a couple seconds in between there, and it helps change more of the water/avoid keeping the old dirty water. Do you guys pour the water out of your betta's cup when doing water changes? Do you think that stresses them out? But if you had really dirty water, or parasites/disease, would that actually be a good idea?

On a related note, does your betta freak out when put in a cup? I always had to sort of sneak up on mine and/or dunk the cup so that the water flowing in sucked him into it. He hated that. Fishie (r.i.p.) would always make a big fuss and try to swim out of the plastic when he was in a cup. But he hated nets even more.

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Old 09-22-2011, 12:06 AM   #2 
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Location: Nova Scotia, Canada
My guys tolerate cups well, but they have learned cup means clean water and food! Personally my fish are never without water during changes. I may empty half the cup out but I always leave half a cup and pour it all back in the tank.
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Old 09-22-2011, 12:14 AM   #3 
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Hi mathkid,

What the LFS employee did was wrong on so many levels.

I can not stress enough, do not do that. It will cause extreme stress, disease and probably torn fins!

A water change is quite simple and minimal stress on a Betta. My technique for a 100% change:

#1: Secondary tank on standby, I siphon water from main tank to secondary tank until full (usually it takes about 50% of my main tanks water out)

#2: I place the decorations from main tank into secondary tank

#3: I siphon the remaining water in the main tank and dispose

#4: I completely fill up the main tank with freshwater and add water conditioner

#5: I let it all settle and stabilise to correct temperature whilst;

#6: I place Victor into a floatable bag by slowly scooping water and him in the bag

#7: I place bag floating in main tank to acclimatise for 15 minutes

#8: Introduce tank water into bag for the next 15 minutes until there is a 50% old water, 50% new water in the bag, leave another 15 minutes - additionally returning decorations

#9: With soft net, I scoop Victor and release into main tank

10#: Monitor

Usually a 100% water change is necessary when treating for disease or Betta is kept in a small tank.
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Old 09-22-2011, 12:25 AM   #4 
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Location: Nova Scotia, Canada
We do slightly less work here. We cup, empty tank and refill with treated water of the same temp, float for 10mins and then dip cup in the tank and tilt sideways until betta swim out on his own. Our water is always the same, just clean so we don't accumulate our bettas. But you see, even if we do it different, its still much better than what the employee did. I wonder how they change them at our stores. Probably the same way :(
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Old 09-22-2011, 12:32 AM   #5 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Southeast La
When changing my jars, I have new jars ready with clean water. I have a trashcan that I hold the old jar containing the fish over, with a net under the jar when water comes out. I dump the jar into the can, fish comes out into the net. Place fish in the jar.

This is the LEAST stressful way of doing it for my fish. I have tried netting them in the jar, cupping them in the jar, and using my hand to fish them out. All those methods, they were stressed in seconds. My current method, they're in a new jar before they know what's going on.
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Old 09-22-2011, 06:34 AM   #6 
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Location: Florida
That sounds pretty stressful for a betta. getting whooshed around the cup like that.The pressure of the water swooshing in could damage fins. I try to have filtered tanks, that way I don't have to remove my guys too often...They really don't like being in the cups..I have one guy I had to filter his 3 gallon so i didn't have to do 100% anymore...He is a tailbiter and would bite his back fin half off everytime I would put him in his cup to do 100%. He still bites himself every now and then...but his tail is growing in nicely now that hes in a 3 gallon filtered and he doesn't have to be removed for water changes.Some bettas are fine with 100% water changes...some aren't.
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Old 09-22-2011, 06:42 AM   #7 
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Only one who hates the cups is Zoomie, and I give him the biggest container I have in use for them. He can't stop swimming long enough so a tiny cup is out of the question.
Scoop mine up in the cup, if doing multiple ones at once, I will then transfer from the small cup to a larger container. Change water (+ conditioner), make sure the new water is within 1 degree of the old, add in some of the new water to let the temp equalize for roughly 10 minutes (since they aren't in a lot of water during this time) and then tip the cup over while holding a net under, and then gently transfer them to their home via the net. Just put the net in the water and let them swim out on their own. (I pour the water in the sink, but I have a flat rubber stopper so they don't go down the drain)
And that's it. Sometimes I don't equalize the water as long as I know the temps are the same. Never had ich or any other trouble with stress from acclimation.

It's not the greatest way to do water change, at that LFS, but at least they get one I suppose.
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Old 09-22-2011, 11:55 AM   #8 
Princess Penny
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I would rather see them doing that than not changing the water at all, like many stores do...

Anyway, when I do water changes I scoop my betta out of his tank with the cup. When it's time for him to go back in, I dump out most of the water before putting him back into the tank, but not so much that he's flopping around.
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Old 09-22-2011, 12:50 PM   #9 
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Location: Nova Scotia, Canada
I never thought of it that way! Yeah its good they are getting clean water at least. I want to work at my petstore in the fish dept but I have 10yrs experience with small pocket pets too. They probably wouldn't hire me for being over qualified.
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Old 09-22-2011, 02:07 PM   #10 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Bristol, England
I do 50% water changes per week so there is no need to take percy out of the tank. It causes him no stress at all.

Just one of the many benefits of keeping a Betta in a larger tank.
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