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Old 10-21-2011, 01:34 PM   #1 
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Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Central California.
Simple Water Changing Questions?

Ok. So I have an estimated 3.5 gallon tank. I have so many questions when it comes to water changes.. And today is the second day having him and I accidentally let a lot of food fall to the bottom of his tank in the last two days(Ive learned how to be more careful) I have also made a newb move by turning the filter on and off. So I need to change it but Im still confused..

-Is a 25-50% change in order? Or should I go ahead and do a 100% change today?

-When I do a 100% Where do I put my fish? If I put him in a gallon container, do I have to put water conditioner in that to? Or am I able to put him in a small kritter carrier with filtered water while I change the water?

-If I do a 50% or 25% water change including gravel vacuum, how much water conditioner do I put back in once I refill? (I used a half a teaspoon when I first filled his water tank) I use Amquel and Novaqua both half teaspoons for the whole tank because the directions said to add a whole teaspoon for 10 gallons?

-Do I have to take him out every water change?

-Do I leave the filter on when Im doing only 25-50% changes? Do I leave my fish in the tank also?

-How do I make sure that he wont stress over the 100% water changes?

With the filter my water changing plan is:
twice a week-25%
every two weeks-100%
so then its four 25% changes and then a 100% and then continue..

Help meee...
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Old 10-21-2011, 01:52 PM   #2 
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Newfoundland
I'm not entirely sure about with a filter in that size, but I plan on getting a 5gal, probably unfiltered, just going to give 2 50% Wc's a week with gravel vaccuming.

Two suggestions, do one 50% change and one 100% change a week, or 2 50% changes with at least one good gravel cleaning.

Oh yes, and when you add fresh water, add dechlorinator for the total volume of the tank (so dose for 3.5gal in your case).

When you do a WC you can put him in the cup he came in (assuming he came in a cup) or a mug or piece of tupperware (as long as NO soap!). Or yes, the 1gal KK will work. Whatever you put him in, do NOT forget to use dechlorinator in the water in the temporary tank. I like keeping my guy in a bit of his current water while doing the change to keep things simple.
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Old 10-21-2011, 03:15 PM   #3 
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Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Central California.
Ok. Thanks for replying. So today since I know there was a lot of food at the bottom and the bad bacteria everywhere from me turning the filter on and off, I went ahead and did a 100% today to start fresh. I plan on doing a 50% change twice a week from now on with good gravel vacuuming each time.

Ive decided no filter, it was kind of strong anyway and I think it stressed him out a little bit. I just dont know what to do with it now..

I would have to say first time every gravel vacuuming was a success today.
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Old 10-21-2011, 04:07 PM   #4 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: USA
In a 3.5gal unfiltered tank without live plants-stocked with a single Betta...Water changes of twice weekly...1-50% and 1-100% to maintain water quality-provided that you don't overfeed and uneaten food is removed within a reasonable time

If the tank is unfiltered and you have live plants-depending on what species and number of live don't want to disrupt plant roots and water changes will be you have live plants-list the number and species and we can help you with water change needs...

In filtered 3.5gal without live plants...water changes of twice weekly...1-50% water only and 1-50% to include the substrate by vacuum or stir and dip method-vacuum in all places you can reach without moving anything or disruption of plant roots.
Filter media needs a rinse/swish in old tank water a couple of times a month

Always use dechlorinator with any water used for the Betta...

Dose the dechlorinator for the full volume of the tank even with partial water changes as a general rule...

You don't need to remove the Betta for the partial water changes-

Wash hand before and after working with the tank/fish

Unplug both the heater and filter before water changes

Once you re-fill the tank with the fresh like temp dechlorinator water and turn the filter back on-the water should clear within an hour...if either missed a water change or overfeeding.....

It is important to try and keep the replacement water within a few degrees between the new and old water to prevent temp shock problems-it doesn't have to be exact...just close...use a thermometer to check the temp from the faucet to equalize it.....
I like to keep two thermometers on hand-one that stays on/in the tank and a second digital one that I use for quick temp checks and for water changes.

Once the tank is re-filled and heater and filter back on-be sure and monitor the temp for a couple of hours.....

For 100% water changes-remove the Betta with some of the old tank water (about half full) and place him in a small holding container/covered to prevent him from jumping out-(the small temporary containers most Bettas are sold in work great for this) sure and keep it and the lid.....

Once the tank has been cleaned and re-filled with like temp dechlorinated water-the Betta will need to be re-acclimated to the chemistry-by adding small amount of the new tank water to the holding container over 10-15 for tolerance-if he seems to be tolerating the new water-repeat this process-dumping the holding container water down the drain or in a potted house plant....Net him or slowly lower the holding container and the Betta into the tank and release......

At any time the Betta has a change in behavior that doesn't resolve within a reasonable time....make a 50% water only change and dose the dechlorinator for the full volume of the tank and turn off the light-irregardless of when the last water change was made-provided that you had been making regular water changes to start....anything can happen-like forgotten dechlorinator, not enough used, toxic substance in the air or on your hands...etc......accidents happen.......

Enjoy....this is a great hobby.....
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Old 10-21-2011, 05:22 PM   #5 
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Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Central California.
Wow. Thanks so much for taking the time to type all that up for me!
My plants right now, I made a newb move and I actually have a gold ribbon plant in there now but I am going to take it out because I found out its not ideal from the plant thread posted on this forum. He really loves that plants though. I want to put in a more suitable plant, Im thinking of putting in Anacharis. I think if I plant it, hell like it just as much.

Just wondering. Is it bad to have a filter and a plant?

Thanks so much for all this advice. I feel less loss now. :)
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Old 10-21-2011, 05:51 PM   #6 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: USA
Your welcome and good that you found out that the ribbon plant is not a true aquatic before it started to rot and pollute the water......

As far as live plants and filters....they are fine together, however, too much water movement at the surface can drive off the CO2 that the plants need....with the right species of plants and enough of them-their active growth can help keep the water safe-but proper lighting is needed....

In low light tanks a good plant would be java fern or anubias tied to a small piece of driftwood or even a decoration with cotton thread....
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