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Old 10-27-2011, 10:17 PM   #1 
chicagojo
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Newbie question: My tanks and heaters have arrived...now what?

Our two bettas, Feathers II and Rock N Roll, have been living in 1 gallon bowls with sub-optimal temperature control while I've been awaiting the arrival of our 2.5 gallon tanks and heaters. The tanks are unfiltered (part of our purpose in keeping fish is to teach our kids about responsibility so we are committed to performing water changes as often as necessary) but I did spring for the Hydor THEO adjustable heaters.

Now that everything is here, I've realized I don't quite know what to do next. I have two major questions:

1) How should I acclimate the fish to their new environments? Their current bowls are at room temperature (approx 72 degrees F). Should I let the tank water reach the same temp, transfer them in, and then gradually raise the temp to around 78? Or is it better to bring the tank water to 78 then acclimate them as one would a new betta fresh from the supplier?

2) How often should we do water changes in the 2.5 gallon tanks and at what % (taking into account that they do not have filters)? We had been doing twice weekly 50% changes in the 1 gallon, but more recently had been doing 3x weekly to daily (both fish developed minor health issues) 50%-100% water changes.

I should add that both fish are currently healthy and active but both HATE being moved - Rock N Roll practically died from stress during one recent move and Feathers II avoids the net like the plague and it usually takes me multiple attempts spaced out over the course of 30 minutes to an hour to get her into a cup so transfer and water changing strategies that involve as little movement as possible will probably benefit both of these fish.

TIA for your guidance. I have learned so much here in the past several weeks and am excited to finally feel like I am being a responsible fish owner and providing a more optimal environment for our boys!
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Old 10-27-2011, 10:29 PM   #2 
audjree
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i'm not sure for number 1, i would personally heat the new tanks to 78 then acclimate them using a floating cup and adding water over a period of 30-45 minutes. but wait and see what others say first.

for number 2, an unfiltered 2.5 gallon should get 2 water changes weekly: 1 50% and 1 100%, the same you would do for a 1 gallon, as the majority of the users on this site say. i have a 2.5 gal and a 1 gal myself, and that's what i do. (:

also, instead of a net, try using a cup like the one from petstores and cup them out of the water. it's usually less stressful. then cover their cups with a towel to keep them in the dark and calm, while doing their water changes. i also like to feed mine a pellet while they're in the cup to show them that being in the cup isn't so bad. (:

Last edited by audjree; 10-27-2011 at 10:34 PM.
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Old 10-28-2011, 07:51 AM   #3 
Myates
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Have to agree with audjree in their responses.
As for question #1, you will do the same as when doing 100% water changes- float them in the tank, roughly 20-30 mins and every so often exchange water from the cup with water from the tank. I would also set it for 78-80, but let it get to that temp before putting your boys in. Sometimes it takes a while for the water to heat up, and you don't want to flux the temp too much while they are in there.
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Old 10-28-2011, 09:58 AM   #4 
tf1265
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Agreed, slow acclimation to a heated tank.

As for your fish getting stressed about moving - nets are terrifying, not to mention that it allows a few seconds during the transfer of "fish out of water", and in a tank that small (both the 1 gallon and 2.5) they're really not necessary, especially since bettas are calm and slow. If you've kept the cups they came home from the petstore in, these are great tools for water changes.

I trick mine into the cups with food. I have 2 females in a divided 5 gallon, so 2.5 gallons each. I don't have a net so if they're at the bottom I can't get them. I drop in a few flakes of food and then scoop them up into the cup while they're eating (I let them take the food with them). Sometimes I don't even need the food, they just hang out at the surface and I scoop them. THe current from plunging in the cup usually sucks them right in.

As someone else said, you can cover the cups to ease the stress during the change, and then acclimate them slowly if you need to (i've never done this after water changes, as my tank is well heated and I just make sure the thermometer shows me a 2 degree or less difference between the water he's in and the tank water) but you may want to at first to ease the stress until they start to trust that moving isn't going to kill them. It will happen, they just have to get to know you.
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