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Old 11-03-2011, 09:58 PM   #1 
chicagojo
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Turkey baster used for tank maintenance?

I am about to move our bettas into new 2.5 gallon tanks as soon as their heaters arrives, which is supposed to happen tomorrow. I am thinking of not using any substrate in the new tanks to make cleaning easier. I could have sworn I read somewhere on this forum that one could use a turkey baster to remove waste and uneaten food from the tank. Is this true? If so, does it have any impact on the water change frequency or %? The tanks will be unfiltered. Thanks!
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Old 11-03-2011, 10:33 PM   #2 
Micho
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Yes using a turkey baster to remove waste and uneaten food makes a big difference. Even if you remove the waste and such your Betta will still expel ammonia, so I would suggest two 50% per week just pure water changes seeing how it'll be a bare bottom tank.
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Old 11-04-2011, 08:02 AM   #3 
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For anything under 5 gals unfiltered you will want to do 1 50% and 1 100% per week, even if you use the baster. Or you could do 3 50%s a week since the baster would remove the waste off the bottom.
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Old 11-04-2011, 08:25 AM   #4 
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I use a baster as well when mine are in their QT tanks, and agreed that it should not reduce the amount of water changes that you perform.
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Old 11-04-2011, 11:07 AM   #5 
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Thanks, this is very helpful. It's good to know that 3 50% water changes is an option because our boys do NOT like to be netted/cupped and if I can avoid weekly 100% changes that would be great, maybe I could to those on a less frequent basis like every other week or once a month. I have test strips so I could monitor to make sure water parameters are looking ok. I assume I should still remove and rinse any plants or other decor at least once a week though?
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Old 11-04-2011, 11:22 AM   #6 
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My boys hates the net. I hate changing the water.
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Old 11-04-2011, 11:34 AM   #7 
chicagojo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by valleyankee View Post
My boys hates the net. I hate changing the water.
I learned from someone here to try using a clear plastic cup instead of the net. I think it is better than the net (mine hated the net too) but they still don't love it. I just make sure to thoroughly rinse the cup under hot running water to remove any possible chemical residue. The nice thing is, they can just stay in the cup swimming around while you do the water change so you don't have to move them around multiple times.
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Old 11-04-2011, 11:50 AM   #8 
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I wonder if they appreciate the wonderful fresh water?
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Old 11-04-2011, 12:37 PM   #9 
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The reason you need to do at least 1 weekly change on an unfiltered tank is because the water change is only diluting the ammonia.

If you take the waste out and do a 50% water change you still have the ammonia left in the other 50% of the water, so the next time you do a change you're going to have even more ammonia in your tank.

In my experience a 2.5 gallon tank with one betta should be fine with just a single 100% change a week, provided you aren't over feeding. That in conjunction with removing the uneaten food/waste with a turkey baster should be just fine. You can always top off if you have evaporation in the tank over the course of the week.


You can get your fish used to netting or cupping by conditioning them to the net or cup. First start by just feeding them with the net visible on the outside of the tank, then feeding them with the net inside the tank, then slowly work towards getting them to swim into the net for feeding. It can be done, just takes a little effort.
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Old 11-04-2011, 08:13 PM   #10 
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Use a siphon instead. The issue with turkey basters is they can build up nasty bacterial colonies inside the rubber head, mildew and anerobic bacteria. The main point of using substrate in small tanks is to have a layer in the bottom that hides the waste and unused food as well as keeps the fish flying past from stirring it back into the tank. There are small one inch siphon tools that you can use and a siphon will clear out the dense mineral ammonia as well as the waste and dead food from the bottom. Siphoning is a much better option.

Turkey basters will also dribble stuff back into the tank.
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