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Old 11-28-2011, 01:59 PM   #1 
mthain
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bottom feeder for 3 gal tamk

I've recently bought a 15L tank and plan to get a betta as soon as it's finished cycling. My question is a very simple one, would a tank of that size need a bottom feeder/algae eater i.e. shrimp/snail. I know that the tank is really too small for anymore fish. Many thanks
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Old 11-28-2011, 02:39 PM   #2 
Gizmothefreaky
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a three gallon tank wont cycle, because you need to have 100% water changes every week. But a good bottom feeder for that size tank would be ghost shrimp or perhaps a nerite snail.
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Old 11-28-2011, 02:45 PM   #3 
Oldfishlady
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Welcome to the forum.....

A filtered 3gal tank will establish the nitrogen cycle, however, due to limited surface area the cycle may not be stable and it will still need twice weekly 50% water changes to maintain water quality...1-50% water only and 1-50% to include substrate by vacuum or stir and dip method-giving the filter media a swish/rinse in old tank water with a water change a couple of times a month....

As far as clean up crew-unless you want shrimp and/or snails to start with.......it is really the hobbyist job to clean left over food and/or algae with the regular water changes(I am sure you already know this)......shrimp/snails while they will help with some clean up-they only eat some species of algae and unless you are really overfeeding to start (not recommended) you will still need to supplement feed the shrimp and/or snails at least a couple of times a week to meet nutritional needs since a closed system can't make enough natural food to support them....

To add....some algae is normal and expected in a container of water that has both light and nutrients...some species of algae can be a sign of a healthy system, help the tank look more natural by softening edges and microorganisms that feed on the algae that the Betta, shrimp and snails will feed on for added nutrients.......but since this is a closed system we have to manually remove some of it especially the viewing walls on a regular bases to keep it controlled.....

Look forward to seeing some pic and hearing more about your Betta adventures......

Last edited by Oldfishlady; 11-28-2011 at 02:56 PM.
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Old 11-28-2011, 03:34 PM   #4 
mthain
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thanks for the advice folks, and thanks for the welcome! im new to the hobby so any advice is very welcome. i had a feeling that i don't need a bottom feeder but could i have some more advise on water changes? the vacuum method sounds more efficient, but i haven't a clue how it would work. do i need to purchase a specialist piece of kit for that?

Last edited by mthain; 11-28-2011 at 03:37 PM.
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Old 11-28-2011, 04:02 PM   #5 
Oldfishlady
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In the smaller tanks I have found the stir and dip method to work better-but they do sell small vacuums or hydrocleaners...google for some pic.....

Since you are new to the hobby.....I would recommend that you get a cleaning bucket-I use an old 1gal plastic ice cream bucket-but you can buy small buckets too....label the bucket and all the fish supplies.."Fish only" and only use on the aquarium.....you need a bucket, net, chopstick or wooden spoon, dechlorinator, small plastic cup, vacuum (optional)....and keep all of this in the bucket to keep organized...seems like I am forgetting something...lol....I am sure other will chime in on what they like to use too(lots of ways to do this-its finding what works best for you and what you have on hand)...also, if you bought the Betta in one of those small temporary cups with a lid...keep this...it is great to have on hand if you ever need a QT or if you need to make 100% water changes or for traveling.....

To do the stir and dip method-without live plants:

*Wash hands before and after working on the tank
*Unplug both the heater and filter
*Using the chopsticks or wooden spoon-give the gravel a slight stir to bring the mulm/debris up into the water column and dip half the water out of the tank-careful not to injure the Betta
*If needed-remove the filter media and give it a swish/rinse in the bucket of dirty tank water to remove large pieces of gunk-you want the filter media to look dirty-this is good bacteria
*Re-fill the tank with like temp dechlorinated water-be sure and let the water run at the tap for a second to clear the lines-adjust the temp and check with a thermometer to equalize temp to match the tank water temp
*Dose the dechlorinator for the full volume of the tank-even with the partial water changes
*Prime the filter and plug it back in-the water should clear within an hour-if not-you are either over feeding or missed a water change at one point.
*Plug the heater back in and monitor the temp for an hour
*Wipe off the outside of the tank with a dry paper towel

Enjoy....and welcome to the wonderful world of Betta keeping.....its a great hobby to be a part of......

Last edited by Oldfishlady; 11-28-2011 at 04:04 PM.
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Old 11-28-2011, 04:18 PM   #6 
mthain
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thanks for the info, i'll definitively get those supplies you recommended and figure out the best way to change the water for my particular tank. just one question, what does prime the filter mean? add more bacteria?
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Old 11-28-2011, 05:50 PM   #7 
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Prime the filter means-with the HOB or hang on back type filters-sometimes you need to add water to the filter box to prime it...I should have asked what kind of filter you have....so what kind is it?....lol......
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Old 11-28-2011, 05:56 PM   #8 
mthain
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oh i see :) should be this one, the aqua flow 50

http://www.discountleisureproducts.c...quarium_Filter
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Old 11-29-2011, 09:57 AM   #9 
Oldfishlady
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Thats a nice filter...just an FYI...you don't have to change out the filter media that often...I change mine when they are falling apart and then I make my own replacements after that....but I have a lot of tanks and would be rather expensive to buy and change filter media as often as recommended by the package direction......a good rinse/swish in old tank water is all that is needed....unless you wanted to use carbon/charcoal (not needed) and the filter media was the combined type....carbon is limited and can't be recharged.....but carbon use is more of a personal choice than a need....water change will do the same thing as carbon in most case, however, it is a good idea to always have fresh unused carbon/charcoal on hand for emergencies......toxic substance accidents for one......
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Old 11-29-2011, 12:28 PM   #10 
gbose
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Mthain,

Good advice from OldFishLady. I have a betta in a 3G Picotope, with a Nerite snail to keep him company. I tried to add a couple of RCS shrimp, but he flared at them and scared them 'witless'.

I've just done regular water changes with a siphon. It's hard to keep it really clean though, so I just moved Oscar to a temporary bowl and did a real cleanup in his tank -- worked fine.

Good luck!

GBose
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