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Old 01-07-2012, 01:00 AM   #1 
sunnshinee
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Replacing Water

Hi all!

I'm a first time fish owner and a bit of a noob and I was wondering if someone could tell me or direct me to a link for a proper way to change water. This is my first betta fish and I want to make sure I don't kill him or stress him out or anything.

I've been reading that the best conditioner is seachem prime?

I received my betta fish as a gift and he came with a 1/2 gallon tank. I plan on upgrading to a 10 gallon tank pretty soon and was wondering what are the tools I need to make this procedure as easy as possible?

Also how often do I change it and what percentage?

I read that 10 gallons = 20 drops of seachem prime. This might seem like a dumb question, but the conditioner bottle comes with a cap. Should I just pour the conditioner into the cap and use a medicine dropper to put 20 drops into the tank.

Sorry for all the questions! I just want to make sure my fish is happy!

Thanks!
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Old 01-07-2012, 12:28 PM   #2 
Oldfishlady
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Welcome to the wonderful world of Betta keeping.....you just entered into one of the greatest hobbies, however, we must warn you that it can be addictive....lol......

If you bought your Betta in one of the small temporary cups with a lid...keep this-it is great to have on hand to use for QT if needed and to cup him for water changes....

To make a water change on the half gallon-recommend 3 weekly-2-50% and 1-100% to maintain water quality.

On the 50% you don't need to remove him-just dip out half the water and replace with like temp dechlorinated water.

On the 100%-cup him-dump all the water and flush the tank with tepid running water-using your hand to swish everything around-then refill with like temp dechlorinated water-then re-acclimate him to the new water.

To re-acclimate-dump half the water out of the holding container you have him in and add small amounts of the new tank water over about 10-15min until full-then either net him and place back into the tank or pour half that water out and add him back....

You may or may not need a heater-it is important to maintain a somewhat stable temp in the 76-80F range

You do need a thermometer to monitor both the tank temp and the temp of the replacement water used for water changes-It is important to try and keep the temp within a few degrees between new and old water to prevent temp shock with sudden extreme temp changes.

Dechlorinator-dose the Prime for the full volume of the tank even with the 50% water changes as a general rule-its really hard to overdose these products and its better to use too much than too little...

Supplies you need-label everything "Fish Only" a 1-3gal plastic bucket, siphon hose, net, plastic cup, chopsticks, dechlorinator, holding container-keep everything in the bucket for easy access...

Once you get your 10gal-post and list all the things it came with and we can help you with setup, nitrogen cycle and cleaning needs....

Love to see some pic....

Last edited by Oldfishlady; 01-07-2012 at 12:31 PM.
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Old 01-08-2012, 12:32 AM   #3 
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Thanks for the reply!

I found a free 10-gallon tank and it came with some accessories on craigslist.

He gave me a bunch of supplies. I don't know what does what and when do use it. He said the cory fish eats algae, but I just hope he can handle all the algae by himself!


It came with a penguin filter. Top fin heater for a 10-20 gallon tank, some gravel, a cave, a cover with lights, thermometer, a gravel cleaner/siphon, 5 gallon bucket, a net, and a little buddy for my betta fish(he gave me his albino cory catfish!



There was a lot of calcium build up in the tank so I spent all day scraping it all off. The water was really cloudy initially and he said it's from all the bacteria in the gravel. So I ended up emptying the entire tank and rinsing the gravel with fresh water.

So I have some specific questions:

1. How often and how much should I change the water?

2.The filter instructions says to change the filter every 2-4 weeks and I'm assuming that I should change it every 4 weeks since I only have 2 fish.
3. Also, I don't really know how to take care of the cory catfish, anybody got any immediate things I should know about them? I looked up online that the betta fish and the cory catfish can be tankmates.
4. The filter is great but the current is so strong it keeps pushing my betta whenever he tries to surface or use my betta leaf bad, is that okay? Is there anything I can do about that? I put some straws there to try and buffer the current.

5.Also how full should my tank be? Is this water level okay? There's a cover so he cant jump out


Here's a pic of the tank.


If you could do a step by step for the 10 gallon that'd be great =))))))

Much appreciated!!!
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Old 01-08-2012, 12:38 AM   #4 
Sena Hansler
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I don't even recommend changing the filter cartridge unless it is falling apart. The filter, has the good bacteria that helps keep the tank cycled. Replacing it often could cause more problems than you'd want. for my ten gallons, I do a 25-30% weekly water change with gravel siphoning, leaving the betta in. I add water, that is the same temperature as his tank water, with tap wate conditioner... I have no idea what those two bottles you have are, but I recommend an actual conditioner without other added chemicals (ammonia-lock, for example). Also, cories will need 3 or more to feel safe

not sure about the filter, as I see it is not adjustable.. someone else may know the method to help ya! I keep the water level 3-4 inches below the top, to avoid jumpers.
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Old 01-08-2012, 12:41 AM   #5 
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Oh and I bought replacement bulbs because his bulbs were burnt out. Are these fine?How long can I leave the light on?
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Old 01-08-2012, 12:42 AM   #6 
Sena Hansler
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Fish need light like people. During the day, on. During the night, off. Otherwise their sleep cycle can get messed over, it causes stress, and can lead to illness. Those will be fine, as long as they fit and work
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Old 01-08-2012, 12:51 AM   #7 
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So I just google'd cycling and now I regret throwing away the old filter cartridge and cleaning the gravel!!

How do I make sure my tank is cycling right so my fish don't die!!!
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Old 01-08-2012, 12:55 AM   #8 
Sena Hansler
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Well, were there ornaments? did you fully clean the filter (in the box, there SHOULD be gunk, algae, etc)? It's usually the filter itself for the best, the box and ornaments along with gravel is the second best. water doesn't actually have a cycle purpose. You'll need to keep up with water changes. it may go into "fish in cycle", which means there will be ammonia spikes now and then until it finishes cycling.. if anything it'll be in a mini cycle.
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Old 01-08-2012, 01:17 AM   #9 
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I cleaned the filter box a LOT cause there was a bunch of calcium build up. I cleaned everything including the cave because I wanted my betta fish to have a nice clean fresh tank! Argh! What a mistake!

I just went outside and found the old filter,think I can still use it? It was on the floor.
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Old 01-08-2012, 01:20 AM   #10 
Sena Hansler
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I don't recommend the old filter anymore, because of "outer world bacteria" Bettas actually can stand a cycling tank. That's why the technically can survive in bowls aka stagnant water. The cory, I am not too sure.
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