I've had several bettas, and they all seemed to do better in their own bowl without a filter and everything.
I recently had one in a 10 gal tank with some neons, and he lived for about a month. So I now have a 10 gal tank with just neons, and I'm debating on whether to get another betta. Mine just died, but I'm not exactly sure from what. Maybe cottonmouth...
I have a 7.5w heater, but I have a feeling that it is not big enough for a 10 gal tank. Would rinsing the rocks with hot soap and water be good enough to clean them? Also, are water test strips okay to use to test the water, or do I need one that actually tests a sample of the water??
I'm sorry to hear that he died :(. And as I said before, you need 5 watts per gallon (so a 50 watt heater) in order to properly heat the tank.
Don't use soap, it leaves behind residue. If you want to tear the tank down, remove your neons and then empty the tank out of water and refill with hot tap water. You can use a vinegar and water solution to soak everything in there (it should kill any pathogens). Pour enough vinegar in to make the tank smell like it, and let it soak for about an hour or more. Then rinse out everything with hot water several times. When you think you are done, rinse again. Then you should be set to refill the tank, dechlorinat the water, put the filter and heater in, and get your fish in there.
*don't do the vinegar soak to your filter, since it is cycled you want to keep the benificial bacteria in there alive.
As for a new boy, that is something you sort of have to decide on your own. He'd do well in there if you make sure to get a good heater and do 50% water changes a week. :)
Agree 100% with Bomba- the 30 watt total of the lights aren't actually warming up the tank- I use higher watts on my 2 gallons that don't bring up the temp at all.. a proper thermometer will give you the accurate temp.
Yes, lights need to be out at night to give the fish time to rest.. just like us, their bodies need to rest to keep them healthy. Lights on 24/7 will stress them out and could affect their overall health, and cause illnesses to emerge much easier.
Don't break down the tank- as the bacteria in the filter will start to die off- especially if it's for over an hour as was previously mentioned. You will also lose most, if not all, the good bacteria in the substrate. Easier to do smaller water changes daily for a few days to clean the tank after a fish had passed away, then to break it down and risk having to recycle the tank. Vinegar can be used as mentioned above, but hot hot water is just as good, and you don't have to let it soak for an hour and stress out your other fish- you can use just plain hot water to clean off your decorations when/if needed.
Neons are fine in temps of 68-80, so if possible I would get the 50 watt heater recommended, adjustable version, and keep it set at 78*F. The 5 watt per gallon doesn't usually apply to smaller tanks, really.. it doesn't usually apply to most. But I would say a 50 watt would be minimal in the 10 gallon.
Liquid test kits work better then the strips- more expensive, but much more reliable. Just keep in mind, regardless of the test kit, there are some things that you will get results on that aren't actually harmful to the fish, but will register as so- such as ammonium will register as the deadly ammonia.. a lot of water conditioners turn ammonia into ammonium, so you will get that reading at times, when you don't have any in the tank. But still always wise to do a partial water change if you see ammonia present in the tank to be on the safe side.
Weekly water changes of 50%, with gravel vacuuming each time (if you have no live plants), with water conditioner, 8-10 hr day/night schedule- I wouldn't leave the light on for more then 12 hours.. usually you would want to make sure the room is lit (naturally or artificially) for a bit before turning on the tank lights in the morning, and keep the room lit for a bit after turning off the lights to keep from startling the fish and stressing them out.
Depends on the stock of the fish, but a long long time for you may not be a long long time for them.. or if you have had health issues, such as ich, plague the tank from time to time.. the light could be the cause.
Originally Posted by Myates
Weekly water changes of 50%, with gravel vacuuming each time (if you have no live plants), with water conditioner
The decorations part is if you get the slime mold on it, or some-such, you can then clean them off with only hot water.