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Old 02-28-2012, 01:03 AM   #1 
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Kiwimommy's Avatar
Join Date: May 2011
Water change question?

So I have a 10 gallon, 80 degree temp, filtered with one betta. I've noticed every few days the water level gets low enough that I need to add about 1/2 gallon of water or the filter gets too strong for my girl (Yes, I need a filter sponge. Going to get one tomorrow)
So I add roughly 1-2 gallons per week, depending on evaporation.
The tank is clean, never cloudy and seems alright..
I was wondering if the evaporation and addition of 1-2 gallons per week is enough of a "water change" for this size tank.
I'm 23 week pregnant right now and can't do 100% water changes because I can't lift the tank anymore. I can do 50% if need be, but so far I've noticed my fish seems better off with additions of small portions of water as opposed to super changes every week/every other week. When I used to do that, she'd be a stressed out fish for days. Now she almost seems to enjoy the new water. She'll swim to the top and swim around as I add the water.
I will be adding a couple more betta girls soon.. Should I increase water changes when I do that?
I feel like I'm asking silly questions, but I adore this fish and would hate to cause her any issues. She's colored up soooo well lately and is very active, has an awesome personality shining through.. All that fun stuff
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Old 02-28-2012, 08:41 AM   #2 
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Is your tank cycled?

more fishies=more ammonia=more water changes.

It might be easier on you fish if you scoop her out and then accilimate her to the new water. 10g at once is a big change for her, many variables could be stressing her. Chemistry, temp, etc. you need to get the dirty water out, especially if you add more fish. Use a siphon to remove water into a bucket and take trips to dump it so its not a whole 10g load at once.
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Old 02-28-2012, 08:56 AM   #3 
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Also are you adding conditioner to the new water before putting it in?
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Old 02-28-2012, 09:49 AM   #4 
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Firstly, congrats on the baby!

Secondly, is she the only fish in the tank?

If so, I would go ahead and suggest doing 1 water change per week of 30% with gravel vacuuming. That will be sufficient for that size of a tank and not too heavy lifting for you. You can break it down to smaller ones multiple times a week if you need to- but continue to vacuum the gravel during the water change each time.
Adding water in the tank isn't considered a water change- to properly change the water you will want to vacuum the gravel as the filter you have won't remove the waste, but hides it in the gravel.

If you do decide to go for a sorority, make sure the tank is very densely planted, rearrange the tank prior to adding in the new girls- in fact, take out the one you have and cup her and float her with the new girls and release at once to avoid your current girl from becoming overly aggressive and territorial. It still may happen, but by rearranging, adding in tons of plants and taking her out/adding her in will help reduce the chance.
Make sure to have spare tanks, as a sorority can end at any time and all would need to be separated indefinitely.

For multiple fish in that tank, without live plants then 50% water change with gravel vacuuming once a week is needed- this too you can break down into multiple changes per week to add up to the 50%, vacuuming each time.
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Old 02-28-2012, 05:35 PM   #5 
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Join Date: Oct 2011
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It may be a good idea for you to wait until you have given birth and feel ready for heavy lifting (or at least some lifting) before adding more girls. Since for a sorority to be stable you need at least 4, with 5 or 6 being a much better number, you will need to do a couple of extra water changes the week you add the new girls, to make sure that the filter is coping with the bioload. After that you can go back to 30-50% weekly changes with gravel vacuuming, as Myates said.

The reason that evaporation doesn't make up for a water change is that ammonia doesn't evaporate out with the water. Evaporation, therefore, actually makes the ammonia more concentrated, and adding new water only dilutes it rather than removing it the way a water change does. :)

Congratulations on the baby!

Btw, Myates - your avatar is STUNNING.
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