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Old 03-11-2012, 05:30 PM   #1 
popcornprincess
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Question How to do water changes?

do i take my betta out to do a 25% water change? do i leave the water out for 24 hours? can a just scoop the water out of the tank with a cup? i used to do 100% water changes but i heard that can stress out a fish.
(my tank is 2 gallons and it is heated but not filtered.)

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Old 03-11-2012, 06:28 PM   #2 
tiffanini
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Since your tank isn't filtered, the toxins that build up in your water will cause you to do a 100% water change every other day, along with a 50% on the days you don't do 100% water changes. Yes, doing 100% may put your betta under stress but that's the reality of having a 2 gallon heated tank. But there is an easier way, get a 5+ filtered gallon tank and cycle it for a few weeks, then put your betta in there and do a 1 gallon water change every week. By cycling the tank, there would be beneficial bacteria to handle your betta's waste and reduce the quantity and frequency of water changes. Here's a list to changing the water of your 2 gallon unfiltered tank.
1. Put 1 or 2 gallons of water in a bucket (or other water holding device) and add water conditioner. The tap water conditioner will get rid of any chlorine or chloramine that your city puts in your water that makes humans safe to drink it, but this is toxic to fish. Leaving the water out uncovered for a few days gets rid of chlorine, but it won't get rid of chloramine, so the conditioner is the safer choice. Prime is a pretty good water conditioner for its price.
2. Remove water from tank. Preferably remove the water with a gravel vacuum. Using a cup and somehow taking out the poop and leftover food might work, but a gravel vacuum is much better if you have gravel so you can take out the debris stuck in the gravel.
3. If your water has been left out w/ the conditioner for at least 5+ minutes, slowly add water to tank. If you did a 100% water change, put your betta in a cup beforehand and add.

Variations to these steps may be made to fit your lifestyle, but always do 100% water changes and 50% the next day and so on.
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Old 03-11-2012, 08:41 PM   #3 
Bombalurina
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Actually, Popcorn, the recommended water changes for a 2 gallon unfiltered are one 50% and one 100% change per week. I believe some of our very experienced members use this schedule and find that in that time the levels of ammonia do not build up to a dangerous amount.

For the 50%, you can leave your betta in there happily and scoop or siphon out half of the water. For the 100%, remove your fish, then slowly acclimatise it back in. If you want to avoid 100% changes, you are going to need to upgrade to a 5 gallon with a filter.

As Tiffanini says, leaving the water out for 24 hours is not sufficient. You don't need to leave it out at all - just add some Prime or other dechlorinator (Prime is definitely better, though).
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Old 03-11-2012, 09:03 PM   #4 
tiffanini
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Yeah, well, I'm a bit extreme in my above comment when it came to the water changes. But you get the idea. Unfiltered tank=more water changes, more work, and more stress (on the fish).
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Old 03-11-2012, 09:07 PM   #5 
Heavenly Jumper
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I am so glad to see this thread! :)

Doesn't the new water mess up the bacteria in a cycled tank?? I have a six gallon filtered and I'm new to all this.
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Old 03-11-2012, 10:18 PM   #6 
Bombalurina
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In a cycled tank above 5 gallons, Heavenly, that is precisely why you only do partial changes. :) In a non-cycled tank, 100% changes are fine because there is no bacteria to destroy. In a cycled tank, partial changes won't mess up the chemistry of an established tank. :) In your tank, you only need to do one 25-50% change per week.
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