Before I start this thread, here's some info on my setup.
Rosie's in a Large (approx. 3 gal) Kritter Keeper with a Whisper 3i Filter and Cascade 7-watt heater.
Tomorrow will be our one week anniversary and to celebrate, I'll be doing our first water change. I have a slew of questions about it.
1) Considering the fact that I have a filter and didn't cycle before putting her in (I know, I know, BAD :S) how much water should I change on a weekly basis? 100%? 20%? How would I do it?
2) How and when should I use my gravel siphon to clean the gravel? I'll be using it for the water change, but should I clean the gravel each time? One website said not to because it hadn't been cycled yet, but it seems wrong to have her swim around with poopy in her tank for a few weeks.
3) When siphoning/doing water change, should I take her out? I'm scared of sucking her up, lol. Also, I don't think I'd be able to maneuver well if I had to avoid her.
4) How should I clean ornaments? I have 2 fake plants and a pineapple house. Rinse with tap water?
Finally, an observation concerning chemistry. I decided to do a water test in order to see if there were any chemical emergencies.
GH is low, 0-30ppm
pH is about 8.
No nitrites or nitrates.
The kH, however is ridiculously high, over 240 kH. This is strange because my last test (about 5 days ago) had a much lower reading!
I could do another test, but I'm trying to conserve these strips (so expensive).
Are any of these results (kH especially) cause for concern?