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post #4 of (permalink) Old 08-13-2010, 06:42 AM Thread Starter
Mike
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Betta Fish Maintenance

Your betta fish's habitat will need to be maintained in order to ensure your fish's continued health. While different people have seen success with different maintenance regimens, the suggestions below are regarded by many as good husbandry.

Water Changes

As discussed previously, harmful substances accumulate in your water as your betta fish expels them, and you will need to perform water changes so that they do not become too concentrated. The amount and frequency of the water changes you will need to perform will vary depending on the size of your tank and whether it is cycled. (See link)

For 1 - 2 gallon tanks: A 25% - 50% water change is recommended every other day, with a 100% water change once a week.

For 2.5 gallon and larger tanks: If your aquarium is cycled, you should change 10% of the water twice a week or 25% of the water once a week.


Water Conditioner during Water Changes

The water that comes out of most faucets contains chlorine and other substances in concentrations that are safe for humans but can be toxic to fish. Water conditioner conditions tap water to make it safe for your fish. You should always use water conditioner according to its instructions when performing water changes to ensure that the water you add to your aquarium is safe for your fish.

Testing Water Parameters

You can see for yourself just how good or bad your betta fish's water quality is by testing the water using one of many available aquarium test kits. The API Freshwater Master Test Kit comes highly recommended.

A cycled aquarium will ideally have the following parameters:
Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: Under 20 ppm
pH: 7.0 (Betta fish can tolerate a range of 6 - 7.5)

If after testing your aquarium water you find that your ammonia, nitrite, or nitrate is too high, you'll want to perform a partial water change to help lower its concentration. If your pH is too low or too high, you can use any one of a number of available pH related aquarium supplements to adjust it. Your test kit will likely make specific recommendations.

Cleaning Ornaments

From time to time, you may want to clean the ornaments in your aquarium. Many people think of soap when they think of cleaning.
You should never use soap to clean anything that is meant to go in your aquarium. Soap is toxic to fish, and even trace amounts of it that are likely to be present even after rinsing soap off can be extremely harmful.

To clean your ornaments safely, take them out of your aquarium and rinse them under hot water. Just make sure not to burn yourself!

If hot water alone won't do the trick, you can soak the ornaments in white vinegar to help soften any mineral deposits. If you use vinegar, be sure to rinse the ornament thoroughly to wash away any vinegar on it afterward.


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