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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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??
 

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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. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks, it was very fast. :(

I would prefer not to tear it down, but wouldn't that leave the chance for the next betta to be sick. None of the other fish are.

I do want another, but first I need a proper heater, a test kit, and a thermometer. Can neons handle the same high temps that bettas can?
 

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Bear in mind that you have to turn the lights off at night, and that will drop the temperature right back down. Fluctuations like that are really bad for fish.

I also wouldn't trust any thermometer other than one designed specifically for water, since they sometimes do give dodgy reading underwater.

Definitely get a 50watt heater when you can. Your 7.5 watt could easily explode or burn itself out from the strain of trying to heat that much water.
 

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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.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Whoa, that is so overwhelming. Seriously, I never turn the lights off, and I've raised fish that lived a long long time.

I confused on the cleaning part. I just need to worry about cleaning the decorations?? What about the gravel?
 

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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.

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.
:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Sorry to be posting so much, but if I get a new betta soon, I want everything to be ready.

What exactly needs to be cleaned before the new fish arrives? How much water changed?

If I get a test kit, what chemicals would I need to get in case things need to be changed?

If the water needs to be altered, how long do I need to wait before adding the new betta?
 

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The point of turning off the lights at night is so that it is dark and the fish can sleep- they need it as much as we do. So, turning off the lights during the day would be pointless seeing as it'd be light out and they couldn't sleep. Believe me, investing in a heater will help immensely. It'll help keep your betta healthy and happy, which will reduce the likelyhood of him or her contracting an illness.

Gravel vaccums are needed to suck out the poop and mulm from the gravel that accumulates over the week between your water changes.

If you want, you can/ would probably want to remove the decorations and rinse them under hot water to get rid of the pathogens from the columanris. I personally would say remove at the very least the deocrations and gravel and rinse them in hot water, simply because columnaris is never fun, and I don't like risking it still hanging around in the tank.

I would do a large water change now, maybe 7 gallons to help clean the water too. After that, just go back to the regular 50% water changes once a week.

when you get a test kit, you are able to test for ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates. In the ideal tank, you want 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites and 5-10 nitrates right before you do your water change. appart from water dechlorinator, you need no chemicals to clean the water, you just do a water change. No need to alter water.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I guess I just don't see why I wouldn't clean the whole tank, other than it can be a hassle to tear it down.

Okay, so say the levels are off. I don't add anything like I would if the ph was off, I just change the water. Man that's confusing. Thanks for the link!
 

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The Ph should stay constant where you're at, you don't need it to be a perfect 7.0. For example, up in NY, the water is super hard, but the bettas are acclimatized and used to living in hard water. Down where I live, it is really soft (6.7-6.8 to be exact), and the bettas are fine. Ammonia, nitrites and nitrates are bad, but can be removed by doing a water change and replacing with clean water.

If your tank is cycled, then a 100% isn't advised because it would take too long and kill the cycle. If it isn't you might want to simply tear the tank down and do a careful fish-in-cycle (do at least 50% water changes a week using a gravel vacc) while monitoring the fish and keeping the parameters down to an acceptable level until cycled. Once it's cycled, then you would probably want to get a betta. :)
 

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:) It's fine, everybody starts somewhere!

Since your tank isn't cycled, I'd go ahead and clean everything with a vinegar soak that I described on the first page (also rub down the filter and toss the media). Before you break everything down, you might want to pick up some filter foam to put in the filter as you go to get a heater. When you're cycling, just be sure to leave the filter on constantly and not to toss the media.

If you end up getting the testing kit, it'd help you keep an eye on the water parameters that way you know for sure when it's cycled. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Okay, one last question. The tank has been set up for about a month and half, and has had a few water changes. (obviously not enough) Starting from when the tank was first set up, the fish were added slowly. Is there any chance at all that the tank is cycled?? Will I know when I get the test kit??
 

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it is very possible actually that it is cycled then, so long as the filter was always running, the filter media has never been replaced, and you never did a 100% water change. If you get a test kit, you'd be able to tell. A cycled tank will have 0 ammonia, 0 nitrItes and (ideally) 5-10 nitrAtes. However, if you don't have enough water changes done, the nitrAtes will be higher than 10
 

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That simply means the tank is dirty and that the nitrates are building up (while not as toxic as ammonia or nitrites, in high enough concentrations, it can hurt fish). To lower the nitrates, you'd want to do a water change :)
 
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