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Please help: trouble with water changing

422 Views 13 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Betaphototramp
Every time I try to do a 100% water change, it takes forever to transfer my betta from its original tank to its temporary bowl. My betta just keeps swimming away from the net or cup or whatever I try to use! And if he does finally swim into the net/cup, the moment I try to take it up, he flashed out of it! It takes pure luck to be successful and is making changing his water increasingly impossible! Any advice would be very much appreciated!!!

(getting him from the temporary bowl to the original tank is not the issue because, since the temporary bowl is much smaller than the tank, I just let the bowl float in the tank for a while, than submerge it and my betta automatically swims out of the bowl and into the tank's water)
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How big is his main tank? It might not be necessary to do a 100% change.
Well now your talking normal Betta behavior. He doesn't like something chasing him around the tank. and he is thinking of survival.(His). You could try 2 nets one to chase and one to chase him into. I have the opposite problem. I transfer Harry from his 4 Gallon and he doesn't give me any problem, He almost jumps into the net. I transfer him to a 10 Gallon Nano setup with the same temp and a couple of Golden Tetra. When I get his 4 gallon tank clean and try and put him back. Thats when he and I have problems. (I should say I have the problem of getting him back into his home. ) He just doesn't want to leave. He doesn't understand its not his home and he is only visiting. (Kids go figure.) Your problem is he doesn't want to leave his home. And I'll ask How big is his tank. Going from big tank to small bowl is scary to him and he does remember. (some don't think so but I do.)
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His main tank is 2 gallons
no filtration or heater I would think. So your doing a 100% change each time. The problem your facing is natural for any fish. Not to be caught and avoid capture at any cost. Not knowing your requirements for space ( and this is just a personal issue for me.) I have always given my Betta no less than 4 gal. in space and always filtered and heated tank. Reason 1 for filtration is you don't have to change water at 100% very often. I do mine about once every 6 mo. at 100% and every three months I do a 50% change. Weekly I do a 25% change. Reason 2: it is less stressful on my Betta (Harry) I pull his plants and clean them in the sink with hot water and a tooth brush and rearrange them when I put them back. Harry thinks he has a brand new home and loves to explore. Reason for bigger tank: (1) is betta love to explore and claim more territory. The 4 gallon I bought was a Classic Kit with Tank, stand and light, and filter. I paid $39.00 for it on sale. They are about $ 49.00 regular price. It was from Marineland but it was a good buy. Plenty of space for Harry and a few ghost shrimp. I bought a Marineland 25 watt heater that is set at 78 degrees (I haven't had any trouble with this one. Must have been built on a Tuesday.(better quality control on Tuesdays) ) he has space for Plants and hammock. He has been in this tank for going on 1.5 years and I have never had any problems with sickness or stress. (knock on wood).
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I don't have any experience with 2 gallon tanks, but I think 1-2 50% changes a week with the smallest siphon you can find would be easier and possibly less stressful for you and the fish.
When I had my bettas in 2.5 gallon tanks, I did one 50% and one 100% water change a week. I wouldn't use a net to catch your fish because it could damage their fins. I used a cup and at first my fist would swim away from it. This is what I found useful. try to lure your fish to one of the sides of the glass. Gently lower the cup into the water and towards your fish "trapping" them between the side of the tank and the cup. Make sure to have the cup pressed up against the glass tightly (so he doesn't try to squeeze out). Eventually he should swim away from the glass and towards the back of the cup. At this point, tip the cup (like scoop him out of the water) up very gently and there you go! He's in the cup :)
I had a filtered 2.5 gallon tank and never did 100% changes. I had to change water every 2 days because of high ammonia in my tap water. I used a small siphon to remove waste from the gravel as water was removed. I left the fish in the tank every time. He was so used to it that he'd just follow the siphon and watch. I removed as much water as I could while leaving him a couple of inches so he wasn't uncomfortable. Then I used a cup to carefully add conditioned water back into the tank. Sometimes my ammonia was still higher than I liked, so I'd do another 50-75% change immediately after refilling the tank. I didn't rinse out the gravel or decor because I was trying to establish a cycle in the tank.
His tank is heated and kept a steady 81 degrees F. I also change 50% of his water every single day and siphon out any waste/extra food/ dust every day as well, but no filter.
Since I change 50-60% of his water every single day, do I ever have to do 100% changes if his ammonia levels are okay?
So if I bought him a 4-5 gallon tank with a filter, I would only have to do 100% changes per month?

(Sorry, this is my first fish and I wasn't even planning to get him. He and a bunch of other male bettas were sent to my AP Biology class for a specific lab we were doing on animal behavior and when we concluded the lab, we had to take our betta home)
Re daily changes in the 2 gallon: I would think not. The whole point of cleaning is to keep the water prams safe, so as long as you are testing, you should be fine. I suppose if things got slimy to where you didn't like the look of it, you'd do a 100% clean every few months. Daily 50% water changes with gravel siphon should keep your betta healthy.

With 4-5 gallons filtered, you could do partial changes twice weekly. 100% cleanings should not be necessary. A filtered tank is likely to cycle (read the stickies on that) and then maintenance is even easier.

Here is the main sticky on water change schedules.
You could probably get a small sponge or internal filter for your current tank to start a cycle so you wouldn't need to do 100% changes. Of course a 4-5 gallon would be even easier to deal with. If money is an issue walmart has 5 and 10 gallon kits with LED lights. You'd need a 25 watt heater if you decide to go with a 4-5 gallon.
No as long as the ammonia levels are with in range I would say keep doing the water changes your doing. And yes Walmart has a 5 gal kit with LED day lighting, filter, tank, safe start, and some tetra tropical flake food. I think it was around $ 18.00 I know it wasn't much. I bought one of there 10 gal. for $28.99. Glass aquarium was a great deal.
With a filtered 4-5 gallon tank your maintenance. is next to nothing. until the tank cycles you need to do 25 to 50% changes daily if the water levels are poor but add API quick start from the start and let the good bacteria get started and you will be doing 25% changes daily untill the tank cycles and then only 25% changes each week.. like I said before I only do a 100% change like once every 6 months. (if that). You will be happy and so will your little buddy. Plus more time for both of you to play.
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