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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I received two betta fish, kind of as a gift. Long story, short: I kept them in two separate 1 gallon bowls for two weeks, one died (partially to over-feeding) and that prompted me to research proper betta care.

I moved my remaining betta to a heated, filtered 10 gallon aquarium with a couple of decorations, a big log to hide in and several fake plants. I have read many, many forum posts on this site since my first betta died and I'm becoming a much better betta owner! But, I still have a few questions:

FREQUENCY

• How often should I clean my tank? Weekly? And how much water should I replace? 20%? 50%?
• How do you judge when to clean your tank? All I have is one betta fish. Should I just clean it once a week religiously? Or should I be taking water measurements/tests and deciding each week if it needs to be cleaned?

RINSING

• I know I'm supposed to rinse the filter in the old tank water. Should I remove all of the decorations and plants and rinse them too?

VACUUMING

• Do you leave your betta in the tank and vacuum around him?
• A friend of mine gave me her old gravel vacuum (she had gold fish) and it isn't the cleanest tube I've ever seen. Is that okay since the water I'm removing isn't going back into the tank? Or should I attempt to clean the siphon with something? (With what?)
 

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I received two betta fish, kind of as a gift. Long story, short: I kept them in two separate 1 gallon bowls for two weeks, one died (partially to over-feeding) and that prompted me to research proper betta care.

I moved my remaining betta to a heated, filtered 10 gallon aquarium with a couple of decorations, a big log to hide in and several fake plants. I have read many, many forum posts on this site since my first betta died and I'm becoming a much better betta owner!

good for you for doing your research! Most people don't even think twice about Betta care. :)

But, I still have a few questions:

FREQUENCY

• How often should I clean my tank? Weekly? And how much water should I replace? 20%? 50%?
For one fish in an established and cycled ten gallon I would personally just do 20-25% water changes
• How do you judge when to clean your tank? All I have is one betta fish. Should I just clean it once a week religiously? Or should I be taking water measurements/tests and deciding each week if it needs to be cleaned?
Ideally you should be testing your water with every water change to check to make sure that water parameters are normal, if you notice anything over .25 ppm of ammonia I would immediately do a 50% water change but with just one Betta you shouldn't have any issues with water conditions

RINSING

• I know I'm supposed to rinse the filter in the old tank water. Should I remove all of the decorations and plants and rinse them too?
I only rinse the filters whenever they get clogged which has only happened once, lol. I'm not much to disturb my fish so I don't clean my filter much or my decorations, usually I just clean the decorations in tap water since they don't have enough beneficial bacteria to really make a huge difference, so I usually don't worry about it but it is a good idea to wash the filter in old tank water every few months or as you like
VACUUMING

• Do you leave your betta in the tank and vacuum around him?
I do, just make sure he doesn't get sucked in, lol >.<
• A friend of mine gave me her old gravel vacuum (she had gold fish) and it isn't the cleanest tube I've ever seen. Is that okay since the water I'm removing isn't going back into the tank? Or should I attempt to clean the siphon with something? (With what?)
honestly, I would just go and spend the extra 8-10 dollars at Walmart, Petco or petsmart or buy an aquarium siphon on eBay, (they are cheap and work well) because, and no offense to your friend or how she cared for that fish, but you can never be sure what diseases that goldfish carried those are carried over to the vacuum and those can get in your tank which would not be good for the health of your Betta
:) good luck with your fish and I hoped I did a good job at answering your questions!

~Mo
 

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Make sure the filter not too strong for your betta.

The only thing i would swish/rinse the filter media weekly in the tank water because filters can gather a lot of gunk on them and it all go to the water.Water testing involves looking for things like ammonia. However it won't tell you about other contaminants or bacterial levels. So i really think that additional water changes are helpful. And filters cleaning i think really important. I think my first betta didn't live long because i never cleaned the filters
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Make sure the filter not too strong for your betta.
I don't think the outflow is too strong for him, but he is very curious about the intake. He swam over to it immediately and got stuck to it. I have turned the filter off (it's only been a few days and I've been doing partial water changes), but tomorrow I am going to get a nylon stocking to cover the intake so his fins don't get caught.

Will the nylon prevent him from getting stuck? Or will it only prevent damage? Not sure what "too strong" means to a betta. Is this a sign that my filter is too strong?
 

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I don't have filters in my tanks so i am not experienced sorry...i can't answered it. Mo will probobly or sunlight will see your question and help you:) If you don't get an answer i would make another thread about it.
Also make sure you do extra water changes and test the water for the ammonia spike. I don't think it good when you turn the filter off. So definitely do water changes....
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
The nylon is on the filter and my fish hasn't got stuck yet. I put a taller plant in front of the filter to help with the intake, because I think at first it was a little strong for him. But now he is fine, swimming normally. He seems to like to swim behind the filter for some reason, but I've been keeping an eye on him and he hasn't gotten stuck or come near the intake. So I think we're all good. The outflow is very quiet and doesn't seem to bother him.
 

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If the filter intake is still too strong you can drill the uptake tube full of small holes. I'm guessing you are going to do a "fish in" cycle on your tank. Keep an eye on the ammonia. You could also invest in a small long handled stiff bristle brush. It comes in handy for cleaning your filter tubes, siphon and fake plants. Once your tank has cycled you can change out about 25% of the water every two weeks-probably the amount you will need to replace when vacuuming any way. If you stock your tank to the limit you will probably need to change 25% of the water every week.

You may or may not wish to add aquarium, rock or kosher salt to your water. 1 tablespoon per 5 gallons is a general guideline that keeps most fish funk at bay. That works out to a generous 1/2 tsp per gallon.

You can use vinegar to sanitize things you use for your fish.

I'm not sure what lights you have on your tank but is they are incandescent you will want to switch the bulbs to mini cfl. Pick the lowest wattage you can fine. Pick the "daylight" or 6500K color temperature. Incandescent will just grow algae.

You will probably need to do "tank maintenance" every other week. That involves wiping down the inside of the glass and possibly cleaning decorations. You can get an algae eating snail for that chore as well. Don't get an "algae eater" or sucker fish (pleco) because they make a lot of waste and as they get bigger they don't clean as well. 10g is also likely too small for most plecos.

You can get more fish for your tank but choose carefully. Some do best in schools, some are too nippy to keep with betta, some will get attacked by betta. Wait until your tank cycles before adding any other inhabitants though. I have had good results with Tetra Safe Start.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
@Ilikebutterflies – I read a sticky that said I should do 50% water changes and gravel vacuum weekly for a 10 gallon tank with a filter. Is that not the case?

I'll probably add some ghost shrimp eventually. How do I know when my tank has cycled?

(I am very new to fish keeping and, yeah, I've learned I should have cycled my tank before I added my fish. But, he seems to be doing just fine, so I'll just keep that in mind for the future.)
 
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