What's new

Newbie Questions

Vethian

Member
Joined
May 5, 2015
Messages
221
Reaction score
1
Location
US
My daughter has a 2.5 gallon tank for her Betta.  I was reading the care guide ( http://www.fishforums.net/index.php?/topic/423362-betta-splendens-caresheet/) and it says to do a 100% water change every 4-5 days in an uncycled tank.  uh oh!  The tank is just over two weeks old and I havent changed the water.  Henry, as he is named, seems to be fine.  I am prepared to change out the water tonight...but what is the best safe way to do this?  Will the fish be ok moving into a small holding container?  
 

eaglesaquarium

Life, Liberty & Pursuit of the perfect fish tank
Staff member
Moderator
Global Moderator
Joined
Apr 4, 2011
Messages
12,893
Reaction score
362
Location
US
Yes... in a small holding container, the fish will be fine for how long the water change will take.   Having waited this long though, I wouldn't recommend a 100% change today.  I'd recommend a 50% change today and a 100% change in 2 days after that, followed by the continual changes moving forward.
 
 
Do you have a filter on this tank?   A small sponge filter (powered by an air pump) would be sufficient.  And these can be easily cleaned during routine water changes with a quick squeeze in the old tank water to remove any detritus (waste) that accumulates.
 
 
The water change itself is simple... remove the water through water means you wish - a tank that small could just be dumped out - or by siphoning the water.  Then refill the tank with DECHLORINATED (you can buy a bottle of dechlorinator cheaply that will last a good while, you'll only need a drop or two for that size tank), TEMP MATCHED tap water.  The key to success in a case like this is the water needs to be the same temperature (or within a degree or so) of the water the fish has been in.  Failing that can cause temperature shock to the fish, which can weaken them making them susceptible to disease.
 
Floating the holding container in the tank for about 15 minutes after the water change can help to deal with any temperature differences and make the transition back to the tank less stressful.  Also, if you can catch the betta in the holding container and avoid netting him, that would also be less stressful for him.  
 
(Be sure to place a kitchen towel or something over the top of the container, as bettas are known to be jumpers... and you don't want to find Henry on the floor during the water change.  Hopefully the tank you have also has a lid on it with no large gaps.)
 
 
 
Do you have a heater for this tank?  Generally, when bettas are kept in water that is too cold, they can develop fin rot.  
 
 
Do you have any decor, plants, etc.?   Bettas appreciate live plants - probably the best and easiest for a situation like this (even without a tank light) would be anubias.  These are easily found in almost any LFS, and require almost nothing to survive.  They can't be buried in the substrate, but merely tied to anything else, they will thrive.  Some LFS sell them pre-attached to some driftwood, which might be the simplest solution.
 
 
 
Taking proper care of your betta will be a rewarding experience for your daughter (if she's old enough, you didn't mention her age), as bettas are quite the characters and have very unique personalities.  Each betta reacts differently, and has distinct personalities.  
 
OP
V

Vethian

Member
Joined
May 5, 2015
Messages
221
Reaction score
1
Location
US
We have a National Geographic 2.5 gallon tank.  it came with a filter and LED light.  We bought a couple of small fake plants.  black sand sub straight.  We also have a heater.    My water supply is well water.  No softening or chlorine.  

My daughter is 13 years old and very enthusiastic about the hobby.  

Thank you for the advice.  
 
OP
V

Vethian

Member
Joined
May 5, 2015
Messages
221
Reaction score
1
Location
US
ok...50% change and all is well.  Thanks again for the advice.

I took multiple pics and Henry would not pose for me.  :)  anyways, he is what I have:
 

eaglesaquarium

Life, Liberty & Pursuit of the perfect fish tank
Staff member
Moderator
Global Moderator
Joined
Apr 4, 2011
Messages
12,893
Reaction score
362
Location
US
Some folks use a mirror when taking pictures of a betta to get it to 'pose', but I wouldn't do it too often.
 
Glad it went well.
 

Wildbetta

Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Jan 23, 2013
Messages
1,510
Reaction score
33
Location
US
That is a nice little tank!  Since you have a filter ( I can see it in the picture) then doing 50% water changes no less than once a week should be good for you.  Do you have a test kit to check the levels of "bad stuff" in your tank?  Main thing to be checking for is ammonia and nitrite.  If you have not picked up a test kit--it is best to get the liquid kit since the paper strips are not highly reliable.  These tests can help you know if the water needs to be changed more often than what you are currently doing. (although even with a good reading on the tests -- a once a week water change is recommended to return needed minerals to the water)
 
In the size tank you have, a filter is not "required" although it is recommended.  The filter you have in there might work just fine but it might also be a bit strong for the betta.  If that is the case then switching to a sponge filter is a good way to go.  I personally run sponge filters in 90+% of my tanks.  A heater is required unless you live in an area that keeps a warm temperature that would keep the water temperature around 78F-82F or the tank is in a room that stays around 80F-84F.
 
Becareful of the plastic plants that are currently in your tank.  Plastic plants are IMO the #1 cause of torn fins for bettas kept in a pet capacity.  Something to keep in mind -- if you take pantyhose and run it across anything that goes in the tank it would help let you know if the stuff will tear the fins.  Because if it snags the pantyhose it will tear fins.
 
Bettas are normally not very hard to keep.  Warm clean water and good food = a healthy betta most times. 
 
As for the mirror -- using a mirror with your betta is good when done in moderation.  It is a form of exercise for them.  5-10 minutes a day or every few days is healthy for them.
 
OP
V

Vethian

Member
Joined
May 5, 2015
Messages
221
Reaction score
1
Location
US
The tank is sold as a Betta tank and the filter is very low volume.  But, it does fill the tank.  I also have a flat heater in the tank.  I have been contemplating a new tank design.  Possibly a 10 gallon setup with live plants in the future.  But, in the short run I was thinking about a sponge filter.  I will also double check the fake plants for the tear factor.  Thank you! 
 
OP
V

Vethian

Member
Joined
May 5, 2015
Messages
221
Reaction score
1
Location
US
well, my coworker says she is going to give me a 16 gallon tank.  just under 60 liters.  she says i can have the hoodlight, tank and stand.  I will need to setup filtration.  should I start planning a live plant tank?  is it hard?  I geuss I should take that to a different location.  how about this.  Would my Betta do better with live plants?  Also, should I think about tank mates?  I will measure to be sure, but my coworker directed me to the tank online.  It says the size is 13"L x 20"W x 20.75"H 
 

eaglesaquarium

Life, Liberty & Pursuit of the perfect fish tank
Staff member
Moderator
Global Moderator
Joined
Apr 4, 2011
Messages
12,893
Reaction score
362
Location
US
Bettas and tank mates don't always go together.
 
 
Regarding the live plants... they can be easy or hard, depending on your interest level.  
 
As pointed out, Anubias are about as easy and forgiving an aquatic plant as you'll find.  There are others that work about that easily as well...  java fern, almost any cryptocoryne species - though these require a substrate.  
 
 
And then there are high light, CO2, fertilizer options, but I wouldn't suggest starting there.  I'd stick to the types above which are far easier to deal with.  For the most part, they are about as easy as, put them in the tank and forget about them.  They don't require much in the way of fuss.
 
 
As for whether or not the fish do better with live plants... consider this:  plants are designed to naturally deal with nitrogenous waste in the water (ammonia, nitrate) and use other minerals in the water as well.  They are soft enough that you don't have to worry about them tearing your fins.  And I've heard tails of folks with bettas who actually sleep on top of anubias leaves... mine never did that, probably at least in part due to the fact I had one of smaller leaved anubias, not the ones with larger leaves.  
 
OP
V

Vethian

Member
Joined
May 5, 2015
Messages
221
Reaction score
1
Location
US
what about a moss?  I like the look of Java fern, how about java moss?  I will do a low tech setup.  Anubias look very nice as well as java fern.  

as for tank mates, i was leaning to small fish to add movement.  tetra or harlequins and/or cory.
 

eaglesaquarium

Life, Liberty & Pursuit of the perfect fish tank
Staff member
Moderator
Global Moderator
Joined
Apr 4, 2011
Messages
12,893
Reaction score
362
Location
US
Yes, java moss is also very easy to grow.  
 
Top