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Water changes on small tanks+ a few betta questions


Georgia

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Hey everyone! So I wanted to keep this a secret, but I am in progress of setting up a 5 gallon betta tank! :happydance The plants are all in (planning on getting 1 or 2 more at Petsmart to fill in the side) and the heater and filter are working great. :thumb: The only thing that I'm stuck on is changing the water. I have a medium sized Top-Fin siphon I use on my goldfish tank, however it is a little bulky in the 5 gallon. I did use it well when the goldfish lived in the 5 gallon before their upgrade, but the tank was barebottom and I didn't have to worry about disturbing any plants or substrate. Now, it is a bit tricky because I don't want to disturb or uproot the plants. To refill the tank, I use old one-gallon milk jugs with dechlorinated water. It's a little too much pressure on the tank plants and substrate and I'm afraid it'll stress out the betta when I do it with him in the tank. Any suggestions? How do you guys do stress-free water changes and refills on your betta tanks?

also, a few more questions.

1. Will a high pH of 7.6 harm the betta? I know they prefer lower pH. I've heard of "fin curling" on bettas who live in a high pH. I'd also like to note that I have crushed coral in my filter to keep the pH stable at 7.6 as well. Without it, my pH would drop to 6.0 in a matter of days. I can always fiddle with the amount of crushed coral in the filter and make it drop a little lower than 7.6 but with that, there is margin for fluctuations.

2. A bit unrelated, but are rubber bands aquarium-safe? I have one tied with a sponge on the filter to baffle it.

3. Temperature of 80 F is okay? Or should it be a little lower? (sorry, kind of an obvious question, but I just want to clarify)

Probably will be coming up with more questions later on, so please stay tuned. :)

Thanks!

Edited by Georgia
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Just get a piece of tubing, not air line thiness, maybe the tubing from your siphon on its own? put one end in the tank, one end over a bucket lower than the tank and suck on the bucket end until the water starts to siphon through. With a narrow tube you can get into tight spaces, just never touch the tube to the substrate because it will suck it up easily. you could refill the same way I guess too, just start the siphon the opposite way round. :)

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What herts said is exactly what I do with my five gallon lol I use like half inch clear tubing that's sold by the foot at hardware stores and is really fairly inexpensive. When refilling I use a cup or use my python but just put the faucet on a very gentle flow pointed at the side of the tank or the back

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Just get a piece of tubing, not air line thiness, maybe the tubing from your siphon on its own? put one end in the tank, one end over a bucket lower than the tank and suck on the bucket end until the water starts to siphon through. With a narrow tube you can get into tight spaces, just never touch the tube to the substrate because it will suck it up easily. you could refill the same way I guess too, just start the siphon the opposite way round. :)

What herts said is exactly what I do with my five gallon lol I use like half inch clear tubing that's sold by the foot at hardware stores and is really fairly inexpensive. When refilling I use a cup or use my python but just put the faucet on a very gentle flow pointed at the side of the tank or the back

Actually, for refilling, siphoning with airline tubing is great. You just get a thin stream of water coming in that won't disturb plants, substrate, or fish.

Funny you guys mention that, I actually tried that yesterday with a piece of tubing from my gravel vacuum. I think I would have been more successful if I sucked harder on it, but then again, it was pretty nasty. :rofl I can't imagine doing that every water change. I was thinking though, my siphon comes with a little bulb that you squeeze a few times to start the suction, like this:

myOQImTUSOZfmXFVcGu4nMg.jpg

I wonder if it works the same if I cut the tubing in half and stuck it in the middle? It would really make things much, much easier.

As for refilling, that may be problematic with the whole siphoning-back thing. There's no way I could have the bucket higher than the tank(unless I pile it on a bunch of phone books) ,so I'm afraid the siphon won't work. Just out of curiosity, is refilling directly from the tap bad? I'm planning on getting a Harbor Freight pump to change the water on the GF tank, and I could use that, while pointing the hose towards the wall of the tank, of course. The problem with that is Prime is so concentrated that I would only need a few drops to dechlorinate the new water, and I'm afraid it won't work sufficiently. Amquel+ does require 1 tsp. per 10 gal, if I halve that to 1\2 tsp. it might just work.

Sorry I'm rambling off here. D:

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Our house is on well water so it's pretty much water straight from the ground and our water softener doesn't work right so its pretty much just water lol. There's no added chlorine or anything like that so I just fill the tank up and add prime and everyone's happy. I might not do it the same if I were on city water though. And when I'm siphoning water out I keep the tube close to the surface so if I do get water in mouth it's not gunky gross water lol. Plus you can always spit it out into the bucket, it's not like you're going to reuse that water anyways.

Edited by katearei
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:Congrats::D

Thanks, Alex. :D Haven't had a betta for quite a while now, so I am very exited to what the future will bring.

Will hopefully post some pics in a few days when I figure everything out and get my lucky boy ;)

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