Wondering if I have a 10 gallon top fin filter in a 5.5 gallon tank how long between cleanings?
While filtering will help keep the tank clean, you are not removing nitrates with a filter. Ammonia (fish excrement) is transformed into nitrItes by the bacteria in the filter and in turn are transformed to nitrAtes. Nitrates are also toxic to fish, just not as badly toxic as ammonia and nitrites. You want the total nitrates to be <20, so in the first few months, you test before a water change, then change enough water to get it way below that.
You will be adding back to the tank volume fresh water which contains minerals that creatures and plants use up too. If you just keep topping off, what you end up with is a very stale tank with what is known as "Old Tank Syndrome".
If you add plants, it will help lower nitrates but it also depletes minerals from the water, so once again, a water change is necessary. Sorry, no getting around them lol.
I don't think they were asking about not cleaning...just how long they should be going between cleaning.
OP, you should be doing a water change once a week unless water parameters are off. If they are off you need to be changing immediately until the cycle is complete.
Thanks for all the help!
i think that might be overdoing the flow it for a betta though....
What would you recommend?
i does just use a sponge filter as it has not much flow and preforms bio filtration really well. I hope you know about the nitrogen cycle. You need to cycle a tank before adding any fish
i now checked your profile and say you don't know about it so click the nitrogen cycle in blue
If you have a betta with long flowing fins, you might have a problem. I've kept females bettas and male plants in my 5.5 gallon tank with a 10 gallon filter with no problem.
I have a sponge over the intake of the filter for extra filtration and to avoid fish getting stuck. The added sponge keeps the internal filter pretty clean but means I have to clean the added sponge more (I have lived plants though so you might not have to)
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