Controversial Filter Question...

MissMTS

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I have been re-doing my betta setups and moving my boys and girls into new tanks this week. I tore down my divided tanks, and now all of my bettas have their own homes and seem very happy. Well, I ordered filters online through DFS and am waiting for them to be delivered within the next few days.

For the time being, I have been doing 75 percent water changes on all of the betta tanks that do not have filters (they do have heaters and live plants though). My bettas look happier and have the most stunning colors since I have started this regime. One of my boys, Gonzo, who has been battling with fin rot for about 9 months has even perked up and it looks like his fins are improving.

Now I know that bettas are supposed to be kept in filtered tanks, but would going without a filter be acceptable if this sort of water change regime was maintained over the course of their lives?

I'm not trying to cut corners at all, and my filters will be arriving any day, but I am just wondering if the improvement of the health of my fish is due to this new pattern. Up until this week, my bettas were all in filtered tanks with weekly 50 percent water changes.

I'm just curious about what you all think of this....
 

xxhoanganh

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Well what was the before / after sizes? Like what were they in before, and what were they moved into after? And also, how strong was the filter's current? And will the new current be adjustable?
 

Lucy

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Kate, you're one of the best fish mom's here. Imo, if you've seen an improvement since taking him out of the filtered tank then maybe that's what's best for your Gonzo.
We know you're diligent with water changes, so try it and see.
 

harpua2002

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Maybe if you're a little hesitant to go filterless, you could try a small sponge filter. That would keep the current extra low compared to a HOB I think.

Could it be the preference of the individual fish? My Cowboy is in a 10 gallon with an Aquaclear 20 (100 gph) and the output is turned up all the way. I've heard a lot of people say that their bettas don't like the Aquaclears and get blown around by the current, but Cowboy doesn't have any trouble, never has.

At any rate, like Lucy said, you are certainly experienced enough to tell what's going to work for you and your fish, and you are diligent with maintenance. Occasionally with experience comes the ability to bend the rules.
 

Prince Powder

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If your fish are actually improving with this new set up and you are willing to make the commitment of daily water changes, I see no reason to change things. My main concern would be unexpected emergencies. If, for example, you had an emergency that would require you and your family to leave town for a few days, do you have someone you can trust to keep up the daily water changes? What if you wanted to take a vacation? With a filtered tank you can do a water change before you leave and it would be fine until you came back. With no filter....then what?
 
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MissMTS

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Thanks guys. Its one of those things where I know I'm a good judge of what's beneficial for my fish, but at the same time, I have seen so many bettas in unfiltered tanks/bowls just withering away. I guess I just wanted to run the idea by everyone and see if you guys could see any potential problems with the idea. I really don't mind the water change regime since it really takes no time at all since the tanks are so small in volume (2.5-5 gallons). I think I will keep this up and just keep an eye on things and see how everyone does. I have one boy, Taz, who has a filter and is doing wonderfully, so I wouldn't want to change things in his tank. Miss Piggy is also doing well with her filter. I think I will keep the new filters that I just ordered on hand just in case I do need to skip a day of water changes due to an emergency, short trip, etc. As far as the biological bacteria goes, I am assuming that it will colonize on the substrate so eventually the tanks will in fact be cycled. If anyone can think of anything that I may be overlooking, please let me know
 

Aquarist

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Hello MissMTS,
I know you will do what is necessary for your fish You good fish mom you!

I just wanted to add that I use the Aqua Clear (AC) 20 (as does Harpua) on Wriggley's 6.6g book shelf tank and he has no issues with the current. I do keep his filter on low most of the time accept for after a water change then I run it full flow most of the day. I always turn it down at night though so he can rest.

Keep us posted please.
Ken
 

Martinismommy

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Kate,

This is a question I usually try to avoid answering here on Fishlore but because it is you and you own so many of my kids I'll give you my opinion.....

Gonzo is trying to tell you something...He IS happier without a filter.....All 300 of my fish are filterless except the young fry and the ones in the 55.....As long as you are on top of water changes this is actually what they prefer.....

I think if you look at the finage and health of my males/females you can see they thrive without a filter....It is truly a personal choice and like I said if you are going to go filterless, you MUST do water changes at least twice a week.....

I'll see you later today and we can discuss this further.....
 

Lucy

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I think I will keep the new filters that I just ordered on hand just in case I do need to skip a day of water changes due to an emergency, short trip, etc.
Just keep the sponges in one of your established tanks. If you have to go away for a few days, you can add the filter with the seeded sponges.
That should take care of any worry about ammonia.
 

haedra

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Agreed with what everyone said here.

There are many things that are highly debated when it comes to bettas, this probably the one I think that is most highly debated. In the end, the one who will tell you what is best for him is your fish. If he is healthy and happy, he will "tell" you so.

I'm a strong believer in doing what works for your pets; and it sounds like yours really prefers filterless.

Good luck!
 
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