Cycling A Betta Tank???

  1. GuppyGirl3

    GuppyGirl3 New Member Member

    Hi all! I have a 5 gallon betta tank that currently only has my male betta. Is it okay to completely dump out all the water and clean the gravel, but leave the old filter media in? Or do I need to syphon it instead? My syphon is very strong and I can't use it in that tank because of this
     
  2. Lagertha

    Lagertha Valued Member Member

    I’m led to believe a lot of B.B. lives on the substrate as well as in the filter so I imagine you’d be killing a lot of the B.B. by cleaning it all in one go.

    I don’t use a syphon either in my 2.5 Betta tank, I use a turkey baster to suck up any poop I see.
     
  3. InsanityShard

    InsanityShard Well Known Member Member

    Letting the filter go dry will also kill the bb in the filter. And yes, there is bb in gravel, I've used it to cycle 1g tanks successfully.
     


  4. Lorekeeper

    Lorekeeper Well Known Member Member

    Honestly, I've found there to be no issue in cleaning gravel, as long as you keep your filter media wet and are careful about water parameters afterwards.

    May I suggest you just get a smaller siphon? You really do need to clean that gravel, and while you CAN remove the substrate to clean it without too many issues, you're still disrupting the cycle and stressing your fish more than you need to.

    If nothing else, once every month remove your betta from the tank and use your current siphon to get rid of the junk in the gravel. You really do need to be siphoning.
     
  5. BettaFishKeeper4302

    BettaFishKeeper4302 Well Known Member Member

    No need to make it that complicated. I'd syphon. On my 3 gallon betta tank i syphon. Just buy a weaker syphon.
     
  6. S

    Small Tanks Valued Member Member

    With a smaller tank I recommend using a turkey baster for cleaning the gravel. Since you're not needing to do more than a gallon of water change and you can get this easy.
     


  7. OP
    OP
    GuppyGirl3

    GuppyGirl3 New Member Member

    Alright! Thanks for the input! I did buy the smaller syphon my LFS sells... and it's still too strong!!! I like the Turkey Baster idea, though. I'll consider it
     
  8. OP
    OP
    GuppyGirl3

    GuppyGirl3 New Member Member

    Sorry, back again, but if I did do a complete water change and rinsed the gravel (leave old filter media in though) could I add tetra SafeStart? I wouldn't want to do add it too much though. Would it be unsafe to do a complete water change and add SafeStart like every month? Just curious
     
  9. S

    Small Tanks Valued Member Member

    You shouldn't need safe start if the filter media is still there.
     
  10. OP
    OP
    GuppyGirl3

    GuppyGirl3 New Member Member

    Ok thanks!
     
  11. Lagertha

    Lagertha Valued Member Member

    It’s what I do.
     
  12. Rtessy

    Rtessy Well Known Member Member

    Don't do a complete water change, the shock of the fish being added back into that could potentially kill him. Don't do more than a 50% change unless there is some type of sickness that requires larger ones. Also, not too much BB lives in the gravel, it's basically 95% all in the filter media. Just make sure the filter media stays wet and you're good to go
     
  13. Lorekeeper

    Lorekeeper Well Known Member Member

    While 100% changes are a bit more stressful than smaller changes, there's not really any issue in doing them, as long as the water you add back in is pretty close to the water you took out. I've done 100% water changes in 2 gallon reef tanks with no adverse effects.
     
  14. Lagertha

    Lagertha Valued Member Member

    Honestly I don’t think that’s true, I know a lot of big pet YouTubers who advocate for full water changes once a month or once every two months.
     
  15. IHaveADogToo

    IHaveADogToo Well Known Member Member

    I advocate for 50% - 75% water changes weekly. I do believe there is a time and a place for 100% water changes, but your weekly maintenance isn't it. Dumping out all the water and washing all the gravel should not be part of your weekly routine. You should only do that when you want to sterilize the tank, like if you just got done treating for parasites in the tank, for example.

    Regarding the gravel vac - you could try removing the rigid intake tube, so you're using just the hose.