From a bowl to a tank. Clean water question

ara
  • #1
My Betta lived in a 1 gal. fish bowl. I changed water every 4-5 days. 10 days ago I moved the fish to a new 3 gal Eclipse tank. I thought it would give more room for him and fewer water changes for me. But it looks like water in the filtered tank does not stay clean and clear at all. It is blurry and has a fishy smell. I had marbles on the bottom of the tank. Yesterday I removed them all because it was difficult to clean poop under them. Now the bottom of the tank clean (I use a turkey buster). I had a partial water change. I hand feed my Betta (no food left after feeding). But the tank still looks unhealthy. Guys, how do you keep aquarium water clean? Thanks.
 
Blub
  • #2
Hi!

Is it cycled? You'll have to do as many water changes in the tank as in the bowl. In a bowl, daily changes are neccesary.


 
chickadee
  • #3
Do you understand the Nitrogen Cycle or how to cycle the filter and do you have the Bio-wheel running in the tank? If you have not done so yet, you need to read the article on the Nitrogen Cycle here: https://www.fishlore.com/NitrogenCycle.htm. It will explain cycling with fish which I am afraid is one of the only two options open for you unless you purchase Bio-spira (an expensive product but one that produces an instant cycle). If you do a regular cycle with a fish in the tank you will need to do a water change of 50% of the water everyday for the first 4 to 6 weeks to keep the fish from being poisoned by the ammonia building up in the tank. After the ammonia is being taken care of by the filter you can go to doing weekly water changes of 50% and filter maintenance about one time a month. (unless you add a bunch of bioload with other fish and then this is going to increase but you do not have room for any more fish actually.)

Please do not get discouraged as it does get much easier with a tank, it is just that the first bit until it is cycled is harder with a fish involved. This is why we generally get the tank and get it set up first and cycled before adding the fish. A fishless cycle is much easier and not hard on the fish. But it can be done. It just does involve the water changes or the use of the Bio-spira. The Bio-spira is expensive but does do away with the weeks of daily water changes. It is up to you. The cost is $19.95 and unless you can find it locally will cost another $19.99 shipping as it has to be shipped overnight FEDEX as it has to be kept refrigerated. When it arrives you do a 50% water change, SHAKE the pouch up well and tear the pouch open and dump it in your tank and do NOT change the water for 7 whole days. You will lose the benefit of it if you do. The fish is safe and will be fine. The tank will show ammonia and nitrite readings if you test, so do not test for the first 7 days. It is just the normal cycle. After the first 7 days you do a 50% water change and then settle in to a weekly schedule of tank maintenance and care for the filter impeller one or two times a month. Nothing is simpler.

Rose

(be sure to order the 1 ounce Freshwater formula if you decide to use this)
 
ara
  • Thread Starter
  • #4
Thanks for your help.
It seems like I have made my life more difficult with my tank . No, I did not know anything about the nitrogen cycle. I just got the tank, let it run for 2 days without my fish, put the fish in and relaxed. I read the booklet I got with the tank and it said nothing about the cycle. So even with all the filters I have I still need to change water every week... I want my small fish bowl back! Is it absolutely necessary to do the nitrogen cycle? Can I get away with just weekly water changes?
 
luna
  • #5
You need to do DAILY water changes until your tank is cycled, just like you should have been doing daily water changes in a bowl.
 
chickadee
  • #6
There is only one way you can get away with WEEKLY water changes without it killing your fish and that is to purchase the Bio-spira and use it in the tank to produce the instant cycle and leave it for 7 days and allow the tank to go through the cycle. THEN you can start doing weekly water changes regularly and your fish can be happy and so can you. Otherwise, you will need to do the changes daily or lose your fish to ammonia toxicity eventually.

Even in your bowl you were killing your fish slowly with WEEKLY water changes. The ammonia in a 10 gallon tank can get toxic in 2 to 3 days with just a couple of fish in it if it is uncycled. If you want to have a pet that you care for, why do you not want to do what you need to do to care for it? I am sorry if I sound harsh but that is like telling your child that you only want to change their diaper one time a month.

The fish may not look sick or act sick but you are shortening its normal life by making it live in its own waste. If you do not want to care for it, do you know of someone else who wants a fish and would be able to take it? If you care for it and really want it, then what is the large job to change the water and care for it. I have 4 large tanks and manage to change the water in each of them every week. It isn't that hard.

Sorry but I do not understand the love for something and then not wanting to care for it.

Rose
 
janoue
  • #7
No not harsh at all rose. I am always doing water changes and I enjoy doing them. There is no better feeling than knowing your fish are well taken care of. And you get to chit chat while your going it. Because my fish are only in a 3 gallons each, I do 10 percent or so every other day. And clean it very well with my fancy fish poop sucker outer (the turkey baster). Scoop out some of the gravel and wash it and wipe down the insides. because their sponge filters havn't arrived yet (thanks for the suggestion rose) I have to do frequent water changes. I don't want my fish to die of ammonia poisioning. Ara-The only difference between a fish and a dog, is you know where the fish is going to poop. They still need constant care (cleaning,feeding attention) like a dog needs constant walking,feeding and grooming. Don't worry once your tank is established, and because you have filters, cleaning will get easier. Its just hard work to get there.
 
ara
  • Thread Starter
  • #8
Hi, everyone!
I do care about my fish. That's why I visit this forum and ask questions. I did not want to do what I was told to do at the pet store: keep the fish in a 0.5 gallon bowl, change water once a week, feed him 3 times a week with Betta flakes. I am just a new fish owner and I am confused with information I hear from pet stores and some Betta owners and what I read here.
For example, I heard what frequent water changes distress fish. I thought, once I get a decent fish tank with a good filter I will be able to change water once a month (like the tank instruction says) and my fish will not be distressed any more.
Do not accuse me of a fish abuse! Look at other owners who keep their fish in a champagne glass or use them for fighting. That's is a BIG problem!
 
Blub
  • #9
Hi!

Ara, what Rose is trying to say is that you haven't done any good by moving him into an uncycled tank. Daily water changes until it's cycled. I love my water changes, with my 90cm siphon or 15cm minI siphon, I manage to change tanks a week, and enjoy it!


 
sirdarksol
  • #10
Hi, everyone!
I do care about my fish. That's why I visit this forum and ask questions. I did not want to do what I was told to do at the pet store: keep the fish in a 0.5 gallon bowl, change water once a week, feed him 3 times a week with Betta flakes. I am just a new fish owner and I am confused with information I hear from pet stores and some Betta owners and what I read here.
For example, I heard what frequent water changes distress fish. I thought, once I get a decent fish tank with a good filter I will be able to change water once a month (like the tank instruction says) and my fish will not be distressed any more.
Do not accuse me of a fish abuse! Look at other owners who keep their fish in a champagne glass or use them for fighting. That's is a BIG problem!

No worries. You bought the fish tank, giving your precious betta filtration, heat (hopefully), and a better amount of space.
There is a sad lack of information about the proper care for bettas. If there weren't, you would have been told, when you bought the betta, what you really needed to care for it. Stores wouldn't sell those darn bowls/champagne glasses/donuts/etc...
You're taking the right steps and educating yourself.

The first rule of betta care is "Don't listen to pet store employees." This rule comes with the caveat of "unless they care for the bettas in their store." If the store has a stack of little cups, or if they sell betta bowls, don't take their advice. If bettas are somehow kept in the heated, filtered tanks, on the other hand, and if there are no torture devic...I mean betta bowls to be seen in the store, their opinion may be worth something.

Because we go over this stuff frequently, it's easy for us to forget sometimes that most of us started in the same place as you are right now. We forget that, for every one of us giving good advice (and we hope you will join our ranks in the coming days, weeks, months, and years), there are ten or more people who tout their knowledge that "bettas live in mud puddles, don't need heat or filtration, and can live in pure liquid ammonia" or some drivel like that.
It feels like I've been helping people with their aquarium problems for years, even though I've only been around for about a year, and my first couple of months were learning to take care of my own tank Anyway, this sometimes leaks through as frustration on our part.
On the other hand, Chickadee is right. There is no way to get around the fact that work is necessary, particularly if there are fish in the tank while it is cycling.

Daily water changes will not stress your betta too much. My betta actually plays with me when I reach into the tank to start the siphon. 25% once or twice a day for a few weeks will, unfortunately, be necessary unless you get BioSpira (which is pretty expensive), or unless you manage to get your hands on some used, still-wet filter media and put it in your filter. However, once your tank has completed its cycle, you will be able to get away with 25% a week.

You can help minimize the stress on your betta by getting a bottle of Amquel, Ultimate, Prime, or other such water conditioner. What you want to look for is something that detoxifies ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates. It is important to note that this is not a replacement for water changes. It is in addition to them. As chickadee said, it doesn't take long for toxins to build up in a tank. Using these products will mitigate the harm these toxins are doing between water changes.

As far as food goes, most of us, I believe, feed our bettas once or twice a day (just a couple of pellets, though. A betta's stomach is about as big as its eye), with a fasting day or a meal of a little bit of a thawed pea once a week.

I'm glad we've got you around here and asking questions. Every person asking questions is another person who is ready to learn. A person who is learning is a teacher in training. And we need every teacher we can get for this little war we are waging on improper care for our ichthyoid friends.
 
kra-z-fishmumm
  • #11
well said sirdarksol! ara,questions are helpful to us all. I wasn't sure you could add Bio-spira in with your fish safely. I didn't realize I need to test my 10 gallon (dived with two females Sweet Ums' and Lady) just as much (if not more!) as my 55g. I know it sometimes feels that the words are harsh,,, that's the trouble with not hearing the expressions in a voice. I think rose would have 'sounded' caring, yet firm about what conditions poor mis-understood Bettas need to lead happy, healthy lives. And remember to play with your Betta!!! They love it and so will you (quoted from, not exact but with the same meaning, from CoBetta!)! We are all here for you. Enjoy your new friends and the humans too
 
ara
  • Thread Starter
  • #12
Guys, thanks, you are THE BEST as always.
Today I went to a local pet store to get extra filters for my tank. I asked a sale rep about the tank cycle. He looked at me like I was from another planet and told that bettas do not need anything like that. Should I laugh or cry?
I have another question. Can I use different filters for my Eclipse 3 tank? I don't like the filters that came with the tank: charcoal doesn't stay inside, very thin...
 
chickadee
  • #13
That is what I use on all my Eclipse filters for pads and it contains no carbon at all. If I need carbon to remove meds I get filter media bags that close with velcro and just put some carbon in them and use it for a couple of days and dump it out and wash the bags until I need them again. I never use carbon on my tanks otherwise. It is messy and not necessary. These will make several pads and last a long time as they can be rinsed and reused until they are shot and the pad can be cut to fit the tank and will make many filter pads. I use the BIG ones as my tanks are big and they make 12 pads in the size for the big tanks. So I am thinking they would make at least 18 to 24 for the tank you have. That is a savings and will not let the carbon fall out all over since there is no carbon involved.

No I do not want to sound harsh with my advice, but I did not understand where you were coming from. It did sound like you just did not want to do the water changes for some reason and that sounded bad to be blunt.

Pet stores do not have a vested interest in the fish living beyond the live guarantee period so they are not going to make an attempt to try to help you keep them that way. To be frank they would just as soon the betta died so they could sell you another one. They also do not want to admit the bettas need cycled tanks as that makes them look like fools or cruel for not keeping them in cycled tanks in their stores. There are SOME stores who have come around but not many.

Yes, you can put Bio-spira or Turbostart700 in tanks which contain fish and that is how they are meant to be used. I learned about Turbostart700 from heatmisr (Nicole) one of our members who got it from a store who carried it in place of Bio-spira. It contains the same live bacteria and keeps it refrigerated just like the Bio-spira. It is available online too and can be ordered but must be shipped overnight the same as the Bio-spira.

http://www.everythingfishy.com/

The above link is one of the online places that carries the Turbostart700. This is the only one that I have checked out so far, there may be others but I have not talked to them.

Rose
 
sirdarksol
  • #14
I asked a sale rep about the tank cycle. He looked at me like I was from another planet and told that bettas do not need anything like that. Should I laugh or cry?

You forgot option number three; beat the tar out of the guy with one of his betta bowls. With that one sentence, he proved to you that he is absolutely worthless when it comes to giving advice about aquariums.

I have met some good fish store employees. One guy would not net a betta for me until he was sure that I knew what the nitrogen cycle was and that the tank had a heater. Another spent several minutes telling me about mollies (things like them needing lots of veggies, preferring brackish water, but not to include any non-brackish fish in the tank, etc...)
 
COBettaCouple
  • #15
We've cycled tanks that size with a Betta in them before.

1) Use Prime for your tap water conditioner.
2) Clean the tank weekly, including the filter media.
3) Change 25% of the water daily.

That's all that it boils down too. It's keeping the water clean and keeping the toxins from getting to your Betta or getting too high. It will cycle in time and you can go to water changes weekly instead of daily.

With a tank that size, you can use a turkey baster to clean up the waste & leftover food on the bottom. Most Bettas accept the cleaning and talking to him some while you clean the tank can help him stay calmer and happier.
 
Blub
  • #16
I have met some good fish store employees. One guy would not net a betta for me until he was sure that I knew what the nitrogen cycle was and that the tank had a heater. Another spent several minutes telling me about mollies (things like them needing lots of veggies, preferring brackish water, but not to include any non-brackish fish in the tank, etc...)
Hi!

The garden centre/LFS I'm going to today is amazing. The guys make sure you know about the Nitrogen cycle, you can ask them loads of Q's, they can name all the fish in their store and will spend around an hour with newbies getting their first tank.


 

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