Water Changes- Betta Fish

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Arijana

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I have a 3 gal tank with 1 male betta, a filter, and heater. Nothing is wrong with my aquarium ATM (TG) but I just had some questions about water changes.

So I was told to do a water change of about 50% and add in new water. Do I change the water weekly or bi-weekly? When I add in new tap water, do I have to treat it first then add it in, or can I just add it in if the rest of my water is already treated with quick start and added bacteria (forgot what it’s called). Also, do I have to let my tank cycle with the new water before adding my betta? (I know with quick start I can supposedly add my fish in right away) and how often am I supposed to do a full tank and water change/cleaning?
 

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Arijana said:
I have a 3 gal tank with 1 male betta, a filter, and heater. Nothing is wrong with my aquarium ATM (TG) but I just had some questions about water changes.

So I was told to do a water change of about 50% and add in new water. Do I change the water weekly or bi-weekly? When I add in new tap water, do I have to treat it first then add it in, or can I just add it in if the rest of my water is already treated with quick start and added bacteria (forgot what it’s called). Also, do I have to let my tank cycle with the new water before adding my betta? (I know with quick start I can supposedly add my fish in right away) and how often am I supposed to do a full tank and water change/cleaning?
I’m new to fish keeping also. But you do not want to add tap water during a water change without adding a water conditioner. Most people recommend prime. It neutralizes the chlorine instantly in tap water. You should also use the API master kit to regularly test the water parameters. Test strips are inaccurate. You never want to do a full water change. Once the tank is established, you only need to do a partial water change, usually 25%.
 
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Fljoe said:
I’m new to fish keeping also. But you do not want to add tap water during a water change without adding a water conditioner. Most people recommend prime. It neutralizes the chlorine instantly in tap water. You should also use the API master kit to regularly test the water parameters. Test strips are inaccurate. You never want to do a full water change. Once the tank is established, you only need to do a partial water change, usually 25%.
Ok thanks for that! I have one more question, are ammonia test strips inaccurate as well? I just bought some and supposedly they are supposed to be accurate. Should I return them and get the API Master kit?
 

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Arijana said:
Ok thanks for that! I have one more question, are ammonia test strips inaccurate as well? I just bought some and supposedly they are supposed to be accurate. Should I return them and get the API Master kit?
Are they the Tetra Ammonia test strips? Then yes they are pretty much accurate, may be off a bit but you'll get a ball park figure on what your Ammonia is.

I'd honestly say get the API kit, it will save you money from having to buy more test strips and only takes about 10 minutes to do the test, and it's accurate.

Another product is 'Ammonia Alert' by Seachem, it's a little plastic placard you stick on your tank glass and it will test for Ammonia around the clock and only needs to be replaced once a year. You can purchase it here: https://www.amazon.com/Seachem-001001-Ammonia-Alert/dp/B000255R5G

But if you have a pH of less than 7, it won't work as Ammonia isn't as harmful at an acidic (Less than 7) pH.
 

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Definitely get the master kit. I know it’s a little more expensive, but the API strips I started with aren’t accurate.
 
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JJfishes said:
Are they the Tetra Ammonia test strips? Then yes they are pretty much accurate, may be off a bit but you'll get a ball park figure on what your Ammonia is.

I'd honestly say get the API kit, it will save you money from having to buy more test strips and only takes about 10 minutes to do the test, and it's accurate.

Another product is 'Ammonia Alert' by Seachem, it's a little plastic placard you stick on your tank glass and it will test for Ammonia around the clock and only needs to be replaced once a year. You can purchase it here: https://www.amazon.com/Seachem-001001-Ammonia-Alert/dp/B000255R5G

But if you have a pH of less than 7, it won't work as Ammonia isn't as harmful at an acidic (Less than 7) pH.
They are API test strips and specifically say ammonia. But thanks for the info I much rather get the kit then or the ammoni alert cards!

Fljoe said:
Definitely get the master kit. I know it’s a little more expensive, but the API strips I started with aren’t accurate.
Ok I will do that then, thank you!
 

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Arijana said:
They are API test strips and specifically say ammonia. But thanks for the info I much rather get the kit then or the ammoni alert cards!
Yeah API is kind of a 'hit or miss' brand. Some of the products downright kill fish, some work, some don't. But the test kit is one of their good products
 

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Hi! Welcome to the wonderful world of keeping bettas - they are so fun and curious little guys.

In general, tank should be cycled before you put in any fish, and contrary to typical LFS advice, adding quick start or other tank starters do not instantly cycle your tank. If your betta is already in there, I'd recommend using Prime because it'll neutralize any ammonia you have in there. If you're still cycling the tank or it's new, frequent testing is your best friend, and the liquid API master test kit is great. If ammonia is high, change out the water (50% is probably good unless ammonia is super duper high then maybe more), and condition the new water first before adding to the tank or the chlorines in the added untreated water will kill any beneficial bacteria you're working on. If you're cycling properly, after ammonia spikes then the nitrites will spike, and that's good news - your tank is cycling! Keep doing testing and regular water changes. Keep adding your bacteria (some say wait 24 hours after adding Prime to add bacteria, I've done both and it seems fine), and eventually your readings should be ammonia 0 nitrite 0 and nitrates 5-20ppm. What are your readings now?

What is betta's name?

Cheers,
Stacia
 
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JJfishes said:
Yeah API is kind of a 'hit or miss' brand. Some of the products downright kill fish, some work, some don't. But the test kit is one of their good products
Since you say that, I also have the API quick start do you know if these are safe?! should I just switch to using prime do you think?
 

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Arijana said:
Since you say that, I also have the API quick start do you know if these are safe?! should I just switch to using prime do you think?
Sorry if I worried you too much :D My bad. API Quick Start is good but I'd switch to using Tetra Safe Start, the bacteria in API Quick Start will eat up ammonia but they are not the ones you want in your tank (Not a bad thing), Tetra Safe Start has the bacteria that you want and will stay in your tank. Also Quick Start is not a water conditioner, just saying that since you mentioned Prime.
 
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Mamastacia3 said:
Hi! Welcome to the wonderful world of keeping bettas - they are so fun and curious little guys.

In general, tank should be cycled before you put in any fish, and contrary to typical LFS advice, adding quick start or other tank starters do not instantly cycle your tank. If your betta is already in there, I'd recommend using Prime because it'll neutralize any ammonia you have in there. If you're still cycling the tank or it's new, frequent testing is your best friend, and the liquid API master test kit is great. If ammonia is high, change out the water (50% is probably good unless ammonia is super duper high then maybe more), and condition the new water first before adding to the tank or the chlorines in the added untreated water will kill any beneficial bacteria you're working on. If you're cycling properly, after ammonia spikes then the nitrites will spike, and that's good news - your tank is cycling! Keep doing testing and regular water changes. Keep adding your bacteria (some say wait 24 hours after adding Prime to add bacteria, I've done both and it seems fine), and eventually your readings should be ammonia 0 nitrite 0 and nitrates 5-20ppm. What are your readings now?

What is betta's name?

Cheers,
Stacia
Thanks for the welcome and wonderful advice!

I just bought some prime! Should I take my fish out and then add prime? Or do I take my fish out first? Also can I add prime to the water that already has quick start and conditioner or do I wait until my next partial water change? I don’t have the test kit yet I just have test strips I wasn’t aware of batik recently that they are not very accurate I am planing to buy the API test kit ASAP. The test strips suggest 0 nitrate and nitrite the ph 7.5 and KH is 180 and GH is 180- they r both pretty high and I’m unsure why or what to do... as for anomie I don’t have the kit so I don’t know yet.

My Bettas name is Kratos :)

*ammonia

JJfishes said:
Sorry if I worried you too much :D My bad. API Quick Start is good but I'd switch to using Tetra Safe Start, the bacteria in API Quick Start will eat up ammonia but they are not the ones you want in your tank (Not a bad thing), Tetra Safe Start has the bacteria that you want and will stay in your tank. Also Quick Start is not a water conditioner, just saying that since you mentioned Prime.
Haha no worries, thanks.

And my bad I meant I have quick start but I also have a separate conditioner for Bettas.
 

Mamastacia3

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Arijana said:
Thanks for the welcome and wonderful advice!

I just bought some prime! Should I take my fish out and then add prime? Or do I take my fish out first? Also can I add prime to the water that already has quick start and conditioner or do I wait until my next partial water change? I don’t have the test kit yet I just have test strips I wasn’t aware of batik recently that they are not very accurate I am planing to buy the API test kit ASAP. The test strips suggest 0 nitrate and nitrite the ph 7.5 and KH is 180 and GH is 180- they r both pretty high and I’m unsure why or what to do... as for anomie I don’t have the kit so I don’t know yet.

My Bettas name is Kratos :)
Cool name!

Prime is a water conditioner so you don’t need to do both, I’d recommend just using Prime. It only takes a couple drops per gallon so you can add it to the tank when Kratos is in there, but for me I usually try to do everything at once when replacing water, and at that point I take my fish out. So here is what I do:

Water change time: I take my fish out and put him in a little container, empty out about 25-30% of the water in his tank with a siphon and vacuum the gravel. While I’m doing that I have a bucket of replacement water that I have already put the drops of Prime in (follow directions for amounts). Then slowly add new water to the tank, acclimate fishie to the new water and put him in. If I was still cycling (and sometimes I just do this anyway) about 24 hrs later I put Tetra Safe Start into the filter media. If your ammonia is high and/or you’re worried about the cycling, I’m sure you can put the TSS in at the same time (or put some in after the water change and add more 24 hrs later). This seems to work for me.
 
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Mamastacia3 said:
Cool name!

Prime is a water conditioner so you don’t need to do both, I’d recommend just using Prime. It only takes a couple drops per gallon so you can add it to the tank when Kratos is in there, but for me I usually try to do everything at once when replacing water, and at that point I take my fish out. So here is what I do:

Water change time: I take my fish out and put him in a little container, empty out about 25-30% of the water in his tank with a siphon and vacuum the gravel. While I’m doing that I have a bucket of replacement water that I have already put the drops of Prime in (follow directions for amounts). Then slowly add new water to the tank, acclimate fishie to the new water and put him in. If I was still cycling (and sometimes I just do this anyway) about 24 hrs later I put Tetra Safe Start into the filter media. If your ammonia is high and/or you’re worried about the cycling, I’m sure you can put the TSS in at the same time (or put some in after the water change and add more 24 hrs later). This seems to work for me.
Thanks! And thanks so much for the help, I really appreciate it!

1 more question sorry haha, so when I pour some TSS into the filter media, can I do this while the fish is already in the water or should I keep him out for This too?
 

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You don't need to take your fish out when doing a water change, in fact that would probably be more stressful for them in the long run.
 
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DoraCory said:
You don't need to take your fish out when doing a water change, in fact that would probably be more stressful for them in the long run.
Oh really!? I didn't know that.. so even if I am adding prime and Safe Start during water changes I can just leave my fish in and he will be completely fine??
 

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Yes, he'll be totally fine Arijana

My Betta actually gets excited during a water change and does his wriggly dance and comes to investigate everything I'm doing.
 

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Welcome to the forum. I just recently got into this hobby almost a year ago and went through the exact same thing you are doing.

I also dont take out my Betta from the tank when doing a water change. I personally do about 50% every weekend, and my readings have always been 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites, and about 5-10 nitrates.

Your GH and KH are around the range that I have, but my PH is a little higher.

Do you have well water or city water?

For the prime, I usually put the drops into a 5 gallon bucket and then fill with water, so the water filling up will help mix in the prime.

Also, one other thing not mentioned, try to match the temperature of the new water to the tank. Wouldnt want to put ice cold water I to an 80 degree tank.

I personally didnt use the bottled bacteria, I did a fishless cycle using straight ammonia to get my bacteria going. Just takes a little more time to do.
 
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blindfaith429 said:
Welcome to the forum. I just recently got into this hobby almost a year ago and went through the exact same thing you are doing.

I also dont take out my Betta from the tank when doing a water change. I personally do about 50% every weekend, and my readings have always been 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites, and about 5-10 nitrates.

Your GH and KH are around the range that I have, but my PH is a little higher.

Do you have well water or city water?

For the prime, I usually put the drops into a 5 gallon bucket and then fill with water, so the water filling up will help mix in the prime.

Also, one other thing not mentioned, try to match the temperature of the new water to the tank. Wouldnt want to put ice cold water I to an 80 degree tank.

I personally didnt use the bottled bacteria, I did a fishless cycle using straight ammonia to get my bacteria going. Just takes a little more time to do.[/QUOTE

Hi thanks for the reply. I have city water, so it’s like basic hard tap water. I was just asking about GH and Lh because I wanted to make my fish as comfortable as possible! Good tips
 
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