Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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mischievouscat 08-18-2008 10:04 PM

Proper Tank Maintenance?
 
I'm heading to college in a little over a week with a small aquarium, and I'm leaving another tank with my younger brother & sister. I'd like to write up a schedule for tank maintenance, but I want to do it right. Help me out?

For the following, how often would you do water changes and what percent? How often would you rinse or replace filter media?

-- A cycled, filtered (Aqueon PowerFilter 10) 5.5 gallon tank containing a betta, an otocinclus catfish, and a ghost shrimp

-- An uncycled, unfiltered 2.5 gallon betta tank

Thanks!

Tyyrlym 08-19-2008 07:26 AM

It's hard to say without knowing how fast the nitrates build up in the tank. Since they're small however I'd say a 50% water change once a week on the 5 gallon wouldn't be a big deal. Rinse the sponge in the old tank water when you do the water change, just a few shakes. Replace the combo filter/carbon deal once a month so that the carbon stays fresh.

The 2.5 gallon, someone familiar with unfiltered aquaria should answer that.

Flashygrrl 08-19-2008 07:09 PM

Well...you could get the 2.5 gallon cycled by just doing 50% water changes a few times a week but that depends on the occupants. Is this the one going with you?

SinCrisis 08-20-2008 09:44 AM

bettas are very hardy fish so im sure u could cycle the 2.5 with a betta without any problems. However u should get a filter for the 2.5 tank and a heater for the betta. I have a 2 gallon tank for my betta at college and i change 30% of the water once a week and its perfectly fine.

mischievouscat 08-20-2008 02:59 PM

I'm taking the filtered, cycled 5.5 gallon (with the betta, oto, and ghost shrimp) to college with me. The 2.5 (with the single betta) is staying home with my sibs.

We have a Whisper filter for the 2.5, but the betta kept swimming under the intake and getting sucked; so we took it out. I'm thinking I might block the intake with sponge, and try that.

To do water changes on the 2.5, d'you guys use a siphon? Or just scoop water out?

iamntbatman 08-20-2008 11:52 PM

Gravel vacs are usually a pain on tanks that small because you can't submerge the vac to get the siphon going. So, you have to suck on the hose yourself to start it. A turkey baster makes a much more forgiving tool in a tank that size, since you can remove water and solid waste at one time.

sweetwaterarabians 08-24-2008 12:49 PM

I would just have the scoop the water out since it would be difficult to get a vacuum in there unless you had a real tiny one, LOL. Since it is just the one betta he should be pretty easy to take care of. Do make sure they know to get the water temperature just right before putting more in.
I agree with the 50% water change once a will and rinse the cartridge too. Also, make sure they don't feed him too much. That is always my problem when I have my in-laws take care of my fish if I'm gone. I always loose someone when I come back to over feeding and sour water. Now, I just tell them not to feed them or feed them once if I'm gone for very long. Good luck!


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