Ideal Water Conditions for Bettas
11:25 AM - March 6, 2013 by Adam Short
The water in your aquarium needs to be changed regularly. Although proper tank filtration keeps the water clean and pure, it does not remove trace elements such as phosphates that accumulate in the water. Fresh water also replenishes the potassium, zinc, calcium and iron that are depleted from the existing water in the tank.
When should you change the water in your betta tank?
Under normal conditions, change 10% of the water in the tank, once a week. It is not necessary or recommended to change all the water at one time. If you siphon off all of the debris and check pH levels during this process, you will create the ideal water conditions for your Betta. If nitrate levels are higher than the normal range, change 20% of the water in your aquarium every day until it registers at the proper pH.
How should the water be changed?
Once or twice a year, drain 50% of the water in your tank. Simultaneously, stir and vacuum the gravel to remove all leftover food that will decay and cause pollutants like phosphates and ammonia. Remove every decoration and rock, and vacuum under them being careful not to suck up any fish that might be hiding there. If your filter system is under the gravel, vacuum more frequently to prevent the formation of nitrates. Scrape off the excessive algae from the glass and also from the various decorations. Use a clean, non-abrasive, soap-free brush or sponge that is kept exclusively for the purpose of cleaning the tank.
Bearing in mind how much water you intend to change, measure out the proportionate amount of water conditioner and keep it accessible. Unplug all electrically connected heaters, filters and lights. As you siphon the water off, collect it in a measuring bucket or container. Once you've siphoned off the required volume of water, replace all the rocks and decorations you removed for cleaning purposes.
Refilling the tank
Pre-fill a container of water at least 48 hours prior to the water change to allow the chlorine to dissipate. Although the evaporation of this chemical may occur using this method, it’s more beneficial to treat the water with a commercial chlorine remover to be sure it is completely eliminated. Bring the water temperature as close as possible to the ideal tank temperature, placing a heater in the water, if necessary. Add the recommended conditioners and gently pour the water into the tank. Do not forget to maintain a log and record all details for future reference.
Temperature of water in the betta tank
Maintain the temperature of the water in the tank at 76-82 degrees Fahrenheit. Fish can tolerate moderate temperature changes without any adverse effects. Avoid dramatic, rapid changes in the temperature of the water so it is never consistently too low or too high. Although your Betta can tolerate cooler water temperatures, this environment is not optimum for their health and can cause them to contract a disease.
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Do you have any other water tips to keep your aquarium a safe house for your betta?