How to change the water in my Betta fish bowl? How often do Betta fish need their water changed? How to change the water in a Siamese Fighting fish tank. What is the best way to clean a Betta fish aquarium. How to keep a Betta fish healthy. How to look after a Betta fish and keep its tank clean.
Betta fish, also known as Siamese fighting fish, are common pets. Sadly many pet Betta fish die when people make mistakes while changing the water, or they suffer because people neglect to change the water and it slowly poisons the fish.
Betta fish are often kept in very small bowls, but really they do best in a 3 to 5 gallon tank. They do not need an aerator because they get air from the surface, and do not need a filter because they do not like motion in their water. As such they need their water changed regularly because otherwise ammonia and chemicals build up in the water, due to the fish waste and evaporation.
In a smaller tank a Betta fish should have a partially water change at least once a week, but in a proper sized tank once a week, or once every two weeks, is fine. Full water changes can take place once a month for smaller tanks, and once every two months for 3 to 5 gallon tanks.
Prepare the New Water
There are a couple ways of preparing the water before you do the water change itself. Preparing the water is done for two reasons; to remove chlorine, and to bring it to the same temperature as the fish is use to.
If you live where chlorine and chemicals are not added to the water you only need to worry about the temperature, but most cities add chlorine and it must be removed or will kill your fish.
One way to prepare the water is to let it sit out overnight (ideally 24 hours), uncovered, to let the chlorine evaporate. The other way is to purchase chemicals from an aquarium supply store that will remove the chlorine. In either case you must let the water reach the same temperature as your aquarium currently is.
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Doing the Water Change
You need to make sure your Betta fish is safe. So many times people are careless and the fish goes down the drain, always put your plug in your drain and keep the fish away from the sink. A net only costs a few dollars and can be used to remove your fish to another container (not one washed in soap). Add some water from the tank to the container. This container can be something as simple as a clean cup, and should be covered while proceeding because Betta fish can jump.
Stir the water in the tank so the debris (wasted food, fish waste) from in the rocks is stirred up. Dump out 1/3 to ½ of the water in your Betta's tank. Add the new water and reposition the plants. Allow the water to settle, this takes no more than 15 minutes. Slowly pour the Betta fish back into his home.
Every two months you will want to do a Full Water Change, dumping out all the water, scrubbing the glass with a clean sponge (one used only for washing the tank), and washing the gravel by putting it in a sieve and rinsing it with hot water.
Tips for Changing Your Betta's Water
If you over feed your Betta fish, his water will need to be cleaned more regularly than if not.
The water might not “look” dirty, but salts and nitrates build up and are not seen by the naked eye.
Never use soap or chemicals on the tank, or the cup in which you put the fish while his tank is being washed.
Aquarium thermometers are cheap and can be used to tell the temperature of the water.
If you have other fish (such as a catfish) in with your Betta, it needs to be removed too.